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16:9 to 4:3 ? how do you do this ?

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16:9 to 4:3 ? how do you do this ?
on Jan 7, 2007 at 11:16:49 am

Hello all,
I am in Australia, and work in PAL 720 X 576. When attempting to convert a clip which is widescreen ( 16:9 ) back to a 4:3 aspect ratio, every single converter that I have tried converts the black bars on top and below the horizontal filmstrip, because it thinks it's part of the clip. What I'm trying to do, is convert the " film " part, and have it fill my 4:3 monitor.
Even Canopus Pro Coder gets " sucked in ". The conversion doesn't really change what you see- a horizontal movie strip on a black screen.
Not wanting to spend the gross national debt of Australia, by going to a production house,to convert a 10 second clip, I thought I'd give you guys a try.
Seems to me, it can't be done. Lots of pixelation/distortion/loss of quality etc etc. Guess you can't turn apples into oranges.
In a world now littered with widescreen monitors and tv's, whilst lots of artwork ( still pics ) are still in 4:3 dimensions, I guess I simply don't know what other people do !! I'm not going to change all my archives of stuff, just because of these damn widescreen monitors and tv's !!
Any help would be appreciated, and thanks for listening.

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Charles Simonson
Re: 16:9 to 4:3 ? how do you do this ?
on Jan 8, 2007 at 9:06:03 pm

I am kind of confused as to what you are attempting here. So, are you trying to convert an anamorphic or square-pixel widescreen clip to 4:3 by cropping off the original letterboxing (ie the source displays widescreen 16:9 but has letterboxing because the original film aspect ratio was wider) and then stretching this to fill a 4:3 image, or are you trying to convert this to 4:3 by removing the letterboxing and also some of the side content, giving you a true 4:3 Pan-n-Scan look?

I have had lots of problems in the past with ProCoder and cropping/scaling. Its a great app for encoding and applying some filters to a source, but this is definitely one area where it comes up short on. If you have access to a mac, I would highly recommend trying Episode from Flip4Mac. If not, then I would suggest trying VirtualDub. This may be a two part process, where you will need to first crop the black bars from the 16:9 image and export, and then use this source to scale the video to your desired size.

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