Which editing / organisation software?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Pog2005, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. Pog2005 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012

    I hope somebody can advise me - I've had a look at other posts and haven't been able to get hold of an answer yet!

    I've got a Full 1080 HD movie camera which uses the AVCHD format. I recently purchased my first iMac to be able to organise and edit my movies, but have come across a few problems.

    I use Clipwrap to change the MTS files to MOVs, and I'm now trying to import them into iMovie 11. This has turned out to be a long process - I had expected them just to appear since they were already in the MOV format.

    However, on comparing the original MOV file and the MOV file copied into the iMovie 'events' file structure, I've noticed a few differences:

    1) The original MOV file is 1920 x 1080, while the version created by iMovie during the import process is 1888 x 1062;

    2) The original MOV file size is 38MB, while the imported version is 305.1MB - considerably larger.

    I had expected that iMovie would just import the file exactly as it was, but this doesn't seem to be happening. I was under the impression that iMovie converted MTS files to AIC while importing those types of files, and that's why I've used Clipwrap to transcode the MTS files into MOVs.

    Am I doing anything wrong that would make iMovie behave in this way?
  2. daybreak macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Those your camera recognises iMovie. Also are you using Firewire?
  3. Pog2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012
    I don't really understand the first part of your response, but I'm not using Firewire - just an SD card
  4. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    I don't know about iMovie. In FCPX to import video from an AVCHD camera, you either import it directly from the camera (via USB) or you copy the entire SD card into a new subdirectory (call it anything that works for you) on a hard drive in your system.

    Then, in FCPX, you use Import to select the clips (or portions or clips) you want into FCPX. It might work the same way for iMovie.

    I hope this helps.
  5. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    musique is right that FCPX can import on the fly so you can start viewing and editing your footage.
    while this is going on, FCPX renders (in the background) yours original files to a workable file in FCPX.
    I dont think iMovie does the same.
    Its basically like older NLE apps where they have to convert non-native clips to native clips.
    you can try and use MPEG StreamClip but same result where it has to render from original to whatever you render too.

    Try FCPX trial and see if it works for you.
  6. Pog2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012
    Hi, thanks musique and mBox for your replies.

    I'll give the FCPX trial a go. I've also downloaded a trial of Adobe Premiere Elements 10 to see. That looks pretty promising - I don't want to do anything complex - just use the software to do basic editing and organise my movie files. I also don't want to pay more than I have to.

    What I like about iMovie (and I guess that FCPX does the same) is that it imports the movie files and according to events and can move them to specific folders (a bit like how Aperture takes care of managed images). I don't think that Premiere Elements 10 does this.

    However, what I need to decide is whether the ability to do this outweighs the fact that iMovie makes a MOV file considerably larger in MB size when importing.
  7. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Its all about codecs at this point.
    The only app Ive heard deals with AVCHD with no conversion is Premiere Pro but I dont have any experience with that.
    I dont have any AVCHD footage or cameras to test that theory.

    Just to add, FCPX does same Event type file management iMovie has.
    I think with any other app, its just a matter of using folders.
    I know in Adobe Bridge there is away to tag your files but not separate them into folders.
  8. Pog2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012
    Ok, thanks.

    I'd read quite a bit on the net before getting my Mac about how it would be best to deal with AVCHD files, and it was said that the best way was to use Clipwrap to convert them into MOV files - this meant that there was no lengthy conversion process in iMovie.

    This is what I've done, but for some reason iMovie still does something to the MOV files and makes them much bigger in storage size.
  9. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Maybe a setting in iMovie to keep it from converting?
    Ill check an iMovie app (not sure if we even have one here?) to see.

    Just checked on my end here.
    I see stabilizer options then movie size.
    What are your settings at?
    reason I ask is that stabilizer even in FCPX will render.
  10. Pog2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012
    Ok, I've been looking some more at my settings following your suggestion.

    My MOV files are already in the user\movies folder, so I go to import them in iMovie. I don't get any option to stabilize them - only optimisation. With optimization on (and at Full), the resulting imported file size is considerably larger. With the optimization off, the imported file size is still larger than the original MOV file.

    Unfortunately, the original SD card with the AVCHD files has now become corrupted and iMovie crashes each time I try and import directly from that.

    No matter what optimization options (Full, Large, or Off) I select, the resulting files are imported as 1888 x 1062 rather than the 1920 x 1080 in which the movies were shot.

    I'm going to download the trial version of FCPX to see whether that's any better, but at £199 it's a considerable outlay!
  11. Pog2005 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012

    Thought that I'd report back to say that I downloaded the FCPX trial and everything seemed to work fine.

    My MOV files imported without any problem (I selected the option not to have them transcoded) and they were copied into the Events folder without any modification.

    I then played around and created a project, and it exported fine as a new, edited MOV file. The file size was slightly larger, but that isn't a problem in itself for me - it was the apparent transcoding undertaken by iMovie which concerned me and I couldn't understand why it needed to make my MOV files significantly larger!

    The next question of course is whether i can afford to fork out £199 for FCPX. It's a nice piece of software...
  12. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Yes sorry I cant figure out your issues with iMovie.
    its just when you get into this kind of processes e.g. transcoding unsupported codecs and file management, you have to pay some kind of price for decent running software.
    dont give up on trying to find a fix for iMovie.
    Im sure someone will help.

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