iMovie 10.x: Slow down and speed up clips

Slow down and speed up clips

You can change the 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).

Rabbit icon and speed slider appearing on clip in timeline

Change clip speed

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

  2. To show the speed controls, click the Speed button.

    Speed button in adjustments bar
  3. Choose either Slow or Fast from the Speed pop-up menu, and click a speed button to set the speed.

    Speed controls appearing above clip in viewer

    An icon (either a turtle or a rabbit) appears on the clip, and a speed slider appears at the top.

    Turtle icon and speed slider appearing on clip in timeline

    A clip that is slowed down becomes longer in the timeline, and a clip that is sped up becomes shorter.

Note:   If the clip contains audio, playing the clip more slowly lowers the pitch of the audio, and playing the clip faster raises the pitch. To preserve the original pitch of the audio, select the Preserve Pitch checkbox above the viewer.

Modify a clip’s speed adjustments

In the timeline, drag the speed slider at the top of a clip that has speed changes.

Rabbit icon and speed slider appearing on clip in timeline

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 speed adjustments, because as you drag the slider, you see the clip’s duration change in the timeline.

Change the speed of part of a clip

Any part of a clip can be sped up or slowed down, and you can choose whether to smoothly transition the frame rates between the part with the speed change and the rest of the clip.

  1. Select a range in a clip in the timeline.

    Selected range in clip in timeline
  2. To show the speed controls, click the Speed button.

    Speed button in adjustments bar
  3. Do one of the following:

    • Slow down the selected part of the clip: Click the Speed pop-up menu and choose Slow.

      By default, the speed is set to 50%, but you can click any speed button.

    • Speed up the selected part of the clip: Click the Speed pop-up menu and choose Fast.

      By default, the speed is set to twice normal speed (2x), but you can click any speed button.

    • Set a custom speed for the selected part of the clip: Click the Speed pop-up menu, choose Custom, and type a number in the field.

      The speed change is applied to the selected range, and speed sliders appear above the selected range and any areas of the clip outside the selected range.

    Clip with speed change made to range selection

    When you play back the clip, it begins playing at normal speed, then changes to the speed you set, then returns to normal speed again at the end of the clip.

  4. To have the speed changes occur gradually, select the Smooth checkbox.

  5. To adjust the speed of the selected range or an area outside it, drag any of the three speed sliders at the top of the clip.

    Turtle icon and speed sliders appearing on clip in timeline

Play a clip backward

  1. Select the clip in the timeline.

  2. To show the speed controls, click the Speed button.

    Speed button in adjustments bar
  3. Select the Reverse checkbox.

    A reverse-play icon appears on the clip, and the clip now plays in reverse, at the speed you set.

    Reverse-play icon on clip in timeline

Slow down high-frame-rate clips to match the speed of your movie

By default, iMovie automatically slows down the speed of high-frame-rate clips when you add them to the timeline, adjusting them to play back at the same speed as the rest of your movie. You can turn off this setting in iMovie preferences. High-frame-rate footage appears to play in slow motion when slowed to regular playback speed.

If you have added high-frame-rate clips to your movie with the automatic slow-motion preference turned off, you can apply this setting to selected clips.

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

  2. To show the speed controls, click the Speed button.

    Speed button in adjustments bar
  3. Click the Speed pop-up menu and choose Slow.

  4. Click the Auto button.

    The frame rate of the selected clip is adjusted to match the frame rate of the rest of the movie.

    Note:   If the clip has a duration longer than 3 seconds, iMovie adjusts the speed at the beginning and end of the clip, to emphasize the slow motion.
Last Modified: Jan 21, 2016
Helpful?

Additional Product Support Information