Is it possible to increase the length of time that the fade in/out from/to black takes when editing a video in iMovie (added using the Settings pop-up menu in the video timeline(?) panel at the bottom of the iMovie window (apologies if I'm not using the correct terminology))?

(I have to say that I don't find the iMovie interface particularly intuitive and that it seems to be a little fiddly to try to change effects once you have added them to a video. I tried searching, but I couldn't find anything in the Help about this.)

4 Answers 4


No, you cannot change the fade time in Settings > Fade Out to Black.

Even the manual Transitions > Fade to Black does not work well because it fades to black too quickly (in about 1/3 of the duration of the transition), then it's black for the remaining 2/3 of the duration.

If you want a linear fade to black that you can set the duration, just add a Cross Dissolve to the end of the timeline and set the Duration of transition.

  • And thanks again for finding a simpler solution (In the end I didn't manage to investigate this properly; I had numerous problems getting iMovie to correctly 'remember' the timepoints for captions and time/frame adjustments that I made, so that creating my edited videos was extremely awkward. I don't know if perhaps my Mac just has too little RAM, or if iMovie is somewhat glitchy, but I think I will try a different video editing solution if I need to do similar again!)
    – dave559
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 11:47

Edit: Later, I found a much easier solution using Cross Dissolve (see https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/268993/50985 ). So I don't recommend these steps anymore, but I'm leaving it here for educational purposes.

No, you cannot change the fade time in Settings > Fade Out to Black.

Even the manual Transitions > Fade to Black does not work well, it still fades too quickly. It already reaches black merely 33% into the duration of the transition. I spent hours and figured out a workaround (messy but achieves the desired result).

Let's say you want a fade to black in the last 5 seconds of your video. To achieve that, you will need to set the Transitions > Fade to Black to 15 seconds so that it will fade to black in 5 seconds. Then we will throw away the extra 10 seconds (not trivial).

  • Add your clip to the timeline.
  • Modify > Detach Audio. (This is necessary because the audio fades slower than the video. The video is black around 33% into the duration, whereas the audio can still be heard about 90% into the duration).
  • Go to the end of the audio clip and drag the audio handle to the left to create a 5s audio fade out.
  • Modify > Add Freeze Frame. Then click on the freeze frame and change the Duration to 10s in the preview panel. (This adds the extra 10 second pad at the end).
  • Drag the Transitions > Fade to Black effect to the end of the timeline. Double click on it to change the Duration to 15s. (The timeline will look messed up, but it's okay).
  • Play your video and make sure the fade to black is satisfactory (video and audio). There should be an extra 10s of black silence at the end.
  • File > Share > File to export an mp4 video.
  • Open the mp4 video with QuickTime.
  • Edit > Trim. Drag the right handle left by 10s and click Trim.
  • File > Save to save the trimmed mp4 file. (I'm pretty sure this is a lossless trim because it saved a 100MB video instantly).
  • Now view the final mp4 video to make sure everything is right.

See how easy and intuitive Mac software is? (I did the same thing in Windows Movie Maker in one step).

  • Thanks, I upvoted this answer in appreciation of your time and effort in researching this possible solution (I don't currently have enough points for this to show!).
    – dave559
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 11:44

Instead of using Fade out to black in project settings, I ended up adding Cross Dissolve transition to the end, selecting it, and adjusting its duration in Precision Editor, which could be opened by right-click > Show Precision Editor or Window (in the menu) > Show Precision Editor.


Try Adding a black background / image that last .07 second and then adding cross Dissolve transition - a good work-around for a fade in or out from black.

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