Top 20 iMovie effects for you

iMovie is a straight forward movie editor and a program developed to be used for Mac OS, with enhanced features for adding background music to your video clips. Since its inception it has gone through many transformations that give it an extra edge with endless effects that you may want to apply. With its unique features you can use these effects to enhance your videos on the go.

iMovie comes bundled with any version of Mac OS or can be purchased from the App Store as well.

Applying effects on iMovie involves the following universal steps.

  • Load the clip
  • Choose an effect
  • Preview the effect
  • Apply the effect to the clip
  • Save and share your enhanced clip

The following effects are some of the many that you will encounter as you begin using iMovie.

Part 1: Top 20 imovie effects

Audio Management

Very useful when you are concerned with the quality of sound that you want for your clip as you can change the values of sound from the property inspector.

Steps involved

  • Load your clip
  • Drag your clip into the project window
  • A small cog will appear on a selected clip to be edited
  • Click on the cog to bring up the following menu
  • iMovie effect

  • Click on audio adjustments
  • iMovie effect for Mac

  • An inspector window will open up for you to add as many options as you prefer
  • imovie effects tutorial

  • Add values as you play the clip to get the right adjustments


Green/Blue Screen effect

Green or blue screens are used to superimpose clips that are recorded separately. We use green or blue background as this allows transparency and therefore makes it easy to replace the color with appropriate scenery as the background.

Steps involved

  • Import your movie by clicking on the File > Import > Movies
  • Enable Advanced Tools function by clicking on the preferences menu
  • imovie effects step

  • On the viewing window adjust the frames of the clip by dragging the four corners of the clip
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  • Adjust as you preview to get the desired result
  • Click ‘Done’ at the top right of the screen


Transition Editing

More than just adding how your clips move from one clip to the next, iMovie gives more precision on how to get it right and in a smooth manner.

Steps involved

  • Once the clips have been loaded on the timeline, select the transition you want by double clicking on it
  • Click on the transition button to give you the Inspector dialogue
  • imovie editor

  • The available transition will now appear on the Inspector window
  • From here you can change the duration and the kind of method you need
  • Once you are done making the changes, click on ‘Apply to All Transitions’ button to apply the selected transitions

imovie video effects


Audio effects

Several audio effects are available to choose from to give your video a matching sound effect.

Steps involved

  • Load a video that has some audio on it to the Project Library
  • Click on the small ‘gear’ icon on the selected clip and choose Clip Adjustments
  • imovie effects for Mac

  • You should now have the Inspector window as shown in the image below. Click on the Audio Effects button.
  • imovie effects for ipad

  • As soon as you click on the Audio Effect button, you will get the following screen
  • add effect to movie

  • Hover your mouse over the different effects to decide on which one to use
  • Select and apply



This is an effect applied to neutralize other unwanted effects that happened during editing of a clip such as uncontrolled light, blurred effect or unwanted sounds etc.

Steps involved

  • Import the clip on to the Project Library and then go to File> Analyze Video > Stabilization
  • use effect in imovie for os

  • Wait for stabilization to finish as per your preferences


Visual effects

These are effects that improve the quality of the movie. You can choose to speed up or slow down a clip to suit your liking.

Steps involved

  • Launch iMovie
  • Add some clips to your project window
  • Go to Window > Show Adjustment
  • Click on the different Visual Effects from the Video Effect window
  • iMovie 11 Special Effects

  • Click on create to apply your selected video effect after previewing


Voice Overs

Voice overs are used to give a personal touch to your clip. iMovie enables one to do so without distorting the original content.

Steps involved (iPhone/iPad)

  • Create your movie in iMovie
  • How to Add Effects on iMovie

  • Add the clips to the media timeline
  • Swipe left and right to position the play head over the point you want to insert the voice from
  • cool iMovie effects

  • Tap on the microphone icon on the bottom right of the screen
  • Import videos to iMovie

  • Play your recording to preview it (you have an option of re-recording by tapping on the retake button)
  • Then tap on Accept to add the voice to your recording


Title Duplication

Instead of creating titles for each and every clip that you edit, iMovie enables you to duplicate titles from one clip to the others.

Steps involved

  • Launch iMovie
  • Click on the thumbnail of the clip on the project viewer window
  • Add video effects in iMovie

  • Click on the text box on the viewer window to select the text
  • apply video effects

  • From the Edit menu, click on copy
  • use the video effects in iMovie

  • Click on the second clip to select it
  • Drag the title onto the second thumbnail to apply it
  • add video effects

  • Click on the Edit menu again
  • Click paste to paste the title into the second clip


Side by Side Screen Editing

Allows users to watch two screens simultaneously. You can choose from several playback options. User can split screens for various reasons such as for a telephone conversation on a clip.

Steps involved

  • Enable the Advanced Tools by heading on to the preferences window and checking the box
  • iMovie Alternative

  • Open your project
  • Drag the clip you want to add as a side clip [until you see a plus (+) symbol]
  • Release the mouse button
  • Drop down menu will appear, choose the ‘Side by Side’ option
  • Import videos to iMovie

  • Make adjustments to suit your preferences


Adding Subtitles and Credits

These are texts that are shown on the screen to represent what is being said in a clip. They are typically shown either at the top or at the bottom of the screen. You can add subtitles to your clip by typing in a text. Credits are the texts that appear at the beginning or at the end of a clip either for appreciation or acknowledgment.

