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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #1
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Widescreen footage in DVD Architect

I've rendered out a 4:3 project in 16:9 and want to make a test DVD, but I dont' see 16:9 options when setting properties or in the optimization area, what am I missing?

Last edited by Jeff Harper; May 5th, 2008 at 01:16 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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In both DVDA 4.0 & 4.5, look in the "Properties - Video Format" drop down box.
There's settings for both NTSC & PAL widescreen.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #3
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thanks mike. The settings offered included for widescreen in DVDA are only 720x480, which confused me. I expected the width needed to be larger because I'm rendering 16:9. I'm know nothing about widescreen vs 4:3 and sure have a lot to learn.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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thanks mike. The settings offered included for widescreen in DVDA are only 720x480, which confused me. I expected the width needed to be larger because I'm rendering 16:9. I'm know nothing about widescreen vs 4:3 and sure have a lot to learn.
It's 720x480 because widescreen on DVD's is anamorphic, which means that it's stretched out horizontally on playback. This is done so that the full resolution of the NTSC standard can be used to encode the video even when it is going to end up covering less of the screen. This is much better, quality-wise, than simply adding black bars to your 4:3 in post and rendering out as 4:3 with bars, even though you'd otherwise get the same results. Make sense?

Also note that if there's any chance whatsoever of your widescreen DVD's being played on widescreen TV's, anamorphic is definitely the way to go. It will fill the screen, whereas 4:3 video with hard-coded letterbox will be both letterboxed and pillarboxed--in other words, there will be a black border on all four sides. Not good.

If you're new to all this, it can definitely be a little confusing at first.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #5
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Actually Jarrod, I don't understand. I have difficulty understanding concepts sometimes, which often are abstract to me until put into practice.

Can you say that I'm on the right path by rendering 4:3 footage out to 16:9 then dragging it into Architect? It won't be distorted? It will just have black bars on the sides?

Thanks for your help.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #6
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Fair enough, we can't all be technical wizards. :) You'll get the hang of it though--it's one of those things that seems really simple after you get used to it.

As long as you're rendering using a 16:9 template and then using a 16:9 project template in DVDA, you should be fine. Here's the test: when you play back your rendered video in, say, Windows Media Player, does it look all squished-up and skinny, filling your 4:3 screen? If so, that's anamorphic, and as long as you select a 16:9 project template in DVDA, DVD players will stretch the video back out for you when the disc is played.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #7
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Thank you Jarrod. I'm rendering the full project out now and will follow your instructions. I'm waiting for the render now.

Best Regards, Jeff
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #8
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OK, I just read your other thread and here's where you're going wrong: you can't just render out 4:3 to 16:9 without cropping it, because Vegas will have no idea which part of the 4:3 image you want in the 16:9 frame. You have to crop your 4:3 video before you render, and then your final product will fill a 16:9 screen AND be letterboxed automatically on a 4:3 TV. You do NOT want there to black bars on the sides of the image--that way it won't look right on any TV.

Here's the whole process:
1) go into event pan/crop for one of your clips
2) select the 16:9 drop-down template
3) close the pan/crop window
4) right-click on the clip you just cropped and select "copy"
5) select all of your other clips
6) right click on them and select "paste event attributes."
7) you can adjust the framing of each clip individually by going into event pan/crop for that clip and moving the crop guides up and down
7) render using a 16:9 template
8) import into DVDA and select a 16:9 project template.

This is much easier if you shoot 16:9 on your camera of course, but if that's impossible for whatever reason, this is the way to go about doing 16:9 with 4:3 footage. Try going through these steps, and if you have any trouble feel free to report back here. :)
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #9
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The black bars on the sides of the images won't be the same color black as the bars on top and bottom will they?

My reasoning was that on my HD tv I watch SD programs that have black bars on sides and tops all of the time (I don't like stretched images), and that to a customer it would not be that unusual; at least the image wouldn't be stretched.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #10
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The black bars on the sides of the images won't be the same color black as the bars on top and bottom will they?

My reasoning was that on my HD tv I watch SD programs that have black bars on sides and tops all of the time (I don't like stretched images), and that to a customer it would not be that unusual; at least the image wouldn't be stretched.
The problem with that approach is that your footage will have black bars on all four sides when you watch them on a 4:3 TV, and you're also going to be taking a massive hit with regard to resolution. If you need to preserve your 4:3 aspect ratio on 16:9 TV's, it's better by far to render as 4:3 and maybe put a little "warning" text at the beginning asking people please not to play it back stretched out on 16:9 TV's. I agree with you about that, by the way; I want to slap people when I see them doing this. :)

There are really only two ways to get decent quality on both types of TV's without adding an ugly black border all the way around the image on one of the two formats: regular 4:3 or the cropped-to-16:9 anamorphic process I've described. Going about it any other way is going to be a bad idea, at least until 4:3 TV's have disappeared from the Earth--and by then, we'll all be shooting native 16:9 anyway.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #11
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I hear you.

Unfortunately the current project is too complex to crop and adjust individual clips for the time I have left to work on it.

I start a new project tomorrow, I can't wait to try out this new way. thanks again!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #12
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In that case, I'd recommend outputting at 4:3 and including some text along the lines of "This DVD is formatted to play in the 4:3 aspect ratio. If you are watching it on a 16:9 television, please adjust your playback settings in order to view the image as it was intended to be seen."

It's a far from perfect solution, but at least there's hope of your clients watching the footage the right way. :) Good luck with the cropping on your next project--but be aware that you do lose a little resolution that way, and so it's probably high time to start thinking about upgrading your cameras so you can shoot in 16:9 to begin with.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #13
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Good luck with the cropping on your next project--but be aware that you do lose a little resolution that way, and so it's probably high time to start thinking about upgrading your cameras so you can shoot in 16:9 to begin with.
Keep in mind, also, that you don't have to make the expensive jump into HD in order to shoot 16:9. There are a number of very affordable and capable standard def cameras that shoot in 16:9 (true 16:9, not just adding black bars on top and bottom like some older cams did). This would preserve the quality of your original captures, limit the amount of money you need to spend right now, give you a somewhat wider field of view and still allow you a high level of compatibility for your output.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #14
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Agreed. But really, there's no reason not to buy an HD camera at this point in time if in fact you're ready to buy. They're just as cheap as 16:9 SD cams and are a little more future-proof. If you already have a 16:9-capable SD camera and aren't quite ready to upgrade yet, that's a different story.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #15
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Agreed. But really, there's no reason not to buy an HD camera at this point in time if in fact you're ready to buy. They're just as cheap as 16:9 SD cams and are a little more future-proof. If you already have a 16:9-capable SD camera and aren't quite ready to upgrade yet, that's a different story.
I was thinking of the fact that he needs to replace 4 cameras. I can buy 4 very capable SD cameras that shoot true 16:9 for just a bit more than the cost of one HD cam. They won't be professional level cams, but they'll get the job done. And the leap to HD means an investment in computer hardware and editing software beyond the cost of just the cameras. I was lucky in that my move to HD was almost completely paid for by the project I am currently shooting, but it was inevitable regardless because of the market I am competing for work in.
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