Apple’s iMovie application comes free with new iPhones and iPads. It allows you to make home videos, combining multiple clips, inserting photos, adding transitions, applying a soundtrack, and using other effects.
If you just want to trim a video or cut out a clip, you can use the Photos application. But, for anything more complicated, you’ll want to use iMovie.
Assuming your iPhone or iPad was purchased on or after September 1, 2013 and you’ve updated to iOS 8, you get iMovie for free. You should either have iMovie already installed, or you’ll need to open the App Store app, search for iMovie, and install it for free. If you don’t meet this requirement, Apple charges $4.99 for iMovie. Apple provides more information about getting these free apps if you need help.
Open the iMovie app on your iPhone or iPad once it’s installed. We’ll be using an iPhone for the process here, but the app’s interface on iPad works similarly.
iMovie opens straight to a “Video” view that shows videos you’ve taken on your device. If you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, the videos you take will sync across all your devices. You can tap a view and tap the “Play” button to preview it.
To get started, tap the “Projects” tab and then tap the “Create Project” button.
iMovie will allow you to create either a “Movie” or a “Trailer”. A movie allows you to combine videos, photos, and music to create your own project. A trailer offers a template that will create a Hollywood-style movie trailer. You can still convert a trailer to a movie afterwards, allowing you to edit it.
If you want to make a home movie out of some clips, a “movie” might be the best option. If you want to make something a bit more playful, a “trailer” will work.
Whatever type of project you create, you’ll be prompted to choose a theme or template. Movie themes include Modern, Bright, Playful, Neon, Travel, Simple, News, and CNN iReport. Trailer templates include Adrenaline, Bollywood, Coming of Age, Expedition, Fairy Tale, Family, Indie, Narrative, Retro, Romance, Scary, Superhero, Swashbuckler, and Teen.
If you created a trailer, you’ll be able to tap the different portions of the “Storyboard” to insert your own clips and fill out the movie trailer.
If you created a movie, you’ll see the full editing screen. Tap the “?” bubble at the top-right corner of the screen if you’re not sure what a button does.
You’ll probably want to tap the “Add Media” button near the bottom-left corner to add videos and photos. However, you could also just start recording a video from here and insert your recorded clip directly into your iMovie project. Or, you could record audio from your microphone and provide narration over the video.
Locate a clip you want to insert. Tap the first button to insert it as a video, tap the second button to preview it, or tap the third button to insert it as an audio track. The other buttons will insert the video in a different way.
Repeat this process to add more video clips, audio tracks, and photos.
The “Change themes and more” button at the right side of the screen will allow you to adjust filters applied to the entire video project, choose its theme, and modify transitions and music.
Once you’ve inserted one or more videos, you can tap them on the timeline at the bottom of the screen to modify them. For example, insert multiple clips one after another and you’ll see a transition icon. Tap the icon and you can select the transition that appears between the videos — None, Theme, Dissolve, Wipe, or Fade.
Tap a clip at the bottom of the screen and you’ll see icons for editing it changing its speed, changing its audio volume, inserting text and choosing the style, or applying a filter.
Play with the various options here all you want — you can always tap the “Undo” button on the right side of the screen to undo a change. You can also tap “Play” to preview your movie.
When you’re done, tap “Done” and your movie will be saved. You can then play it from here to show it to other people, or tap the “Share” button and share it via email, Facebook, YouTube, or other applications. You can also share it to “iMovie Theater,” allowing you to easily view your video on a Mac or Apple TV.
There’s a lot you can do with iMovie. Really, this is only scratching the surface. Combine video clips, audio tracks, and photos by adding them to a project, and then tap around to modify the media, add text, apple effects, and choose transitions.
Image Credit: Ian Lamont on Flickr