MacMost Now 317: Speed Up, Slow Down and Reverse in iMovie 09

Learn how to speed up your video clips and use slow motion in iMovie 09. You can also reverse the direction of a clip.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now on todays episode lets learn how to Speed Up, Slow Down and Reverse video in iMovie. So iMovie 09 has all sorts of cool little features like the ability to speed up slow down and reverse video. lets go take a look where those features are and how to use them. As always, lets make sure you have Advance tools turned on in the iMovie preferences, though you don't really need it for this. Now when you have a project you've got some videos down here, you drag one to your project Up here. Now this will play back at normal speed. If you wanna go ahead and speed it up, what you need to do is go to the information for this clip in your project. You can do that by selecting it and pressing I. This will bring up the inspector. In the first part of the inspector is for clip and in here you will see speed. And you have to hit convert entire clip in order to go ahead and control the speed. So you have to wait for that to happen, and once you have that, you have a speed control here where you can speed it up. So lets look what happens if when we speed it up 400 times. Done and play this back and we can see the preview over here and see how it is much faster. Now we can go ahead into inspector again and we can slow it down and put it into slow motion. And then we play it back and put you can see its slow motion. Now keep in mind If you have video that is standard, say 30 frames per second you're not going to be able to get any more detail there. So you actually see the frames play out one by one when you slow it down enough. But some cameras now have can shoot 60 frames per second. Which will actually create a very nice slow motion effect. Now we can also go ahead and look at the inspector here and see that we've have a direction button to reverse the direction of the video. So we can go ahead and say speed that up 200% and do it in reverse. And play that back. And we'll see there we go. okay other things we should look at when you're doing this is to go ahead and into the inspector here there's also a tab for audio. A lot of times when you reverse the video or speed it up, you don't want the sound to play. The sound will be all distorted. It may be a useful effect if that's what you're going for. But if you want to actually get rid of the audio because you want to play music over it or you have another voice over going on, you can go ahead and reduce the volume of the clip using the audio tab all the way to zero.
Now the slider here will take you down to 12.5 percent, 1/8th speed all the way up to 800%. But you can actually go further than that. For instance You can type in the field here 1600 percent. You can go all the way down to any small percent and stretch the video. You can also go ahead and change the time here and change the exact time like I said to say 7 seconds.
Now I find speeding up video is very useful if you have a long sequence when you want to make a video very concise.
For instance when I was showing a video of Mac world expo, earlier this year. I sped up a video of a walk through of the crowd. So you could see how big the expo was but it only took about 30 seconds of video instead of five minutes to walk through the entire floor. Slowing video down could be great for sports Lets say you have a home video of your children playing sports
Like a great soccer play or sliding into home plate, you can create a slow motion playback. Remember you can reuse use the same video more than once in your finished project. So you can show the play full speed and then play back in slow motion.
Hope you found this feature of Imovie 09 Useful. Til next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig
with MacMost Now.

Comments: 33 Responses to “MacMost Now 317: Speed Up, Slow Down and Reverse in iMovie 09”

    Ed Rogers
    11/12/09 @ 1:11 pm

    Your videos are EXCELLENT. Thanks especially for the one on reversing/speeding/slowing clips.

    12/30/09 @ 10:39 am

    Gary, Do you know how to make ramped slow-motion using iMovie 09?

      12/30/09 @ 10:45 am

      “ramped” — do you mean the speed accelerates as the clip plays? Don’t think you can do that. You can do slow motion, sure. But not accelerated slow motion.

        1/9/10 @ 12:10 pm

        yes you can, i don’t know how though but my friend knows in his last video he does a ramp

          1/9/10 @ 12:29 pm

          What makes you think he does it in iMovie? I saw some slow motion there, but no accelerated slow motion.

    Joe Wright
    3/23/10 @ 12:04 am

    How do I do this in iMovie ’08????

      3/23/10 @ 6:05 am

      I don’t think you can. It was something they added to iMovie 09 if I remember correctly. Might be time to upgrade…

    4/11/10 @ 5:17 pm

    I can do all of this stuff in in my imovie ’09, but not the reverse! its not there?
    Help pleaseee!!

      4/11/10 @ 7:45 pm

      Are you sure you have Advanced Tools turned on?

    5/15/10 @ 7:32 am

    Um..Gary…When I try converting the clip, I get a lovely message saying “Cannot convert clip Error:

      5/15/10 @ 8:06 am

      Quit iMovie. Start it again. Export. -50 errors for me rarely happen, but I do see them. WHen I do, a restart of iMovie always clears it up.

        suze chapel
        5/24/12 @ 12:26 am

        Hi i am also experiencing the same problem but it does not at all correct itself when i close out of imovie. it is happening all the time and i am totally peeved coz its like a waste of time making the clips if i cant export them. Is there anything else you can think of trying to solve this issue? i would appreciate any help you have. Re fast forward rewind.. that happens all the time in my clips and it has not been an issue

    7/19/10 @ 4:02 pm

    Hey Gary is there any way to speed it up in iMovie 08? I’m not sure what kind i have but i think it’s 08

      7/19/10 @ 4:50 pm

      This is a feature of 09, sorry. Why not upgrade?

