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Old April 26th, 2007, 10:04 AM   #1
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Inconsistent anamorphic behaviours

I am working on a project in FC Express that I shot with my Canon XL2 at 24p in 16:9 mode. After several days of shooting and capturing my clips at the end of the day, I began my edit. Everything behaved as expected until I dragged clips from a particular interview down to the timeline. Clips from that interview show up as squashed 4:3 on the canvas. When I view them from the bin they look fine in the viewer. I can't figure out why they change when they become part of the sequence!

I looked at the item properties and "anamorphic" is checked on these clips, just like the others and I cannot see that any of the other settings are different. What am I missing?

__________

Another piece of the puzzle... I was working on another interview and I captured one interview as one clip and then broke it into smaller subclips. One of these sub clips is doing the same thing. When I drag it to the timeline, it shows up on the canvas as squashed 4:3 rather than letterbox. So it may be something in the creation of sub clips process.

Chuck

Last edited by Chuck Peterson; April 26th, 2007 at 02:38 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #2
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Hi Chuck, and welcome to DVinfo!

First, the obvious question would be.... is it possible the clips were shot in 4:3 instead of 16:9? The only thing which should cause the behavior you describe is a mismatch between the clip and sequence settings unless it's some sort of bug which I haven't seen.

Do the same clips show the same problem when dropped into another anamorphic sequence? If not, then what happens if you copy them in that sequence and paste into the problem sequence?
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Old April 26th, 2007, 05:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome Boyd and it is good to ask that obvious question. That was my first thought too.

No, it displays as anamorphic in the bin and viewer. While all the other clips display correctly between black letterbox stripes in the Canvas, these clips stretch from top to bottom and appear vertically squashed when dragged on to the sequence time line. Also note my amendment at the bottom where I discovered that another interview that had been imported as a single clip and then divided into sub-clips and just one of those sub-clips was displaying the same anomaly.

I tried your suggestion. The problem clips are still a problem in the new time line.

Chuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff View Post
Hi Chuck, and welcome to DVinfo!

First, the obvious question would be.... is it possible the clips were shot in 4:3 instead of 16:9? The only thing which should cause the behavior you describe is a mismatch between the clip and sequence settings unless it's some sort of bug which I haven't seen.

Do the same clips show the same problem when dropped into another anamorphic sequence? If not, then what happens if you copy them in that sequence and paste into the problem sequence?
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Old April 26th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Peterson View Post
While all the other clips display correctly between black letterbox stripes in the Canvas, these clips stretch from top to bottom and appear vertically squashed
First, I use Final Cut Pro so there might be some differences. I might also be misinterpreting your description. But if you drop a 16:9 clip into a 16:9 sequence, there shouldn't be any black letterbox bars - the canvas should have a 16:9 aspect ratio. But if you drop a 16:9 clip into a 4:3 sequence there will be black letterbox bars.

Maybe your problem is related to this? Again, the only thing which should cause the problem you describe would be a mismatch between the clip and sequence settings. But maybe you've found a bug in FCE?

If nobody else has any ideas here then you might want to check out Apple's FCE support forum: http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=936
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Old April 26th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #5
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You are right that my sequence is a 4:3 sequence. Since the client wants a web video with letterbox, I think this is OK but I've only had the XL2 for 2 months (I am new to 16:9 production) and admit that I stumbled on this way for accomplishing 16:9 in a 4:3 box. It worked flawlessly on my first project in this format for this client. It makes sense that the problem is related to this mismatch but it does not make sense that some clips letterbox and some don't since all were processed the same way, some from the same master clip.

Could there be some setting that I am accidentally toggling?

cp


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff View Post
First, I use Final Cut Pro so there might be some differences. I might also be misinterpreting your description. But if you drop a 16:9 clip into a 16:9 sequence, there shouldn't be any black letterbox bars - the canvas should have a 16:9 aspect ratio. But if you drop a 16:9 clip into a 4:3 sequence there will be black letterbox bars.

Maybe your problem is related to this? Again, the only thing which should cause the problem you describe would be a mismatch between the clip and sequence settings. But maybe you've found a bug in FCE?

If nobody else has any ideas here then you might want to check out Apple's FCE support forum: http://discussions.apple.com/forum.jspa?forumID=936
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Old April 26th, 2007, 10:55 PM   #6
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Chuck

it would seem that some of your clips do not have the "anamorphic" flag applied. in list view scroll your browser so that you can see the column heading "Anamorphic" and check down in that column adjacent to your master clips ... if they do not have a checkmark in that column then they will fill the full 4:3 canvas area when added to your timeline

you can simply add/remove the anamorphic flag by clicking in the Anamorphic column next to a clip.

cheers
Andy
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Old April 27th, 2007, 06:33 AM   #7
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Thanks Andy. But ALL the clips are checked as anamorphic. I've tried unchecking and rechecking. I'll try re-capturing. Don't know what else I can do. I just checked on the Apple forum and the suggestion is that I stop the practice of editing 16:9 in a 4:3 sequence. Instead, edit native and drop the finished sequence in a 4:3 sequence.

Chuck
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Old April 27th, 2007, 06:43 AM   #8
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Does FCE have a 'motion' tab in the viewer? If so, double click one of the offending shots in your timeline, click the 'motion' tab on the viewer and click on 'distort' - it should be set to -33.33 for a 16.9 shot in a 4.3 sequence.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Peterson View Post
I just checked on the Apple forum and the suggestion is that I stop the practice of editing 16:9 in a 4:3 sequence.
I think that's good advice. If the video was shot with a true widescreen camera then you take a 25% resolution hit as soon as you drop it into a 4:3 sequence. And if you're burning DVD's, it shouldn't be necessary at all. The user's DVD player will automatically letterbox 16:9 material if it's connected to a 4:3 TV. But the opposite isn't true; letterboxed 4:3 isn't going to look as good as it might for users with widescreen TV's.
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