Aspect Ratio 16:9
Hope this is the right place for this question - and I dont come across as too stupid!!
In the past I have been asked to create a short advert in PAL 16:9. We filmed and edited in 16:9 - DSR450 & FCP & AE Pro. It looked totally fine in the edit and when I dumped it to Beta SP - UVW1800 - it seemed ok.
This Sp was then transfered to Digi - the format needed to broadcast the advert - which was performed by another company - so I never got to see the Digi version. This Digi was then sent to the broadcastor and when I saw the advert on TV, the whole thing was larger than it should have been - with the text at the very edge of the screen/safe areas - even though in the edit the text was miles inside. I am not sure why this happened.
To confirm, when editing in FCP, the footage should looked stretched vertically on a 4:3 monitor, until I press the aspect button - then the bars should come in and create the right aspect ratio. Similarly, when I dump to SP, the image as 16:9 should appear strecthed also. And then the broadcasting company's output should sort the ratio to look ok on screen?!
I will also post this in the FCP forum - and I hope I have given you enough info.
Hope you can help.
The UVW can't handle 16:9. How did you check the SP master?
"So you want to throw out the old you - but the old you is old enough to know it won't make it better"
Del Amitri - "Make it Better"
It's quite obvious what occured here.
1) Somewhere in the chain of distribution the anamorphic material had a centercut extraction done which in effect cut off the text which had been composed for the 16x9 aspect ratio.
Who is to blame here well sorry to say but it all started either before or during post production.
First of all if the deliverables were to be both 16x9 and 4x3 (which a majority of shows must comply with 4x3 delivery) then it was the responsibility of the production company or editorial facility to create text within the 4x3 title safe area (center cut) to avoid cutting off the text and/or create two separate versions of the show. The first 16x9 and the second 4x3 which means two separate text passes to compose for the different aspect ratios.
Another easier option would have been to create a letterbox version from the 16x9 anamorphic version but not all broadcasters might be willing to accept a letterbox program in lieu of a full screen 4x3 center cut version.
So in a nutshell the lesson to be learned here is to always get the broadcast specs including aspect ratio deliverable in writing well ahead of shooting.
The best method to avoid a mess in the end is to start at the end of the chain and work backward to fill in the gaps.
No such thing as fix it in post (at least not cheaply or without major headaches).