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Old May 18th, 2007, 06:29 AM   #1
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4:3 footage - Canvas size and Quicktime problems.

Hi all (I've been away for a bit),

Carried out a few searches through these boards and on the net but not quite finding any answers unfortunately.
I had to quickly run together a show reel for a new client yesterday (not that I have as yet that many clients :( ).
Alot of the work I've been doing recently is for video in 3D animation visualistions (office buildings/apartments...that type of thing).
Therefore this footage required to be in 4:3 rather than 16:9 (running After Effects/Quicktime presentations etc).

Running FCP 5, I created a new sequence and dropped in various clips from the projects into this sequence (easy set up as DV PAL - not anamorphic).
Placed a AIFF audio file as a soundtrack, rough edits to match the music, couple of titles and job done....
Whilst doing this I noticed the Canvas window was pillar boxed and wasn't able to fill the window (Fit to Window/Fit All didn't work...I could'nt find a way to enter a percentage - I required around 80% to fill it snugly).

I've always presented the work to one particular client as quicktime movie files (usually many single edits, each their own file) and they are play correctly - aspect ratio is 720 x 576 and the 4:3 format is preserved.

However, on this occasion when I'd exported to quicktime and viewed it back, quicktime presented this pillar boxed and stretched vertically?!?!?
I can alter the ratio to bring the vertical squeeze back to normal, but I've still got pillar boxes...and I somehow think this is tied into the FCP pillarboxing in the canvas window.
I've checked and checked and it's all DV PAL - anamorphic isn't checked. I was preferably to send the timeline to compressor and create a DVD...but I have a feeling this vertical stretch and pillar box would still be evident and therefore a waste of time.

Hope some light can be shed on this....and no doubt it's something very simple I've missed rather than a known bug.

Many thanks.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #2
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Hi David.

I'm not completely sure that I understand the exact problem you're running into, but if the pillarboxing is actually being "burnt in" to your final Quicktime, it sounds like much more than just a simple problem with the set-up of your canvas display.

So, let's gather a little data concerning some very simple points.

1/ When you changed your Easy Setup to DV PAL, did you then make a new sequence? If you didn't, your sequence might have the old settings of the previous Setup. Check Sequence>Settings and just verify that it is in fact DV PAL (and not anamorphic).

2/ Are you pulling sections (nesting) of other sequences into your new sequence? If so, check the settings of those other sequences and see whether they match your new one.

3/ Check your clips in the timeline. Control-click a clip in the timeline and select and look at the item properties. Make sure they match in all of the settings and make sure that there is NOT a tick on the line where it says "Anamorphic".

A DV PAL (non-anamorphic) clip placed into a DV PAL (non-anamorphic) timeline and exported under "Current settings" should give you a Quicktime without pillarboxing or letterboxing.

Unless I'm just not understanding the real problem (which is possible).
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:29 AM   #3
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Hi David - thanks for the reply (and apologies for the delay in responding...away from technology this weekend!).

You're correct in understanding the problem I'm facing and to summarise:

I wanted to create a new 4:3 sequence (a really quick showreel) from existing 4:3 sequences and projects filmed over the past few months.
I have indeed nested the clips (cut n pasting) from open timelines (have taken the clips from here as they are already edited rather than the project bins). To deliver footage to one client I merely exported each clip to Quicktime which would open correctly (4:3 no pillar boxing or indeed stretching). Easy Set up is DV PAL 48Khz - Anamorphic turned off - I have checked both the old sequences and new and they appear identical.

First thing I noticed when putting together this new sequence is the canvas window cannot be fully extended and is currently pillar boxed (set to 62% but the same clip in the original sequence is 82% and this fills the window with the correct proportions). So the Canvas window has black bars to the left and grey bars above and below. Being in a rush to show the footage to another client I continued with the new sequence.
It's only when I exported the sequence to Quicktime that I noticed that the footage was a: pillar boxed and b: stretched vertically ???

I will put together a new sequence together using the old sequences/timelines but confused as to what's happening here (having checked the settings pretty extensively).
I'll try and post a couple of snapshots if that helps?

Many thanks.
Dave,
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Old May 21st, 2007, 10:54 AM   #4
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Just to add...:

I've created a new sequence (DV pal) and dropped in clips from the old sequences in the project bin and also from the edited clips in the timeline, nesting them into a new sequence. They work fine (window is filled correctly etc) (*Pic 1).
However, when I've copied sequences from the timeline which contains the aforementioned errors then then the following happens:

I'd mentioned that the clips in the canvas are pillar boxed (although they have a Pal non anamorphic 4:3 ratio until exporting to QT when they are stretched vertically) and that I cannot fit them correctly in the window (*Pic 2). Copying these clips into my new timeline today and the canvas window shows the same clip but as with the QT export stretched vertically??? (*Pic 3)

This is no biggie as I can quickly build a new reel but it's frustrating not knowing how this would happen?

Cheers.

*Pic 1: (as it should be): http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...owfor43PAL.jpg

*Pic 2: (pillar boxed in the canvas but 4:3 ration kept until export) http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...oxedCanvas.jpg

*Pic 3: (canvas window vertically stretches clips) http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...icalStretc.jpg
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Old May 21st, 2007, 03:54 PM   #5
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Hi David.

Yes, you can definitely re-cut from scratch. But to increase your understanding ("but it's frustrating not knowing how this would happen"), perhaps page II-413 of the FCP manual can help, where it says,

"Important: Editing clips between sequences with different dimensions, frame rates, and codecs will apply motion parameters, such as distortion and aspect ratio adjustments, to the resulting clips in the destination sequence. To remove these parameters, see Volume III, Chapter 14, “Reusing Effect and Motion Parameters.”

I'm guessing that something has changed the motion parameters of the clips which you are bringing in, causing undesirable "aspect ratio adjustments".

There is a section called, "Removing Attributes From a Clip" on page III-291 of the manual. Perhaps something in this (or the surrounding pages) may provide a faster solution than re-cutting everything from scratch.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 05:08 AM   #6
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Many thanks David - I'll take a quick browse through those sections.
I guess something inadvertantly adjusted settings/parameters etc as everything else tallys up (correct setup/settings).
I'll let you know if I can resolve this conundrum!
Cheers.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #7
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Tried the 'removing attributes from a clip' option but the only box open for manipulation was Distort - checking this led the canvas view to distort the 4:3 (which is pillar boxed) vertically. I didn't have any other options available.
Definitely some kind of distort aspect ration parameter that has been applied somehow...I just cannot find a way to undo this.

Wondering if perhaps 'cut and pasting' clips from sequences in different projects might be an issue (I'd read the section on creating Master Clips and wondered whether this might be the cause, although the settings are the same for all these projects and sequences....)?

It might be best for me to place this to one side (I'm more thorough with checking cross sequence settings now however).
Cheers.
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