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Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS

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nothingboyPixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 22, 2008 at 5:46:03 pm


I'm about to kill my computer.

I'm in After Effects CS3 and I'm using Photoshop CS3. My photoshop images default to square pixel aspect ratio.

I import the files and the dreaded warping occurs. I have my "toggle pixel aspect ratio correction" button which should be helpful but isn't.

If I'm in
preset NTSC DV
Pixel Aspect Ratio D1/DV NTSC (0.9)

should i adjust my photoshop layers within photoshop to that aspect ratio? Or should i KEEP IT AT SQUARE PIXELS.

Thanks for any help guys.


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Steve RobertsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 22, 2008 at 5:57:38 pm

Your Photoshop images should be 720x540 square pixels, or 720x480 non-square-pixel (.9). Don't mix those up.

If the 720x540 has a few pixels out of frame, don't worry about those -- let them go out of frame. (it's because DV has had a few pixels lopped off its frame size -- long story)

Either size I listed above will be appropriately adjusted in the AE comp.



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zeke meginskyRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 2:15:01 pm

Hi, Steve. I saw this thread while looking up Pixel Aspect Ratio in Google. You seem like you know what you're talking about. This PAR stuff is driving me crazy. I just want to make sure my pictures look as proportionate as possible (and sometimes it's hard to tell).

So if I have a big picture that is in square pixels and was taken with a normal digital camera, what should I do with it? If I want it to fill the screen (NTSC DV), I should make it 720x540, not 720x480? That is where I've gotten confused. Because some people say to make it to 720x480..

And if I want to do any zooming or panning on it, then After Affects will take care of it as long as I specify that it was originally square pixeled?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 2:39:33 pm

[zeke meginsky] "If I want it to fill the screen (NTSC DV), I should make it 720x540, not 720x480? That is where I've gotten confused. Because some people say to make it to 720x480."

...and those people would be right. This assumes, of course, that you're required to DELIVER 720x480 video.

AE's really good about handling standard pixel aspect ratios properly. You can put a square-pixel image from a still camera in a narrow-pixel 720x480 comp with no problems. You can mix different pixel aspect ratios in the same comp with no problems.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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zeke meginskyRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 3:57:07 pm

Thanks. What if I'm just going to show the picture with no movement? Should I still bring it into After Effects for the ease of the PAR correction?

I've been getting really confused in Photoshop as to how I'm supposed to set the pictures up..


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Dave LaRondeRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 4:09:41 pm

Since I don't know what you intend to DO with these stills, I can't answer that question. You haven't said anything about how you're going to use the images. You haven't said what you're going to deliver.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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zeke meginskyRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 4:40:32 pm

Okay. They will be used in a Final Cut Pro project. I'm going to just show some of them on the screen while someone else talks about them. It's used in a documentary-type project, and the final output will be DVD, regular size (not widescreen).


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Dave LaRondeRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 5:02:18 pm

If you're more comfortable using photoshop and you know how how to do it properly, do it in photoshop.

I'm not photoshop-comfy. I'd import the whole bunch of pictures into AE, put them in an NTSC DV comp, select them all, make them 1 frame long, use the Sequence Layers keyframe assistant, then scale & position each to taste. AFter that, I'd render a PNG Image sequence.

In FCP preferences somewhere, you can adjust the default length of each image, or just leave it at 10 secs and just drag one end to make it longer.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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zeke meginskyRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 5:04:52 pm

Okay. Good idea, I'll have to figure out the Image Sequence thing. Still learning AE. Thanks.


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Steve RobertsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on May 18, 2011 at 8:12:23 pm

Dave's right. As long as you interpret a square-pixel photo as that, AE will import it at proper proportions. When you drag it into a DV non-square pixel comp, AE takes care of the business and has your back. If you want to scale the pic, scale it uniformly. You may have some cropping.

Look up pixel aspect ratio correction as well.



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zeke meginskyRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jun 22, 2011 at 1:31:36 pm

Hey Dave. If I rendered a PNG sequence and did what you said, set them at 1 frame each, to get all these still images in the right ratio for use in the project, what would the file be like coming into FCP? Would it be just a movie, or would all the images be separate files?

I'm confused because you talked about the FCP preferences settings being changable as far as the default length, but what settings are these? Settings for PNG sequences? And where are they? Thanks.

I'm just trying to understand what I'm going to do ahead of time (I don't have a lot of time with this computer that has AE).


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Dave LaRondeRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 22, 2008 at 6:08:59 pm

Don't worry about it. AE is really good at compensating for pixel aspect ratio.

Let's say you have a square-pixel photoshop document that's lots bigger than your comp, and you want to animate scale and position. Don't sweat it: just import it, add it do your NTSC DV preset comp and animate away. It'll be right.

