Unlocking iMovie '09 & '11
***There is an update to this post that you can read here:***
How to add chapter markers: an addendum
We all heard Steve say it. "There are some people who still want to make DVDs." Classic. Sometimes I wonder if Steve concurrently lives 5 years in the future through some sort of dimension-straddling thing. It would sure explain a lot.
His statement speaks volumes about why chapter markers are no longer a feature of iMovie. Not living five years in the future and still wanting to make chapter markers? Here's how.
In various discussion forums, people have pointed out that you can still add chapter markers in GarageBand. This does still work and the process will be covered in detail here, mostly because the majority of us never really needed it before.
First, the previous option to send an iMovie to GarageBand has changed quite a bit. There is no longer an option to send a movie straight to GarageBand. Instead, you need to send it to the Media Browser. That is a process covered in this post: How to send movies to the media browser. You will need to send your movie to the media browser before going to GarageBand, and can read about doing it on that post.
Warning! Once you send a movie to the media browser, you will no longer be able to quickly switch back to iMovie to make a quick edit. If you make a change, you will have to re-export your movie. Before you plan on doing chapter markers in GarageBand, you are better off finishing your movie first.
On to GarageBand
Once you have sent a movie to the Media Browser, you will be leaving iMovie for good, so go ahead and close it if you'd like. Launch GarageBand, and when it prompts you for what kind of project to create, create a new podcast episode. (If you have already worked in GarageBand before, it might open an old project when it launches. Just close that project and this window will appear.)
You will need to create a dedicated GarageBand project, which means you will need to name and save it somewhere before you can start working on it. This also means you will want to save this file at least until you have your DVD exactly as you like it. Luckily, there is no export process to move the movie from GarageBand to iDVD. You can jump back to GarageBand, adjust your chapter markers, and send it out to iDVD without waiting minutes for the movie to be re-encoded.
I'm in GarageBand. Now what?
Now that you are in GarageBand, you are ready to add the movie track to your timeline window and get to work. The Media Browser may not be showing right now. You can bring it up by clicking this button:
You can also get to the Media Browser by selecting "Show Media Browser" in the Control menu.
Once you are in it, select the Movies button, then open the iMovie part of your list. Your window will look something like this:
Selecting an iMovie project will show you a list of all the various qualities available for that project.
Because we are sending this to iDVD, choose the highest quality version of your movie. Drag it and drop it into your timeline right into the podcast track. Once you do, you will get this message:
Of course, you aren't doing a podcast, so changing the track to a movie track is no big deal. You will notice that a new audio track has appeared below the movie track. Don't get your hopes up that you can do some detailed audio editing. This track combines all of the audio into one. So unless you get excited by being able to mute all the sound, music, and anything else you added, this track will not do what you wanted.
Now that you have your track in place, you can begin adding chapters. The simplest way to to get the playhead where you want to add a chapter marker and hit the letter "p" on your keyboard. If you would rather click a button, make sure that you have the movie track selected in the timeline, which will give you this at the bottom of the window:
You won't see the red star, but you will see the button. With each added chapter marker, you will notice a yellow diamond at that point in the timeline above. To add another chapter, move the playhead again, hit "p" or click the button again. Rinse and repeat.
Working with chapter markers
Once you have created some chapter markers, you can change their names and their timing. Changing the name is important because those names will import into iDVD. (If you don't like a name, you can still change it in iDVD, but I think setting chapter names is easier to do here.) Setting the timing here is important because you can't simply drag a chapter marker in the timeline to change it. You have to enter the new time in manually. Click on the timecode and set the time you want. You also change the names by clicking on them.
Of course, you can always delete a chapter marker and add a new one in its place. To delete a chapter, highlight the entire chapter marker by clicking on it and press the delete key on your keyboard.
One other important point to make about chapter markers is that if you don't set a custom chapter marker at the very beginning, iDVD will add one for you automatically and will name it "Start". You can prevent this by setting a chapter at the very beginning or you can just delete that chapter once you get into iDVD.
Sending it to iDVD
This is the easiest part of your journey. Go to the Share menu and select "Send to iDVD."
iDVD will launch, automatically create a new DVD project, and place your movie and set up a chapter selection menu just like you used to see when you sent a movie there from iMovieHD.
As is always the case, please share if you have any suggestions, questions, or comments.