The Basics of Creating an iMovie using Photos
  • Before beginning, be sure to have all your photos and music downloaded onto your computer. It’s also helpful to have the pictures you want to use arranged into “events”.
    • Find the first photo you want to use
    • Select all the other photos (use Command click to select individual photos – shift click to select photos in a row
    • Open iMovie
    • Click on “File” and new project
    • Name your project
Add Pictures

  • To select your pictures, in the media toolbar (below the dark square on the top right of the window) click on the button with the icon of a camera. Your iPhoto library will appear in window. Click on the “event” and drag the photos onto the “media” screen.
  • If you want individual pictures rather than, or in addition to events, click and drag those onto the media screen in the same way.
  • You can select a theme, and if you want can check the box by “cross dissolve” to have an automatic transition between each slide.
  • You can make changes in themes, etc. by going to “File” and “Project Properties While the Ken Burns effect (pictures moving, etc) is nice, sometimes the effect will cut out parts of pictures you want to include. In project properties, you can opt to select the “Fit in Frame” option and apply to all photos
  • To add music to your project, in the media toolbar, click on the icon with the musical notes.

Add Music

  • Click on iTunes, then Music, and select a song you want to add to your movie.
  • Click and hold the song, and drag it into the project window, to the gray area to the right of the clip – don’t drag it over a clip.
  • The music will appear in a green bar under your pictures. You can adjust the length of the music by clicking on the green bar so that a yellow frame surrounds it, then clicking and dragging the end so it is the length you want. The music will stop at the end of the movie, so if you
  • If you change your mind about the music, click on the green section of the music, and press the delete button on your keyboard.

Viewing Your Projects

  • To view your project, click on the first triangle on the left. under the project
  • To delete a project, click on the tab marked “project library”. Click on the project you want to delete. Click on “File” and select “Move Project to Trash”.

Sharing Your Projects
Burning to a DVD

  • If you want to burn your slideshow to a DVD, click on “Share” and select “iDVD”. A window will appear, preparing your movie for iDVD. This will take a little while.
  • When it’s finished, iDVD will open.
  • Go to the “Burning a slideshow with iDVD” instructions on the TechInstructions wiki.

Sharing on YouTube

One thing to be aware of is copyright infringement regarding the content you post. Unless you get your music from an open source site, you are probably committing copyright infringement. YouTube will notice that and send you an email about it. Copyright infringement is illegal. If you're posting to YouTube, better to have no music, or only use music from an open source site. Here's a link to a blog containing 14 Awesome Open Source Music Sites.

  • To share your dvd on YouTube, first create a YouTube account. (Go to and click on “Create Account”.) If you have a gmail address, you already have a YouTube account, and you’d log in with your Gmail username and password.
  • Click “Share” then select “YouTube”.
  • Follow the instructions on each page.
  • It will take a while to upload.
  • When it’s done, it will give you a link to your video that you can email to your friends, and after a while it will be available on your YouTube channel.
  • Your video will appear in your YouTube channel – you can access it by clicking on the triangle next to your name in the far righthand corner and selecting “Video Manager”. Your uploaded video will appear in the uploaded video section.

Good Tutorials

What I’ve outlined here are just the basics of the basics. These tutorials can help you easily turn your movies into works of art!

Find Out How on the Apple Site

Mac Tutorial on YouTube – Simple Editing in iMovie 09

Excellent tutorial – a pdf file you can print and refer to.

Another good pdf – this one with pictures!