AVCHD to iMovie workflow

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by bongju, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. bongju macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2011
    I just got an iMac and started importing my Canon HF100 AVCHD files into iMovie. I was disappointed to find the video quality of the resulting MOV file was highly pixelated compared to the original MTS file and the file size increased tenfold over the original MTS file.

    After searching this forum, I used Clipwrap to rewrap the MTS files into MOV files. I was pleased to discover the rewrapped files were only slightly (about 10%) larger than the originals and the video quality was as good as the originals. These rewrapped MOV files are recognized by iMovie with no importing required.

    Is anyone else using this workflow? I am having to manually adjust the time and date of the rewrapped MOV files in iMovie to match the original file. I would appreciate if someone knows a workaround.

    Also, can someone explain the difference in Clipwrap output formats between Rewrap and AIC? They both produce MOV files which look identical in iMovie, although the AIC files are about 3x larger than the Rewrap files.
  2. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I've never heard of this approach, but I'm going to check it out. I too have an HF100 and have been annoyed at the workflow for importing AVCHD.

    Thanks for the tip!
  3. bongju thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2011
    My enthusiasm was a bit premature. The rewraped files using Clipwrap are causing frequent crashes in iMovie. However, Clipwrap also produces AIC files which are readable by iMovie which do not have any video artifacts or loss of quality compared to the original MTS files. The AIC files are about 3 1/2 times larger than the original MTS files.
  4. zblaxberg Guest


    Jan 22, 2007
    Look into a program called mpegstreamclip. It does wonders when converting video.
  5. soccerkid111 macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2011
    Camcorder vs mac

    I have a very up to date Sony CX550v 64g Flash Camcorder, i also invested in a WD my passport AV which allows me to "direct copy" the contents of my camera directly to the hardrive without a ny use of a computer.

    I can import without hesitation from my camcorder to imovie.
    however i movie does not recognize the archive "direct copy" has made on the external hardrive.

    instead of the file simply being .MTS
    it is now two files .MTS and .MTS.moff

    i have attempted to use MPEG STREAM CLIP, i have purchased the mpeg-2 codec. but it does not recognize these files at all.
    i have attempted to pile the footage back onto the camera, and that also served as ineffective.

    i need some way to convert these clips, or anyway to import them to imovie and FCE

    PLEASE help, ive been dealling with this problem for 6 months
  6. arsene macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2010
    I use handbrake to convert the MTS file into MP4. I then import the files using iMovie. Some quality may however be lost.
  7. PenguinMac macrumors member

    May 21, 2010
    I also have a CX550. Using the WD archive is evidently destroying the AVCHD disk structure that iMovie relies on to read the AVCHD files. Now you have only the .MTS files instead of the whole disk structure. I use a program called RevolverHD which takes the bare .MTS files and creates an AVCHD disk sructure that will allow iMovie to import them. It makes NO changes to the original files, so no quality is lost.

    The .MTS.moff files are a WD file that no other program will recognize, by the way. I advise you to stop using this device and import from the camera first, then put the editted files on the WD drive if you want to play them from there.
  8. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Are you importing at 1080 or 540? If you import at iMovie's default 540 resolution, then of course it will look worse. I haven't noticed any problems importing directly into iMovie from my HF100 when I use 1080.
  9. grundel2286 macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2011
    I was able to convert in handbreak but its taking a very long time to import into imovie. Is this typical on a i7?
  10. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    Don't use handbrake for this. Just use MPEGstreamclip and convert it to AIC.
    Yes AIC is large. It's a less compressed codec.

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