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Help - DVD Studio Pro cropping off edge of film

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Lulu Malmgren
Help - DVD Studio Pro cropping off edge of film
on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:34:48 pm

Hi there,

I've shot a film with a mini DV NTSC camera, in 16:9 aspect ratio.

Have edited the film in FCP 6, now trying to author a DVD for distribution.

Have been advised to avoid exporting through compressor as DVD Studio Pro 4 compresses anyway, so might as well avoid compressing twice.

So was advised to do a simple QT export - no conversion - and drag and drop that .mov file into DVDSP.

Only thing is, when I go to export with a QT movie export, keeping it as "current settings", the QT export isn't anamorphic. Which should I use? DV NTSC 48Khz? or do I need to tell it to be anamorphic again?

(I've been reading about how dv doesn't really shoot in anamorphic, that it is a bit of a trick.)

I have played around with a couple of settings and found a few ways tp get an anamorphic export, but as I'm having trouble (see below) with DVDSP, I'm wondering what's the official way to do a simple QT movie export, with my footage in mind.

Basically, with DVDSP I'm obviously missing something as the final burnt DVD is always cropping about an inch of the frame (both full screen and half size view). I've looked back at the QT .mov file, and nothing is being cropped. Even in the DVD simulator nothing is cropped?!

In DVDSP, ive set the preferences, and the menu and track settings to 16:9 i'm thinking that something is not right with the exports. Hence wondering which QT export setting I should use.

So basically,

a) I've shot in mini DV NTSC anamorphic and want to get a simple QuickTime movie export without it reverting back to 4:3 - which settings should i select?


b) why does DVDSP 4 crop about an inch off the frame of the final burnt DVD?

Really would love any feedback,

(and merry xmas by the way!)


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Michael Sacci
Re: Help - DVD Studio Pro cropping off edge of film
on Dec 24, 2009 at 5:32:19 pm

Okay a lot of misinformation here.

Some DV cameras do shot in true anamorphic WS, these are normally the higher end cameras. So the first question is how was it shot, captured and edited. What is you sequence settings in FCP. If you shot 16:9 letterbox you are dealing with a 4:3 image that just has the black bars on it, to get that to a true anamorphic you need to do a center crop and zoom in 133% as well as change the pixel aspect ratio.

It is almost always better to encode in Compressor before going to DVDSP, DVDSP does not re-encode these files.

So ...
a) You need to list your seq settings, if you are editing on a anamorphic timeline then all you need to do is export a self contained movie. IF you open this up in QT player it may display as 4:3 but it should look squished. Remember the pixel count of 4:3 and 16:9 is exactly the same (720x480) it is just the shape of the pixels that are different.

Then you encode this movie with 16:9 settings in Compressor, and in DVDSP the video track should automatically show up as 16:9 Letterbox (if it doesn't change it to that)

b) you need to give more discription. Is this cropping happening when viewing a DVD on a TV or the qt file. What sides are getting cropped.

If you can post stills of a frame off timeline in FCP and then one of the encoded mov it would be helpful

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Lulu Malmgren
Re: Help - DVD Studio Pro cropping off edge of film
on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:04:36 pm

Hey great!

Ok so it's not a high end camera. 15 year old Sony handheld.

In the camera settings I go to 'camera set' and turn on the '16:9wide' setting.

Importing - well, when I go to 'easy set up', format is set to "all", use is set to "custom". The sequence and capture presets say DV NTSC 48 khz Anamorphic.

The sequence settings say:
Frame Size - 720 x 480
Aspect Ratio - NTSC DV (3:2)
Pixel Aspect Ratio - NTSC - CCIR 601 / DV (720 / 480)
Anamorphic 16:9 - is ticked
Field Dominance - Lower Even

Quicktime Video settings:
Compressor - DV/DVCPRO - NTSC

In FCP the footage looks anamorphic in the viewer and canvas.

I've attached 3 images of a still from my film. 'Original' is from the canvas in FCP. Quicktime, is from a QT export. And, 'DVD' is from a burnt DVD with DVDSP.

So basically you can see that the DVD is missing the whole edge of the frame. If you look at the tree on the left, there is almost an inch of the image missing from above the persons head. Plus, in the DVD image, the guy in the grey t-shirt at the top right, he is the last person in the frame, whereas in the original and QT images there is another person next to him. They have been cut out of the DVD image.

When i go back to DVDSP, it's almost like the image outside of the title safe area is missing.

But i do find it strange, the in fcp you can see it all, QT you can see it all, in DVDSP you can see it all (both in the viewer and in the simulator), it's just when you burn the DVD all 4 sides get cropped.

OK so the DVD issue is the same on my computer and TV.

So maybe because it isn't true anamorphic, something is going array when the DVD burns with the anamorphic settings in DVDSP.

Your advice to do "a center crop and zoom in 133% as well as change the pixel aspect ratio" sounds familiar, perhaps this is what I have to do, then do a self contained movie export and drag and drop into DVDSP.

I also, want to get the best definition possible, so would you suggest to do an HD DVD?

Thanks so much for your help!

Lulu x

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Lulu Malmgren
Re: Help - DVD Studio Pro cropping off edge of film
on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:11:40 pm

SO i'm now trying the following:

Start new sequence in project, change sequence settings to 4:3, and uncheck the anamorphic button.

Then I nest the film into the new sequence and click no when it asks if I want to change the sequence settings to match the clip settings.

The film appears with white strips above and below, so i place a slug underneath, and that gives it the letterbox look.

I'm exporting the sequence as a self contained QT movie with current settings selected.

Dragging and dropping into DVDSP shows the letterboxed version in the simulator. Will burn a copy and see what happens.

It does seems strange to me that I have to do a 'trick' like this.

Oh and here are the images:

Original image in FCP:

Image from a QuickTime export:

Image from the DVD burnt using DVDSP:

Lulu x

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