iMovie reduce quality while importing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Mattaut, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Mattaut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #1
    I converted a VOB file to MOV using H.264 codec. There wasn't too much quality loss between the VOB and MOV, but then when I imported it into iMovie 08' the quality significantly decreased. How does this happen? If I were to use final cut or adobe would there be less/no quality loss compared to iMovie? I'm trying to minimize the amount of quality loss because I need to edit some different clips and will have to convert it a few times-
    -convert to a format to use with iMovie(most likely MOV)
    -export to avi so I can put it in PP(using RAW codec to get best quality)
    -I have not yet been able to get an avi to successfully work in PP using any codec so I downloaded this software PFC that works inside PP that converts movies to wmv to make sure they will work

    That's already 3 stages of quality loss, I really can't afford to lose too much quality just by importing into iMovie. Can anyone help? Thanks.
     
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #2
    File - Import Movies - Full 1920 x 1080

    Then when exporting, Share - Export using Quicktime - Settings - Make sure H.264 is selected. OK, go into size and select desired size.
     
  3. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #3
    If disk space is not an issue, I would not convert to h.264 for editing in iMovie. I would convert the VOB to DV, import the DV file into iMovie and edit. Then export the final movie to mp4 from iMovie.

    I think this woul give you the least amount of loss in quality.

    In the past, I have used MPEG Streamclip to convert the VOB to DV and then imported the DV file into Final Cut Express and it has always looked pretty good. This is one less conversion. VOB>DV, edit, DV>mp4. To do this, your VOB needs to be unencrypted.

    Unless iMovie converts DV files to something else when they are imported, which I don't know if it does or not.
     
  4. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #4
    As slu mentioned, don't use H.264 for iMovie. Use DV or Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC).

    I don't have PP to experiment but a Google search came up this possible help. Surprisingly I several discussions, but no solid answers beyond that link.
     
  5. Mattaut thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #5
    Thanks! I tried converting to both DV and AIC and the AIC came out a little better. Still the unexplainable mystery of quality loss when importing to iMovie, it literally copies the exact movie file into the iMovie Events folder so theres no reason is should be losing quality, but at least the final output is bearable now.
     
  6. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #6
    It may not look its best in the editor especially the thumbnail version.

    Exporting something short is a good test. Perhaps my iMovie Export guide may be helpful.
     

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