You use the pixel aspect ratio compensation switch when you're working with COMPS, not viewing individual pieces of footage. When the switch is toggled one way, the picture looks aliased, but in the proper aspect ratio. When it's toggled the other way, everything is nice & smooth, but horizontally distorted.

But when it's rendered, it's nice & smooth AND in the proper aspect ratio.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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Steve RobertsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 22, 2008 at 6:13:50 pm

Ah. I was assuming that you wanted your images to fill the frame.

If you don't want that, then go ahead and make them any size and pixel aspect ratio you want -- AE will make them look right.



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Brendan CootsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 23, 2008 at 9:09:37 am

Yeah, a lot of the PAR confusion comes into play when people design their graphics at the actual dimensions of the video. AE assumes any source material (stills included) that is 720x480 (or other standard broadcast sizes), is a video source and not square pixel, so it will try to apply aspect correction.

The easiest way around this is to always design your images a little bigger, maybe by 5 pixels all around, so that AE will leave them square pixel and everything works intuitively.


Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Steve RobertsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 23, 2008 at 2:22:50 pm

[Brendan Coots] "The easiest way around this is to always design your images a little bigger, maybe by 5 pixels all around, so that AE will leave them square pixel and everything works intuitively.
"


Sorry, no, if you're working in 4:3 NTSC, and you want your square-pixel Photoshop images to fill the frame, they should be a multiple of 4x3: 720x540 or 648x486.

If you take 720x480 and add a few pixels to make them (for example) 725x485, yes, they will be interpreted by AE as square pixel, but they will be too wide for the 4:3 frame shape, giving you space at the top and bottom. Use 720x540 or 648x486.

(For widescreen, the screen in square pixels is a multiple of 16x9: 864x486.)

Search the COW for Rick Gerard's "Pixel Madness" or "Dr. Strangepixel" tutorial for more.





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Brendan CootsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 24, 2008 at 1:18:53 am

? If I drop a 723x483 image into a 720x480 comp, the excess 3 pixels are cropped off on all edges, and I am left with a perfectly centered, edge-to-edge file. Sure, if you want to scale the file to fit EXACTLY this wouldn't be the best way, but you wouldn't need to scale it down since you are only adding a few pixels - the extra pixels are just hanging outside of the viewer.


Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Steve RobertsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jan 24, 2008 at 3:12:03 am

Note: i am assuming that the original poster is using square pixels in Photoshop for his images.

A 723x483 square-pixel image would indeed fit into a 720x480 square-pixel comp as you say.

However, I ask you to name the number of times that a 720x480 square-pixel comp would be used. As you know, 720x480 is only used in a non-square pixel context, with a PAR of .9, or more correctly, 10/11.

Consider this: a correct square-pixel comp for 4:3 TV is 640x480, 648x486 or 720x540. All those are multiples of 4x3. However, 720x480, square-pixel, is not a multiple of 4x3 -- it is more like 4.5x3, which is too long.

So a 720x480 square-pixel image would not fill a DV (720x480, non-square PAR) comp, even if a few pixels were added, because it would be too long. All square-pixel images, to fill a 4x3 comp, must have dimensions that are a multiple of 4x3, at least 640x480 for DV, and 648x486 for D1.



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jojo galanRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 2:54:39 am

Hello,

I am working in Adobe After Effects CS5.
I have a video file recorded in a DVX100B:

according to after effects the video has specs of:
720x480 (0.91) separating (lower)
23.976 fps 3:2 removal (http://WWWSW) - 24p Advance

What is the best timeline/composition to edit in?
I am currently using a DV Timeline 720 x 480 - 3:2

Why do I have to use a square pixel aspect ratio on the timeline for the video to look right on export. Why can't I use a DV aspect ratio?

Thanks


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Dave LaRondeRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 3:38:08 pm

You ARE using a DV pixel aspect ratio. You're just farting around with the comp window's pixel aspect ratio compensation switch, bud.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Steve RobertsRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 4:26:28 pm

Yes. Import the video clip and drag it onto the New Composition button at the bottom of the Project window. The comp will be right.

The movie that you render will look right on TVs and DVDs but too wide when viewed on a computer. If you want the final product to be viewed on a computer (internet, flash, quicktime, etc.), you need to re-render the final movie to one of those 4:3 square pixel sizes such as 640x480, 320x240, whatever.



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jojo galanRe: Pixel Aspect Ratio MADNESS
by on Jun 7, 2010 at 5:07:32 pm

Thank You Steve for being considerate and patient.

When you say TV, does that mean RCA inputs, or older TV? Because I look at the video through the HDMI on my TV and it still looks stretched.



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