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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.

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Old August 9th, 2006, 09:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 73
Widescreen effect


I would like to have the film-look widescreen technique of having the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen when I put onto DVD. Now I know I can add this in post, but I need to frame the image when shooting by putting black tape over the viewfinder or monitor, which I don’t want to do.

Now I’m shooting using the PD150 and I know it doesn’t have true 16:9 capabilities, it just stretches you image, BUT when I look through the viewfinder the black bars are there. That’s what I would like to show up when I put on a 16:9 TV, but it doesn’t, it fills the whole screen.

What are the best ways of achieving this?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Last edited by Simon Antoniou; August 9th, 2006 at 10:15 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 11:47 AM   #2
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What editing software are you using.

If it is Premiere Pro, you can look for "Video Effects", then I think "Distort" then "Transform" then bring up the effects control from the "Window" dropdown.

In Premier 6.1, I think you have to look for "Effects", then "Perspective" then "Transform" in the "Perspective" menu. There is another unrelated "Transform" function elsewhere in there which gets a bit confusing.

Drag your chosen effect down to the timeline onto the clip you want to letterbox. You will need to do this for each clip. There may be a way of globally doing it but I know it not.

You should see a dropdown tile, which should offer a Height and Width choice. You may have to click on a little triangle arrow to open that choice. Once you have that, choose the height box and replace "100.0" with "75.0", then render preview or export.

If you mix native 16:9 and electronically stretched 16:9 from two different camera types you can get frame size mismatches. This can still be adjusted by the same general method but is a little more complex to achieve.

You may get a quality falloff in Premiere 6.1, because you may be locked into the MicrosoftDV compression codec. If you have After-Effects, you have choices of selecting a higher quality to apply effects in then render in that quality. Subsequent export back to Microsoft DV or a DVD compatable MPEG2 filetype from After-effects will give a better result. AE is a higher science than I have the knowing of, so wait for the advice of others in this regard.

There are better brains than mine at play in this place who will likely add something soon enough.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 09:04 AM   #3
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Thanks Bob

I plan to use Avid Liquid, as I want the DVD authoring all in one. I’m sure I can do the similar tasks of what you are explaining.

So you're saying in post I can add the bars without losing image, therefore not having to frame for the bars during shooting?

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