Help A Future Filmmaker Out. PLEASE!!!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by John Doe 57, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. John Doe 57 macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Made a huge project in iMovie. (2 Months of Footage)

    Exported every single video (18 in all) to "M4V" format.

    All videos appeared great in iDVD.

    Burned a 2.93 GB iDVD Project to a Re-Writable DVD.

    Was left with "shaggy, distorted, slow-moving" video content.

    Also included a green bar at the bottom of the screen in every video.

    **BAD- Deleted every iMovie project to help save space on my HD.
    **BAD- Taped over all the footage on my camera.
    **BAD- I have tried many methods of converting these videos to another format but no luck.

    Help a future filmmaker out. PLEASE!!!

    QUESTIONS:
    1. Has anyone had this problem?
    2. Can I convert these videos to another format without a glitch?
    3. Can a data rescue program find deleted iMovie Projects?
     
  2. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    MPEG is lossy, so you will never recover the full quality DV.

    What resolution are the M4P files?

    Do you have Quicktime Pro? That can help you convert video.
     
  3. deputylove8 macrumors regular

    deputylove8

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Location:
    in the comfort of my room...in Singapore
    #3
    Use Ulead Video studio. I love it. It's way easier. It runs only in windows though. So I guess, maybe u install Windows on yr mac.

    Its waaay friendlier when it comes to video formats.
     
  4. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #4
    All I can say is that I hope you use bootcamp. Also if you did not do secure delete then maybe some software can recover it. Best of luck. I know how hard this is!
     
  5. cpcarrot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #5
    Do you actually mean "M4P" or do you mean “MP4”. The first is usually an audio file, while the later is a common video format?

    OK lets look at what you have:

    1st – Is there any way of recovering the original footage / files? It sounds like probably not; if you’ve overwritten the tapes they will be unrecoverable (by the way tapes are cheap and if you are using them for footage it is a good idea to store them rather than reuse them as they make an excellent all else fails backup). Files wise do you have any form of backup (such as time machine)? If so simply go and fetch. Finally as already suggested you could try data recovery software to recover the files BUT as you did this to clear space on your hard drive you probably won’t be able to recover everything as the sectors may already be overwritten.

    2nd What is recoverable from the files you do have, i.e. can this be converted to a useable format. Basically will need some more info on the files. 1st how much footage are we talking about? (i.e. total length of all 18 files combined, are we talking minutes or hours?). 2nd if you can view the files with the inspector in finder or via QuickTime properties what codex is in use? What is the resolution? What is the frame rate? Depending on what format it is now in will determine what useful information you can get back out of the files.
     
  6. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    JD,

    I feel for you.

    You're probably rightly upset about all of this, but now you learned 1 important lesson: back everything up. It should be your very first step upon starting to edit and as you go along and then always after final output :(

    visualhub might help you out as well as other similar programs, but in the end, you squished the nice, fat, juicy sandwich (ie. original video) into a thin, half beautiful sandwich (mp4s) and now, you'll never get that original perfect sandwich back. You might get something similar back, but nothing ever perfect.

    Also, the next time you go to edit, don't output to mp4 then mpeg2 in idvd. Leave it as a full NSTC (or PAL) then mpeg2 it. What you did is compress the footage 2x's, which isn't necessary.

    I hope you take all of this as constructive criticism and nothing malicious. The last thing (and it should be the 1st thing) - know your editing systems and workflows properly and as best possible. Using these systems will allow you to put your thoughts to your audiences, across properly.

    Good luck,
    Keebler
     
  7. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Location:
    Socal
    #7
    It doesn't sound like there's much you can do here. Again, you've learned some lessons the hard way:

    1) Always keep your tape originals.

    2) Backup your media.

    3) At the very least, keep your media until you know that you're happy with your final product so you can fix it if something goes wrong.

    I wish we had better news for you.
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
    User Error.

    Sounds like you encoded the video into low resolution files with low frame rate (probably 15 FPS).

    There is not much you can do if that's the case, since you have deleted the originals. In the future, never tape over any footage that you want to use as a backup.
     
  9. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Damn it! I keep typing m4p instead of m4v

    Here is a picture:
    Picture 1.png
     
  10. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #10
    What format are those clips in iMovie behind the export dialog? Can't you use those?
     
  11. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #11
    That is just an example of how I exported the iMovie project. But the real iMovie projects that I need have been deleted.

