14 Replies Latest reply: Nov 29, 2012 6:32 PM by Matty Apple
grahamlaws Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

Hi All,

 

This is my first question on the Forum, and I'm new to iMovie so bear with me!

 

Setup

iMac 3GHz i3, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD (200GB free)

OS X          10.6.8

iMovie '11    9.0.4

iDVD           7.1.2

QT              10 (128)

(also have a copy of iMovie 6 HD, but not installed)

 

Camcorder: Canon Legria HF R26 (1920x1080 fps: 25p PAL 24Mbps)

 

Playback: 1080p HDTV via upscaling DVD

 

(Also have old miniDV JVC camcorder with tapes to import)

 

I'm trying to get the best possible quality onto a DVD with my iMac. I appreciate I will not get HD as DVD is SD.

 

Project length 32 mins.

 

So.... What I'm trying so far...


Method A

  1. Import into iMovie '11 at 'full - original size'
  2. Create project, edited etc
  3. Share > iDVD (iDVD prefs High Performance as length <60 mins)

 

Result - horrible - very pixelated, and 'low res'


Method B

  1. as above
  2. as above
  3. Export > QT (H.264, 25fps, Key Frames: Auto, 1920x1080)
  4. iDVD > import video - browse for QT file (9.74GB)

 

Result - err not sure think i messed this one up.


Method C

  1. as above
  2. iDVD > import video - browse for 'raw' import file (30GB)

 

Result (on very short clip) - very clear and good resolution.

 

 

Basically looking for advice / comments on what the very best method of importing / exporting AVCHD would be to preserve as much quality as possible on to DVD. This is for our wedding video for giving to family on DVD.

 

A second question but less important at the moment is all my old miniDV tapes - should i use iMovie 6 for these?

 

Sorry for the long post!!

 

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!

 

Regards

 

Graham


iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,340 points)

    Try this.

    SHARE/to MEDIA BROWSER in Large size.

     

    In iDVD, drag your movie into the project from the Media Browser. It is at the bottom right of the iDVD window.

     

    In iDVD, set project properties to Professional Quality.

  • 2. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    grahamlaws Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Appleman,

     

    Thanks for the reply

     

    I'll give it a try! Is there any advantage / disadvantage to importing in 'Large - 960 x 540' from the cam in the first place?

  • 3. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    Stefano76 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi !

    I always (... I mean, before Lion OS) use this method:

    1) Import the clips into iMove in Original Size

    2) Make your project

    3) Export using QT (no image compression and image size 960 x 540). You'll get very huge files, but with the best quality

    4) Drag the final clip into iDvd and complete your project. Be sure you have "Professional encoding" on the preferences of iDvd (... I don't know if "Professional encoding" is the right translation because my language is italian).

     

    After many tests, this is the way I found to get the best results on a DVD.

     

    Hope this hepls,

    Ciao !

  • 4. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,340 points)

    I usually import in Full size (1920x1080) because I am makeing HD videos for the web or Applt TV. It also preserves the highest level of quality for future use. If all you are doing is making standard definition DVDs, there is no advantage to importing in Full. You can import in Large and have a file 25% the size.

  • 5. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (19,160 points)

    Hi

     

    As I see it - Have no HD Camera or AVCHD - But I often start project in full HD with still photos well over 12Mb size (eg 18Mb).

     

    And iMovie can handle HD well ( I think )

     

    BUT - There are no HD-DVD - as DVD is as standard SD-Video and can never be any better (if to be played on Standard DVD-Player)

     

    And I find the resulting DVD to be better by - Share to Media Browser and as Large (not HD) (I never use "Share to iDVD" from any iMovie version 1 to '11 (whenever it came to be a possibility - iMovie RENDERS BADLY ! )

    And use of size Larger than "Large" or smaller has resulted in less quality DVD - TO ME ! ! !

