I made these notes for a customer a few months ago, which have proved helpful a number of times since. So I thought I’d share them…
iMovie 10 on Mavericks: Tips for laptops with limited space.
You can’t purge unwanted segments of clips within iMovie 10.
Which means wasted space if, for example, you only need 30 seconds of a 5 minuite clip. In order to work around this, you’ll need to go through the segment selection process, using an application other than iMovie, prior to importing into iMovie. Export those segments, and then import them into iMovie. Here’s a suggested method to do so.
- Create a folder called ‘Raw Clips’, either on your Desktop, or on an external drive.
- Copy the movie file(s) from your camera, or iPhone, iPad (using Image Capture) over to the folder.
- Open the file in Quicktime Player (which can be found in Applications/Quicktime).
- Go to the View menu->Show Clips
- Move the Playhead to a location where you want to split the clip.
- Go to the Edit menu ->Split Clip.
Quicktime allows you to split the clip in multiple locations, delete the segments you don’t want, and more.. And the original file will be left intact. In order to hone in on precise locations, shortcut keys will be useful! J, K, L are Reverse Playback, Pause, and Forward Playback, respectively. Repeatedly pressing the Playback keys will increase speed. Use the Arrow keys to move one frame at a time. And Split Clip is ⌘(Command)+Y.
Now, you’ll need to Export the segments you want to use.
- Select the segment.
- Go to the File menu->Export, and choose the highest quality format available. The list is ordered from highest (1080p), to lowest quality (excluding the iTunes option at the bottom).
- Give the clip an appropriate name, and Save it to the following location inside your home folder (assuming you’re using the default iMovie Library..): ~/Movies/iMovie Events/iMovie Drop Box.
- Any footage placed in the iMovie Drop Box folder will automatically be added to your iMovie Library the next time it’s opened.
What you do with the original files is up to you. You could:
- Archive the ‘Raw Clips’ folder to an external hard drive, and wipe them from the camera’s memory card.
- Delete the folder ‘Raw Clips’. And the unedited, raw footage on the camera’s memory card could be used as an archive of the original footage, requiring that you buy a new memory card for each shoot.
Keeping iMovie Events and Projects organised.
Computers, being mobile devices, have limited space. Movies are of the largest file type. Therefore, it’s good practice to only keep iMovie Events and Projects that you’re currently working on at hand, on your laptop, and archive finished projects, and associated media files, to a second iMovie Library on an external drive.
Furthermore, you should be backing up your computer anyway, and ideally you’ll also want to back up the external ‘archive’ drive.
A Movie or Trailer Project will live inside an Event. And, ideally, so too should all of the projects associated media files. Let’s first gather all the media associated with the Project into it’s ‘parent’ Event.
- Select the movie or trailer project you want to consolidate.
- Go to File->Consolidate Project Media, and click OK on the resulting window.
This will copy (not move…) all of the project’s associated media files inside the Event where the project lives. You’ll want to do this for all the Movie / Trailer projects contained within a given Event. More information on consolidating Libraries, Events and Projects can be found Apple’s Knowledgebase article, iMovie (2013): Consolidate projects and events.
Creating an iMovie archive on an external hard drive.
Now, we want to move (not copy…) the Event to a secondary iMovie Library, which we’ll use for archival purposes, in order to free up space on the laptop, located onto another hard drive. First we need to create this second iMovie Library:
- In iMovie, go to File->Open Library->New…
- In the resulting window navigate your way to your external drive, give the new library a name, such as ‘iMovie Library Archive’, and click Save.
You now have 2 iMovie Libraries: one on your computer, another on an external drive which will be used to archive completed projects, ready to be accessed if you ever decide to go back to re-edit.
Within iMovie, go to File->Open Library, and select the newly created iMovie Library on the external hard drive. If you can’t see it listed select ‘Other’, and navigate your way to the external hard drive. You’ll now see two libraries listed in the Library pane on the left hand side.
Drag the consolidated Event from your ‘primary’ library (located in your Home folder on the Macintosh HD) to the secondary ‘iMovie Library Archive’ (located on you external drive). iMovie copies the Event to the second library on the external hard drive (which seems to me to be slightly contrary to what it says in Apple’s Knowledgebase article, here, as we want to move the Event…)
Delete the Event from the library located on your Macintosh HD by right clicking / holding the ctrl key and clicking on the unwanted Event, and choose Move Event to Trash.
And if you’re wondering where those files are trashed to, iMovie, unlike iPhoto, doesn’t have its own Trash can. And, the files are not moved to the Trash in the Finder. They’re actually moved to a folder hidden inside the iMovie Library. When you Quit iMovie, those files will be deleted permanently.
For more information on moving clips, events, and projects, do have a read of Apple’s Knowledgebase article, iMovie (2013): Work with multiple libraries.