Previous 1 2 3 Next 44 Replies Latest reply: Jun 16, 2007 5:05 PM by J Miller1
Tom_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
This topic has been discussed in several other posts, but I haven't found a completely satisfactory answer yet.
I recently started using iMovie, and I've noticed that when I bring still images into the program, the image quality is immediately degraded. They are very pixelated and fuzzy compared to my original images. I realize that the preview I'm seeing in iMovie does not represent what I will see on screen when the movie is burned to a DVD, so I have made several test DVD's and the problem does not go away.
The photos I'm using were taken with a 5.1 megapixel digital camera on the highest quality image setting, and I'm bringing them directly into iMovie (not using iPhoto at all.)
From there I'm bringing the project into iDVD for burning to disk. I have tried choosing "Best Quality" burn settings rather than "Best Performance" settings when burning to disk, but so far that hasn't done any good. I've allowed iDVD to render the still images, and I've also tried it without rendering them. No difference.
Before I bought my iMac, I was making movies with Roxio software on a PC, and I never had this problem before. The still images I used in my previous movies (taken with the same camera) all look crystal clear, even when burned to DVD and viewed on a 56" television.
Any advice would be appreciated. If this is simply beyond the capabilities of iMovie, I'd like to know so I can stop banging my head against the wall. Thanks.

- Tom M.

iMac 2.33Ghz Intel, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • lthn1958 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I also notice this issue. When I view my pictures from iPhoto (the same
    pictures I use in an iMovie project), the pictures look sharper than
    the same ones on my DVD (burned via iMovie project).
    I am also interested to find out if there is any setting I need to do.

    Thanks.
  • hoperanch1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I am experiencing the same thing. I have read other people have the same question: super clear picture in iphoto (because we use a great camera with more than enough mega pixels) and when I have (and others) transfered from the created slideshow in iphoto or created a movie slide show in imovie, some of the photos look out of focus. Its strange because it is not all of the photos. Don't patronize the two of us on this thread that it has anything to do with a comper screen vs. a tv screen, we are more than competent to know the difference and besides it doesn't answer the question of why only some photos appear out of focus. Also, the edges are not smooth on the subjects in the photos either when put onto imovie/idvd, but are smooth in iphoto. That would beg the question, "Why not all the photos then?" I thought maybe it was the difference between how the photo was filed (jpeg, jpg, tiff, etc.), maybe a preference setting in iphoto to imovie or idvd, or any preference setting in any of the afore mentioned programs. I am stumped and no one yet has even addressed this, all have skirted the issue. I think the real issue maybe in the poor programing of imovie/idvd. Has anyone tackled this successfully? And my head hurts, too, from banging it on the wall... game on...any takers...

    ImacG5, IBookG4, IBookG5   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (46,500 points)
    Don't patronize the two of us on this thread that it has anything to do with a comper screen vs. a tv screen, we are more than competent to know the difference and besides it doesn't answer the question of why only some photos appear out of focus.

    OK.
  • SDIllini Level 6 Level 6 (16,670 points)
    Ok-I'll take a shot...

    First, your high-resolution photos may be the problem. Try exporting at something around 1500x1000 pixels.

    "Why not all the photos then?"

    Most video cameras show noise when the light level is too low, resulting in a degraded image quality.

    Sue
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 Level 9 (50,920 points)
    Apples and Oranges going on here.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel
    Your camera takes "images" and iMovie is a "video" editor. Specifically, iMovie is a DV Stream editor in that any import that is not in a DV format will be converted to one.
    So. You've now shoved this huge dimension image into the very tiny (720X480) size of DV. Your images are probably 8 times larger in dimension and one would think "more data into a tinier space would make a more sharp image".
    Nope. Only when printing.
    Last is that your still image is converted to video at a frame rate that matches your Project settings. 30 fps is standard.
    Hmmm.
    30 frames per second times 5 megapixel image (high quality would be about a 25 MB file) equals about the total data found on a CD playing in one second. Somethings got to give.
    Images added to iMovie Projects need only 640X480 dimensions because most TV's are also about that display resolution.
    Your computer monitor is probably set at 1024X768. Nearly 3 times the resolution of a TV.
    HD TV doesn't enter this equation yet.
    Big isn't always better.
    I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.
    The check is in the mail.
    Actually the "check" is done during playback on a "standard" TV. iMovie is forced to lie a bit just to get its job done.
  • Tom_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    << Your camera takes "images" and iMovie is a "video" editor. Specifically, iMovie is a DV Stream editor in that any import that is not in a DV format will be converted to one.>>

    So, in other words, it is beyond the capabilities of iMovie to use still images in a video project and have them display correctly.
    I'm so glad I have Bootcamp and Windows XP on my iMac. I'll be going back to Roxio Easy Media Creator, which can handle still images and video just fine, with no loss of image quality even when viewed on a television screen.
    Thanks for the info.
  • Karl Petersen Level 6 Level 6 (15,170 points)
    Tom, when the goal is to play your slideshow on a TV, here's some things to keep in mind:

    1. Large, high-resolultion photos are of no advantage for iMovie slideshows. In fact, they tend to cause problems. Use iPhoto to export such photos to 640x480 (for NTSC) or 768x576 (for PAL). That's the natural resolution for DV, lots easier for iMovie to work with. Your TV image will look better than forcing iMovie to work with a high-resolution image.

