iMovie and its

Main drawback ...


I've been using Final Cut for years. Started with Final Cut Express when I bought myself my first decent HD camcorder, and progressed with it through to Final Cut Pro and 4K.

I've loved it mostly, apart from a brief 'huh? what the hell?' when the new Final Cut was released. However, they've improved it enormously over the years, to the point where it's now a major product in the world of serious movie editing. It's generally known as FCPX. But your mileage may vary: perhaps you don't need the complexity of FCPX, or don't feel you can justify paying out £299 for it. At one time, ages ago, FCPX was broken, wouldn't work. I had to go to iMovie to create my epics.

So iMovie is free. It's probably already there on your Mac, or is a free download form the App Store. I approached my iMovie edits with some trepidation - would it give me what FCPX had been giving me? I shoot in 4K, so that was my first worry - does it do 4K. Apparently not, was my first discovery. Test-exporting a short clip only offered HD or smaller. I hit the interweb. Yes, it DOES do 4K, but any project's base resolution is determined by the first clip you place on the timeline. I had started my little test with a background texture and a simple centred title upon it. Backgrounds seem to default to HD. Starting again and slapping a 4K clip first on the timeline solved that problem.

I discovered it could do all I needed it to do for a simple movie. Trimming, transitions, export to 4K for me or HD for the family. BUT, here was the big but, its titling abilities were, shall we say, rudimentary. In my movies I might put a title top left, for example, saying 'The little guy in the Woods' and perhaps, fading in two seconds later, 'October 2020' at lower right. iMovie fails here twice:

→ Only one title at a time
→ They can't be moved around the screen

Here are a handful of example stills showing what you CAN do:

Of course, you CAN change the font and colour, but that's it.

How nice, I thought, if I could do this sort of thing:

and even:

Well, it turns out you can, and iMovie has the infrastructure already inbuilt with which to do it. However, you have to go outside iMovie first and spend a little cash on some software in order to pave the way.

Let's find out how.