Filed Under: Apps, How to Edit, Multimedia

How to Time-Lapse a Video on iMovie


Written by Jack Lin

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iMovie Time-Lapse

iMovie time-lapse is a pretty impressive video effect that can be used for various purposes.

So, are you reading this article to learn How to time-lapse a video on iMovie? If so, you can go ahead and learn how to do it using the most appropriate method.

An Introduction to iMovie Time Lapse

As per this method, you are supposed to reduce the frequency or the overall speed of the video.

In fact, the video editing technique of “Time Lapse” slows down the frame rate or frequency of a movie. As a result, it appears in rapid succession over a lengthy period of time. With that, you can show the passage of time.

Use iMovie time-lapse technique to capture sunrises, flower openings, cloud motions, and more. It is possible to use iMovie’s time-lapse, which is simple to use but is effective.

This is particularly true if you are interested in iMovie time-lapse photography. This article will walk you through the entire process of How to time-lapse a video on iMovie.

PS: let’s figure out how to change the aspect ratio in iMovie.

Part 1: How to Time-lapse a Video on iMovie using a Mac Computer?

You can use the techniques below how to time-lapse a video on iMovie.

  • You can import any video clip you want to time-lapse into iMovie from the Library on your Mac. The video can be dragged into the timeline. It is possible to see more frames by clicking “setting bar” below the preview window.
Time-Lapse a Video on iMovie on Mac
  • Now, the video whose speed you wish to alter should be selected to proceed. The clock icon is located at the top of the window that provides a preview. Afterward, go to “Speed” and then “Fast.” You can now select a frame rate of 8 or 20 times the normal rate. Once you are satisfied with the time-lapse video, you can share it with others.
The clock icon on Time Lapse
  • Finally, you may opt to store the iMovie or share that to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo directly. You can do it by clicking on the “Share” button.

It’s important to keep in mind that making a time-lapse iMovie video with version 9 is somewhat difficult. To change the speed of a video clip, you must first double-click on it in the timeline. After that, you can open the Inspector windows.

change the speed of a video clip

Besides, if you wonder how to remove background noise in iMovie, these guides you should check out.

Part 2: iMovie Time Lapse on an iOS Device

Please follow below simple instructions to create a time-lapse using an iOS device.

  • Open the iMovie application on the iPad or iPhone and begin editing your video. To create a time-lapse in iMovie, click the “Projects” button at the top, then “Create Project.”
iMovie time lapse on an iOS device
  • The clock symbol on the bottom of the timeline can be accessed by tapping the video. That means you should do it on the timeline. Then you’ll be able to view the speed control bar.
view the speed control bar
  • Try several speeds until you obtain the best results with your iMovie film. To save and distribute your iMovie time lapse, simply click the “Done” button so it will be completed.

Part 3. How to Time-lapse a Video on iMovie using Wondershare Filmora (the Best Alternative)

Well, Wondershare Filmora is a powerful and well-liked video editing tool for Mac users. If you are wondering about how to time-lapse a video on iMovie, this is the most comprehensive application. It is developed to be exceptionally handy and useful even if you are a novice user. If you want to make time-lapse videos, this is the finest iMovie alternative for Mac.

In the video-editing industry, Filmora Video Editor is a force to be reckoned with. For generating time-lapse videos without a lot of work, this software provides a variety of editing options. On top of that, it includes plenty of other editing tasks like color correction, animation templates, and faceoffs.

Main Features Associated with Wondershare Filmora

First, let’s take a look at the most notable features associated with Wondershare Filmora. This list of features will give you a clear idea of the capabilities of this app.

  • A wide variety of text & titles to fit any occasion.
  • It comes with an easy-to-use interface for video editing (compatible with animated text as well).
  • Support for adding custom tracks to the library, as well as a range of music to choose from.
  • Professional-looking overlays & filters that can be used to enhance your video.
  • Any device can play nearly every common video, music, and photo format (smartphones, camcorders, digital cameras, etc.).

How to Make a Time-lapse Using Wondershare Filmora? (or, How to Use Filmora Instead of iMovie Time-lapse)?

Please follow below simple instructions if you want to create time-lapse movies using Wondershare Filmora. All these steps are mentioned in a very simple format so you can follow them easily.

01. First, get the video imported to Filmora.

First, drag & drop the image/video files into the project. To import a movie or photo into the software, click the “Import Media” button.


02. Create the Time-lapse Effect

Add your video to the timeline by dragging it. Double-click the video to open a window where you can change the video’s parameters. After that, you should navigate to the “Speed” menu and use the slider to change the speed. Click “Play” to see what you’ve accomplished.

