PDA

View Full Version : Help with editing HD material




lisamel
Dec 22, 2009, 05:00 PM
Hi everyone!

I have a Samsung HD HDD camcorder and I use it to record normal things like holidays but also dancing competitions. I haven't had it for too long, so I've only made some dancing DVDs. The quality of the DVD is terrible after I use iMovie '09 and iDVD. Its really blurry and you cant tell its HD at all. I'm not expecting full HD quality as its only a DVD, but I would think that there is something I can do to make it better.

What I usually do is import the clips with iMovie full quality. Then I just make a project and share it to iDVD. I usually save it in wide screen format. Then the result comes out looking terrible. Also, all the dancers look really strage. They look short and wide. But as the format is 9:16 (16:9 or whatever way it goes :) ) and i save it in widescreen they should look normal?

Anyway.. Is there another way to do this? Would it be better if I bought Final Cut Express?

Thanks :)



spinnerlys
Dec 22, 2009, 05:04 PM
Can you post screenshots of the original footage and after it came onto DVD?
Do you know what codec the camera uses? Also what size and resolution are the files iMovie uses to store the video after it most probably has been converted?
And what iMovie and iDVD versions are you using?

Also how many minutes is the video long and on what kind of DVD are you storing it (4.7GB or 8.xGB)?

And it's called 16:9 because the width comes first, then the height follows, and if it would be 3D the depth would be last.

Like geometry, the coordinates come in X,Y,Z, where the X axis goes from left to right (width), the Y axis from top to bottom (height) and the Z axis goes from front to back.

lisamel
Dec 22, 2009, 05:14 PM
Thanks for your promt reply :)

I use iMovie '09 and the newest iDVD. And the DVD I use i 4.7GB. Its not very long, its usually about 30-40 minutes tops.

I'm using my laptop at the moment but I got my camera and everything here so I will get some clips and post a few screen shots.

How do I find the size and resolution and codec? :)

Thank you!!

spinnerlys
Dec 22, 2009, 05:25 PM
Thanks for your promt reply :)

I use iMovie '09 and the newest iDVD. And the DVD I use i 4.7GB. Its not very long, its usually about 30-40 minutes tops.

I'm using my laptop at the moment but I got my camera and everything here so I will get some clips and post a few screen shots.

How do I find the size and resolution and codec? :)

Thank you!!

Size via Finder: Users > You > Movies > iMovie > ... (I don't know if there is one big file, where iMovies stores all the video files, like iPhoto does, or if there are smaller files for every clip you imported.)

To find out what codec (and also the resolution) the files on your camera use, you could open them in Quick Time Player (if you are able to access those videos before iMovie wants them) and then use the Movie Inspector (CMD+I).
The same can be done for the files in the iMovie folder.

PS: Can you give the exact model of your camera, as it might be, that it uses some strange format to store the files on it, which can't be opened by QT, so a little research is in order.

Also what steps do you take to get the finished sequence from iMovie to iDVD? And what steps do you take there?

lisamel
Dec 22, 2009, 05:53 PM
The camera I use is Samsung H104 (in europe, dont know if they have different names in the US?). When I connect the camera and play the contents directly from it, it uses quicktime and the file is MP4. The size on the camera is 112.1MB and after it is importet with iMovie its 547.8MB. In the more info box I got nothing with the MP4 file. But the MOV file says: 1920x1080, Apple Intermediate Codec, Linear PCM, Timecode.

The camera settings:
Video Resolution: HD 1080/50i
Quality: Super fine
Photo Resolution: 2880x1620

Import:
Connect camera
Import automatically from iMovie in full quality (attachment)
Make a project. Usually I dont even edit, just copy it all.
Share: Export Movie. There I save in widescreen. And it starts to export.

iDVD:
Choose a template.
Add a few photos and audio.
Add the previously exportet movie.
Burn it on DVD.

Thanks for your help.

