frame edit


what is it?
frame edit is a drawing plug-in for iMovie. it lets you edit every single frame of your video clip, and then directly integrates the changes into your clip -- all from within iMovie.

frame edit sports direct (on-screen at 1:1 resolution for both DV NTSC and DV PAL), non-destructive (until you apply changes) editing with the following tools:

  • multiple brush sizes (1x1 to 8x8)
  • millions of colors (pick directly from clip or use color picker)
  • 256 levels of opacity for all tools (pen, line, fill, smudge, and picture)
  • fill
  • lines / boxes
  • stippled (dashed) lines with user-controlled stipple size
  • direct import/placement and re-size of pictures (with direct control of opacity)
  • smudge tool to get rid of those small errors


price : USD 4.50

version 1.4.1

begin to shine through. the setting of the opacity slider determines how much of the clip's original color will be blended into the pixel.

tool pop-up:
this little pop-up allows you to choose what clicking into the clip's surface will do:

when the pen is selected, clicking into the clip will paint onto the canvas in the currently selected color and transparency. if you paint over parts of the canvas that already have been painted in, the color and transparency are overwritten with the new color and transparency.

this tool creates straight lines between the point you clicked and the point you are dragging the tool. this tool uses the ‘spacing’ slider setting, allowing you to draw stippled (dashed) lines.

hollow rectangle:

this tool frames a rectangle between the point you clicked and the point you are dragging the mouse. this tool uses the ‘spacing’ slider setting, allowing you to draw stippled (dashed) rectangles.

filled rectangle:
this tool paints a rectangle filled with the current color from the point you clicked to the point you are dragging the mouse.

fill (paint bucket):
fills a shape on the canvas with the currently selected color and transparency. the shape to fill must be on the canvas (else the whole canvas will be filled). be sure that the shape is closed, else the color will spill out.

the eraser tool only erases anything on the canvas - not on the movie clip itself. painting with the eraser thus restores this portion of the clip to it's original state.

color pick-up:
clicking into the clip's surface will simply feed the current color (plus any color you have added with the canvas) into the drawing color box.

this tool will take the colors from the clip (and canvas simultaneously!), and mix them, creating a smearing effect as if you rubbed on the surface with your finger.
the smudge tool uses the opacity and pen size settings.

pen size pop-up:
this pop-up defines the size of the pen. you can choose from 1x1 to 8x8 sized pens.

line spacing slider:
this slider is used in conjunction with the line and hollow rectangle tools. it enables you to use stippled (‘dashed’) lines. you set the spacing with this slider. if the slider is all the way to the left, then the line will be solid.

add picture button:
pressing this button lets you add a picture to the canvas. the picture is loaded from disk (any picture your mac understands can be loaded. note that because of the special way pictures are combined with the canvas, pictures with transparency are not supported the normal way: the transparent color will be preplaced by black. recombination with the canvas is supported though, so that whatever is on the canvas already will integrate with the transparen parts of the imported picture.

directly after importing a picture, you can drag and resize it by manipulating the picture’s frame and handles. once you click outside the picture, it becomes integrated into the canvas. the picture import uses the transparency slider to determine the picture’s overall transparency while integrating with the canvas.


live update (movie slider, forward, backward):
use this slider to pre-view the current clip. all canvas modifications are applied in real-time. dragging the slider allows you to quickly move through the whole clip. to fine-select the frame want, use the forward ('>') and backward ('<') buttons. these buttons allow you to step through the clip frame by frame.

removes everything from the canvas, wiping it 'clean'.

when enabled, pressing this button will undo your last action (how many times did you wish you had this button in real life?).

DV Size pop-up
this pop-up menu lets you select the canvas size to work on. we currently support three different canvas sizes: VGA (640x480), NTSC DV (720x480) and PAL DV (720x576).

switching canvas size will destroy the canvas, and start over with an empty one. this operation can’t be undone.

there is also an issue with the way iMovie calls the plug in-between screen refreshes. sometimes, switching the canvas size can crash iMovie. we are still looking into this.

 all contents 2003-2010 by cf/x


what should I use it for?
frame edit is a movie repair, retouch, and annotating tool. use it to

  • post-production (remove errors and/or artifacts)
  • special effects

please note that we have two related plug-ins (‘movie canvas’ and ‘simple canvas’) that provide similar features, except that their focus is on annotation rather than restoration/special f/x



pen color:
clicking into the color box will bring up the system's color picker.

drawing onto the canvas doesn't simply replace the color beneath the pen. if you choose anything less than full opacity, the color beneath the pen will