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Wayne Williams
Struggling (mightily) to get the right aspect ratio using ProRes
on Apr 5, 2010 at 6:27:59 pm

My end goal is to get to a 1440 x 1080 HD 4:3 aspect ratio using ProRes 422 that displays properly in fcp..
I have footage that was originally shot in AVCHD 16:9. I framed knowing that I would crop to 4:3. I used log and transfer to capture my files as ProRes 4:2:2 HQ.

I then used compressor to crop all the 1920 x 1080 clips to 1440 x 1080. I did this by duplicating the Compressor 4:2:2 (HQ) preset and then modifying it to set the left and right crop to 240 in the geometry pane.

The new 1440x1080 clips show properly if I open a file using QuickTime to view it. My problem is in setting up a fcp video pre-set to display it properly.

in fcp i went to audio video settings. i duplicated the apple prores 422 (hq) 1440x1080 30p preset so i could edit it. this is where things seem to be breaking down. i set the frame size to 1440 x 1080, and i try to set the aspect ration to custom but it keeps forcing it back to 16:9. the pixel aspect ratio is set to square. with this preset when i import my 1440x1080 files everything looks as though it has been stretched to fit 16:9.

how do i get to my desired end-goal - ProRes 422 showing my footage properly?

thanks,

wayne portland


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Struggling (mightily) to get the right aspect ratio using ProRes
on Apr 5, 2010 at 6:36:58 pm

Wayne,

Sorry, but your workflow does not compute (makes no sense).

1440x1080 is an anamorphic frame size that is designed to display at 1920x1080.

Instead of telling what you've tried that doesn't work, try telling us precisely what you're using the finished project to accomplish, and we can help you work backwards to establish a proper workflow.

Please keep in mind, rarely does anyone create an entirely new use for their video work product, so there are usually well-established workflows for creating almost anything. Consequently, when you find yourself trying to do an odd workflow completely from scratch, you will most often find them seldom to be a proper workflow.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Wayne Williams
Re: Struggling (mightily) to get the right aspect ratio using ProRes
on Apr 5, 2010 at 7:22:55 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for your reply and your generous offer to help me establish the proper work flow. I am new to this and I am sure that I am making some novice mistakes.

Here are my constraints and desired options for distribution. Hopefully I have not set my self up poorly for what i want to accomplish.


1) I would like to preserve the option to display at film festivals, create DVDs, Web, etc. Also, I envision using anything from an SD to an HD projector at special events.

2) The film needs to show as 4:3 - silent film look.

3) My camera is AVCHD 16:9 only. I shot in 1920 x 1080 30p 16:9. the scenes were framed using 4:3 markers in the camera display because I knew I was going to crop pixels on each side to get 4:3. I also framed assuming that I would use all of the vertical pixels, so none of those can be thrown away. that takes me to 1440 x 1080.

4) My goal is to have the highest quality master for edit, color, effects, etc. That is my understanding of the value of ProRes serving as a lightly compressed mezzanine file.

I initially proposed a workflow that kept everything as 16:9 and simply use cropping in fcp to take 1920 down to 1440 pixels for the width. In that scenario I am hopeful that in Compressor I can get it to whatever distribution format I need whether it is 4:3 dvd, web, or 16:9 film projection with black on the side to preserve the 4:3 aspect ratio. Critical assumption - is that a good one?

Having said that the director who will be doing the rough edit felt most comfortable doing (seeing) everything in 4:3 only right off the bat which is why I was going through the extra step of trying to crop my ProRes files to 1440x1080, having that be the master, and then trying to figure out how to import those files into fcp and have them display properly.

I know, too complicated and from what you said it sounds like it is not working because that approach does not make sense.

How do I best get from A to B?

Thanks,

Wayne


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Struggling (mightily) to get the right aspect ratio using ProRes
on Apr 5, 2010 at 7:54:40 pm

[Wayne Williams] "he director who will be doing the rough edit felt most comfortable doing (seeing) everything in 4:3 only right off the bat"

Sorry Wayne, but I think that's an error in judgement. It will rob you of the ability to reframe the shots creatively in post. Reframing 16x9 to 4x3 has a host of possibilities that you may not consider until your story structure is edited together and you can see every shot next door to it's neighbors. Even a smal amount of reframing can make huge difference in the way two shots play together.

A director is supposed to be able to visualize and pre-visualize, but to help him if he has trouble, just get the him/her Andy's Guides, at: http://web.me.com/andymees/Free_and_Easy/main/Entries/2008/1/29_Andy’s_Gu.... As Andy explains: "It's a generator for FCP that displays safe area overlay guides for users working in 16:9 formats but who are creating for 4:3 or 14:9 broadcast."

Cutting at the native frame size will allow you to output anything you choose when you're done. You'll be able to export center cut 4x3, a pillarboxed 16x9 HD version, etc. etc. etc.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Wayne Williams
Re: Struggling (mightily) to get the right aspect ratio using ProRes
on Apr 5, 2010 at 8:32:09 pm

Thanks David,

The shots were carefully framed with 4:3 markers for the width, but requiring all of the vertical pixels. losing any of the vertical pixels will seriously compromise the shots - basically it will not be workable.

My understanding of a center cut 4:3 is that it will pull from the top and bottom?

At this point it is a matter of doing what I can to save the work if possible. Any work-arounds painful or otherwise?

The only thing I can think of is that it is 16:9 HD and it shows with 240 pixels of black on each side to preserve the 4:4 aspect ratio.

But if I want to go to a 4:3 dvd format them I might need to shrink / scale the image to make it fit in the HD timeline so that I can toss width pixels and preserve all verticle pixels? Would it show as a full image in DVD or a tiny image in the center of the frame.

Wayne


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Shaun Seneviratne
Re: Struggling (mightily) to get the right aspect ratio using ProRes
on Jun 23, 2012 at 6:22:37 am

Hi Wayne,

I hear your pain! I was going through the same thing recently. I shot on 16mm, not Super 16, which has an aspect ratio of 1.33 or 4:3. When I sent it to the lab for processing and telecine, I received a pillarboxed video: my 4:3 image embedded in a 16:9 frame. This resulted in black bars on the sides as opposed to top and bottom.

I cropped these files with Quicktime 7 (the new one wont do this) and brought them into Final Cut. I set my sequence settings to be 1440 x 1080. This is when the weirdness started occurring. Some clips would come in 4:3. Some would come in pillarboxed. Some would come in with the 4:3 image stretched to fit the 16:9 frame. There was no reason why these clips should be coming into the timeline differently -- they all went through the exact same process.

What you can do for your director is place a 1.33 matte on your top video layer. This will pillarbox the unwanted part of the frame. Edit your whole film this way. Once you are done, export your .mov and use Quicktime 7 to crop to 1440x1080. And then you're set!

Here's the trailer to the film I used this method on: http://www.crosstheseas.com

Hope this works for you!
Shaun


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