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iMovie '09 & iDVD: The Missing Manual Paperback – April 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0596801410 ISBN-10: 0596801416 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Missing Manual
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pogue Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596801416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596801410
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Apple's iMovie '09 is more accessible and comprehensive than iMovie '08--and impressive right out of the box. The one thing not in the box is a user's guide, and that's where this book comes in. You'll make the most out of the applications if you get help from the experts. iMovie '09 and iDVD: The Missing Manual explains everything you need to know to turn raw digital footage into high quality film.

Stabilizing Shaky Footage
By David Pogue and Aaron Miller

Not every piece of video needs fancy effects. In fact, most video is probably better without a Dream filter and Picture-in-Picture. The unadulterated stuff straight from your camera usually looks best.
In fact, if your footage needs any help at all, it’s probably in the cameraman department. Don’t take this personally. Handheld shots, the most common kind of home video, are notoriously unstable, and that’s an instant giveaway that you’re an amateur. You can have the hands of a surgeon and still end up with shaky footage. This is true even with all the newfangled image stabilization technology that comes in the latest cameras.
Don’t give up (and don’t resort to carrying a tripod everywhere). iMovie ’09 can stabilize your video after the fact, using one of its most amazing new features.

Video Stabilization
iMovie has powers that leave other “beginner” video-editing programs panting with envy. It’s filled with tools that have historically been found only in professional editing programs. iMovie’s stabilization feature, for example, is inherited from Apple’s $1,000 Final Cut Pro software.
It works by analyzing every single frame in a clip, recognizing the changes in both camera position (movement up, down, left, or right) and camera rotation. Once it figures that bit out, it knows how to slide and rotate your clips to iron out the shakes.
Unfortunately, this sort of analysis takes a very long time—roughly ten minutes for every minute of video (more or less depending on your Mac’s speed).
The results, however, are worth it. The stabilization feature works absolute magic on most jerky, bumpy handheld footage. It works so well, in fact, that it can look positively creepy, as though you were floating along on a magic carpet. Fortunately, there’s a slider that lets you control how much stabilizing goes on.

Four Ways to Trigger Stabilization Analysis
Before iMovie can stabilize your video, it has to perform the above-mentioned analysis, which takes a long time. Fortunately, you have a lot of control over when the program does this processing:
1) Stabilize during import. You’re offered the opportunity to perform the analysis when you bring the footage into your Mac, as described in Chapter 1.
2) Stabilize selected clips. You can analyze certain clips at any time. Select one, or a group of them, and then choose File-->Analyze for Stabilization.
3) Stabilize an entire Event. In the list, click an Event’s name and then choose File-->Analyze for Stabilization. This option is great if the Event in question is someone jumping on a trampoline during an earthquake.
4) Stabilize a clip in the Event Browser. Double-click the clip to open the Inspector panel. Click Analyze Entire Clip as shown in Figure 7-1.
5) Stabilize a clip that’s already in the storyboard. Point to the clip, and then from the gear-icon menu, choose Clip Adjustments. On the panel that appears, turn on “Smooth clip motion.” This is a great trick when you’re looking over a project in progress and discover that one particular jerky shot is ruining the flow. It can also save you a lot of time, because iMovie stabilizes only the 20 seconds of a clip that you’ve actually used—plus an additional second on either side—rather than processing the 15-minute original (see Figure 7-2).
If you later decide to lengthen the clip you stabilized (by more than a second), you’ll need to do more analyzing. The once-checked checkbox in the Inspector will require rechecking. Fortunately, iMovie analyzes only the new part you added that wasn’t already analyzed.
Then go knit a sweater while you wait for your Mac to analyze your footage.
Be prepared for a wait when you decide to analyze a clip. Depending on the speed of your computer, it can take between five and twelve minutes (or longer for older Macs) for every minute of footage stabilized. If you have a lot to analyze, let the Mac do its job overnight while you get some beauty sleep.
A stabilized clip in your project displays a checkmark in the Stabilization box, plus the Maximum Zoom slider. Turn Stabilization on and off all you like; iMovie never has to analyze a clip but once.

About the Author

David Pogue, Yale '85, is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times and an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News. With 3 million books in print, he is also one of the world's bestselling how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the "for Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music); in 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called Missing Manuals, which now includes 30 titles.

David and his wife Jennifer Pogue, MD, live in Connecticut with their three young children.

