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Derek Bloom Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
We are trying to make a slideshow of pictures in iMovie HD. We first put the photos into iPhoto, and the pictures looked great. Then, after importing them into iMovie HD, we noticed that the pictures looked blurry. We compared the pictures imported into iMovie to the pictures in iPhoto, and the ones in iPhoto had much better quality. We into the playback button in the preferences of iMovie HD to make sure that it was at the highest quality, and it was. We are very confused, and it will be greatly appreciated if someone can tell us the answer to our problem. Thanks!
  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (85,550 points)
    First don't forget that the size of your movie is 720 x 480 or similar, your photo's in iphoto may well be much larger, so you cannot expect the same quality. That being said, they should be reasonably good.

    Are they the same aspect ratio ie 4:3
    Photo's should be imported with the Ken Burns effect on
    Your finished movie may show your better, playback in imovie is only a preview.
  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)
    Hello Dereck,
    I have found it much better to create slideshows in iPhoto and save them as a Quicktime movie. Then import them into iMovie to add titles, transititions and music. If you want to add a few titles and transitions just make short Quicktime versions of your series' of photos and join them up in iMovie. There is no comprimise in quality of the images in this proceedure.
  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6 (19,460 points)
    Hi Derek

    One more thing that always is the same with iMovie.

    You can't judge the result on the Mac-monitor but have
    to connect eg a camcorder via FW and a TV monitor to
    this via the analog connection. On the TV-monitor
    You can see the final result (or close to it).

    Yours Bengt W
  • Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    Silly rabbit said:
    There is no comprimise in quality of the images in this proceedure.


    What process are you using, Silly rabbit? Exporting from iPhoto 5? What type of export? I know of no way to convert an image to DV without losing some quality somewhere along the way.

    Dereck, my experience is there's always going to be some loss of quality going from a high-resolution image to DV. So that's where we start. But note the display quality of iMovie 4/iMovie HD is never as good as the underlying video it creates. You shouldn't judge quality by what you see in iMovie. The image on the DVD you burn may be just fine, so do a test burn before getting too concerned about it.

    There are tons of messages here that discuss image quality. Search for "image quality", "iPhoto image". You might find some tips that apply to your images.

    Karl
  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)
    Ok Karl,
    Of course, there will always be some loss of quality, but it is much greater when you use iMovie to create slideshows.

    Quote: "The image on the DVD you burn 'may' be just fine, so do a test burn before getting too concerned about it."

    Note the accent on 'may'. I have done the test burns and iPhoto slideshows are much better.
  • Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    Of course, there will always be some loss of quality, but it is much greater when you use iMovie to create slideshows.


    Note the accent on 'may'. I have done the test burns and iPhoto slideshows are much better.


    You said earlier that iPhoto slideshows exported to QuickTime, then imported to an iMovie project are better than iMovie's own slideshows, and that "There is no comprimise in quality of the images in this proceedure". If you still believe that, please describe the steps you used for getting the images from iPhoto to iMovie.

    If, on the other hand, you're comparing the quality of an iPhoto slideshow and an iMovie movie when both are burned on DVD, that's a different comparison.

    Karl
  • Doug Cripe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Derek Bloom....I am having the same difficulties, bringing high res jpegs into iPhoto and importing them into iMovie, losing alot of quality, images look blurry and jagged on the edges...did you ever come to a conclusion? Burnt a DVD and quality still bad. Running iLife '05 all updated versions
    Thanks
    Rachel Polezoes
  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)
    Hi all,
    I am back to share my results of a test burn of three different formats of the same slideshow. The results are interesting and varied.

    1. Imported 18 photos directly into iMovie HD from an iPhoto folder, adding a title, transitions between clips, Ken Burns effect and an end title. Exported to Quicktime as a .dv file and burnt to a Maxell DVD using iDVD 05.
    *Result = CRAP!!! The images are distorted and the quality looks like the original photos were postage stamp size blown up to A3.

    2. An iPhoto slideshow of the same 18 photos with Ken Burns effect and transitions exported to Quicktime as a .mov file and burnt to a Maxell DVD using iDVD 05.
    *Result = Perfect!!! But, it is a little boring without any titles and that repetative instrumental (Yes, I know it can be changed, but to only one song per slideshow.) The photo quality is the same as they look in iPhoto.

    3. The same iPhoto slideshow as experiment #2 (.mov) imported into iMovie HD (twice to give it some length). I turned the volume down on the slideshow track and added some different music, added a title with a transition and an ending title. I also added a small piece of voice recording to extend the experiment. Exported to Quicktime as a .dv file and burnt to a Maxell DVD using iDVD 05.
    *Result = Perfect and entertaining!!!! The photos are exactly the same as they were in iPhoto. There is no further compression of the images after they were initially exported from iPhoto as a .mov slideshow.

