iMovie (2013): Slow down and speed up clips

Slow down and speed up clips

You can alter the playback speed of any clip in your movie. In addition, iMovie can automatically adjust the frame rate of any clip to match the frame rate of your movie (determined by the first clip you add to your movie).

Make a clip play more slowly

  1. In the timeline, select the clip you want to slow down.

  2. Choose Modify > Slow Motion, and choose a speed percentage from the submenu.

    A turtle icon appears on the clip, indicating that the clip has been slowed down. In addition, a speed slider appears at the top of the clip.

    Figure. Turtle icon and speed slider on a clip in the timeline.

    Because slowing down a clip extends its duration, the clip elongates in the timeline. For example, a clip that is slowed down to 50 percent is double its length at normal speed.

Note:   If the clip contains audio, playing the clip more slowly lowers the pitch of the audio. To preserve the original pitch of the audio, click the turtle icon on the clip, and select the Preserve Pitch checkbox.

Make a clip play faster

  1. In the timeline, select the clip you want to speed up.

  2. Choose Modify > Fast Forward, and choose a speed option from the submenu.

    A rabbit icon appears on the clip, indicating that the clip has been sped up. In addition, a speed slider appears at the top of the clip.

    Figure. Rabbit icon and speed slider on a clip in the timeline.

    Because speeding up a clip shortens its duration, the clip shrinks in the timeline. For example, a clip that is sped up four times is one-fourth its length at normal speed.

Note:   If the clip contains audio, playing the clip faster raises the pitch of the audio. To preserve the original pitch of the audio, click the rabbit icon on the clip, and select the Preserve Pitch checkbox.

Modify the speed or playback direction of a retimed clip

A clip that has been retimed (slowed down or sped up) has two indicators: a speed slider at its top, and an icon in its center, showing either a rabbit or a turtle. The rabbit indicates that the clip has been sped up, and the turtle indicates that the clip has been slowed down. A clip that has been reversed and sped up or slowed down has the same speed slider, but the rabbit or turtle on the icon in its center faces the start of the timeline.

  1. In the timeline, do any of the following:

    • To modify the speed of a retimed clip: Drag the speed slider at the top of the clip.

      Dragging the slider to the right slows down the clip, and dragging the slider to the left speeds up the clip. Using the speed slider is useful for custom timing, because as you drag the slider, you see the clip’s duration change in the timeline.

    • To select a speed preset: Click the rabbit or turtle icon on the clip, select Preset, and select a speed preset.

    • To specify a custom speed percentage: Click the rabbit or turtle icon on the clip, select Custom, and type a value in the Custom field.

    • To reverse the direction of a retimed clip: Click the rabbit or turtle icon on the clip, and select the Reverse checkbox.

  2. Click anywhere outside of the Speed window to dismiss it.

Automatically adjust a clip’s playback speed

If you add a clip with a frame rate that doesn’t match the frame rate of the rest of your movie (for example, if you have footage that was shot at a high frame rate), you can have iMovie automatically adjust the clip to play back at the same speed as the rest of your movie. For information about adding clips, see Add clips.

  1. In the timeline, select the clip whose speed you want to adjust to match that of your movie.

  2. If the speed slider isn’t visible at the top of the clip, press Command-R.

  3. Double-click the speed slider to open the Speed window.

    Figure. Turtle icon and speed slider on a clip in the timeline.
  4. Select the Automatic checkbox.

  5. Click anywhere outside of the Speed window to dismiss it.

Last Modified: Nov 3, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Nov 3, 2013
  • Article: PH14728
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