iMovie Tutorial | VoiceOver, Animation and Plugins

This week’s iMovie tutorial covers the basics of this VoiceOver, Animation and Plugins. Although this tutorial is a basic review of these topics, if you’re new to iMovie, you might want to start with our iMovie series here. This article will introduce you to:

  • How to use VoiceOver
  • Animation Techniques
  • Best iMovie Plugins

If you’re a newbie to video-editing technology and want to make professional home videos on a budget, this article is for you. Reading this will take your iMovies from ho-hum to fantastic with a few short steps. We’ve found several options for each technique so you can custom select what’s right for you. Let’s get started.

1: VoiceOver Narration –  Basic techniques you must know on iMovie

iMovie tutorial on voiceover
Voiceover on iMovie


Want to make a great voice-over narration for your book/movie trailer, but don’t know how?

Step 1:

The most important thing to remember when working with voice-overs/narration is your audience loves good quality audio. First, make sure you purchase a microphone—studio or USB. I promise you’ll see a huge difference. (NOTE: I’ll be talking about voice-over equipment in a later post, so stay tuned for that!)

Step 2:

Now that you have your microphone set up, click on the Audio tab below the clip pane. If your microphone is plugged into your computer, you should already see a mic level below the audio pane.

Step 3:

Place the cursor where you wish to begin the voice-over. Next, click on the red button beside the audio level, and begin speaking or if your book is about dinosaurs give a break big roar!

Step 4:

Click the red record button again to stop recording. Simple!

Step 5:

Most importantly don’t forget to save your work!

Now that you have your voice-overs for your video, let’s get back to the technical, but fun work. Animating.

2: Animation – How to make animations on iMovie

Some people would say, “But it’s only iMovie. You can’t make any animations.” But that’s where you’re wrong, my friend. You can use a technique called Picture-In-Picture and keyframes to animate the movements of still images in iMovie. Add an overlay of your choice, set one or more keyframes and the object will move over time to match each keyframe. Watch this video below to find out more about Picture-In-Picture!

A trick to keep in mind is animating graphics with transitions. Do you know the transitions that make your clip fade in or out, dissolve into another clip, zoom in to another clip and so on? Well if you have a still image such as a hungry T-Rex you can use the transition to animate it across the screen.

Here’s a great video covering transitions in iMovie:

Have you ever wondered how professional video editors use impressive transitions in their videos? It’s a simple process, especially if you know how to use the green screen effect! All you need to do is search “green screen” in your search engine or checkc out this great YouTube Channel that offers free green screen effects:

Make sure you watch this tutorial on how to use the green screen effect in iMovie:

If you’re an animator or illustrator, why not play to your strengths and try out some of these techniques?

3: Plug-ins – Top 10 plug-ins for iMovie

Now it’s time to talk about plug-ins for iMovie. If you’re a videographer or someone who has been video editing for years, you’ll understand how important it is to install plugins and add-ons in your video editor. Here’s the top ten iMovie plugins that will be most useful and memorable for your project.

  • Ascii & Art: Using Ascii & Art will allow you to enhance your video through adding key abstract and artistic effects. It’s an affordable plugin and will come in handy for beginners.
  • Big & Bold: Big & Bold is an easy-to-use interface that is highly rated by users. It features titles that have well-made, beautiful graphic elements which are in motion. This will come in handy for those of you who have a knack for animation. For every title, you will get complete control and total flexibility to modify the of the general appearance and motion of the texts.
  • BKMS All Pix: The washes and fades in BKMS All Pix will make your next project stunning. These effects will improve the quality of videos and will also use pixel fade, which dissolves to black, or from black while and pixel wash, which dissolves to either white or from white. Still images will be brought to life with the use of these effects.
  • BKMS Curl & Copy: BKMS Curl & Copy includes fun transition packs such as page curls that will help animate and improve the quality of your video.
  • Crops & Zooms: Zooming effects are great for suspenseful moments in videos. In Crops & Zooms there are many zooming effects and ultra-smooth, blocky, square and circular peephole effects. Image transformations like flip, stretch, shrink and rotate are the key features for the Crops & Zooms plugin. The most fun and fascinating effect is a camera shake effect that is extremely well animated.
  • Effects for Titles: These effects come in huge varieties and include dropped shadows, color schemes and title placements.
  • deDigitalEffects#1: This might be one of the most complex plugins that has up to 90 others in it. The plugin is able to add particular visual effects to a movie on iMovie and many other programs used for editing video. Some of the key effects that it includes are: video cubes, video feedback, explosions, oil painting effects, underwater, 3D titles, dots, comets, fire, and 3D video wall. Anchored on the principles of FixPlug from Apple it uses the power of Mac OS X 10.4 as well as Quartz Composer. This is for experienced video editors who have mastered the art of iMovie.
  • deDigitalEffects#2: Some of the effects in the second version of deDigitalEffects#2 include fireflies, 3D bubbles, tunnel, sonar, chess, pedal, maze, BarCode, flying toasters, roller coaster, fireworks and, a fun effect: bouncing cows. You can even download a demonstration for free which you should use to determine which effects you’d like to use.
  • Gree Three Slick: There are ten volumes of this plugin that include hundreds of titles, transitions and effects. All of its effects are award winning and easy to use. If you choose Gree Three Slick you can save a huge cost compared to any other plugin, while still making a Hollywood-like movie.
  • iBubble: Packed inside of this amazing plugin is glowing text, moving text, plain text, labels, thought bubbles and labels with arrows included. It is an easy-to-use interface and has graphics that make it possible for the user to position titles in any part of the videos, exactly like the professional Adobe products.

Now that you’ve learned about iMovie’s basics, secrets and plugins, make sure you take your time before starting your movie. Read reviews, compare the prices of each product and follow each step carefully. Even professional videographers need to review the basics every now and then.

If you’re looking for more iMovie tutorials, be sure to check out other great iMovie articles on our website!

Do you use iMovie? Let us know if you use any of these techniques or tools or if you have a favorite we missed. We’d love to hear from you!

Did you like this post? Leave a comment for us below.
We love to hear from YOU!


Leave Your Comment

Comments will be moderated.