iMovie ‘11: Add a cutaway clip

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Add a cutaway clip

A cutaway clip is a video clip you paste over another, usually related, clip in order to show two different elements of a single event. You could show someone about to enter a surprise party, and then cut away to a view of the people waiting inside, for example. Cutaway clips are also useful for covering portions of a clip that aren’t very good.

When you add a cutaway clip, it covers an equal portion of the video clip you added it to, so that the entire duration of the final clip doesn’t change.

To add a cutaway clip:

  1. Make sure Advanced Tools are turned on.

  2. Open the project you want to add the cutaway clip to so that it’s showing in the Project browser.

  3. In the Event browser, select a video clip or a frame range that you want to use as a cutaway and drag it over a clip in your project.

    When you see the green Add (+) symbol, release the mouse button.

  4. In the contextual menu that appears, choose Cutaway.

    In the Project browser, the cutaway clip appears with a gray border around it above the video clip in your project, and the portion of the clip it covers is shaded in gray.

    Image of a cutaway clip in the Project browser.

    Depending on the length of the cutaway clip you added, it may extend beyond the clip you added it to (only if there’s another clip after the clip you added the cutaway clip to). To reposition the cutaway clip, drag it to a different spot within the clip or to a different clip. You can also drag the ends to lengthen or shorten the cutaway clip. To drag an end, move the pointer over it until the pointer changes to a resize pointer, and then drag.

  5. Play back the effect by placing the playhead (the red vertical line) anywhere before where the cutaway clip appears in the Project browser and then pressing the Space bar.

    Press the Space bar again to stop playback.

To adjust the fade or opacity in a cutaway clip:

To soften the transition between the original clip and the cutaway clip, you can make the cutaway clip fade in and out. You can also adjust the opacity of the cutaway, so that you can still see the original video underneath.

To adjust fade or opacity, double-click the cutaway clip in your project to open the inspector, and then do one of the following:

  • To make the cutaway fade in and out, click Manual (appears to the right of Cutaway Fade). Drag the slider to adjust how long the fade lasts.

  • To make the clip translucent, drag the Opacity slider to the left. The more you drag to the left, the more translucent the clip.

To delete a cutaway clip:

Select the cutaway clip in the Project browser by clicking it once (so that its border turns yellow), and then press Delete.

The sound from the original clip and the sound from the cutaway play simultaneously. You can reduce the volume of either clip so that sound from the other clip stands out. Go to this topic to learn how: Reduce the volume of competing audio clips.

You can edit cutaway clips the same way you edit standard clips in your projects. For example, you can trim them using the Clip Trimmer, adjust their audio, crop them, add video effects, and so on.

If a cutaway covers a transition in your project, the transition is overridden and doesn’t play.

Published Date: Sep 3, 2015
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