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Old August 5th, 2008, 09:02 PM   #1
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quality FCE/imovie/idvd / fc ??

i recently have been trying to switch to mac. i figured i would try fce before taking the full plung into final cut pro
i am useing a macbook pro
previousely was useing avid liquid
Question:

when i move movies around from fce to i movie to idvd the quality is horrible. can i fix this? I use canon gl2 / xl1s / xh a1

if i go to final cut pro i the sound, dvd authoring, menues, ect all in fcp

if i can get full quality in fce i may never need fcp

I produce hunting and fishing videos.

Eddie
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Old August 6th, 2008, 04:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Pelfrey View Post

when i move movies around from fce to i movie to idvd the quality is horrible. can i fix this? I use canon gl2 / xl1s / xh a1
Why are you using iMovie as an intermediary between FCE and iDVD? (There shouldn't be any noticeable loss of visual quality, but perhaps it depends upon the output format you are exporting between the apps.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Pelfrey View Post

if i go to final cut pro i the sound, dvd authoring, menues, ect all in fcp

if i can get full quality in fce i may never need fcp
I didn't understand either of those two statements. Please clarify or elaborate.

-Jon
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Old August 6th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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how do i get from fce to idvd

with final cut pro do i still need to use idvd or does it do menues in fcp

is the quality coming out of fce the same as fcp? hd or standard?
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Old August 7th, 2008, 01:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eddie Pelfrey View Post
how do i get from fce to idvd
A recommended method would be to export your completed timeline from FCE as a Quicktime Movie. Make sure to select the appropriate options (full quality?) to conform to the desired settings for your final DVD in iDVD.

Don't bother with the options exporting via the Quicktime Conversion option if it is offered because you don't want to create an end file with additional compression applied. iDVD expects a full quality file and will apply its own compression during the DVD rendering process. Just use the Quicktime Movie export option which is typically the first one listed in the export window.

When the resulting options window comes up, put in a file name, designate a location to export to, choose the default "Current Settings" tab unless your needs require otherwise - which will export a file in the format of your FCE project settings.

You can opt to to select "Make Movie Self Contained" or don't. Each option has its pros and cons. Checking this arguably provides a more stable file for your DVD authoring, but results in a large file (dv at ntsc settings averages close to 13 GB per content hour). (see attached image) Un-checking the self-contained option provides you with a reference file export that references your project timeline. A lot of folks prefer to use this method because it is a much smaller file, quickly exported and saves workspace on your drive.

Your noted workflow indicated that you had been moving your movie files from FCE to iMovie and then to iDVD. You didn't indicate why you did this. You also noted that it gave your inferior image quality. I am suspecting that your chosen export option may have involved exporting via some alternate compression default (perhaps an inferior or highly compressed codec) that would pixelate or lose definition once opened up into DV format in iMovie....just a guess.

Some folks have continued to use iMovie in order to set up chapter markers that would be properly recognized in iDVD. If this is the case with you, then I am assuming that you are using an earlier version of iMovie because the newer version no longer offers very suitable integration with iDVD. However, it is easy to set up chapter markers in FCE (or FCP) that will be recognized in iDVD.

Just select your timeline in FCE, and place your playback head wherever in the timeline you wish to add a chapter (starting with the beginning and on to each location you want a chapter to begin). Once there, press 'M' to drop a marker there. Press 'M' again to bring up the Marker Edit pane so you can designate the intention of that marker. You will get a window (see attached image) that allows you to make a title for that marker, and select the tab that designates it as a chapter marker.


Now, when you export your Quicktime Movie, make sure you include the "Chapter Markers" option in the Markers tab (of your export options). Export your Quicktime Movie.

Open up iDVD and select your desired theme. Drop your exported Quicktime Movie into the iDVD interface and it will automatically present your title selection as well as the Scene Selection option that conforms to your intended chapters. Customized the remainder of your iDVD projects as desired.

(important note: if you chose NOT to export your QT Movie as a self-contained file, then the resulting reference file will be linked to your FCE project. Any changes to the location or contents of this FCE project will require the embedded file in the iDVD project to be updated because the reference file is only acting as something like an alias (or a shortcut in Windowspeak) for iDVD to know where its getting its contents from)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Pelfrey View Post
with final cut pro do i still need to use idvd or does it do menues in fcp
FCP does not do DVD menus or DVD authoring. It is just a video editing application, much like what you are seeing in FCE. In fact, at a cursory examination, you may not see any difference at all between FCP and FCE. It is the same interface. FCP works on a different codec system and has far broader capabilities with some tools, plug-ins, codecs and formats, ,but the essential interface is the same.

The difference with FCP is that it comes with a full suite of applications (Final Cut Studio - or Production Studio with older versions). This suite contains several other amazing applications that are not included with FCE. Regarding our topic at hand, Final Cut Studio includes DVD Studio Pro - which is a comprehensive, professional grade DVD authoring application. It in no way resembles iDVD in terms of interface, but gives the user amazing control in how their DVD is created. It also takes a while to learn because it is quite complex.

iDVD does a fine job for a great many types of DVD projects ( I use it frequently for quicker and simpler authoring jobs with very little complexity - and I am still able to create completely customized menus and backgrounds with iDVD - it just doesn't offer any real control over bit rates and such in the way that DVDSP does.