     

    From FCE/P - I export as QuickTime - AND NO NO NO QuickTime Conversion  ! ! - Those that get a better to superior result by doing so - SHOULD describe it - from material used to what and how this conversion was selected - DUE TO that I NEVER Succeeded in doing it and would GREATLY appreciate to know HOWTO get a better result.

     

    Yours very interested Bengt W

  • 6. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,265 points)
    A second question but less important at the moment is all my old miniDV tapes - should i use iMovie 6 for these?

     

    I have used every iMovie from 02 to 11.

     

    I have found that whenever I want to make a DVD is best to use iMovie 06 or Final Cut express.

     

    There is a reduction in quality of the image between iMovie 06 and iMovie 08 through 11.

     

    The difference is the single field processing used by iMovie 11 (for faster editing) and the fact that it throws out every other horizontal line.

     

    Final Cut Express and Adobe Premiere Elements 9 will give full quality but are more complicated to use.

     

    In my opinion iMovie 06 with iDVD 09 or iDVD 11 is way to go.

     

    Your workflow is editing DV clips and making DVDs, iMovie '06 is better suited. Your movie will arrive at iDVD in DV format, which is an ideal match for making a DVD: same resolution, same pixels, aspect ratio, and original quality.

     

    iMovie 06 and iDVD 09/11 is a 100% "lossless" combination and my DVD's look like they came from Hollywood!

  • 7. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    grahamlaws Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    AppleMan1958 wrote:

     

    I usually import in Full size (1920x1080) because I am makeing HD videos for the web or Applt TV. It also preserves the highest level of quality for future use. If all you are doing is making standard definition DVDs, there is no advantage to importing in Full. You can import in Large and have a file 25% the size.

     

    Am trying this atm. So my steps were:

     

    1. Import AVCHD as Original Size (1920x1080)
    2. Edit in iMovie '11 (titles, cutting, transitions etc)
    3. Share via Media Browser as Large (960 x 540)
    4. iDVD > Save as disc image
    5. Disk Utility > burn DVD

     

    I created a disc image file last night with iDVD, will burn the disc after work tonight.

     

    I also tried importing a fresh clip as Large (960 x 540) and was impressed with how much quality it still had when played fullscreen on a 1920 x 1080 iMac. I haven't tried exporting one of these files yet.

  • 8. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    grahamlaws Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Stefano76 wrote:

     

    Hi !

    I always (... I mean, before Lion OS) use this method:

    1) Import the clips into iMove in Original Size

    2) Make your project

    3) Export using QT (no image compression and image size 960 x 540). You'll get very huge files, but with the best quality

    4) Drag the final clip into iDvd and complete your project. Be sure you have "Professional encoding" on the preferences of iDvd (... I don't know if "Professional encoding" is the right translation because my language is italian).

     

    After many tests, this is the way I found to get the best results on a DVD.

     

    Hope this hepls,

    Ciao !

     

    Yep these do create huge files! a 3min (i think) clip ended up as 10GB @ 960x540! So by your method the majority of the 'squashing' (rendering) is done by iDVD rather than iMovie?

     

    Will have to try this as well, but if i'm right that it was a 3min clip, then 30mins would be 100GB! and i'd start to be short on HDD space...

  • 9. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    grahamlaws Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Ziatron wrote:

     

    A second question but less important at the moment is all my old miniDV tapes - should i use iMovie 6 for these?

     

    I have used every iMovie from 02 to 11.

     

    I have found that whenever I want to make a DVD is best to use iMovie 06 or Final Cut express.

     

    There is a reduction in quality of the image between iMovie 06 and iMovie 08 through 11.

     

    The difference is the single field processing used by iMovie 11 (for faster editing) and the fact that it throws out every other horizontal line.

     

    Final Cut Express and Adobe Premiere Elements 9 will give full quality but are more complicated to use.

     

    In my opinion iMovie 06 with iDVD 09 or iDVD 11 is way to go.

