MacMost Now 671: iMovie 11 Backgrounds and Placeholders

You can put solid colors, textures or animatics in your iMovie timeline for a variety of reasons. Use them to allow your audio to play when there is no video to show. Or, use them to plan your movie.

Video Transcript
Hi it's gary with MacMost Now. On todays episode let's look at background and place holders in iMovie. So in iMovie you can add backgrounds and place holders by going to the last button here which will bring up maps, backgrounds and maps. Now the top ones here are all these globes and maps, but if you go underneath them you can see these backgrounds. Now you may have seen these before when you go to add titles to an are that doesn't have video it will ask you for one of these backgrounds behind the title. But you can use one of these backgrounds by themselves without actually having a title over them. For instance to have a plain black background I would simply just drag this in here to my project and it's nothing but a black background. I could do the same say if I wanted to do a retro background here and have that afterwards. You can see that each of these is 4 seconds long. I can select to make clip adjustments. It brings out the inspector and I can change this to any amount of time that I want. So thats 12 second long graphic black there and 4 seconds here I can add transitions between them and do all sorts of things. One of the reasons we want to add one of these is to lay in some audio before the video. You've noticed in iMovie you can't put an audio just by itself. It's got to have some sort of video on it. So if you're doing audio first you can use these backgrounds here to lay an audio. Now also useful then scroll further down the list you've got these placeholders here on iMovie 11. You can grab one of these, they're just graphics really and place them back there. Each of them symbolizes something. For instance this symbolizes a close-up. This is a medium shot, so you can use those to actually kind of remember what it is you want to put in there. You can see they actually kind of move a little bit so they're more interesting that just a plain graphic. You can also just grab it off of photo or graphic you just make in photoshop here and use it the same way. And you adjust the length of these like that and you can even change what it is. You can say I changed the animatic there. Click on here I can change the background. So as I've mentioned one use for these is to have sound playing when there is no video. So for instance if you've got a piece of video and another piece of video and you want music to play between them, and you want a few seconds say of nothing, you can but a black background between those two clips. Or say you want the music to continue after the video has faded out you can put a black background or some other background at the end of your video. Or you can do the same thing at the beginning. Or another use is for kind of story boarding something and you want to use place holders. If you have an idea using a soundtrack of where you want thing to go you can use the animatics or backgrounds to hold places for video that you maybe haven't shot yet. Or you haven't found in the video that you have shot. I hope you found this look at MacMost Now and iMovie useful. This is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 671: iMovie 11 Backgrounds and Placeholders”

    Dave Waicus
    2/16/12 @ 10:18 am

    Very helpful,thanks.

    Ann MacKay
    2/16/12 @ 11:55 am

    Great ideas on how to use backgrounds. I am a recent subscriber to your newsletter and I am getting good tips.

    10/8/12 @ 4:42 pm

    To get the only black background around you talking in the picture in picture, did you have to shoot that with a green screen?

      10/8/12 @ 4:44 pm

      No. I shot with a black screen. A lot easier to shoot with a black screen behind you than to shoot with a green screen and replace the green with black.

        10/8/12 @ 4:55 pm


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