    10/28/10 @ 4:11 pm

    Hey, I’ve recently been encountering some strange bugs in imovie ’09. Whenever I want to speed up/slow down a clip more then .5 percent ( which is barely even sped up/slowed down), I lose the audio automatically. I don’t want this, as I want the effect of slow motion audio and video. When I play it at normal speed, it’s just fine. If I detach audio and adjust it’s speed, it’s fine, but is never included in the export ;|
    Also, on a bigger note, a lot of times, Imovie 09 crashes HORRIBLY. I don’t mean force quiting randomly. I mean it will give me a “Gray screen of death” (as I call it), and refuse to process video unless in the events mode. Also, I lost the ability to slow down/speed up audio and video right after it crashed. Anyway to fix this, or has it been fixed?

    Also, what happened to the audio e/q, pitch adjust, noise remover, reverb, and timeline effects? I’ve been importing a bunch of my old VHS/Beta tapes, so they have those audio problems that go with 10-20 year old tapes. I used to use Imovie HD to edit the audio to remove the hiss, adjust pitch warping from tracking errors, etc. In imovie 09, I get none of this. Will Apple PLEASE go back to the timeline based imovie like it used to be? I do love some features of ’09, like more precise video and speed adjustments, but HD was so much more organized. My dream Imovie is the audio FX and organization of HD/’06, along with the speed, cropping, and video FX of ’09. Will the new imovie be like this?

    10/28/10 @ 4:23 pm

    Well, it sounds like you’ve got some problems that shouldn’t be there. Try re-installing iMovie, maybe? I use it heavily all week, and it never crashes.
    As for audio effects — you get a lot of those in iMovie 11. You also get a timeline (single row mode). In both 09 and 11 you’ve got a precision editor for adjustments and such.
    But you may also want to look into using Adobe Premiere Elements or Final Cut Express if you really want tons of features. iMovie is about getting it done fast — I love it.

    11/18/10 @ 10:34 am

    gary when i convert the video so i can slow down the clip the image of the video looks really bad, is like low quality.

      11/18/10 @ 10:54 am

      Have you tried exporting it? Remember that the preview in iMovie is a “preview” — it is optimized for real-time viewing as you edit.

        11/18/10 @ 11:10 am

        i dont think that would work cus the other videos that i didnt convert look great :S

          11/18/10 @ 11:18 am

          It is just an explanation. Try a test and see.

    1/2/11 @ 7:46 am

    Right, in iMovie 09 you double click the clip and a black window will pop-up and it will have a bar for the speed the tortoise to rabbit under that it says reverse with a tickbox i found this out because i am editing a call of duty game clip and honesly it looks awsome ! :)

    1/8/11 @ 12:56 pm

    how do you slow down or speed up a clip in imovie ’11?

    gonsalo Morales
    1/12/11 @ 5:15 pm

    I was using the slow motion on my imovie and after i did that all my audio on my videos were off by like 2 seconds soo i deleted all the video and imported all the video back on then used slow motion again and now my audio is off again is there a way to fix that?

      1/12/11 @ 5:22 pm

      Are you sure it is off when you export — not just the preview in iMovie?

    Lissa Palmeri
    2/26/11 @ 12:18 pm

    I played my video in reverse and loved it, so I came here to learn how to render it that way. It was easy enough to do but the sound played in a much higher pitch than when I originally just played it in reverse. Now it has lost it lower tones. Is there a way to get those lower tones back?

      2/26/11 @ 1:43 pm

      Usually when you reverse video you just throw out the sound. There’s not much point in having reversed sound. I’d imagine you could clean it up in GarageBand if you really want.

    5/25/11 @ 10:58 pm

    Thanks, for sharing, very useful.

    5/25/11 @ 11:13 pm

    Gary, how can I take a certain part of the clip to slow it down or speed it up? I have no luck trying. Thanks…

      5/26/11 @ 6:41 am

      You can’t do just a part of a clip. What you would do then is to split the clip into multiple parts and slow down the part you want.

    5/26/11 @ 5:58 pm

    Thank you again, I will give it a try.

    2/24/12 @ 7:58 am

    Can you speed up clips faster then imove allows? more then 20x?

      2/24/12 @ 8:14 am

      You could always speed it up 20x, export, import the result, and then speed it up again.

Comments Closed.