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Old May 2nd, 2007, 01:35 PM   #1
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Do I choose 4:3 or 16:9 or 25 or 6 to 4?

Help please, this is driving me nuts.
Could someone list the rules on how to set properties for editng and outputting based on various source footage?

I have a Sony A1U. I always shoot in HDV (16:9), but captured as DV, also 16:9, but have some additional footage that's in 4:3.

I was using the Vegas DV 16:9 setting, then outputting as Achitect 16:9 and havinf problems with some cropping. A rule book that cover this and other scenarios would be great.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 01:41 PM   #2
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Showing my age, Paul. I got your Chicago reference.

Wait-ing for the break-of-day...

Mixing 16:9 and 4:3 in the same project is always a challenge. Basically, you have to decide if you want to pillarbox the 4:3 in a 16:9 frame, letterbox the 16:9 in a 4:3 frame, crop the sides of 16:9 to fit in a 4:3 frame, or crop the top/bottom of 4:3 to make it 16:9.

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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:01 PM   #3
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Greg, I'm glad someone here is as old as me. So, what is the key control that lets me make this decision.? Is it the Vegas Properties Template that effect the ooutcome, or is it the choice I make when I render?
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:31 PM   #4
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Hey, me too!
LOL!!!

Okay, so your basic frame aspect ratios are really only 4:3 for standard def and 16:9 for high def television.

The others are all cinema projection ratios, and will be taken down, either by using various masks, or by panning-and-scanning (full screen) to either the 4:3 SD or 16:9 HD aspect ratios, depending on where you're airing.

That's for broadcast television.

For DVD you also have the option of a SD anamorphic format, which is basically 16:9 on Standard Def. This will show as a letterboxed frame on regular 4:3 TV sets but as a widescreen show on the 16:9 sets, using your regular SD DVD as playback.

Assuming you're in 4;3, you'll need to either reduce your 16:9 footage and letterbox, or lop off the sides of the image and go full frame 4:3.

If you're in 16:9, you'll either have to pillarbox your 4:3 footage or blow it up to cover the 16:9 frame, thereby lopping off the top and bottom of your original 4:3 frame.

While originally the aspects denoted various creative or production budget choices (widescreen for action or vistas, upright for more dramatic shows), now it's pretty much either one flavor or the other.

And pretty much it's all going to be 16:9 in the future, when the 4:3 eventually goes away.

Which one to choose? I'd say lay it and play it. Pick a scene or two, and make a short DVD of the same scene, one in 4:3 and one in 16:9 and watch it, maybe do a blind test and see what the reactions are. On some shows, it's definitely better to go widescreen, others not.

I just did a widescreen show with a lot of 4:3 "news" footage cut in it, fake TV bugs and all. Looked great, and it was easy to tell the "on TV" stuff from the rest of the movie, just by the pillarboxing.

It's a tool in your palette, like many others.

Don't know about your NLE, but in mine what I do is to make a new project, set the aspect ratio in that project, and then import the footage and convert to taste.

You can mix resolutions in some programs, but I prefer, for my own sanity, to keep things separate.

HTH
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