Turning Off Ken Burns Default Behavior

It’s unclear why Apple chose to implement the feature this way, but in iMovie 3 the Ken Burns Effect (pan and zoom) is applied to every still image you import into your project. Fortunately, there are a few workarounds:

  • In the Photos pane, set the Zoom value to 1.00 for both the Start and Finish States.
  • After importing a photo (from the Photos pane, from the Desktop, or by using iMovie’s Import command), hit Command-period to cancel rendering of the effect.
  • To turn off the behavior altogether, you need to tweak some settings files. Fire up a text editor and do the following (much thanks to TidBITS reader Larry Wink for pointing this out):
  • Open the ‘com.apple.iMovie3.plist’ file in the User/Library/Preferences folder and change:

      <key>Option autoApplyPanZoomToImportedStills: %d


      <key>Option autoApplyPanZoomToImportedStills: %d

  1. Glenn Fleishman March 16, 2003 at 9:58 pm

    I mentioned this problem (quoting you) in my column.

  2. I saw that, thanks for the mention.
    (See, sometimes I even actually read your Seattle Times columns! )

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