In older versions of iMovie you could edit the RGB channels of a clip independently. In the current iMovie 10 you can't. It doesn't seem to be a widespread feature, tried Shotcut and Video Pad so far as well as QuickTime Player and VLC.

Do you know of a free or low priced Mac app that can do this? Final Cut and After Effects are overkill for just this quite basic function.

  • What do you mean by "edit", manipulate gamma curves etc. Or edit as in cut / trim etc? Depending on your computer, you can use davinci resolve, which is free and can definitely separate rgb channels, or fusion (both now belong to blackmagic design). If you want to try something open-source with lower system requirements and are not looking for editing but image manipulation, try Natron: natron.fr Mar 20, 2016 at 22:11
  • Well, in this case it's about doing an RGB split effect and I couldn't find a suitable video effect in iMovie for this. I actually haven't tried any third party effects as those 2 free ones I found were long gone and commercial alternative are hard to evaluate. My objective here was to be able to animate the separate channels somewhat. I'd prefer a video effect with controllable parameters, but though I'd do it with 3 clips of pure R, G and B channels stacked on top of each other. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm trying both. I'll let you know if any of these two work out for me.
    – MiB
    Mar 24, 2016 at 22:38
  • Do you mean the dynamic RGB delay effect? Could you please link us to the specific effect you are trying to achieve? Also, do you want to process the whole video or a selected clip? Would you mind using a separate software to process an individual video file?
    – Tony Sepia
    Jun 18, 2017 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


Apple's Motion has a wide variety of useful effects for this sort of thing. It's not clear which iMovie filter you were using (a built-in one, or a 3rd party one?), but Motion offers a Channel Mixer filter, and includes a Levels filter which can work on individual channels. (You can see the docs for Color Correction Filters here.) In addition, Motion also supports 3rd party effects, and there are a ton of them that could do what you need. (It's hard to give exact details without more info from you about what you need, though.)

  • Thanks for the suggestion. Motion is interesting but probably overkill for the application I intended (RGB Split). I'll keep it in mind. I didn't know it was still around.
    – MiB
    Mar 24, 2016 at 22:40

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