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FCP 7 aspect ratio VS size

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Steven Saccio
FCP 7 aspect ratio VS size
on Nov 6, 2013 at 11:04:54 pm

I have been using FCP 7 for a couple years but mostly for play. I occasionally make videos for web and youtube but have been approached to make a short 15 second add for potential use on television. Pretty exciting for me but its making me realize how much more I should probably understand about video....

First off some info on the companies file submission specs:

Type: MPEG2 Program Stream
Bit Rate: CBR 8 Mbps
Size: 720x480
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Frame Rate 29.97
Chromo Level 4:2:0

My question is in regards to the Aspect Ratio Vs the Size. The files I'm working with are JPG images that fill the majority of the space (11x8.5in 300dpi). This fits pretty good if I set the screen up as 720x480 but is pretty terrible for 4:3 as it chops off the left and right sides of the images to reach the full height. Are the specs above in conflict with each other? or should I build it as one with the idea that it's going to need to work on the other?

Hope this isn't to vague. Again this is all kind of new to me. I apologize if this has been covered somewhere before.
thanks in advance!

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Shane Ross
Re: FCP 7 aspect ratio VS size
on Nov 7, 2013 at 12:43:44 am

[Steven Saccio] " Are the specs above in conflict with each other?"

Yes. Because they don't have the same aspect ratio. What you have to do is make the stills you have, work in the 720x480 workspace, as that is the deliverable. That is the Standard Definition workspace. If your pictures get cropped in ways you don't want...well, you have to try to either live with it, or use creative ways to deal with it.

Video isn't measured in INCHES, and doesn't really have a "DPI." That is print photo medium. Video cares more about PIXELS...and DPI is meaningless. Sure, if you export a still from SD video, it will be 720x480 at 72DPI...because that is the default DPI it gives. But if you have a still image that is 1200x600 and 300DPI, or one that is the same dimensions, but 72dpi, in video, the quality is the same.

But don't worry about all that. Just know that since you need to deliver in a 4:3 space,'d be best to work in a project of the same ProRes NTSC. And then live with the image crop, or with black on the edges if you want to see the whole thing...or attack it creatively (have the background be a larger, blurred image of the same pic, for example).

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Steven Saccio
Re: FCP 7 aspect ratio VS size
on Nov 7, 2013 at 7:31:14 pm

Thanks for the clarification Shane!
I kind of suspected there might need to be a little creativity thrown in.
have a good one!

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