Using iMovie Backgrounds As Placeholders

You can use backgrounds in iMovie in a number of ways. They can be placeholders between clips, or backgrounds to elements like titles. You can also put backgrounds on top of other video as overlays. Backgrounds can be customized somewhat, or you can use your own image or photo.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using iMovie Backgrounds As Placeholders.

Hi, this is Gary with Let's look at using Backgrounds and Placeholders in iMovie.

I'm using iMovie version 10 here and I'm going to show you Backgrounds. Backgrounds are found down here in the Content Library. They are under Maps & Backgrounds. We won't look at Maps right now. Looking at Backgrounds we have a set of a few animated ones and then we have some still ones here like the Gradient and some solid color ones here.

So to add one to your project, I've got a few clips of my project already, you just drag and drop it in and it will place it in there. Then you can select it and you can actually drag the ends of it to increase or decrease its duration. You can also select it and hit Adjust and then the Info button here and then set the duration precisely by typing in that field.

If you want to replace a background it is as simple as dragging and dropping over it again. So let's use this tan background here and just replace it. It will come up and ask us what we want to do. We say replace and now we have just this tan background here.

Now it may seem you are stuck with these colors. You kind of are but you can also do adjustments on these backgrounds just like you can with photos and clips. So I'll select it and here I will go to the color adjustments and you can see I can actually adjust the color somewhat away from the background color that is there. So you can't really pick and choose.

Like a lot of things in iMovie you kind of have to play around with it to find something you like rather than having something set in your head in advance and try to obtain that.

You can also use Background as backgrounds for Titles. So, for instance, if I were to create a Title here and just put it before the movie. You can see it is on a black background. But instead of doing that if I were to start with a background here and say create something with this Industrial background, I could then go and then add a Title on top of that. You can see it snaps to it. So I've got a little nicer background here for a Title than just a plain solid black background.

You can, of course, use a photo in the same way as a background for a title or just a background element there. So you can actually use anything as a background. If you want a specific color the way to do that would then be to create an image in an Image Editing Program and then use that as the background instead of one of these built in background colors here.

We can also use Background as overlays. So, for instance, let's take one of these animated ones like Underwater. I will drag and drop it instead of into the timeline here like that, I will go and put it on top of this video here. You can see it replaces it. It just cuts away from the view of the tree to this. But if I select it and hit Adjust I can set the opaqueness of it so I can actually use this underwater background as an overly to make it seem like things are under water or there is just a very nice light there as well.

So you want to have that set as a cutaway when you do that.

Comments: 9 Responses to “Using iMovie Backgrounds As Placeholders”

    Stuart J
    5 years ago

    Another homerun Gary.
    You dug into something I use all the time (backgrounds for titles) and showed me how to personalize the background and use overlays, too. I I hadn’t even realized that was possible.
    C’mon folks, LIKE this, spread the word.
    With enough clicks maybe Gary will write/vid the Compleat Neat iMovie Manual.

    5 years ago

    Very Nice Gary.
    Love all of the helpful videos towards iMovie.

    5 years ago

    Did not know you could do that…great info,thanks.

    5 years ago

    A couple of new ideas to on your iMovie. Thanks, Gary

    5 years ago

    Whatever I have learned about using iMovie is more or less entirely from your videos. Thanks Gary

    5 years ago

    Great info. We learn something new every time.

    5 years ago

    Thanks Gary, I was devastated by the loss of iMovie 9, but you’ve shown me how iMovie 10 has all the old power and then some, it’s just a little hidden. The combination of a picture and background was eye-opening.

    5 years ago

    Thanks for the clear and easy to follow tutorial.Is it possible to replace the video footage from a clip with an image and use the audio as a voiceover? I have a video conference that I recorded and I want to put a generic image in some places during the video. Thanks in advance!

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