Final Cut Express, iMovie, and iDVD.. oh yeh, and me angry.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cr2sh, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #1
    Alright... bare with me.

    A few nights ago I installed Panther. The I started importing the 5+hours of video I have of the OSU vs. Michigan weekend into iMovie. About 4 hours into splicing the video, cutting it down, seamlessly mixing 2 cameras.. I have it really close to how I want it.

    I decided I was going to pull it into iDVD and burn a copy. Just so I can watch it, makes notes and decide what needs changed.

    No iDVD included in Panther. Fine.. so, I check macrumors, find a thread. I save the iMovie project and start installing iDVD.

    After the installation is complete I click the iMovie icon. Nothing. I click it again. Nothing. "Alright fine" I think to myself "I'll just force quit it... it'll be there.. i saved it."

    iMovie launches and abruptly crashes. Giving me the chance to notify apple. Try it again.. iMovie says the project is corrupt.

    I check the directory and the original clips are there as well as a referenced quick time file, that was generated right before I installed iDVD.

    I tried to import this quicktime file into iMovie.. it takes about 4hours and errors out at about 99%.. saying simple "Unable to import [some number]"

    I install FCexpress and import the quicktime film into it. Comes in fine. I've been meaning to learn FCE but havent had the chance yet.. so this is my chance. I go and buy a book and start learning about FCE export options.

    I've tried exporting it as a DV file, so I can import that into iMovie and start basically where I felt off. Export takes about an hour and when I try to import into iMovie its the same thing. A long, slow import that errors out at about 99%. Saying again "Unable to import [some number]" I've broken the 90minute film into 15minutes segments, they wont import either. Saying "Clip too long." 40second clips will import.. but there's no way I'm doing it that way.

    I decide to forget iMovie altogether.. and export the edited quicktime film as a Self-contained Final Cut File that I can import straight into iDVD. When I try doing this though, the file comes out all compressed looking. Some pixels get all blocky while some look great.. not at all near the original quality of the other file.

    I don't know what to do. I half tempted to delete the whole goddamn directory and start over again.. but if I do, I have no way of knowing if the file will export again all ****ty looking to iDVD.

    Someone help me out here. Some suggestion on how to fix the Self Contained Final Cut File compression settings... or a better idea. Any help at all will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    No need to export as a self-contained movie unless you are removing the file from the computer. Also make sure when you export that your settings are all set to the highest possible values (by default I think they are).

    Not that this helps you out of your current jam but it's a good idea not to install video/video related programs when you are in the middle of a project. You never know what changes, if any, a new program will make to files on the computer.

    If you can import the stuff into FCE why don't you just finish it in FCE?


    Lethal
     
  3. cr2sh thread starter macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #3
    I plan on finishing it in FCE.. but I have to get it to a DVD at some point. Currently, I'm unable to export it so that it looks good.. that's the problem I'm really having.

    The book I have says use self-contained Final Cut file if you're going to bring it into iDVD... is that wrong? When I use it, the video looks like ass. :confused:
     
  4. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    My advice: use FCE, not iMovie.

    Final Cut Express is easy to use and I managed to learn it quickly without any guide (there's only a PDF manual even that's a bit out of date).

    Lethal's right - don't bother with exporting a self-contained movie. It takes a lot longer to export and basically uses tonnes of disc space as you're effectively copying everything again. In fact, I think they're nothing but hassle. Exporting non self-contained movies in iDVD is far quicker, less space-hungry and has created no problems whatsoever so far for me.

    Oh, and you will learn to love Panther. It's sweet.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    There is no nead to make a self-contained movie unless you are taking the movie off the machine. An non-self-contained movie is a reference file that points back to the source media. It is significantly smaller file and plays back just like a self-contained movie. Why your book says you have to use a self-contained is beyond me. I've never used FCE but when I export a self-contained movie out of FCP 3 here is how I do it:
    File->Export->Final Cut Pro Movie.
    In the settings window:
    Setting: Current Settings
    Quality: Hi Res
    Include: Audio and Video


    Lethal
     
  6. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    FCE 1 is based on FCP3, FCE 2 has some extra FCP 4 features (like the new real-time effects engine), so everything should work the same way between programs, give or take.

    I find FCE faster, almost easier to use and obviously far more powerful than iMovie. I bet version 2 is even better.
     
  7. cr2sh thread starter macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #7
    Well guys, I appreciate your help.

    Last night I tried your suggestion... non-self contained, and it worked great. I have no idea why the book said to do self-contained either.. but thanks to your suggestions I'm back on track.

    The fact of the matter is, now that I'm starting to learn FCE and get practice with it I like it's strength over the simplicity of iMovie. I'm probably going to finish the project as planned, burn it to DVD, and start over again.. resplicing everything in a much more accurate FCE method.


    Should have done it that way to begin with. :)

    Thanks again!
     
  8. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    I tend to use iMovie for the times that I'm playing about and want some funny effects added to clips. The fog and rain filters are pretty realistic...

    Problem is, it doesn't ever work properly for me if I use still photos +/- the Ken Burns Effect (in iMovie 3 or 4)
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Good, I'm glad everything is back on track. And, like you, I have no idea why that book recommended using a self contained movie.


    Lethal
     
  10. robotjustin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #10
    self-contained movie

    You have to make the movie self-contained to go to IDVD.

    If not, you'll just have an "alias."

    The DVD won't have the source files to reference.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    Re: self-contained movie

    That is completely incorrect. Have you read the thread?

    The source files never end up on the DVD (no matter what kind of file you drop into iDVD). When you drop the file into iDVD it creates an MPEG-2 movie which is then burned to the DVD.


    Lethal
     
  12. cr2sh thread starter macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #12
    Re: self-contained movie

    The book I purchased indicated this as well, but as LethalWolfe points out (and I have seen first hand), this is incorrect.

    I burned a copy last night and watched part of it this morning. Works fine. :)
     
  13. robotjustin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #13
    alias question

    did you play it on your computer or on a stand alone player?
     
  14. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #14
    iDVD has to compress the video heavily into mpeg 2 format (DVD video format). This means it creates a new video file based on the 'alias' that was on your computer. (This is what it's doing when it's encoding in the background). Hence, you no longer need the old file. Your disc will then work in any player.

    (Note that during encoding it is using the 'alias' as a reference to the original uncompressed DV footage. Hence, if you create the 'alias' file in FCE and then delete the original footage before importing into iDVD, you will have lost your data.)
     

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