How Does FCE Handle 16:9 data on a 4:3 Camera? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 18th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #1
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How Does FCE Handle 16:9 data on a 4:3 Camera?

Thinking about getting the Century Optics Widescreen Adapter for my Panasonic PV-GS200 which is a 4:3 camera. The lense captures the full 16:9 image onto the 4:3 chip, but how does Final Cut Express see it - as 4:3? Any experience or advice would be appreciated!
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Old June 18th, 2004, 09:12 AM   #2
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I don't use FCE, but I'd be surprised if it were any different than FCP in this regard. All you need to do is check the "anamorphic 16:9" box in your capture, clip and sequence settings and you'll be all set.

But in reality, nothing is different in terms of what's captured when shooting widescreen. The checkbox just tells the software to squeeze the image into the proper proportions while you edit. If you view the edited footage on a standard 4:3 monitor or TV it will look "squashed" with everything too tall and skinny, but it will be correctly proportioned on a 16:9 monitor. That's the way it should behave.

Setting the anamorphic option will imbed a signal in the video stream that tells 16:9 aware monitors to switch to anamorphic mode. But other than that there isn't any difference from 4:3 video. All DV is 720x480; the proportions of the pixels are just interpreted differently on a widescreen monitor.
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Old June 18th, 2004, 09:15 AM   #3
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Thanks Boyd. I think I remember seeing an option to "force letterbox" on 4:3. Do you think that will keep it from looking squashed?

Also after I posted I found this link which has a lot of info:
Understanding 16:9 in Final Cut Pro
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Old June 18th, 2004, 08:05 PM   #4
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Dave,

I've been thinking about getting the same lens. If you decide to get it, post your impressions of it.

I use FCE at home and FCP HD at work as well and shoot in 16:9 exclusively. I use a Canon ZR 40 and Optura XI. The XI is native 16:9 but the ZR crops. Boyd is correct about the time code telling a monitor or NLE software about how to display the video. When you set up a Final Cut Project and got to the capture settings (Easy Setup in FCP) choose whatever anamorphic setting works for your camera. for Me I use FireWire Basic Anamorphic 48kHz. The video will be displayed properly in FCE.

However, when using the Century Optics Anomorphic converter, your camera will be set in 4:3 so the code on the tape will not identify the footage as 16:9. What this means is that when you capture then insert a clip in the timeline, it will have to be rendered. It's a pain, especially if you edit on a G3 like I do but using the Anamorphic lens as opposed to the cropped, in-camera 16:9 mode, will provide better results. Unless of course the camera has a native 16:9 like the XI then it will not need to be rendered.

I plan on getting the lens you are looking at for my ZR so I won't lose the resolution in 16:9.
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Old June 18th, 2004, 08:16 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Perry : What this means is that when you capture then insert a clip in the timeline, it will have to be rendered. -->>>

This shouldn't happen if you do things correctly. Capture your clip anyway you want. But after capturing select the clip in the browser and choose Item Properties. If the anamorphic box isn't checked then check it. Now go to your sequence and select Settings. Make sure the sequence is set for anamorphic. Now when you drop the clip in it should be properly proportioned and no rendering should be needed. The key is making sure the clip settings and sequence settings are both anamorphic before dropping the clip into the sequence.

Or at least that's the way it works in Final Cut Pro...

Dave Cook: Letterboxing is not the same thing as real 16:9. It will cause your clip to be letterboxed inside a 4:3 frame. Is that what you want? If so then you're defeating the purpose of the anamorphic lens since you'll lose the extra resolution it gave you. But I'm not really sure what "force letterbox" means in FCE.
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Old June 18th, 2004, 09:17 PM   #6
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Thanks Boyd. That's the way it works in FCE also. I was thinking about what I did to get 16:9 to be letter boxed in 4:3. Thanks for the correction.
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Old June 18th, 2004, 09:26 PM   #7
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This may be helpful to you
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...ding_16_9.html

- don
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Old June 18th, 2004, 09:48 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff -->>>
Dave Cook: Letterboxing is not the same thing as real 16:9. It will cause your clip to be letterboxed inside a 4:3 frame. Is that what you want? -->>>

No, just letterboxed when displayed on a 4:3 box. As far as my comment about "Force Letterbox" - I'm at my Mac right now and can't find that in FCE so I don't know where I saw that option...

Not sure yet if I'll do the adapter. I've been all over the board about this camera in the last couple of days. I just need to settle down and get used to the camera and FCE/DVDSP. I doubt that I'll be happy with the camera's built in Widescreen mode as I would be losing pixels, just not sure if I want to spend another $300+ on the anamorphic lens yet.