Aaron Miller is a part-time lawyer, part-time professor, and runs a software company serving nonprofit organizations. In all of his spare time, he authors the blog "Unlocking iMovie" (, his own little way of trying to make the Mac world a better place. If he's not at his computer, he's probably playing Ultimate Frisbee or "tickle monster" with his kids.

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Customer Reviews

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I highly recommend iMovie '09 & iDVD The Missing Manual.
Hartley J. Jackson
The book contains more useful information than the manufacturer user manual and in "real people" terminology that is easy to understand.
You will love it and it will save you so much time and frustration.
K. Moody

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By John A. Suda VINE VOICE on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
When Apple updated, or more accurately, replaced the well-regarded iMovie 6 in late 2007 with iMovie `08, many users were disappointed if not outraged. `08 was an entirely different application and eliminated many features of iMovie 6 which users had grown to depend on. Now, with the new iMovie `09, users have a good reason to be happy again. Some lost features are back, many features are improved, and a whole lot of new features have been added.

Pogue Press/O'Reilly's new book "iMovie `09 and iDVD" covers the new iMovie in a comprehensive way emphasizing the linkages of the new application to iMovie 6. The book is another of the "Missing Manual" series that follows the established brilliant template of comprehensive feature descriptions and explanations, practical guidance and tips, honest critique, and articulate and witty expression. Co-author David Pogue is known as one of the world's greatest communicators. Here he is assisted by Aaron Miller who focuses on updates from the previous edition of the book.

The book is comprised of three parts and four very useful appendices which include a full menu by menu guide, a troubleshooting guide, a master list of keyboard shortcuts, and an unusual visual client sheet describing the various components of the open iMovie project window. Part Three of the book is all about iDVD, which has not changed since the last edition of the book. That part covers the basics of the application; menus, slideshows, and mapping; designing themes; and some advanced techniques.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Hartley J. Jackson on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I could not have made my first movie without iMovie '09 & iDVD The Missing Manual.

I am now 80 years old, and learning something new. My wife has been ice skating for 63 years, and had never seen herself skate. She had her second knee replaced, and it would be wonderful if she could show her surgeon how she could skate on her new knee.

It took almost a week using iMovie '09 & iDVD The Missing Manual to learn enough and create the first movie of my wife and myself ice skating. It took less time to create a second movie of my wife skating. She had some ideas for improving it. It only took one day to shoot the ice skating that she wanted to show the surgeon, and create that movie of her skating. She was thrilled, and we hope her surgeon will also be thrilled.

If an 80 year old can use iMovie '09 & iDVD The Missing Manual to make movies, you can too.

iMovie '09 & iDVD The Missing Manual covers a lot more than iMovie and iDVD because it takes a lot more than iMovie to make a movie.

First the book covers the advantages of different camcorders past and present as well as the different ways you import videos from them. I wasted time here trying to find out how to import from my digital camera into iMusic. Later I found the indexed reference to iPhoto Videos which explained they are imported into iPhoto and how iMusic uses them from there.

Next iMovie '09 & iDVD The Missing Manual clearly covers the concept of movie projects, and of events which contain source footage. Then it covers building the movie by reviewing (skimming) your clips, selecting and editing the good stuff, adding the good stuff to your project in the storyboard, and using the editing tools. There was too much to learn all at once.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Professor on July 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has saved me. The book contains more useful information than the manufacturer user manual and in "real people" terminology that is easy to understand. If you want the best performance from your software in lightening speed, buy this book, you will be grateful that you did.
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64 of 86 people found the following review helpful By S. Stoessel on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The information presented in the book can be readily gleaned from the tutorials provided by Apple. If you have recorded scenes from, say, "Buffy and Bill's Big Adventure in San Diego" this book and iMovie are for you. Anything more complicated or lengthy is beyond this book. Trying to make a DVD of my daughter's play convinced me that iMovie and iDVD couldn't do the job. I thought the book could help me, but alas, it's simply a repeat of Apple's literature. Troubleshooting was virtually non-existent and utterly irreverent. For example, the one-step DVD routine produced a fuzzy video on playback, although in iMovie and on the camera, the focus is fine. The only change is that the iMovie rendered the movie for DVD, but there is nothing in the book about the rendering process. Another true story -- the book never admits that iMovie can't produce a DVD with chapters that play sequentially. Instead it speaks of the freedom you have to move the clips around. The damnable movie themes seem to be a permanent feature. The only true recommendation the book presents is to upgrade to the professional version or iMovie 06 if you have problems. The whole book comes across as a quick knock-off, rather than the detailed guide to the program.
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