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How to fade in and out on iMovie (Mac)

In today’s quick tutorial we will find out how to use fade in and out effects with iMovie. This software is available on many Apple devices but I will discuss how to create these effects on Mac (the solution might be similar for iPhones and iPads).

I and many other YouTubers ditched intros from the beginning of the clips but I still think that one second fade in and out effects at the beginning and end of the clip look better and give the clip slightly more professional look. Applying these effects on iMovie is so easy and takes virtually 2 seconds that it is certainly worth doing. Here’s how to do it.

How to apply fade in and out effects on iMovie

First, open the program, import the clip you want to edit and move it to the time line.
As indicated below, on the right-hand side of the screen you should see Settings. Click it.

iMovie screenshot

Upon clicking, Setting menu will be visible and among a few options you will see Fade in from black and Fade out to black settings. All you have to do is to mark them as indicated below.

iMovie settings

Once you do it, you should see small black rectangles at the beginning and end of your clip in the timeline area. That is all, click anywhere outside the Settings menu to save the changes. Now, when you preview or export your video, it will have nice fade in and fade out effect.

I’m sure this is the most efficient way to apply fade in and out effects in iMovie and will be OK for the majority of the cases. However, this transition takes less than half a second and some people may find it slightly too quick. Luckily, there is another way to have more control over these effects in iMovie. Here’s how…

Another method to control fade in and out effects

We will use a completely different method now so go back to Settings and marked out the effects if you used the previous step.
Then click on the Transitions in the main menu. Transitions are really for linking two different clips or shots but there is nothing to stop us from using it as the fade in and out effects. There are many transitions available but for our purpose, the best one is probably Fade to Black (its location is shown below).

iMovie transition

In the next step, grab this Fade to black transition and drop it behind the clip on the timeline (to have fade-out effect). Then grab it again, and drop it on the timeline just before your clip (to have a fade-in effect).

iMovie transition

The default time of this effect is 1 second but you can increase it or decrease it if you like. Just click on the small icons that were created when you drop the transition, change the duration of the transition and apply it.

iMovie transition

OK, that is all. I hope you have found it useful and know how to quickly apply fade in and out effects in iMovie. As mentioned, I suppose the process is very similar when using other Apple devices like the iPhone or iPad.

Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions regarding this topic.

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