13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 11, 2012 6:16 AM by paulfromhendricks
Zanderman329 Level 1 (0 points)

Is there a version of iMovie that will import ProRes files?


Final Cut Pro does, but does iMovie HD? And which version?

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    iMovie 08, 09, and 11 should work with ProRes files, but only if Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro is installed on the same machine, so that the necessary codecs are available. 


    If you import from a camera, iMovie will use Apple Intermediate Codec, so you would need to import into FCP, create the ProRes 422 files, and then import into iMovie using the FILE/IMPORT MOVIES command.


    I can't test this right now, but I am pretty sure that would work.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    Just for my own curiosity, I tested this in iMovie 11 and it works.


    I imported a ProRes 422 file into iMovie using FILE/IMPORT MOVIES...


    Then I added a simple title and exported it as an h.264 file. That worked fine.


    Next I exported it using Export Using QuickTime... as a ProRes 422 file. That also worked fine.


    It looks really good.


    Note: I have Final Cut Pro X installed so I have the ProRes codecs installed. I don't think this would work if I did not have FCPX or Logic Pro installed.

  • Luca Molteni Level 1 (5 points)

    Here comes the necromancer!


    So I think the best way to work with iMovie withouth converting our precious 1080p file into the dreaded AIC is to have FCPX or Logic Pro installed, convert the files, import into iMovie and then have fun.


    I just started shooting movies, but now I'm not really interested into buying FCPX.


    I bought Logic Pro though (from 7 to 9), since I'm really into music.


    Would anyone kindly explain to me how to convert my EOS MOV h264 files into ProRes format, losing as few as possible, with the ProRes codecs bundled in Logic Pro?


    What program should I use? Compressor? I do have it installed (although I never used it, but it seems to be the Logic 8 version, I'm still wondering where the 9 version is).


    Bye and thanks.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    Apple Intermediate Codec is fine for iMovie. ProRes is better for Final Cut Pro because you can render a ProRes clip multiple times without losing quality. However, in iMovie, there is only one render pass so this is not an issue.

  • Luca Molteni Level 1 (5 points)

    From my experience, I found that simply importing my h.264 files from my digital camera to iMovie produces a "worse" video, even before I start editing.


    There are plenty of evidence of image quality problem on AIC, so this seems a doable workaround.


    Is there a way to do what I wrote in the post before?





  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 (32,207 points)

    AppleMan1958 wrote:

    …  imported a ProRes 422 file into iMovie…  Then I added a simple title and exported it as an h.264 file. … Next I exported it using Export Using QuickTime... as a ProRes 422 file. That also worked fine.


    It looks really good.


    made same test here … slightly diff. observations:


    iM11 imports proRes.mov without flaws, does NOT transcode it to aic.

    iM handles the proRes.mov as any other import.



    a) on export, I notice a 'long' render time, altough just a animated title + a dissolve - .... there happens more than just render these two 'effects'.- I think.


    b) on close look, I notice banding … although, export was set to proRes.


    have to repeat this test (same scenery with iM and FCPX) …

    actually, I'm a bit short in time.

    I'll post here.-

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    Best bet is to use Final Cut Pro.


    If you feel like doing some experimentation, you might try tools like ClipWrap from Divergent Media to convert your AVCHD to ProRes. Their website says you need Final Cut Pro, so it may or may not work with the Logic version of the component.

  • Luca Molteni Level 1 (5 points)

    To have FCP means to buy it. 299€ vs 15€ makes iMovie a far better solution.


    Plus, I have the impression that FCPX will run very sloooowly on my 2008 MBP.


    BTW I found another free method to encode a ProRes format: using ffmpeg.


    fmpeg -i /path/to/input.mov -vcodec prores -profile NUMBER -an /path/to/output.mov

    For different flavors of ProRes replace NUMBER with a number from zero to 3 where:

    0 : ProRes422 (Proxy)

    1 : ProRes422 (LT)

    2 : ProRes422 (Normal)

    3 : ProRes422 (HQ)

  • Alan McDonley Level 1 (0 points)

    I see that the latest ffmpeg has prores, but I don't know where to get an installable osx build of ffmpeg. 


    ffmpeg.org which wants me to go to http://www.evermeet.cx/ffmpeg/ which gets me ffmpeg-1.0.7z but I don't know what to do from there.


