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Old September 27th, 2004, 03:30 PM   #1
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Xl2 Footage and 4:3...Charles, Don...

Anyone <g>. Having never dealt with this particular issue before I thought I'd throw this out to the "best and brightest" in dvinfo land. I'm hours away from beginning a first edit of this Olympic project I've mentioned, and here's my challenge. I'm aquiring all the action footage and interviews with the athletes in 16:9 for DVD release.

It's a four part project, the first part being a retrospective on the 25th anniversary of the "Miracle" games. This section will be a combination of the original ABC footage cut with interviews of Erruzione, Hamilton etc.

So is my best bet to just create a 4:3 project in FCP, where the 16:9 XL2 footage will appear letterboxed and cut it with the historic footage. I want to maintain a consistent feel through the film and intend on matting the 4:3 footage and moving as secessary in frame to match the XL2 letterbox.

I'm operating on the assumption that because it will be viewed primarily through peoples DVD players on the average NTSC screen as well as DVD players on computer screens, that this is the only practical way to have an even look to the piece and ensure that it will be consistent form set to set.

Of course I relaize that challenges of framing the ABC footage in the reduced height. The only downside I can see from this approach (and you may have more) is how it will appear on screens that are 16:9. I'm assuming that because it's not anamorphic, that the DVD players will displlay it as both pillar boxed horizontally as well as with the vertical letterbox, in essence displaying the project reduced in a full frame.

I look forward to any thoughts, suggestions, symapthies and especially things that start with "no problem, Jim" <g>.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 02:07 AM   #2
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no problem, Jim <g> You are correct in your last assumption
regarding 16:9 and your 4:3 letterboxed image. You basically
have the following choices:

1. mix 16:9 and 4:3 on a 4:3 timeline. Output to 4:3. Sometimes the footage will have black bars (16:9 footage), sometimes not

2. mix 16:9 and 4:3 on a 4:3 timeline, letterbox your 4:3 footage and output as 4:3 (your choice)

3. mix 16:9 and 4:3 on a 16:9 timline, cropping and positioning the 4:3 footage and output as 16:9

The last one will retain the full resolution of the 16:9 material
and will do basically the same as your choice for the 4:3 material.
If you output this to DVD (correctly) the player will letterbox
everything for a 4:3 system (and thus giving you option 2
automatically) and it will just send the full 16:9 signal to an
anamorphic widescreen display.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 10:39 AM   #3
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no problem, Jim!

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah.

I think Rob said it all!
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Old September 28th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #4
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<<3. mix 16:9 and 4:3 on a 16:9 timline, cropping and positioning the 4:3 footage and output as 16:9

The last one will retain the full resolution of the 16:9 material
and will do basically the same as your choice for the 4:3 material.
If you output this to DVD (correctly) the player will letterbox
everything for a 4:3 system (and thus giving you option 2
automatically) and it will just send the full 16:9 signal to an
anamorphic widescreen display.>>

Thanks for your input Rob. I like option 3 for obvious reasons but when you say "output ot DVD correctly" I assume you mean with the anamorphic option checked when compressing to m2v. However if I mix my 4:3 footage in the 16:9 timline in FCP with a sequence preset of 16:9 anamorphic, the 4:3 will be pillar boxed, not letterboxed...no?

Also when flagged as anamorphic gong to DVD won't it also stretch (distort) the 4:3 footage upon playback?
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Old September 28th, 2004, 11:38 AM   #5
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Yes, check the anamorphic flag when encoding the m2v.

Well, yes, normally you would get pillar boxing. The idea is to
"zoom into" the 4:3 footage with a 16:9 mask. Or crop to 16:9
and then zoom in until it is full screen. This is basically the same
as letterboxing only without the letterboxes themselves.

So it will look like the rest of the 16:9 footage (and behave that
way), but of lower resolution (ofcourse).
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Old September 28th, 2004, 12:09 PM   #6
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<<Well, yes, normally you would get pillar boxing. The idea is to
"zoom into" the 4:3 footage with a 16:9 mask. Or crop to 16:9
and then zoom in until it is full screen. This is basically the same
as letterboxing only without the letterboxes themselves.

So it will look like the rest of the 16:9 footage (and behave that
way), but of lower resolution (ofcourse).>>


Exactly Rob. But herein lies the problem, particularly with this footage, and why I think I have to go the 16:9 edited into the 4:3 sequence output to m2v as 4:3. The footage being 1980 3/4" coming out of a BNC composite out is going to be pretty marginal to begin with...blowing it up to around 117% (which is what I used when creating dv footage for non HD 16:9 application in a recent animated project), will make this footage pretty crapped out.

One thing that still confuses me though. If I were to include the 4:3 footage in the 16:9 sequence and flag anamorphic going to m2v, won't that stretch/distort the 4:3 footage upon DVD playback?
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:29 PM   #7
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Yes it will, that's why you would need to blow the footage up
to 16:9. So if you don't want to do this due to quality the only
other option I see is to letterbox everything in 4:3 (option 2
above and your original choice) or mix 16:9 and 4:3 footage
in a 4:3 project (option 1).
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