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iMovie project quality poor in iDVD export

12180 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2013 2:04 PM by Mutinyguy RSS
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Sep 24, 2012 8:18 AM

I'm having problems with the quality of iMovie projects exported to iDVD. The final dvd looks very pixelated, however, when I export the same project to iTunes and view the video on same TV, the video looks perfect...clear as a bell, when great definition.

 

Here's what I'm doing...

 

  1. Video imported from my HD camera at Large 960x540,Optimize setting.
  2. Clips moved from Events to Projects.
  3. No major edits made in Projects outside of a trim or two.
  4. Project 'Finalized.'
  5. Project sent to iDVD via Share > iDVD.

 

Am I missing something? I've even tried omitting step 4 above...not finalizing. Same DVD result. The video looks perfect on my screen in both iMovie and iDVD as I work on it. Only experiencing problem with final DVD output.

 

I'm using iMovie 11 (v9.0.4), iDVD (v7.1.2).

 

This is the first time that I've used iMovie 11 to create my video before sending to iDVD. In the past, I've used iMovie HD and never had a problem with iDVD output.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (18,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 24, 2012 11:04 PM (in response to Name)

    Hi

     

    There are lot's of thought's about this - read as much as You want of my notes.

     

    DVD quality

     

     

    1. iDVD 08, 09 & 11 has three levels of qualities. (version 7.0.1, 7,0.4 & 7.1.1) and iDVD 6 has the two last ones

     

    • Professional Quality

    (movies + menus up to 120 min.) - BEST (but not always for short movies e.g. up to 45 minutes in total)

     

    • Best Performances

    (movies + menus less than 60 min.) - High quality on final DVD (Can be best for short movies)

     

    • High Quality (in iDVD08 or 09) / Best Quality (in iDVD6)

    (movies + menus up to 120 min.) - slightly lower quality than above

     

    Menu can take 15 minutes or even more - I use a very simple one with no audio or animation like ”Brushed Metal” in old Themes.

     

    About double on DL DVDs.

     

    2. Video from

    • FCE/P - Export out as full quality QuickTime.mov (not self-containing, no conversion)

    • iMovie x-6 - Don't use ”Share/Export to iDVD” = destructive even to movie project and especially so

    when the movie includes photos and the Ken Burns effect NOT is used. Instead just drop or import the iMovie movie project icon (with a Star on it) into iDVD theme window.

    • iMovie’08 or 09 or 11 are not meant to go to iDVD. Go via Media Browser or rather use iMovie HD 6 from start.

     

    DO not use - "Share to iDVD" in any iMovie version !

     

    iMä'08 to 11 - "Share to Media Browser" and as LARGE or Medium - NOT HD or other resolutions as this too degrades the final DVD.

     

    3. I use Apple Disk Util tool (or Roxio Toast™) to make an as slow burn as possibly e.g. x4 or x1 (in iDVD’08 or 09  this can also be set)

    This can also be done with Apple’s Disk Utilities application when burning from a DiskImage.

     

    4. There has to be about or more than 25Gb free space on internal (start-up) hard disk. iDVD can't

    use an external one as scratch disk (if it is not start-up disc). For SD-Video - if HD-material is used I guess that 4 to 5 times more would do.

     

    5. I use Verbatim ( also recommended by many - Taiyo Yuden DVDs - I can’t get hold of it to test )

     

    6. I use DVD-R (no +R or +/-RW) - DVD-R play’s on more and older DVD-Players

     

    7. Keep NTSC to NTSC - or - PAL to PAL when going from iMovie to iDVD

    (I use JES_Deinterlacer to keep frame per sec. same from editing to the Video-DVD result.)

     

    8. Don’t burn more than three DVDs at a time - but let the laser cool off for a while before next batch.

     

    iDVD quality also depends on.

     

    • DVD is a standard in it self. It is Standard Definition Quality = Same as on old CRT-TV sets and can not

    deliver anything better that this.

     

    HD-DVD was a short-lived standard and it was only a few Toshiba DVD-players that could playback.

    These DVDs could be made in DVD-Studio Pro. But they don’t playback on any other standard DVD-Player.

