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iMovie '11: Modify the motion (Ken Burns) effect applied to a photo

Modify the motion (Ken Burns) effect applied to a photo

By default, a motion effect is applied to any photo or still image you add to a project. This effect, called “the Ken Burns effect,” makes it appear as if the camera is sweeping across (panning) the photo or drawing nearer or farther away (zooming). You can modify this effect to change where the sweeping motion starts and ends, to set whether the motion zooms in or out, and so on. You can also remove the effect altogether.

To modify the Ken Burns effect:

  1. In the Project browser, select a still image by clicking it, and then press the C key or click the Crop button.

    Image of the Crop button
  2. In the viewer, click the Ken Burns button (A, below).

    A green rectangle (which shows the portion of the image that’s showing when the effect starts) and a red rectangle (which shows the portion showing when the effect ends) appear over the image.

    Clicking the double arrow button (B, below) causes the Start and End rectangles to swap locations. Clicking a rectangle makes it active so that you can adjust its size and location.

    Image of the cropping window and its controls
  3. Drag to resize and reposition the green rectangle over the portion of the image where the Ken Burns effect starts.

  4. Drag to resize and reposition the red rectangle over the portion of the image where the Ken Burns effect ends.

  5. To preview your work, click the Play button (C, above) in the viewer.

  6. When you’re satisfied with the effect, click Done.

To standardize the Ken Burns effect and other photo settings:

You can adjust the default settings for the crop, duration, and the Ken Burns effect applied to photos you add to your project. As you add photos, these standard settings are applied automatically.

  1. Select a project in the Project Library, or open a project, and then choose File > Project Properties.

    The File menu appears in a light gray bar across the top of your computer screen.

  2. Drag the Photo Duration slider to set how many seconds you want each photo to remain onscreen in your project.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To apply the settings to all photos already in your project and to all images you add later, select “Applies to all photos.”

    • To apply the settings to photos as they’re added to your project, select “Applies when added to project.” No photos already in the project are affected.

  4. Choose one of the following from the Initial Photo Placement pop-up menu:

    • Fit in Frame: 
      Adjusts the photo size to fully fit within the aspect ratio you’ve set for the project.
    • Crop: 
      Fills the frame with as much of the photo as possible, though the entire photo may not fit within the aspect ratio you’ve set for the project.
    • Ken Burns: 
      Randomly assigns a motion effect to the photo, so that it appears as if the camera is panning and zooming across the photo.

You can change or remove the Ken Burns effect at any time. Go to this topic to learn how: Edit or revert cropping, rotating, or the Ken Burns effect.

Last Modified: Jul 23, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Jul 23, 2012
  • Article: PH2248
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