Thanks for the assistance!
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:11 PM   #9
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Using the PV-GS200 Cinema Mode

I'm attempting to create a 16:9 anamorphic sequence using the built in Cinema mode in my PV-GS200 but am running into problems. I used the Anamorphic Capture Preset in FCE and also have the Anamorphic column checked in the browser but I always end up with "black bars" for lack of a better term. Is there a way in Final Cut Express that I can extract the 16:9 portion of the sequence and make it full screen?
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Old June 19th, 2004, 09:37 PM   #10
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I don't know anything about the GS-200. Are you sure you're shooting in anamorphic mode, or is the camera letterboxing? If you're sure the clip properties are anamorphic then it seems like the camera is creating the letterbox. Are things within the letterbox properly proportioned, or do they appear vertically squashed? Is the clip window in the 4:3 proportion or is it widescreen?
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Old June 20th, 2004, 12:35 AM   #11
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It's definitely the camera that's letterboxing, because it's there when I plug it straight into the TV. It's not squashed, just masked at the top and bottom. The clip window is 4:3 if you include the area that's masked out. I guess it's not really ananmorphic...

Is there any way in Final Cut to extract just the picture from the letterbox so that it would play full screen on my 16:9 TV? I may be footing for that Century Optics lens after all :P
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Old June 20th, 2004, 10:02 AM   #12
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OK, now I understand. Here's what I would do in FCP, hopefully it will be similar to FCE.

1. After capturing your footage view its Item Properties and make sure the Anamorphic 16:9 box is set. This should already be the case if you captured it as 16:9. Open the clip; you should see a vertically squashed, letterboxed image inside a widescreen viewer window.

2. Click on the Motion tab at the top of the viewer window, then click on the little triangle next to the Distort property. This will reveal a set of 4 coordinate pairs for the Upper Left, Upper Right, Lower Right and Lower Left corners of the image. Modify the numbers in the right-hand column such that the eight boxes read as follows:

-360, -320
360, -320
360, 320
-360, 320

3. Congratulations, you now have created an anamorphic 16:9 image! Create a new 16:9 sequence (check the anamorphic box) and drop your clip into it. You will need to render in order to view it in motion. As an alternative you could export the clip itself as a FCP (Quicktime) movie, then you could drop it directly into a 16:9 sequence without rendering.

The downside of course is that you lose 25% of the vertical resolution since the image was stretched from a letterbox, but that would be the case no matter how you created anamorphic 16:9 on a 4:3 camcorder. The anamorphic lens would give you full vertical resolution and could just be captured as 16:9 without any of these steps or rendering.

Let me know if this works in FCE and if it accomplishes what you're after.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 11:47 AM   #13
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It works!

[EDIT]
I have two options now with regards to export from what I can see. I can throw is out as distorted 4:3 or I can change the size in Quicktime to 720x405 to give me a 16:9 movie. Is there a better choice if I'm going to be watching on my 16:9 TV and also giving a DVD to someone who has a 4:3 TV? I would like it to be full screen for me and letterbox for the 4:3 set if possible.

Another quick question: Does the fact that my camera has 3 CCD's help to offset the loss of verticle resolution to some degree?

I appreciate your help!
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Old June 20th, 2004, 01:08 PM   #14
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Sounds like it's behaving as it should. If you watch on a widescreen TV everything should look normal. For some reason, Quicktime doesn't understand anamorphic 16:9. If you want to have a properly proportioned Quicktime movie to view on a computer screen you need to export a version at 854x480, 640x360, or any other size with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. If you burn your movies to DVD though the player can handle the letterboxing on a 4:3 but will also display correctly on a widescreen TV (assuming it's properly setup). The Mac DVD player software should also display it correctly on a computer screen.

There are others here with more technical knowledge that can probably give you a better answer, but I think you're comparing apples and oranges when it comes to number of CCD's vs their resolution. To get good 16:9 in DV means that you need to have the full 480 lines of vertical resolution. I don't see how 3CCD's would help with that, all other things being equal. I believe that the CCD's are offset from each other slightly, but I always assumed the offset was only in the horizontal direction.

You might want to ask this question in the Open DV Discussion forum.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #15
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Yep! I used the 16:9 anamorphic export that looked 4:3 (squished) in Quicktime, but in DVDSP I burned to a VIDEO_TS folder and it played widescreen with the Apple DVD Player.

Thanks again for your help. As far as the 3 CCD question - I guess I need to read up on what I am gaining over the 1 CCD camera's. I've read that color depth is better. Didn't know if maybe they might get more resolution packed into the 720x480 frame...
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