Using iMovie Video Filters

Video filters adjust the coloring and add special effects to your video clips. You can choose from a variety of filters to make your video look more cinematic or like old film. You can apply the filters to the entire video, or just a section of it. You can also create custom color filters.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using iMovie Video Filters.

Hi, this is Gary with On today's episode let's take a look at using filters in iMovie.

I'm using the latest version of iMovie, 10.1 which has some new filters. So if you are not using the latest version you won't see everything that I am doing here.

I'm going to do File, New Movie just to create a blank, no theme movie. I'll just use the default name here. Then I'm going to import some media. I'm just going to drag and drop a video clip right into it. You see it adds it to Clip there and it puts it in a timeline. So now I've got this video clip and I can see the preview over here.

With it selected, notice I can de-select it and I can select it, and it's got the yellow outline. Now with it selected I can add a filter to it.

So in the preview area over here you've got a lot of different buttons. The button over here that looks like three overlapping circles, that's the one where you can get to the filters. Then you've got Clip Filter and Audio Effect. You want to use the Clip Filter menu here and it will bring up this display that you can move around and it shows you all the different filters.

To preview each one all you need to do is move the cursor over it. So, for instance, it starts off with None and you can see the video is actually playing there on the right. With my cursor over it you can actually see the orange line as it appears as to which part of the video it is playing. It is just going to keep looping.

Now if I were to move to a filter like Camo here you can see it changes it and you can go back and forth easily between the two of them to see the difference. You can go to all these different filters. Basically what most of them are doing are changing the colors in there, making it look different.

So for instance with Heat Wave makes everything is just more severe there. Camo versus None you can see the difference there, more muted colors there. Some of them are a little different. For instance Flipped will actually flip the video which you may need in certain circumstances for visual effect. You also have things like Black & White that just removes all the color. Then you have versions of those. So you have Black & White but you also have Noir which makes it a little more severe.

Then you've got some filters that make it look like old film. The first one of those is Silent Era which you see fades out the corners there and the edge and adds some lines in there to make it look like old film. There are some other ones like that, for instance, Vintage or Aged Film here which keeps the color but adds those lines in there. Or even Film Grain which makes it look all grainy. So you've got a lot of options if you want to make your video look like it is old video rather than something you just recorded.

Now to apply one of these filters let's go in and pick one like say the Vignette one here. I can just click it. So I was just rolling over it before but now I clicked it. Now it is selected. You can see now it actually says the name of the filter there. Now this entire clip will now play with that effect.

To get rid of it I would select it again and just go to None, like that.

Now what if you want a filter applied to only part of the clip. So you have a long piece of video. You are not really adding more clips or editing it in any other way. You just want to filter it. Well, the way you would do that is you would split this one clip into multiple parts. So you can click anywhere in here to position the line. Then you can Modify, Split Clip or Command B.

When you do that, Command B right there, now it is split into three pieces and I can apply a filter only to one of these. So as I move my cursor here and I see the preview in the upper right I can see that there is no filter there, filter there, no filter there. I can also apply a Transition to that to, click on Transitions up there, and I will just do a Cross Dissolve. I can put a Cross Dissolve between these and now what I get is a transition into a filter, like that.

So these are, of course, all preset and there is nothing you can do to modify them. However you can do your own, in a way. I'll turn it off so I have no filter on it now. I can use things like color adjustments to actually adjust the color to something I like. Do all sorts of things to the video. So I basically just set my own color parameters there so that I kind of have my own filter on it.

Now you can't do special effects like those lines in aged film kind of thing but you can at least do your own coloring with the colors here rather than using the preset filters.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Using iMovie Video Filters”

    3 years ago

    Can iMovie be used to edit YouTube videos … ???

    I sometimes watch a 10-minute YouTube video but only find about 2-minutes of interest. Can I reduce a YouTube video from 10-minutes to 2-minutes … ???

      3 years ago

      You can edit your own videos with iMovie. Editing a YouTube video is tricky for three reasons. First, you need to get the video. It is on YouTube, but you need to find a way to download the source video to edit it. Second, once you edit it, you have it, but is that what you want? If you want to reshape it, then you need to put it back on YouTube or somewhere else to share it. Third, and most important, the video is not yours (I assume). You can’t simply take some else’s video, edit it, and reshare it. That’s illegal and unethical.
      Not sure what your goal is here. Say you get permission from the video creator to do it. Then you use software to grab the source video. Then you edit it. Then you upload it elsewhere. Each of those steps takes a lot of time and effort. Be easier just to make your own video if you find the subject so interesting.

    Jai Uttal
    3 years ago

    Hi Gary, I use iMovie on my iPad. Will the filters be expanded in coming iOS updates? Sounds like there are a lot more options on the computer version.

      3 years ago

      I think the two versions have the exact same filters right now.

Comments Closed.