     

    Your workflow is editing DV clips and making DVDs, iMovie '06 is better suited. Your movie will arrive at iDVD in DV format, which is an ideal match for making a DVD: same resolution, same pixels, aspect ratio, and original quality.

     

    iMovie 06 and iDVD 09/11 is a 100% "lossless" combination and my DVD's look like they came from Hollywood!

    Ziatron,

     

    Are your comments above related ONLY to dv content?

     

    Is iMovie '11 'harmful' to AVCHD content also?

     

    The wedding was shot in 50i (PAL). But the camera can also shoot 25p. For future reference is there an advantage of one over the other?

     

    Thanks

     

    Graham

  • 10. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    grahamlaws Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Off topic...

     

    This is not related to my original question but I discovered that Mplayerx (free in app store) will play the raw .mts files direct from the camcorder's SD cards.

     

    A raw 26min .mts clip on the camcorder is only 2GB and of course is beautiful 1920x1080, and this can be easily burnt to a data DVD for archive / watch on computer purposes.

     

    Which I think I will use as my method of preserving footage. as it's excellent unaltered quality and small file size

    (obviously it's unedited so is warts and all, i believe there are mac mts editors out there, but that's probably a whole other can of worms!)

  • 11. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    Stefano76 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    grahamlaws wrote:

     

    Stefano76 wrote:

     

    Hi !

    I always (... I mean, before Lion OS) use this method:

    1) Import the clips into iMove in Original Size

    2) Make your project

    3) Export using QT (no image compression and image size 960 x 540). You'll get very huge files, but with the best quality

    4) Drag the final clip into iDvd and complete your project. Be sure you have "Professional encoding" on the preferences of iDvd (... I don't know if "Professional encoding" is the right translation because my language is italian).

     

    After many tests, this is the way I found to get the best results on a DVD.

     

    Hope this hepls,

    Ciao !

     

    Yep these do create huge files! a 3min (i think) clip ended up as 10GB @ 960x540! So by your method the majority of the 'squashing' (rendering) is done by iDVD rather than iMovie?

     

    Will have to try this as well, but if i'm right that it was a 3min clip, then 30mins would be 100GB! and i'd start to be short on HDD space...

     

    Yes, the rendering is done by iDVD.

    Consider that iDVD always converts the clips of the project in MPEG2 format (standard compression for DVDs); this is why I prefer to have the "source" video file with full details and quality (38min = 88GB).

    Moreover, iMovie export is quicker if you use "no compression", so you don't have to wait twice.

    I understand the problem of huge files; I use an external hard drive for this.

    Once the DVD project is completed, I delete the huge video files since I don't need them anymore.

  • 12. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,265 points)

    Are your comments above related ONLY to dv content?

     

    Is iMovie '11 'harmful' to AVCHD content also?

     

    I get good results with iMovie 11 as long as I don't make a DVD.  If I post the video to the Internet the quality seems reasonable.

     

    I revert to iMovie 06 when I want to make a DVD.

  • 13. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    grahamlaws Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Ziatron wrote:

     

    Are your comments above related ONLY to dv content?

     

    Is iMovie '11 'harmful' to AVCHD content also?

     

    I get good results with iMovie 11 as long as I don't make a DVD.  If I post the video to the Internet the quality seems reasonable.

     

    I revert to iMovie 06 when I want to make a DVD.

     

    Looks like my question is a moot point. As I've installed iMovie HD (6.0.4) and it doesn't allow me to import from my Canon.

     

    Or did you mean import with iMovie '11 (orig. size) and then use the resultant AIC (.mov) file in iMovie HD to edit and then export?

     

    I am puzzled by this interlacing issue, are you saying then that it's only a problem with exporting? ie import is fine?

     

    Or is this whole iMovie '11 vs iMovie 6 issue - only concerning 'dv' (tape based) clips?

     

    Sorry if I'm being dim!

  • 14. Re: iMovie '11 > iDVD (AVCHD / DV)
    Matty Apple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)