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Chapter 3. iMovie > Create a new iMovie project

Create a new iMovie project

1.
Open iMovie. The project selection window opens. Choose “Create a New Project” (unless you want to open a project you've already been working on, in which case click “Open an Existing Project”)

If iMovie is already open, you won't see the project selection window shown above. Instead, go to the File menu and choose “New Project…” to open the “Create Project” window (shown below).

If you've already created a project, choose “Open Project….” Find and select the project you want to open. Or choose “Open Recent,” then select a project you've opened recently (shown on the left).

2.
In the “Create Project” window (shown below), name your project and choose the location where you want to save it. Be sure to choose a drive or partition that has plenty of unused disk space! If you make lots of movies, consider buying an external FireWire drive to use just for movie projects. Do not click “Create” yet!

3.
From the “Video format” pop-up menu, choose a video format to use:

DV (Digital Video) is the format most video cameras use. This standard video format, the same proportion that standard TV uses, has an “aspect ratio” (proportion) of 4:3. This is most likely the format you should choose for your movie.

DV Widescreen is the same format as DV, but it uses the widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. Some video cameras have a setting that shoots in the 16:9 aspect ratio. If your video was shot using a widescreen setting, choose this format for your movie.

HDV 1080i is High Definition Video that uses a vertical screen resolution of 1,080 interlaced scan lines. The horizontal scan lines that make up an interlaced image are divided into even and odd scan lines. Any given instant in the video actually displays only half of the image—either the even scan lines or the odd scan lines. Choose HDV 1080i only if your video camera shoots in this format.

Which is better— HDV 1080i or HDV 720p?

1080i has higher resolution (more vertical scan lines), but its interlaced video is lower quality than progressive video.

720p has lower resolution (fewer vertical scan lines), but its progressive video is better quality than interlaced video.

The result is that the two technologies are comparable in quality.


HDV 720p is a competing High Definition Video format that uses a vertical screen resolution of 720 progressive scan lines. There are fewer scan lines, but any given instant in the video displays both even and odd scan lines (referred to as progressive). Choose HDV 720p only if your video camera shoots in this format.

MPEG-4 is a highly compressed video format used by many consumer video devices, such as a digital still camera. If your video footage comes from a camera that used MPEG-4 format, choose it here.

iSight is a video format compatible with the Apple iSight video camera. Choose this format if you plan to make a movie using video clips captured with an iSight camera.

4.
Click the “Create” button to open a new, empty iMovie window.


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