Moving Graphic Pointers In iMovie

Learn how to create a transparent graphic that you can then overlay in iMovie to point out an area of interest. You can then have that graphic move around on the video to follow a subject. You can use this to highlight something in the video, or hide a face or some other element.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Moving Graphic Pointers In iMovie.

Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode I'm going to show you how to put a moving graphic that follows something around in a video you make in iMovie.

Let me point out that I'm using iMovie 10.0.7 and we're going to create something where you can have a moving item, like that circle there you see in the video, follow something going on in the video.

I'm going to use a variety of techniques to create a video that has a moving graphical element in it. I'm just going to have a circle that follows a person in the video.

To do that first I need to have a graphic that I can use for that animation. I'm going to go to Preview here and create something new. I can't create something new in Preview unless I have something in the Clipboard first. I'm going to do Command Control Shift and 4 screen capture just a little bit of white space there.

Now in Preview I can create New from Clipboard and I get this white space here, Preview. Now iMovie demands that graphics brought in are the same ratio as the video itself so I'm going to have to adjust the size here and make it a 16 by 9 video. So I'm going to change it so it is equivalent to 720p and I'll shrink that down. You can see that I've got a graphic now that is the size of the video.

Now I want to create a circle right in the middle. So I'm going to create a circle graphic there. I can change the color here. I don't want it to be filled with anything. I want it to be an empty circle. I'm going to create it pretty big and then kind of put it in the center. It doesn't have to be perfect.

So now I have a red circle on a white background. I don't want any background at all. So I'm going to select the selection tool here. I'm going to do Command A to select all and delete everything in the background which is that white that we copied from the screen. Now we only have a transparent background with this red circle in it.

Now I'm ready to export it. I'm going to export it as a PNG with the alpha channel and save that to my desktop as circle.

Now I'm in iMove. I'm going to drag and drop in, instead of just using the import function, a video here into the import media section. I have a video of some skiers. I'm going to create a new project, a new movie project. No theme. I'm going to drag this clip in here. So now I have, over here, I can see this video of some skiers.

Now I'm going to drag that circle graphic in. I'm going to put it above the video, right here. I'm going to stretch it so it fills the entire space. Now you can see it is transparent and it fills the entire thing.

I want to change this. I want to select it. I want to change the cropping to Crop to Fill, not Ken Burns, and I'm going to change the overlay setting. Instead of cutaway, which will fill the entire screen, to do it as Picture-In-Picture. So now I've got it over here as Picture-In-Picture. I also want to change Dissolve to zero so it doesn't get transparent towards the beginning and end.

Go back to the beginning here and I can move this around. I can stretch it to make it a little bit bigger. I can highlight this one skier. I can set a key frame right here by clicking this key frame add button right here.

So now I want this to follow the skier. So at the beginning I'm going to move the playhead over a little bit until the skier kind of follows a line there and then starts to turn. So let's stop right there. I'm going to add a key frame right here as well. I'm going to move the circle over.

Now I have two key frames and when I move back and forth you can see the circle moves with. I can easily get from one key frame to another using these arrows. So I'm going to get to this last key frame and I'm going to continue to move this forward a little bit to there. Let's add another key frame here. It is kind of tricky to add the key frames as you see this is removing the key frame. We don't actually want to do that. We want it to Add. Okay.

Then I'm going to move it here like that. It is automatically going to add each one each time. So I don't have to press that add key frame button. I'm not going to try and follow this skier here exactly. That is going to be difficult to do. It would take a lot of key frames. So I'm going to get something that is kind of rough. If I follow the key frames back I can see where they all are.

I can go back here and Play and you can see there if I added more key frames it would do a better job of following that. You can make this a circle, you can make it a square, you can make it a big arrow. You can make it something opaque so you can kind of hide somebody's face or license plate, or something like that.

So there is a lot that you can do with this. When you are done you can simply export this out to get the final video.

Comments: One Response to “Moving Graphic Pointers In iMovie”

    Jim Fassino
    4 years ago

    just what I was looking for, thanks for all your informative materials.


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