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Part Two: Editing in iMovie > Camcorder Meets Mac - Pg. 97

What you're doing now, of course, is scanning your tape to fnd the sections that you'll want to include in your edited movie. Importing Camcorder Footage The Monitor Window's Video Quality After reading all the gushing prose about the high quality of digital-video footage, when you frst inspect your footage in the Monitor window, you might wonder if you got ripped off. The picture may not look anything like DVD quality. This video quality is temporary and visible only on the Mac screen. The instant you send your fnished movie back to the camcorder, or when you export it as a Quick- Time movie or DVD, you get the stunning DV quality that was temporarily hidden on the Mac screen. Still, you'll spend much of your moviemaking time watching clips play back, so it's well worth investigating the different ways iMovie can improve the picture. · Good. If you have a fast Mac, a great way is to choose iMoviePreferences, click the Playback tab, and then choose "Highest (feld blending)." The only reason you'd want to choose one of the lower-quality settings, in fact, is if you experience hiccups during playback, usually in complicated movies on slowish Macs--400- megahertz G3 iMacs, for example. Tip: iMovie HD's redesigned Preferences dialog box contains a slew of useful options. They're cited so frequently in this book that it's probably worth memorizing its keyboard shortcut: c-comma. As a bonus, that keystroke works to open the Preferences dialog box in all of the other iLife programs, too, not to mention Microsoft Word, Keynote, Safari, and others. · Better. An even better solution is to choose iMoviePreferences, click Playback, and turn on "Play DV project video through to DV camera." You've just told iMovie to play the video through your camcorder. In other words, if you're willing to watch your camcorder's LCD screen as you work instead of the onscreen Monitor window, what you see is what you shot: all gorgeous, all the time. (You hear the audio only through the camcorder, too.) · Best. The ultimate editing setup, though, is to hook up a TV to your camcorder's analog outputs. That way, you get to edit your footage not just at full quality, but also at full size. The camcorder, still connected to the Mac via its FireWire cable, passes whatever you'd see in the Monitor window straight through to the TV set, at full digital-video quality. This is exactly the way professionals edit digital video--on TV monitors on their desks. The only difference is that you paid about $99,000 less for your setup. Capturing Footage When you're in Camera Mode, an Import button appears just below the Monitor window. When you click this button (or press the Space bar), iMovie imports the footage you're watching, storing it as digital-video movie fles on the Mac's hard drive. chapter4:camcordermeetsmac 97