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How To Create A Dream Sequence Effect?

Posted In iMovie - By Techtiplib on Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 With No Comments »

Use iMovie’s transitions and effects to differentiate between daydreams and daytimes

Dream sequences often occur in dramas, so we’re familiar with the ways that they can be represented on-screen. One trope is to use a ripple transition that signifies the start of the daydream sequence. iMovie’s Transitions browser is up to the challenge of adding a traditional ripple effect, but by mixing the transition with footage of rippling water you can make the effect look less cheesy and more relevant to your narrative.

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Another way to differentiate your project’s daydream footage from reality is to use iMovie’s preset video effects to alter colours and tones. Indeed there is a preset Dream effect that blows out highlights and desaturates colours, but the results aren’t very attractive. We’ll demonstrate other effects that help create a more colourful daydream look.


Step-by-step Transition in and out of daydreams

Step 1: Import clips

Choose File>New Event. Label the event ‘Dream Event’. Choose File>New Movie. Label the movie ‘Daydream’. Click Import and Shift+click to select our source clips. Click Import Selected.

Step 2: Show Skimmer Info

Go to View>Show Skimmer Info. You can now move the cursor over an imported clip and its name will pop up. Double-click to select Shot01. Click the ‘+’ icon to add it to the Timeline.

Step 3: Add ripple transition

Add Shot02 to the timeline. Go to the Content Library panel and click on Transitions. Drag the Ripple transition between Shot01 and Shot02. By default the transition runs for 1.0 seconds

Step 4: Create longer transitions

Double-click on the transition icon. Set Duration to 2.0 seconds. Click Apply. In the warning window, click OK to shorten the two clips while increasing the transition’s duration. 

Step 5: Add dream clips

Click back on the Dream Event. Select and add Shot03, Shot04 and Shot05 to the Timeline to complete the dream sequence. Drag the Zoom slider to see all the clips in the Timeline.

Step 6: Add video effect

Click on Shot02. Click the Adjust icon above the viewer. Click the Video and Audio effects icon. Click the Video Effect drop-down menu. Click to apply the Romantic preset effect to the clip.

Step 7: Copy and paste

Click on the clip that features the Romantic effect. Choose Edit>Copy. Now click on the

other daydream clips in turn and choose Edit>Paste Adjustments>Video Effect.

Step 8: End the sequence

Double-click to select Shot06 and click the ‘+’ icon to place it at the end of the Timeline. Add another 2.0 second Ripple transition to end the daydream sequence back to return to reality. 

Step 9: Add music

Click the Sound Effects browser and go to the Jingles folder. Drag Watercolor Long into the Timeline. Drag the fade-in icon to make the music begin during the first transition.

Dream Effects: Signify A Dream Sequence With Transitions And Video Effects

Sound levels

Shot05 features some distracting chatter, so we need to fade that down. Click on Shot05 in the Timeline and click Adjust. Click on Volume. Drag the Adjust Volume slider left to reduce the sound levels of that particular clip. Alternatively you can click on a clip’s Adjust Volume bar in the Timeline itself and reduce the height of the audio waveform.

Dreamy transitions

The Ripple effect from the Transitions browser enables us to mix from reality to our daydream sequence in a classic way. The ripple transition also complements the rippling water in our source clips

Transition properties

By double-clicking on a transition in the Timeline you can adjust its duration. Click Apply to All to make any other transitions in the sequence have a consistent duration

Video effects

The Choose Video Effects panel adjusts the selected clip’s colours and tones in a click. We used the Romantic preset effect to give the edge of our daydream shots a dreamy soft focus vignette effect

Fade out or in

To make your dream sequence’s music track fade out at the end of the project, click and drag this control point. You can also use a similar control point to fade the music in at the start of the dream sequence

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