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Old July 1st, 2005, 06:57 AM   #1
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XL 2 Widescreen Help

Hi all,

I have a question concerning importing footage from my Canon shot in the 16:9 mode onto Final Cut Express. I used to import into imovie and it would automatically "widescreen" the footage that I had shot in 16:9 so it would look right on all TV's.

Now with Final Cut I do not have that option other than a "fake" widescreen that just cuts the top and bottom off to my knowledge. How do I make my projects and make them 16:9 on any TV? I have tried changing my TV but to no avail. The only way I can watch the footage correctly is playing it on my widescreen TV.

Any help would be appreciated. I truly am lost right now.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 03:06 PM   #2
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Not sure I understand your question, but in FCE HD, I create a new anamorphic project before I capture the video. This allows me to the edit & export true 16:9 widescreen video.

There's a little utility called anamorphicizer (http://homepage.mac.com/sith33/FileSharing34.html) that sets the widescreen flag in quicktime. After using that I'm ready to load the video into iDVD & create true widescreen DVDs.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 03:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Snoddy
Not sure I understand your question, but in FCE HD, I create a new anamorphic project before I capture the video. This allows me to the edit & export true 16:9 widescreen video.

There's a little utility called anamorphicizer (http://homepage.mac.com/sith33/FileSharing34.html) that sets the widescreen flag in quicktime. After using that I'm ready to load the video into iDVD & create true widescreen DVDs.

you mean you select NTSC Anamorphic? I did that. I might need to do what you said, anamorphicizer it. I just need to to be widescreened in Quicktime instead of the stretched look.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 03:32 PM   #4
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Getting it widescreened in Quicktime is a bit trickier. The Quicktime player doesn't seem to support anamorphic. To create a video that plays widescreen in Quicktime, I had to set a custom image size instead of the standard 720X480. I started with 640 x 352 & played around until I got something that worked. My final size was much smaller as I was doing it for a web page & didn't want the file to be huge.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 10:08 PM   #5
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16:9 DV is still 720x480. It's just got a wider field of view stuffed into the frame (that is, if your camera shoots true 16:9).

The FCP of FCX timeline will allow you to set it as anamorphic. The Canvas and Viewer windows will then show the proper 16:9 aspect ratio. However, the frame size is still 720x480. So, when you export a self contained FCP Quicktime movie and play it back in QT, QT displays 720x480 pixels and your footage looks squished inward with people looking tall and skinny.

If you want the proper aspect ratio for widescreen footage for say, a web movie, you can export out of FCP, FCX "Using QT Conversion" and set your frame size. I use 428x240 for my web movies.

Regarding DVD authoring, I discovered that iDVD and iMovie actually create a "fake" widescreen look by letterboxing the footage to fit the 4:3 aspect ratio. I use DVDSP 3 instead which flags the files as widescreen and tells the DVD player to squash the frame vertically for playback on 4:3 sets and this also allows it to be played in fullframe widescreen mode on a widescreen set, whether it be a standard def widescreen or HD widescreen set.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 07:44 AM   #6
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I don't know about iMovie, but the current version of iDVD does produce true anamorphic DVDs from anamorphic source video. Menus are not widescreen, but videos are.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 08:19 AM   #7
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Actually, if you check the size of the .VOB files iDVD creates, you will see that they are 720x404. You are correct that the file has been made into a true widescreen size keeping the 16:9 aspect ratio without letterboxing, BUT, the proper size should be 854x480. iDVD effectively cuts out 15% of the vertical resolution yielding a softer image if played back on a widescreen TV.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 08:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Perry
16:9 DV is still 720x480. It's just got a wider field of view stuffed into the frame (that is, if your camera shoots true 16:9).

The FCP of FCX timeline will allow you to set it as anamorphic. The Canvas and Viewer windows will then show the proper 16:9 aspect ratio. However, the frame size is still 720x480. So, when you export a self contained FCP Quicktime movie and play it back in QT, QT displays 720x480 pixels and your footage looks squished inward with people looking tall and skinny.

If you want the proper aspect ratio for widescreen footage for say, a web movie, you can export out of FCP, FCX "Using QT Conversion" and set your frame size. I use 428x240 for my web movies.

