Confused by resolutions, especially in iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by talmy, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #1
    I do screen captures of my lectures (using iShowU HD). These are 1280x800. I bring them into iMovie "full size", but when I import the clips into a project they are cropped apparently to 1280x720 (720P I guess). Now I can deal with this by not using the very top and bottom of my computer display, or I can have iShowU HD resize (and letterbox to fit) 720P which results in a loss of sharpness.

    However what has me baffled is iMovie EXPORT. When I export using QuickTime (necessary for the reduced frame rate I want) it shows the native size to be 960x540, which is half 1080p. This presumably means that if I force 720p it will convert 720p to half-1080p then back to 720p again????

    Do I have this right? Is there a better way?

    Would buying Final Cut Express (or Adobe Premiere Elements) solve the problem? Final Cut Pro is beyond my budget and willingness to learn. I'll be processing about 60-70 hours of video a year and need to do it quickly.

    I also import some camera video (either the built-in iSight, a Flip or a DSLR) but that's a small part of the mix I am happy with.
     
  2. arnop macrumors regular

    arnop

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #2
    I would easily update to Final Cut Express that is much cheaper than Final Cut Pro and offers some of the features of FCP. Imovie is, in my own opinion, not 'open' enough...
     
  3. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I would assume that FinalCut Express can edit in 720P, but what has me baffled (and I can't find the answer anywhere) does iMovie really edit only in "half" 1080P?

    I need to do a comparison of output quality between FCE and iMovie with my source material.
     
  4. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #4
    This is probably the obvious - but you have
    checked the Quicktime export size options?

    E.g.:

    qtesiz.png
     
  5. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    My concern is that this is doing a resizing, not that it isn't available. Already there is a potential resize at import (either I resize in iShowU HD to 720p or use the full screen setting which gets cropped on import). I'm just trying to avoid one on exit. What scares me is that the 720p video when exported using Quicktime will show that the current size is 960x540 rather than 1280x720.
    It looks like iMovie doesn't edit in HD 720p or 1080p but rather 960x540 (half 1080p). Nothing in the docs state this, nor can I find any comments about this with Google.
     

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  6. zblaxberg Guest

    zblaxberg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    #6

    Change the setting from Current to 1280x720?
     
  7. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #7
    In preferences, select the video tab.

    Under "import hd video as" choose full

    You will have to re import everything :(
     
  8. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    I do, but the Current setting shows that iMovie does its editing in 960x540. This means that it resizes twice (once on import and once on export) instead of just once. It doesn't edit in a standard HD resolution!

    I do import in "Full", however it still ends up being 960x540!

    I'll have to try iMovie '11 and see what it does. Maybe I'll run down to the store today.

    ADDED: iMovie '11 works the same way. I think what is going on is that the import choice does a resize unless the selection is "Full",
    so the iMovie "Events" are indeed full HD. There is some magic going on in displaying the projects (looks like resizing on the fly). But it does appear that iMovie is using 960x540 internally when it is rendering. Now I need to go back to the Apple store a third time and see what Final Cut Express does.
     
  9. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #9
    It might be worth looking around your disk for any scratch files.

    If they're openable in Quicktime Player, then you may be able to
    determine what the editing codec resolution is.
     
  10. Bob Johnson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    #10
    Final Cut Expreww

    Has anyone come up with a settings script/list for burning to a disk with QuickTime that produces better resolution than the really unacceptable results that are produced with just a "straight" burn from FCE?






    However what has me baffled is iMovie EXPORT. When I export using QuickTime (necessary for the reduced frame rate I want) it shows the native size to be 960x540, which is half 1080p. This presumably means that if I force 720p it will convert 720p to half-1080p then back to 720p again????

    Do I have this right? Is there a better way?

    Would buying Final Cut Express (or Adobe Premiere Elements) solve the problem? Final Cut Pro is beyond my budget and willingness to learn. I'll be processing about 60-70 hours of video a year and need to do it quickly.

    I also import some camera video (either the built-in iSight, a Flip or a DSLR) but that's a small part of the mix I am happy with.[/QUOTE]
     

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