Exporting with Quicktime in 720p

This is a guide on how to export using Quicktime Pro (PC or Mac), iMovie, Final Cut Express or Final Cut Studio using the Quicktime Component. First, make sure your project’s properties is correctly set to HDV or HD with the right frame rate and aspect ratio, and then edit as usual. At the end, select “export” (it’s probably called either “export” or “advanced” on the new iMovie ‘08) and select one of the two methods.

1. This Quicktime export creates .mov h.264 files. This method has good options, but it crashes frequently when you click “Settings” to configure your video (for me, this crash is reproducible on both my Mac and my PC). However, you might get lucky. Uncheck de-interlacing if your footage is not interlaced.

2. This MPEG-4 export creates .mp4 h.264 files and it’s easier to use, but it does not have a de-interlacing option (which might leave “jaggies” on your video), and it occassionally creates a “tick” on the picture (a keyframing bug that Apple hasn’t bothered to fix for over a year now).

Between the two options, I would go with the first one if it doesn’t crash for you. The only change you might need to do is to select either PAL’s 25 fps instead of the suggested NTSC’s 29.97, or 23.976 if you shot in 24p mode (note: iMovie and Final Cut Express don’t support native 24p editing). That’s it, now sit back while your video is encoding and after a while you will be having a progressive 720p file for usage with Vimeo/Youtube HD, or AppleTV (.mov/.mp4), and the XboX360 or the PS3 (.mp4 only).

Warning: Apple’s Quicktime has a stupid bug for over a year now, where de-interlacing just doesn’t work, even if you tell it to. In that case, or if you are using iMovie ‘09, check this guide.

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