iMovie MP4 Production Tips and Tricks

imovie mp4MP4 is a digital multimedia format that is most commonly used to store videos, audio tracks, as well as still photography images. Like many other modern digital container formats it is designed to allow streaming over the Internet so that you or others can watch, in real time, the work you’ve assembled. MP4 is a common container format that compresses the information using an encoding system called AAC. This is a ‘lossy’ format, which means that some pixel and digital information will be released in order to compress the file.

MP4 is often used by average consumers because it is easy to understand and simple to apply. Many movie editing software programs, like iMovie use the Mp4 format as the go to compression for making movies. If you are interested in making Mp4’s on iMovie check out Udemy’s Tutor for iMovie course. It will introduce you to the basic principles of the software so you can get started making great movies.

How To Use iMovie 

iMovie puts the basics of digital editing at your fingertips.  It is a user-friendly program designed to be intuitive so that you can learn while you create. The final result of your work can be exported to an MP4 format so that it can be shown to others or streamed across the Internet. If you want more extensive instructions on how to make iMovie work for you, check out Udemy’s Introduction To iMovie course.

Shoot The Video 

To start you will need a digital camera to record your video. Most often the camera will record sound as well. This is important, and iMovie is designed to allow edits of both video and audio. After the shoot plug your camera – or its SD card – into your computer. iMovie will allow you to import the entirety of your video in just one click. Even better it separates the scenes for you. This is done by tracking on the file where the camera stopped recording.  Once you’ve downloaded your movie as a new project you can begin the editing process.

Editing on Your Timeline 

Across the bottom of the software console is an area called the timeline. This is where you will be able to adjust – or edit – your video. By using your mouse you can click and drag the clips into the timeline. There you can trim out boring sections or shorten clips to suit the overall video. To see your work there is a viewer in the top right corner of the software. This will play the individual clip you are working on (by pressing the play icon, or hitting space bar).

When you edit the video in iMovie the sound will be edited along with it. So if you trim off three seconds from a clip you will lose the three-second of audio as well. Editing in the timeline is a fluid click and drag process. You can combine clips, or cut to different clips by clicking and dragging them over existing clips in the timeline. Once you have several clips aligned how you’d like you can watch those combination of clips. A screen in the middle of the console – to the left of the viewer – allows you to watch your compilation in order to judge how well the edits flow.

Special Effects, Still Photos, Etc. 

iMovie allows you to use special effects, make title sequences, or insert transitions into your timeline to increase the flow of your video. These are available by clicking on the different icons just above the timeline. Transitions can be dragged in between clips and can range from fade-outs to cross dissolves. iMovie is picture oriented so you will see small icons anywhere you dropped in a transition. For special effects, the process is much the same. However, with special effects the icon images are dragged and dropped directly onto the clip you want to effect.

iMovie isn’t just for videos alone. The program allows you to make ‘slideshows’ out of your photographs. If you went on a trip and want to compile your pictures into one video slide show that is possible. You can just drag and drop your pictures into the timeline. iMovie will convert them automatically to fit the software. iMovie uses a default Ken Burns Effect function. This is a design that makes it look as if the camera is moving across the picture. You will have to turn this function off if you do not want the effect. You can even add music to the slideshow through the program. If you want to learn how to make a great slideshow in iMovie take Udemy’s course on the subject.

Exporting to Mp4 

Once you’re all done with the editing you need to export your movie so that others can watch it or you can upload it to the Internet. With your mouse click on the ‘file’ tap and select ‘export.’ Mp4 is the default export format. If you are using Apple then it will be called ‘export to QuickTime.’ QuickTime is an Apple viewing product designed to watch Mp4s. Once you select export it will ask you to select a file size. Don’t worry – iMovie gives you clear instructions on what size is best for which mediums. The program does the rest. When it’s all finished you have a compressed Mp4 movie on your desktop ready to watch.

Lots of people use iMovie to make great movies. Skateboarding videos are one popular type, as are adventure movies, interviews, and more.  In fact, many of the movies on the Internet are Mp4’s. If you think you’ve got what it takes to make awesome Mp4’s on iMovie and you already have a basic understanding of the program check out Udemy’s Intermediate Course on iMovie. All the tools you need to become a director and editor are in your hand. Get ready to call action!