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Question: Photos from Photos do not appear in iMovie

Recently, certain photos from Photos do not appear when I try to use them in a movie in iMovie. This has never been a problem in the past. I am running MacOS 10.12.5 (installed 5/15), Photos 2.0 and iMovie 10.1.6 (installed 5/27/17, though the problem started before the update was installed). The Mac is a MacBook Pro (mid 2010). I tried to import the photos into a new Even in iMovie, but no joy. It does not seem to matter if the photos are in the original form or have been edited in Photos. Also, the source of photo (iPhone or camera) doesn't seem to make a difference.


If no one has a an answer, can I use Time Machine and re-install an older version of iMovie without losing changes I've made in projects with the newer version?


Thanks,

MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra (10.12.5), Import from Photos

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May 30, 2017 2:52 PM in response to mike80111 In response to mike80111

Recently, certain photos from Photos do not appear when I try to use them in a movie in iMovie. This has never been a problem in the past.

How are you using Photos? Are the photo in iCloud Photo Library or stored locally? If your library is an iCloud Photo Library, ensure that the photos you want to use in other applications have been downloaded from iCloud by browsing them in Photos.


Is your Photos library enabled as the System Photo Library in the Photos Preferences > General? "Use as System Photo Library should be grayed out.

Question marked as Helpful

May 30, 2017 2:51 PM in response to mike80111 In response to mike80111

Hi, Mike,


This is indeed puzzling. Some photos work and some photos don't. Since the problem started before your update to iMovie 10.1.6, the new version isn't the cause. So a reinstall is not likely to help. (Could always try, anyway.) Since the photos all import fine in iMovie 9, that likely eliminates any incompatible photo format problems as the cause. (Are there any differences in format between the photos that appear versus the photos that don't? If so, that might be a clue.) The Photos app itself doesn't appear to be the cause, since some photos from the app do import and, further, JPEGs from a Canon do not appear either. So far, I can't see a common thread.


Here are some random thoughts I have:


I take it you have tried dragging (not copy pasting or otherwise exporting) the photos directly from your Photos app into a folder on your desktop, and then from there dragging them into iMovie. If not, try that.


Also, you can try opening iMovie in a different user account. You can use the Guest account on your Mac for this purpose, or create a new one from the Users and Groups folder in your System Preferences.


You could try opening iMovie in a new or different library and see if that makes any difference. To do that, launch iMovie while holding down the Option key, and you will get a box that lets you select a different library or create a new library.


If you current library is on an external drive, check to make sure the drive is formatted for Apple (MAC OS extended, journaled). If you need to reformat, you will lose any data on the drive, so move or backup all data that you want to save.


Possibly trying to import in different projects might yield some more information.


If you still have iPhoto on your Mac, you can try importing from there.


With a photo that doesn't appear, try dragging it onto your desktop, opening it in Preview, and doing a File/Save As as a .PNG or TIFF file and see if that appears properly in iMovie. (To get the "SAVE AS" option from the File menu you need to hold down the Option key.)


Frankly, I am running out of idea here. As you mentioned, you can use Time Machine to revert to an earlier working iMovie version. Your work done in a later version likely will be lost. So keep the later version on your computer.


All else failing, you might try making an appointment at the Apple genius bar in a local Apple store, bring in your computer, and see if they have any suggestions or solutions.


Good luck with this.


Best,


Rich

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May 27, 2017 11:14 AM in response to mike80111 In response to mike80111

Hi, Mike,


When you say that "certain photos from Photos do not appear when you try to use them in iMovie", what exactly are you observing? Do some photos appear but not others? Do they bounce out or show black? Are the unsuccessful ones in different formats or higher resolutions than those that do import? How are you trying to import them? Does your Photos app show in the sidebar of the media screen in iMovie? Can you import from there? Can you drag them in from a finder folder on your desktop?


Sometimes preferences get corrupted after updating. Try restarting your computer and launching iMovie while pressing the Option and Command keys, and then selecting to delete preferences in the box that appears.


Older versions of iMovie will not be able to read the changes made in a newer version, or libraries that have been updated or created in a newer version.