PS: The photos I've added, I dont know if you can see any difference, because this is screen shots from before i burn the movie. I didnt bring my super drive with me so cant make a DVD now.

lisamel
Dec 23, 2009, 03:19 AM
I realised that I didnt export the movie so you probably cant see a difference in the photo. But I've exported it and taken a screen shot. I also took a screen shot of the settings I use before I export :)

Dimensions: 1280x720
Codec: H.264 AAC

mstrze
Dec 23, 2009, 07:16 AM
I am at work and don't have my computer in front of me, but I think your stretching problems are the result of specifically choosing widscreen as an option. I have had issues like this, but when I just let the camera video import/export without choosing a widescreen project, I think I had better luck without these issues. When I chose 'widescreen', I seem to recall getting stretched video...even though my original video was already 'letterboxed' per se.

This may or may not make sense to you. :(

As for the quality. I am getting the sense that you are importing files from the camera and not video? I think your project will be a lot clearer if you hook up the camera through the FireWire port and play through the video and import it like that. If you pull in (import) movie files saved to a camcorder's hard drive. There are codec issues as this material needs to be encoded/decoded by iMovie to be able to work with it. If you allow the movie to play directly through the camera to import, the camera does this automatically..and probably does it better since it's a native procedure to allow someone to view these HD files through the camcorder.

So, I guess I am asking for clarity: when you import video, are you watching the video in real time as it plays on the iMovie screen or are you just seeing a blue bar as you import a file from the camera's hard drive?

mmulin
Dec 23, 2009, 07:23 AM
Hi everyone!

I have a Samsung HD HDD camcorder and I use it to record normal things like holidays but also dancing competitions. I haven't had it for too long, so I've only made some dancing DVDs. The quality of the DVD is terrible after I use iMovie '09 and iDVD. Its really blurry and you cant tell its HD at all. I'm not expecting full HD quality as its only a DVD, but I would think that there is something I can do to make it better.

What I usually do is import the clips with iMovie full quality. Then I just make a project and share it to iDVD. I usually save it in wide screen format. Then the result comes out looking terrible. Also, all the dancers look really strage. They look short and wide. But as the format is 9:16 (16:9 or whatever way it goes :) ) and i save it in widescreen they should look normal?

Anyway.. Is there another way to do this? Would it be better if I bought Final Cut Express?

Thanks :)

Blurry: Is it also blurry when you play the DVD on a DVD player or only in iMovie?

Stretching: Check your project settings for iMovie and iDVD. Normally you shouldn't have this problem. Helas, I am using FCP and am not so verse with iMovie.

spinnerlys
Dec 23, 2009, 08:16 AM
I don't use iMovie or iDVD, but doesn't iMovie have some "Export to iDVD" function, or is the only step to do this by "Share: Export Movie"?

It may be that due to the footage being HD, that iDVD is not able to properly down-convert the footage to SD in order to make a video DVD out of it.

The camera uses a highly compressive codec (H264), iMovie then converts it to its own codec AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) to edit the footage properly. Due to another export from iMovie to iDVD the footage gets more compressed again, if you choose another compressive codec, and then iDVD compresses that footage again into MPEG-2 encoded files to properly burn them onto a DVD.

If iDVD is in any way able to access the imported footage of iMovie and use that for creating a DVD, there would be one less compression involved.
If not, try to export the finished sequence from iMovie using the DV or even AI codec and see if that works better.

Also how does the DVD look on your TV compared to your Mac screen?
And maybe you have to enable widescreen/16:9 in your video DVD player.


To the poster who recommended Firewire: the camera has no Firewire (http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/photography/camcorders/high-definition/HMX-H104BN/XAA/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&tab=spec), as with almost all digital HD camcorders, footage is no longer transferred/imported in real time, and USB is sufficient enough for most consumer camcorders. Even professional XDCam decks only have USB as means of transfer, and the footage is recorded onto a Blu Ray.

Also letterbox and widescreen are not the same.
Widescreen is an image aspect ratio (16:9 or even 2.35:1), cameras record in that ratio even; letterbox is just black bars applied to the bottom and top of 4:3 footage to make it look like widescreen.

mstrze
Dec 23, 2009, 08:24 AM
Didn't know about the importing files vs. real-time.

If it helps you any, when I import video from my FlipHD...which is essentially just like your camcorder in many ways...it imports through iPhoto and I just use the videos under the iPhoto Videos folder on the bottom left of my iMovie screen.

There is a way to directly share to iDVD from iMovie...this is the way you should be handling this. I didn't notice that you were adding this extra export/import step.

