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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #1
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Downconvert question -- somebody know?

Searched the archive because I'm sure this has come up before, but...

Shot in HDV 60i. Want to downconvert to edit in 480i timeline. I thought I hit the right settings, but somehow when it downconverts it keeps a 16x9 format, at 720 pixels wide, so I have letterboxing across the top/bottom of the frame.

How can I downconvert so that I get the full 480 height of the frame and it crops the right/left of the frame in order to fill the frame?

Settings?? Thanks.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:30 AM   #2
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I don't think you can. Your recording is 16:9, so it has to be letterboxed in 4:3.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #3
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Dang. Okay, thanks.

I shot an event/performance w/3 cams -- 2 dvcams and hdv. Now want to edit using multiclip in FCP. Letterbox on only one of the cam angles won't work, obviously, so I guess my workflow on the HDV will be: capture in HDV, put in timeline and resize/downsize to 480i to fill 720/480 frame, render, then put rendered into multiclip with other clips and do my edit. Make sense? Think this'll work in multiclip like that?

Too bad it won't downconvert and crop at the same time.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 10:39 AM   #4
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I did a test on resizing 16:9 to 4:3 recently, and it looked pretty good. I doubt anybody would notice any difference.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #5
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So is this the final word, as far as anyone knows? There is NO WAY to downconvert HDV 16x9 to an SD format which isn't also 16x9? No way to get a downconvert which crops either side of the frame to give a full 480 high of your image?

Just want to doublecheck as there is a lot of footage involved, and it sure would be nice if there were a setting on the camera that allowed me to do this!
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:25 PM   #6
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The only way to do it is from a Sony Z1 to capture as DV 4:3.
Another way is to dump the HDV footage on a DV 4:3 timeline to fill the 4:3 format, render and export as DV 4:3 footage.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #7
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why don't you use After Effects to crop 2 sides to make 4:3?
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:34 PM   #8
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No need to use AE for that. You can just resize it in FCP. It's not difficult.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Nelson View Post
Dang. Okay, thanks.

I shot an event/performance w/3 cams -- 2 dvcams and hdv. Now want to edit using multiclip in FCP. Letterbox on only one of the cam angles won't work, obviously, so I guess my workflow on the HDV will be: capture in HDV, put in timeline and resize/downsize to 480i to fill 720/480 frame, render, then put rendered into multiclip with other clips and do my edit. Make sense? Think this'll work in multiclip like that?

Too bad it won't downconvert and crop at the same time.
Hi Jeff. Doesn't help you now, but in future you should consider shooting in SD 4:3 if you want to multicam with DVCAM cameras.

For cropping the HDV footage, I thought that it would be a bit brutal to let the computer or the camera do this automatically. If you have the time, the best solution is apply a manual pan and scan that will let you adjust the framing as you crop.

Richard
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #10
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I can easily do it in final cut pro, after effects or any number of ways, including, I guess, a Sony Z-1 camera, if I had one.

What I'm trying to figure out is if there is any way with an A1 to do this. Because right now it looks to me like there isn't.

I have about 15 hours of footage, and am not relishing the idea of having to capture it and then spend another 15 hours or whatever rendering it out 720 x 480 versions (without the letterboxes), so that I can then edit it with multicam with 2 other angles (which were shot with dvcam). Thanks.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #11
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Hi Richard:

Yes, next time I will shoot SD 4:3... Live and learn...

As for letting the camera do this automatically, it's fine because I was aware when I shot that it would be 4:3 eventually and I shot it that way, no need to pan and scan later.

Thanks.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #12
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Really, what you're talking about is resizing, regardless of your software program.

All it takes is a little math...

Say your input (original) footage is 1920x1280. And you need sd, which is 720x480

If you want the entire width, which must include letterbox bars on top/bottom, then you have a 1920/720 resize ratio...if you want to fill the frame and crop the right/left columns then you have a 1280/480 resize ratio.

You can pretty much figure it out with any footage resolution for any output, whether sd, flash (youtube), etc.

Goodluck, hope this bit helps.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 07:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Graham View Post
Really, what you're talking about is resizing, regardless of your software program.

All it takes is a little math...

Say your input (original) footage is 1920x1280. And you need sd, which is 720x480

If you want the entire width, which must include letterbox bars on top/bottom, then you have a 1920/720 resize ratio...if you want to fill the frame and crop the right/left columns then you have a 1280/480 resize ratio.

You can pretty much figure it out with any footage resolution for any output, whether sd, flash (youtube), etc.

Goodluck, hope this bit helps.
Hi Brent. Is that taking into account the pixel aspect ratio? 1920x1280 is square pixels, but 720x480 is not. Won't that affect the calculation a bit?
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Old July 26th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #14
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If you're using FCP, it's proven itself to be smarter than I am on many things.
All you do is drop your 16:9 clip into a 4:3 timeline and FCP automatically letterboxes it with the correct aspect ratio. Then, if you don't like letterbox and want to fill the frame, all you do is go to your Motion tab and zoom up the clip to the proper size. Copy and paste those attributes to all the clips in your timeline.
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