     

    Blu-Ray / BD can be coded onto DVDs but limited in time to - about 20-30 minutes and then need

    _ Roxio Toast™ 10 Pro incl. BD-component

    _ BD disks and burner if full length movies are to be stored

    _ BD-Player or PlayStation3 - to be able to playback

    The BD-encoded DVDs can be play-backed IF Mac also have Roxio DVD-player tool. Not on any standard Mac or DVD-player

    Full BD-disks needs a BD-player (in Mac) as they need blue-laser to be read. No red-laser can do this.

     

    • HOW much free space is there on Your internal (start-up) hard disk. Go for approx. 25Gb.

    less than 5Gb and Your result will most probably not play.

     

    • How it was recorded - Tripod vs Handheld Camera. A stable picture will give a much higher quality

     

    • Audio is most often more critical than picture. Bad audio and with dropouts usually results in a non-viewed movie.

     

    • Use of Video-editor. iMovie’08 or 09 or 11 are not the tools for DVD-production. They discard every second line resulting in a close to VHS-tape quality.

    iMovie 1 to HD6 and FinalCut any version delivers same quality as Camera record in = 100% to iDVD

     

    • What kind of movie project You drop into it. MPEG4 seems to be a bad choice.

    other strange formats are .avi, .wmv, .flash etc. Convert to streamingDV first

    Also audio formats matters. I use only .aiff or from miniDV tape Camera 16-bit

    strange formats often problematic are .avi, .wmv, audio from iTunes, .mp3 etc

    Convert to .aiff first and use this in movie project

     

    • What kind of standard - NTSC movie and NTSC DVD or PAL to PAL - no mix.

    (If You need to change to do a NTSC DVD from PAL material let JES_Deinterlacer_3.2.2 do the conversion)

    (Dropping a PAL movie into a NTSC iDVD project

    (US) NTSC DVDs most often are playable in EU

    (EU) PAL DVDs most often needs to be converted to play in US

    UNLESS. They are play-backed by a Mac - then You need not to care

     

    • What kind of DVDs You are using. I use Verbatim DVD-R (this brand AND no +R or +/-RW)

     

    • How You encode and burn it. Two settings prior iDVD’08 or 09

    Pro Quality (only in iDVD 08 & 09)

    Best / High Quality (not always - most often not)

    Best / High Performances (most often my choice before Pro Quality)

     

    1. go to iDVD pref. menu and select tab far right and set burn speed to x1 (less errors = plays better) - only in iDVD 08 & 09

    (x4 by some and may be even better)

    2. Project info. Select Professional Encoding - only in iDVD 08 & 09.

     

    Region codes.

    iDVD - only burn Region = 0 - meaning - DVDs are playable everywhere

     

    DVD Studio pro can set Region codes.

    1 = US

    2 = EU

     

    unclemano wrote

    What it turned out to be was the "quality" settings in iDVD. The total clip time was NOT over 2 hours or 4.7GB, yet iDVD created massive visual artifacts on the "professional quality" setting.

     

    I switched the settings to "high quality" which solved the problem. According iDVD help, "high quality" determines the best bit rate for the clips you have.

     

    I have NEVER seen iDVD do this before, especially when I was under the 2 hour and 4.7GB limits.

     

    For anyone else, there seem to be 2 places in iDVD to set quality settings, the first is under "preferences" and the second under "project info." They do NOT seem to be linked (i.e. if you change one, the other is NOT changed). take care, Mario

     

    to get this to work I

    • Secure a minimum of 25Gb free space on Start-Up (Mac OS) hard disk

    • Use Verbatim DVD-R (absolutely no +/-RW)

    • Set down burn speed to x4 - less burn errors = plays on more devices

    • No other process running in background as - ScreenSaver, EnergySaver OR TIMEMACHINE etc

    • and I'm very careful on what kind of video-codecs, audio file format and photo file formats I use

    • and I consider the iDVD Bug - never go back to video-editor to change/up-date - if so Start  a brand new iDVD project

    • Chapters set as they should - NO one at very beginning and no one in any transition or within 2 sec from it

    • Lay-out - Turn on TV-Safe area and keep everything buttons, titles etc WELL INSIDE not even touching it !

    Try to break the process up into two stages

    • Save as a DiskImage (calculating part)

    • Burn from this .img file (burning stage)

    To isolate where the problem starts.

