iMovie HD changing clip resolution when importing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by QuarterSwede, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I am importing a 320x240 video from my Panasonic Lumix digital camera that is a .mov file. The problem is when I import it into iMovie HD it changes the resolution to something like 640x480 and therefore destroys the image quality. I want it to stay at 320x240 because it's going to end up on the web anyway.

    Anyone know how to get it to accept the correct resolution. Editing it at 640x480 is not an option as exporting as 320x240 results in a severe loss of quality even when selecting full resolution. And when I play the original clip in Quicktime it tells me the resolution is, indeed, 320x240 (as if I thought it was different).

    I searched the forums to no avail.
  2. QuarterSwede thread starter macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Bump ... I forgot I asked this question but I would still like to know what's going on.
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    iMovie is transcoding the clip into the DV format as that is the only format it will work with (at least for standard def stuff). You really aren't losing any resolution as you are just seeing what your 320x240 clip looks like "blown up" to a bigger frame size.

  4. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    If you only doing the most basic editing, there's tons of solutions out there, including simply quicktime pro that will work.

    If you are adding titles or transitions and effects, you'll need to import into imovie like you're doing. There actually shouldn't be much of a quality loss when all is said and done. The movie format that Panasonic uses is MJPEG which is not very lossy in the scheme of things ( everything is an I frame )

    Load in your video... do your transitions etc, then export out as a H.264 ( or whatever you want ) and set the resoution back down to 320x240 when you export. Your resulting video shouldn't look bad at all, assuming you use the right quality settings etc:

    Select Share -> Share-> Quicktime , Export "Movie to Quicktime Movie", options...,

    Video settings: H.264
    Automatic Key frames,
    framerate 24 ( the Panasonic supports only 10 FPS, but if you do transitions and effects they will look like crap if you don't do 24 or 29.97fps )
    Automatic Datarate
    Quality "High"
    Multipass encoding
    Size: 320x240, check deinterlace source video just incase

    Then do the same thing with sound
    I recommend AAC mono, 44KHz, 64kbit, for audio that is important, though you could get away with AAC mono 22KHz, 32kbit or lower if the audio is clear and regular ( lke a single person talking in normal voice )

    This is what I do all the time with my wife's Canon A95 when she wants movies uploaded, though if she doesn't want transitions, I just use quicktime pro.

    You'll have to play around with the quality settings , if bandwidth becomes and issue, but downres-ing back to 320x240 will get you most of the way there.

    Good luck! Hope this helped.
  5. QuarterSwede thread starter macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Apparently iMovie HD doesn't let you save as a Quicktime movie like iMovie '08 does. I had no problem keeping the quality the same in iMovie '08. I suppose I'll use my wife's MacBook to edit videos now. I like iMovie '08 a lot more anyway.
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    I'm 99% certain it does, you just need to play around with the export settings.
  7. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I am 100% certain that it does export as QuickTime movie with a variety of audio and video encoding options. You have to use Export -> Expert Settings and play with the drop down menu with options such as AppleTV, MP4 and QuickTime movie along with maybe 10 other options. If you pick QuickTime, then a button named "Options" will appear to the bottom right side of the dialog box. That button will let you pick a lot of encoding options.

    Depending what you would like to accomplish, iMovie 08 can indeed be nicer to work with. I played with '08 version very briefly at the store, but I was impressed.

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