all black

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rananim, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. rananim macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2007
    As a beginner I have tried importing video clips from a variety of digital cameras with no problem until...

    Importing from my Kodac Z730 In .mov format works fine but when I make a transition or title or whatever it renders at the speed of light and the clip either goes black or does nothing - This does not happen with .avi imported from a cannon.

    Can anyone help me and tell me what I ma doing wrong?

    Many thanks
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Did you make sure the lens cap is off the camera? :p

    But seriously... What program are you talking about? iMovie? If so, iMovie isn't a big fan of some digital still camera's movie mode files.

    The Canon uses a format called 'Motion JPEG' for its video, wrapped in an 'AVI' file. Motion JPEG is exactly what it sounds like. A bunch of JPEG images in a row. The Kodak uses MPEG-4. Which is a much better format. But iMovie chokes on MPEG-4. The main reason is that Motion JPEG, being really just a bunch of still images, is easy to edit. It applies a filter to each frame individually. MPEG (in all its flavors,) on the other hand, uses time encoding. This means that if not much is moving, it doesn't create a whole new frame, which can be hard to work on, because iMovie wants to apply filters to frames, not to whole movies.

    The easiest solution is to convert the Kodak's movies into something iMovie likes better. A program like MPEG Streamclip (free, harder to use,) or ffmpegX (costs money, easier to use,) can convert it to a DV file for you. DV is the native format of most digital video cameras. It makes huge files, because there is almost no compression, but iMovie is very happy to play with DV files.

    (Sony digital cameras use the even more hated "MPEG 1 Transport Stream" format, which are nearly impossible to work with unless you convert it to something else first.)

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