How to Use and Remove iMovie Ken Burns Effects

The Ken Burns effect is a popular name for a type of panning and zooming effect used in video production from still imagery. This feature enables a widely used technique of embedding still photographs in motion pictures, displayed with slow zooming and panning effects, and fading transitions between frames. Apple iMovie allows users to use Ken Burns effect when editing movies in iMovie which add color and flavor to videos.

However, sometimes many people are bothered by this great effect and want to remove iMovie Ken Burns effect. So, this article is divided into the following two parts:

Part 1: How to add Ken Burns effect to a video in iMovie

When you add photos to iMovie, iMovie will automatically add Ken Burns effect to the photos. Then how to add add Ken Burns effect to iMovie videos?

Step 1. Select a video and open the Cropping window

Select a video clip that you want to apply the Ken Burns effect to in the Project browser, and then click the Crop button in the menu toolbar to bring out the Cropping window. Or choose the video clip and hit the gear, choose "Cropping, Ken Burns & Rotation".

imovie ken burns

Step 2. Choose Ken Burns and set position

In the viewer, choose "Ken Burns" Button. The green rectangle shows the starts portion and the red rectangle shows the ends portion.

You can drag to resize and reposition the green and red rectangle over the portion of the image to set the start and end point of the Ken Burns effect. The switch icon besides Start or End can help you switch the starting and ending point instantly.

You can preview by hitting the Preview button on the upper right and when you think all is OK, click Done.

For photos, you can modify the iMovie Ken Burns effect in the same way.

Part 2: How to remove iMovie Ken Burns effect

iMovie Ken Burns effect is great, however, sometimes it bothers.

"I have imported photos into project library to create a movie from stills and add voiceover. However, all photos seem to zoom in and out and I can't work out how to keep them still!"

That's because iMovie will apply Ken Burns effect to photos automatically. If you want to remove the effect, you can select all the photo clips, right-click and go to adjustments. In the cropping window, choose fit or crop and the Ken Burns effect will be removed.

Product-related questions? Speak directly to our Support Team >>

Tammy Urich
I have tried this and it works with some movies and not with others. I have a claymation that my middle school students created. We can\'t remove the Ken Burns effect and it\'s really been frustrating. I\'ve tried everything.
Home > Resource > iLife Tips > How to Use iMovie Ken Burns Effect and Remove iMovie Ken Burns

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