818 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2007 7:33 PM by Gliese 581c
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When a photo is imported into iMovie HD it is resized to 640 x 480 as thats the standard size when displayed on a TV set. So the only preparation you need to do is crop them to the size ratio 4:3 before sending to iMovie. Many ditigal cameras produce images in that size ratio so you don't have any cropping to do.
iMovie converts the square pixels used on computers to a rectangular pixel as used in TV sets so they won't look as well when view in iMovie. But after processing and burning to DVD for playing thru a TV set it will look much better.
If the destination of the movie is to be played on a TV set, i.e. thru iDVD, then the following information from one of the iMovie guru's, Ken Petersen, may be of some help.
Karl Peterson’s Best Method to Create a Slideshow in iDVD
Here are my requirements for a slideshow: More than 99 photos. Music matched up to individual slides throughout the show (so idvd is out for creating the slideshow).
As everyone knows, the tough part is synching the slides to the music. iMovie 4's Bookmarks feature makes that pretty convenient. Here's one approach:
• Be sure iMovie preferences are set to "Enable Timeline snapping" and "Play snap sounds". We'll use those features later to help fit the slides to the music.
• Import the audio first. Save.
• Set iMovie to timeline view.
• Next, we create a series of bookmarks that matches the beat of the music for the entire movie. As the music plays, hold down the Command key (Apple key) and press the B key wherever you think a change of slide feels appropriate. There are no rules. You want a change of slides when it "feels" right. Don't worry about adding a few too many bookmarks; you can ignore some later.
• Play the music from start to finish, watching to see if your bookmarks still look right. If not, close the project without saving, then redo them. If they look right, Save.
• Create the leading title, if any. Set its length to match the first bookmark.
• Turn off Ken Burns (so stills aren't rendered into clips). Set the KB duration to something convenient to work with, like 5 seconds. Import the first image.
• Using iMovie's nondestructive editing, drag the right end of the image to match the second bookmark. Our preferences will cause iMovie to snap the slide to the bookmark.
• Repeat with each new slide, dragging it to match the next bookmark. Note you can import several slides together, place them in the order you want, then drag each to fit the bookmark.
• Play the movie occasionally to see if it looks right. You want to get it right the first time for it's hard to go back.
• After all the images have been added, everything should play with the proper synch. Now you are ready to start your real editing.
• Where you want image animation instead of a still, swap the still image for an animated Ken Burns zoom/pan of that image. Click on a thumbnail and turn on KB. KB will default to that duration. Configure your KB zoom/pan and Apply, which converts the timeline still into a clip (if it has animation). You can edit that thumbnail as many times as you need.
• When all the clips are done, we're ready to add transitions. Note that some transitions add new frames to a movie, which is NOT what you want. They will mess up your synch. Try Overlap, which does NOT add frames. Set the Overlap duration to whatever you want, then apply it between two slides or, if you wish, to all the selected clips.
• If there are stills that were never converted into clips be very careful burning the DVD. Do NOT press the Create iDVD Project button. That renders the stills into very poor quality clips with lots of jaggies. Instead, manually drag the project.mov into the iDVD window.
Hope I haven't missed a step, but you get the idea. It's probably a good idea to try this first on a small project.
Karl Peterson’s Recommendations for Higher Quality Stills in iMovie
To get started, here's an overview of key factors affecting image quality. To maximize still image quality in iMovie 4.0, try this:
1. In iMovie preferences (playback quality section) turn on both "High quality (better image)" AND "Enhanced video playback". Otherwise the movie iMovie sends to iDVD is not best quality.
2. The minimum image size is 640x480 for NTSC (768x576 for PAL), but anything larger should be okay.
If you plan to zoom in with the Ken Burns Effect, increase the minimum size accordingly. If doing a 2x zoom in Ken Burns, double the size. If doing a 3x zoom, triple the size. (You want to avoid Ken Burns upsampling the image.)
3. For image quality on the DVD, force the Ken Burns Effect to render your still while importing. For rendering to occur, you must configure Ken Burns to create an animated zoom or pan.
To force rendering, do this:
a. Turn on the Ken Burns Effect.
b. To discard (any) previous pan, press the Start button and drag the zoom thumb all the way left, then press the Finish button and drag the zoom thumb all the way left.
c. Click the Start button. Wait for any animation to finish. Drag the zoom thumb to 1.02. (Do not type in the box.)
d. Click the Finish button. Drag the zoom thumb to 1.00.
e. Drag the Duration thumb to 10 seconds. (Which may be more than you usually need, but start there.)
f. Press the Apply button or drag the image to the timeline.
g. After the clip is rendered, trim off the last second (or more, if it's not needed). That's where all the zoom is. What's left is a very high quality "still" clip of your image.
If you add transitions, trimming may be unnecessary. The transition may hide the zoom.
Note: after applying this settings to a clip, clicking on that clip will cause KB to adopt these settings for the next import.