    Summary - Experiment #3 is by far the most successful entertaining way to make slideshows. It is posible to make your iPhoto slideshows only five or six photos long so you can add many titles and transitions after you import your slideshows to iMovie, but to create a slideshow in iMovie is a BIG NO GO! This is not to say that iMovie is a bad program, but it is for editing movies not for making slideshows of photographs.

    I hope this creates a clear answer for the original post in this thread and answers the questions of others in this thread.

    Tip1: Be sure to click 'scale images' in iPhoto slideshow settings or you'll find most of your photos will contain no heads or feet!

    Tip 2: Crop you images to 3x4 DVD before use them to create a slideshow. This will also save a lot of heads and feet.

    Good luck.
  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)
    P.S.
    I forgot to add that the movies were exported as 'full quality' and not condensed from iPhoto or from iMovie.
    Also, I may have exaggerated a tad when I said "from a postage stamp to A3" but the quality is very sub-standard, just the same.

    Enjoy your slideshows.
  • Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    1. Imported 18 photos directly into iMovie HD from an iPhoto folder, adding a title, transitions between clips, Ken Burns effect and an end title. Exported to Quicktime as a .dv file and burnt to a Maxell DVD using iDVD 05.

    Result = CRAP!!! The images are distorted and the quality looks like the original photos were postage stamp size blown up to A3.

    Your results suggest something went seriously wrong with your iMovie HD project, Silly rabbit. When I follow the steps you described for #1, #2 and #3, the results here are virtually indistinguishable.

    It sounds like the images were upscaled with the Ken Burns Effect when importing them to iMovie HD. (ALL images pass through the KBE as they are imported to iMovie. If KB was set to zoom the images -- even when the KBE checkbox is turned off -- you might get those results.

    Or if you EVER pressed the Create iDVD Project button in iMovie HD and told iMovie to render the images, you would get the results you described. iMovie renders any images not already rendered by KB, and it does so very poorly. Images WILL acquire the jaggies. (Is that what you mean by "CRAP"?) That is a well-known iMovie problem. You exported the iMovie project to a Full Quality movie. That will normally avoid that problem, but not if you pressed the Create iDVD Project button AT ANY TIME and told iMovie to render.

    (If the KBE checkbox is turned ON when importing the images, KB renders the images into video clips. If it is turned OFF, iMovie offers to render them later when you press the Create iDVD Project button or export to the camera.)

    So say more about the images (they are photos, right?) you imported, their dimensions, what you did to them before importing to iMovie HD, how exactly you imported them to iMovie HD, what Ken Burns settings you used on the images, and whether or not you pressed the Create iDVD Project button. Say too what you mean by "distorted". Also rule out any NTSC/PAL incompatibilities.

    Something went very wrong with your iMovie HD project, so you may want to discover why.

    Karl
  • Silly rabbit Level 4 Level 4 (2,980 points)
    Hello Karl,
    Thank you for your very concise and intuitous response.
    Yes, I did mean 'jaggies' when I said the images were distorted and I didn't click the 'iDVD' button when creating this slideshow.
    The images were rendered automatically as they were imported into the timeline directly from iPhoto. Maybe this is the problem?
    The images were all cropped to the same size in iPhoto to 6x3DVD. They are all scanned images of similar demensions.
    As for the Ken Burns settings, I didn't change anything.

    I will have another investigatory import to explore your queries and post back.
  • Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    The images were rendered automatically as they were imported into the timeline directly from iPhoto. Maybe this is the problem?


    Importing directly from iPhoto is not a problem. Photos imported to iMovie are handled the same whether you drag them in from an iPhoto window, a Finder window, or wherever.

    Of course, if the photos have been edited in iPhoto in some way iMovie doesn't like, or if the Ken Burns settings are inappropriate, that might cause a problem.

    In your tests, you may want to make sure some previous setting isn't affecting the import to iMovie. Select the photos in iPhoto and Revert to Original. That way they won't be cropped before iMovie sees them. And to re-set the the Ken Burns Effect in iMovie, drag the zoom slider a bit right, then all the way left to unset the zoom and pan settings. (Do that both when the KB checkbox is on and off, and for both the Start and End settings.)

