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Why does quicktime aspect ratio change from 16:9 on mac to 4:3 on pc?

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Philipp Figueroa
Why does quicktime aspect ratio change from 16:9 on mac to 4:3 on pc?
on Dec 4, 2009 at 11:34:44 am

When I outplay my master and the convert it to an MP4 the aspect ratio changes as soon as I open the file on another system.
All the files have the right aspect ratio on my MAC (in QuickTime player, Preview and FCP) but they become 4:3 files as soon as I send them to the client via FTP or if I open them on a PC.
How should i compress or outplay the files in order to maintain the right aspect ratio for all systems?

here are the specs of my files:
.mov (720 × 576/ DVC - PAL, Linear PCM, Timecode)
.mp4 (720 × 576/ MPEG-4 Video, AAC, MPEG-4 SDSM, MPEG-4 ODSM, Hint)

I guess this might have something to do with the anamorphic footage I am using but i would expect FCP to render/ compress it to the right aspect ratio as soon as I outplay.
Please help..

Philipp


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Alan Okey
Re: Why does quicktime aspect ratio change from 16:9 on mac to 4:3 on pc?
on Dec 4, 2009 at 4:41:05 pm

[Philipp Figueroa] "I guess this might have something to do with the anamorphic footage I am using but i would expect FCP to render/ compress it to the right aspect ratio as soon as I outplay. "

No, it doesn't work that way. The only thing FCP does is change the canvas and viewer to show the anamorphic video with a stretch applied. It's not affecting the original source files, simply distorting them on the screen to make them look correct.

Export a Quicktime movie of your FCP project. Don't use "Quicktime conversion," just use the top choice, "export Quicktime movie." This creates a movie file of your project using the current project settings.

Next, open the exported Quicktime file in Compressor and convert the anamorphic source video to a square pixel 16:9 aspect ratio movie. 640x360 would be ideal. Compressor has several options for dealing with rescaling and cropping footage.

I recommend opening up the Compressor manual spending some quality time with it.


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Philipp Figueroa
Re: Why does quicktime aspect ratio change from 16:9 on mac to 4:3 on pc?
on Dec 7, 2009 at 12:37:00 pm

Thanks for your advice Alan,

Next, open the exported Quicktime file in Compressor and convert the anamorphic source video to a square pixel 16:9 aspect ratio movie. 640x360 would be ideal

I was wondering if the possibility exists to generate a 'Square Pixel' master mov straight from FCP? Or is it only possible to generate other formats after converting the master file in to the right aspect ratio in Compressor? I convert our client films to a couple of different formats (flv, Mp4, wmv) and I though it is quite a waste of hard drive space if I have to rerender every master to a 'true 16:9' file before converting it. Not to mention that it takes additional editing time to convert the master every time...


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