4. Set iDVD preferences to burn the DVD at best quality.
iMovie will offer to render UNrendered stills when you click the "Create iDVD Project" button. That's when iMovie renders a very low quality clip, containing lots of jaggies. That's NOT what you want for your DVD. Instead, you want a clip rendered by the Ken Burns Effect, which has great clarity.
Note that Ken Burns does NOT render a still when:
a. Ken Burns Effect is turned OFF; or
b. Ken Burns Effect is turned ON but there is no animated zoom or animated pan. That's why we apply a small zoom.
Using a small zoom-out animation causes Ken Burns to put all the zoom at the end, where it can be trimmed off.
Stills rendered after clicking the "Create iDVD Project" button cannot be improved. Re-import using the method described above.
This describes a way to include an iPhoto slideshow in an iMovie HD project.
WHY USE iPHOTO?
Photo 5 lets you easily make great slideshows. You can automatically include very high quality random Ken Burns Effects on all slides, for example, and include several nice transitions not offered by iMovie HD. You can override default slideshow settings for individual images. (You can't add titles, of course, and include multiple songs, which is why you may want to use iMovie HD too.)
The iPhoto slideshow will be exported to an MPEG-4 movie (720x480). To better prepare that movie for import into iMovie HD, it will be opened in QuickTime Player Pro and exported to a different movie format. (QuickTime Pro is required, $30 from Apple.)
If you don't have QT Pro you can import the MPEG-4 movie directly to the iMovie HD DV project, but the quality of titles and transitions won't be as good. If the background video of titles is flawed, create titles over black, which will look fine. Placing titles over nom-animated still images also helps avoid problems, so if you know which images will receive the title, turn off Ken Burns for that photo in iPhoto and increase the play time to accept the title in iMovie HD.
MAKING THE iPHOTO SLIDESHOW
Create a slideshow in iPhoto.
To include a random Ken Burns Effect for all images:
• Click the "Settings" button.
• Turn ON "Automatic Ken Burns Effect"
(Note you can also adjust the KBE below each image.)
To set the default transition between slides:
• Click on the "Settings" button
• Choose a default transition.
(Note you can also change to a different transition below each image.)
To avoid audio problems later in iMovie HD, it may be best to NOT include music in the exported slideshow. Rather, import the song to your iMovie HD project.
If you want iPhoto to export the slideshow to fit the length of a song, here's how:
• Click the "Settings" button.
• Turn on "Fit Slideshow to Music"
• Click the Music button and select the song.
• After importing the iPhoto movie to the iMovie HD project, extract the audio.
EXPORT FROM iPHOTO
Choose Share>Export, 720x480. iPhoto will export the slideshow to an MPEG-4 movie. Except for the dimensions, there are no other export options.
EXPORT FROM QUICKTIME PLAYER PRO
Open the MPEG-4 movie in QuickTime Player and export to a QT format better suited for iMovie HD. (QuickTime Pro is required, $30 from Apple.)
- Choose File > Export
- Choose "Movie from QuickTime Movie" from the popup menu.
- Click Options. In the Movie Settings window that opens, click Settings.
- For NTSC, choose "DVC/DVCPRO-NTSC" from the top popUp menu, set Quality to Best, set Frames per second to 29.97.
- For PAL, "choose DVCPRO PAL" from the popUp menu, set Frames per second to 25.
- Click OK.
- Back in the Movie Settings window, click Size.
- Click "Use custom size", set to 720x480 for NTSC (720x576 for PAL).
CREATE YOUR iMOVIE HD "DV" PROJECT
• Create a new iMovie HD project of the "DV" type. (Choose the project type in the disclosure arrow at the bottom of the dialog where you name the project.)
• Import the QuickTime Player-exported movie to the project. (Or the MPEG-4 movie from iPhoto, if you skipped the QT export.)
• Add your music to the iMovie project. Add titles, edit the music track, etc.
• If a DVD is your goal, now is the time to burn it. If you see problems played on a TV -- pauses or audio problems -- try exporting the iMovie HD project to a "Full Quality" movie, then drag THAT movie to the iDVD window.
TIP: For insurance against the iPhoto database corruption that many users have experienced I recommend making a backup copy of the Library6.iPhoto database file and keep it current. If problems crop up where iPhoto suddenly can't see any photos or thinks there are no photos in the library, replacing the working Library6.iPhoto file with the backup will often get the library back. By keeping it current I mean backup after each import and/or any serious editing or work on books, slideshows, calendars, cards, etc. That insures that if a problem pops up and you do need to replace the database file, you'll retain all those efforts. It doesn't take long to make the backup and it's good insurance.
I've written an Automator workflow application (requires Tiger), iPhoto dB File Backup, that will copy the selected Library6.iPhoto file from your iPhoto Library folder to the Pictures folder, replacing any previous version of it. It's compatible with iPhoto 08 libraries. You can download it at Toad's Cellar. Be sure to read the Read Me pdf file.