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-   -   iMovie questions (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/final-cut-suite/4257-imovie-questions.html)

Colby Knight February 24th, 2006 07:17 AM

Thanks Nate... much appreciated.

Eric Brown February 24th, 2006 01:14 PM

Hey, Colby. No shame in using iMovie if all you need are basic transitions in editing your project. I bet no one could tell the difference between a cross dissolve done in iMovie and one done in FCP, know what I mean?

Cole McDonald February 24th, 2006 07:42 PM

iMovie is a fabulous program, I use it extensively for pulling in footage, logging footage and for whipping together animatics/moving storyboards. Great way to sort through your footage. Pull in a full tape of footage, cut out the cruft and re-export as full quality DV stream. I add placards for scene/shot size/actor in there too.

Nate Schmidt February 24th, 2006 08:40 PM

Since we're on the subject of iMovie I've got a question for you Cole. When you export your full quality DV streams do you use them in FCP? I'd like to do that but always have to render the clips that I bring in, would you mind sharing your workflow?? Thanks

Cole McDonald February 25th, 2006 08:51 AM

sure, Having shot the best thing ever commited to photons ;) I pull the full tape into iMovie (saving wear and tear on the transport of my camera - view, rewind, capture pertinent bit, repeat). I then rename the clip to match the label of the tape. This becomes my logging station. Since I have been the only technician on set many times, logging takes is not necessarily something that would have been prudent at the time. After option-dragging my clip to the timeline (always work on a copy), I watch through it with a hand on the command-T (cut at play hear) and the other shared between the spacebar (start/stop) and the arrow keys (step forward/reverse). I play through the whole tape cutting out the bits between the takes (unless there's a brilliant piece of BTS stuff in there, which I will cut out and drag back to the clips palette to rename appropriately and save for later).

After that's done, I put titles in with project name, scene number and shot description/actor name for singles. I string all the takes out in one chunk for ease of reference when editing. I export each camera position as its own entity named <scene#>-<shot size>-<character if singles>.dv as a dv stream. These get imported into Final Cut Express (pro it if ya got it!) into scene bins.

I have a master sequence that has all of the scene sequences nested in it. The scene sequences are located in their respective bins so I can open the bin and have the whole thing right at my fingertips. With the dv stream, I also need to render the file, but only if I'm using the audio. Having the takes in one clip allows me to scrub through the clip to find just what I'm looking for when I'm looking and will often uncover new stuff that would fit better as I scrub through (I learned this from "In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch). I initially populate the scene sequences with titles that give the scene number and a brief description of the scene as placeholders, 10 seconds each. This allows me, while editing, to keep the story in mind.

Gilbert Labossiere March 14th, 2006 01:57 PM

History Channel effect - How do I place pictures in iMovie and do the slowzoom in/out
I am new to iMovie and wanted to know if I can place pictures for a documentary and move in slowly and out or to the left or right. What method can I use for this?

John C. Chu March 14th, 2006 02:43 PM

Don't bother with iMovie's Ken Burns effect..it doesn't give you enough control.

I recommend LQ Graphic's Photo-To-Movie.


It's really easy to use.

Gilbert Labossiere March 14th, 2006 05:13 PM

Thanks! That' what I needed!

Jesse Luke March 23rd, 2006 09:23 PM

iMovie - stalling footage after moniter view
So I spend numerous days editing footage, (I'm sure you can relate) Apple G4 & iMovie & iTunes for music, etc. (all new iLife '06 versions) - then I want to view the edited footage, from iMovie THRU my DV camera (Pan PVGS400), to my TV, & the #!*& thing has choppy video playback. Audio is fine.

The video/audio was smooth, in real time just before I patched it thru my camera. I just don't get it. Why would a signal leaving the computer mess up the software it came from.

Now, when I play back on the computer screen, without the patch thru, it's still choppy. I unplugged the fire wire, turned off the camera, ... I just can not get my mind around this cause & effect. It seems backwards. Am I in a time warp???

Thanks for any feedback here, I'm loosing it. (Again, I'm sure you can relate.)

