Video Variations

Quite the puzzle; the last little bit. After getting my iMac back in November, I had to refigure the best way of taking vids from my consumer model still camera and getting them YouTube ready. Hassle. Apples don't like MPEGs, so I had to figure the loop-de-loops to get MPEG to MOV to MPEG, so I could edit, et cetera. iMovie is virtually impossible to use. I dicked around with MovieMaker on my old laptop and it did the job. Now, I've got to save the MPEG from my camera, convert it to MOV using MPEG Streamclip, edit in Final Cut Pro, and buy DivX for Mac just to get an optimized file for YouTube.

It says something when FCP is easier to use than iMovie. I had some vids from the Red Black and Green Christmas show at the Grog Shop, but the quality was poor, as my camera sucks in low light. I put together this collection of clips from when I was at the Pittsburgh Zoo instead.

3 thoughts on “Video Variations

  1. Hi Adam,
    The zoo clips look great. Nice grain free blacks.
    Any ver­sion (ex­cept 1) of imovie be­fore the 08 re­vamp is much more full fea­tured than the 08 ver­sion ex­cept that the 08 ex­pands it’s sup­port of the MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and AVCHD codecs. For what­ev­er rea­son Apple re­al­ly severe­ly stream­lined the app. Disclaimer; I’ve nev­er used it but have read from peo­ple I re­spect that it has its mer­its.
    I start­ed NL edit­ing us­ing imovie back in 1999 and thought it was awe­some for about a min­ute un­til I re­al­ized what a has­sle it was to split the au­dio from the video. (That has­sle got elim­i­nat­ed in lat­er ver­sions.) I man­aged to ed­it two or three projects with it un­til I got a copy of Premier and then FCP. You’re right about FCP be­ing eas­ier but I think that ap­plies to peo­ple who are used to us­ing pro­fes­sion­al apps. The av­er­age per­son just wants to plug in the footage and send it to their so­cial video site of choice.
    I’ll still use imovie when I’m not on my FCP li­censed com­put­er. It gets on my nerves but it works for sim­ple stuff. BTW do a search on youtube for tu­to­ri­als on how to com­press a movie for youtube us­ing imovie or FCP. I’ve learned that you can up­load H.264 com­pressed video with suc­cess. 2000 kbps. I’ve used it with suc­cess.
    You might want to try us­ing the col­or cor­rec­tor fil­ter in FCP on the Grog Shop footage. Play with the mid tone slid­er.
    Divx does rule and I use it 99% of the time. Probably be­cause on­ce I found some­thing that worked…

  2. Thanks for the feed­back, Andy. I tried dick­ing around with the col­or cor­rec­tor, but I think the prob­lem stems from the fact that I’m us­ing a Sony DSCN-1 for video in low light. The cam­era just wasn’t de­signed for that kind of use. The col­or cor­rec­tor and bright­ness and con­trast ad­just­ments don’t change any­thing apart from mak­ing the video look over­ex­posed where there ac­tu­al­ly is data. I think that’s why the black look so good, there is lit­er­al­ly no vi­su­al data in those ar­eas.

  3. If there’s no data in the blacks well then there’s no data. By us­ing the fil­ter if you can at get at least a lit­tle de­tail in the blacks you can play with the high­light slid­er to keep the high­lights from blow­ing out. Or bring a light kit to the next show 🙂

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