Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Dec 15, 2006 11:20 AM by Patricia Welch
iPhotoStuff 2 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
I have been increasingly unsatisfied with the way that my imported video looks on screen (dull, unsaturated and dark) compared to what it looiks like in my camera's LCD (bright, colorful with warm tones). Anyone know of a way to match up the color from my camera to the displayed iMovie video?

I have been exporting all of the movie clips that I post or email using the advanced settings to set the compresion/size frame rate etc of the movies that I send out. I have found that it also includes settings under "filters" for RGB, brightness, contrast etc. and color profiles. None of the profiles end up matching the nice tones of my camrea LCD, and none of the other filter settings work very well.

Does anyone know of a way, or can point me to a place that can help to match up these color issues?


2x2.0 gHz G5, Mac OS X (10.4.1)
  • mishmumken Level 5 Level 5 (4,000 points)
    Hello iPhotoStuff,

    before you start correcting, check out what your footage exactly looks like on TV.
    What you see in iMovie is only a preview. the quality of this preview should normally be set to "Low" for better performance of your software. The recommended setup for all video editing is the following:

    1. In iMovie set the playback preferences to "Play Movie through to camera"
    2. Connect your camcorder to your Mac via firewire
    3. Connect your camcorder to TV via A/V out.
    4. Turn on the camcorder. You should now be able to see your edited movie on TV.

    note that your camcorder needs to be DVin enabled for this setup

    in addition to that you can change the color profile of your screen in system preferences under display.

    hope this helps

  • iPhotoStuff 2 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    thank you for your response.

    That is acutally very helpful if my ultimate goal were to view the movies on the T.V. which is true in some cases.

    I am more interested though in outputting the video to .MOVs for web and email use.

    I am very familiar with the color profiles for my system, but quicktime also has conversion profiles none of which seem to return my desired effect. Make sense? Thanks.

  • mishmumken Level 5 Level 5 (4,000 points)

    Make sense? yep. but I have to say I'm not familiar with these - my output is always TV based and of course I experience the same thing (color, brightness) when importing into both iMovie and FCE.

    I'm out of ammo

  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,595 points)
    iPhotoStuff 2,

    iMovie 6 offers up some better color correction tools than previous versions.

    But Final Cut has even more to offer.

    The trouble is, either you're after the best color possible or you're interested in compressing your video. In many respects the two are mutually exclusive pursuits.

    If you are dissatisfied with what you're getting from iMovie, you may well want to check out Final Cut Express. To me, though, when you start compressing, all bets are off.

  • iPhotoStuff 2 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Matt, thanks. I actually have been considering Final Cut X because of a number of frustrations I have been having with iMovie (I know iMovie is just a different market and has limited functionality for a reason). But...I just can't find a good enough excuse to dump the $300 for FCX for recreational use. I can't also possibly find a way to make it a business expense, and I'm the only one I need to convince!

    I did some quick tests and did find that the color filters can add as much as 20% to the final video size, but size is less important to me than color. I just want those sexy, warm, vibrant tones coming through onto the screen and am not finding much success.

  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,595 points)
    iPhotoStuff 2,

    "I just want those sexy, warm, vibrant tones coming through onto the screen and am not finding much success."

    I hear you!

    You've fallen in love with that look by looking at professionally produced, well lit, video. Trying to pull the same look from a consumer camera is going to be difficult.

    Still, if you really want it, Final Cut will give you some better tools than iMovie.

    But, color aside, there is much to be learned from working with a miniDV camera and iMovie.

  • iPhotoStuff 2 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I don't think that it is so much an issue of camera, it's an issue of color conversion. Take a look at the comparison that I have put together. The top image SIMULATES the color I am getting on the LCD of the camera. The bottom image is the actual iMovie output. Yuck!!! I'm a photographer so I am somewhat familiar with color balancing etc. but these color differences are way of, it isn't just an issue of basic color balance.

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,545 points)
    may I join the party...?

    I'm NO photgrapher, I take colors "as is", or brutally change them into some very kaleidoscopic experience... (using FCE, tinting the sky from blue into BLUE, as an example... )

    I don't own iM6, but probably these plug-ins allow more control for you...:
    make sure, that these plug-ins run with YOUR version of iM/Mac...

    this company
    allows testing of its plug-ins before purchase....

    besides: nice shot! cute! ... while ago, my son was such a ... "package" ;-))

  • iPhotoStuff 2 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Thanks Karsten,

    I saw the first geethree link in doing a search on the forum for color correction, so it seems that other people use this too. I'm still scrathcing my head though that there is no way to do this via iMovie or really the quicktime advanced settings.

    I am not so inclined to go the plugin route. I didn't see anything there that was too convincing, but I'll snoop around some more. Thanks for the suggestions and links!

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,545 points)
    you're welcome!

    but as Matthew wrote in his - as usual - excellent posts, you will run fast into the limitations of the format "dv" (which doesn't store color-info for every pixel), and - for sure - of NTSC (never the same color.. boohoo, bad joke from PALcountry..)

    to my knowledge, there's no "color profile" within dv-files...

    another link, FYI, iMovie Master Dan Slagle about Monitor Calibration for video.....

    helpful? don't be shy to use the forum's marker feature...
  • iPhotoStuff 2 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I take that back. It looks like that cf/x site has some pretty useful plug-ins. I will need to look more at it though. It sounds like I need to understand a bit more about .dv format if you are saying that the format itself is flawed. I assumed that .dv was a raw format.

    Thanks again for your help.
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,545 points)
    I assumed that .dv was a raw format.

    oh, no, by far not! the usual suspect explains: ...

    but iM uses exactly the same codec for editing (bit identical copy of tape-data)... so, it is a (mainly) lossless process to import from tape, edit and playback to camera... iM handles the data "raw", but dv itself isn't, compared to Raw with photos....

    I worked a while in the TV-business, usually using digi-betas, which compress too, but less then dv... it is not only pixels on the CCD, but also how to crunch them on tiny tapes... :-))

    good luck with your project!
  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,595 points)
    iPhotoStuff 2,

    The camera you use is a big factor too.

    The .dv footage you get from a $600 camera will be a good deal different from that which you can get with a $15,000 camera.

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,545 points)
    from my low perspective as "Daddy-does-movies" user, the quantum leap in pic quality of dv-camcorders is 1ccd >> 3ccd ... even with my dead eyes I do recognize a HUGE difference in pic quality... I'm pretty sure, my next camera will be a threechipper..

    did we meniton "tripod"...? << internal joke, apologizes....
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