     

    Another thing is - Playing it onto a Blu-Ray Player. My PlayStation3 can play BD-disks but not all of my home made DVDs so to get this to work I

    • Secure a minimum of 25Gb free space on Start-Up (Mac OS) hard disk

    • Use Verbatim DVD-R (absolutely no +/-RW)

    • Set down burn speed to x4 - less burn errors = plays on more devices

    • No other process running in background as - ScreenSaver, EnergySaver OR TIMEMACHINE etc

    • and I'm very careful on what kind of video-codecs, audio file format and photo file formats I use

    • and I consider the iDVD Bug - never go back to video-editor to change/up-date - if so Start  a brand new iDVD project

    • Chapters set as they should - NO one at very beginning and no one in any transition or within 2 sec from it

    • Lay-out - Turn on TV-Safe area and keep everything buttons, titles etc WELL INSIDE not even touching it !

     

    TO GET IT TO WORK SLIGHTLY FASTER

    • Minimum of 25Gb free space on Start-Up hard disk

    • No other programs running in BackGround e.g. Energy-Saver

    • Don’t let HD spin down or be turned off (in Energy-Save)

    • Move hard disks that are not to be used to Trash - To be disconnected/turned off

    • Goto Spotlight and set the rest of them under Integrity (not to be scanned)

    • Set screen-saver to a folder without any photo - then make an active corner (up right for me) and set

    pointer to this - turns on screen saver - to show that it has nothing to show

    • No File Vault on - Important

    • NO - TimeMachine - during iMovie/iDVD work either ! IMPORTANT

    • Lot's of icons on DeaskTop/Finder also slows down the Mac noticeably

    • Start a new User-Account and log into this and iMovie get's faster too - if a project is in a hurry

    • And let Mac run on Mains - not just on battery

    Yours Bengt W

  • Brad Wright2 Level 3 Level 3 (700 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2012 9:30 AM (in response to Name)

    DVD encoding is tricky.  You will rarely get a good result just dumping things from iMovie into iDVD.  There's a lot of resizing that has to go on in order to get HD video to a DVD.  Basically, Bengt has it right.  Encoding is tricky and difficult.

  • RobRR Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 8:24 AM (in response to Brad Wright2)

    Brad - so, here is the question that I have yet to really see answered:

     

    Is there a way to take a movie from iMovie 11 to iDVD and have it look better than a poor VHS tape?

     

     

    What is imported from the camera to iMovie looks decent. The final project when viewed in iMovie 11 is good. So, how do I share this video with someone via a dvd?  I do understand there are many, many ways the file gets burned to the dvd. I have made three different attempts to use iDVD to create the dvd - but so far, all result in AMAZINGLY poor quality - like, I would say below vhs!!!! The final product is blocky - just completely unacceptable.

     

    Though hard to believe, from what I have been reading, iMovie 11 does a poor job at exporting to iDVD.

     

    Is there an answer besides buying Final Cut Pro?

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (18,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 3, 2013 10:46 AM (in response to RobRR)

    Is there an answer besides buying Final Cut Pro?

     

    NO - in reality

     

    Can iMovie'11 do better or worse ?

     

    YES

     

    You can never deliver full interlaced SD-Video quality over to iDVD from iMovie'08 or 09 or 11 - any way known.

     

    But by - Share to Media Browser and as Large (or ev. Medium) You get a good result - by Sharing HD-Quality - the resulting DVD will be BAD as downscaling in iDVD is BAD

     

    One can Export as QuickTime and then Deinterlace the picture before going to iDVD - this will look better too.

     

    Still by using - FinalCut (any version) - You can Export - interlaced SD-Video quality - and that will make it optimal for iDVD to use.

     

    AND

     

    DVD is as standard - interlaced SD-Video - at it's very best !

     

    Yours Bengt W

  • RobRR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2013 12:01 PM (in response to Bengt Wärleby)

    Bengt - so just to follow up on what I did end up with.

     

    I tried Exporting my project out of iMovie 11 (9.0.1) as a Quicktime HD movie. It took a long time, but I then imported it into iDVD 7.1.2 and used OneStep DVD (under File) - and I ended up with a watchable DVD - still not as good as the original from the camera - but at least acceptable compared to what I was getting before.

     

    I was told my someone else I might not need to export as a Quicktime HD file - and I might try the process again just to see what happens. It was also suggested that I try and export from iMovie to an mpeg rather than Quicktime.

