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Old Jan 7, 2012, 07:17 PM   #1
Sacird
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iMovie 11 export has some nasty artifacts

I got a Vixia M40 and I capture my video through iMovie and it goes in there fine and looks fine when I play it back. When I go to export my project I get a lot of artifacting especially against dark backgrounds. Looks very digitalized and messy. The camera quality is good but the artifacts drive me nuts.

I export in full quality I do not want to go to "large" as iMovie recommends. Anyone have similar issues that they found a resolution to?

If my info is lacking I apologize I tried to keep it short and easy.
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 06:31 AM   #2
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Conspiracy theory states that Apple Intermediate Codec is to blame, and the only solution (thanks to ) is to buy FCPX which uses the ProRes codec. There is an alternative however...

(1) http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1396
(2) http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/16357/unpkg

You can retrieve the prores codecs from (1) using (2), then use MPEG Streamclip (for example, Export to Quicktime with any "Apple ProRes 422" variant). Then when you import to iMovie, it should skip the usual conversion to AIC. I haven't actually edited this way, but I know exporting straight to iDVD works.
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 08:43 AM   #3
Sacird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
Conspiracy theory states that Apple Intermediate Codec is to blame, and the only solution (thanks to ) is to buy FCPX which uses the ProRes codec. There is an alternative however...

(1) http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1396
(2) http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/16357/unpkg

You can retrieve the prores codecs from (1) using (2), then use MPEG Streamclip (for example, Export to Quicktime with any "Apple ProRes 422" variant). Then when you import to iMovie, it should skip the usual conversion to AIC. I haven't actually edited this way, but I know exporting straight to iDVD works.
Awesome thanks for the info! I tried out the FCPx demo and of course the export went flawless using the ProRes. Don't want to drop $300 on that currently though, maybe later. Good to know I can get that codec. Is AIC affecting a lot of cameras or just a select bunch? From what I read it seems to hinder anything that is interlaced.

Anyway thanks a bunch.
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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I just went through hell for a few weeks because of this, and yeah, it's definitely they AIC. As far as I know it affects all cameras, because the codec only uses 8-bit regardless of the camera. I'm using FCPx now, or at least trying to learn it . Did you have any luck using DisMyMac's advice?
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 02:43 PM   #5
Sacird
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Originally Posted by Ja Di ksw View Post
I just went through hell for a few weeks because of this, and yeah, it's definitely they AIC. As far as I know it affects all cameras, because the codec only uses 8-bit regardless of the camera. I'm using FCPx now, or at least trying to learn it . Did you have any luck using DisMyMac's advice?
I am going to try and report back my findings later tonight or tomorrow. I need to look at how to get the .mts file off my camera and into mpegstreamclip. I am curious since if I recall a few times when I did a full screen preview on iMovie it looked fine, but after export, my god!! All the damn posterization I'll get to the bottom of this though.

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Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
No problem, I had the same issues with AIC. Although I don't mean to slander Apple in case I goofed up my settings, Googling leads me to believe that AIC is just horrible, and Apple doesn't care because they already got our money and will be happy to fix our problems for another $300....
Slandering Apple is fun though I like to nail all the big three, MS and Google as well when I can. F em all.

I checked it out as well (AIC) it seemed mixed bag, good to edit with and sometimes good results other times things just went bad.

Okay so I think I might try this thing soon, so I need to download the codecs and I am guessing those go into quicktime? What is the second link a download for? It's an unpackager? I have no clue how to get the video files off my camera and imported not using the iMovie importer. Just want to be sure I am getting this right.

Last edited by Sacird; Jan 8, 2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacird View Post
Okay so I think I might try this thing soon, so I need to download the codecs and I am guessing those go into quicktime?
Yes, the path is usually "Macintosh HD > Library > QuickTime". I'm not sure if the computer or programs need to be restarted after you add a component.

Quote:
What is the second link a download for? It's an unpackager?
The apple support download is actually an installer for several codecs - you need the unpackager to navigate to the ProRes file. I don't think it was intended for iMovie, so I'm not even sure if the editing features work (ie. transitions or anything else), all I know is that it exports OK after you import a video.

