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960x720 = 16x9 ???

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Alan Langdon
960x720 = 16x9 ???
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:24:54 pm

I am authoring a DVD for a client, who shot in HD, I am unsure of the camera and format. But the native format of the MASTER he has given me is
960x720, apparently 60p (DVCPro HD 720p60) with an editing timebase of 23.98. This at least is what comes up as sequence settings when I allow FCP to adapt the sequence to the incoming master.

So, my question is: is this a sort of anamorphic format or non-square pixels? Because the image is 16:9 in its appearance, but 960x720 is not a 16x9 proportion. Just trying to understand the machine...

Also, when I export a still, it is naturally 960x720 and looks stretched, so this is how I get the idea that Final Cut knows that this 960x720 format is really supposed to look 16:9.

Will DVD Studio Pro understand this and make a DV anamorphic track (16x9)? The client had dropped the movie in iDVD, which interpreteted it as a 4x3 and the result is a stretched image.

Any help much appreciated!


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Michael Sacci
Re: 960x720 = 16x9 ???
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:28:40 pm

[Alan Langdon] "960x720, apparently 60p (DVCPro HD 720p60)"
DVCProHD is a thin raster codec, on playback the card or the computer displays it as 1280x720.

You should encode the video into m2v in compressor before bringing it into DVDSP and make sure the aspect ratio is set to 16:9. I use this codec all the time without an issue.



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Michael Gissing
Re: 960x720 = 16x9 ???
on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:32:28 pm


Yes there are many cameras that use an anamorphic technique to get 16:9. FCP unstretches it. When you make a still you will need to specify the correct square pixel aspect.

Stay away from iMovie and DV codec. Compressor does a much better job converting from the HD timeline down to a Standard def mpeg2 files which can then be used in DVD Studio Pro to make a high quality non letterboxed DVD.


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Alan Langdon
Re: 960x720 = 16x9 ???
on Mar 19, 2010 at 12:36:16 pm

Thanks for the info... Continuing...

So I dropped the master into Quicktime Player Pro. It claims it is 23.98 fps, and 1280x720... This is probably the anamorphic stretching fooling QT. OK.

I brought the master into Compressor, and used the default Best Quality 90 minutes DVD setting, where everything is automatic: fields, frame rate, frame size/proportions, etc. The resulting M2V looks like it is still 23.89 fps, which on my DVD player looks jumpy when there is a pan.

Also, there is a constant flicker, pulsing of the image, noticeable when titles appear or in detailed areas of the image. Maybe an artifact of GOPs or keyframes in the compression? This has always happened with me and Compressor, which leads me to use Toast (!) as a compressor, then I drag the generated m2v's into DVD Studio Pro.

I would love to love COmpressor, but it yas yet to impress me. Despite all the flexible output modules, the end result almost never loooks good to my eyes.

Should I manually tell Compressor to add pull down to make the DVD 30fps?

And what can I tweak in Compressor to get a non-flickering, crisp image opn the DVD?



Thanks for your help!



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walter biscardi
Re: 960x720 = 16x9 ???
on Mar 19, 2010 at 1:30:32 pm

[Alan Langdon] "Maybe an artifact of GOPs or keyframes in the compression?"

DVCPro HD is not Long GOP. HDV and XDCAM both are, but not DVCPro HD.

We've had very good success here for about 5 years now making DVDs from DVCPro HD material using Compressor.

But if you want the best quality then you go with BitVice.

Other excellent encoders are Telestream Episode Pro and Sorenson Squeeze.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Tom Brooks
Re: 960x720 = 16x9 ???
on Mar 19, 2010 at 5:43:18 pm

[Alan Langdon] "Also, there is a constant flicker, pulsing of the image, noticeable when titles appear or in detailed areas of the image. Maybe an artifact of GOPs or keyframes in the compression? This has always happened with me and Compressor, which leads me to use Toast (!) as a compressor, then I drag the generated m2v's into DVD Studio Pro. "

The pulsing on GOP in your encoded m2v (not the original DVCProHD) would be on a 12-frame interval, or one-half second, if it is happening. I don't often see that problem any more. If you are, the one thing you should try is to create a totally CBR 1-pass preset for Compressor. Just make a copy of the 90 min best and change the encoding to CBR. For whatever reason, this can improve the pulsing on the GOP.


[Alan Langdon] "Should I manually tell Compressor to add pull down to make the DVD 30fps? "

No. Compressor will automatically do the right thing. If you take the encoded file into DVD Studio Pro and look at it in the Inspector, you'll see that it is 29.97. It does have pulldown added. The motion will still appear to be 24p because pulldown repeats fields to achieve the 29.97 frame rate. Adding pulldown to 24p won't do anything to smooth the motion, so your pans should be adjusted accordingly.


Final Cut Pro 6.0.5, Mac OS-X 10.5.6, Quicktime 7.6, Adobe Prod Prem CS4, G5 Quad 2.5, Kona-LHe V6, 8.5GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce 7800-GT 256MB, G-RAID 2x1TB FW800, 6TB RAID-5 (Enhance E8-ML, Highpoint 2322), Panasonic HVX-200P P2. Also MBP 17" Core 2 Duo 2.5, 4GB, GeForce 8600M GT 512MB.


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walter biscardi
Re: 960x720 = 16x9 ???
on Mar 19, 2010 at 1:28:54 pm

[Alan Langdon] "So, my question is: is this a sort of anamorphic format or non-square pixels? Because the image is 16:9 in its appearance, but 960x720 is not a 16x9 proportion. Just trying to understand the machine..."

DVCPro HD is an anamorphic format. It shoots 720p as 960x720 and FCP automatically displays it in the correct 16:9 widescreen format.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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