    BTW, a big "thank you" for the iPhoto tip to "Scale Photos to Fill Screen" for the iPhoto export to QuickTime. That eliminated a pesky problem where iPhoto add a black border to the right and left edges of the movie when the automatic Ken Burns Effect is disabled. (I never know whether an iPhoto slideshow setting controls iPhoto playback only or also the export to QuickTime.)

    The images were all cropped to the same size in iPhoto to 6x3DVD. They are all scanned images of similar demensions.


    Unfortunately, iPhoto doesn't offer cropping to a particular size (in pixels), only to a particular aspect ratio. A custom crop of 1200x900, for example, crops to 4:3, not 1200x900. iPhoto lets you drag the corner to the size you want, but it probably won't be 1200x900. If you crop the image too small -- or if the image is too small to begin with -- iMovie won't handle the image as well as if it were larger. (To see the actual size in iPhoto, choose Photo > Get Info.)

    Karl
  • GentleLady Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Karl
    How big should a picture be, in order to look good in iMovie?
    Thanks,
  • Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    How big should a picture be, in order to look good in iMovie?


    Good question, and one that's a lot harder to answer for iMovie HD than it was for iMovie 4. iMovie HD changed some important stuff about image sizes, and added new project types that differ a lot from each other.

    Generally, the bigger the source image, the better. (Bigger in pixels. iMovie doesn't care about resolution.) Bigger gives you more flexibility in zooming or cropping later in iMovie HD.

    Here's the problem: When you import a 4:3 image with a 1.00 Ken Burns zoom, iMovie HD will pillarbox the image (add black bars along the right and left sides). If you don't want pillarboxing to occur -- you want to fill to the edges of the video clip -- you either have to increase the KB zoom (which crops the top and bottom of the image), or crop the image yourself before importing it to iMovie HD.

    STRATEGY #1: USE KEN BURNS TO CROP THE IMAGE

    The easiest way is to import images with the Ken Burns zoom settings shown here. That eliminates pillarboxing of 4:3 images.

    For MPEG-4: 1.00
    For DV: 1.06 (1.02 if willing to accept a 1-pixel bar)
    For DV Widescreen: 1.40
    For NTSC HDV 720p: 1.36
    For NTSC HDV 1080i: 1.36

    STRATEGY #2: CROP THE IMAGE BEFORE IMPORTING IT

    If you don't want to fiddle with Ken Burns zooms to eliminate pillarboxing -- yet you don't want pillarboxing to occur -- you must crop the images yourself before importing them to iMovie HD. That's not as hard as you think using iPhoto or Photoshop. iPhoto lets you do a custom crop, and Photoshop lets you use the marquee tool to crop to an aspect ratio. (Note we don't want to resize the image, we want to crop it. Resizing changes the appearance of the image while cropping simply changes the dimensions.)

    Normally, it's best to crop the image as large as possible using the aspect ratio required for the type of iMovie HD project you're working on. Different types of projects want different aspect ratios.

    The tables below show the aspect ratio to use, as well as the MINIMUM size (in pixels) for imported images.

    If you plan to crop the image with Ken Burns, or do a Ken Burns zoom animation, the minimum image should be larger. When doing a 2x Ken Burns zoom, the image should be 2x larger than the minimum. When doing a 3x Ken Burns zoom, 3x larger, etcetera.

    RECOMMENDED MINIMUM IMAGE SIZE & ASPECT RATIO

    These tables show important project dimensions when working with images in iMovie HD.

    Tables are best viewed with a monospace font. These dimensions are intended to eliminate pillarboxing by iMovie HD when importing the photo.

    NTSC PROJECTS
    Project Type      Movie Size Minimum Import Size      Aspect Ratio for Crop
    Standard DV 720 x 528 720 x 528      1.364:1
    DV Widescreen 869 x 480 874 x 480 1.818:1     
    HDV 720p 1280 x 720 1280 x 720 16:9     
    HDV 1080i 1440 x 1080 1440 x 1080 Photoshop: 16:9
    iPhoto: 16:9.02

    PAL PROJECTS
    Project Type      Movie Size Minimum Import Size      Aspect Ratio for Crop
    Standard DV 784 x 576 788 x 576 1.364:1
    DV Widescreen 1040 x 576 Photoshop: 1050 x 576 Photoshop: 1.823:1
    iPhoto: 1048x576 iPhoto: 1.818:1
    HDV 720p 1280 x 720 1280 x 720 16:9     
    HDV 1080i 1440 x 1080 1440 x 1080 Photoshop: 16:9
    iPhoto: 16:9.02

    OTHER GRAPHICS
    When importing text graphics created in other applications, crop to the minimum import size. That prevents iMovie HD from resizing the image while importing it, distorting the text.

    Karl
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