Quote:
I have no clue how to get the video files off my camera and imported not using the iMovie importer. Just want to be sure I am getting this right.
The camera's hard drive should appear on the desktop when it connects (otherwise I don't know why iMovie would see it). Double-click on it and navigate to where ever the movies are, maybe by looking for large folders... drag and drop the files onto the desktop, then open them with Streamclip (convert, send to iMovie, etc.).
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacird View Post
Awesome thanks for the info! I tried out the FCPx demo and of course the export went flawless using the ProRes. Don't want to drop $300 on that currently though, maybe later. Good to know I can get that codec. Is AIC affecting a lot of cameras or just a select bunch? From what I read it seems to hinder anything that is interlaced.

Anyway thanks a bunch.
No problem, I had the same issues with AIC. Although I don't mean to slander Apple in case I goofed up my settings, Googling leads me to believe that AIC is just horrible, and Apple doesn't care because they already got our money and will be happy to fix our problems for another $300....
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Old Jan 8, 2012, 01:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
No problem, I had the same issues with AIC. Although I don't mean to slander Apple in case I goofed up my settings, Googling leads me to believe that AIC is just horrible, and Apple doesn't care because they already got our money and will be happy to fix our problems for another $300....
I don't believe AIC is a horrible, its quite adequate for the beginner/intermediate user. FCP X is made for Prosumer/pro market and their needs are different, so a ProRes is a better format for that. I believe AIC is still much better then editing AVCHD natively.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 11:20 AM   #9
RobertStockholm
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Didn't work for me..
With the two steps below I got acces to the file "AppleProResCodec.component", copied it into the Quicktime library (replacing the file that was there already), restarted my computer, used Streamclip to "export to quicktime" in Prores422, imported that into iMovie and exported from iMovie.
Still the same extremely ugly artifacts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
(1) http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1396
(2) http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/16357/unpkg

You can retrieve the prores codecs from (1) using (2), then use MPEG Streamclip (for example, Export to Quicktime with any "Apple ProRes 422" variant). Then when you import to iMovie, it should skip the usual conversion to AIC. I haven't actually edited this way, but I know exporting straight to iDVD works.
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertStockholm View Post
Didn't work for me..
With the two steps below I got acces to the file "AppleProResCodec.component", copied it into the Quicktime library (replacing the file that was there already), restarted my computer, used Streamclip to "export to quicktime" in Prores422, imported that into iMovie and exported from iMovie.
Still the same extremely ugly artifacts
Make sure you don't have "Optimize video" selected when you import into iMovie. It's a misleading option - it turns everything into AIC which defeats the whole purpose....
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Old Feb 4, 2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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Damn, my camera is coming and I have been on the internet in anticipation of taking some short, but pleasing video. All I have found are complaints, complex work-arounds, 3rd party software suggestions and people just exasperated with their experience.

Can iMovie actually import the common avchd format (Sony) and produce a high quality little HD movie of, say, waves at the beach or a kid running around?

Or do I need non-Apple software, or even a Windows machine to deal with this. Or Windows on my MBP?
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Old Feb 5, 2012, 12:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by carlgo View Post
Damn, my camera is coming and I have been on the internet in anticipation of taking some short, but pleasing video. All I have found are complaints, complex work-arounds, 3rd party software suggestions and people just exasperated with their experience.

Can iMovie actually import the common avchd format (Sony) and produce a high quality little HD movie of, say, waves at the beach or a kid running around?

Or do I need non-Apple software, or even a Windows machine to deal with this. Or Windows on my MBP?
The complains are actually few and between. There's nothing that hinders you to get great footage from your Sony out of iMovie.

For whom the 300 bucks FCP X is too expensive: Buy either the 50 dollar Motion or Compressor and you'll get ProRes as a download.
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Old Feb 5, 2012, 03:18 AM   #13
RobertStockholm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
Make sure you don't have "Optimize video" selected when you import into iMovie. It's a misleading option - it turns everything into AIC which defeats the whole purpose....
Tried without "optimize video"; still the same artifacts.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 08:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertStockholm View Post
Didn't work for me..

