Frequently Asked Questions


    How do I use Photo to Movie with iMovie?

    To use Photo to Movie with iMovie:

    1. Create your photo movie in Photo to Movie.
    2. Render your movie to an appropriate file format. Save it in your Movies folder.
    3. For iMovie '08, choose File > Import Movies... and select your rendered movie to import it into iMovie.
    4. For iMovie '06 and earlier, drag your movie from the Finder to the iMovie shelf.

    It is important to choose your Photo to Movie export format to match the iMovie video format. If you choose the wrong format, iMovie may transcode your video (i.e. change its format).

    By choosing the right video format, you avoid the following:

    • Changing the video resolution, resulting in lower quality
    • Stretching or squishing your movie, resulting in distorted video
    • Applying additional color correction, resulting in incorrect colors

    So what video format should you use?

    If you are using an iMovie project with the format 'DV', you should export your movie from Photo to Movie using the 'DV Stream' file format and a Standard (4:3) aspect ratio.

    If you are using an iMovie project with the format 'DV Widescreen', you should export your movie from Photo to Movie using the 'DV Stream' file format and a Widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio.

    If you are using an iMovie project with the format 'HDV 1080i', you should export your movie from Photo to Movie using the 'HD-1080i-30' file format and a Widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio. The 'HD-1080i-30' file format will not be available unless you select Widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio.

    If you are using an iMovie project with the format 'HDV 720p', you should export your movie from Photo to Movie using the 'HD-720p-30' file format and a Widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio. The 'HD-720p-30' file format will not be available unless you select Widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio.

    For versions of iMovie before iMovie '05, you should export your movie from Photo to Movie using the 'DV Stream' file format and a Standard (4:3) aspect ratio.

    The table below summarizes this information.

    iMoviePhoto to Movie
    VersionVideo FormatAspect RatioExport Format
    iMovieDVStandard (4:3)DV Stream
    iMovieDV WidescreenWidescreen (16:9)DV Stream
    iMovieHDV 1080iWidescreen (16:9)HD-1080i-30
    iMovieHDV 720pWidescreen (16:9)HD-720p-30
    iMovie (v 2,3,4)AnyStandard (4:3)DV Stream

    Photo to Movie 3.5: How should I burn my movie to DVD on Windows XP?


    If you're using Photo to Movie 3.5 (Windows XP), you have several options for burning your movies to DVD. Each will have tradeoffs in the ease of use, movie quality, and customization.

    All movies on a DVD are encoding in MPEG-2 video format and one of several audio formats. So each of the solutions presented here ultimately produce MPEG-2 video and appropriate audio and burn those files to DVD in a special format specified by the DVD specification. Making the MPEG-2 and associated audio is called encoding.

    Photo to Movie can do encoding and it can even produce a computer file representing an entire DVD. But it will not burn the DVD itself to a physical disk. You will need a 3rd party application such as Nero to burn to disk.

    3rd Party Solution

    The first solution is to produce the movie in Photo to Movie and render it to a AVI or QuickTime .dv file. Then take the .dv file and use a 3rd party application to encode it to MPEG-2 and audio and burn it to DVD.

    The 3rd party DVD burning applications vary widely in the quality of video that they produce, however. So while Photo to Movie almost always produces top-notch video, the 3rd party application may encode it in such a way that makes it look bad.

    If you're going to use a 3rd party application to produce the video, use a high quality application such as SONY Vegas Movie Studio + DVD (typically available for less than $100).

    The advantage of this solution is that it is easy. Most 3rd party DVD burning applications can burn any movie file to a DVD.

    The disadvantage of this solution is that if you don't pay careful attention to the burning process, you can end up with low quality video output on the DVD.

    DVD ISO from Photo to Movie

    Photo to Movie can produce a file that represents an entire DVD called an ISO file. An ISO is the file the represents an entire DVD.

    This is a nice easy solution that gives you high quality video. You will still need a 3rd party application to burn the ISO to a physical DVD. However, almost all DVD burners come with software to accomplish this. Since the encoding is done in Photo to Movie, it is always produced at the highest quality possible.

    The advantage of this solution is that it produces high quality video with minimum effort.

    The disadvantage of this solution is that you will not have control over the menus and layout of your DVD. The DVD ISO files that Photo to Movie produces play automatically when inserted into your DVD player and do not have a menu system.

