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4:3 and Letterboxing

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Jonathan Clauson
4:3 and Letterboxing
on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:06:19 pm

Hello all....again!

The stuff keeps rolling downhill on this project I am on and I am about to jump out my window....which is on the 1st floor so it would be more of a symbolic jump than a real jump but anyway......

My client just sent me the broadcast standards for their network and it has be staring at the work I just did and wondering how to salvage it. The timeline is a NTSC DV 720x480 Timeline with Anamorphic 16:9 as the footage was given to me shot widescreen on everything ranging from ripping a DVD to HDV footage and everything in between.

Anyway, the question here is that the broadcast standards were just given to me as: "NRB Network content broadcast format is Standard Definition [4:3]. While material with a 16:9 presentation is acceptable, it must be delivered to NRB Network as a “letterboxed” 4:3 master. Anamorphic 16:9 (tall and skinny) is not acceptable."

So after I laid off a DVCAM master for them as an anamorphic but now that won't work. However, the Widescreen Matte Effect in FCP doesn't have a 16:9 setting, just 1.66:1 and other film ratios.

So anyway, the question is how do I take a 4:3 timeline and make it 16:9 via letterboxing to meet the networks demands?

Thanks so much all.


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Michael Sacci
Re: 4:3 and Letterboxing
on Apr 21, 2010 at 12:02:03 am

Some video cards can letterbox on the fly so you could use one if you have it. I know the AJA Kona3 does it.

Simple drop that anamorphic sequence in a standard 4:3 sequence, everything else set to match the prev sequence. You now have a letterboxed sequence. Just output this to tape and you are good to go.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4:3 and Letterboxing
on Apr 21, 2010 at 1:40:40 am

Love the levity in your post, Jonathan.

And ditto to what Michael says.


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Adam Smith
Re: 4:3 and Letterboxing
on Apr 21, 2010 at 5:39:47 am

I'm beginning to wonder why I always think I need to send these types of jobs to Compressor...

HD to SD, anamorphic to letterbox - is the scaling in FCP as good as what I'd get out of Compressor with all settings tailored for best quality?

-Adam

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: 4:3 and Letterboxing
on Apr 21, 2010 at 1:09:05 pm

For HD to SD, I'd use compressor.


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Jonathan Clauson
Re: 4:3 and Letterboxing
on May 1, 2010 at 11:48:54 pm

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the reply ( and sorry for the long delay in answering).

I sadly do not have a tower to have an AJA/Black Magic card. I am stuck on an iMac for the moment so my only means of out putting is vi FW to a SONY HDV/DVCAM deck.

Do you have any other suggestions?

- Jonathan


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Andy Mees
Re: 4:3 and Letterboxing
on May 2, 2010 at 3:19:23 pm

Hey Jonathan

As Michael noted, drop the Anamorphic 16:9 edit into a standard (not anamorphic) DV NTSC sequence ... it will letterbox it automatically and you can output/export as needed.

Best
Andy


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