Archive for January, 2011

iMovie’s Dirty Little Secret: Colour Banding

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

(This one has been driving me nuts for weeks…)

My new MacBook Pro came with iMovie ’09, so I decided to edit some 3-year-old DV tapes of my son that I still hadn’t dealt with. The output quality was really bad – it contained what I can only describe as severe posterization or banding in the shadows, which also had the effect of amplifying the noise in the movie. When I tried the same thing on iMovie ’06 (or “iMovie HD”, to give it its proper name), the result was fine. Here are some stills from that movie:

Original DV footage (click image to enlarge):

iMovie ’06 (Exported with Full Quality option) (click image to enlarge):

iMovie ’09 (Exported with HD option) (click image to enlarge):

Take a look at the shadow below his head. iMovie ’09 has absolutely butchered (I don’t think that’s too strong a term) the footage. (more…)