    MPEG-2 from Photo to Movie

    If you need Photo to Movie to produce the highest quality video but you want to put that video on a DVD with menus and other features, you can use Photo to Movie to produce the MPEG-2 and audio file. You can then take the resulting MPEG-2 file and use it in your favorite NLE (Non-Linear Movie Editor).

    The advantage of this solution is that you get the high quality MPEG-2 encoding from Photo to Movie. In addition, you can add the resulting MPEG-2 to a DVD with your own custom menus and other features.

    The disadvantage of this solution is that it is more time consuming and complex than the other solutions.

    Can Photo to Movie produce HD quality video?

    Yes. Photo to Movie can produce HD quality video.

    The aspect ratio of your slide show must be widescreen 16:9 to take advantage of HD quality video. All HD video is widescren.

    HD content comes in several formats: 720p, 1080i, or 1080p. These refer to the number of scanlines in the content and whether the content is progressive (p), which means that each line is shown in every frame, or interlaced (i), which means that every other line is shown in alternating frames. Progressive content typically looks sharper and is used for movies with less motion effects; while interlaced typically looks less sharp but handles rapid motion better.

    In addition, HD content comes in several common frame rates: 24 frames per second (fps), 25fps, and 30fps. 24fps is typically used for motion pictures, 25fps is typically used in countries that utilize the PAL video standard, and 30fps is typically used in countries that utilize the NTSC video standard.

    Photo to Movie comes with several presets useful for HD video.

    On Mac OS or on Windows with QuickTime installed, choose the QuickTime panel in the Make Movie dialog. Then select QuickTime Movie for the Movie Format. Then select High Definition 720p or High Definition 1080p for the Movie Settings.

    On Windows without QuickTime installed, choose the Windows Media panel in the Make Movie dialog. Then select High Definition (1080p) for the movie format.

    On Mac OS for Final Cut editing, choose the QuickTime panel in the Make Movie dialog. Then select QuickTime Movie for the Movie Format. Then select HDV 720p or HDV 1080p for the Movie Settings. The HDV format is an "intermediate" file format used for editing.

    How do I play my movie through a projector?

    There are three possibilities to play your Photo to Movie movie through a projector. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

    1. Burn to DVD. Play DVD through projector.
    2. Burn to a QuickTime movie. Play QuickTime movie through projector.
    3. Play movie through Photo to Movie full screen preview.


    Burning your movie to DVD and playing the DVD through the projector is the most reliable way to do things. The advantage is that the DVD format is well supported on various computers and even on standalone DVD players.

    The disadvantage is that the resolution of the DVD is limited to DVD resolution, which is 720x480 pixels displayed in a 4:3 aspect ratio. This is an intrinsic limitation of all DVDs.

    We do not presently recommend using HD-DVD since neither standalone players nor computer software players are yet widely available.

    QuickTime Movie

    Rendering your movie to a high performance video format such as QuickTime H.264 allows you to achieve higher resolution. In fact, you can match the movie to the resolution of your video projector, such as 1024x768. You can also play the movie at full screen using QuickTime Player Pro or another video player.

    Unfortunately, playing H.264 movies (or any other movie file format) at resolutions higher than 640x480 on a computer takes a lot of computing power. So this technique may not work on older computers and it may not even work on recent laptops, which typically feature slower processors than their desktop counterparts.

    We recommend that you test your movie and playback software and computer until you have satisfactory results.

    Full Screen Preview

    Photo to Movie includes a full screen preview. This is generally the least desirable option since the performance of the full screen preview is affected by many factors such as photo sizes, transitions, computer speed, available memory, and video card memory.

    If you're going to use this option, try to make all of the original photos a uniformly small size such as 2048x1536 or smaller. Also try to limit your transitions to simple ones such as cross dissolves and wipes. Use .mp3's for audio. And finally, quit all other applications so that Photo to Movie can make full use of the computer.

    How do I use Photo to Movie with iDVD?

    To use Photo to Movie with iDVD, you will create your movie in Photo to Movie. Then you will click on the Make Movie button or choose File > Make Movie... Once the Make Movie dialog opens, choose the iDVD icon at the top of the window. Next, for best compatibility, manually launch iDVD from the Finder (see below). Then return to the Make Movie dialog in Photo to Movie and choose whether to add the movie to a new iDVD project or the existing one. Next choose a project name and a place to save the movie file. It is recommended to save both within your Movies folder. Then click the Make Movie button. Photo to Movie will render the movie and then send it directly to iDVD.