Still the same extremely ugly artifacts
EDIT: Got sucked into this old thread.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Post before and after pictures.

In case it matters here, iMovie versions post version 6 are known to not properly handle standard DV video. Something about skipping lines. I don't believe that has ever been fixed.
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Old Aug 2, 2013, 12:43 AM   #15
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A picture is worth a thousand words. Post before and after pictures.
Originally imported from a Canon HV20 using iMovie '09, full resolution. Imported into iMovie '11 without choosing Optimize. Raw video in the iMovie Events folder looks fine, in the screenshot it's the left. The preview window while editing as well as exporting introduces posterization and a maximum resolution of 960x540. It's on the right. You'll notice the awful artifacting of the dark suit right away. Also see how much clearer the camera in the background is in the raw video, as well as a lack of deinterlacing "blur" on the right. It just discarded one set of fields. Grabbing the Apple pro codecs didn't help, it's still a max resolution of 540p.

Downloaded the FCP X trial and imported the iMovie project. The preview window looks like it should. It's still exporting but I'm expecting it to work correctly.

Absolutely ridiculous. Oh I'll be getting Final Cut but Apple won't be getting 300 bucks from me for something I shouldn't need in the first place.
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Old Aug 2, 2013, 06:33 AM   #16
daybreak
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Was that section shoot with Auto Focus?. Look at the power of your white balance and your bench. Perfect. But your person is not.
It is a difficult shoot to get correct if one has little time. Try using the sharpen tool in FCP-X and play around.
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 01:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
You can retrieve the prores codecs from (1) using (2), ... Export to Quicktime with any "Apple ProRes 422" variant). Then when you import to iMovie, it should skip the usual conversion to AIC. ....
Thanks DisMyMac, I'm another happy client who tried this bunch of codecs and found them a big improvement on iMovie'11 editing of the output from my Olympus PEN E-PL1 720P video. In fact, I'll be buying FCP X as I wish to learn more about editing; after having tried the codecs can see that it's much better quality than the consumer product. (I was getting posterizing on blacks and also motion variation throughout the vid with just AIC)
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 12:04 PM   #18
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It works~

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
Conspiracy theory states that Apple Intermediate Codec is to blame, and the only solution (thanks to ) is to buy FCPX which uses the ProRes codec. There is an alternative however...

(1) http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1396
(2) http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/16357/unpkg

You can retrieve the prores codecs from (1) using (2), then use MPEG Streamclip (for example, Export to Quicktime with any "Apple ProRes 422" variant). Then when you import to iMovie, it should skip the usual conversion to AIC. I haven't actually edited this way, but I know exporting straight to iDVD works.
I followed what you said and uploaded a test video to Youtube with my t3i. Omg, thank you so much! I kept getting really terrible quality with Imovie 11' and the quality is really close to the original.

I'm not sure if anyone else have tried/I bumped an oldish thread but it really works and makes Imovie bearable without buying a legit good editing software.

I still need to play around with editing in Imovie to see if the quality remains like my test video but so far, the quality is really good.

Thank you again - I only registered to comment here, ha.. haha.
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Old Oct 24, 2012, 10:14 AM   #19
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My problem is the following:

- Import footage with iMovie from Canon HF-11 (so, transcoded in AIC) -> horrible artifacts in dark zones.

- Transcode AVCHD to ProRes from HF-11 with FCPX, then import into iMovie. I make a little 1 minute test project with 2 sequences and 1 transition between them. Export with iMovie in ProRes format. Excellent image quality.

- BUT if instead of my little test project I try to make a trailer, when I export to ProRes, the image is again horrible. It seems as if iMovie transcode the image into AIC when I try to make a trailer.

So... it is not possible to make a decent trailer with iMovie 8-(
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:57 AM   #20
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Experiencing the same issue here.

Would the following work?

1. Import capture into iMovie and edit as normal (the preview window in iMovie shows god quality - no artifacts or banding in dark areas etc, which leads me to believe its when iMovie exports that this happens?).

