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James Hart
Sony Z1U DVCAM PAL Anamorphic Not Reading/Exporting Natively w/ Quicktime in Final Cut
on Jan 25, 2011 at 3:21:06 am

Hi,

This is my first posting. Hope somebody can assist.

I shot a project on a Sony Z1U as PAL, DVCAM, Widescreen 16:9.

I'm running Final Cut 6.06

In Final Cut, Capture Preset was set to DV Pal 48KHZ Anamorphic

All seemed to capture fine, however in the Frame Size, in Final Cut, Size read 720x576. HOWEVER, this was shot anamorphic and it looks anamorphic in the Viewer. Hit reveal in Finder, found the captured file, hit APPLE I and the Quicktime file also reads 720x576... despite looking anamorphic to me. Quicktime version 7.6.9.

I do a test in FCP. I drag the footage into the timeline, to test a new sequence. The sequence says it's 720x576 but it looks widescreen. Now, I go into settings and create a new sequence, this one standard PAL, 720x576. I copy and paste the footage and when it's that sequence, sure enough it's letter-boxed. So now, I'm sure this is anamorphic footage, but it's not being read correctly in FCP.

Now I go to Export the file, hoping everything will be straightened out. I export as Quicktime Movie, Setting Current Settings. But now when I open up the file it is all squeezed together and really is 720x576. Looks nothing like it did in Final Cut.

I do another test. This time I export as an MPEG-4, H.264, Frame Size Current. Now when I open the file it is correctly anamorphic and reads as 1024x576....

Can somebody please explain to me why this is happening? Is there a bug with Quicktime, FCP, a setting in the camera, or am I doing something wrong, or is this simply how PAL 16:9 DVCAM is handled in FCP?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Sony Z1U DVCAM PAL Anamorphic Not Reading/Exporting Natively w/ Quicktime in Final Cut
on Jan 25, 2011 at 5:06:30 am

James,

There is nothing wrong except perhaps your understanding of "anamorphic" video vs. full raster video.

There is no difference in the pixel dimensions of anamorphic PAL widescreen SD vs PAL 4x3 SD when recorded: both formats are recorded at 720x576 pixels.

The difference is strictly in the way each of the formats is displayed.

4x3 PAL DVCAM displays at 720x576, the same size as recorded, however, widescreen DVCAM is first squeezed into the 720x576 frame when recorded, and later unsqueezed when played back, displaying at a pixel dimension that is effectively 1024x576.

So, your DVCAM does not actually exist at 1024x576 pixels, it is only displayed that way by unsqueezing it to display at that size.

However, if you do actually put the DVCAM anamorphic frame into a 1024x576 container and unsqueeze it, as in the full raster MPEG-4 h.264 file you mentioned, you will actually get a true 1024x576 frame when you export. In that case you're effectively unsqueezing it first, then exporting the full frame in its unsqueezed, non-anamorphic, full raster state.

Do you get it???

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


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


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James Hart
Re: Sony Z1U DVCAM PAL Anamorphic Not Reading/Exporting Natively w/ Quicktime in Final Cut
on Jan 25, 2011 at 5:19:58 am

David, thank-you for the quick reply. Yes I understand now.

James


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