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 Replies

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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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