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How to Add the Ken Burns Effect on Videos in iMovie?

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Mar 25, 2021• Proven solutions

If you are a video editor, then you might be familiar with the evident panning and zooming effect that was made widely popular by Ken Burns. Although it is like the iMovie zoom-in effect, the Ken Burns iMovie effect provides far better results. Don’t worry – in this post, I’m going to help you apply the Ken Burns effect in iMovie on your Mac as well as an iOS device. Let’s begin and ace the Ken Burns effect on iMovie right away!

Part 1: What is the Ken Burns Effect all About?

The Ken Burns effect is ideally a combination of panning and zooming effects that is mostly applied on stills. Since it was widely used by the documentarian Ken Burns, the effect eventually got his name.

In the Ken Burns effect, we don’t show the entire frame on the screen. Instead, we only show a part of it by zooming-in and gradually pans to the remaining section. In this way, we can attain a motion effect for pictures, keeping the audience engaged.

Part 2: How to Add the Ken Burns Effect in iMovie (iOS and Mac Solutions)?

As you know, iMovie is a popular video editor that can be used on Mac systems as well as iOS devices. Therefore, to make your job easier, I have included a detailed tutorial to implement the Ken Burns iMovie effect on Mac and iPhone.

Method 1: How to Use the Ken Burns Effect in iMovie on Mac

Since iMovie has an inbuilt Ken Burns effect, implementing it to your projects is extremely easy. To learn how to implement the Ken burns effect in iMovie on your Mac, just follow these instructions.

Step 1: Import your media to iMovie

At first, just launch the iMovie application on your Mac and load the clips or photos to edit. You can just drag-and-drop your media files or go to the File > Import button to browse the media files of your choice.

Step 2: Crop and choose the Ken Burns iMovie effect

Once the media files are loaded, just drag and drop them to the working timeline at the bottom. To apply the Ken Burns effect on a video in iMovie, just select the media file to get its preview on the top.

Afterward, go to the toolbar above the preview section on iMovie and click on the Crop icon. This will display different styles for cropping like fit, crop to fit, and Ken Burns. From here, just select the Ken Burns effect on iMovie.

Step 3: Apply Ken Burns effect on iMovie

Now, you can see two boxes on the preview tab that you can use to apply the iMovie zoom-in effect. The first box can be set on the starting point, and you can drag the second box to the target. You can move, drag, and even resize the boxes as per your requirements to apply the Ken burns effect on iMovie.

In the end, you can just click on the play icon at the bottom of the preview window to check the Ken Burns effect in iMovie.

Method 2: Add the Ken Burns Effect in iMovie on iPhone/iPad

Apart from Mac, you can also implement the iMovie Ken Burns effect on iPhone or iPad using the iMovie iOS app. While the iOS app of iMovie does not have all the desktop features, the Ken Burns effect is readily available. To use the Ken Burns effect in iMovie on iPhone, follow these steps:

Step 1: Enable the Ken Burns effect

At first, just launch the iMovie app on your iOS device and import the photos or clips that you wish to edit. Go to the timeline, select the clip, and visit the Viewer section from the top to turn on the Ken Burns effect.

Step 2: Implement Ken Burns effect on iPhone

As soon you would tap on the Ken Burns icon, you would be asked to set up the starting of the clip. You can pinch the screen and place the header at the starting of the clip where you wish to implement the effect.

Similarly, you can pinch the viewer and position the header at the end of the clip. Afterward, the Ken Burns effect on iMovie in iPad/iPhone would be implemented. You can tap on the Ken Burns icon to enable or disable it from here.

Part 3. How to Modify/Reset the Ken Burns Effect in iMovie?

At times, implementing the Ken Burns iMovie effect is not enough as we need to further adjust or reset it. Therefore, to modify the Ken Burns effect on iMovie, you can try these suggestions.

Tip 1: Swap positions for the Ken Burns effect

A lot of people don’t know this, but you can also swap the starting and the ending positions on iMovie for the Ken Burns effect. While applying the effect, a swap icon will be enabled. Just tap on it to change the beginning and ending positions of the frame.

Tip 2: Reset the Ken Burns effect in iMovie

If you have made a mistake while implementing the Ken Burns effect on iMovie, then click on the “Reset” button above the preview window. This will remove the effect and would let you apply it again (or even set any other cropping effect instead).

Who knew implementing the Ken Burns effect in iMovie would be so easy, right? To make things simpler, I have included a detailed tutorial to the iMovie Ken Burns effect on iPhone and Mac. Apart from that, if you are looking for an editor with far better editing features, then you can consider using Wondershare Filmora for Mac. From pan and zoom to green screen effects, you can find tons of professional edits in one place on this user-friendly and intuitive video editor for all.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.