My First iMovie

by Chuck Toporek

This past weekend, I decided to test my movie production skills by giving iMovie a whirl. Sunday was our housemate's birthday, so I decided to surprise him with a video of his dog that I shot the weekend before at a lake up in Maine.

This 60-second iMovie was amazingly easy to put together. There are some things I could have done better -- like the transitions and timing some of the text slides -- but I managed to whip this together in about an hour.

One thing I wasn't expecting was having to shell out a $29 fee for a QuickTime Pro registration. Why, you ask? Well, I needed to take the .avi video I recorded with a Canon S200 digital camera and convert that to a digital video QuickTime stream so I could import that clip into iMovie. But since this is something that I'll probably do a few more times in my life, I figured the cost was worth it.

Another worthy investment was the $50 I spent to keep my address (er, get a .Mac account). The sound clip you hear in the background of the Happy Dog movie comes courtesy of the FreePlay Music, found on your iDisk in the /Software/Extras/FreePlay Music directory. The audio files come in 10-, 20-, 30-, and 60-second bytes as MP3 files (there's also a full-length clip for each one, too). For this one, I used the 60-second clip titled "Shopping Spree".

Okay, I know I'm not a video producer by any means, but iMovie is pretty easy to use for hacking together quick movies like this. Just imagine what I could do with a little more practice, footage, and sleep.

So, without further ado, I'm pleased to present Happy Dog, my crack at ripping off a Visa commercial.

Have an iMovie you're particularly proud of, or willing to share some tips with me? Let me know (unless you're Roger Ebert, of course).


2002-09-16 19:59:59
First iMovie
Just curious, how did you end up with an avi file?
If your video camera is firewire equipped why not just plug it in to your Mac and import directly from the camera?

2002-09-16 21:35:47
.avi files
Canon digital _still_ cameras save video clips as avi files. He doesn't have a digital video camera.
2002-09-16 23:55:47
Depending on the encoding your digital camera uses, you might also be able to use avi2mov. A free application which will convert an avi file to a mov. However, it does not change the video and sound encoding, so the avi file will have to be encoded using encoders quicktime can decode for it to work.
2002-09-17 07:39:13
AVI files from the Canon S200 (was: First iMovie)

The Canon S200 does allow me to shoot up to 30-seconds worth of digital video (with sound, too -- amazingly -- but more on that later).

The length of the footage is based on the settings you specify in the menus for video quality and size. The higher the quality and size, the shorter the video. (I don't have my camera with me now, but I think the highest quality gets you 12-seconds of video, while low quality/smaller picture gives you up to 30-seconds.)

The camera doesn't have FireWire, so I can't connect it directly to the FireWire port, but it does have a USB connection. I haven't tried connecting it to the computer and just shooting and seeing if it will give me more footage, but it's worth trying out.

The video is saved as a .avi file, which apparently needs to be converted to a QuickTime Stream (with a .dv extension) to be imported into iMovie. I did try saving the .avi as a .mov file, but iMovie wouldn't allow me to import that. (Which seems odd, since that's one of the output formats of iMovie.)

Another thing worth noting is converting the .avi file to .dv made the file MUCH larger. Something like 108 MB, I think.

One thing I did do before converting the .avi file to the QuickTime Stream (or the .dv file) was I stripped out the audio track (Edit --> Delete Tracks --> Sound Track). I wasn't sure if I needed to do that, but it sort of made sense since I didn't want the noise of the Rowen splashing around in the water.

2004-01-10 00:46:55
where is">avi2mov ???
2004-01-13 01:53:42
2006-04-08 00:02:30
if you would like to make movie yourself , plz visit , many tools that you can use to make your own movie.