    Some recent versions of iDVD (iLife '06) take too much time to launch and Photo to Movie versions prior to Photo to Movie 4.0.3 may not correctly add the movie to the iDVD document. For this reason, you should launch iDVD manually yourself if you're using Photo to Movie 4.0.2 or earlier. Photo to Movie 4.0.3 or later fixes this problem.

    How do I put my movie on the web?

    Please refer to our web publishing article:

    Publishing Movies for DVD, the Web, and HD

    Is Photo to Movie compatible with Mac OS Mountain Lion or Lion?

    Photo to Movie is compatible with both Mac OS Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mac OS Lion (10.7).

    We also expect to be releasing future versions to take advantage of Mac OS Lion specific features such as the new multi-processor movie rendering capabilities available in Mac OS Lion and Mac OS Mountain Lion.

    How should I prepare my photos for Photo to Movie?

    The great thing about Photo to Movie is that you do not need to do any preparation on your photos. Photo to Movie can use any size photo, any resolution, any format (as long as it is readable using Mac OS X). You do not need to crop, rotate, or otherwise prepare your photos.

    You can slightly reduce the memory requirements if you use smaller photos. If you are scanning photos and you want to calculate what resolution to scan, choose a resolution such that the smallest key frame on your photo is at least as large as the export format. For instance, if your smallest key frame is 80% of the photo and your export format is DV (640x480), then you would want your original photo to have a resolution of at least 640 divided by 0.80 (80%) which would be 800x600.

    You can also prepare your photos before hand by making any color, red-eye correction, or other edits to your photos. Be careful when sharpening the photos, however, as that may lead to anti-aliasing and flickering when making your movie.

    Is there a limit to the number of photos?

    There is no built-in limit to the number of photos in Photo to Movie. You can add anywhere from one photo to 1000 photos. There is a practical limit based on the amount of editing space in the timeline and the amount of RAM installed on your computer. When using 1000 photos, you will have to be patient while the thumbnails are rendered and during editing which will be slower.

    You also might consider splitting your slide show into groups of 100-200 photos for ease of editing.

    What video file format will allow any user to play it at full screen?

    You have two choices: Make a DVD or use the H.264 codec within the QuickTime file format.

    If you want to allow any user on any platform to view your movie, the best format is to burn a DVD for them. And if you're going to burn a DVD, you will want to export your movie from Photo to Movie to the DV Stream file format. Then you will use DVD burning software to write the DV Stream video file to a DVD.

    The disadvantage of DVD is the limited resolution (480p).

    If you need to distribute higher quality video, you can use the H.264 codec embedded within a QuickTime .mov file. This has the advantage of providing full HD 1080p video, but has the disadvantage that some users may not be able to play the video.

    To play the video, a user needs to have a computer fast enough to play full HD 1080p video. They also need to have a video player that is capable of playing a QuickTime .mov file. On users with Mac OS, this is no problem. However, on Windows computers, users may have to download additional codecs or install QuickTime to play the file.

    Again, the DVD format solves these problems. Nearly all modern operating systems and computers can play DVDs. In addition, the user can play the movie on their television with a standard DVD player.

    As a final alternative: If your users are guaranteed to be on Windows, then you can use the Windows Media File format to render a 1080p .wmv file. This file can be played on most modern Windows computers; however Mac OS users will have to install additional codecs to play it. Using Photo to Movie, you can only render Windows Media File videos on the Windows version of Photo to Movie.

    How do I upgrade to Photo to Movie 5.0?

    Check System Requirements. First, check whether your system meets the minimum system requirements. Photo to Movie 5 requires Mac OS 10.6 or later or Windows XP or Windows 7.

    Locate License Key. Next, find your license key. Depending on when you purchased Photo to Movie, you may be required to purchase an upgrade. You can recover your license key here:

    Recover License Key

    The email you receive will contain specific information as to what version of Photo to Movie you're allowed to use with your current license key.

    Upgrade License Key (if necessary). If you need to upgrade, you can purchase an upgraded license key here:

    Purchase Upgrade

    Download. Since you may be required to purchase an upgrade, Photo to Movie will not automatically download the latest version unless you're already running Photo to Movie 5.0.0 or later. However, you can always download the latest version of Photo to Movie directly from our website.

    Download Photo to Movie


    Can I add multiple songs to a slide show?

    Yes! You can add as many songs, sound effects, and voice-overs as you want to a slide show.