Boyd Ostroff March 23rd, 2006 09:31 PM


Originally Posted by Jesse Luke
So I spend numerous days editing footage

I don't use iMovie, so there may be something simple that I'm missing. But I just wonder, if you captured a lot of footage, what disk is it on? Is it on the internal drive of an iMac, iBook or Powerbook? If so then you may have issues with disk performance and fragmentation. I know that older versions of iMovie forced you to put everything on the internal drive; is that still the case? If so, then this may not be well suited to large projects. The startup drive on a mac has literally thousands (probably tens of thousands) of little files. The result may be a fragmented disk such that a lot of seeking is required when reading and writing data. The startup drive is also constantly being read and written by various applications and the operating system itself. Combine all this with slow drives on some models and it isn't a good situation for video.

But I'm just brainstorming here. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of iMovie users here. If you don't get any help you might visit Apple's iMovie support forum here: http://discussions.apple.com/categor...categoryID=141

Jeff Donald March 23rd, 2006 10:04 PM

How is the camera connected, through a HD or direct to computer? Most cameras are S100 in speed, even though FW is capable of S400 (400 Mb per second).

Jonathan Jones March 24th, 2006 12:58 AM

Here is what I would check: Not necessarily in this order.

First, what type of system are you running this on? Desktop, iMac, Powerbook, iBook, MacBook Pro?.....Processor speed, and very important...amount of RAM? If you have just the stock RAM, that might be your problem.

What OS are you running...Jaguar, Panther, Tiger....Tiger added Core Image that can stress out the video handling of older systems or lower end video cards - sometimes causing the problem you are experiencing.

The size of the project or length of clips you are experiencing this problem with? Does this just happen with the video in the timeline or does it also affect shorter clips residing on the shelf? If you are running the bare minimum of system specs, larger video segments can be a strain on the system...again with the RAM. I think 512 MB is the minimum just for efficient performance with the OS....using apps like iMovie above and beyond that can really benefit from even higher capacities of RAM.

Keep at least 10 - 15 percent of your drive empty...OS X needs this additional space for effective and efficient swap file management....as it gets lower and lower you will experience sluggishness in your apps, such as stuttering in iMovie.

Repair permissions....regularly. You will find Disk Utility in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. Select your drive and click repair permissions. Sometimes this will solve a multitude of performance issues.

You can store your iMovie project folder to an external drive connected via firewire. If you are using Panther or Tiger, you can also capture your footage directly to the project folder created on an external drive. If you are using a laptop then an external firewire hard drive is almost required for decent performance since the internal drive is likely too slow for effective performance. A good external firewire drive with ample space and 7200 RPM should fit the bill.

If I can think of anything more I will post....but I hope this helps a litte. Good luck.

John C. Chu March 24th, 2006 08:37 AM

In addition to what the other have mentioned:

You say use iTunes for music. It is a big no-no to use straight compressed MP3 music files in iMovie from iTunes.[Even though Apple advertises it as tight integration]--sometimes you need to convert the music files to AIFF first before putting it on the timeline or import directly from the CD.

If your project is really complicated, with a million cuts, and transitions and effects and music, you might consider exporting a full quality Quicktime file and reimport the file into a new project. It should play fine from there.

Tell us about your system configuration. What kind of Apple G4? I generally run iMovie as the ONLY application, so as much system resources is dedicated to it.

Jesse Luke March 24th, 2006 08:56 AM

Thanks, I have a desk top G4, lots of memory & replaced both HD's - I store video on an external 250GB Lacie HD, I store music on a seperate identical HD - all wired up with Fire wire thru a Fire Wire hub I installed on the machine. I just ran DiskWarrior & rebooted with OSX Tiger cd & ran disk utilities - I am using the most up to date software for all of this - Before starting this project, I got a lot of advice & others are using this machine to do the same thing, so I beefed up this machine instead of going for a G5. I think I covered all your concerns before starting these projects.

I also have Final Cut express, but the iMovie is so easy to use. Especially with the iLife 06 intergration.

Jesse Luke March 24th, 2006 09:03 AM


Originally Posted by Jeff Donald
How is the camera connected, through a HD or direct to computer? Most cameras are S100 in speed, even though FW is capable of S400 (400 Mb per second).

great question - here's the deal - I store video on an external Lacie 250GB HD. the software is on the machine. I have a little Fire Wire port on installed on the machine.

I send a fire wire out to the camera, & then to the TV. So I'm only using the camera as an I/O, as a thru box. so I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that the camera speed setting has nothing to do with this particular issue.

Also, the video on the computer screen becomes choppy as well. even after I've unplugged it from the camera / tv. & even after I restart the computer. Everything was fine, & running smoothly until I patched it out to the tv.

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