How to Add Frames to Video in iMovie

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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The powerful iMovie video editing tool is often used for unique enhancements in top box office movies. One of its notable effects is the Picture-in-Picture feature. When an image or other video clip is used to overlay a video, it is useful to watermark or tag a clip.

Read on to learn how to add an image over your video in iMovie using various devices.


How to Add Frames to Videos in iMovie on iPad

To add an image to your iMovie video using your iPad, follow these steps:


  1. Launch the "iMovie" application, press the "Create project" button, then select "Movie".
  2. In the upper left corner, tap "Media".
  3. Find the video you want to use as a background. Select it, then tap the little ticked circle below it. Tap "Create Movie" at the bottom of the screen to import your clip into the project.
  4. Position the “playhead” (the white vertical line) where you want the frame to appear on the video. Then tap the plus sign (+) button below the video preview.
  5. Tap "Photos" to find the image you want to use as an overlay. Choose the image, then tap the three-dot menu icon below it. Select the “Picture in Picture” option from the context menu. Your image will automatically start playing over your video from the start.
  6. To change the position of the image, tap on it to select it, hold to drag it along the event timeline.
  7. To change the duration of your image clip, select it, then press and hold to drag any of the edges of the image to make it shorter or longer.
  8. To change the position of your image in the frame, select it in the event timeline, then tap the middle four-arrow icon at the top right of the video preview. Drag your image on the preview to reposition it within the frame.
  9. To change the size of the image, tap the "Zoom" icon to the right of the preview, then use the pinch gesture to resize.
  10. Once you're happy with the settings, to save your project, tap "Done."

How to Add Frames to Videos in iMovie on Mac

To overlay your video clip with an image in iMovie on your Mac, follow these steps:



  1. Open “iMovie”. In the program menu, go to the “iMovie” tab and click on “Preferences”.
  2. In the programming window, check the “Show advanced tools” option, then close the window. In the "File" tab, choose "Import Movies".
  3. In the file selection window, find the video you want to overlay. It should be saved in MOV, MP4 or DV format. Select your video, then click "Choose" to import it into the app. It will appear in the “Event” timeline.
  4. Drag and drop the video from the "Event" timeline to the "Project Library" window.
  5. Find the image you want to overlay your video with. Drag and drop it onto your video in the "Project Library" window.
  6. In the pop-up menu, choose the “Picture-in-Picture” option. Your image overlay will be applied to your video.
  7. To adjust the length of the image overlay, drag the ends of the clip to a preferred runtime.
  8. Now move the image overlay to the desired position on the video. Drag the corners to resize the dimensions.
  9. Go to "Share" via the program menu, and choose an encoding option to export your video.
  10. Follow the onscreen instructions to save your file to a preferred location.

How to Add Frames to Videos in iMovie on iPhone

Here's how to add an image to your iMovie clip using your iPhone:


  1. Open "iMovie", press the "Create Project" button, then choose "Movie".
  2. Tap "Media" in the top left corner, then find the video you want to use as your background. Select it, then tap the little ticked circle below it.
  3. Choose "Create Movie" at the bottom of the screen to import your clip into the project.
  4. Position the white vertical line (playhead) where you want the frame to appear on the video. Then tap the plus sign (+) icon below the video preview.
  5. Tap "Photos" to find the image you want to use as an overlay. Select the image, then tap the three-dot menu icon. Choose the “Picture-in-Picture” option from the context menu. Your image will automatically start at the beginning of your clip.
  6. To reposition the image, tap to select it, then hold to drag and move it along the event timeline.
  7. To change the length of your image clip, select it, then press and hold to drag any of the edges to shorten or lengthen the duration.
  8. To change the position of your image in the frame, select it on the timeline, then tap the four arrows icon at the top right of the video preview. Then drag your image on the preview window to reposition it.
  9. To change the size of the image, tap the "Zoom" icon to the right of the preview, then use the pinch gesture to resize.
  10. Once you're happy with your settings, tap "Done" to save them.

Let's make a movie with iMovie

Apple's iMovie is a powerful application used to create high quality cinematic effects. It is designed for beginner filmmakers as well as experienced professionals.


One particular effect you can create with the desktop and mobile app versions is the "Picture-in-Picture" effect. You can use any iMovie-compatible movie as the background, then choose an image to overlay it. Then further edit the photo and video to get the desired effect.

What do you like most about iMovie? What projects have you created that you are incredibly proud of? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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