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iMovie for iOS: Get to grips with the Precision Editor tool

Learn how to use iMovie for iOS' Precision Editor to stitch together your clips and edit your movie project to perfection with this step-by-step guide.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Featured

iMovie - Precision Editor - Sidebar
iMovie - Precision Editor - Featured
iMovie is a complex but easy-to-use application that joins the iPad’s iLife collection.
Much like the other applications offered by Apple, it has been made to be as simple and intuitive to work with as possible. iMovie is designed to allow you to create basic movies using clips recorded with the iPad camera, or alternatively imported through the camera connection kit. The clean user interface is both simple to understand and control, with the usual Apple attention to detail ensuring that even the most complex of tasks are straightforward to perform.

When creating a movie it is possible to use more than one video clip. This can be done by simply dragging a new clip from the camera roll palette. Once more than one video clip is inserted into the film, iMovie will automatically create a simple transition between the two. This transition is a small animation that seamlessly merges the video clips together, giving the finished article a smooth flow with a professional finish.

When using more than one video clip it’s possible to select the start and finish points of the clips, cutting them down to the size you wish to use. To better control this aspect of editing the video together, there is the Precision Editor that allows for more accurate adjustments of the transition between the videos. This in turn gives you the maximum control over the final look of your movie, which is what we explore in this guide.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step-by-SAtep

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 1

Step 1: Open a video clip

Once in iMovie, the videos in your camera roll will be displayed in the palette on the left. By tapping the clip you want, an arrow icon will appear; hit this to see the clip appear in your movie timeline.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 2

Step 2: Attach the second video

iMovie allows for multiple video clips to be used in the same film. By navigating to the position in the timeline you wish to place the new clip, simply repeat step 1 to import the second clip.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 4

Step 3: Widen the video

By using two fingers and swiping outwards on the timeline, the clips will stretch, placing more frames in the timeline. This allows you to pinpoint the exact position where you want to apply the transition.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 4

Step 4: Open the Precision Editor

Between two video clips will be the transition icon. By tapping on this the Precision Editor arrows will appear. Tapping, or using a pinching technique, will place the new clip below the original in the editor.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 5

Step 5: Transition in transit

In the Precision Editor there’s a yellow adjustment bar with three yellow dots. Holding on to the middle dot and swiping left or right will adjust the position of the transition between the two clips.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 6

Step 6: Tweak the top clip

Using the top yellow dot, simply tap and hold before moving left or right to adjust its position. This will set the point at which the first clip will end and the transition into the new clip will begin.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 7

Step 7: Adjust the bottom clip

In exactly the same way as the top clip, you can simply tap and hold on the bottom adjustment dot and move along the bottom clip to select where a transition ends and the action begins.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 8

Step 8: Multi-clip editing

Using a two-finger motion it’s possible to open up the movie clips within the Precision Editor. This enables you to make more precise adjustments to both clips at the same time.

iMovie - Precision Editor - Step 9

Step 9: Transition Settings

In the Precision Editor it’s also possible to modify the transition animation settings. Simply double- tapping on the centre yellow dot will open a new window where you can tailor the effect.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

iMovie - Precision Editor - Annotated