Importing / ripping movies from a DVD into iMovie

Discussion in 'OS X and OS X Apps' started by carlodl, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. carlodl

    carlodl Member

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    Hi guys,

    I recently purchased a Sony mini-DVD camcorder and I'm having problems getting the movies i took with it into iMovie! First of all, the bundled editing software that came with the camcorder only ran on a PC (I guess Sony made this for the Vaio). Second, iMovie apparently supports mini-DV camcorders only. I knew I should have sticked with mini-DV but the convenience of the DVD camcorder in previewing scenes is what got me.

    Anyway, the final product of the camcorder is basically just a DVD that can be played in any DVD player, which includes my powerbook. Is there any DVD-ripping software available that can get scenes from the DVD without much loss of quality? Also, can quicktime pro do this? Really need help on this... Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Henjie

    Henjie Active Member

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    Uh-oh. You just ran into the biggest reason why mini-DVD camcorders are not recommended if you're planning on editing you home videos using iMovie, etc. etc.

    The important thing here is to convert the DVDs to DV streams for use in iMovie. There are a number of ways to go about this. The quality will vary, and success is not guaranteed for some. The good news is that you probably won't have any problems copying the VOB file/s from the DVDs since they're not encrypted/copy-protected (I think). ;-) Just drag and drop the VOB file/s to your hard drive (if needed) and use any of the following methods:

    UPDATE 8/24/2004: ffmpegX can now convert/encode VOB files directly to DV. :)

    1. BEST QUALITY:
    - Download and install QuickTime Pro and Apple's MPEG-2 component.
    - Fire up QuickTime Player (Pro Edition), select File -> Import, then open the VOB file you want to use in iMovie (copy the VOB file to your hard drive first).
    - Select File -> Export. In the "Export:" tab, choose "Movie to DV Stream". In the "Use:" tab, just select any of the DV NTSC options.
    - Save the file, then import to iMovie.
    * Best quality 'coz you're converting directly from the MPEG-2 DVD file to DV.
    * The problem with this is that QuickTime Pro might not be able to do the conversion properly. Tested this method just now and my copy of QuickTime Pro's batting average is a measly .200. Problems range from the audio being MIA ('coz of AC3 audio?) to incomplete conversions.

    2.) OKAY QUALITY:
    - QuickTime Pro still needed.
    - Download and install the latest DivX or 3ivx codecs. If you can't decide which one to install, just use both. ;-)
    - Download and install the latest version of HandBrake, a DVD to DivX/MPEG-4 ripper/converter.
    - Fire up HandBrake and it will automatically detect the inserted DVD.
    - Click on "Open". "Output format" should be set to "AVI file / MPEG-4 video / MP3 audio". Modify the "File" field to your preference (file name and save location).
    - "MPEG-4 encoder" set to "FFmpeg" or "XviD" (doesn't matter which one). The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality and the bigger the file size. Don't go over 4,000Kbps. Checking "2-pass encoding" will give you better quality but longer encoding times.
    - Click on "Rip" to start the conversion process.
    - Once HandBrake's finished ripping, fire up QuickTime Pro, import the resulting DivX file, then export to DV. Import the DV file to iMovie.
    * Quality not as good as the QuickTime Pro-only method 'coz there's an extra step going from MPEG-2 DVD -> DivX/AVI which leads to a loss in quality.

    3. SUPPOSEDLY GREAT QUALITY IF YOU'RE WILLING TO SPEND $80:
    - Use DVDxDV.
    * Haven't had any experience with this app. There's a trial version available though. Maybe you oughta try that first. :)

    There are MORE ways to get your DVD footage to iMovie. Some are pretty complicated though (demuxing/separating the video and audio track first before encoding, blah blah blah, etc. etc.). Try the above methods first and see if they work for you. :)

    Good luck!


    ~Henjie

    [Edited on 8-24-2004 by Henjie]
     
  3. carlodl

    carlodl Member

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    Oh no... never thought it would be this complicated :eek: But, thanks so much Henjie for your very detailed reply! I'll try the quicktime method first. By the way, do you think it's worth it to purchase quicktime pro from the Apple Store? I mean, aside from this DVD to DV importing, do you think it will be useful in other things? That's almost around 50 dollars for both Quicktime Pro and the MPEG-2 content so i'm thinking if it's going to be useful in the long run :)

    By any chance, does anyone here have a trial version of quicktime pro that I could test? Hehe that's if there's such a thing (just hoping) :)

    Thanks again so much!
     
  4. Henjie

    Henjie Active Member

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    It really depends on what you're planning to do with it. If you're gonna stick with your mini-DVD camcorder and plan to edit all your home videos using iMovie, then I reckon the $50 purchase is worth it. Other advantages include being able to save Quicktime movies from the web and creating streaming contents from your video/audio files. I myself think that QuickTime Pro's import/export capabilities are worth more than $30. :)


    ~Henjie
     
  5. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    um is this the same process to follow if ever im going to get some clips from any dvd movie? Im doing a project for my class and i need to show some clips from a certain hollywood movies. Is it possible to get the clips from the dvd and put it in imovie as part of my presentation?
     
  6. bagwis

    bagwis Active Member

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    Does the camera have a firewire out? Sorry for the ignorance. If your camera has just a line-out, and you really want to keep it, you might want to get an analog to digital converter. You might be better off selling the cam and getting a new one with mini-DV as it's medium because these converters don't come cheap. Although this is considered a good investment if you would like to open a VHS/Video 8/Betamax (meron pa ba nito?) to VCD/DVD kind of a business.

    [Edited on 7-3-2004 by bagwis]
     
  7. Henjie

    Henjie Active Member

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    Yup. You can use method no. 2. Do note that it's only legal if you own the original DVD. :)


    ~Henjie
     
  8. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    thanks! would there be any harm done to my laptop or dvd during the process? um what would happen if i use a fake dvd instead of an original?
     