    The audio is organized into tracks. You can have as many audio tracks as you want. Within each track, you can have as many songs as you want, although, as a practical matter, you will want to organize them into multiple tracks so that they do not overlap each other.

    Why are my movies blurry or fuzzy?

    There are many factors that can contribute to the quality of the video. Some of them are:

    • Video format
    • Playback quality settings
    • Export quality

    The video format can have a direct effect on the quality of the video. Some video formats, particularly DV Stream, are not intended for end-user viewing. Instead they are intermediate video formats used for burning to DVD or for further video editing in applications such as iMovie or Final Cut. If you view DV Stream files using QuickTime Player, the video will be stretched and played at low quality. This is normal. When you actually edit or burn the video using iMovie or iDVD, the resulting movie or DVD will contain high quality video. Of course, if you use iMovie to produce another DV Stream, it will have the same playback issues.

    If you want to use QuickTime Player to view the full quality version of a DV Stream, you must have a QuickTime Pro key. Then you must set the playback settings on the video track to use High Quality Playback. Furthermore, you must set the video size to 640x480 for Standard (4:3) video and 853x480 for Widescreen (16:9) video.

    Photo to Movie also attempts to reduce aliasing effects that are produced when photos are in motion in a video. To reduce the aliasing effects, Photo to Movie blurs the photos minimally. This blurring may be visible when viewing the movie on a computer screen; it is much less noticeable when the videos are played via DVD on a television. You can disable the blurring by changing the Photo to Movie export rendering option to be Faster Export instead of Higher Quality. We strongly recommend keeping the export rendering option as Higher Quality.

    How do I reduce aliasing effects like flickering and shimmering?

    Photo to Movie uses special processing to reduce or eliminate flicker inherent to the photo motion effects. However, some flicker will still occur on individual photos. In some rare cases, Photo to Movie processing may increase the flicker as compared to the unprocessed video.

    The flicker occurs primarily when there is minimal zooming or panning motion frame frame to frame of the video and occurs on an area of the photo with a lot of detail such as water, trees from a distance, or patterns on clothing.

    If you find yourself with a photo that is showing unacceptable flickering, use the following techniques to reduce it.

    • Add more motion. Make one of your key frames larger and one smaller to add zooming or move the frames further apart.
    • Eliminate motion. Make your key frames closer in size and/or position.
    • Shift one or both of your key frames by a few pixels.
    • Reduce the resolution of the photo using another application and replace it in the timeline.

    Photo to Movie anti-flicker processing will result in a slight softening of the photos. You can disable the processing by selecting Faster Export in the custom rendering options.

    I have licensed music through iTunes. How can I use that music in my movie?

    Update May 2007: Apple has announced that unrestricted iTunes music will be available for a slight additional cost. Users can upgrade their current songs to the unrestricted songs for a small fee using the iTunes store. The unrestricted music is able to be used directly in Photo to Movie.

    Apple restricts third-party products (such as Photo to Movie) from directly using music purchased on the iTunes music store. To work around this restriction, you need to burn a CD of the music you want to use. After you have burned your CD, you then need to use iTunes to "rip" it to the AIFF format using iTunes. You can use the re-ripped music in Photo to Movie without any quality loss.

    To use iTunes to rip the burned CD to AIFF, choose Preferences in iTunes and select the Advanced tab. Within the Advanced tab, select the Importing tab. Under the Import Using menu, choose AIFF Encoder. Then insert the burned CD and have iTunes rip the music. The files saved on your disk will now be .aiff files of your music. Once this is finished, be sure to reselect your previous encoder (most likely AAC Encoder) so that future CDs that you capture will be encoded properly.

    How long is a license key good for?

    When you purchase a license key, you are purchasing a license key for a specific version of one of our products. The license key never expires.

    As we release new versions of the software, we usually allow license keys up to one year old to work with the new software. If your license key is older than one year, it will still work with older software. However, you would need to purchase an upgrade to work with the newer software.

    License keys are usually valid for any version of the product released up to approximately one year after purchase.

    How do I make a DVD from a movie exported from Photo to Movie on Mac OS?

    There are two ways to use a DVD -- one is for computer files (think: backup my files) and the other is for DVD video (think: DVD's that you buy in the store).

    Photo to Movie produces a computer file that can be compressed into a DVD-Video using iDVD or Toast. To do this, you need to tell iDVD or Toast to burn a DVD-Video and use the movie made by Photo to Movie as the video. It will recompress everything into the DVD-Video format (called MPEG-2) and make a DVD that can be played in your home DVD player.