And I still think that I wouldn't necessarily choose the widescreen option (although with proper sharing between iMovie and iDVD I don't think this will even be a possible option) . Let your computer handle it without 'think about it' I guess. My FlipHD videos come out just fine without messing with anything. I watch them on my AppleTV and I have burned a few of them in iDVD as well without any stretching or squishing of the video.

lisamel
Dec 23, 2009, 11:49 AM
Hi!

Thanks for all your replies! I sometimes export it straight to iDVD, but the quality is the same. The stretching problem may not be there, I cant remember at the moment. Will have to try it out when I get back home :)

When I use the DVD player connected to my TV it also looks terrible even though its a fairly new TV, with widescreen possibilities.

I will have to try to share it straight to iDVD and see if it helps with the stretching problem. But the quality has always been pretty bad compared to connecting the camera straight to the TV.

Grannyto4
Dec 28, 2009, 11:20 AM
I purchased a Canon HF20 and recorded on it Christmas Day. When I transferred the recording from the Camcorder, I recorded in HD, to imovie it looked good but when I transferred it from iMovie to iDVD and made a DVD it did not look as good. It was fuzzy and not crisp and clear as I thought it would be. It reminded me of a regular old DVD and not HD. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong? I have iLife'09. If this is the best quality I can get, I should have just recorded in standard mode.

mmulin
Dec 28, 2009, 11:51 AM
I purchased a Canon HF20 and recorded on it Christmas Day. When I transferred the recording from the Camcorder, I recorded in HD, to imovie it looked good but when I transferred it from iMovie to iDVD and made a DVD it did not look as good. It was fuzzy and not crisp and clear as I thought it would be. It reminded me of a regular old DVD and not HD. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong? I have iLife'09. If this is the best quality I can get, I should have just recorded in standard mode.

As far I am aware you can't make HD video on DVDs in the first place. You will need BlueRay for this. This brings you to the second problem. iDVD doesn't support authoring of HD quality standards. DVDPro does, I think. As for burning you might need to look at Toast Tutanium.

xStep
Dec 28, 2009, 01:29 PM
When I use the DVD player connected to my TV it also looks terrible even though its a fairly new TV, with widescreen possibilities.

I will have to try to share it straight to iDVD and see if it helps with the stretching problem. But the quality has always been pretty bad compared to connecting the camera straight to the TV.

If your new TV is HD than of course the camera HD output looks better. Converting HD to a DVD and playing that to an HD TV will require up conversion from a standard definition picture. This process is only so good.

Kallel00
Jan 3, 2010, 08:42 AM
I purchased a Canon HF20 and recorded on it Christmas Day. When I transferred the recording from the Camcorder, I recorded in HD, to imovie it looked good but when I transferred it from iMovie to iDVD and made a DVD it did not look as good. It was fuzzy and not crisp and clear as I thought it would be. It reminded me of a regular old DVD and not HD. Can someone tell me what I am doing wrong? I have iLife'09. If this is the best quality I can get, I should have just recorded in standard mode.


DVD can't handle HD resolution. That's normal


Keep filming in HD mode, because once you migrate to Blu-Ray, you're gonna regret recording in standard mode.

pilotrtc
Jan 3, 2010, 10:14 AM
Also letterbox and widescreen are not the same.
Widescreen is an image aspect ratio (16:9 or even 2.35:1), cameras record in that ratio even; letterbox is just black bars applied to the bottom and top of 4:3 footage to make it look like widescreen.

:eek: I didn't know that!

I always want to watch any movie/TV show/video as it was intended to be seen and now I know better. It drives me crazy when someone thinks that they're not getting their money's worth unless every corner of their TV is filled with image even if it means stretching that image into horrible distortion.

xStep
Jan 3, 2010, 01:28 PM
Also letterbox and widescreen are not the same.
Widescreen is an image aspect ratio (16:9 or even 2.35:1), cameras record in that ratio even; letterbox is just black bars applied to the bottom and top of 4:3 footage to make it look like widescreen.

I'm not sure I like that explanation. Instead; Letterbox is black bars applied to the top and bottom of widescreen footage so that it displays properly on a non widescreen display that is less than the aspect ratio of the original material.

Wikipedia as a nice long explanation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letterbox) for those who want to follow up on it.