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Old November 4th, 2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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Further niggling aspect ratio / compression angst.

Does anyone know why when you export a a movie from the timeline in FCP via Quicktime 'make self-contained movie' it comes out more vertically squashed (in 4:3) than if you use Quicktime conversion which retains the correct aspect (at least I think it's correct!)?

I suppose whatever the reason the thing to do is to use QT conversion but I'm concerned that by applying DV PAL compression (again? - the footage is already in that format) it is doubly -compressing everything - there isn't a 'use current settings' option as when you use straightforward export to QT. One could use 'no compression' but I've always been confused what this really means. In fact I'm generally confused with both compression and aspect ratios!!

Why is all this so annoyingly complex!!! Aaaargh.

Any help gratefully received.

Geoff
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Old November 4th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #2
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Your seeing the differences between square and rectangular pixels of various aspects, maybe anamorphic issues too.

The only thing you can do here is to ask specific questions about what you have and what you want to do. It's all fairly straightforward once you know where you want to get to.

Duncan.
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Old November 4th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan Craig View Post
Your seeing the differences between square and rectangular pixels of various aspects, maybe anamorphic issues too.

The only thing you can do here is to ask specific questions about what you have and what you want to do. It's all fairly straightforward once you know where you want to get to.

Duncan.
Thanks again Duncan. Well what I want is the clips to be the same size and the correct 4:3 aspect. I've come across the square / rectangular pixel issue before but don't understand which is 'correct' and how to change them. The final video is likely to be seen most often via SD projector played direct from miniDV though a version on DVD for playback on TV or projector would also be very useful.

I should say that having viewed again the original SD footage direct from camera it is the wider image that looks right to me (and is how it looks on the original) and is what I want.

Geoff
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Old November 5th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #4
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My understanding is that you shot, captured to FCP and edited DV PAL anamorphic (the wider image), which is 16:9, as you saw in the FCP viewer and canvas.

If this is the case keep in mind that the PAL 16:9 resolution is 720x576 exactly as the PAL 4:3 resolution. The only difference is that the displayed pixels have different shapes: in both cases they are rectangular (not square) but they have different pixel aspect ratios. In practice the player must learn how to display pixels (more or less stretched) from some information associated with the movie file.

If you want to play the movie with QT player you have to tell QT to correctly interpret the 720x576 pixels (to be honest I don't understand why it doesn't do it automatically...) and you need QT Pro for that. Just open the movie in QT player, open the property window (cmd-J), select the first line, then select the Presentation tab below, and click on the Conform aperture to: Clean. The movie window should now get adjusted to the correct size.
If not, you can select the Video line, select the Visual Settings tab, uncheck Preserve Aspect Ratio, and write 1024 x 576 in the Scaled Size fields.

Piero
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Old November 5th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #5
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Piero,

Thank you sir. Your explanation was crystal clear and the suggested solution worked. My mind is calmer and less ignorant. It was those pesky 16:9 chips all along; we love 'em of course really.

It may also answer my previous query about displaying cropped 16:9 clips in a DV-PAL 4:3 FCP session correctly, though I can't find a similar function in FCP to display them correctly. Ah well.

Many thanks again.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 06:51 AM   #6
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Geoffrey - if you export via compressor you can 'tell' the file to play correctly when viewing in, say, Quicktime. I know this works with the H.264 setting in compressor (I use this method most of the time) so you should be able to do this with a standard QT export in compressor (I'll check later). For example you can set it up to any aspect ration and whether it's anamorphic or not.
This was a constant bugbear for me, until I started to use compressor for most exports or on discovering 'apple J' and entering the pixel ratio manually.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #7
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Thanks David. I've only just started to use Compressor which is a bit complex but I shall endeavor to get to grips with it as so many on this forum recommend it.

Geoff
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