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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Stills image size

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Jbob's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 08, 2009
Location: London
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Hi everyone,

Can you help me with a quick question please.

I'm having a go at producing a DVD slideshow of images for my uni work, using iMovie to put the movie together then exporting as a .mov, then burning to a dvd with Toast.

It all works perfectly but the end result image quality is quite poor. I've been searching the net for the optimum image size to use for UK Pal DVD but there's lots of conflicting info thats given me a headache !!

1020px 960px 720px 560px !!!!!

So ... anyone have a solid recommendation on what size I should change my images to for best results. Or is burning a .mov a bad idea ?

Cheers J
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What version of iMovie are you using? What have you tried so far? Have you setup iMovie to work with PAL? Is your project using 4:3 (standard def) aspect ratio or 16:19 (wide screen) and if 16:9, HD or SD? Are the stills being zoomed into or out of, or are they being panned? Are you playing the DVD content on to a standard television or some other device? How are you producing your export? Describe the image problems you are seeing.

Just to note, what ever you export will be converted one last time by Toast into an MPEG2 file since iMovie can't create that format and DVDs require it.

This old link might give you a hint. Here is a hint regarding 16:9 material, although Apples own QuickTime export options suggest otherwise.

You might want to try exporting as a PAL DV stream using the QuickTime export option. When the first window appears, choose 'Movie to DV Stream' and then chose the Options button to set it up appropriately. My thought here is that the most appropriate set up can be accomplished.

Before burning any DVDs or DVD disc images, review the file you are feeding to iDVD. If the quality isn't good, then iDVD can't magically fix it. Keep in mind that the aspect ratio might look a bit funky.

CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.
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It's not complicated. A DVD that is for PAL systems (as they would be in the UK) have a hard resolution limit of 720x576. Period, end of story.

Resize the photos you're going to use for a DVD project to "fit" those dimensions (at 72dpi btw) as appropriate for the photo, bear in mind that some older TVs will "cut off" a bit of the sides due to "overscan" and there you go.
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Member Since: May 21, 2006
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When you share to iDVD, iMovie offers to process any still photos - turning them into what amounts to motionless video... If you click 'Render and Proceed' then iMovie does a pretty hopeless job at converting them to video resulting in jaggy blockiness. Once it's done your photos will always look bad in iMovie unless you reinsert the originals.

Do one of two things:

1) Use the Ken Burns method to turn the photos into digital video clips, and iMovie won't offer to render them. The Ken Burns method is far superior at rendering.

2) Drag into iDVD directly - ignoring 'Share to iDVD' altogether. Again, iDVD'ss rendering is far superior to iMovie.

Of the two methods, 1) is better in my opinion - just a little more work...

Cheers M
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