    When planning to zoom in or crop with the Ken Burns effect, export the photos larger from iPhoto. For a 2.00 zoom, double the export image size. For a 3.00 zoom, triple it.

    2. There's a bug in iMovie that, unless avoided, adds lots of jaggies to photos as the project is exported to iDVD. Avoid this bug! If iMovie asks permission to render clips when you share the project to iDVD (or other destination), tell iMovie to proceed without rendering. If you grant permission, iMovie adds jaggies to those clips.

    Photos imported with the Ken Burns checkbox turned on in the Photo Settings window are rendered by the Ken Burns effect as they are imported. The bug affects OTHER clips, those that have NOT been rendered into video.

    So if iMovie asks permission to render clips, do NOT grant permission. Let iDVD render them.

    I'm so glad I have Bootcamp and Windows XP on my iMac. I'll be going back
    to Roxio Easy Media Creator, which can handle still images and video just
    fine, with no loss of image quality even when viewed on a television screen


    High resolution images show no loss of image quality when displayed on a TV? Really! I had no idea Windows XP was able to defy the laws of physics.

    I'll assume that was a bit of hyperbole.

    Done correctly, an iMovie slideshow should look fine on a TV. The photos won't be high-resolution, however, for there's nothing high resolution about standard definition TV.

    It can look good, though.

    Karl
  • F Shippey Level 7 Level 7 (21,500 points)
    Tom,

    Take a look at: Preparing images for DVD slideshows at http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=iDVD/6.0/en/17.html

    Although it's written about iDVD, it also applies to iMovie unless you are doing Ken Burns zooming.

    You might also want to look at a test I did: iDVD 6 still image size test at http://homepage.mac.com/profpixel/iDVD_6size.html

    I have tried choosing "Best Quality" burn settings rather than "Best Performance" settings when burning to disk, but so far that hasn't done any good.


    For DVD's under about 60 minutes, Best Performance will give better quality (I wish Apple had simply named BP - 'under 60 minutes on SL disc' and BQ - 'over 60 minutes on SL disc').

    F Shippey
  • Tom_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    <<High resolution images show no loss of image quality when displayed on a TV? Really! I had no idea Windows XP was able to defy the laws of physics.
    I'll assume that was a bit of hyperbole. :-)>>

    I'll plead guilty to that... I should have added, "to my eyes at least." My point was that the quality of still images in a Roxio project is way, way better than what I'm getting from iMovie, so I know the problem isn't just that I'm displaying the finished product on a large screen.
    Thanks for the suggestion about reducing images before bringing them into iMovie. It seems counterintuitive, but I'll give it a shot and let you know how I make out.
    Thanks.
  • Whacked1 Level 2 Level 2 (150 points)
    "I think the real issue maybe in the poor programing of imovie/idvd."

    No it is called the I/O Kit. Poor programming? Not quite, more a "simple", however very serious error. The poor quality of your photos is the same reason hard drives don't mount and cameras are not seen and on and on-.. Every development team especially those that push the envelope are bound to make an error here or there. Especially on something as incredible and complex as OS X.4+. All of Apples SW development teams? I find that extremelty hard to believe.

    Mac OS 10.4 and iMovie are both device and resolution independent. The only reason to adjusting the resolution/size of an image (as indicated in the doc posted above) prior to importing into iMovie is to have control over the automatic cropping or "morphing" that will (read as should) occur. There is an error at the kernel level of this I/O Kit. OS 10.4 is the first OS with the G5 in mind.

    FWIW
  • F Shippey Level 7 Level 7 (21,500 points)
    wacked,

    Mac OS 10.4 and iMovie are both device and resolution independent.


    Yes - however...

    The only reason to adjusting the resolution/size of an image (as indicated in the doc posted above) prior to importing into iMovie is to have control over the automatic cropping or "morphing" that will (read as should) occur.


    Although Mac OS 10.4 and iMovie may both be device and resolution independent, once you have made the decision to conform to the DV video standard you are no longer resolution independent! DV is 720x480 NTSC / 720x576 PAL. Larger images must be reduced in size to fit that format specification. That's what the Preparing images for DVD slideshows article is all about.

    There is an error at the kernel level of this I/O Kit. OS 10.4 is the first OS with the G5 in mind.


    ...and you know this how?
  • Tom_M Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    <<Take a look at: Preparing images for DVD slideshows at <a class="jive-link-external-small" href="http://">http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=iDVD/6.0/en/17.html >>

    Thanks.. I will check that out.
  • jkonecki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have found a particial solution. When you open iMovie instead of selecting the default setting of DV for the Video Format, choose MPEG-4. It's still not perfect, but there is a clear improvement in image quality.

    I tried changing the resolution as Apple recommends in its document about preparing images for DVD insertion but that had no effect.

    Powerbook 1.67 G4, PowerMac G5   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • nolte Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I am having similar problems with quality images.

    I use the "Overlap" and "Fade In" transitions in iMovie and have problems with the iDVD burned disk. The final frame at the end of the transitions is pixilated. Looks real bad.

    Tried playing it on several PCs with DVD players and also on a DVD player in our media room. They all played the same and produced the pixilated transition on the iDVD burned disk. Even tried a different CD disk, same problem.

    I like what iMovie has to offer, but it would be nice if I didn't have to seek all of these work arounds for image qaulity and rendering.

    I simply want to add pictures, add tranistions, burn the disk and just have it come out looking nice, thats all....



    iMac G5   Mac OS X (10.4.3)  
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