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NoMacFanYet 08-21-2008 06:25 AM

iMovie 08 export to Final Cut Express
Hello, this is my first post. My Mac knowledge is developing, and I've got to the stage where I'm not finding answers to my problems so easily anymore. I've got a few questions, and there's a personal intro below, but to the point - here's my first issue:

Final Cut Express is very good with chapter markers, and it exports to iDVD just fine. iMovie 08 is not good with chapter markers. Final Cut Express doesn't like importing from the HDD video camera (so far as I can tell). iMovie 08 captures very easily and it has an export to Final Cut XML feature.

See where this is going? Lets capture the movie in iMovie, do the basic cutting, export to Final Cut Express, do the custom chapter markers, export to iDVD, burn, job done!

Except.... that when you export widescreen 16:9 from iMovie 08 to Final Cut Express (via an XML file) it comes in as 4:3. Why, why why? This is really annoying. Can somebody tell me how to get 16:9 across from one program to the other without problems? That would certainly make my life easier.

<Personal Intro>

I work in a school, and part of my job is to help kids get the videos they've shot to a stage where they can present them in class in the way they want. Although it might be nice for the kids to process the videos themselves there are currently only very limited facilities for them to do that. They really like to mess around in Windows Movie Maker, but of course videos don't come straight off the camera in WMV and they need some compression (otherwise kids would quickly exhaust their disk quotas). There are other workflows too, such as producing a smart DVD of a music concert for the music department to keep, or converting old teaching VHSs to DVDs.

I use Final Cut Express, iMovie 08 and iDVD. I am also just beginning to use iMovie HD and QuickTime Pro to try and get certain things done. I also have a very useful program on the PC called TMPG. Bear in mind when replying that this is a school, so buying expensive 'Pro' level software is not an option. Nor in my view should it be necessary - I'm not trying to do anything particularly ground breaking.

Video material used to come from a Sony DV tape camera (and still does a bit), but we now have a Sony Hard Disk Drive camera which we thought would make things much easier. A good percentage of video is shot widescreen, and this is the cameras' native aspect ratio.

I have a few issues/sticking points with certain projects, and I hope I'll find some solutions here. Please bear in mind that I'm a relatively new Mac user and I don't use one outside of work.

Antonio 08-21-2008 10:48 AM

Do you have iMovie 6 HD? I haven't tried 8 due to lots of comments by unsatisfied users. Anyway...if you've got 6 around, you might try it and see if the export will transfer successfully.

NoMacFanYet 08-22-2008 04:59 AM

Thanks for your reply. Yes I have iMovie 6 HD. Unfortunately this program will not capture from my Sony hard disk drive camera camera. (And by the way, iMovie 08 widescreen 16:9 generated MPEGs taken into iMovie HD get pillarboxed and loose their widescreen format.)

I don't see why I should have to go [iMovie 08>iMovie HD>FCE>iDVD] anyway! That's 4 separate programs just to make a decent widescreen DVD - ridiculous. I thought the Mac is supposed to be good for video and all that 'life' stuff (see Mac vs PC adverts!). I thought video editing was supposed to be its trump card.

No, there must be another way, I must be missing something.

xstep 08-23-2008 11:39 PM

The current version of Final Cut Express should be able to read the camera in the same way iM08 does. So, what version of FCE are you using? You may want to review the Apple tutorials available on that page and check the Help menu.

Is the camera Hi-Def or regular NTSC with a widescreen mode? If HD, is it recording 1440x1080 or 1920x1080? You should be able to figure that out by opening one of the files imported into the iM08 folders using Quicktime and getting Info on it.

Also what is the camera model you are using?

I have an idea that might be useful, but I'm using Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 and my only widescreen content is 1440x1080., so I'm not sure the instructions would match up well. Do you have a "Settings..." selection under the "Sequence" menu item?

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