9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 22, 2008 2:42 AM by SouthofFrance
SouthofFrance Level 1 (5 points)
I have used some screen capture software to record an .avi file of my screen for instructional use. When i view this file with QuickTime Player the resolution and quality is crisp and clear. When i take this same file and import it into iMovie it becomes very fuzzy and low quality.

My question is: has anyone ever used screen capture software and had it imported into iMovie with good results? I am recording a screen off a Windows computer and taking that file and importing it into iMovie.

Thanks for any suggestions.

ibook g4, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Crabby Cliff Level 1 (0 points)
    try rendering your screen capture in iMovie to a QT .mov
    and check the quality.

    My experience is that the iMovie window is often if not always fuzzy.
  • catspaw Level 5 (4,340 points)
    Hi SouthofFrance - you should save the screen capture as a DV formatted file.
    .AVI is not a format, simply a container - was it recorded as an mpeg file perhaps. Make sure that you are saving your movie in the highest quality possible.
  • SouthofFrance Level 1 (5 points)
    I did try exporting in Full Quality (DV) but the result is fuzzy and the image is low quality.

    I record the screen on a Windows computer and the resulting output file is an AVI file with a Microsfot Video 1 Codec at 1016x760 with a data size of 41MB.

    This opens and plays gorgeous in Quicktime. However, when i import this AVI file into iMovie and export it out again the result is a loss in quality of video.

    I need to import this into iMovie to be part of an instructional video. Perhaps double compressing the video like this is the cause of such fuzzy quality. Can anyone lend their expertise in the matter? Maybe someone who has done screen capture before with iMovie. I also welcome any other comments or suggestions!
  • Matti Haveri Level 6 (8,865 points)

    That is scaled to PAL 720x576...

    So: if you original gorgeous clips has any 1 pixel lines, they are scaled to 0 pixels or to some fuzzy intermediate...

    Try to adjust the screen capture to 768x576 or 640x480 etc -- then the scaling to 720x576 should be better quality.

    Also remember that the DV codec may produce some compression artifacts to some colors.
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 (32,190 points)
    iMovie is - as allready stated - not choice #1 for editing 'any' codec, nor preparing screengrabs for delivery ..

    as an example, honorable forum member +Jon Walker+ uses ScreenFlow (I guess), on his 10.5. capable IntelMac.. in result:
    superb screengrabbings. e.g. http://web.mac.com/jrwalker4/MotionEffects/QT_Pro1.html

    .. but this is on your set-up no help..
  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 (18,615 points)
    Five years ago I made some beautiful crisp screenshots (stills) to use in iMovie for a talk I was giving.

    Of course the results were unsharp and shimmery ......... totally unsuitable.

    Matti Haveri has told you the reason. You are converting a high quality computer display picture into a comparatively low quality TV image with only a quarter of the total pixels.

    It is not iMovie's fault. Any video editing programme will give the same disappointing results.

    There is nothing you can do about it if you want to capture the ENTIRE SCREEN.

    However, if you are content to capture an area about half the computer screen width (as Matti Haveri suggested) you will get a very satisfactory result.
  • SouthofFrance Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks guys for all your input and help.
    I found a better solution. I am simply doing all my post editing using QT Pro. The screen movies play sharp and crisp in QuickTime so i have decided to use QT Pro and edit and add my sound track to it there.

    Best thing i ever did in upgrading to Pro.

  • teacher24_70 Level 2 (260 points)
    So did you use your screen capture software (at what settings) and then place them in QT Pro?
  • SouthofFrance Level 1 (5 points)
    I used my Windows Screen Capture software (Cam Studio) and just captured the open window for recording. This does not capture the whole screen but captures the window you click on. When i finished recording it made an .AVI file which i open and save in QuickTime as a .Mov file. Now i add a soundtrack and some other videos into that QuickTime movie for some cool picture in picture effects and added some cool title effects throughout the movie. Everything plays crisp and clear.

    I think the problem may have been what was mentioned earlier in that iMovie took the resolution of the .AVI file and somehow compressed it at import and made it "fuzzy". I did not try changing the resolution of the AVI file from the software.