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How to Add Video Effects in iMovie for Mac: An Ultimate Guide

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Jun 11, 2024• Proven solutions

iMovie is a great video editing software for Mac users. You can add video effects like the soft focus to your video clips in iMovie to enhance your videos instantly. In this tutorial, we will show you how to find and add those amazing videos effects to your videos in iMovie for Mac.

If you are using a Windows PC, you can still add video effects to your video with the Best iMovie Equivalent for Windows.

Part 1: How to Apply Video Effects in iMovie on Mac

To add video effects with iMovie for Mac, here are the detailed steps for you to follow.

Step 1. Import Videos to iMovie

Launch iMovie, open your project, or start a new project. Then click on File and select Import to import video clips.

import video to iMovie

Note: The video formats that iMovie supports are: DV, DV Widescreen, HDV 1080i (25 and 30 fps), HDV 720p (25 and 30 fps), MPEG 4 Simple Profile, and iSight. Some models of camcorders are not supported. When you import movies to iMovie, make sure your videos are supported by iMovie. If not, you should get a Mac video converter to convert DVDs and videos to iMovie.

Step 2. Add Video Effects in iMovie

In the Project Library, select a video clip, and you will see a "Gear" appears. Choose "Clip Adjustments". Then you will see an "Inspector" pop up on the screen. In this window, the Video Effect shows "None".

To add a video effect in iMovie, you should hit the Video Effect button, and then you will see a list of video effects for you to choose from. You can mouse over every effect to preview it. Find the particular one you like and click it to apply it to your clip.

choose video effect in iMovie

You May Also Like: How to Add Voice-over to Videos in iMovie?

Step 3. Preview the Result

After you choose the video effect, you can preview your videos in the viewing window to see the whole effect. If you are not satisfied, you can change the video effect as you like. When all is OK, you can then press "Done" to finish.

Part 2: How to Apply Video Effects with iMovie's Alternative - Wondershare Filmora

To apply video effects to polish your video, you can also use an iMovie alternative program like Wondershare Filmora for Mac. It provides an extensive amount of visual effects you can use to apply to your video with a single mouse click. What's more, some effects even allow you to adjust the parameters to achieve more.

The following video shows how to create magical effects with Filmora to bring videos to the next level. Just download it and follow the tutorial to give it a try.

Download Win VersionDownload Mac Version

To simply add effects to videos using Filmora, you can take these steps:

Step 1. Add Videos to the Program

After you download and install this program, launch it, and drag your source videos directly to this program.

Note: A media browser is also provided for you to load files from your iTunes library, iMovie, iPhoto, etc. Apart from that, you can also record a video using your video capture device.

add video to Filmora9

Step 2. Apply Video Effects

Go to the Effects tab and find the effect you want to apply, drag and drop it to the track above the clip. Now you can click the Play icon to preview the real-time effect in the right screen window.

 Filmora9 for Mac Effect  Library

Since Filmora supports up to 100 video tracks, so you can add as many effects as you like to the video. Besides, you can customize its duration time and the alpha parameter of the effect to fine-tune the result.

Step 3. Export the Video

If you're satisfied with the final result, simply hit "Export" to save on your desktop, or share it directly to social media platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Additionally, you can also burn it to a DVD in minutes.

export video with effects

That's it. For more detailed information about Filmora, please watch the video below.

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

Part 3. FAQs About Adding Effects in iMovie

Here are some frequently asked questions about adding video effects in iMovie for your information.

1. Where can I find video effects in iMovie?

All video clips you import into iMovie are going to be located in the Media tab. A Gear icon is going to be displayed over a video clip when you drag the mouse over it. Clicking on it will bring up the Inspector window where all video effects iMovie has to offer are located.

2. Can I add audio effects in iMovie?

Yes, you can. Simply double-click on a video or audio clip you placed on the timeline to bring up the Inspector window and then click on the Audio Effect option. The Choose Audio Effect window will pop up on the screen, so you start searching for the effect you want to apply to the media file on the timeline. Place the mouse over the audio effect and press the Space bar on your keyboard if you want to preview it, or just click on that effect and then click the Done button to apply it to an audio or video file.

3. How to customize the video effect settings in iMovie?

iMovie doesn’t allow its users to customize all video effects it offers. For instance, you can adjust the Ken Burns or Green Screen effects to the needs of your project, but this doesn’t apply to all effects you can find in iMovie.

4. How to delete a video effect in iMovie?

In order to remove an effect from a video clip, you have to select the clip, then click on the Video Effect button and set the Clip Filter option to none. Alternatively, you can just double-click on a video clip to bring up the Inspector window and select the None option from the "Choose Video Effect" window.

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Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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