iMac Video Editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Italchef, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. Italchef macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Maple, Ontario
    #1
    I'm making the switch as soon as possible and want to get the FP 17" with the superdrive. One of the main things that I want to do is download all my home vids and edit and burn them onto DVD's. I would love to hear stories about how good the system is for this and the software that comes with the machine. Is it suitable? Should I get additional software for this and if so, which app is best for this......keeping the cost in mind. Thanks in advance!

    Mick
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Re: iMac Video Editing


    iMovie, which comes bundled w/your Mac, is a very solid beginner video editor. And if all you want to do right now is get your VHS movies onto to computer, "cut out the bad parts", and burn them to DVD iMovie and iDVD will be perfect for that.

    If you do a search for "video" or "video editing" you'll probably turn up some recent threads here at Macrumors that might answer of the Q's you have. :)

    Lethal
     
  3. Italchef thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Maple, Ontario
    #3
    thanks lethal...tried the search but didn't find too much...
    anyone else have some experience/ advice?
     
  4. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #4
    I just made the switch 2 months ago. You will be very happy with the iMac and the iLife applications. The iMac handles video editing very well and the iLife apps are very good consumer-level apps.

    I was doing video editing on my Windows XP box with 800mhz AMD Athlon using Pinnacle Studio software. There are hundreds of frustrated users of Studio--people who can't even get the app to run, but I was one of the lucky ones. I was able to edit and burn to DVD with good results. Studio 8 compares well to iMovie and Studio beats iMovie in some aspects (included royalty-free music and awesome titling). But Studio is a $99 package. iMovie is free.

    I was tired of waiting 8 hours to render 50 minutes to DVD. So it was time to upgrade and I wanted a Mac...I picked up the previous generation iMac 17--1Ghz refurb from Apple's special deals page. It takes about 3.5 hours to render and burn a DVD on my 1ghz iMac. This is a nice improvement over my 800mhz PC. I have made 2 complete movies with nice titles, background music and slideshows from iPhoto. It was bascially impossible to create a slideshow of still images on my old PC. I'm still learning the in's and out's of iDVD but it is very easy to use out of the box with the default templates.

    You may eventually outgrow iMovie. But if you do, having a Mac puts you in the place to be because you can jump to Final Cut Express or even Final Cut Pro. iMovie is fairly stable, but if you start getting advanced it may slow down a bit.

    I created a 7 minute Halloween movie of my kids with titles, special effects like fog and "aged film" and some background music. Then I wanted to create a 30 second "trailer" for the movie. It probably took me 3 hours to edit the trailer to what I wanted it to be! I was separating audio tracks from the video, adding MP3 soundtracks, titles, special effects, etc. iMovie was able to handle it all.

    I haven't had any crashes at all (knock on wood) and everything just plain works.

    I don't think a home movie maker will outgrow iDVD. It is pretty full-featured and the templates are awesome. iMovie's chapter markers feed right into iDVD--very nice.

    Tips:

    1. Get an external HD to store all your video and your iMovie and iDVD projects. Get at least an 80gb drive, 7200rpm. Throw that in a Firewire enclosure and you will be set to go. Do not store your video on your standard hard drive. I picked up a Firewire enclosure on eBay for $50 and it has been great. Make sure the enclosure has the Oxford 911 chipset. If you get the new 1.25ghz iMac you'll have USB 2.0 so maybe go that route...

    2. Save your projects early and often.

    3. Do not run other apps while editing. You may be able to get by with a browser and/or email client but don't push it.

    4. DO NOT RUN OTHER APPS WHILE RENDERING. Let iDVD do it's thing. Don't come back during render and try to open other apps.

    5. Don't burn your DVD until iDVD is completely done rendering. You can see this in the last tab (Status?) on the customize panel (I'm on a PC right now so I don't remember exactly where it is). Let it do the background render, then click burn.

    6. When shooting video on a MiniDV camera set your audio to 16-bit. 12-bit sound recording may cause your audio and video to be out of sync in iMovie.

    Have fun and good luck. The iMac is a great machine for video editing. Definelty get the 17", it helps alot with editing.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Great post sigamy. :) thanx for chimming in to share your experiences and give a few helpful tips.



    Lethal
     
  6. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #6
    Just a thought... Since you're getting a new Mac, you have the option of buying Final Cut Express for $99. This is a much more advanced program than iMovie, and you may need it in the future. You may find that you quickly outgrow the basics of iMovie, but by that point you'd have to pay $300 for it, I think.

    My suggestion: Buy Final Cut Express with your new Mac, but start out using iMovie. Then graduate to Final Cut.
     
  7. Italchef thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Maple, Ontario
    #7
    Wow, thanks sigamy....that's all very helpful. I'm saving your email right now so that I can reference it when i get my new machine!
    much appreciated.....

    mick
     
  8. Italchef thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Maple, Ontario
    #8
    Sigamy...a question:
    you say not to store your vids on your hd.....why?
    Also, I'm currently using a hi8 camera and know I need an adapter to download my vids. My plan was to make hard copies of the tapes on DVD's. Is this a worthwhile plan?
     
  9. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #9
    Well, the separte hard drive may be more relevant for the PC world...but even on Macs it is a good idea. Transfering video into your machine is an intensive task for the disk--it has to write a lot of data very fast. That is why we have Firewire.

    In the PC world, it would be common to get "dropped frames" if your hard disk was too slow (older 4400 or 5400rpm drives) or if you were writting to the same drive that your OS (windoze) was on.

    This is probably less of an issue on the Mac. But again, when your budget allows, get an external enclosure and a nice big HD. Video takes up a lot of space.

    I'm not sure about your other question...you want to take your Hi8 tapes and burn them to DVD, right? Perfect. Use iMovie to edit the footage down to just the "good stuff" and then burn away. Remember DVDs can only hold 90 minutes. And if you do 90 you may get some quality loss. I usually only but 54 minutes on a DVD.

    Yeah, you are going to have to get something to pass your analog video into your mac. I'm not sure what's available but go to CompUSA or an Apple Store and they'll help you out. Or find a friend with a MiniDV camera that has analog-in pass thru, then you plug your camera into the MiniDV cam and then the MiniDV cam into your iMac via firewire.

    here is an email list about digital video:
    http://www.themacintoshguy.com/lists/MacDV.html
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    sigamy,

    It doesn't matter if you have a PC or a Mac, capturing and/or editing video on same HDD that your OS and Apps are on is not a good idea (as you stated). Dropped frames can happen on any machine. Platform doesn't make a differnce.


    Lethal
     
  11. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #11
    Re: iMac Video Editing

    I think that you'll find this link most helpful. The author leads the reader by the hand from analogue/digital conversion all the way to the final DVD

    http://www.whiningdog.net/Articles/Mac/DVD/VHSArchival/

    Let us know how it works out :)
     
  12. Italchef thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Maple, Ontario
    #12
    Thank you so much everyone for your help....it is most helpful and i will keep you all posted....

    mick
     
  13. Dale Sorel macrumors 6502a

    Dale Sorel

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003

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