5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 16, 2012 12:45 AM by Karsten Schlüter
IftiBashir Level 1 (70 points)

Hi all,

I use iMovie 11 to create videos for upload to YouTube.


My source camera is a Canon 650D, which produces excellent quality HD video.

I edit within iMovie 11 as I like its ease of use and the ability to quickly knock something together. Although I also have FCPX, I prefer to use iMovie and do not have the time to learn another editing program!


The problem is no matter how I try to export the final project - direct upload, export using quicktime, etc - and no matter what setings I use I get rubbish quality - banding and pixelation in dark areas are the main concern.

I understand this is an iMovie issue.




1. Can I create my project in iMovie, then open FCPX and import the iMovie project into FCPX instead? I could then ony use FCPX to export to a final file.


2. Is the export quality in FCPX better then iMove? Any recommended settings?


3. If I import the finished iMovie project into FCPX, will it retain all transitions, audio, picture in picture effects, voiceovers, etc - or does it end up losing these?


Many thanks in advance.

  • IftiBashir Level 1 (70 points)

    In essense, all I am looking to do is import a finished project from iMovie into FCPX, and then created my exported file, which will hopefully be of a better quality.




    1. Create project in iMovie with transitions, vioceovers, picture in picture, audio, etc.

    2. Import this project into FCPX

    3. Export to a file


    At step 2 above, will it keep all of the elements in the project intact or will it lose any transitions/audio etc?

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    If you import directly into FCPX, your clips will be converted to ProRes 422.

    If you import to iMovie, create your project, then work on it further in FCP, your clips will be converted into Apple Intermediate Codec, and FCP will continue working with the Apple Intermediate Codec files.


    Normally, this should not be a problem, but in your case, with the banding, it may not help.


    But it is easy to try.

    In FCPX, click FILE/IMPORT iMOVIE PROJECT. Then you can export it and see for yourself.

  • IftiBashir Level 1 (70 points)

    The quality of the clips within iMovie, even as AIC, seems very good in the preview window - its just when the project is exported that the quality drops - hence why I want to import the project into FCPX BEFORE I export the end result.


    Will try it when I get home, I was just interested to know if all my audio, transitions, PIP, etc will also go across to FCPX successfully?


    Also what are the recommended export settings for FCPX to produce high quality exported movies?

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    Yes, everything is available in FCPX, including photos music, transitions, PIP.


    I usually export from FCP as FILE/EXPORT MEDIA/CURRENT SETTINGS, to get a master file in ProRes or AIC, then use Compressor to compress to h.264, but you can go directly to h.264 from FCP if you want.

    I haven't done this enough to have an opinion, but most people seem to like exporting a full size master file and then compressing.

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 (32,207 points)

    IftiBashir wrote:

    …  banding and pixelation in dark areas are the main concern.

    … usual (unwanted) effects based upon multiplication of 'flaws' while compression.


    a) your cam compresses too much - if optional, try to create as large files as possible in cam


    b) work within 'optimized surrounding' - avoid ISOs beyong 800, avoid any in-cam enhancements (sharpen, saturation, denoise), use NG-filters instead super-high shutter speeds; avoid high contrasts (dynamic range of 11EV is just for stills - video has by far less!) etc


    c) AppleIntermediate isn't as good as proRes - if quality is your concern, import from cam straight into FCPX, avoid iMovie