     

    I guess in the end, what I am really looking for is a step-by-step process for moving a project from iMovie to iDVD with the chance for best image quality. And, in the meantime, I guess I will start saving my pennies for Final Cut Pro which I guess has the best chance of circumventing this issue in the future! - Rob

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (18,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 5, 2013 11:42 PM (in response to RobRR)

    Hi

     

    Exporting via Quicktime in one or other way and as HD will give a bad result due to

    • encoding - back-encoding - and final DVD encoding - Never a healthy process

    • HD - downscaling to SD-Quality is done Badly in iDVD

     

    so in iMovie'11 - best You can do (but via iMovie HD6 or FinalCut in much better)

     

    Share to Media Browser and as Large (or ev. Medium) You get a good result

     

    Open a New iDVD Project and import from Media button / Movies

     

    ( One can Export as QuickTime and then De-interlace the picture before going to iDVD - this will look better too. - This is a Karsten Schlüter special and You must use exactly the same compression as iDVD uses (and I don't know) still iM HD6 and FinalCut is better and gives as good as DVD Standard can deliver)

     

    Yours Bengt W

  • coachgrd1 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2013 4:10 AM (in response to Bengt Wärleby)

    Bengt...Would you be so kind to describe this further:

     

    Instead just drop or import the iMovie movie project icon (with a Star on it) into iDVD theme window.

     

    I opened my applications folder and then the iDVD icon but it goes right into the program, so I'm having trouble finding this window you refer to. 

    Thank you.

    Gary

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (18,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2013 6:41 AM (in response to coachgrd1)

    Instead just drop or import the iMovie movie project icon (with a Star on it) into iDVD theme window.

     

    only makes sense if You are using iMovie up to version HD6. (NOT if You use iMovie'08 or 09 or 11)

     

    If so -

    • then make Your movie project

    • Save it on DeskTop - and you get an iMovie project icon like this

    Skärmavbild 2013-05-04 kl. 15.35.24.png

    Then drag and drop this onto the iDVD icon

    Skärmavbild 2013-05-04 kl. 15.37.18.png

    And iDVD will take care of the import.

     

    If You are using iMovie'08 to 11

    • Select Your Movie project

    • Share to Media Browser and as Medium (NOT as HD = degrades the quality of the final DVD)

    • Close iMovie

    • Open iDVD

    • Create a brand new iDVD project

    • Select Media button / Movies --> Your movie

    and it will be imported

     

    Yours Bengt W

  • coachgrd1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2013 4:11 AM (in response to Bengt Wärleby)

    Thanks Bengt, for the excellent and helpful response.

  • Yarpee Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2013 7:53 PM (in response to Bengt Wärleby)

    So to clarify, if I have imovie9, I have to export the project, the drag and drop directly into idvd is not available?

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (18,950 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 12:23 AM (in response to Yarpee)

    If You use - iMovie'09 then best (but not best possibly) result will be by

    Share to Media Browser - and as - Large or Medium - Not HD or other res. as this degrades the movie even more.

    (in some rare cases - Large loses some audio - then use Medium instead - I see no quality diff.)

     

    BUT neither iMovie'08 or 09 or 11 - can deliver full - interlaced SD-Quality to iDVD in any way known as the quality is lost in the - Move from Event's to Project's step. Here every second line in the picture is lost. And can not be repaired later.

     

    By using

    • iMovie up to HD6 - or -

    • FinalCut - any version

    full - interlaced SD-Quality can be Exported - to be dropped or imported into iDVD

     

    Yours Bengt W

  • Yarpee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 1:05 AM (in response to Bengt Wärleby)

    Thanks for your reponse. So the problem with imovie09 is not in the upload from Mini Dv, its from converting within imovie to a project.

     

    Two questions-

    1) from your experience, does Share to Media Browser(large or medium) produce better results than Export Movie? I like that export movie produces a .m4v file that I can backup.

    2) Where can I buy iMovie6?

  • coachgrd1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2013 2:30 PM (in response to Name)

    I'm still struggling to find a way to replicate the wonderful HD images I see in my '11 project in the final DVD.  Can anyone tell me if the same issue exists with iMovie 6 HD?  In other words, if I complete a project in HD rather than 11, will I get a better result?

     

    I'm just floored by the horrendous final result from '11.

     

    Thanks in advance!

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