2. Once project is finished in iMovie - open FCPX and import the project into FCPX (would this keep all my PIP, audio, voiceovers, and transitions intact??).

3. Export the project to a file using FCPX instead.

Apparently this should yeild much better results - I will try it tonight, but has anyone else given this a shot already?
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 04:45 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ifti View Post
Experiencing the same issue here.

Would the following work?

1. Import capture into iMovie and edit as normal (the preview window in iMovie shows god quality - no artifacts or banding in dark areas etc, which leads me to believe its when iMovie exports that this happens?).

2. Once project is finished in iMovie - open FCPX and import the project into FCPX (would this keep all my PIP, audio, voiceovers, and transitions intact??).

3. Export the project to a file using FCPX instead.

Apparently this should yeild much better results - I will try it tonight, but has anyone else given this a shot already?
Did you get a chance to try this?

I am desperate right now. I have just finished editing the video for my cousin's wedding. I have at least 50 hours of editing in it already and when I just exported straight from iMovie 11 to iTunes, the outcome is unacceptable. Horrible artifacts anywhere that is even remotely dark. It never looked like this in the preview windows in iMovie.

This is from both a Canon T2i and Canon Vixia video camera, both at high settings. And I do still have all of the raw footage, but if I have to start over, that is every bit of my time down the drain.

If I export using QuickTime as suggested above, what settings should I be using? My ultimate output will be a DVD and digital format in as high quality as possible.
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Last edited by rusty2192; Nov 22, 2012 at 08:10 PM.
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 09:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisMyMac View Post
Conspiracy theory states that Apple Intermediate Codec is to blame, and the only solution (thanks to ) is to buy FCPX which uses the ProRes codec. There is an alternative however...

(1) http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1396
(2) http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/16357/unpkg

You can retrieve the prores codecs from (1) using (2), then use MPEG Streamclip (for example, Export to Quicktime with any "Apple ProRes 422" variant). Then when you import to iMovie, it should skip the usual conversion to AIC. I haven't actually edited this way, but I know exporting straight to iDVD works.


This process did not work for me. When I tried to open the codec .dmg with the unpkg app it said it could not open the file. I have not been able to find another way to open this package.

I'm also looking for a workaround to export acceptable looking video footage. I have been importing .mp4 videos that were converted with Handbrake from .mts. I'm using files provided from another person so I do not have the original camera.

When I import the files they optimize (even when I deselect that option) and then when exporting to quicktime, they produce a HUGE file that is artifacting.

I'm trying to produce the best quality video export to be used for youtube, DVD and uncompressed that I can handoff to someone else. I do not want to directly post to these applications.

Can somebody walk me through a workaround? I'm using imovie 11 on 10.6.8

Last edited by sbroadcast; Feb 15, 2013 at 09:13 AM.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:11 PM   #23
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You must open .dmg (through double click) and then you can access the package file from the new finder window. Just drop it on the umpkg window and it will create a new folder on the desktop.

The pro codec worked for me.
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Old Feb 5, 2012, 03:51 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacird View Post
I got a Vixia M40 and I capture my video through iMovie and it goes in there fine and looks fine when I play it back. When I go to export my project I get a lot of artifacting especially against dark backgrounds. Looks very digitalized and messy. The camera quality is good but the artifacts drive me nuts.

I export in full quality I do not want to go to "large" as iMovie recommends. Anyone have similar issues that they found a resolution to?

If my info is lacking I apologize I tried to keep it short and easy.
Have you tried "Export with Quicktime" instead of regular export? Select the resolution and compressor quality you want for it and the audio bitrate. See if that still produces artifacts.
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Old Feb 5, 2012, 04:33 AM   #25
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Have you tried "Export with Quicktime" instead of regular export? Select the resolution and compressor quality you want for it and the audio bitrate. See if that still produces artifacts.
I always use "export with quicktime" and pay careful attention to resolution&compressor quality.

I want to add that these artifacts NEVER turned up in iMovie 08 on my old MacBook Pro from 2008 which I have kept because of this reason.
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