How to time-lapse a video on iMovie using Filmora

03. Save the File You Have Created

You can save your creation by clicking the “Export” button when you’ve finished editing the video. It’s usually best to use Wondershare Filmora when creating time-lapse videos.

Export Settings

So, you can understand how easy it is to use Wondershare Filmora to get your video editing tasks done. In fact, apart from time-lapsing, Filmora offers plenty of other features for you to create professional videos. So, if you wonder about how to time-lapse a video on iMovie, Wondershare Filmora is the best option.

What You Should Know About Wondershare Filmora

If you want to get a better idea about Wondershare Filmora, you can read this review by our experts.

A few new capabilities have been added to Filmora for macOS, including Auto Reframe. This feature crops broad content to suit social-post proportions. Be it either the squared Instagram layout or the upright phone view for “stories.” 

Go ahead and choose a new project or use the two-finger tap menu option on a video. It can be located in the source panel to activate Auto Reframe.

● Sharing Options

FLV, AVI, HEVC, MOV, MKV, WMV, and MP4 are just a few of the output formats available in Filmora. Even animated GIFs are available. Quality choices of Best, Better and Good are available when exporting to a compatible file format.

It can not only Time-Lapse a Video on iMovie, but also create and upload videos to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and other social media sites. In addition to that, it lets you burn DVDs through this software.

However, unlike some other video editors, you don’t get DVD menu panels and chapters. The latest, more effective H.265 codec is also supported.

● Audio Options

Additional music can be added to Filmora’s 172 pre-recorded background songs. Tender & Sentimental and Young & Bright are two examples of subcategories within the collection.

However, there is no auto-fitting feature like in Premiere Elements. A comprehensive audio mixer allows you to change the volume and panning of each individual track. Ducking audio is made simple by dragging its timeline’s audio waves up and down.

● Silence Detection

Newer beta technologies include Auto Normalization and Silence Detection. In contrast, Adobe and CyberLink’s Denoise options aren’t sophisticated enough to match them. You can record a narration by pressing the microphone button situated beneath the preview window.

● Text Effects

Filmora has more than 200 well-designed title & font designs, some of which include unique animations. That does make title and text creation a breeze. That said, even the most elaborately created title templates are modifiable in the video preview. Using its Advanced Text dialog, you can change your text’s typeface, motion, and color fill.

The ability to use video to fill in text characters is missing from PowerDirector and Premiere Elements. However, if you can use a photo instead, that would be exceptionally beautiful and elegant. Apart from text, it is possible to choose from a wide variety of objects & shapes.

● A Large Number of Transitions

For the first time, Filmora users may search for transitions by name. There are ten categories;

  • Basic
  • Ripple & Dissolve
  • 3D
  • Warp
  • Speed Blur
  • Lifestyle
  • Linear
  • Slideshow
  • Filmstock
  • Plain Shape
  • Favorites

That allows you to quickly access the items you use most frequently. In contrast to most other programs, Filmora provides schematic illustrations to explain how the transitions work.

Thankfully, sliding the timeline entry of the transition with the mouse immediately snaps toward the midpoint between clips. That does make it a breeze. The length of a transition can also be changed simply by dragging the edge. A panel is opened when you double-click a transition entry to choose between the options.

Part 4: Questions about iMovie & How to Time-Lapse a Video on iMovie

Well, in this section of our article, we explain some of the most common questions asked about iMovie. These questions will provide you with a good idea about the nature of this application.

Is it possible to reverse a video using iMovie?

Yes. It is possible. Your video may have been recorded in the wrong orientation at times. In iMovie, it’s a good idea to reverse it. Take the video that should be reversed and put it in iMovie for Mac. You may reverse that in iMovie by clicking on its Clock tab. It is located in the viewer. After that, you can select the Reverse option.

How to increase the speed of a video using iMovie?

Select your video clip in iMovie’s timeline and drag it to the desired location. Select “Fast” from its Speed pop-up menu by clicking the Speed button. To set the speed, select a speed from the drop-down menu.

How long does a 30-second video take to play in time-lapse?

A two-second time-lapse will be used for the time-lapse. Video clips of 30 seconds or less are typically compressed 15 times.

Can I import time-lapse videos captured with a separate camera into iMovie?

Absolutely! You can import time-lapse videos captured with a separate camera into iMovie for further editing and enhancement.

Are there any additional tools or plugins that can enhance the time-lapse effect in iMovie?

While iMovie provides a wide range of built-in tools and effects, you can explore third-party plugins or applications to further enhance the time-lapse effect in your videos.


In conclusion, iMovie provides an easy and intuitive way to create captivating time-lapse videos. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you can transform your ordinary videos into visually stunning time-lapse masterpieces that capture the essence of the passing time. Let your creativity flow and experiment with different speeds, effects, and transitions to make your time-lapse videos truly unique.



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