Blog Post

iMovie ’09: Improved Editing, Maps & Stabilization

iMovie ’09 adds powerful, yet easy-to-use new features to let you create a movie quickly, or add refinements and special effects to your project if you have more time. There are a whole host of new features, each of which can aid in the quest to have family and friends gasping in awe at your home movie.

Advanced Drag and Drop

iMovie ’08 introduced drag and drop editing, and the latest version takes the facility to new heights. When you drag and drop one clip on top of another, you reveal new advanced editing options, including replace, insert, audio only, and even picture-in-picture or green screen. These new features allow you to make visually stunning movies, while retaining the simple drag and drop interface iMovie is renowned for.

Precision Editor

Drag and drop isn’t perfect for every scenario, and you may often require a more advanced interface to perfect the links between different video clips. With the new Precision Editor, you can skim and click on a magnified filmstrip to view clips up close and fine tune any editing or cuts to be performed.

Audio and video can be edited independently, so you can use the sound from one clip with the video from another. In addition to editing the video itself, you are able to reposition and adjust the duration of titles and transitions (an editing feature I always struggled with in previous versions).

Themes and Maps

iMovie is renowned for the visually stunning themes it comes bundled with — themes which have improved with every release. iMovie ’09 is no exception, introducing new dynamic themes. New themes include Bulletin Board, Filmstrip, or Comic Book, and it would appear that editing themes has been made easier.

Themes have a new friend in the latest version, with the ability to add eye-catching, animated travel maps. You can choose from four different 3D globe or flat map styles and select your location (or locations) — from country to city to points of interest. The software will automatically build an animated map that flies from one country to another, really adding an interactive element to your holiday video.

Video Stabilization

Even the steadiest camera operator has a wobble from time to time and, for owners of cameras without any stabilization built-in (read: almost all consumer video cameras), iMovie now provides the ability to remedy your shaky hand. The software analyzes how much your camera was moving while you were recording, then automatically reduces camera shake. You can stabilize on a clip-by-clip basis or analyze all your video for stabilization (the latter may take a while, but it’s worth it). The demonstration in the Keynote would appear to show that this feature works surprisingly well.

Of course, some shaky footage is so bad that even Apple’s best engineers can’t figure out how to correct it. Such clips are marked by iMovie with a squiggly red line, so you can choose to hide them.

Titles, Transitions & Effects

The icing on the cake of any home movie is adding the titles, transitions between clips and the comedy effects. iMovie ’09 introduces 18 new animated titles, and the simple browser makes previewing each a simple task. Animated backgrounds can also be added to titles, and examples of adding and manipulating titles are available in video form.

The new release features eight new transitions, and 19 new one-click video effects, including Aged Film, Dream, Sci-Fi, and Cartoon. Whether you’re going for sexy or spooky, there’ll be something to fit the bill.

Pricing & Availability

iLife ’09 will be available by the end of this month for a suggested retail price of $79, and will require OS X Leopard. Discounts are available when purchasing the software with a new Mac, or if you have only recently upgraded your hardware.

18 Responses to “iMovie ’09: Improved Editing, Maps & Stabilization”

  1. I agree — WHERE IS THE TIMELINE. This is a big mess. I also cannot drag from my events folder into my project folder. It rejects it. I wish I never would have updated to ’09, they’ve dumbed it down so far it is a mess.

  2. It happenend for me exactly the same. It crashed end and i wasnt able to run it after reinstalling. I hope this wont happen again, because i havve a really important event to create right now.

  3. iMovie 9 keeps crashing. I have lost -once again- 5 hours of editing! It does not make sense to create a program that does not save all the work done.
    I am really disappointed with Apple for selling such a lousy product.
    Do not upgrade from 8. It’s just a waste of money.

  4. Should I be able to use Precision Editor with still photos in iMovie 09? Having much difficulty, although, it seems straightforward in tutorials. Also, seems as if I don’t have the same options as are available (shown in tutorials) when I right click or insert a photo.

  5. Richard

    Moving a project to DVD seems very painful. iDVD seems to be a very oddball system. I am wrestling to get the Text added in iMovie to be reproduced on the DVD. Is Toast a better DVD burner than iDVD. It seems the Apple crew don’t want us to cut an iMovie project to a DVD rather to You Tube etc…

  6. ayoepan

    btw, does anyone know whether i can put some graphics effects on the video, so the video wont be boring…???

    ex: theres a floral line or beams light on the video or two vid in 1 screen ??

    just wondering…

  7. ayoepan

    @ richard : yes same thing happen to me :((
    i tried to restart and stuff but still crashing, so i deleted my event then it will works again.. :((

  8. Richard

    I have had problems with iMovie 9 crashing. If there is a missing event for a Project- i accidentally deleted it – then iMovie crashes. And continues to crash – I was unable to run iMovie even after a reinstallation. If there is a “corruption” in the file – yes iMovie crashes. I discussed this with apple support in Dublin and they advised the deletion of PLIST and cache files but could not explain why it should crash the application. any one else had this?

  9. I have a logo that I wish to display on the screen as a picture in picture. The graphic is saved as a tiff with transparency. I’ve also tried a PNG with transparency.

    The problem is that iMovie ignores the transparency and displays it as a black rectangle with the logo in the middle. This worked just fine in iMovie 08. I now have to re-edit all of my videos to accomodate this glitch. How do I get a graphic with transparency to display properly?

    I’ve also noticed that if a graphic extends beyond a clip and over a transition to the next clip, the transition does not work. What’s up with that?

    • M.C. Thompson

      It’s your last comment that was also my problem. I almost threw my Macbook Pro out the window. I had exported a bunch of videos and didn’t realize that none of the transitions had exported, because of my PIP watermark.

      If it helps anyone, I finally used a workaround that doubles the time, but gets the job done. I edit a video without the PIP, then export it. I then re-import it as a complete movie, add the watermark, then export it a second time. Works pretty well and retains the transitions, even after then re-encoding into another format (generally Flash).

  10. Uh..Did they bring the TIMELINE BACK!!!!

    I still need to view where I’m editing on the TIMELINE!!!

    Why can’t they build in an “alternate view” for those of us who still use iMovie HD because it has a friggin TIMELINE!!!!!!

    THAT WAS THE BIG COMPLAINT about iMovie 08

    Where is the friggin TIMELINE!!!!!

  11. Uy fire

    I’m glad imovie ’09 is such a success, but before i buy iLife ’09 I need to know weather or not it is compatible with a canon FS11. It stands to reason seeing as imovie ’08 was but you just never know…