Best,

Rich

May 27, 2017 11:14 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

May 30, 2017 2:52 PM in response to mike80111 In response to mike80111

Recently, certain photos from Photos do not appear when I try to use them in a movie in iMovie. This has never been a problem in the past.

How are you using Photos? Are the photo in iCloud Photo Library or stored locally? If your library is an iCloud Photo Library, ensure that the photos you want to use in other applications have been downloaded from iCloud by browsing them in Photos.


Is your Photos library enabled as the System Photo Library in the Photos Preferences > General? "Use as System Photo Library should be grayed out.

May 30, 2017 2:52 PM

Reply Helpful (2)

May 29, 2017 10:02 AM in response to Rich839 In response to Rich839

RIch, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I've put my answers with your questions


When you say that "certain photos from Photos do not appear when you try to use them in iMovie", what exactly are you observing? Thumbnails appear in the project media (though sometimes they go black there) and I can put them in the movie timeline and see the thumbnail there, but they do not appear in the viewer or when I run the movie. In the viewer, it is only black, but when I click on the information ion, I do see the title of the file. Do some photos appear but not others? Do they bounce out or show black? Are the unsuccessful ones in different formats or higher resolutions than those that do import? The unsuccessful ones are from iPhone 5, except for panoramas, which do appear fine, and some iPhone 6 photos do not appear. JPEG files from a Canon camera do not appear, but JPEG from a Nikon and an old HP camera import fine. RAW files from the Canon also import fine. The larger RAW files import fine, but small ones, 800KB to 3MB JPEG from the iPhones and Canon do not work, while files the same size from the Nikon do import. How are you trying to import them? From the Photos Library that appears under "Libraries" in the side bar of the media screen. Does your Photos app show in the sidebar of the media screen in iMovie? The Photo Library shows in the sidebar of the media screen under "libraries" Can you import from there? As noted above, I can import some photos that way.Can you drag them in from a finder folder on your desktop? When I export the photos from Photos to a another folder, and then drag them them in from a finder folder, the results are no different. However, if I copy the photos from Photo and paste them into a folder, and then drag them in, it works, except the photo is only a thumbnail, about 200KB, not the full size file, which typically run between 800KB and 2MB. The RAW files are much larger, about 20 MB, and they work fine. Also, for what it is worth, I tried the import the photos into iMovie 11 (9.0.0), and they all worked fine.

I tried to restart as you suggested, with no change. When I tried to update the existing libraries as offered on start up, the program froze, so I repeated the procedure, but did not update the existing libraries. I just started a new iMovie project and got the results I described.


I'd appreciate any additional thought you may have.


From your comment about going back to an older version, I should be able to access the libraries that have not been updated. Can I use my Time Machine back up for that?


Thanks,

May 29, 2017 10:02 AM

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May 29, 2017 10:05 AM in response to léonie In response to léonie

Thanks Leonie for getting back to me. My reply to Rich 839 details my problem (copy and pasted below). I don't use iCloud; I store the photos locally. My Photos library appears to be enabled, as the setting in preferences is as you describe. I'd appreciate any further thoughts you have. Thanks,


RIch, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I've put my answers with your questions


When you say that "certain photos from Photos do not appear when you try to use them in iMovie", what exactly are you observing? Thumbnails appear in the project media (though sometimes they go black there) and I can put them in the movie timeline and see the thumbnail there, but they do not appear in the viewer or when I run the movie. In the viewer, it is only black, but when I click on the information ion, I do see the title of the file. Do some photos appear but not others? Do they bounce out or show black? Are the unsuccessful ones in different formats or higher resolutions than those that do import? The unsuccessful ones are from iPhone 5, except for panoramas, which do appear fine, and some iPhone 6 photos do not appear. JPEG files from a Canon camera do not appear, but JPEG from a Nikon and an old HP camera import fine. RAW files from the Canon also import fine. The larger RAW files import fine, but small ones, 800KB to 3MB JPEG from the iPhones and Canon do not work, while files the same size from the Nikon do import. How are you trying to import them? From the Photos Library that appears under "Libraries" in the side bar of the media screen. Does your Photos app show in the sidebar of the media screen in iMovie? The Photo Library shows in the sidebar of the media screen under "libraries" Can you import from there? As noted above, I can import some photos that way.Can you drag them in from a finder folder on your desktop? When I export the photos from Photos to a another folder, and then drag them them in from a finder folder, the results are no different. However, if I copy the photos from Photo and paste them into a folder, and then drag them in, it works, except the photo is only a thumbnail, about 200KB, not the full size file, which typically run between 800KB and 2MB. The RAW files are much larger, about 20 MB, and they work fine. Also, for what it is worth, I tried the import the photos into iMovie 11 (9.0.0), and they all worked fine.

