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

Video play back quality questions...


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nick_j007

 
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Hello all. I've spent a few hours dredging the 'net and still rather lost so I've come here seeking help from those that know

Relatively simple issue. I'm still in my first Mac year after nearly 20 with a PC. With the PC I had it all sorted and kind of straight in my head. For some reason I liked the iMac (I do love it!) but am encountering issues from time to time.

Ok to the point. I took a 20 minute film on my Canon HV30 HD camcorder and imported it to iMovie at 1080 all no problem. Edited and finalised it all no problem. I am PAL being UK based and everything is in 16:9. 25fps. I'm on a 2012 iMac. v. 10.8.2

Managed to burn it to a DVD using iDVD. Playback on my plasma 42" screen looks way below par and there seems to be the introduction of lots of 'jaggies' on the metal mesh that figures in a lot of the footage (I am assessing a dangerous dog in a kennel in the video). On my Mac screen this all looks very smooth and acceptable.

I'm using Share>iDVD and then it takes a minute to go through the progress bar and then leads me to the iDVD menu. I am asked to choose a theme (is it possible to avoid a theme and just burn the project straight off? if so, how please?) and I seem to be asked about 4:3 and 16:9 setting when using 'Old themes'. Might the viewing ratio affect the viewing experience or is that just referring to the menu screen? On the 'Media' button I can choose a Medium, Large, 720 or 1080 sized video. I choose a 1080, though when burning another disc at Large the image is a little less clear, but either way the jagged bars are still very apparent. I could actually leave it as it is, but I'd like the video quality to be as good as I can get and I feel I'm missing the best it could do due to my lack of understanding most likely.

Is there a better software that would burn all of this more easily, free from the need to choose a theme and iron out my IQ problems?

On the PC I used to use Pinnacle which I would finish the project with an .iso file and then use Imageburn for burning. Job done with very acceptable results. I was partly swayed to Mac for its video abilities and am now feeling lost.

Should I be looking for a .iso equivalent which I gather is .dmg Just tell me if I'm going off on a wild tangent?!

Hopefully this is half way coherent and thank you for reading it through.

Nick
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MightyGem

 
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Firstly, you don't need to finalize an iMovie Project. All that does is create copies of your Project at every resolution that it can support, and make them available to other apps through the Media Browser. If you don't want that, just Export or Share at whatever resolution you want.

Secondly, using iDVD and your Mac, you are only ever going to get a dvd at standard dvd resolution, which for PAL is only 720x576.
DVD-Video - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you want an HD dvd you'll need an external HD/BluRay burner and something like Roxio's Toast:
Roxio Toast 11 Titanium - CD & DVD Burning for Mac

I would suggest getting it from the US site at about half the price:
Roxio Toast 11 Titanium - CD, DVD, Blu-Ray Burning Software Program for Mac


Quote:
is it possible to avoid a theme and just burn the project straight off?
No it isn't.
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chas_m

 
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Actually, there IS a way to avoid the theme and have the movie autoplay. You still have to choose and set up a theme, but the final DVD won't use it (though it will include for menu structure).

If you open up the "map" view of your iDVD project you'll see a box that says to place the movie there for autoplay (no menu) upon inserting the DVD into a DVD player or computer.
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nick_j007

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyGem View Post
Firstly, you don't need to finalize an iMovie Project. All that does is create copies of your Project at every resolution that it can support, and make them available to other apps through the Media Browser. If you don't want that, just Export or Share at whatever resolution you want.

Secondly, using iDVD and your Mac, you are only ever going to get a dvd at standard dvd resolution, which for PAL is only 720x576.
DVD-Video - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you want an HD dvd you'll need an external HD/BluRay burner and something like Roxio's Toast:
Roxio Toast 11 Titanium - CD & DVD Burning for Mac

I would suggest getting it from the US site at about half the price:
Roxio Toast 11 Titanium - CD, DVD, Blu-Ray Burning Software Program for Mac

No it isn't.
Thank you for the above. Just to clarify I have no desire to create a BluRay disc, as much as I like the idea. My end result needs to be able to be played in computers and DVD players etc. and accessible to all.

I have just run a small experiment and looked at a previous DVD I created on the PC using Pinnacle and Imageburn. I am viewing these discs on a 42" plasma using a PS3 as my player. The PC created disc is showing as 576 on the TV screen and so indeed is the iMac created disc showing as 576, so I have learned something there. This is fine for my needs.

