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iMovie: Change project resolution

I’ve been using Adobe Premiere pro for a while now, but am finding that I can’t really defend the cost of Adobe Creative Cloud. While having multicamera support has been very nice, the product quite simply is cost prohibitive for me, especially as it really only offers a single feature I need; the ability to sync clips based on their audio. For my needs, iMovie will suffice.

I shoot all my video in 1080p, and that is also my preferred resolution for exporting my projects when completed. I recently ran into a problem where I was unable to export a project in 1080p, as it only offered 720p resolution. Looking at the project settings I found that it was set to 720p, and there was no apparent way to change that.

As it turns out, iMovie sets the resolution of you project based on the first clip added to the timeline, and ignores the fact that other clips may have higher resolutions. Luckily, there is a simple way of changing the project resolution; simply highlight all the clips, cut them from the timeline, and then paste them back into the timeline; this will automatically set the project resolution to the highest resolution present among the imported clips.

3 Comments

  1. Tim

    Thanks for posting a concise answer to this issue. I’ve spent the last two hours re-building my project from scratch, and still with no luck -but the cut and paste trick fixed it immediately.

  2. Jeremy

    Hello, thanks for posting about this. By “cut and paste” do you mean from the “My Media” area or the timeline? I’m wondering if I’m going to have to rebuild the video…

    • You need to cut and paste it from and to the timeline. The project resolution is set by the first clip that is put into the timeline. The My Media area does not, as far as I know, figure into it. I’ll update the article to ensure that it is more clearly understandable.

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