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iMovie 6 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Video FX

The Video FX button (also at the top of the Editing pane) summons a panel full of video effects that you can apply directly to your footage: slow motion, backward, black-and-white, and so on. Some are designed to adjust the brightness, contrast, or color tints in less-than-perfect footage. Most, though, are designed to create actual special effects that simulate fog, rain, earthquakes, lightning, flashbulbs, and blearyeyed bad LSD.

And if these don’t satisfy your hunger for effects, other software companies have had a field day dreaming up new special effects that you can buy and install as plug-ins.

As with transitions, most of these are so out-there and distracting, you should use these only on special occasions.

Selecting the Footage

Before you apply an effect, specify which lucky region of footage you want to be affected:

  • One clip. Click a clip in the Movie Track or Clips pane; the effect will apply to the entire clip.

  • Multiple clips. If you highlight several clips in the Movie Track, your selected effect will apply to all of them, treating them as one giant clip. When you click the Apply button, you’ll see multiple progress bars marching across the faces of the affected clips in the Movie Track. (Unfortunately, some effects, like the rocketing sparkler of Fairy Dust, aren’t smart enough to continue across more than one clip. If you select several clips, the effect starts over at the beginning of each one.)

    Tip

    Don’t forget that you can select several nonadjacent clips ...

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