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Mac Thread, iMovie Battle in Technical; I have a colleague who is responsible for supporting the use of Digital Video in our school. We have recently ...
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    Angry iMovie Battle

    I have a colleague who is responsible for supporting the use of Digital Video in our school. We have recently converted/dragged him away from a analogue set up (he still had Betamax recorders in his room).

    We have limited funds but have invested in a Macbook and good quality HD video camera (with a special lens he requested). We spent around 2000 on this set up.

    Anyway, he is now moaning about having to use iMovie for Digital Video work saying the following -

    Things I am missing -

    The time line does not represent the length of the clips accurately - not WYSIWYG

    There is no frame advance or frame backward control

    imovie cuts clips into small chunks, seemingly at random, meaning you have to try and re-assemble the various clips on the timeline - nigh impossible with no camera differentiation

    There is no time and frame read out to show where you are in a clip.

    You cant frame accurately set your in and out points.

    You have to edit on the time line.

    I cant make sense of the clips bin, and cant make them not frame display clips.

    You cant see the whole time line. The zoom feature is limited.

    You cant change the length of a transition.

    I'm sure there's more but I'm burned out on butting up against it's anti intuitive features

    The title presets are awful. There is no plain white on black title

    I would welcome help in responding to this email, I am at the end of what I can say really?!?

    In an ideal world we would have purchased Final Cut but if he can't use iMovie....!!!! He keeps asking for a manual.

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    If someone's purchased software and told the guy to use it for their job when he has no background, training, etc. in that software then my sympathy is actually with them. If he can't do his job (whether due to lack of knowledge or unsuitable apps) then that's a real problem and by the sounds of things, not one of his making.

    Having said that, I think apple do introductory "classes" on how to use things like imovie in-store. Wouldn't hurt for him to do one of these, maybe? Are there "dummies" style books that he could be given?

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    Sorry I should have made it clear, this was done in collaboration with him.

    Suggestions you make are a good one.

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    gpjt's Avatar
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    Had a quick search on the internet and found this document which could be useful: http://www2.bgsu.edu/downloads/cio/file85783.pdf

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    rdk is offline

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    I think a one-day or two-day course would be ideal for someone in this situation. Even though iMovie is"consumer" level it is pretty powerful and involved when doing anything more than quick and dirty editing for YouTube. Lots of the controls are hidden and tricky, but they are there. Learning from a book is Ok, but I think only after the basics have been mastered by way of a course.

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    Some of those things are very easily found in iMovie, just by using the CMD click for the traditional right click in windows. I'm assuming this person used to convert his analogue video to digital, and used an editor on a computer before. If not, then some basic training is going to be required. If he's demanding full Pro level editing tools, then Final Cut is the best, and possibly cheapest Mac based option to run on a macbook.

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    I had to go through a kind of iMovie crash course recently as I had never used the latest versions and I can see why your guy is having issues.

    Most of the options for editing things are hidden above the video preview, clicking adjust will show them - theres a set of buttons for editing length of clips/transitions, cropping or resizing the video, adjusting the sound and colour correction/balance

    My advice is watch a couple of youtube videos on how to use the program for basic editing. It should take less than an hour to get to grips with the basic functionality of it as most of the time this is all that is required and then he can just learn the rest of the functionality as he goes.

    There is always the option of using open source video editors like VLC Movie Creator, Lightworks etc... that may or may not be more intuitive.

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