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Learn iMovie Week: Store & organise video clips effectively

In the fourth instalment of Learn iMovie Week we use iMovie in tandem with iPhoto to streamline the process of storing and managing your photos and movies.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - 10-minute intermediate tutorial
iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Main
Thanks to groovy gadgets like your iPhone, you’re just as likely to record video footage of a special occasion as you are to photograph it.
This leads to the problem of storing and organising your stills and your video footage. One option would be to use iMovie’s File>Import menu to import video clips into specifically labelled iMovie Events. Alternatively you can streamline the process by using iPhoto to import your stills and video assets from your iPhone at the same time (and store them in the same place). You can then use iMovie to browse through iPhoto’s collection of video clips, and turn the best bits into edited programmes. We’ll also show you how to save your hard disk space and keep your clips safe by adding them to external hard drives.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step-By-Step

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 1

Step 1: Import into iPhoto

When you plug your iPhone into your Mac you can import both stills and video into iPhoto. You can also label the Event at this stage.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 2

Step 2: Under one roof

Both videos and stills are stored in one place – the iPhoto Library. You can copy this to an external hard drive to create a backup of your clips and photos.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 3

Step 3: Get smart

Go to New>Smart Album. Set the fields as shown in our grab and click OK. The Smart Album lets you see all the video clips in your iPhoto library.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 4

Step 4: Generate thumbnails

Quit iPhoto and open iMovie. It will be aware that you’ve imported new clips into the iPhoto Library and will ask you to create thumbnails. Click on Now.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 5

Step 5: Process thumbnails

iMovie will then wade through the newly imported clips in the iPhoto Library and generate thumbnails, so you can easily recognise each clip’s content.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 6

Step 6: Browse clips

Go to iMovie’s Event Library and click on iPhoto Videos. All the iPhoto clips will appear in the Event browser. You can view and edit them like any iMovie event.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 7

Step 7: External storage

To save space you can create a new iPhoto Library on an external hard drive. Press Alt when opening iPhoto and select Create New. Choose an external drive.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 8

Step 8: Load in clips

You can import new clips and stills into this external iPhoto Library. When you quit iPhoto and open iMovie, it will automatically load clips from this new iPhoto Library.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Step 9

Step 9: Multiple drives

You can store clips in iPhoto Libraries on multiple drives, which stops your clips from being stored in one basket. iMovie will access clips from the iPhoto Library.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

iMovie tutorial - Organise clips - Annotated
This tutorial is the fourth in our Learn iMovie Week series; for more articles just like this, visit the Learn iMovie Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to iMovie on Mac or iOS. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearniMovieWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.