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PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion

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Bill Mackanic
PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion
on Apr 24, 2013 at 2:56:58 pm

I am importing 16x9 PAL footage from a Cannon XA10 into Final Cut Pro X on a Mac Book Pro. The problem is that when I follow the cameras instructions on how to do this, the process changes the footage to 4x3. It is not cropping the footage, it is distorting it. I am looking for a way to edit the footage in Final Cut without the distortion.

Cannon XA10 Pal Camera
Mac Book Pro Mac OSX v10.7.5
Final Cut Pro X v10.0.2

The final product needs to be in PAL 4x3 to air in Europe. Any suggestions would be most helpful- thanks.


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Neil Patience
Re: PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion
on Apr 24, 2013 at 3:31:22 pm

Hi Bill

Is the distortion you describe essentially making everything tall and thin ? If so this is normal. PAL widescreen can either be 720x576 Anamorphic. (FHA) which is probably what you are seeing. OR it can be 1024x576 which will look like a normal widescreen image.

If you take one of your distorted shots into FCP and in the browser move the columns to the right and you should see an anamorphic column. Just tick this and FCP should automatically display the footage in the correct format.

Hopefully that should work aslong as the distortion is not in some other direction

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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Bill Mackanic
Re: PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion
on Apr 24, 2013 at 4:22:54 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. Unfortunately, Cannon tech support just explained that when the XA10 converts the Hi Def footage into standard def (necessary for the export from this camera to a mac) it will always distort the image! Interesting and frustrating in the sense that a PAL camera shoots in 16x9 when they are still mainly airing PAL in 4x3! I can really use a suggestion on getting this footage into FCP without the hd-sd conversion?


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Bill Mackanic
Re: PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion
on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:14:17 pm

Got the 16x9 PAL footage into FCP on the mac. How do I export it as 4x3 PAL without the distortion? Thanks...


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Neil Patience
Re: PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion
on Apr 24, 2013 at 8:41:24 pm

Sounds like you have got the HD footage in then. Totally not the case it has to be 4:3 or SD in order to import.
For ref you can use the log and transfer tool to import the clips. It does not need to be 4:3 or standard def.
Shane Ross did a tutorial which covers avchd footage here http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1

Also here is a picture tutorial I found on youtube






Once you have it all in I would edit it all in 16:6 HD so yo have a decent master.
To use FCP to create a 4:3 mater
Set up a 4:3 SD sequence.
Copy and paste your HD material into the new sequence. You should then have the correct ratio which will be 16:9 letterbox i.e. black bar top and bottom

You can leave it like that if you wish or you can zoom the picture to fill the frame. This will mean you lose the left and right sides (centre cut out)
But in FCP you can move individual shots should something vital be out of frame.

Hope that helps

Oh and just a general point from your other post. I am UK based which obviously is PAL and we have not used 4:3 for probably 10 years now as a format. Although archive exists of course.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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Bill Mackanic
Re: PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion
on Apr 24, 2013 at 8:57:13 pm

You have been a huge help, thanks. About the Europe thing, I am airing this on Russian TV that's 4x3! Guess that's not really Europe, my bad.


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Neil Patience
Re: PAL 16x9 converting to 4x3 aspect distortion
on Apr 24, 2013 at 11:11:15 pm

Hi Bill

No worries. Yeah Russia kind of attached via Eastern Europe in between but def. not Europe. Hope all works,

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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