Regarding DVD authoring, I discovered that iDVD and iMovie actually create a "fake" widescreen look by letterboxing the footage to fit the 4:3 aspect ratio. I use DVDSP 3 instead which flags the files as widescreen and tells the DVD player to squash the frame vertically for playback on 4:3 sets and this also allows it to be played in fullframe widescreen mode on a widescreen set, whether it be a standard def widescreen or HD widescreen set.
Dave,

The dvd player will have a set up menu where you tell it what type of tv it's connected to. If you set it for 4:3, then it will give a choice of letterbox or pan and scan for widescreen flagged dvds. I always set it for letterbox. Then, when a dvd with the anamorphic flag hits the player, it letterboxes the output for your 4:3 set automatically. No mess, no fuss, no worry. Most every dvd player has this in their set up menus and the average consumer doesn't seem to be aware, or doesn't know how to set up for correct video output. I've had to do this for a couple of clients after shooting a widescreen project for them.

Thanks for the tip on getting QT to display properly from FCP export. IF you want to stay full sized, the settings are 852x480. I had to do this with Livetype graphics on a widescreen project so that's when I figured out the dimensions for 16:9.

regards,

-gb-
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 08:48 AM   #9
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Greg,

Yes, you are correct about the DVD player setup. That's why I always shoot, edit, and author true widescreen.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 10:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Perry
Actually, if you check the size of the .VOB files iDVD creates, you will see that they are 720x404. You are correct that the file has been made into a true widescreen size keeping the 16:9 aspect ratio without letterboxing, BUT, the proper size should be 854x480. iDVD effectively cuts out 15% of the vertical resolution yielding a softer image if played back on a widescreen TV.

so all I need to do is make a quicktime file and change the settings in idvd? How do I go about changing those settings?
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Old July 11th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #11
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I don't use iDVD any more because for one thing it does not produce DVD standard audio. It uses PCM audio which is not part of the DVD standard but works in most cases. DVD SP aloows the use of Dolby Digital audio .ac3 files and included a.Pack for creating them.

Second, it will only create "fake" 16:9 by lettreboxing the footage into a 4:3 frame size and only if you use footage from iMovie or the work around mentioned earlier in the post.

DVD SP alows for true 16:9 footage and menus.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #12
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Not sure where you are getting the "fake" 16:9 from iDVD. Mac DVD player and several Windows based DVD players report my video as 16:9 anamorphic, 720x480. Same thing they report when viewing commerical widescreen anamorphic movies. Video was shot anamorphic (Canon Optura 30). Edited anamorphic (FCE). Quicktime anamorphic flag set via Anamorphicizer. DVD authored in iDVD.

iDVD has it's limitations, but I don't think "fake" widescreen is one of them. That's not been my experience.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 05:02 AM   #13
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John,

I'm a bit confused now that I check into it further. My .VOB files on some older projects done in iDVD 5 open up in MPEG Stream Clip in the proper aspect ratio for 16:9, file info shows the proper DV standard 720X480 frame size. However, when I open the same files in QT Pro and check the file info, it shows 720x404 as the frame size.

These clips were shot and edited 16:9 with Optura Xi and FCP then brought into Anamorphicizer before being used in iDVD. This seemed to work fine for me as long as I played the DVDs on my Mac. If played on a TV they would not letterbox properly. I find DVD SP quite easy to use so I just stuck with it.

Do your DVDs play properly on your TV?

I also read somewhere that QT does not report the proper frame dimensions of 16:9 DV when flagged as 16:9. I use BitVice to encode to MPEG2 and it allows you to set the flag. When I check these files in QT Pro, the wrong size is reported, 720x404, but when checked in MPEG Stream Clip the proper size is reported. For this reason I started just using DVD SP to set the flag and do not set it in BitVice.

Very interesting. Seems QT is not reporting info prperly. I still whish iDVD encoded .ac3 audio however, saves a lot of disc space.

BTW, how do you check frame size in Mac DVD player?

Thanks, DP.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 09:46 AM   #14
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Dave,
My widescreen videos play back letterboxed on the DVD player built into an Emerson SD TV. I do most of my viewing on a widescreen HT setup. I use the Emerson to test compatibility. Same disk that played fine in the Emerson couldn't be read by my brother's VHS/DVD recorder. Think it was a Panasonic.

I have iDVD 5. I remember reading somewhere that previous iDVD versions caused trouble with some players. Instead of letterboxing, the video was displayed full screen/stretched.

One drawback to iDVD 5. My copy of DVD Studio 3 won't import my iDVD projects. I've been putting off learning DVD Studio & thought pulling in an iDVD project might help with the learning curve. It may be easy to pick up, I just haven't tried yet.

In the Mac DVD player there is a menu option that offers disc info. It described the video info for whatever is currently playing. 4:3 if a menu is up, 16:9 during widescreen playback.
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