Incredibly bad video quality in iMovie? Sample images!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by nurfen, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. nurfen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #1
    I've just imported a video of our new puppy, which I'd like to edit in iMovie '09. Although, when I import the videos the video quality gets REALLY bad.

    The video is only imported, not edited or filtered in any way. Could anyone please help me? I can't edit the movies if they end up this way. I've tried all the clips, they all become crap once imported.

    Thanks.
     
  2. nurfen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #2
    I have now made another screenshot from both the videos, to show just how bad this is. Take a look at the color depth (on the floor, etc) and shadow detail in the iMovie clip (to the right), and you'll notice the difference right away.
     
  3. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #3
    When you are editing video apps like Final Cut Pro (and therefore I assume iMovie) show a lower quality version in order to preserve CPU power for the important things. When you render the film it will display properly in Quicktime. After all you don't really need full quality for editing, just for things like colour correction which iMovie only has extremely basic tools for.
     
  4. nurfen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for your reply! Unfortunately, I've tried to export the movie, and the quality is the same after exporting it :(

    Any other ideas?
     
  5. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #5
    To be honest I can't see much difference between the two clips and secondly you can be sooooo distraught about the low quality when the original film is very dark and grainy anyway.
     
  6. nurfen thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    #6
    The difference is in the darkest areas - in the original, the detail is there, but in the iMovie version all the dark areas get CUT!

    The fact is that the quality gets very bad in iMovie.
     
  7. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #7
    then all I can suggest really is upgrading your software to final cut express if you are so eager to correct the quality.

    I dislike the new imovie and have had no good experiences with it. However I find FCE to be great!
     
  8. nurfen thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    #8
    I actually have a license of FCE, which I got really cheap when buying Logic Studio, but I can't understand how you view the video you're editing without rendering it first? The preview window just says "Unrendered"...?
     
  9. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #9
    Ah a simple error. Basically the timeline has to be formatted to the type of video you are importing. I havent got my copy with me but if you go to I think "Final cut express>Easy setup" and pick your video type this should solve your problem.

    If you cannot see your video type (maybe your camera exports an unconventional format) you can simply open it in quicktime and export it so it works in FCE!
     
  10. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #10
    Sounds like you have an SD / HDD based camcorder, They have never been particularly good for video editing.

    One of the many reasons I recommend Mini-DV based camcorders.
     
  11. nurfen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #11
    Ok, that sounds great. The camera films in 720p24, so that's really unconvenient, lol. Thanks for the tip, will try.

    Yeah, I actually use a compact digital camera, a small one :) So it really isn't optimal.

    Thanks for your replies! I'll try to get this to work in FCE, and get back here complaining if it doesn't work ;)
     
  12. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #12
    Why not? My dad has a 40gb canon hg10 and it has caused me no problems. I find log and capture to be much easier than capture as I can pick exactly what clips I want. To get the equivalent of 40gb of tapes would also cost a bomb and take up a lot of storage space!

    To be honest I realise that SD/HDD camcorders did used to be a pain in FCE but I think most of the bugs were ironed out with 4.0.1
     
  13. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #13
    Well if it is from a digital camera then the footage will most probably not be in AVCHD as with many of todays camcorders.

    However to get around this you can export the footage as DV and then setup the project as "HDV-Apple Intermediate Codec 720p25"

    This should hopefully get rid of your rendering woes.
     

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