  9. Henjie

    Henjie Active Member

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    None at all. You're basically just copying and converting the DVD to another file format. Kinda like ripping your CDs to MP3 files.

    Fake DVDs, original DVDs, it doesn't make any difference. A DVD is a DVD is a DVD (technically speaking, of course). The issue can be summed up in one word: PIRACY. And it's not condoned here. :)


    ~Henjie
     
  10. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    Hi Henjie i just followed your alternative #2. the file was saved into a .mp4 format using handbrake. now the problem is i dont have quicktime PRO. seeing that i need to purchase it is not really an option for me. can you suggest another way so i can edit the movie? what will happen to the quality? will it be better than a vcd format? thanks dude!
     
  11. BoyG

    BoyG Member

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  12. Henjie

    Henjie Active Member

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    Well, if you're willing to put up with additional loss in quality, you can use ffmpegX to convert the MPEG-4 files to MPEG-1, then import the resulting MPEG-1 file to iMovie.

    Quality will be more or less equal to VCD since MPEG-1 is the exact video compression format for VCDs. You're losing a bit of quality each time to encode/transcode to another format though so the less transcoding going on, the better.


    Or use MacTheRipper 2.0 instead of DVDBackup. DVDBackup hasn't been updated since Dec. '02 and I don't think the author has any plans of updating the app anytime soon, especially now that MacTheRipper's available. :)


    ~Henjie
     
  13. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    hi can anyone elaborate the how to do's using the mactheripper and Diva software?i'm getting confused on what Diva does. since i have handbrake can i use that instead of mactheripper?
    thanks!


    Using alternative #2,
    i tried editing the .mp4 file obtained thru handbrake and to my surprise it can be cropped in imovie. the problem was the .mp4 file was only part of the entire clip. the .avi file contained everything but was around 768 mb and imovie couldnt import such huge files.
     
  14. Henjie

    Henjie Active Member

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    DiVA and HandBrake do the same thing: convert DVD/MPEG-2 to MPEG-4.

    DiVA is really fast, but it can't do the job on its own. It looks for unencrypted MPEG-2 files so you're gonna need OSEx to decrypt the DVD first. Resulting files will be in .mp2 (video) and .ac3 (audio). Do note that DiVA only encodes the video track so you're gonna need another app to encode the audio track. And then you're gonna need QuickTime Pro to combine the encoded video and audio track... so yeah, just use HandBrake. ;-)

    Still doesn't solve your problem though: how to encode everything to DV streams for iMovie.

    iMovie can easily import 768MB files. DV files are oftentimes much larger. I think your problem is that iMovie's using QuickTime to import the .AVI file to DV (import meaning encode) and it's gonna be a really slow process. Try encoding to MPEG-1 using ffmpegX first. I reckon iMovie will have an easier time importing MPEG-1 files. Or just buy QuickTime Pro. :)


    ~Henjie

    [Edited on 7-24-2004 by Henjie]
     
  15. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    it seems that i can't escape quicktime pro :dry: so how do you buy through the website? will you purchase it through apple america or apple singapore? will each country's tax matter? and how will they send the programs to me? Thanks to everyone who answered my queries :D
     
  16. Henjie

    Henjie Active Member

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    If you're based in Singapore or HK, just buy from Apple Singapore. If you're in the Philippines, you'll have to ask someone in the US (with a US-issued credit card) or Singapore/HK to buy QuickTime Pro for you. I don't think Apple accepts Philippine-issued credit card (not sure though). The price is exactly $29.99 wherever you are.

    Method of delivery (if you can call it that) is pretty simple. Apple will provide you with a registration code that will unlock the QuickTime Pro features of your existing QuickTime software. :)

    Or if you're planning to buy Final Cut Pro 4 anytime soon, you'll be happy to know that QuickTime Pro is already included in the FCP package. ;-)


    ~Henjie
     
  17. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    Hi i just got hold of quicktime pro. and i fired up handbrake and followed alternative #2 but when i opened the dv file which was around 4.7gb the audio didnt sync with the video. plus when i tried importing it to imovie it said that the file was too big and suggested i cut it up into segments in quicktime pro before i put it into imovie.

    i tried to cut the movie into segments but the weird thing is i couldn't paste it into imovie. am i doing something wrong? cutting a segment in quicktime pro is just moving the left and right arrows underneath the scroll bar which would give you a highlighted section of the movie rite? from there you click edit and click on cut? or is there something i shouldve done?

    thanks!
     
  18. marvinp

    marvinp Active Member

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    iMovie has problems with DV clips that are more than 2GB in size (around 9:29 minutes worth of video). So just cut up your movie into 9-minute clips in Quicktime Pro and export as individual DV streams. Then open your iMovie project and import the clips.

    Hope this helps. ;)
     
  19. marvinp

    marvinp Active Member

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    BTW, I've been using DVDxDV this past week to convert a lot of DVDs into DV format for re-burning as a single DVD. It works flawlessly and it gives you the option to select in/out points from a movie to export only the selected portion as DV streams (which are fully editable in Quicktime Pro). It also automatically breaks up a movie into 8-minute chunks for importing into iMovie. Definitely worth $25 (for the non-Pro version) if you have lots of DVDs to transode. ;)
     
  20. Jumbo

    Jumbo Member

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    regarding dvdxdv hows the quality? is it same as dvd or does it go lower? i was able to compare the .avi from the original it was a little fuzier.
    thanks marvinp! but im really hoping not to spend much snce i wont be using the program a lot.

    on another note, when i was trying to convert the .avi to dv there were options regarding the khz bit rate. i used default but would it help if i raise the bitrate? will there be an improvement in the quality of the film?
     

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