Adding additional photos to a movie project in iMovie for iPhone is relatively easy, but integrating more videos into your timeline is a bit more involved, just because there are more that you can do. Unlike images, you can trim the length of new videos, just select the sound and add overlay effects.
You can add videos to your movie project from your iPhone's built-in storage, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Drive, or File app, and you can always take new videos right away. We cover these options below, but before that, make sure you have your movie project open and clear. If you don't have one yet, check out the basics of the link below to do one.
Step 1: Choose where to add the video
A new video can be added to any part of a movie project timeline, then reorganized to the most appropriate location afterwards, but why not just add it to the right place when you importing? Choosing the right place just outside the flutter music means less work later.
In your movie project, swipe left or right on the timeline to place the game head (the white vertical line in the middle) to the place where you want to add new video. If the game head is over a clip in your timeline and not between the clips, the video is added either before or after the clip, which is closer to the current head of the game head. If you select an overlay effect later, it starts at the game head location and lies on top of the original video track.
When done, press the "+" sign on the left side to download media
As mentioned earlier, there are several places where you can find videos to be imported. You can download them from your Photos app or your App files, the latter of which includes iCloud Drive and third-party Cloud Storage Apps if you run IOS 11, IOS 12 or higher. You can also record a new video if you are editing right now.
Alternatively, you can import videos into your project from iTunes, but this is the least appropriate option and completely unnecessary when you can airdrop files to your Photos app first. So we don't cover iTunes here.
Method 1: From Photos App
Looking for a video stored on your iPhone or in your iCloud Photo Library? Then choose either "Moments", "Videos" or "Albums" from the Media Browser. I recommend that you choose "Videos" or an album with all videos because they give you more detailed options for import when you finally find the video you want to use.
Preview in a folder with both photos and videos, tap and hold video thumbnail. To play without holding, press it once, then press the playback button shown. In an all-video album, press the video and press the play button. You can also drag your finger across the video to scrub through the frames.
If you see a mole icon at the top right of the video thumbnail, when you preview it, the quality may seem to diminish because the video is not downloaded to your iPhone. The original quality will be retained on import.
With your iCloud Drive, you can store files of any type into a central location that lives online. You can access and add this online space from your Mac or any of your iOS devices, making it easy to share content from one device to another. In iMovie, you can import videos into your movie project directly from iCloud Drive, as well as other services in the app Files, as long as you run iOS 11 or later.
Tap "iCloud Drive" from the media browser to access your files. The import screen is displayed with iCloud Drive opened for the "Update" or "Browse" tab. If the "Recents" tab is empty or does not have any of the video clips you want, select the "Browse" tab instead. Unlike images in the Photos app, you cannot enlarge thumbnails to preview when in the iCloud Drive browser.
If you prefer to use images stored in one of your others cloud services connected to the Files app, tap "Places" from the iCloud Drive "Browse" tab. If you are in landscape mode on a large-screen iPhone, the Locations menu may already be on the left. Supported third-party cloud services and apps include Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Scan, Baidu Cloud, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.
Unfortunately, you cannot preview or scrub through video clips anywhere in any of the connected file apps either. It is only possible from videos in your Photos app (the previous method).
Method 3: Take a New Video
Do You Want a brand new video included in your movie project timeline? Then press the "Camera" option from the media browser to open the viewfinder up. The camcorder opens by default, so you can start recording right away.
To better match the video on your timeline, you can press the specified resolution / frame rate up to change between options like 720p (240 fps), 1080p (30 fps), 1080p (60 fps), 1440p (60 fps) and 4K (30 fps). The options vary depending on the model of iPhone you own. You can also turn on the flash if you want or go into self-mode. If you play a selfie, you do not get a flash or any options to change the shooting mode.
When done, press the shutter button to start recording, and then press the stop button to finish recording. You can preview the video afterwards, and if it's good, select "Use video" to save the video in your Photos app and import to your timeline. You can also choose "Retake" to try again.
Before adding a video, you can trim the length directly instead of doing it afterwards in your timeline. To do so, you must have used method 1 above and only in an all-video album. You will not get the trim option any other way when you import.
In an all-video album, select the clip you want and then drag the bold yellow borders to the left and right of it inward to where you want your start and stop points. When you drag your finger along the screen, a preview will show the frame of where you are.
If you chose to use the "Camera" option to record a new video, you have probably already added the video to your timeline. All you have to do is press "Use Video". If you selected a video from your iCloud device or files, tap the video to import it into the timeline.
For videos contained in your Photos app, tap the video to download the import menu. To add whole or trimmed video, press the "+" sign and it will appear in your timeline where the game head was. If it is a video from iCloud Photo Library (with the mole icon) it will then be downloaded to your device first and then automatically imported to the project.
By default, video clips are added to the timeline with a resolution transferred to them on each side of the clip if it is between two other clips. If they start or end the project, only one resolution will be added for its connecting video. This effect can be changed later.
Apart from importing the clip as it is, you can also choose from the import menu to import only the video's sound or to import the video as a superimposed effect on top the original timeline. For any overlays, the sound is automatically turned off (but you can turn it off later).
The cutaway option (two rectangles of the same size) allows you to add the video directly on top of another video or group of videos in your timeline. So effectively the film is cut away from the main timeline to this clip and then back to the main timeline.
Picture-in-picture option ( a bold rectangle at the top left of a larger rectangle) lets you overlay the video over the main video.
The split-screen option (one rectangle divided into two) allows you to place the selected video right next to the video already in the timeline, so they both are played simultaneously in equal amount of space in the player.
And you've just added another video to your movie project! Do as many times as needed to get all the videos you want in the timeline. And don't forget you can add photos too.
This article has been produced under the Gadget Hack's special coverage on smartphone-based video creator tips for filming and editing.
How to add more pictures to your iMovie movie project for iPhone