    The built version of ffmpeg I have been using is from 2009... no prores

  • Alan McDonley Level 1 (0 points)

    Success!  imported 1080p60 from Panasonic Lumix FZ200 to iMovie 11 (9.0.4)


    (I managed to successfully build from source and install the latest ffmpeg and faac.  Only the latest has the prores encoder.)


    To convert the video clip to prores422, I used:


       ffmpeg -i input.MTS -strict -2 -vcodec prores -profile 1 output_proresLT.mov



      the "-strict -2" option enables the "experimental ac3-->aac encoder"

      (the -an option in Luca Molteni's post above means "no audio", not desired in my case.)

  • Luca Molteni Level 1 (5 points)



    Do you see any difference in quality?


    Would you kindly try to do a simple thing (just like adding a text) and then uploading to youtube?


    Thank you

  • Alan McDonley Level 1 (0 points)

    Luca,  I'm not sure acceptable life in iMovie at 60p is possible, and not sure about YouTube at this point either.


    (I have a 2.66GHz Core i5 iMac with 8GB ram running Snow Leopard OSX 10.6.8)


    My first export using QT x264 1080 59.94, auto key, +CABAC, crashed iMovie, but later times worked ok.


    The non-QT export 1080 HD computer - puts out a 29.97 fps movie with lots of motion artifacts. 


    I checked plist - videoframerate and newProjectFrameRate were 30, so changed to 60 and redid the import, title, finalize, exports, and share to YouTube.


    The non-QT export 1080 HD computer - still put out 29.97 fps.


    QT Export x264 1080 framerate 59.94 fixed, auto key, +CABAC put out a 43 Mpbs 59.94 H.264 QuickTime movie which occasionally stutters, but it appears to have the same quality as the original 1080p60 footage.



    Moving to a 1080p60 camera has been frought with disappointments.  The latest VLC can play my raw video but it often stutters (from no times to lots of times).


    Repackaging as MP4 using ffmpeg -i in.MTS -vcodec copy -acodec copy out.mp4 doesn't get rid of the stuttering. 


    Toast Video Player also has occassional stutters.


    Converting using Handbrake does not eliminate the occasional stutter.


    QT playing the prores transcoded source footage claims 255 Mbps data rate 59.94 fps, and it also stutters sometimes, sometimes not. 


    The Share... YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mByr3Y3wfz4  which appears to only be 30 fps (the mp4 download is 30p).


    The 60pQT export uploaded is at: http://youtu.be/Hv1TgcoaxfM also downloads as a 30p MP4 so I have no idea what is going on.


    "(i)Life" in 60p seems a bit complicated.

  • paulfromhendricks Level 1 (0 points)

    Question for the group.
    I believe I am shooting in 1080i.  I say "believe" because it is a borrowd camera from somebody else and 1080i is indicated in the viewfinder.

    By following a tip on YouTube, I have been able to download the Apple ProRes codecs, install them to QuickTiime, and in iMovie 11 I have used "Save as QuickTime" using ProRes 422.  The result, burned to DVD, seems pretty good.
    But, in my quest for the best I can get out of iMovie 11 (since I like it's user-friendliness), I am wondering if this would make any sense:
    1.)  Pull video from the camera (from tape) into an iMovie Event.  (Can I change how it imports, using ProRes 422?)

    2.)  If it won't import that way, take the Event and convert it to ProRes 422 using MPEG Streamclip?

    3.)  Re-import into iMovie and edit.

    4.)  "Save as QuickTime" using ProRes 422.

    5.)  Process in iDVD using Professional Quality (the video will be 1 1/2 hours or so).

    6.)  Burn to DVD from a Disk Image using Disk Utility.

    If I sound a bit confused, it's because I am.  LOL.