    Why is my rendered movie choppy, jerky, or stuttering?

    A rendered movie from Photo to Movie may also play poorly in a movie player such as QuickTime Player. A rendered movie should not be confused with a movie preview within Photo to Movie. A rendered movie is one that has been "exported" from Photo to Movie to a specific movie format such as QuickTime or Windows Media.

    Photo to Movie always produces a very precise, consistent, smooth rendered movie. However, if the computer on which you are playing it is not fast enough to render the movie, it may skip frames during playback such that the movie looks jerky, stuttering, or choppy. Audio playback may also be affected.

    If you are producing a movie for DVD and using the DV (.dv) file format, you can safely ignore this choppiness. Once you fully process your movie through DVD burning software and burn it to DVD, the final result will be a perfectly smooth movie that is playable on almost any DVD player.

    However, if you are producing a movie for computer playback, you need to make sure that you are choosing a file format suitable for computer playback. You also need to make sure that the overall data rate of the movie is suitable for the intended users. For instance, if your intended users are mobile phone users, you will choose a data rate that is much lower. If your intended users are high end computer users, you may get away with a higher data rate.

    You can affect your rendered movie data rate for non-DVD movies in many ways. The primary factors include:

    • File format. Choose H.264 instead of DV, for instance. DV should only be used for making DVDs.
    • Movie size. Choose smaller movie sizes. Larger movies (more than 480 pixels high) are difficult to play back in real time on older computers.
    • Frame rate. Choose smaller frame rates to reduce the data rate.
    • Audio format and rate. Choose lower bitrates.

    Why is my movie preview choppy, jerky, or stuttering?

    The performance of the real time and full screen preview within Photo to Movie is dependent on many factors. Some suggestions for improving performance follow.

    It is important to note that exporting the movie from Photo to Movie will produce a perfect movie every time, independent of the factors below. When you burn your movie to DVD it should play without any jerkiness or stuttering. Previews are only a preview of how your final movie will look.

    Use smaller original photos. JPEG photos will perform better than TIFF photos. Your photos only need to be large enough such that the smallest key frame on that photo is at least as large as your export format frame size. For instance, if your export format is CD-ROM (see making your movie) then your export size is 320x240. If your smallest key frame is 80% the size of your photo then your photo size can be as small as 320x240 / 0.80 = 400x300. For optimimum quality your photo should be large enough that the smallest key frame is twice the size of the output resolution. In the example it would require an original photo of 800x600.

    Make the editing window smaller. Using a smaller window will produce faster real time playback. Full screen preview, if available, will give the worst performance.

    Edit your photo track first, without titles and without audio. Add the audio and titles after you're happy with the photo motion. Real time audio and title rendering can slow down the preview.

    Quit other applications. Quitting other applications will stop them from using the processor and also free up additional memory.

    Install more memory or use a faster computer. Photo to Movie can be a demanding application and more memory improves performance considerably.

    To improve playback performance (Summary)

    1. Use smaller photos
    2. Decrease size of editing window
    3. Edit photo track without audio and titles first
    4. Quit other applications
    5. Use more memory or a faster computer

    How do I fit my photos to the length of my music?

    To make the duration of your photos match the duration of your music:

    First, adjust the timeline so that the full music track is visible (i.e. drag the timeline zoom slider to the far left).

    Next, select one photo in the timeline.

    Then, choose the menu item Edit > Select All to select all of your photos in the timeline.

    Finally, choose the menu item AudioFit Photos to Audio. This will adjust the duration of your photos to match the duration of the audio.

    You can also grab the right-most point on the right-most photo and drag to stretch the overall duration of the photos. Drag it to match the duration of the audio. When there are many photos (150+), it can be difficult to grab the right-most photo. You might have to zoom the timeline in that case.

    All of the durations (motion duration, hold durations, transitions durations) get stretched proportionally.

    How do I burn my video to DVD on Windows?

    To burn a DVD using Photo to Movie 4.5 or later on Windows, you'll need to use 3rd party software.

    We suggest using the free application DVD Styler to burn DVDs.

    Follow these instructions:

    First prepare your movie in Photo to Movie. Add your photos, titles, graphics, and audio tracks.

    Next, use Make Movie in Photo to Movie to render your movie.

