Getting real 60 frames – second smooth fluid slow motion in iMovie

(Post in english, on popular demand)

I’ve gotten a lot of questions how I got so nice slowmotion pictures from my helmetcam (GoPro Hero HD)…without getting jerky when you edit in iMovie.

This is how to get a nice smooth fluid slow-mo in iMovie:

1: Things you got to know:

(you need a 60fps camera.)

How many frames / second is a movie?

> Open the movie in Quicktime.
> Advance frame by frame (use your cursor arrow key. One press = one frame forward/backward)
> Look at the timer. Keep pressing (and counting) your arrow/cursor key and look when the timer advances from 00:00:00 to 00:00:01 .
> How many times did you press: 30? its a 30fps movie. 60? its a 60fps movie. No rocketscience ehm?

2: Now what about those movie clips?

2a: Here’s the original 20 seconds clip I got from my Helmet Camera:

Original GoPro Hero (14 seconds) 720P 60fps Helmetcam footage
(14 seconds , 720P, 60 frames per second, saved as a .mov file. 27,9mb)

2b: This is what it looks like after Slowmotion in iMovie

– import this in iMovie, and slow it down to 50% (doubleclick it: move the slider from the Bunny to the Turtle, untill the % counter to the right of it reads 50% (you can type it in there also, goes faster…):

Now export this, and see how smooth that goes :
You get a double length clip, at half the speed. iMovie just dropped 1 frame every other frame. You got a (jerky) slowmotion

iMovie Slowed Down to 50%  (28 seconds) GoPro Hero 720P 30fps Helmetcam footage
(28 seconds 720P, 30 frames per second, saved as a .mov file. 16,1 mb)

3: How to get it right

3a: Get the MovieEdit application

MovieEdit is a nice application that just takes e.g.  a 60fps per second 14 seconds clip, and saves it in a 30fps 28 seconds clip. (Mac Only…please send me a PC alternative if you know one…). You can download MovieEdit from this location Big thankYou for Mr MountainMoto, it’s creator.

3b: slow the movie down

Just open the original movie (  in MovieEdit , save as . This is the result

MovieEdit Slowed Down to 50%  (28 seconds) GoPro Hero 720P 30fps Helmetcam footage
(28 seconds 720P, 30 frames per second, saved as a .mov file. 27,9 mb)

Vwoila, there you go…This clip can now be used in iMovie as a regular movie clip. No need to slow it down there.

Please feel free to comment and send me more tips!

11 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. donotfold says:

    Great! Tnx! You need to delete the “/blog/” part in your last video link though.

  2. Jos Vorkmans says:

    Done…thx for the remark…

  3. truetifoso says:

    How do I get even smoother pictures at slower rates (e.g. 10%).

    Please check out a video I made:

    As you will see, the main image is really jerky as opposed to the really smooth inset shots.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  4. Jos Vorkmans says:

    I think the video you are using in the inset shot has far more frames/second then the one in the main frame. That looks like a professional hi-speed camera footage

  5. Erik says:

    I just got a GoPro HERO HD… and the output files are .MP4 not .MOV like your original clip (possibly because of a firmware change over time).

    It does not appear that Movie Edit supports .MP4 files.

    Have you found an alternative?


  6. Derek says:

    Just rename extension on your file from .mp4 to .mov and you’re done. Both: MovieEdit and Quicktime (which libraries MovieEdit reuses behind the scenes) support mp4 format, it just that filtering in MovieEdit needs to be updated. Once you rename, everything will work out fine. When you’re done saving the new, slowed-down clip in MovieEdit, you can rename it back to .mp4 as this is the correct format for clips shot with GoPro Hero.

  7. Chris says:

    The MoveiEdit application will not work on my mac. I’m running OSX 10.5.8. Is that a problem? Also is there another program that will work?

  8. Seb says:

    Wow, this was VERY HELPFULL! Works perfectly, thanks a lot!
    Stupid that iMovie can’t deal those 60fps. Probably something they’ll handle soon.

  9. paul says:

    can it take a 100 fps to a 50 fps video?

  10. Jos Vorkmans says:

    The movie edit software is a bit outdated now. There are alternate ways nowadays (August 2012). You can use GoPro Cineform Studio (free GoPro software) to do this; which is much easier…it does conversions from a range of frame speeds.

  11. paul says:

    oke thx!!

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