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Old December 19th, 2003, 05:10 AM   #1
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Urgent help needed!

Help with conversion!!

I shot material with the canon xl1 4:3 where as I should have shot it 16:9 . Can I import this in to fcp and write it back to tape so that it looks like the canon version. I need to correct this mistake. It does not have to be native 16:9 because the canon does not do that either..
can anybody tell me what settings ? should I import the material 16:9 write it to a 16:9 timeline or what? No letterbox trick has to look like 16:9 even it means I have to squash it...HELP URGENT

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Old December 19th, 2003, 08:53 AM   #2
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This is actually extremely simple, if I understand what you're asking:

1. Create a sequence and set it for anamorphic 16:9

2. Drop your 4:3 clip into it

3. Set the canvas to view image+wireframe.

4. Reduce the scale of the canvas to 50% (or whatever size works for your screen), then drag the size of the canvas window larger so that you can see a large gray border all the way around the image and wireframe in the center.

5. Note that your 4:3 image sits in the center of the 16:9 frame, with a black bar to the right and left. Use the cursor to grab one of the "handles" (dots in the corner of the image) until it expands to the full width of the 16:9 frame.

6. Now the 4:3 image should fill your 16:9 frame with the excess portions above and below. If you want to adjust the framing, point anywhere inside the image and slide the whole 4:3 frame up or down until you like it - hold the shift key as you do this to constrain the movement to the vertical direction only. You can even animate this using keyframes in the motion tab if desired.

You're done - just render! Now when you export, the sequence will be proper anamorphic 16:9. Needless to say, there will be quality issues since you're only using about 360 of the 480 vertical lines, but that would be the case no matter how you did 16:9 on the XL-1.

I hope this answers the question!
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Old December 19th, 2003, 09:00 AM   #3
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An easier way might be to drop the clips on the timeline like normal. Double click on the clip in the timeline. Go to the MOTION tab and click the DISTORT area. Change all values that say -240 to read -310. Likewise change the 240 values to 310. Leave the 360 values alone. This will stretch your image vertically to the same aspect as the Canon XL1 does internally. You'll probably have to render.
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Old December 19th, 2003, 10:09 PM   #4
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I'm not sure, but I think you need to set the sequence to 16:9 if you want to embed the signal which tells a widescreen TV that the footage is anamorphic. But you're correct in that this should give the same results otherwise. You still might want the freedom to slide the frame up and down to adjust framing unless you always want it to be centered.

As always, there are many paths leading to a common destination!
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Old December 20th, 2003, 12:32 AM   #5
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> I'm not sure, but I think you need to set the sequence to 16:9
> if you want to embed the signal which tells a widescreen TV
> that the footage is anamorphic.

In my case (because of performance limitations) I export a DV encoded QuickTime from FCP and then use SimpleVideoOut to send this yo my camcorder. When I do this, the camcorder(in VTR mode) does not seem to go into 16:9 mode. Does anyboody know of a program that will set the 16:9 bit in a DV QuickTime file?
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Old December 20th, 2003, 04:37 AM   #6
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I think I can fix it by changing the aspect-ratio in the motiontab. The method you suggested Boyd will blow up the material and thereby degrade the quality of the material.
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Old December 20th, 2003, 04:41 AM   #7
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The problem itself is no more because I asked the editing house my client works with if it would be much of a problem it turned out not to be so...thank god and they were the ones that told me they are going to change the aspect ratio.
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Old December 20th, 2003, 09:58 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Slingerland : The method you suggested Boyd will blow up the material and thereby degrade the quality of the material. -->>>

I think that comes with the territory, doesn't it? Either technique should do pretty much the same thing, again unless I don't understand what you want. Do you just want to letterbox for 4:3? That's another matter. I was under the impression that you wanted to create anamorphic 16:9. In order to do that you will need to stretch the image vertically and discard a portion of it below and above the frame. Then played back on a 16:9 monitor it will then be stretched back to the proper proportion and fill the frame.

But the basic problem is that you shot in 4:3 mode, and for that matter the XL-1 has 4:3 CCD's. Any technique you choose to create a true anamorphic 16:9 image will "degrade the quality of the material" since you'll only be using about 360 of the available 480 scan lines.

Now if you just want to put a black bar above and below the image and view it on a 4:3 screen then that's another matter. This isn't the same as true widescreen.
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Old December 21st, 2003, 05:36 AM   #9
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yes you are right. But if you try the method you suggested in FCP then it is like if you are zooming in on the material, so not only less lines but degrading because of the 'zooming'. I tried it and the quality difference was significant. Somehow changing the aspect ratio did not have this zooming effect for true 16:9. It could be the software though....
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Old December 21st, 2003, 09:46 AM   #10
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That's interesting, will have to check it out. It does sound like an FCP oddity. I very rarely have to deal with this situation however since I shoot native 16:9. When you say that the quality difference is significant, are you viewing on an external 16:9 monitor, or just the FCP canvas?
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Old December 28th, 2003, 05:37 PM   #11
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The quality difference is significant but shooting with not native 16:9 is also crappy. After I rendered the files it was not terrible but just about..
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