3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 7, 2012 3:41 AM by Karsten Schlüter
Klondike Kid Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)

Admittedly this is now my first attempt at using the iMovie8/9/11 editing structure since I was perfectly satisfied with iMovie06 HD and that timeline approach. In the old program I had GIF formatted images (Maps) that I had available in my "Photos" Media for adding to my Project timeline in the same fashion I would use a still JPG photo.


After a number of hours searching the forum here and all the iMovie 9/11 documentation I can find, it appears  this new version of iMovie does not display GIF images in your iPhoto Media list to use for projects. Bottomline is I am not able to drag a gif map into my video project. It seems only JPG format files are now displayed in iMovie's iPHOTO Media source list.  I have one graphic that is a collage of photos and graphical objects which I had saved in JPG format to preserve the photo quality and that one shows in my Media list. No GIFs.  What gives?  I can open iPhoto stand alone and see my map graphics that are present in the database in their own Rolls.  I've tried dragging, dropping, importing, etc. with no success.


This is a significant limitation (or bug) if the current version of iMovie does not allow free use of graphical images in GIF format. Can anyone shed some light on this and help solve my problem before I go back to iMovie HD?  Thanks in advance.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2011), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 3.1Ghz QuadCore i5, 16GB, 1TB
  • 1. Re: Using GIF images in iMovie11 ??
    Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,885 points)

    the very historic gif format is indeed not on iMovies list of supported formats.


    use the Preview.app to convert it to jpg, png, tiff ... whatever.-

  • 2. Re: Using GIF images in iMovie11 ??
    Klondike Kid Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)

    Hmm, doesn't seem to make sense eliminating something that was built into the earlier iMovie software that is still usable. My Photoshop can still save in Targa, IFF (Amiga), BMP, Pixar, PICT, etc. Whether these formats are still used or not its not "hurting" anything to allow the software to still process them if ever needed.


    "Historic" or not, GIF is often a superior format for image files that do not need more than 256 colors in their pallete. That was the purpose of creating that particular format for graphics developers, artists and users.  My point using the same raw file saved in each of the following formats while showing no apparent change in visible quality (2250 x 1200 pixel topo map):

    GIF = 2.2mb

    JPG = 2.6mb

    PNG = 5.5mb

    TIF = 8.0mb


    Perhaps this may be a moot point when working in HD video editing but as a webmaster since 1995 who writes his own code minimizing file sizes of web page components reduces page load times and reduces wasted bandwidth on the 'net for no apparent gain. GIF is very alive and well on the Internet IF you intend to maximize website and server efficiency for those who visit the site.


    I guess I'll have to live without it for iMovie.  Thanx for the details.

  • 3. Re: Using GIF images in iMovie11 ??
    Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,885 points)

    Klondike Kid wrote:

    Hmm, doesn't seem to make sense …

    I'm not in the position here to 'defend' Apples decision, but an expert as you should keep in mind:


    iM vers.≤6 was a completely diff app than iM vers. ≥08

    same name, from the ground different programs (not only on the outside)


    video isn't based upon limited 256 colors, nor has inserting a file-size-degraded still any effect on the resulting video-file size.


    Photoshop is a >1k$ professional tool, meant for stills - so, it should support a bunch of formats, including obsolete ones. iMovie is a 15$ consumer toy tool, by concept reduced in options to offer convenience - for a broad range of people - I dare to say, the majority of iMovie users dont even know the existence of 'gif', iMovies iLife partner for stills, iPhoto, is biased to jpg.-



    Klondike Kid wrote:

    … I guess I'll have to live without it for iMovie.

    on MacOS, there's little options, I haven't tried, but I wouldn't be surprised, if FCPX doesn't support gif either. pretty sure, Premiere as part of the Adobe CS suite, will handle it - somehow.


    happy movie making!