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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 07:49 PM   #16
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Jeff, everybody...

It is never going to look like the original footage if you are using IMOVIE or even FCE! Even though it reports your captured video as 1920x1080, IMOVIE will only capture it as 1440x1080. You're taking a hit in resolution right from the get go!

import from camera through imovie vs final cut express in the Vimeo Technical Help Forum

Bob C
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Old February 4th, 2009, 05:47 AM   #17
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Bob,

Thanks for your note, although it left me still confused about the distinction (on ability to handle the full 1920x1081) between iMovie and Final Cut Express.

Reading the Vimeo Tech Help thread you referenced, Eugenia says that iMovie only supports 1440x1080, while the new FCE 4.0.1 (which I have) supports the full 1920x1080. Your note seemed to indicate that FCE was no better than iMovie.

I am going to do a test of FCE 4.0.1 today -- take the same camera footage, burn to DVD and a Blu-Ray (using Toast 10) and see if it looks any better. Unfortunately I am not very experienced with FCE so it is taking a while. It seems to me that most of the simple editing that I do often is easier with iMovie, but hopefully that will change with practice. Jeff
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Old February 4th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #18
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Hi,
I think the newest FCE might have a better codec that is 1920x1080. I guess I was thinking the older codec.

Good luck with your tests, hopefully FCE does the trick for you. What codec does FCE 4.0.1 use? Wasn't it using the same as imovie before (apple intermediate?)

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Old February 4th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #19
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OK, I think I'm making progress, but not all the way to where I want to be, so more advice is definitely appreciated!

I just made and tested a DVD (Blu-Ray format) and it looks pretty good, although not as good as the quality right out of the camera into the TV set. Here is the workflow I used:
Footage shot on Canon HF11, FXP mode (17 MBps)
Import into Final Cut Express 4.0.1
Rough edits (I'm just learning FCE)
Export via Quick Time Conversion
Video: Compressor: PNG, Depth: millions of colors+, checked interlaced
export size: HD 1920x1080 16:9

This took 2 hours to encode my 3 min movie, and created a 16GB .mov file. So, not very efficient, but I am trying for the best resolution/quality at this point.

Dropped it into Toast 10.0 (w Blu-Ray plug in) to burn a BluRay on a DVD. Left "encoding" on automatic; video quality on "best". It created a 298MB file on my DVD which looks very good when viewed on my Sony Blu-Ray player and 50" plasma HD TV. But not as good as hooking the camera directly to the TV (using component cables; my TV doesn't have HDMI).

I am still confused about encoding. Did I encode the movie twice? Will that hurt my quality?

Some other posts (I think on the Apple website) suggest export as a QuickTime movie -- do not use the QT conversion. And should I have used the "custom" encoding settings in Toast? There were a lot of options there -- which ones should I use? Thanks, Jeff
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Old February 4th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #20
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When you imported it into FCE it was converted from AVCHD to Apple's Intermediate Compressor. Note that you don't have much choice about that.

When you exported it, you changed it to another compressor (PNG? Really?) And then when it went into Toast it converted it again...

i) If you go into Easy Setup in FCE, what setting do you have for the project? What you probably want to have is: AVCHD - Apple Intermediate Compressor 1920 x 1080i60

ii) I haven't used Toast to burn a Bluray disc, so I don't know what it likes, but the first thing I would try from FCE is Export: QuickTime Movie. That will basically export it in the same format that the video was captured in (i.e. Apple's Intermediate Compressor) so that's one less conversion.

Run a test clip through Toast and see what happens. Now if Toast doesn't like that file at all, then you probably want to hunt around the Toast site and see what format it does like.


Another thing you should do: Import a clip into FCE from the camera, then find the capture file (should be a .mov file in Final Cut Express Documents, Capture folder.) Take that file and run it through Toast. That's taking the export from FCE out of the equation. If that clip doesn't look good then you know it's either the import function or the Toast settings that are messing with the clip (but make sure you imported the clips with the right project settings to begin with, because otherwise you'll have lost resolution.)

Hope that helps.


P.S. I suggest doing some tests with short clips until you've got things figured out. It'll save you a lot of time!
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Old February 4th, 2009, 02:27 PM   #21
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Hi Michael and thanks for your thoughts. As you can tell I am a remedial student!

I used the PNG compressor setting at the suggestion of another poster (Josh Mellicker, 1/29/09) in the Apple FCE discussion area How do I export a high quality movie? at DVcreators.net

It sounds like 3 conversions is too much... To respond to your questions:

i) In FCE's Easy Setup, yes I had already AVCHD - AIC 1920x1080i60
II) I will try exporting from FCE as a QuickTime movie and see how it looks.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #22
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Success at last! With the help of my on-line friends here and some experimentation, I've made a Blu-Ray format disc on a blank (cheap) DVD that looks as good on my living room TV as plugging the camera in directly to the home theatre receiver. Here is the workflow that worked:

Shoot on Canon HF11 in FXP mode (17 MBps)
Import into Final Cut Express (4.0.1) and edit
Export to QuickTime movie (not self-contained) - very fast encode
Drop .mov file into Toast 10.0 w/ Blu-ray plug-in
Toast: Options > Encoding > Custom
MPEG-4, 15 MBps avg bit rate, 17 MBps max bit rate

My 3 min movie encoded and burned quickly. When I toggled back and forth on the TV between the disc (playing in my Sony Blu-Ray player) and the camera (directly connected) they were almost the same. My wife actually preferred the look of the disc.

There may be other/better ways, but this worked for me. Now I need to try a longer movie, so see if 20 min is really the limit for Blu-Ray on a DVD in Toast. Thanks for all who helped! Jeff
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Old February 6th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #23
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Jeff,

Have you tried to do this with 24 Mbit/sec (MXP mode) video yet?

Larry
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