I am IMPRESSED.
I just got done watching some video tutorials for iMovie 09 at the Apple website.
Without a doubt I can say the iMovie 09 is incredible. In the arena of free video editing programs, it is the best. (If you buy a new Mac it comes free, otherwise it is part of a bundle called iLife, with iPhoto, Garage Band and iWeb. Sold for $79)
iMovie blows Windows Movie Maker out of the galaxy. And I have nothing against Movie Maker. It’s a fine little program but iMovie 09 is unfreaking believable and that is putting it mildly.
WHAT CAN iMOVIE 09 DO?
To truly go gaa-gaa over iMovie 09, you probably need an awareness of what features are common to video editing. Most free video programs allow you to do basic video editing ONLY. That includes:
- You can select the video or audio clips you want and discard the rest.
- You can put some fancy transitions between clips.
- You can add a digital effects such as pixelation or making the video black and white.
- You can add narration, music or sound effects.
- You can add simple titles.
That is simple video editing in a nutshell. Any free video program will do those tasks. The differences between programs boil down to WHICH transitions or effects you can add. How much control do you have over them? Can you alter the effects at all or are you stuck with the preset default? Same with titles. In a free program, you have templates. So how many templates do you have and how cool (or uncool) are they? Relying on presets and defaults make any video program simpler to use, which is what beginners want.
Probably the biggest differences between free video editing programs lie not so much in what they will do, but in how easy they are to use and how stable. Most of them DO pretty much the same thing. (With some exceptions of course.)
iMovie 09 is light years ahead of other free programs. It will not only do everything listed above, it will also do stuff that is not common even in very expensive, highly complex programs. Yet iMovie keeps it simple.
The single most impressive feature is image stabilization. The version of Final Cut I use has nothing like this. (Newer versions do.) Image stabiliation takes the shake out of your video. Shaky video is the single biggest mistake most people make. Shaky video can literally make the audience sea sick and no one will watch it for long. It’s such a huge propblem that video camera manufacturers have been adding image stabilization features for a long time. Most of them do not work worth a crap. iMovie’s image stabilization blew me away with its high quality. They were able to make the shot look like it had originally been shot using a high-dollar dolly. I could not believe how good it looked. The only problem is that it can take your computer HOURS to make these adjustments. So as good as it is, image stabilization does not make tripods obsolete. It is ALWAYS better to shoot it right in the first place. Doing so saves time and money!
iMovie also offers your choice of several themes. Sounds basic enough. What makes this so spectacular though is how much the theme alters your video and how cool the alterations are. Usually, themes just add a graphic at the beginning or the end. These themes do much more than that. They add incredible effects throughout the video and they are a snap to change. To do manually what a theme does instantly would take you HOURS. Seriously. Adding a theme takes one click and alone will transform your video into a digital effects wonder.
The next feature that impressed me a lot was the animated travel maps. Perfect for vacation video. With just a few clicks, you can create an incredible animated map showing that you went from one place to another. They were gorgeous animations and were truly easy to create.
The iMovie titler lets you create spectacular animated graphics over gorgeous animated backgrounds. Comparing the iMovie titler to the Windows Movie Maker titler is like comparing crayons to a laser printer. Again, it was very easy to use.
If you are looking for a FREE video editing program, you are not going to find one better than iMovie 09. The only issue is that you need a Mac to run it. Another good excuse to buy a Mac in my opinion!
If you want a visual demonstration of iMovie 09, the Apple website had tons of videos. They were consice, informative and well made. Here is a direct link to their iMovie video tutorials.
iMovie 09 is a big improvement over iMovie 08, which actually, was not all that popular. I’d say they made up for it this year!
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips
Internet Video Gal