    When you Make Movie, choose the Windows Media at the top of the screen. Under Movie Settings, choose either Standard Definition if your movie has a standard (4:3) aspect ratio, or High Definition (480p) if you have a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio.

    If you're rendering PAL video, you need to click Options... and change the Frame Rate to 25.

    Next click the Make Movie... button and save the video to a file.

    Now, launch DVD Styler.

    In DVD Styler, you should start by setting your standard configuration using the menu item Configuration > Settings...

    Particularly, you should choose your default video format (NTSC or PAL) and the default aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9). Click OK when you're finished.

    Next, drag and drop your video file that was rendered from Photo to Movie into the main window of DVD Styler.

    Now, right click on the video at the bottom of the DVD Styler window and choose Properties... Then click the Video... button. Select the aspect ratio to match the aspect ratio of your video.

    Click OK (twice).

    Now choose Burn DVD... under then File menu and you're off and running.

    DVD Styler provides some great options for previewing your video before you burn it to DVD too.

    Can I use video clips in my slide show too?

    Photo to Movie (Mac OS) 5.0 and later includes support for adding video clips to the timeline.

    Photo to Movie (Windows) does not include support for adding video clips to the timeline.

    How can I make a slideshow without motion or moving photos?

    You can use motion templates to create a movie without motion.

    To do this, drop your photos into a Photo to Movie document and put them into the desired order.

    Next, click on one of the photos in the timeline. Then Edit > Select All to select all of the photos.

    Then click the 'Motion Templates' button. In that dialog, choose 'No Motion' in the top-most menu.

    Next, set zoom to 100%, rotation to 0.0, and uncheck both random zoom and random rotation.

    If your photos are not exactly the shape of your movie (either 4:3 or 16:9) then you can choose to make the photo appear with a boundary outside the photo or inside the photo. To make the boundary outside the photo, uncheck 'Keep Motion Within Photo.' To make the boundary inside the photo, check 'Keep Motion Within Photo.' Finally, uncheck 'Use Title Safe Photo Boundaries.'

    Finally click OK. You're done!

    Why does Photo to movie 5.0 crash when I try to Make Movie?

    Check for plug-ins

    Check for non-Apple plug-ins in /Library/QuickTime/ and ~/Library/QuickTime/ . Try moving any non-Apple items out of this folder and relaunch Photo to Movie. Some older third party QuickTime plug-ins may interfere with Photo to Movie operation. If this resolves the issue, check with the plug-in manufacturer to see if an update to the plug-in is available.

    How can I enter the license key for all users on my computer?

    If you are using Photo to Movie on a computer with multiple users or in a networked environment, you only need to enter the license key a single time if you follow these instructions.

    1. Quit Photo to Movie if it is already launched.
    2. Delete your existing preferences located at
    3. Launch Photo to Movie again.
    4. Choose File > Enter License Key... and enter your name, email, and license key.
    5. Click OK.
    6. If Photo to Movie asks you to register online, do so now.
    7. Quit Photo to Movie again. Your Preferences file now contains your license key.
    8. Move the Preferences file at
      to a system-wide location such as

    You can also move the Preferences file to a Network location.

    Now when individual users launch Photo to Movie, it will find the licensing information in the system-wide location, but allow the individual user to customize other aspects of Photo to Movie in their local location.

    Does the movie lose any quality if edited in iMovie instead of iDVD?

    As long as you export your movie from Photo to Movie using DV Stream, you will see no loss in image quality by using iMovie first.

    How can I make my movie loop when I play it back?

    How you loop your slideshow will depend on how you want to play it back.

    The easiest way is to burn a DVD and then set it to loop in the DVD authoring software. Slideshow programs that have dedicated players will also allow you to loop it. However, if you're just generating a movie file and want it to loop, you'll need to use the player software to do the looping.

    There is an option in iDVD to play a movie as a loop. Consult the iDVD documentation for the exact way to do it. Roughly, select your movie in iDVD and then choose the menu item Advanced > Loop Movie.

    QuickTime Player also provides a menu item to play the movie in a loop: View > Loop, or Cmd-L.

    Does Photo to Movie support RAW format photos?

    Photo to Movie supports some RAW formats. The specific list of formats is dependent on your operating system (Mac OS vs. Windows), the version of the operating system, and the specific imaging codecs installed on your system. If you find a RAW image that does not load properly, please contact us at

    How can I add opening or closing credits to my movie?

