iMovie output "stutters"

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Thomas Veil, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #1
    I have some video which I imported from VHS (by way of an A/D converter).

    Now that it's edited, I'm trying to play it back from the Mac, in real-time, to the A/D converter, and from there to a DVD recorder and TV.

    Problem is, while the real-time playback is good on my iMac, it stutters badly when output to the TV -- so badly I'm only seeing a frame or two here and there.

    I'm thinking (but hoping I'm wrong) that my graphics card is not up to the task of playing video out from the computer.

    The video card is an ATY,Rage128P2ks, with 16MB of memory. The computer is (relatively) old, a G3 iMac w. a 600MHz PPC chip, a bus speed of 100MHz and 512MB SDRAM memory.
     
  2. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    mi
    #2
    Vid card for sure.

    Make sure you've got nothing else running, your desktop is a solid color, and that you're not playing with any sliders while it's moving. Also, zoom out of the timeline, so the whole project shows without any scrolling required.

    If that doesn't work, you'll probably need to export to a file, and then watch it that way.
     
  3. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #3
    Yeah, I knew it... :(

    Except for the solid desktop, I was already doing the other things. Didn't help.

    So what are my options if I want to get this out to a DVD? OWC does sell a G3-compatible DVD burner, but without iDVD (which doesn't run on my model), I'll need some way to build the iMovie program into a burnable file.
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    Unless there is some sort of out of the ordinary problem you video card is not the culprit as it has almost nothing to do w/working w/video. Have you successfully recorded back to DVD before, or is this your first attempt? When it stutters on the TV does it stutter on the iMac too, or does the playback on the iMac always look smooth? What kind of footage did you import from VHS (home movies or store bought)? Is the video footage on the internal drive or an external FW HDD? If it's on the internal drive that might be the problem and you should move all the footage to an external drive.


    Lethal
     
  5. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #5
    1. I'm doing this for the first time, so I've not recorded to DVD before.
    2. It plays fine on the Mac, only stutters when it goes through the Canopus A/D, into the DVD recorder and then to the TV.
    3. Footage is a store-bought exercise tape that I'm told is not Macrovisioned. (But I'm beginning to doubt that, now that you mentioned it.)
    4. The imported footage, as well as the iMovie project, are on an external HD with plenty of room.

    Thanks for the suggestions, Lethal and mkaake. Any further thoughts would be welcomed.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I'm guessing the store bought tape is copy protected. Try a homemade VHS tape and see if that works.


    Lethal
     
  7. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #7
    Well, I'd've bet money that you were right about the copy protection issue, but home-made movies do the same thing.

    I tried digitizing a VHS tape, and it blanked out a lot too -- full-motion on my iMovie screen (well, a 15 fps reproduction, anyway), but lots of black, puncuated by a few frames of motion, when output to my TV.

    For grins, I created a second project, on my desktop instead of the external HD. I imported a 10-sec. QT clip I had created at work. It played quite a bit more smoothly, though it was not perfect, and the audio lagged a few seconds behind the video.

    Then I took that same project and copied the whole thing (iMovie project and media) to my external HD, and tried playing it from there. Lots of stuttering, same as the earlier projects (the exercise and home-made videos).

    I'll keep experimenting, but the idea that the external HD (brand new, BTW, with nothing else on it) is having more trouble than the internal HD makes no damn sense to me.

    (EDIT: Dammit, now the project on my desktop is stuttering badly too.)
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Balls. I thought we hit a smooth jumper and we ended up clanging it off the rim.

    How are you connecting the FW devices? Do they each get their own port or is the converter plugged into the HDD? Are their any other attached devices or programs running that could be causing the iMac to choke? 500mhz P2's in good working order can playback DV so I see no reason why the iMac in question shouldn't be able to.

    It's the "seeing black" that's confusing me. At least in my experience, when DV is dropping frames the image will freeze or stutter not go to black.


    Lethal

    EDIT: If you haven't already you might as well do the basics of trash prefs, repairing permissions, and zaping the PRAM.
     
  9. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #9
    Each device has its own power source. Nothing is daisy-chained -- both the new external HD and the converter are connected directly to the Mac via Firewire. And I've trashed the iMovie prefs once or twice, though not done the other things.

    I'm thinking of, since I have a new external HD with plenty of space, reformatting it first and then seeing what happens, and if that doesn't work, backing up my entire iMac HD, wiping it and re-installing just the basics. Be a hassle, but it'd help narrow things down. (With the addition of lots of files and programs, and with my HD 90% full, it seems like it's slowed down a bit over the years.) And if that doesn't work and we come up with nothing else, I may take it in and have the memory and video card tested.
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    As HDDs fill up they become slower so a 90% full drive could be a contributing factor.


    Lethal
     
  11. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #11
    hi,

    i drive a 1938 ford work truck.


    i want to compete in F1 races.


    why am i always finishing last?







    dude, you are trying to output full screen real time video from your G3 mac to a DVD burner (by way of video converters no less), and you are wondering why you are having issues? get a G4 or better with a superdrive, and save yourself the time and headache.


    and you say you are gonna take your video card in and have it tested? why, dude, its not gonna work. real time export of full screen content on a machine that old with a (im guessing 32 video card) is just not gonna happen. sorry.


    you said it yourself, iDVD wont even run on your computer, so you cant even build a dvd project. The ONLY other option is to do what you are doing, exporting real time, which is gonna take FOREVER, not to mention your video card is so outdated that it wont even work anyway. so you are out of options.

    check ebay for a used G4 iBook, add a FW burner and you're good to go.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    You post is completely baseless. His machine is a 600mhz G3 and the iMac DV's were 400mhz G3s. So... according to you the first Macs that were designed to let home users edit their DV movies (the iMac DVs even came bundled w/iMovie 1.0) didn't work at all, and no iMac would be up to the task for another 3yrs or so. Man, Apple really musta had egg on their face...:rolleyes: Handling a single stream of DV is not very proc intensive at all. You can edit DV on a 500mhz P2 just don't expect any RT or fast renders.

