4 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2013 3:04 AM by John Cogdell
LMM53 Level 1 (0 points)

I am making an iMovie that is mostly still photos with audio added, interspersed with some video clips, using the audio on the vldeo clips.  I have some picture-in-picture in the still photos as well.  I want to be able to set specific durations for each photo.  Most of them are going to be the same, but some are not, for reasons of synching with particular points in the audio.  When creating the project, I added all the photos first, then the video clips, then the transitions.  Some sections of photos don't have transitions between them, because this is how I want it.  When I added the transitions, the duration of each still photo was reduced to maintain the overall project duration.  I don't want this.  How can I turn this off? Even though it is quite arduous and perhaps looks dumb, I really want to go into over 300 still photos individually and set a specific duration.  Can I do this?   I should be able to set it in the inspector, but when I try, the duration does not get set.  For example, I have a still photo that shows a duration of 4.4s.  I go into the inspector and set it to 4.0s, I hit enter, I click done, my photo is still 4.4s.  I understand my changes will affect the overall project duration - I can deal with that.  I think iMovie is trying to help me, but this is not helpful.  Can I override this behavior?

iMovie '11, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    Read "To set how much transitions overlap with selected clips."


  • LMM53 Level 1 (0 points)

    I read all this stuff before posting.  I also read a whole bunch of posts in this forum after posting that indicate the many people have the same problem.  Perhaps this is a feature of iMovie, perhaps it is a bug.  It looks like I just can't have the kind of control I'm looking for.  If the time changes were predictable, I could deal with it.  But they are not.  What a shame.  It's a nice tool, but once you get the hang of it and want to do more sophisticated things, you see the problems.  In addition, there is a very specific order you have to add things in your video to make some of these more advanced features work - such as snapping to beats.  The music has to be added and the beats placed before adding any photos or videos.  I was just at the Apple store yesterday in a one-to-one session where the guy didn't know anything about not being able to control the times on still photos and specifically told me to add the music last.  I've really wasted a lot of time on this project.  I don't think final cut is going to be a better tool.  I'm going to have to investigate to see what else is out there.  Maybe Adobe has something. 

  • LMM53 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am going to do an experiment in iMovie on a shorter version of my movie to see if I can get things to work properly.  However, my last attempt had iMovie crashing again, but not when trying to Finalize the project - just when attempting to resize still photos. 


    I'm thinking I should reinstall iMovie.  Thoughts?  Is this worth the effort?  Is it much effort?  It's not really clear to me HOW to reinstall.  What I really think I need to do is UNINSTALL to get to a clean environment, DELETE library files, and then INSTALL. 


    Can you tell me how to or point me to steps to do a clean reinstall? 

  • John Cogdell Level 5 (4,605 points)

    Setting the duration of stills in iMovie can be challenging in some circumstances, as you've already noted from your reading of other posts in the forum.


    The solution I've used, after adding transitions then trying to re-adjust the stills duration, is to firstly change the duration to a time a little higher than that required (using the Inspector). Now click on the still so that it is highlighted with a yellow border. Drag one of the clip handles inwards. As you do this you will see a time display showing the adjusted duration, in steps of single frames. When you reach the required duration, stop dragging. Now right-click (or Control-click) on the still within the yellow border and select Trim to Selection from the pop-up menu. That will set the new duration for the still, but will not affect the transition duration (unless of course you've shortened the still beyond what is needed for the transition to work).


    Trim to Selection can also be selected from the menu item Clip > Trim to Selection. The keyboard shortcut is Command-B.


    Hope this helps!




    Message was edited by: John Cogdell