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fcp7 and pixel aspect ratio for DVCPro HD and a complete idiot

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Troy Gowen
fcp7 and pixel aspect ratio for DVCPro HD and a complete idiot
on Jun 12, 2012 at 4:15:14 pm

Sorry to the veterans for returning to this topic yet again, but this is the brain-killer for me.

I have been shooting with a Panasonic at 720p (DVCPro HD), importing to FCP 7 with the DVCPro HD 720p 30 preset, editing in the same sequence setting, and outputting with the current settings to h.264.

When I few these movs with my ancient QuickTimePro 7, they look fantastic, and I've been sending them hither and yon as needed by colleagues, etc.

Unfortunately, I recently opened one of these movs on a Mac that had QT Player X installed, and found to my discomfort that the video was playing at a 4x3 ratio. Of course, the useless QT Player has no way to set the ratio, so it occurs to me that many people probably have been viewing these videos at the wrong aspect ratio.

What am I doing wrong, and how should I do this right, to ensure the viewer sees what I am seeing? Can someone give me a simple workflow that I can tape to my wall? I'm frustrated at my own inability to learn this and keep it in my brainpan, but there it is.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: fcp7 and pixel aspect ratio for DVCPro HD and a complete idiot
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:28:42 pm

Make a 1280x720 H.264 file at 29.97 and life will be good.

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


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Troy Gowen
Re: fcp7 and pixel aspect ratio for DVCPro HD and a complete idiot
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:32:26 pm

Thanks, Dave. Short and to the point. It gets the job done, and it looks proper. Much appreciated.

Just out of curiosity, is this just a "problem" with codecs like DVCPro HD that squeeze video during shooting, or am I a lost cause when it comes to PAR? I vaguely understand that the DVCPro video uses rectangular pixels to squeeze 1280 down to 960, but I still don't quite understand why too different versions of QT Player treat the video in such different ways. It seems to me that if one recognizes that the PAR is actually 1.33 rather than square, then there must be something in the video that tells it that, so why don't all video players read that info and display properly.

arrggh...oh well, I'm not a professional, obviously, so I suppose I'll just muster along in ignorance.

Thanks again.


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