    How is exporting in real time gonna take "FOREVER"? It'll take real time. Which is a sh*tload faster than an G4 iBook encoding all the DV into MPEG2 and burning a DVD. And, for the 2nd time, the computer's video card has about jack and sh*t to do w/passing video over FW.

    Unless Thomas Veil's iMac is malfunctioning in some way it should have no problem at all recording and playing back DV. Thanks for stopping by to help though. Your ignorance and condescending attitude are much appreciated.


    Lethal
     
  13. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    well, as you state, the imac dv's DID infact ship with iMovie, and they CAN infact edit dv. however, the first macs to include a DVD burner, were the G4 towers. So, editing a movie, and creating DVDs are obviously one and the same to you. well, to me they arent. i can edit video on my cell phone. does it mean its an efficient way to create DVDs? no. imovie 1.0 was a way for consumers to clean up their home movies a bit, make them a little more interesting and then output to a vcr or camcorder (which was pretty much the standard way for consumers at that time anyway), it was only later on that DVD burners became affordable to the masses and thus added to the mac lineup. Even today dvd burners are not yet included in all models. Well, why would they ship a macbook with iMovie and a combo drive? because editing and burning are different. get it?

    and yes, encoding and burning may take time, but if you want to create more than 1 copy (which most people do), the encoding time is almost nothing after the first disc. So, for every disc the OP wants to create, he must do so in real time, each time. which for a 40 min video, will end up taking quite a while to do, not to mention you have to babysit the mac and burner for most of it. wow, that sounds like a great solution.

    go ahead and take that 8 year old computer in to a shop, pay someone more than its really worth to put in shop time and "check" it out, then figure out that its probably just an old machine for creating dvds in a semi efficient way and enjoy.

    realistically, his best route aside from a newer mac (im not saying a top of the line intel model - you can get a G4 with a superdrive for 1k less) is to just print out of imovie back to the camera, then plug the camera into the burner. if the computer is chopping the video up while exporting out of imovie, maybe print to tape will work better.


    sorry to have offended the senior video zealot here wolfe. hope we can still be friends.
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    If you sincerely feel like apologizing apologize to the OP, not me. He came in here looking for help and there was no reason for you to respond w/such a rude post.


    Lethal
     
  15. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #15
    I made the original post because, as Lethal said, my iMac, dated as it is, should be able to output video.

    I haven't tried some of the other suggestions we've been tossing around because I'm down with the flu at the moment, and things like wiping my HD and reinstalling everything is not exactly my idea of a fun time right now. I don't want to learn I can't find, or didn't even back up, my mailboxes because I'm too sleepy and nauseated to think straight.

    Anyway, I'll probably give it a rest for another day or so until I do feel better and can take the time to reinstall.

    Thanks, Lethal, for your help and patience with this.

    Tom
     
  16. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    I have a similar situation but mine is a subtle shaking of the DVD when playing on the TV Screen but plays fine on the computer also compared to Original DVD (wedding VHS made into DVD then ripped) the colors went white washed. I used Hand break to ripp the movie but I guess the cause of my staggering DVD is bec I set it to options not best for DVD, anyway know what settings in handbrake is best for DVD making since Quicktime Free version doesnt have DVD ripping tools.


    THanks
    Didnt want to make a new post on something similar to this posts creator
     
  17. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #17
    iMac DVs had no problems with DV editing when they were running iMovie 1.0 or 2.0. When Apple upgraded iMovie to 3.0, they started to have problems. I have a 550MHz PowerBook G4 w/ 768MB of RAM and I was wondering why my video output was stuttering (dropping frames) with iMovie 6. I downgraded to iMovie 2 and the problem disappeared, smooth as silk. I tried iMovie 3, same problem. Apple must have made iMovie less efficient starting in 3.0. There is no other explanation. I'm not talking about a huge difference, but even a very slight difference would be enough to cause problems on a 400MHz G3 where the CPU is nearly pegged dealing with DV already.
     
  18. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #18
    Yeah, a little search I did on iMovie 3 revealed lots of complaints about it, Super Macho Man. So you are probably right -- iMovie 3 really pushes G3 computers to the limit, whereas earlier versions didn't.

    Update on my own situation: I repaired permissions and freed up a little room on my HD, and I am now able to run a 10-second test clip without problem. I can tell it's straining the CPU: while the output is smooth, the view in the iMovie window is about 10 fps. Which is okay, as long as the output to my DVD recorder is 30 fps. Even professional, hardware-accelerated non-linear editing software does this. Media 100 puts out absolutely gorgeous video, but its desktop Monitor window is 1/4 resolution, moves about 15 fps, and gets even worse when you try to enlarge the window.

    I've yet to try my system with a longer program, say 15 minutes, but I hope I'm now on the right track.
     

Share This Page