    You can insert a blank image at the beginning or end of a movie. You can choose the color for the blank image and also add titles to the movie on top of the blank image to do opening or closing credits.

    To do this, add your photos to your document. Then select the first photo in the timeline. Then choose the menu item Photo > Insert Blank Image. You can also select the last photo in the timeline and then choose the menu item Photo > Add Blank Image.

    Next, click on the blank image in the timeline. Then in the inspector, set it's color by clicking on the color patch.

    Set the timing of the blank image to the desired duration. Also be sure to choose a transition from the blank to the first photo (or the last photo to the blank if you're doing ending credits).

    Finally, position the scrubber at the beginning of the movie or at the beginning of the blank at the end of the movie, and click the Add Title button.

    Adjust the positioning, color, and text of the title. You're done!

    Why are my vertical or portait photos getting cut off at the top and bottom?

    You can keep the vertically oriented (portrait) photos from being cut off by making the key frames on the photo larger than the photo itself, so that the height of the key frame matches the height of the photo.

    Photo to Movie can do this automatically for you using motion templates. In the motion template setup, uncheck the box that says 'Keep Motion Within Photo.' For new photos that you drag into the document, change this setting in the Preferences dialog. For existing photos in the timeline, select the photos in the timeline and then click the 'Motion Templates...' button in the inspector and change the setting there.

    I'm getting an error during rendering/export/Make Movie. What should I do?

    If you're encountering an error while making your final movie (rendering), please check the items below.

    Some of the items below will not solve the problem, but merely isolate it. If you cannot get your movie to render the way you want it to, please report the problem to us at

    Windows and Mac OS

    If rendering fails at the same place each time, try disabling adaptive blur for the large images in your document. Disable adaptive blur by selecting a photo in the timeline, select the Photo tab in the inspector, and change the adaptive blur setting to none.

    If that doesn't work, you can try removing large images from your document.

    You can also try removing titles, audio, and graphics from your timeline.

    Windows Only

    Try rendering to Windows Media file format. Sometimes rendering to AVI or QuickTime on Windows is problematic due to codec conflicts and software updates.

    Also, if you're rendering to QuickTime on Windows, please make sure your version of QuickTime is the latest version available.

    Photo to Movie shows missing photos in the timeline. What should I do?

    Photo to Movie stores references to your files, not copies. So if you move the document or photos or music, Photo to Movie can have trouble finding the original photos and music.

    The best way to handle things is to store your photos and music in the same folder as your Photo to Movie document. Then when you move the document/photos/music, Photo to Movie will be able to find your photos easily.

    Also, Photo to Movie 4.0.4 (Mac OS X) or later does a much better job of tracking your photos. It is not perfect, however, and you may still find yourself with missing photos if you move your document to another machine.

    But sometimes, Photo to Movie may report one or more of your photos or songs as missing when you open the document at a later date.

    If this happens, you can manually tell Photo to Movie where one of the photos is located. To do this, select one of the missing photos in the timeline. Then choose the menu item Photo > Replace Missing Photo... and then locate the photo by hand. Many times, Photo to Movie will be able to find the rest of the photos automatically. If it can't, you may have to manually locate more photos in order for Photo to Movie to find them.

    How do I make a movie with a transparent background?

    Photo to Movie is able to render movies with a transparent background. To do this, you need to set your background color to clear:

    1. Choose Document Info...
    2. Click Background...
    3. Choose the Color Wheel color tab.
    4. Slide the Opacity slider at the bottom to 0%.
    5. Close window. Click OK.

    Next, render your movie to a format that supports transparency. There are many QuickTime formats that do, but many that don't. If you have lots of disk space, we recommend using the 'Animation' codec. Any codec that supports 'Millions of Colors+' supports transparency.

    1. Click Make Movie.
    2. Click the QuickTime tab.
    3. Select Custom for the Movie Format.
    4. Click on Video...
    5. Select Animation as the Compression Type.
    6. Select Millions of Colors+ as the Depth.
    7. Click Ok.
    8. Set your movie size as desired (640x480 for DVD, or better 1280x960).
    9. Click Make Movie.

    Note that the Animation codec will produce gigantic files. You can delete it once you have imported it to FCP and resaved it. The Animation codec is essentially the same as Uncompressed 4:2:2.

    What languages in Photo to Movie translated to?

    The Photo to Movie website and user's guide are only available in English.

