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Old October 25th, 2004, 09:15 PM   #1
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Black bars in rendered Quicktime files

Ok, so whenever I convert something to a quicktime file, using Vegas 4, I get black bars at the top and bottom of the image. I don't mean letterboxing, 'cause it does it whether it's 4:3 or 16:9; doesn't quite fill the viewing space in the quicktime player.

(check out the link to my quicktime reel, in my signature below, to see what I mean)

I've played with different sized video (352 x 240 gives the smallest bars), as well as codecs (using sorenson 3 right now), and pixel aspect ratios (.909 seems to give best results). Haven't gotten rid of the bars yet.

Am I doing something wrong, or what? I only have the ability to encode in QT 5 from Vegas 4.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 02:53 PM   #2
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Anyone? Anyone?
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Old October 26th, 2004, 03:11 PM   #3
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Does your encoder give you the ability to Crop your movie? If so, simply crop to remove the bars.

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Old October 26th, 2004, 03:14 PM   #4
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Not that I know of. . .is the a QT encoder, the way there's a Windows Media Player Encoder? I'm using Vegas 4, and there's no crop option, or croption (tee hee).
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Old October 26th, 2004, 05:22 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if the following will help you, but I had black letterbox bars in my QT files (just like my 4:3 format video with a widescreen image inside it with black bars), and wanted to get rid of them, using Vegas and the build in QT encoder.

I did the following although I'm not sure if that's the best way to do it:
- use one of the effects that comes with Vegas to stretch the video vertically at the preview window so that the black letterbox bars are pushed out of the frame - you're preview screen gets deformed (long, small heads etc).
- before rendering to QT, change the output format in the QT render settings (not the projectsettings!) to i.e. 288 x 180 using the customize format settings. When you render, mark the "stretch video to fill output frame size" and that function will squeeze the video back to the desired format but without the bars.

Check the movies BitterSweet and Arenahoj Part 2 at my website down below to see the results of this route.

Peter
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Old October 26th, 2004, 06:22 PM   #6
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Dude, you're a genius!

I didn't use your method, exactly, but it seems fixed.

I didn't notice that "stretch output to fill blah blah" option until you mentioned it. I checked it, and also set the "frame size" to "project settings." Seems to have done the trick.
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Old October 26th, 2004, 06:36 PM   #7
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Ok, I lied.

The bars are the smallest they've ever been, but they're still visible. I'd say acceptably visible. The one on the bottom might be the bar the XL1s generates in frame mode (several pixels high), but there's still one about the same width on the top. Is this normal? Am I just being too anal? Does it even matter? Will the guy looking at my work online/on a CD go "this assclown has a black border around his stuff? Screw him! He can't shoot worth a damn!"

Sounds like your method was for getting QT not to letterbox when you shot in 16:9, but I'm getting these bars even in 4:3.

Here's a still from a QT file with the problem:

http://www.joshbass.com/qt_bar.jpg
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Old October 27th, 2004, 01:23 AM   #8
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Hi John,

I am a genius and you are a lair? Don't think so ;-)

I am not a XL1S owner and also not a NTSC user, so it's hard to say anything specific about your problem. If you have 4:3 material and work with an NTSC 4:3 project setting from Vegas, it should be okay. You are using the frame-mode of the XL1S, does that require the "progressive" setting (as the opposite of lower/upper field at the interlaced setting)?

If you only think about outputting to dvd or a dv-tape, your blacks bars will stay outside the safe area, so you won't see them on normal tv's and beamers. But for Quicktime compression (web, cd-rom etc) it's annoying.

Somehow I think your problem also could be caused by wrong pixel sizes and aspect ratio, but using default project settings may not cause them I think, so I'm confused....

I would advise to contact Rob Lohman (he's often on these boards), I remember he has some web-calculation system about pixel sizes and pixel count etc. somewhere on the internet. He's also an XL1S user, that might help even more.

Best,

Peter
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Old October 27th, 2004, 01:42 AM   #9
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Yeah, I think that was for his mattes, though, but maybe you're talking about something else.

Yes, the clip I showed you was frame mode. Yes, I'm mainly thinking of web distribution, or at least computer distribution.

As I said, I tried other pixel aspect ratios, and they just do weird things. .909 seems to be the right one.
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Old October 27th, 2004, 01:58 AM   #10
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Hi Josh,

I just send Rob an email to make him aware of this thread, hopefuly he can shine some light on the weird problem you have.
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Old October 27th, 2004, 02:37 AM   #11
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Sweet. Thanks.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 08:14 AM   #12
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And here I am <g> What you are describing is known as pillar
boxing. Where there are black bars on the side of a picture.

The XL1S does a bit of pillar boxing on its own. So that would
be "normal" (you can get rid of it for QuickTime). So is this your
problem or does the QuickTime encoding introduce "more" boxing?
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