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Old April 7th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #1
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Free Letterbox Squeeze Software?

Please forgive me if I posted this in the wrong section. What I'm looking for is either a free program or plugin for Adobe Premiere or Photoshop which can squeeze (not crop) my footage to 1:85 letterbox. I'm a windows user and I couldn't find anything (for free) on my own, but was wondering if any of you know of anything.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 06:15 AM   #2
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You should be able to do that yourself. Unfortunately I'm not using Premiere so
I can't give you exact instructions.

Usually what you need to do is scale / resize your footage vertically. What
resolution is your source and what resolution / format do you need to go to?
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #3
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My source is a 720x480 avi and I'd like to have the final output be that way. Basically I'm just trying to give it the appearance of a 1:85 frame for display, but I can't really afford to crop and lose the information in frame so I'd just like to squeeze it to that size.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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I'm not 100% sure what you are trying to do. If you do not have a 16:9
anamorphic capable camera the squeeze will most likely not do anything for
you since the source is 4:3.

The reason is that if you want a 16:9 aspect ratio from a 4:3 source you will
always crop and loose information. No way around that.

In theory using a squeeze in such a situation might slightly help in MPEG
compression for DVD, but that has never been proven (as far as I know).
Scaling up will soften the picture as well.

If the source is 16:9 anamorphic then of course you want to keep it squeezed.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #5
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It was all shot 4:3. This footage is going to be projected and I was told that it would be projected at 1:85, which would mean I'd have to crop my 4:3 video to that aspect ratio. The reason I'd want to do the 1:85 letterbox squeeze though is since I'd have the two bars that would be the only thing to get cropped out and not the actual video...or at least I think.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 08:21 PM   #6
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Okay, so if I'm understanding correctly (and please tell me if I'm off), you have a video you shot in 4:3 and you'd like to crop it into a wide aspect ratio? After you crop it, you don't want the black bars at the top and bottom, so you want to vertically stretch it again?

If that's what you're trying to do, it's pretty easy. Just open a 16:9 project in Premiere and import the video, then scale it so the top and bottom are being cropped - if you search this site, there's a thred somewhere that tells you the exact number of pixels to stretch it by.
After that, you can use the motion controls to move it up or down for better composition if you want and then just export it in a 4:3 aspect ratio and it will be stetched and if projected or played back on a device that can squeeze it down (or a widescreen tv) it should appear normally.

However, I don't get what you mean by saying: "I'd have the two bars that would be the only thing to get cropped out and not the actual video...or at least I think." so if you could elaborate on that it would be helpful.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #7
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The footage was shot 4:3. It can only be projected in a 1:85 ratio and I'd like to do that without anything I filmed being cropped out. I thought one way to make sure nothing gets cut out is to squeeze letterbox the footage rather than cropping it. That way nothing I shot will be cut out, it will just be squashed into a 1:85 frame. What I meant when I said nothing but the black bars will be cropped is that will be the only thing cut off when projected and not the stuff I recorded.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 10:53 PM   #8
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Well you could squeeze 4:3 into a 16:9 shape, but everyone is going to look short and fat. Circles will be horizongal ovals, and squares will be rectangles. It'll be very noticible and will detract from your production a lot. Not sure how to do it with free tools, but I'd reccomend against it even if you find something.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 04:41 AM   #9
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The terms squeezed and letterbox refer to two different widescreen presentations, and are making your question confusing. To fulfill your criteria of not cropping anything AND presenting in 1.85:1 PLUS the criteria of not squashing your image you can create a 16:9 project and center your 4:3 footage in that. You'll have black bars on both sides which nobody will see when projected. It's not a sexy as widescreen, but you don't lose any info by cropping and you keep the best quiality image possible since you avoid scaling.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 08:58 AM   #10
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I think there is horizontal rescaling involved. The 720 horizontal pixels are reduced first to 540 in pilarbox modes. Fortunately, horizontal rescaling is often much easier (and better) than to vertically rescale interlaced video.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 10:45 AM   #11
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Old April 11th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Foley
The footage was shot 4:3. It can only be projected in a 1:85 ratio and I'd like to do that without anything I filmed being cropped out. I thought one way to make sure nothing gets cut out is to squeeze letterbox the footage rather than cropping it. That way nothing I shot will be cut out, it will just be squashed into a 1:85 frame. What I meant when I said nothing but the black bars will be cropped is that will be the only thing cut off when projected and not the stuff I recorded.
But your geometry will be screwed up - circles appearing as ovals and people looking like they've suddenly put on 20 pounds. Do you really want that?
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