I presume that it is really essential to import all video clips from the camera initially into the archive first and then import them from there into events. I tried this and noticed that after archiving, I still had the opportunity of selecting the clips i wanted in the same way as I am able to direct from the camera.
Yes, it's a good idea to import from the Camera Archive as this proves that the archive was successful and can therefore be relied upon if needed again later. This is the method used by AppleMan1958, a regular contributor to and highly respected member of the forum.
One thing to note about archiving - each time you archive from the camera to the archive folder, you only have the option to "Archive All". You can't be selective about the clips to archive. In other words, there is no option to just archive certain clips from the camera (unlike when importing to iMovie directly from the camera). So, if you have a hard drive camera (like my 60GB camera), ALL the camera contents are archived each time you perform an archive. If you haven't deleted clips from the camera between each archive session, you will have duplicates in the archive folder. The same applies to cameras that use memory cards.
Other than taking up space on your storage device/hard disk, this is not really a problem, but it can get difficult to manage. For archiving, I use a 3rd party app called Revolver HD. This allows me to be selective about the clips I'm archiving from the camera. The only downside is that, when importing to iMovie from the archives, the date of import is picked up by iMovie rather than the date each clip was recorded. So, after archiving with Revolver, I choose to then separately import the clips directly from the camera, rather than from the archive. Oddly enough, the archived clips (from Revolver) in the Finder show the correct recording date, but this is not reflected in iMovie. Don't wish to confuse you but thought I should provide you with some additional information about archiving.
Incidentally, whenever I connect my camera (Sony XR350VE) to my computer it always boots up and wants to import into iphoto, but this is a minor irritation I am used to now.
You can fix this by changing a preference in iPhoto. In iPhoto's menu, select iPhoto > Preferences. In the General tab, for the item named "Connected camera opens" change the setting to "No application". You've probably got it set to the default of "iPhoto". When importing from your camera, it's best to firstly open iMovie then connect the camera. Likewise, when importing stills to iPhoto, open iPhoto first then, if the Import window doesn't show, choose File > Import to Library. See the image below regarding the preference setting:
As this is getting a bit long, and I've been interrupted, I'll leave it there for now Chris. You have a few other questions which I may answer separately a bit later.
Sorry I didn't get back to you before about my lost video project. I have indeed contacted Apple Support a number of times. While the people there try to be very helpful and courteous, I find their knowledge of iMovie seems to be limited, particularly the ones here in Oz. The Philippine Branch I find hard to understand, so I am finding that this community forum seems to have the expertise. I am finding John Cogdell particularly patient with me. What I really need is a dedicated volume that I can consult. I have purchased "iLife 11" and "iLife 11 for dummies" but there is only so much that can be explained over and above the straight forward manipulation of video clips. If I knew what went on "under the bonnet" in the way of formats etc, it would help me understand what I can and can't do with the files. In the same way, it helps to know what a gear box in a car does and why, rather than know how to move the lever. I was seriously considering ordering the book "iMovie 11 & iDVD - The Missing Manual" from Amazon. Do you or anyone else know anything about it Cheers Chris
Thanks for the kind words Chris.
Regarding formats, you really don't need to worry too much about them, unless you have special needs. You mentioned in one of your earlier posts in this thread that you are using a camera that records in the AVCHD format. The video in this format is compressed, so that it doesn't take up a huge amount of storage space on your camera (be it a hard drive camera, or one that uses SDHC cards, perhaps in conjunction with internal flash memory).
On import, iMovie converts the AVCHD clips to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC), as I think we discussed earlier. This allows iMovie to work at the individual frame level, as the video is expanded to full frames.
When sharing (exporting), from the Share menu, select one of the following standard preset options (these all have default settings built in by Apple to optimize quality and file sizes for the chosen export size):
- Media Browser (exported file will be placed in the project's Package Contents folder)
- iTunes (exported file will be listed in the iTunes Library)
- Export movie (allows export to your preferred location, for example, Desktop)
Other export options are also available, including sharing to YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. However, there is generally no need to use the more advanced option "Export using QuickTime" as this is where things can get confusing due to the different codecs and other choices that are available. Unless really necessary, keep things simple by using one of the standard preset options I've listed above.
