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Old September 18th, 2009, 10:45 AM   #1
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Exporting 16:9 to 4:3 letterbox in CS3

I have a project that was shot in 16:9 SD, and edited in CS3 in a 16:9 DV project. Now I want to export a sequence to 4:3 letterbox (720x480) in MPEG2. I have tried doing this, and the footage itself looks ok, but the graphics (lower thirds and titles) are not in the correct spots. Is there a way to export from the media encoder to get the proper framing (essentially 16:9 with letterboxing)?

The only other idea I have is to export a high-quality 16:9 version, re-import into a 4:3 project, and export that as 4:3, but since this is a something I will be doing every week, and the final sequence is 1 hour long, exporting two files could take about 4-5 hours, instead of half that.

Any ideas?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #2
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Why would you want to jump through all those hoops? Just do it as a 16:9 export and the DVD player or TV set will do the letterboxing.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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When I do commercials and have to send them to DG-Fast Channel that is what I have to do. I export it to Cineform and then reexport it to the DG settings (which are VERY specific) With Cineform the quality does not suffer. That is the great thing about an intermediate codec.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
Why would you want to jump through all those hoops? Just do it as a 16:9 export and the DVD player or TV set will do the letterboxing.
The reason I NEED to jump through these hoops is that I am not delivering this video to a TV set, but rather to a server of a local TV station, that needs 4:3 footage.

Jerry, I don't use Cineform but in any case the process you describe takes 2 steps of exporting, which is what I'm currently doing. If anybody has a good idea of how to do it in one step, I'm all ears.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Natan Pakman View Post
Jerry, I don't use Cineform but in any case the process you describe takes 2 steps of exporting, which is what I'm currently doing. If anybody has a good idea of how to do it in one step, I'm all ears.
Same here!!
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Natan Pakman View Post
I am not delivering this video to a TV set, but rather to a server of a local TV station...
Ah, got it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Are they requiring that it be delivered that way? I'm wondering if you could still just do proper widescreen and let them letterbox it when they send it out. Of course, then you run the risk of them squeezing or cropping or otherwise screwing it up.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 09:16 AM   #7
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Unfortunately the server that this local TV station does not play 16:9 footage properly (it vertically stretches it) so need to do 2 exports. There comes my next question:

Since I need to export once in 16:9, import that into a 4:3 project, and export again using specific settings, in what format should I export the video the first time around for it to be of the highest quality when re-importing into the 4:3 project?

I don't know if exporting to uncompressed avi (despite the file size) is what makes sense, or whether the same format (MPEG2) I will use to re-export the project, at a higher bit rate, is functionally equivalent.

Any ideas?
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Old September 27th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #8
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Hi Natan. I apologise if I'm missing something but is there any reason that you are not creating it in a 4:3 project from the beginning?
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Old September 28th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #9
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Hi Natan. I apologise if I'm missing something but is there any reason that you are not creating it in a 4:3 project from the beginning?
Greg, I am edited this project in a 16:9 project b/c the priority for the client is to have clips of this show on Youtube, and in my opinion, 4:3 video looks poor on Youtube (it's always letterboxed on the sides).

It really isn't that big of a deal to export the project as a high quality avi and re-import into a 4:3 project, to export a second time. It would, however, be nice if there was a way to do this in one step.
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Old September 28th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #10
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Thanks for the explain Natan, yes couldn't agree more about YouTube. Have you tried opening a new 4:3 project and importing the 16:9 project into it and then scaling it? Not sure if you can do that in all versions but CS3 can.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #11
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Greg, I can certainly scale the video, but that doesn't solve my problem, because I still can't export ONE TIME from my 16:9 project into a 4:3 file. Additionally, I will lose some parts of the image on the side, AND the quality will be reduced since it will be blown up.

In any case, I have absolutely no problem with the show being letterboxed; that was never an issue.
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Old September 29th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #12
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Sorry Natan, please accept my apologies. Before posting yesterday I did a quick check that it would work, but mistakingly dragged footage not the project sequence.
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