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#43-Create a Video Welcome Using iMovie

December 17, 2004


To play this welcome video click on the arrow on the left in the control bar.

Tired of that ho-hum webpage of yours, but aren’t sure what to do with it? Or perhaps you teach a fully online class and you want your students to “see and hear” you during the semester? This LTA will show you how you can create a brief video welcome that you can post on your home page or course web site. This LTA will use iMovie, a software program that comes free on most Macintosh computeres. The finished product of this LTA will be a brief (30-45 s) video that can be published online.

LTA Credits

Nancy Bowers
Instructional Design and Technology Solutions 66 Birch Dr.
Potsdam, NY 13676


LTA Audience

This LTA is moderately challenging and is geared towards individuals who are comfortable around a variety of technologies (e.g., computers, video cameras, webpages). iMovie, however, is very user-friendly and even novice technology users who are willing to work at it should be able to accomplish this LTA. Users, however, should be familiar with digital video cameras and webpage creation.

  • Macintosh computer running OS X (or 9.x) and firewire capable
  • At least 2 GB free hard disk space
  • 256 MB RAM
  • iMovie 4.0 (instructions are very similar for 3.0)
  • Access to a digital video camera that has firewire capability
  • Tripod (optional)
  • External microphone (optional)

LTA Outcomes

After completing this LTA, users should be able to:

  1. Storyboard a brief video message and videotape it
  2. Capture/import video into iMovie
  3. Complete basic video editing
  4. Export video from iMovie in a format compatible with web-based delivery
  5. Embed video in a webpage for easy viewing

Clicking on the links above will take you to a detailed description of each step. Have fun with this LTA. Make your webpage stand out and engage your visitors!

How Much Time Will this Take?

If you are like me, videotaping your message will take the greatest amount of time. For example, the message on this page took me about 30 min to videotape (I am a little too finicky sometimes). After you videotape your message, it should take a few minutes to interface your camera with your Macintosh computer and to open iMovie. Next, it should take you literally seconds (however long your video is) to capture your message and then a few minutes to edit your message. Another minute or two to export your video for web publishing and 5-10 minutes to create and publish a webpage containing your video. So, conservatively speaking, it should take you somewhere between 1 to 2 hours to create your first web-based video message!


Do not abuse your use of online video; it may seriously tax the bandwidth of your visitors. Also, if you use video in an online course, be sure that you provide an alternative source (e.g., a CD) for students who may have trouble accessing them online.

Storyboard your Video Welcome and Record It

Before you videotape your message, take a few moments to determine the objective for creating your video. For example:

  • to introduce yourself to students who visit your course webpage,
  • to introduce your research interests to visitors of your homepage,
  • to introduce your research interests to visitors of your homepage,
  • to introduce new course materials each week in your online course, or
  • to deliver the joke of the week in your online course.

Then, jot down what you want to say. Read through it a couple of times and see how long it takes. Plan on no more than 30 – 45 s. When you actually videotape your message, however, try not to read your script. The script should be used as a guide. Here is an example:

“Hello! My name is Nancy Bowers. This week’s LTA will show you how to create a video welcome message, such as this, using iMovie, a software package freely available on most Macintosh computers. Even the novice computer user will find iMovie intuitive and fun to use. Come, take a moment to find out just how easy it is to post a video message on your own webpage!”

Once you know what message you want your video to convey, you will need to videotape it using a digital video camera. You can do this in your office if you have the equipment, or solicit assistance from your audio/visual or media department. You will need access to:

  • a digital video camera with a DVD tape,
  • a good light source,
  • a tripod, and
  • an external microphone if possible.

Good lighting and an external microphone will ensure a good final product. As you record your message, don’t worry if you stumble a little. Just pause and repeat the section that you stumbled over. You will be able to edit your video in iMovie.

Capture/import Video into iMovie

First you will need to connect your camera to your computer and turn the camera on. A firewire cable should have come with your camera if it is firewire enabled. Refer to your camera’s manual if you are not sure how to plug it in.

FirewireAt the right is a diagram of the end of the firewire that you will need to plug in to your Macintosh computer and the port that it gets plugged into. Complete the connections and turn your camera on. Set it to VTR (or VCR). Be sure that your DV tape is loaded.

Second, turn on your computer and open iMovie. Once iMovie has opened, click on File > New project to begin a new project. You will be prompted to provide a name for your project. The large blue area of the screen should have a message on it that says “Camera connected.” If not, be sure your camera is on and the firewire is correctly connected.

Now that you are in iMovie, you will need to capture your video to your computer. Be sure that the “Camera” mode is selected (see image below) and use the playback controls in iMovie to operate your video camera. Click Rewind if you need to cue your video and then click on Play.


When you get to the first scene that you want to begin to capture, click on the Import button. Your clip will be placed in the Clip panes area in the upper right. To stop importing, click the Import button again. Do not worry if you go past the end of your video message, you can edit out that portion next.

Complete Basic Video Editing

After you have captured your video, turn off and disconnect your camera. To edit your video in iMovie, switch to Edit mode and click on the your clip in the Clip panes. Your video should now appear in the iMovie monitor window. To preview your video, click on the Play button (see below). You can also use the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard to view your video one frame at a time.


You can either Trim portions of your clip or Crop your clip. In the above example, the Right crop marker has been dragged to mark the section of the clip to be trimmed. Clicking on the Delete key will remove the yellow area.

Alternatively, cropping preserves the marked area. In the case above, cropping would delete the end of the clip. To crop a clip, click on Edit > If you accidentlly remove a portion of your video you want to keep, click on Edit > Undo.

Use the crop markers to select and trim off excess footage at the beginning and end of your video. If you need to remove any stumbles in the middle of your video, preview your video and check the timing where the error occurs. Drag the Right crop marker to slightly past where your error. Then drag the Left crop marker to slightly before the error. Then, carefully adjust the crop markers to select just the frames that include the error to be removed. When you are ready, click on the Delete key. Play your video to be sure that you are satisfied with the results.

Finally, click on your clip in the Clip pane and drag it to the Clip viewer, located beneath the Clip monitor window.


Embed Video in a Webpage

he following instructions assume some familiarity with HTML. An “embedded” video is one that appears directly on the page, usually with a control bar for starting and stopping the video. If you already have a webpage that you want to embed the video in, Below is the minimum code necessary for embedding a video. Copy and paste this code in the location on the page where you would like your video to be displayed.

<html>  <head>  <title>Video Welcome</title>  </head>  <body>  <object CLASSID="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B"      CODEBASE="http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab">  <param NAME="src" VALUE="lta43.mov">  <param NAME="pluginspage" VALUE="http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/">  <embed WIDTH="240" HEIGHT="196" SRC="lta43.mov"      PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.apple.com/quicktime/ download/index.html" AUTOPLAY="false">  </embed>  </object>  </body>  </html>

The only items you need to edit are bolded. The title of the page (this is the title of the page on which your video will be displayed), the file name of your video, and the height and width if you export your video as something other than “Web”. Note that in order for the control bar to appear properly, you need to add 16 pixels to the height of a movie.

There are a number of other attributes that can be used to customize the appearance of your movie, please consult Apple’s iMovie and QuickTime support pages for more information.

Once you have created your video and the webpage on which it will be displayed, you will need to publish BOTH files to a web server, using a program such as Fetch or WS_FTP.

Here are some additional online resources you may find useful:



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