Steps involved

  • Launch iMovie
  • Add video effects in iMovie

  • Import your movie into the event browser by dragging clips to the project
  • Click on the ‘T’ icon on the lower part of the window to get list of text styles
  • apply video effects with iMovie

  • Drag the chosen style into the project, then type in the subtitle
  •  Add video to the program

  • You can perform additional formatting to your liking
  • Export the video
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  • Preview your videos and upon satisfaction, adjust where the titles should begin and stop by pulling the red rectangle accordingly
  • edit video with imovie

  • Click Done


Join Movie Clips

You can combine two or more clips that are consecutive. This feature also enables you to cut out fragments that you don’t need in the clip.

Steps involved

  • Open a new project
  • Click on File > Import to import the movies
  • iMovie effect for Mac 10

  • Drag and drop the clips you want to join to the project window in the order you want them to appear
  • To export the project as a single clip, click on share and choose the option that best suits you
  • move video with imovie

  • You may also choose to burn the movie


Fadein, Fadeout effect

This is a feature that helps in smoothening video and audio transitions.

Steps involved

  • Select the clip from the project window
  • Click on the gear button and click on Clip Adjustments
  • Press on the ‘Audio’ tab
  • video editor software

  • To set fade in or fade out, drag the sliders to the left or right


Crop and rotate

This enables you to cut away the edges of the video in order to bring in the part that you need. You need to rotate a clip to be in a position, especially if it was taken in a different screen format.

Steps involved

  • Open the project window
  • video editor tool

  • At the top left corner, click on the crop button
  • video editor programm

  • Drag to resize and reposition the green frame to the point you need
  • video editing software

  • You can make it bigger or smaller
  • To rotate the clip, hit on the rotate buttons
  • Video editing tips<

  • Click on Done to finish


Picture in Picture

Allows you to play two videos simultaneously, where the main screen takes the larger section as the other clip takes a smaller window.

Steps involved

  • Click on the Preferences menu under iMovie menu
  • Best iMovie for Windows

  • Turn on the Advanced Tools
  • Add Background Music to video

  • Load the clip you want to edit in the event browser
  • Right clip for a menu to pop up
  • Select picture in picture
  • best Music Editor Applications

  • Change the position of the clip by dragging it to where you want it placed
  • Adjust and preview then before clicking on Done to finish

best Video Editor Applications


Speed up / slow down clips

To speed up or slow down a movie is done to achieve some specific effects during editing

Steps involved

  • Import your clip to the project window
  • Double click on the clip to bring out the inspector window
  • free vidoe editor

  • Drag the speed slider to the left to slow down the clip and to the right to increase its speed
  • Check the reverse option for backward play
  • Click Done


Color Correction

An effect used to correct or to balance the effects of light on a clip. We also use auto correct to give the project true color.

Steps involved

  • Open iMovie preferences
  • Turn on the Advanced Tools
  • Open the clip
  • Double click on the clip to bring up the inspector window
  • Click on Clip Adjustments
  • top video editor

  • From the inspector, click on the video tab
  • iMovie for Mac

  • Adjust the colors to perfection as you use the viewing window to view the results
  • Click Done



Built in themes are used to create unique appearances. You can insert and edit transitions manually. iMovie themes are limited in number. You may need to use iDVD to get more themes for iMovie.

Steps involved

  • Get the iDVD theme you like
  • Save the selected theme by clicking on File > Save As…
  • iMovie Export

  • Give the theme a name
  • Close iDVD
  • Convert the theme to be added to iMovie


Rolling shutter

Quick movements of the camera can cause blurry images while recording thus the name rolling shutter distortion. You can use iMovie to correct this as follows.

Steps involved

  • Load iMovie
  • Select the blurred clip by clicking on it
  • iMovie Tutorial

  • Click on the Adjust button
  • iDVD Themes for iMovie

    Click on the ‘Fix Rolling Shutter’ check box

    imovie sound effects

  • Preview the adjusted movie to remove the blurring effect
  • Save the clip and share


Electricity Effect

Steps involved

  • Open iMovie preferences
  • imovie music effects

  • Turn on the Advanced Tools
  • imovie special effects

  • Download the file -
  • Go to File > Import to import the clip that you have just downloaded
  • Similarly, import the video that you would like to add the electricity effect to and then drag it onto the project window
  • Now, drag the electricity footage that you had downloaded on top of the video and select the Green Screen option from the popup menu

Part 2: How to get more iMovie effects

There are a lot of websites where you can learn more about other iMovie effects. We have listed some of the best ones out there for you. Take a look.

1. Pearson

Correcting blurry or distorted videos using the rolling shutter feature

2. Special effects iMovie

Gives a list of the major iMovie effects and how to go about them using step by step diagrams

3. Rain Effect

Takes you on the steps on how to create a raining environment in a clip

4. iMovie Tutorial

Gives guidance on how to create or add video effects

5. About tech

iMovie video effects using diagram

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