How to Splice and Edit Video on the iPad

1
Get Started With Editing Videos on the iPad

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The iPad can be great at capturing video, but did you know you can edit it as well?. Getty Images / Daniel Zuchnik

The iPad has become capable of shooting excellent video, with the latest 9.7-inch iPad Pro sporting a 12 MP camera that can rival most smartphone camera and earlier models doing surprisingly well using the 8 MP iSight camera. But did you know the iPad comes with fairly powerful video editing software? As part of the iLife suite of applications, anyone can download iMovie for free. iMovie is a great way to splice together video, trim or edit clips and add text labels to the video. iMovie also comes with many templates to create mock Hollywood trailers.  

If you haven't bought an iPad in the last few years, you can still download iMovie. The best use of iMovie is splicing together several short videos into a single movie. You can also take one very long movie, trim out specific scenes and splice those together.

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We'll get started by launching the iMovie app, choosing "Projects" from the tab menu at the very top of the app and then tapping the large button with a plus sign to start a new project. The first question you will be asked is if you want a Movie project, which is a freeform project that allows you to trim and slice video to your heart's desire, or if you want a Trailer project, which is a specific template of small video clips that create a Hollywood-style trailer.  

For now, we'll start with a Movie project. The Trailer projects can be very fun, but they can end up taking a lot more time, thought and even some re-shooting of video to get everything just right. 

2
Choose a Movie Template to Control Transitions and Title Text

After you tap Movie, it is time to choose a style for your new movie. The choice of style governs two features for your movie: the transition animation that plays between video clips and the specialized text you can use to title a clip.  

If you just want a home movie with some video clips strung together and no fancy features, choose the Simple template.  If you want something fun, you can create a mock-news video by choosing News or CNN iReport. You can also choose the travel, playful or neon templates to add a little pizzazz. The Modern and Bright templates are similar to the Simple template.

You can change your template later by tapping the settings icon at the top of the editing screen.  

3
Select Video Files From Your iPad's Camera Roll to Insert Into Your Movie

If you are not already holding the iPad in landscape mode, you should do so while in the editing screen. This will give you more room to edit videos. These instructions assume you are holding the iPad in landscape mode, which is holding the iPad with the Home Button oriented on either side of the iPad rather than at the top or the bottom.   

When you arrive at the video-editing screen, the display is divided into three sections. On the upper-left is the actual video. Once you have inserted a video clip, you can preview it through this section. The upper-right is where you choose specific videos, and the bottom of the display represents the video you are creating. The upper-right section can be hidden and displayed again by tapping the film button in the upper-right corner of the screen. So if you don't see it at first, tap the film button.  

The first thing you will want to do is choose a video. You can tap the "All" selection in the upper-right to browse through all of your videos, but if you are editing a video you recently shot on your iPad, it may be easier to select "Recently Added". But even if you choose All videos, the videos will be arranged with the newest videos first.  

After the videos are loaded into the upper-right window, you can scroll through the list by swiping your finger up from bottom to top or down from top to bottom and you can select an individual video by tapping on it.  Read more about common iPad gestures.

If you would see the video you have selected to ensure it is the correct video, tap the play button (sideways triangle) that appears below the selected video. You can also insert the video by tapping the downwards-pointing arrow just to the left of the play button.  

But what if you don't want the entire video?

4
How to Clip Video and Insert Special Features Like Picture-in-a-Picture

You can clip a video by dragging the yellow section at the very beginning or very end of the video. Simply tap your finger on the yellow area and move your finger toward the middle of the video. Notice how the video on the upper-left follows the movement of your finger. This allows you to discern exactly where you are at in the video to ensure you clip it perfectly. Once you are done trimming the video, you can insert it using that downwards-facing arrow. 

Here are a few other neat things you can do from this area: You can add a picture-in-a-picture style video clip by first inserting a video into your move, clipping the new video you want to insert on top of that video just as you normally would clip a video, but instead of tapping the insert button, tap the button with the three dots. This will bring up a sub-menu with a few buttons on it. Tap the button with a small square within a bigger square to insert the selected video clip as a picture-in-a-picture.  

You can also do a split-screen video by selecting the button that looks like a square with a line through the middle. The other two buttons in this section allow you to insert just the sound or to insert a "cutaway", which is basically cutting to a new video without showing a transition. 

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You can also add photos and songs to your movie from this section. Photos will be displayed in a slideshow fashion with the video moving into the photo. You can blend a song along with the audio of the video, or simply mute the volume of the video clip to only listen to the song. You will need to have the song downloaded on your iPad and it must not be protected in a way that limits its use in videos.  

5
How to Arrange Your Video Clips, Add Text and Video Filters

The bottom section of iMovie allows you to rearrange and remove clips from your movie. You can scroll through your movie by sliding your finger from right-to-left or left-to-right. The vertical line in the middle of this section designates the frame that is currently showing on the upper-left screen. If you want to move a clip, tap and hold your finger on the clip until it picks itself up from the screen and hovers over this area. You can move your finger left or right without lifting it from the display to scroll through your movie, and then simply lift your finger to 'drop' it into a new spot.

If you want to remove a clip from the movie, follow the same direction, but instead of dropping it into a new place within the movie, move the up above the bottom section and then drop it. This will remove that section of video from the movie.  

What about adding some text to the video? Instead of pressing your finger down on a section and holding it, quickly tap it and lift your finger to bring up a special menu. You can tap the "Titles" button from this menu to add text to a clip. 

When you tap the titles button, you will see several options for how the text is displayed. This allows you to create a title with a specific animation. You can also move the text from the center of the screen to the lower part of the screen by tapping the link labeled "Lower" just below the animation options. If you insert a title but later decide you don't want the text to be displayed, you can go back into these title settings and choose "None" to delete the label.  

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A few other things you can do in this menu is to split a clip. This is done through the actions menu item. Splitting a clip is used if you added a title to a clip but don't want that title displayed throughout the entire clip. You can add a split where you want the title to end, which is great if you are adding text to a long video.  

You can also change the speed of the clip to make it go slower or faster. This is great for getting a fast-forward effect to skip to the real action or a slow-motion effect.   

But perhaps the most useful feature of this section is the filters. When you have a section of video selected and you tap to bring up the menu, you can choose filters to alter the way the video looks. This is very similar to adding a filter to a photo. You can turn the video black and white, make it look like a vintage video from the last century, or add a host of other filters.   

6
Naming Your Movie and Sharing It on Facebook, YouTube, Etc.

We've covered all of the sections for editing together video clips to make a movie, but what about naming the video or actually doing something with it?   

When you've finished editing, tap the "Done" link in the upper-left corner of the screen. This will take you to a new screen where you can tap the edit button to begin editing again or tap the "My Movie" label to type in a new title for your movie.  

You can also play the movie from the screen by tapping the play button at the bottom, delete the movie by tapping the trash can icon, and most importantly, share your movie by tapping the share button. This is the button that looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it.   

The share button will let you share your new movie on Facebook or YouTube. If you choose either of these options, you will be guided through creating a title and description. If you have not already connected your iPad to Facebook or logged into YouTube, you will be asked to login. After you are done, iMovie will export the movie to a suitable format and upload it to these social media websites.  

You can also use the share button to download the movie as a regular video stored in your Photos app, move it to iMovie Theatre where you can view it in iMovie on other devices, store it on iCloud Drive among a few other options. You can also send it to friends via an iMessage or an email message.  

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