iMovie’s Transition browser can mimic traditional optical effects (see the classic Cross Dissolve for an example), but as it uses digital technology we can also have more creative-looking transitions. You can drop in as many transitions as you like without the constraints faced by film and video editors of old, and it’s a doddle to fine-tune the duration and position of a transition, as you’ll see.
Step 1: Classic wipe
Import ‘Wipe01.mov’ and ‘Wipe02.mov’ and place them in a project. Place Wipe Right from the Transitions browser between the two clips.
Step 2: Change of pace
The wipe follows the movement of the men, but it’s too fast. Double-click on the transition’s icon. Type a duration of 1:19 to slow it to the pace of the men.
Step 3: Ripple effect
Add ‘Fountain.mov’. Add a Ripple transition. The Overlap is set to All – Maintain Clip Range. This shortens the clips by the duration of the transition.
Step 4: Change Overlap
If you want to keep a project’s duration, set Overlap to Half – Maintain Project Duration. The transition borrows a few frames from the clips’ start and end.
Step 5: Fine-tune transition
Add ‘Cistern.mov’ and drop in a Mosaic transition. Click the transition’s gear icon and choose Precision Editor to drag the transition to where it should start.
Step 6: Open door
Use Doorway transition to move from ‘Cistern.mov’ to ‘Boat.mov’. Give the transition a duration of 2:00. Doorway is a great way to introduce a new location.
Step 7: Cross Blur
Add ‘Disembark.mov’ and drop in a Cross Blur. Like Cross Dissolve it mixes clips, but it also defocuses the first clip before refocusing on the second.
8: Quick change
Click a transition’s icon in the Project window. Press ‘i’. Click the transition’s name for a window featuring all iMovie transitions. Preview, then click to choose one.
Step 9: Natural transition
You can create a transition using a cut. Trim the clip so it ends as people walk into shot and block the frame, then cut to a new shot. This mimics a wipe.
(Click on the image below to view the annotation text in more detail)
To undertake this tutorial you’ll need to download the issue 93 tutorial files.