Ii any case, you should still be able to use iDVD even with FCP in the same way that I described earlier with FCE. If that is all you are planning to do with your workflow, you might not otherwise see much practical benefit in moving up to FCP with the rest of the Final Cut Studio Suite. Continuing to use FCE and iDVD can suffice until you realize you are growing out of it. Then move up to the full suite. It's really quite awesome.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Pelfrey View Post
is the quality coming out of fce the same as fcp? hd or standard?
It may depend upon the format you are initally working with. If you are working with NTSC DV, there really isn't any difference. If you are working with HD, FCP can work with uncompressed HD natively, and a wide variant of HDV flavors with no problem. FCE (like iMovie) must transcode them into AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec), which provides fine results and depending upon your end distribution format, shouldn't really give you noticeably different results from FCP. (Again, it also depends upon the source content and the app's ability to handle it. FCP has a broader scope but if your content is a common flavor, you won't see any difference. ) Both of them basically have the same export options, but your preference settings have to be correctly set up for the content you are working with.

Hope this helps.

-Jon
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quality FCE/imovie/idvd   / fc  ??-export-quicktime-movie-settings-window.jpg  
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Old August 7th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #5
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thanks for all the info
i love this sight

Eddie
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Old September 9th, 2008, 06:03 AM   #6
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Johnathon - my Final Cut Express does not have the "settings" option when I try to export as Quicktime.....

Am I doing something wrong?

oh - but the documentation says it should

Quote:
Exporting a QuickTime Movie for DVD Use
This section explains the process for exporting your movie as a standard QuickTime file
for use in iDVD for creating a DVD.
To export a QuickTime movie for use in iDVD:
1 In Final Cut Express, choose File > Export > QuickTime Movie.
2 Configure settings in the Save dialog.
In most cases, you will leave the Setting pop-up menu at Current Settings and include
both audio and video. iDVD can use either self-contained or reference movies, allowing
you to decide whether to make the movie self-contained based on other requirements
(disk space and so on).
3 When you’re ready, click Save.
For more information, including detailed information on settings, see Chapter 66,
“Exporting QuickTime Movies,” on page 1013.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janis Williams View Post
Johnathon - my Final Cut Express does not have the "settings" option when I try to export as Quicktime.....

Am I doing something wrong?

oh - but the documentation says it should
Can you provide a screen shot of what your dialogue box looks like when you select the File > Export > Quicktme Movie option?

Every version I've seen has the options provided in the manner you noted from your manual.
-Jon
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Old September 11th, 2008, 06:02 AM   #8
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here it is
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Old September 11th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #9
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Janis, click on the triangle to the right of your Save As box. You'll be amazed. Also, I highly recommend you buy one of the 3rd party FCP books and take an FCP class. At the very least get a Mac friend to show around the mac and the way the interface works. Most of my PC friends that have switched over tend to overcomplicate things because they are used to working on Microsoft.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #10
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Janis, click on the triangle to the right of your Save As box. You'll be amazed.
That has nothing to do with settings. Go on click it...
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Old September 11th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #11
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How to Export from FCE/FCP

1. Click on your Sequence Window (if you don't tell FCE/FCP what to compress the SAVE window will be greyed out).
2. Go to File/Export/QuickTime Movie or QuickTime Compression
3. SAVE window opens - Select Format or Default Settings OR Options
4. Select the settings, frame rate, etc. you want in Video, Audio & Internet Streaming
5. Click OK for each one then click OK to save window
6. In SAVE window highlight and click on destination
7. Click on blue SAVE button
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Old September 11th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #12
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1. Click on your Sequence Window (if you don't tell FCE/FCP what to compress the SAVE window will be greyed out).
I hadn't thought about that. I'm betting (hoping) that is the source of the problem.

-Jon
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Old September 12th, 2008, 04:41 AM   #13
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Nope sorry - that is not the problem.....

I just do not have settings - look at the screen capture...
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Old September 13th, 2008, 02:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Janis Williams View Post
Nope sorry - that is not the problem.....

I just do not have settings - look at the screen capture...
I wonder if you are experiencing an 'app behaving badly'. (ie: some type of preference or app corruption that is making the app 'wonky', behave erratically, or with unexpected paralysis of functionality not otherwise associated with demo expiration.)

First, try repairing your permissions and see if that fixes anything.

If not, check your system updates to make sure your system, application, and support files are properly up-to-date (ie: any necessary bug-fixing updates for your FCE or Quicktime)

If FCE is still misbehaving, try exporting from FCE from a different user account. If you don't have a different user account, create one via the accounts settings from your system settings. (Its always good to have a user account setup for testing purposes or for main use - so that your administration account doesn't get corrupted from day-to-day use.

In a similar vein, I experienced a lot of frustration when I first installed the Sorenson Squeeze suite some time ago. It seemed to install fine, except the interface didn't actually have any compression options listed - nothing whatsoever.

I deleted the suite and all associated files and then reinstalled....several times over. No change.

Several email exchanges from Sorenson yielded no helfpul results. (note: they were very responsive, but had never heard of this before and we were unable to figure out a fix short of wiping the drive and reinstalling everything fresh...which I never found the time to do.

So on a fluke, I switched to a different user account and fired up the Sorenson Suite. Whammo! It works perfectly.

So, I know I have a few problems with some obvious account settings corruptions, and at some time, I am going to have to find the time to nuke and pave my entire drive and OS install. I just hate doing it, because inevitably, I am going to run into conflicts with some of the application licensing with some apps that require dynamic web-connected key activation. (one company had upgraded their product and wouldn't supply me with a working key to reactivate my legally purchased older version (that was less then 2 years old - despite my purchase log - and I had to pay a hefty upgrade fee to install the new version when I was perfectly happy with the old one....I can't afford to go through that song and dance again - so I just switch user accounts whenever I have to perform a function that gets jiggy on my production account.

If trying the export to Quicktime Movie doesn't work a different user account, then I am honestly out of ideas.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #15
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no

seems it was removed from FCE but left in the documentation....

the help file for this is incorrect and no such options and selection exist in FCE


Why does it feel like Apple are turning into Windoze???
So far I keep having problems that turn out to be their error and a lack of interest from them to rectify.....
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