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Question: A fix for images that go black in iMovie

I have a fix for the problem of importing images into iMovie, and the images turn black. I bring the image up on my screen in Preview (or other graphics app) and take a screen shot of the image (Command+Shift+4). This saves the image to my hard drive as a .png file.


I rename the file so I know what it is, then I import it into iMovie. So far, it works fine every time.


I'm curious why the screenshot of the image always works fine, but when I create the image in a graphics app as a .png or .jpg file, sometimes it works, and often times it doesn't?

iMovie 10

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Mar 18, 2018 1:00 PM in response to CoachMack In response to CoachMack

Do the PNG files you create in the graphics program have an alpha channel (Transparent regions)?


Taking the screenshot will remove the transparency, and it will add a different color profile. Also the color resolution will change. Transparency and third party color profiles may be causing problems.

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Mar 17, 2018 10:35 AM in response to Rich839 In response to Rich839

You bring up the very thing I don't understand. I didn't change the format in my original.png files.

  1. I can start with a .png image that doesn't work in iMovie.
  2. I bring it up and take the screen shot that saves the image as a .png file.
  3. The screen shot.png works just fine, but the original image.png goes black in the video.
  4. They are both .png files, yet the original doesn't work, and the screenshot version does.
  5. What is it about the screenshot.png that makes it work?
  6. ???

Mar 17, 2018 10:35 AM

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Mar 17, 2018 12:37 PM in response to CoachMack In response to CoachMack

  1. The screen shot.png works just fine, but the original image.png goes black in the video.
  2. They are both .png files, yet the original doesn't work, and the screenshot version does.
  3. What is it about the screenshot.png that makes it work?
  4. ???


I don't know the technical reason. Perhaps someone on this forum might chime in if they know.


Possibly the specs of the two .png images are not exactly the same. Or maybe different algorithms are at play.


Also, sometimes reformatting even to the same format that it is already in will somehow cleanse the file of conflict issues. For example, sometimes an Mp4/AAC file that iMovie supposedly supports will not work in iMovie. But it will work when reformatted in the Handbrake app to what appears to be the exact same Mp4/AAC format. Go figure.


-- Rich

Mar 17, 2018 12:37 PM

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Mar 17, 2018 1:08 PM in response to CoachMack In response to CoachMack

Out of curiosity, if you save your original .png photo as a .jpeg, does it display properly when you import into iMovie?

Try opening it in the Preview app and then, while holding down the Option key, do a File/Save As, and select .jpeg.


-- Rich

Mar 17, 2018 1:08 PM

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Mar 18, 2018 1:00 PM in response to CoachMack In response to CoachMack

Do the PNG files you create in the graphics program have an alpha channel (Transparent regions)?


Taking the screenshot will remove the transparency, and it will add a different color profile. Also the color resolution will change. Transparency and third party color profiles may be causing problems.

Mar 18, 2018 1:00 PM

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Mar 18, 2018 1:07 PM in response to léonie In response to léonie

Interesting. I do my graphics mostly in Pixelmator, or PowerPoint and export them as pictures. I don't use channels, so I don't pay attention to whether they are there or not. I wouldn't think PowerPoint would have channels...


You're obviously correct that the screen shot does something different that allows it to work.

Mar 18, 2018 1:07 PM

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Question: A fix for images that go black in iMovie