I tried to restart as you suggested, with no change. When I tried to update the existing libraries as offered on start up, the program froze, so I repeated the procedure, but did not update the existing libraries. I just started a new iMovie project and got the results I described.


I'd appreciate any additional thought you may have.


From your comment about going back to an older version, I should be able to access the libraries that have not been updated. Can I use my Time Machine back up for that?


Thanks

May 29, 2017 10:05 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

May 30, 2017 2:51 PM in response to mike80111 In response to mike80111

Hi, Mike,


This is indeed puzzling. Some photos work and some photos don't. Since the problem started before your update to iMovie 10.1.6, the new version isn't the cause. So a reinstall is not likely to help. (Could always try, anyway.) Since the photos all import fine in iMovie 9, that likely eliminates any incompatible photo format problems as the cause. (Are there any differences in format between the photos that appear versus the photos that don't? If so, that might be a clue.) The Photos app itself doesn't appear to be the cause, since some photos from the app do import and, further, JPEGs from a Canon do not appear either. So far, I can't see a common thread.


Here are some random thoughts I have:


I take it you have tried dragging (not copy pasting or otherwise exporting) the photos directly from your Photos app into a folder on your desktop, and then from there dragging them into iMovie. If not, try that.


Also, you can try opening iMovie in a different user account. You can use the Guest account on your Mac for this purpose, or create a new one from the Users and Groups folder in your System Preferences.


You could try opening iMovie in a new or different library and see if that makes any difference. To do that, launch iMovie while holding down the Option key, and you will get a box that lets you select a different library or create a new library.


If you current library is on an external drive, check to make sure the drive is formatted for Apple (MAC OS extended, journaled). If you need to reformat, you will lose any data on the drive, so move or backup all data that you want to save.


Possibly trying to import in different projects might yield some more information.


If you still have iPhoto on your Mac, you can try importing from there.


With a photo that doesn't appear, try dragging it onto your desktop, opening it in Preview, and doing a File/Save As as a .PNG or TIFF file and see if that appears properly in iMovie. (To get the "SAVE AS" option from the File menu you need to hold down the Option key.)


Frankly, I am running out of idea here. As you mentioned, you can use Time Machine to revert to an earlier working iMovie version. Your work done in a later version likely will be lost. So keep the later version on your computer.


All else failing, you might try making an appointment at the Apple genius bar in a local Apple store, bring in your computer, and see if they have any suggestions or solutions.


Good luck with this.


Best,


Rich

May 30, 2017 2:51 PM

Reply Helpful (1)

May 30, 2017 2:51 PM in response to Rich839 In response to Rich839

Rich, thanks for these suggestions. I did get through to Apple Support and they are aware of the problem and provided the following work around:


1. Export the photos from Photos (file>Export) to a folder on the desktop or elsewhere on the hard drive (or I suppose to iCloud, but I'm not sure about that).

2. When exporting the photos, set the "size" drop down to "large"


User uploaded file

3. Import the exported photos from the new folder into the project media in iMovie


I tried it and it worked.


They told me the problem is with older Macs (mine is mid-2010). The tech did not have a explanation as to why this happens with the new version of iMovie.


Thanks again for taking the time to try to help me. Your questions helped me troubleshoot the issue and made it easier for me to explain the problem to Apple.

May 30, 2017 2:51 PM

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Question: Photos from Photos do not appear in iMovie