8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2008 2:41 PM by EZ Jim
Steve Mouzon Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
What might be the best way to get the PhotoBooth Glow effect in iMovie? PhotoBooth video is incredibly jerky... like maybe one sample per second or something like that. I do want to use the iSight camera built into my MacBook Pro, but wanted smoother video if possible.

MacBook Pro 17, 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2 gigs RAM
  • Steve Mouzon Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    Any ideas, anyone? Thanks in advance!
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,455 points)
    checking the usual suspects for a plug-in, perhaps?

    geethree.com
    imovieplugins.com
    stupendous-software.com
  • Steve Mouzon Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    I just checked all three plug-in sites, and there's some really great stuff here. But I'm not finding anything that replicates the iSight Glow effect. Does anyone know an alternate software to use to record with the iSight that can access the Glow effect?
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,730 points)
    Steve,

    Have you ruled out the alternate apps suggested at your other post on this subject?

      http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=7001791

    If there is something you do not like about the apps suggested there, please explain that here. Otherwise, you may see the same apps you do not like suggested here, too.

    Cheers,
    EZ Jim

    PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/Mac OS X (10.4.11) G5 DP 1.8 w/Mac OS X (10.5.2)  External iSight
  • Steve Mouzon Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    None of them that I could see actually replicated the Glow effect, but it turns out that my colleagues told me that the Glow effect looks like an acid trip, so I'm going to be using something else a bit tamer. But it's strange... if both PhotoBooth and iChat can do the exact same Glow (and they do) then you'd think iMovie or some other software would have access to those same conversions. Oh, well...
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,730 points)
    Thanks for the star, Steve

    Perhaps a more detailed explanation will my suggestion clearer for you.

    The alternatives I suggested do not replicate Photo Booth's one-step "Glow" effect recording. Rather, they give you the power to create or simulate them in multiple operations. If they replicated Photo Booth's "Glow" they would likely give the same jerkiness that you are trying to avoid.

    Considerable processor power is required to apply and render the effects that make up Photo Booth's "Glow" in real time while video is being captured and recorded. I believe that is why more complex effects like "Glow" cause jerky recording on your MacBook Pro. I do not have an 8-core Mac Pro to test, but my guess is that one of the new, fast 8-core Mac Pros could record Photo Booth's "Glow" smoother than your MacBook Pro does. However, if you only have access to your MBP, the only way I can think of to get a less jerky video that "glows" is to separate recording from rendering the effects.

    Macs uses QuickTime file formats everywhere, so there is no mystery in the Photo Booth / iChat commonality. In fact, as explained in Changing the backdrop of a video chat in iChat 4.0 Help on your Mac, iChat can use any image or QuickTime movie, not only those created by Photo Booth (using QuickTime formats), as a custom backdrop.

    Photo Booth's "effects" are simply some saved setting "recipes" that use combinations of operations that include some of your Mac's Core Video settings. As explained in the "creating your own "glow" filter" link I provided in your other thread, you can create effects for yourself. However, using this method adds processor workload, so I doubt that creating your own effects would smooth the jerky recordings that you have encountered.

    Instead, I suggest that you use iMovie to (1) first record the movie clip, and (2) then add effects one at a time to approximate the look you want while keeping the smoothness of an iMovie recording.

    Because these effects use combinations of your Mac's inbuilt Core Video effects, you should be able to approximate the Photo Booth "Glow" that you like by applying combinations of some of iMovie's "Video FX". To simulate the Photo Booth "Glow" effect on an iMovie video clup, some experimentation will be needed to decide which effects to use and where to set the various sliders for those effects.

    I started by recording a short video clip in iMovie. Next, I applied maximum "Bloom" effect to the test clip. After "Bloom" rendering was completed, I experimented with the "Brightness & Contrast" settings for the rendered clip. By increasing the Contrast and decreasing the Brightness sliders, I got a smooth video image that I think looks similar to my jerky Photo Booth recording with the "Glow" effect. I finished the simulation by setting the appropriate slider position for the "Peephole" effect. I know that this simulation is not merely a smooth version of the jerky Photo Booth "Glow" video clip. However, it is a smooth recording, and it seems to me to approximates the look of my jerky Photo Booth "Glow" clip. If the same "recipe" does not produce a video that looks like you want, even if you cannot create an exact match, you should be able to come closer with additional experimentation.

    I have learned much about iMovie's capability from Karsten, who I consider to be one of the iMovie HD gurus. He has done some amazing things with iMovie HD. If he gives you different advice here, try his first.

    Cheers,
    EZ Jim

    PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/Mac OS X (10.4.11) G5 DP 1.8 w/Mac OS X (10.5.2)  External iSight
  • Steve Mouzon Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)
    EZ Jim,

    Thanks for the additional info... I've found such a dazzling array of effects on the websites Karsten referred to earlier that I'm quite confident I could find a combination that would replicate the Glow effect in Photo Booth and iChat. But because several of my colleagues told me the video looked like something drug-induced, I'm now toning it down to just a sepia video with a Video FX Water Color Effect applied. Now, I'm just down to a cropping and file size issue detailed in the other discussion. I've asked Karsten about it there, but please have a look at the most recent questions and see if you have insights... thanks! FWIW, here's the link to the Glow video that most of my friends thought was too freaky:
    http://web.mac.com/stephenamouzon/OriginalGreen_Site/Podcast/Entries/2008/4/8_Original_Green_I.html
  • EZ Jim Level 7 Level 7 (21,730 points)
    Thanks for the , Steve

    With the MANY options added by Karsten's list, I am pleased that you have the answer to this topic.

    Between Karsten's iMovie help and QuickTimeKirk's QT assistance, there is nothing I can add at your next thread. You are in the care of real topic experts. Although he does not mention it, QuickTimeKirk's Book will help you get full power from QuickTime Pro, so he's a GREAT source for all things QuickTime.

    I looked at your podcast and see what you mean. I am sure you will enjoy finding the precise effect you want for your podcasts.

    Enjoy!
    EZ Jim

    PowerBook 1.67 GHz w/Mac OS X (10.4.11) G5 DP 1.8 w/Mac OS X (10.5.2)  External iSight