Create Music Videos with Annotations using iMovie

A simple video I created for sinhbalotravel.com using iMovie. The video is about our boat trip in Tra Su Forest Bird Sanctuary, Vietnam (best viewed in HD)

Aside from Photography, I am also fascinated with videography. I’ve always wanted to learn the process of editing and creating a full-length music video but I never had the time, skill, and resources (software, good camera, etc.) then. But recently, I was forced to create my very first video for the company I work for. It’s not actually a WOW video that you see on TV or those videos going viral online, but a simple, continuous video with background music effect and text annotations. Something like a “National-Geographic-informative-did-you-know” kind of video. Haha.

Anyway, for those who want to venture into this new hobby, here’s a step by step process on how to create a simple music video with annotations using iMovie.

Things I used

iPhone – to record a HD video
Macbook Pro + i Movie – to edit and finalize the video

Importing the video

First you need to import the video you recorded. I used my iPhone 4S to film the movie. You can use Image Capture to transfer the video to your Macbook Pro.
How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S 3

Creating an iMovie project

Launch iMovie and create a new project. Import the video you just transferred. File > Import > Movies. Select the video clip and drag it to the timeline. You may trim and edit the properties of your video here by double-clicking on the clip.

How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S.png

Adding text annotations

On the right part of iMovie, you will see media icons. Click the Text icon, and a selection of text templates will appear at the bottom. Choose your desired style and drag it to the timeline.
How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S (2).png.png
To edit the properties of the text, double click it on the timeline. A property box will appear. Click done when finished.How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S 4

Adding a watermark photo

Add a signature or watermark image to prevent losers from copying and claiming your video.

But first, you need to tweak your iMovie preference to be able to do this. Go to iMovie > Preferences. Make sure “Show advanced tools” is checked.
To add the watermark image, look again on the media icons at the right part of your workspace and click the Image (camera) icon. You may choose photos from your media library or iPhoto. Again, drag the image to the timeline. You may again customize the properties of your watermark image by double-clicking on the photo on the timeline.
How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S (3).png.png

Saving/exporting the movie

Great! You’re almost done. All you need to do right now is to export the movie you just created so you can upload or share it to your social networks.

To export the video, Click Share > Export movie.

How to Create Music Video using iMovie and iPhone 4S 2

Create Time Lapse Movie with iPhone & iMovie

I have always been fascinated with time-lapse movies. Time-lapse photography/videography is a technique where in frames are recorded at a much slower frequency compared to how you normally would record and play a standard video. The output when played looks as if time moves faster.

The good news is that you don’t have to learn how to slow down your device’s recording frequency (whatever!) to do a time-lapse video. Creating a time-lapse movie doesn’t have to be complicated and time consuming. All you need is an iPhone 4/4S and iMovie installed on your Mac. The time-lapse video on this post is a rough sample I made using my iPhone 4S just so I can demo it to you guys. I didn’t even use a tripod or a mount to keep my iPhone steady haha!

What you need

  • iPhone 4/4S or any Digital Camera
  • Tripod or a base you can mount your camera
  • iMovie for Mac

Here’s how to do it

First you need to record a video of a view or an object. How long the video depends on what kind of action you would like to capture. For landscape, cityscape, skyline, sunset and nature, the longer the video, the dramatic and impressive it is going to be. As per my sample simple video, it took me just about 7 minutes to record it.

Import the video from your iPhone to your Mac using Image Capture.

Import photos from iPhone to Mac using Image Capture

Open iMovie and import your video (File > Import) and drag and drop it to the project library. Select the footage you want to include on your time-lapse video and drag and drop it to the timeline.

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac

Double click the clip. An inspector window will pop out where you can change the speed settings of the video. Adjust the speed slider to its maximum. You will notice that if you move the speed slider all the way up to the rabbit, it can speed up the clip up to 800%. Truth is, it can actually go all the way up to 2000%. The trick is to type in the value. For this particular sample video, I used 1200%.

Tweak the settings depending on your preference.

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac

The next thing you want to do is to import the video and share it to your friends!

Happy time-lapsing! 😀

Create time-lapse movie using iMovie for Mac

Turn Your Mac into a WiFi Hotspot

We all love wifi, don’t we? In the malls, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels- we simply love taking photos of where we are or post what’s on our mind and share it instantly to our friends via Twitter or Facebook. But we sometimes fall into a situation where we need to have Internet access on two or more of our devices and there’s nothing but an ethernet (wired) cable to connect to or your phone’s personal hotspot just won’t work.

Well, here’s good news: using your Mac computer, you can take advantage of that ethernet cable and share its Internet wonders through wifi. Actually, you can also use your iPhone 4/4S to tether Internet reliably (Network rates apply. I am using Globe postpaid unlimited data plan so I don’t have to worry about data charges) without using the iPhone’s very dubious “iPhone to Wi-Fi” Personal Hotspot feature.

HOW? You need your Mac!

Let’s get into the details:

Turn Your Mac into a WiFi Hotspot 101

I will be using my iPhone’s Internet sharing via USB to demo this feature. The same process applies if you are to use an ethernet cable as a source. First, you need to connect your iPhone (or plug in the Cat5 UTP cable if using ethernet) to your Mac using the USB data cable. Then go to your iPhone’s settings and turn on Personal Hotspot. Choose USB from the option (see photos below).

Internet Sharing on Mac using Personal Hotspot iPhone 4S USB

Internet Sharing on Mac using Personal Hotspot iPhone 4S USB

You should now be connected to the Internet using your iPhone. To verify, go to System Preferences > Network. iPhone USB option should display a green indicator and a Connected status.
Internet Sharing on Mac using Personal Hotspot iPhone 4S USB

To enable the Internet Sharing feature on your Mac (see detailed screenshots below), go to System Preferences > Sharing. Click Internet Sharing and make sure it is still unchecked so you can configure the setting. On the Share your connection from option, choose iPhone USB if you are to use Personal Hotspot or Ethernet if using a wired source. To set a wifi password, click Wi-Fi options and fill in the required data. When done, don’t forget to tick check Internet Sharing. A dialogue box will drop down, click Start.

Internet Sharing on Mac using Personal Hotspot iPhone 4S USB Internet Sharing on Mac using Personal Hotspot iPhone 4S USB Internet Sharing on Mac using Personal Hotspot iPhone 4S USB

A new wifi icon (arrow up icon) on your menu bar will appear. It means that Internet is being transmitted from your Mac to other devices.

Congratulations, you just set-up Internet Sharing on your Mac. You can now connect all your other devices using wifi and even share it with your friends! Follow me on twitter @enjayneer.

Internet Sharing on Mac using Personal Hotspot iPhone 4S USB

By the way, the background image is a photo of Raffles Place and Merlion Park I took when I visited Singapore.