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Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP

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Daniel Grixti
Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:19:50 pm

Hi there,

I currently working on a series of corporate videos in which I need to insert power point slides into my edit. I am editing in a 1920x1080p pro res FCP project but want the slides to be 4:3 rather then 16:9.

When I save the slides as JPEGs out of Power Point and view them in finder they look like 4:3, but when I import them into FCP they stretch to 16:9. The odd thing is that I have square pixels selected in my project settings so I'm not sure why it keeps stretching the images.

I would really appreciate some insight into the matter.

Thanks,
Dan


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Brad Elliott
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:27:21 pm

What size(pixel dimensions) does Final Cut say the slides are?
Are the slides being up-scaled and/or distorted in the sequence?
You can check this in the motion tab.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 7, 2011 at 5:43:55 pm

I know you WANT to have those slides show up as 4x3, but here's the catch: they started life as 16x9.

If these slides contain graphics and text -- and what Powerpoint slide doesn't -- they were very likely laid out with a 16x9 aspect ratio in mind.

If you get them positioned & scaled to fill a 4x3 hole (aka Center Punch) in FCP, you run the risk of cutting off crucial information on both sides. Not good.
Or you could squeeze them horizontally to fill the 4x3 hole. That may not be very good, either.
Or you could jump into Powerpoint and fix all the slides so they fit in a 4x3 aspect ratio. That's a lot of work.
Or you could just leave them letterboxed, showing up in FCP as 16x9 graphics.

It appears to me you have some choices to make.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Daniel Grixti
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 7, 2011 at 6:11:21 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for the prompt replies!

Actually, the slides started off as 4:3 (the resolution is 1440x1080). But when I import them to FCP they get stretched to 1920x1080. I can actually see the stretch.

Any ideas?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 7, 2011 at 6:22:35 pm

[Daniel Grixti] "Any ideas?"

Yup: don't worry about it for the moment.

Huh?

Really: just get everything put into place on the edit timeline.

When you're done, double click on the FIRST slide, and play around with properties in the Motion tab until is looks a proper 4x3. Highlight this slide and Copy. Highlight the other slides and Paste Attributes>Video>Motion. Their size and aspect ratio will become just like the corrected slide.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tom Matthies
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 7, 2011 at 8:36:29 pm

I'm guessing that Remove Attributes>Distort should work. Not in front of a machine right now.

E=MC2+/-2db


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Alan Okey
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 8, 2011 at 12:28:52 am

I have seen the exact same behavior when importing 4:3 stills with the dimensions of 960x720. FCP apparently automatically flags 1440x1080, 1280x1080 and 960x720 stills as anamorphic, presumably because they match the dimensions of anamorphic video formats like DVCPRO HD and HDV. This automatic flagging happens regardless of sequence settings. If you switch the browser to list view and look at the pixel aspect ratio for your imported stills, it won't be square pixels. I always work in full-raster HD ProRes sequences and FCP still flags the imported stills as anamorphic.

You can highlight all of your stills in list view in the browser and batch change them to square pixels, but there's a second quirk: once you've corrected the pixel aspect ratio in the browser, if you simply drag from the browser directly to the timeline, the stills will maintain the proper 4:3 aspect ratio and be "pillarboxed" in the 16:9 sequence. However, if you first double-click on a still in the browser (opening it in the viewer), FCP will re-apply the anamorphic stretch to the still.

Unfortunately there is no way that I have found to defeat this behavior. The 1440x1080, 1280x1080 and 960x720 anamorphic flagging seems to be hard coded into the program. It's pretty annoying, as I frequently edit 720p videos and need to edit in 4:3 960x720 slides, maintaining their proper aspect ratio.

You can do one of two things:

1. You can edit the imported stills into the sequence and then remove the scale and distort attributes for each still in the sequence

2. You can change the pixel aspect ratio of all imported stills to square, then drag them directly into the sequence when needed

I find either method to be a tiresome workaround, and I'm frustrated that there is no way to turn off the automatic anamorphic flagging of stills with dimensions of 1440x1080, 1280x1080 and 960x720. It's a case of FCP being too smart for its own good.


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Matt M, PA
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Dec 8, 2011 at 11:46:52 am

I had a client request to make a PowerPoint that they supplied into something that would play back on a DVD.

I could not get a clean import into my version of FCP.

I found a program called Leawo that converts Powerpoints with all their animations, etc, to movie files of stills. Works on PCs. Cost about $70 and was downloadable.

I hate to buy programs if it's not an often used program...but this was well worth it for me.



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Randolf Shanklemeyer
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on May 10, 2012 at 4:00:41 pm

In FCP 7 go to the browser and scroll over to the pixel aspect category. Right click on your imported Powerpoint slide file's pixel aspect and change it to the native aspect (ie. 1440x1080, etc.) That will make it work fine in the viewer and the timeline.


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David White
Re: Odd problem when importing Power Point slides into FCP
on Nov 18, 2014 at 8:17:26 pm

While I don't want to be an X NaySayer... but Come the F*** on!

"I'm gonna change your image ratio cause I assume you're stupid trying to import 4x3 images on a 16x9 production.... What were you thinking, you stupid human?"


macdavid777 - (STILL Hating the roll from 7 to X)


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