    The Photo to Movie application (menus, dialogs) is available in:

    • French
    • Italian
    • Japanese
    • Spanish
    • Swedish

    Photo to Movie also has partial translations into:

    • Danish
    • Dutch
    • German
    • Norwegian

    If you are able to provide translation into one of the missing languages or a new language, please contact us at

    If you are interested in being a language affiliate and translating web pages, reviews, and other material, please visit our affiliate page.

    How do I use Photo to Movie with Final Cut?

    To use Photo to Movie with Final Cut, create your movie in Photo to Movie. Then press the Make Movie button or choose File > Make Movie... When the Make Movie dialog appears, choose the QuickTime panel.

    Next you need to match the format of the Photo to Movie export to your Final Cut movie. You will probably be using either DV, DV Widescreen, HDV 1080i, or HDV 720p. The widescreen formats (HDV included) will only appear if your Photo to Movie document has been configured as widescreen. Once you have chosen your format, click the Make Movie button.

    Once your movie is rendered, drag or import your movie into Final Cut.

    You may also choose other formats such as Uncompressed 4:2:2 for top-quality video. The disadvantage of this format is that it will take a lot of hard disk space. You may also find yourself using MPEG-4 occasionally, although this will result in signicantly lower quality.

    What are the system requirements for Photo to Movie?

    You can view the requirements for each version of Photo to Movie here:

    System Requirements


    How do I change a transition from the default to one of the others?

    To use other transitions you will have to select one of the transitions in the sequence or timeline at the bottom of the window. The transitions are the orange lines. Select them by clicking on them. Then choose your desired transition type in the inspector at the top right of the window.

    How do I produce an MPEG-2 file on Windows?

    Older versions of Photo to Movie (3.5) allowed you to directly produce an MPEG-2 file. Due to the availability of easy replacements, licensing, and time constraints, we decided to drop this support in Photo to Movie 4.5 and later.

    However, it is still easy to accomplish the conversion with free software.

    We recommend using WinFF to do the conversion.

    First prepare your movie in Photo to Movie. Add your photos, titles, graphics, and audio tracks.

    Next, use Make Movie in Photo to Movie to render your movie.

    When you Make Movie, choose the Windows Media at the top of the screen. Under Movie Settings, choose either Standard Definition if your movie has a standard (4:3) aspect ratio, or High Definition (480p) if you have a widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio.

    If you're rendering PAL video, you need to click Options... and change the Frame Rate to 25.

    Next click the Make Movie... button and save the video to a file.

    Now, launch WinFF.

    Next, drag and drop your video file that was rendered from Photo to Movie into the main window of WinFF.

    In the Convert To... menu, choose DVD. In the Device Preset menu, choose your MPEG-2 format.

    Finally, click the Convert button at the top of the WinFF menu.

    It's not pretty, but it will get the job done and you'll end up with an MPEG-2 video suitable for use on DVD.

    How do I recover a lost license key?

    You can recover your lost license key by clicking on this link:

    Recover License Key


    Photo to Movie 3.5 crashes when I import images. What should I do?

    Upgrade to QuickTime version 6.5.2 or later. Version 3.5 of Photo to Movie is incompatible with version 6.3 and earlier of QuickTime, and although we plan to implement a workaround so Photo to Movie 3.5.1 won't crash when older versions of QuickTime are installed, we really don't support versions of QuickTime before 6.5.2.

    Can I change the timing of all of the photos at once?

    Yes. Photo to Movie allows you to select all of the photos in the timeline at once. You can use the inspector to change photo-specific properties, including timing information such as duration, and it will apply to all selected photos.

    The easiest way to select all photos in the timeline is to click on one and then use the menu item Edit > Select All.

    Can Photo to Movie use photos from Aperture or Adobe Lightroom?

    The Photo to Movie 5.0 media browser has support for browsing Aperture and iPhoto libraries.

    Photo to Movie 5.0 does not support Adobe Lightroom libraries. We hope to add support for Adobe Lightroom in a future version.

    How can I add chapter markers to my movie?

    Photo to Movie does not directly support custom chapter markers. However, you can use QuickTime Pro to add chapter markers to your movie if it is a QuickTime movie.

    See for more information.

    How can I set the background color of my movie to black or another color?

    You can set the background color of your document using the Document Info dialog. You can open the Document Info dialog by clicking on the big blue 'i' in the document window.

    Does Photo to Movie for Windows XP run on Windows 2000?

    Yes, Photo to Movie does run on Windows 2000.