    The videos behind it are DV format. Imported with a Sony HandCam DCR-TRV280 NTSC.
     
  12. cpcarrot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #12
    I guess the next question to ask is if you still have the m4v files stored or if you just have the burned DVD?

    At this stage it is looking very unlikely that you will be able to recover the footage in anywhere near the quality you started with. You've got a whole bunch of conversion going on down the line:
    1st - Your camera has compressed it to DV
    2nd - On importing to iMovie iMovie converts it into Apple's Intermediate Codex
    3rd - Exporting it to m4v exports it as an mpeg 4 file and depending on the settings this can be very lossey.
    4th - By using iDVD to burn it to DVD this will then have converted all the footage into mpeg 2 before burning it. Again probably resulting in loss of data.

    If it looked OK in iDVD before burning then chances are the m4v files were still decent quality so if you still have them stored somewhere they are your best bet. If you just have the footage on the DVD then it seems likely that what you see is what you get... At least I'm out of ideas anyway.

    I also have no idea what is causing the green bar to appear at the bottom. I take it your playing the footage back on a DVD player right?
     
  13. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    Well the green bar appeared on my DVD player and also on my computer. All though after a re-check I found out that this bar does not appear on every video. The bar only appears on the DVD and not in the iDVD project.

    And yes, I have every single video clip saved on my computer. All the clips play fine with no lagging. But all the clips are m4v.


    I thought I should add that some of these videos are on YouTube and they all play fine.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=J4daPGoeYzE
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=igJwwCR-3YI
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=g_vkR7Lrw9Q
     
  14. cpcarrot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #14
    Well if the m4v files are still in good shape you may be OK. Can you ctrl click on one of the files in finder and select "get info" and eitehr give us a screen shot or tell us what the inspector shows. It should give the full details of the resolution, frame rate, codex, as well as length and file size. This should tell us what sort of quality you are left with. Also how much footage total are we talking about (i.e. all files combined how long are they in length and how much disc space do they all take up?)

    If the files are still good it should just be a case of converting them to DVD for minimum of loss. IIRC iDVD does not convert MP4 files very well so this colud be the problem, depending on what the iDVD settings are could also be an issue...
     
  15. mikecorp macrumors 6502

    mikecorp

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    #15
    record your project back to camera!! and then start new project import and burn dvd
     
  16. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #16
    Yes, if your m4v files play well on your computer, then you should be able to get something back here. It won't be original quality, but depending on the export settings might still be fine. As cpcarrot says, you need to find out exactly what size, resolution, bitrate, frame rate, etc. these m4v files are. That will tell you what you can reasonably expect out of these.

    I would not record the video back to camera, then re-import. It's one way to do it, but adds at least 1 extra de-compress/re-compress step.

    If iDVD is not doing a good job of converting your m4v to DVD format video (MPEG2), you might try something like Roxio Toast or Popcorn which can create a DVD from your assorted clips (I haven't done it before, so I'm not sure how good the conversion will be.) I'm sure there are plenty of other options too, both Mac and PC.

    I think among the many take-home lessons from this example, the most important is perhaps to save your original DV tapes. Saving HD backups is good too, but I understand that often we run out of space, etc. But DV tapes are so cheap that if you are shooting anything for any level of production, just save the tapes.
     
  17. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
  18. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    You know him?
     
  19. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    OK. I took a look at the get info windows:

    Dimensions 720 x 480
    Codecs AAC, H.264
    Channel Count 2

    Bit rates are different for all the videos. They are in the 2,000 range and above.
     
  20. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    No, I watched your YouTube video though- ;)

    Based on the info on those exported clips, you are probably in reasonably good shape. You just need to find a better way of converting/prepping those clips for DVD.
     
  21. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #21
    All right! Thanks for the help. But I can't find a Roxio program that lets me create a DVD project. There are a lot of DVD programs on their website, but they run on Windows.:(
     
  22. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #23
    Oh man! I didn't realize that Toast had other options of burning modes! I have had Toast 9 all this time! I've created a project and am burning it right now!
     
  23. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #24
    Even better if you already have it!

    Let us know how it works out-
     
  24. John Doe 57 thread starter macrumors 65816

    John Doe 57

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #25
    Damn! Toast only got rid of the green bar, but the performance of the video is still slow. Why would Apple create a video format if it couldn't be put on DVD? There has to be some way to get the videos to play correctly.
     

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