When sharing using one of the standard preset options, select one of the availabel sizes - either Large (960 x 540), HD 720p (1280 x 720), or HD 1080p (1920 x 1080), or smaller size if desired (that is, Mobile or Medium). Whatever size you choose, (using a standard option), the movie will always be exported in the widely used H.264 format. This will be in a container - either .m4v or .mov. In other words, the movie file name will have the extension .m4v or .mov, depending on the size exported (but the file format will be H.264). Files with an extension of .m4v, .mov or .mp4 for example, are simply containers that "hold" the codec/format that the movie was encoded as (in this case H.264).
So, in summary, the following "elements" are all you generally need to consider:
- AVCHD - as recorded by your Camera
- AIC - generated by iMovie on import of the AVCHD clips
- Export (Share) using one of the Apple presets
- Files with the extension .m4v or .mov (known as containers)
- H.264 exported movie (which is contained in either a .m4v file or .mov file)
Unless you have a special need, don't worry about files/formats/containers such as .wav or .mp4. Using the presets, iMovie takes care of everything for you. If you need something more advanced, use the Share item "Export using QuickTime" and experiment with other formats and settings (a wide choice is available).
The H.264 files (.m4v or .mov) can be used virtually anywhere - for example, when authoring and burning DVDs, the web (such as YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo), playing in iTunes and on Apple TV, and playing back through other media players such as Western Digital's Media Player.
Hope this helps Chris. Please come back if you need more information about any of this.
Thanks very much for that. I shall read again, learn and inwardly digest as an old school teacher used to say to me. You have certainly made a complex subject (to me) somewhat more simplified. I did discover an outline very much the same in something I read recently. What does puzzles me is that I haven't found any reference to "finalise project" to be found under the file menu. In a previous experience with a DVD recorder attached to my TV after I had recorded a programme, it was essential to finalise the disk before removing to play on another machine. I naturally thought that the same must apply in the case of Imovie once I wanted to share or file somewhere. Apparently this doesn't appear to be the case ? If so what does "finalise" do and why is it there ? Does it convert to something else ? I shall try and keep everything straightforward, simple and easy as another mate is fond of saying.
What does puzzles me is that I haven't found any reference to "finalise project" to be found under the file menu. In a previous experience with a DVD recorder attached to my TV after I had recorded a programme, it was essential to finalise the disk before removing to play on another machine. I naturally thought that the same must apply in the case of Imovie once I wanted to share or file somewhere. Apparently this doesn't appear to be the case ? If so what does "finalise" do and why is it there ? Does it convert to something else ?
Chris, you may have missed it but in my second post in this thread I said:
"Projects don't have to be finalised before sharing. Finalising simply publishes a movie in each of the supported sizes for the media (clips) you are editing. For example, Medium, Large, HD 720p, HD 1080p. Just share in the size you want - no need to finalise unless you want all the available sizes. It will be much quicker just sharing at the one size."
DVD's recorded on a DVD recorder (DVD-R or DVD+R) have to be finalised if you want to play them on equipment other than on the machine that was used to record them (as you mentioned). That is not the case with movies exported from iMovie - just export them at the size you want. As I said earlier, finalising in iMovie will export at all the available sizes (and will take forever). Unfortunately, "Finalise" is not an ideal choice of name by Apple for the process involved - perhaps it could have been named "Export at All Sizes", or similar.
Message was edited by: John Cogdell
Should have also mentioned that finalising exports in a format identical to that produced by a standard export using one of the preset sizes. That is, in the H.264 format contained in a .m4v file or .mov file.. No other conversion is applied. Exactly the same type of file is exported, but in ALL sizes (dimensions).