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iLife Tutorial: Use the Analyze Video tool in iMovie

iMovie has some clever features you may not know about that can analyse your video clips in different ways to help you get better results and for easier searching...

iMovie Analyse Tutorial Tool Final

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial Sidebar
iMovie Analyse Tutorial Tool Final
iPhoto has been able to analyse still images for a little while, principally to identify faces
. And while iMovie can’t actually recognise individuals yet, it can tell if there are people in shot. This is particularly useful for quickly finding footage of people as opposed to trawling through endless establishing shots, seascapes and other kinds of footage. Perhaps even more usefully for the casual or intermediate film maker, iMovie is also able to analyse footage for stabilisation, either during or after import. Modern handheld camcorders and indeed iPhones are small, light and notoriously difficult to hold still so many people find that their footage invariably suffers from camera shake. The way iMovie corrects this is to zoom in and crop the video to eliminate the areas that move around. This technique may not always produce the results you want but in some cases it can really save your bacon.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial Topbar

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 1

1: Analyse during import
Choose your footage in the Import window, and in the After Import menu select to analyse the video for stabilisation, people or both.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 2

2: Wait for analysis
Analysing video can take a while and the longer the footage the longer it will take. For longer clips on older machines be prepared to wait a little while.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 3

3: Analyse after import
You may have imported footage normally but later decide that a clip is too shaky. Locate it in the Event Library, right-click and go to the Analyze menu.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 4

4: Choose analysis type
Select whether you want to analyse for people, stabilisation or both. Select multiple clips at once and perform analysis to save repeated key presses.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 5

5: Filter the view
Press the small people icon at the bottom of iMovie’s window and you will see only the analysed footage containing people.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 6

6: Repeat for stabilisation
If a clip needs stabilising, repeat the command, which can be found in the Edit menu. Stabilisation zooms in and crops a clip but can be undone.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 7

7: Temporarily disable stabilisation
When a clip has been analysed, add it to a project and double-click to open its Inspector. Here you can specify that clip smoothing should be on or off.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 8

8: Set zoom level
Using the Maximum Zoom slider, you can alter the amount of zooming to stabilise shaky footage. Try to find a happy medium between cropping and shake.

iMovie Analyse Tool Tutorial - Step 9

9: Mark camera pans
Activate Mark Camera Pans and iMovie will display a blue line wherever the clip contains camera movement, making it easier to identify pans.

Click on image to enlarge.

iMovie Analyse Tutorial Tool Annotations