So I have a couple of unresolved questions in my mind:

1) What can I do in my workflow to improve the video quality when using the Mac, as the end disc is not as good by a notable margin as the one created a few months ago on the PC. The capture method of a HD Canon camcorder on tape is the same for both discs I am comparing btw. I must be doing something wrong, but no idea what!

2) I would like to be able to create the movie so for example a simple title that runs for a few seconds, the body of the assessment or whatever then a closing title and done. This is how I used to do it on the PC (sorry to go on about the PC). Having to choose a whacky theme in iDVD is a step I want to avoid. I'd just like to burn the disc as created in the editing software.Is there a consistent and slick way to do this away from iDVD.

3) Would TOAST come up as a menu item in iMovie once installed?

Thanks Chas-M for the suggestion, I'll try that re avoiding the theme.

I would be prepared to buy TOAST (thank you for the links) would it resolve all my DVD creation/copying type concerns?

Thank you for your patience!

Nick
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MightyGem

 
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1) I can only imagine that this is due to the way iMovie imports and converts your miniDV footage. I've never used a PC for video editing so can't compare the two.

2) Are you wanting the dvd to autoplay when you insert it in the dvd player? In that case do as Chas suggests. However, in my experience, when you share to iDVD from iMovie11 it automatically configures the dvd to autoplay. If you don't want this, then you have to go into the Map view and delete the contents of the first box.

The least "wacky" theme that I've found in iDVD is the Center Stage theme. It's nice and simple. You have to choose some sort of menu with iDVD

3) Toast doesn't come up in iMovie's Share menu. You would have to Export your finished Project and then import it(simply by drag and dropping) into a Toast project. I've not really used Toast that much, so I couldn't say if you can produce an autoplay disc with it.

You could also try Burn, which is free:
Burn - Home
Just make sure that you choose a video dvd rather than a data one
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nick_j007

 
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Ok then I think I'm getting there thank you.

I think the only outstanding concern is the resultant quality of the burned DVD. It is watchable, but not as I hoped, and I'm not being all geeky either, it is visibly less good quality and I so want it all to just work.

As an aside, I have Adobe Premier Pro here. A lot more to learn if I use it, but might the rendering and end result be better than iMovie or does it just give me more tools rather than a different end quality? If anyone knows.

Thanks again. I never mentioned my old PC once

Nick
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chas_m

 
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Chances are good that what is happening is that your footage is being converted by iMovie into an editable format, and then converted AGAIN to MPEG-2 for the DVD, degrading the footage. Way to avoid this: import your footage into Apple Intermediate Codec or ProRes (warning: huge) for editing.
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nick_j007

 
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Thank for that thought Chas.

Can you help me understand what I was doing on the PC as I used to end up with an .iso file which was burnt to DVD and this looked fine. .dmg is the Mac equivalent I gather, so would going a similar route be of any use in terms of final copy qulaity?

Regards,

Nick
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MightyGem

 
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Quote:
as I used to end up with an .iso file which was burnt to DVD
That was possibly just the way the program on the PC did it. You can end up with a .dmg file if you wish with iDVD by going into the File Menu>Save As Disc Image. It doesn't make any difference to the quality, but it's handy if you think that you might need another copy of the dvd in the future.

If you do make a disc image, then you need to use Disk Utility to burn the dvd, by dragging the image from Finder, into the bottom lefthand side of the Disk Image window, and then click Burn.
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nick_j007

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyGem View Post
That was possibly just the way the program on the PC did it. You can end up with a .dmg file if you wish with iDVD by going into the File Menu>Save As Disc Image. It doesn't make any difference to the quality, but it's handy if you think that you might need another copy of the dvd in the future.

If you do make a disc image, then you need to use Disk Utility to burn the dvd, by dragging the image from Finder, into the bottom lefthand side of the Disk Image window, and then click Burn.
Many thanks indeed, that has helped clarify things. Is an .dmg file not bigger than the best quality resultant file from iMovie therefore better quality. At risk of sounding like I'm not listening.


Merry Christmas.

Nick
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MightyGem

 
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Quote:
Is an .dmg file not bigger than the best quality resultant file from iMovie therefore better quality.
The file that you get from iMovie is converted by iDVD to an MPEG2 file, so depending on the resolution of the iMovie file, the resulting MPEG2 file will be different. However, the quality of the dmg file will only be of standard dvd resolution because it has been produced by iDVD.
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