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Movie freezes when using transparent picture-in-picture

5431 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2013 5:14 PM by doebtown RSS
HGU Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 5, 2010 6:45 AM
Hi! I want to use speech bubbles in iMovie 11 and have made them with transparent background in png-format and iPhoto-format. When I insert them using picture-in-picture the movie plays but the overlayed movie freezes. Has anyone tried using transparent pictures in iMovie?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2010 10:55 AM (in response to HGU)
    If you make a PIP, be sure to make it in the same dimensions as your movie material (e.g. 1920x1080, 640x480, etc.)

    For this reason, I would recommend that you maybe get a still from the movie. Then make a full size PNG with your speech bubble. Then drag this PNG into your movie as a Cutaway rather than a PIP.
    iMac 24 2.8Ghz, iPhone, TV, Mac OS X (10.6.5), Panasonic HDC-SD5 iMovie 11
  • Take Flight Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2011 9:07 AM (in response to HGU)

    This is definitely a bug.  I don't know about the people saying to make the image the same size as the frame (that seems arbitrary and shouldn't be necessary), but it WILL appear as it should on your actual movie export.  You just have to use scrub over to see how it appears. The transparent PNG files when used in PIP do not appear on preview playback in iMovie, and they freeze the overlayed content as well. 


    Also, another transparent png bug - you have to use the 'crop' setting or you will have a black background.

  • monkseals Calculating status...

    I have iMovie 09 and experienced all of the thumbnails freezing in my movie project, this occurred after I tried picture in picture to add a transparent png file to my movie.  It was so bad that I couldn't edit my movie project at all.    But even after doing this my movie project was still not allowing me to edit it, I couldn't navigate around iMovie at all, even getting to a different project was impossible.  So it's an issue with adding the png file to a movie clip that ends up corrupting the whole movie project entirely. 


    Apple care said that I need to make sure that all of the software updates on my mac were current, and after I did this the movie project was still corrupt, but this time I could go to other movie projects and edit them.  So the problem was isolated to to just one file now.


    There is only one thing you can do if this happens.  Create a new movie project and trash the old one.  I still need to add the png file but this time I will make a backup of my project first, in case the corruption occurs again.  To get rid of your old project, go to Finder and navigate to the Movie folder.  Withing Movie folder go to the Project Library folder, and you will find your old movie project.  Get rid of it cause it won't ever work again.

  • JB1963 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 10, 2011 3:49 AM (in response to HGU)

    I am having the same problem with transparent PNG files for a sports highlight video. I have created the file as a transparent PNG in the same format as the movie (16:9). When I scan over the section is works, when I play it back, it doesnt. Been working on this for 2 days straight. Have tried, 3 different machines with same problem. Have tries creating new project with same problem.


    Need help.

  • Sblackzz9 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2011 8:19 PM (in response to HGU)

    Exact same issue. I can scroll through the video and it works.

    But play it from the beginning video freezes and the PNG does not show.


    Any luck with a solution?

  • Take Flight Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My solution was to jump to final cut pro x. It lets you do things like this intuitively and without as many weird bugs.  If you consider yourself an iMovie power user and annoyed by some of imovies lacking features, then I highly recommend it.

  • SmartHealthTalk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2012 11:16 AM (in response to HGU)

    I wasted a couple of hours thinking I could solve the PIP freezing the movie because it had worked before.  After wasting all of that time I realized that the only thing different on this project was that I added transitions between the slides leading up to the video and those that played at the end.  I deleted all transitions and then I did not having any freezing problems with the PIP.  Having my logo on the video was the most important part of production or why am I going to all this work if they don't know it's us doing it.  As someone else mentioned you have to use the crop function and then click on show black and then not show black to get it to go transparent.  Has to be a PNG file.  The size does not matter as mentioned in previous post. 


    Bottom line is there is a problem with the iMovie program if when you add a PIP and transitions the video freezes.  Please FIX THIS APPLE.  Feel like you owe me for wasting hours of my time trying to find a solution that did not exist BUT SHOULD.  Let me know if you have any questions about what is wrong.


    Also there is no "Save project as" choice from file dropdown.


    Wasted another hour trying to figure out the total size in GB of my project because YouTube rejected because the size was too big (time was under 15 minutes).  Cannot be bigger than 2GB.  Could not find that information anywhere.  Even looked in Adobe Bridge and it did not display.  This information is important to know how much you have to cut to make it under 2 GB.  Do I need to cut one minute or 10 minutes.


    We need a way to check total size of projects as we are working on them.


    It takes hours to upload to YouTube, and ***** when it stops because you file is too big. 

  • Omniasoft Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow, this is such a stupid bug.  Good job SmartHealthTalk on figuring out what was "causing" the transparent image to not play.  I'm at a loss for why a transition would change the playing of the video with a transparent overlay.


    For my project I just tested a transparent PNG on top of a test movie an exported it and found these results: the actual movie will continue playing with the PNG image there, but the transparent part of the PNG is all black.  Very annoying.


    Equally annoying is the inability to resize an overlayed image and the restriction of only layering one image at a time.  I realize iMovie isn't Final Cut Pro but good god.

  • doebtown Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have this problem, too. Which is a bummer 'cause I use the technique of overlaying a PNG pretty frequently.


    BUT ... it's free software. When I ballance having to imagine what those seconds where there's a PNG overlay will look like against buying Final Cut Pro ... I'm sticking with the free solution!


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