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How to export a file in iMovie

Created by: Philip Acciarito ‘12

1. Exporting to Camera

Before you tape over original footage, consider using a fresh tape to place your movie. When you are ready to export back to your camera, make sure the camera is on, in the same mode used for importing, the camera is loaded with a new tape and rewound to the beginning. Choose File > Share and you will see a sheet emerge, pictured above, right. Click Share and the recording process should begin with your camera. iMovie should handle the record function on most cameras automatically.

2. Exporting to Quicktime

Movies you export to Quicktime can be placed online, burned to CD-ROM and kept as “low-calorie” versions on your com- puter for archiving.
Once you choose to export in Quicktime, you have a number of choices to make about the intended destination for the file. These presets (such as Web, CD-ROM) are “easy,” compatible compression schemes that will play back on a variety of Quicktime versions. Proceed to save under “expert,” and in the Save as... dialog box, you can choose which settings to make for your saved movie.

3. Video Settings

Under “Video” you can choose your codec, size, and framerate.
The different ways to compress video (similar to the ways to compress images, i.e., JPEG, GIF, LZW, etc.) are called codecs. MPEG-2 which is an add-on from Apple, is the type of compression used for DVDs. It’s very high quality, and isn’t designed for many of the uses we’ve discussed. MPEG-4, however, is designed for high compression with good quality. With Mac OS X Tiger, Apple also introduced Quicktime 7, which introduces a new type of MPEG compression called H.264. This is playable by users on Macs using Tiger or Panther, as long as they have Quicktime 7. This is the highest quality codec you’re likely to find that can produce small file sizes—but when using it, you may be shutting out other viewers who haven’t upgraded to the latest version of Quicktime.

4. Framerate

Framerate is a count of how many individual frames, or pictures make up the movie, per second. Your camera records at 30 fps. As you strip-away frames, animation and movement becomes more choppy. Remember, more frames = better quality, but also a larger file size.

5. Audio Settings

Audio should also be compressed for your video projects. MP3 is probably the most popular form of compressed audio. iMovie provides several choices, that like the video codecs, offer different advantages and disadvantages. If stereo is not important for your project, you can cut your audio file size in half by choosing “mono.”

6. Internet Streaming

Is your movie going online? Will it be served by a streaming video server? If so, turn this feature on. Quicktime 6 and 7 users can choose “Quickstart” which provides end-users a quicker playback time for the video—the video will begin playback before the entire movie is downloaded onto their machine.

7. Going to DVD

Use the Markers menu in iMovie HD (5) to add chapters to your movie. This is great to do with larger productions—ones that you may wish to watch in the future from various points along the timeline. These are the “scenes” you may be familiar with on commercial DVDs.