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Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox

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Kesten Migdal
Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 6, 2010 at 12:42:46 am

Hello, newbie here. I'm having a terrible time figuring out how to get my 16:9 video to output in 4:3 for TV broadcast without letterbox. I'm using Final Cut Express. The final product is for a low budget commercial to be broadcast in SD. All I want to do is take my 16:9 footage and have the sides cropped to 4:3.

I shot in 16:9 on my Canon 7D, then used MPEG Streamclip to export an Apple Intermediate Codec in 1280x720. I also tried various other exports to see if I could get what I needed, but my image just ended up squished with black bars on tom/bottom. I've exhaustively searched every forum and the Final Cut Express manual, but I can't figure out what to do.

Please let me know if I haven't provided enough information. Thanks in advance for your help.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 6, 2010 at 2:06:21 am

Just put your 16x9 stuff in a 4x3 sequence and adjust the size so the picture fills the screen.
Both sides of the 16x9 picture will be cropped.
There is not other way.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:47:56 pm

Thanks Rafael. I read that in another post too, but I thought it only pertained to Final Cut Pro. How do I create a 4:3 sequence in FCE? I tried creating a new sequence, then right clicked on the sequence to get to settings. There are only two tabs in settings: 1. Timeline Options and 2. Render Control. In Timeline Options, I only have options to change the track size or thumbnail display. The Render Control tab doesn't offer anything to change the aspect ratio either. I hope I'm missing something obvious! Otherwise, this would be a good excuse to finally upgrade to FCP.


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 6, 2010 at 4:51:43 pm

I should also mention that I tried a few NTSC sequence settings when I created a new sequence. The two I tried were DV NTSC 32 kHz and 48 kHz. Both gave me 4:3 and I was able to scale up my shot to fit, but very lousy resolution. I need to get this to a station for broadcast, so I don't think that would work.


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:32:21 pm

If u can go back and transcode the canon clips to 1920 X 1080 u'll have more to work with.

Dropping ur 16X9 into the 4X3 timeline will loose resolution as u have to scale up to fill screen.

Output ur HD timeline as "Current Settings" making a ref file and drop that into compressor and choose a SD format on the conversion options and it'll make a full 4X3 file that you csn then work with.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 6, 2010 at 8:47:11 pm

Thanks Chris. I took my 16:9 project in FCE, exported it using "QuickTime Movie," took that new .mov file and dragged it into compressor, selected "new target with settings," selected my SD settings (DV NTSC, DVCPRO) and submitted my batch. The newly compressed file was 4:3 but the image was squished and still very low res.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 7, 2010 at 1:39:29 am

[Kesten Migdal] "DV NTSC 32 kHz and 48 kHz."
That's the worst option.
Change the sequence codec to Prores and check "Render all YUV in High precision".
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 7, 2010 at 1:35:25 pm

Select 8-bit uncompressed.
Frame Controls On - Best



Geometry;
Custom 4X3
Preserve aspect



You loose a little off the sides...

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:09:32 pm

Hi Chris - Where are those geometry settings on Final Cut Express? Are they only on Final Cut Pro?


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:04:20 am

Compressor

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta


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Kesten Migdal
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Oct 8, 2010 at 4:29:14 am

That's it! I'm such a noob, I didn't even know about Compressor until yesterday. Thank you so much for your help.


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Ravi Desai
Re: Converting 16:9 to 4:3 without letterbox
on Jul 6, 2012 at 4:12:07 pm

Thanks Chris and Kesten and Rafeal

I was actually thinking of a new way of doing this via creating a 16:9 quicktime re importing into FCP and scaling it down and re sending it to compressor then exporting the 4:3 version with the correct setting this way not so much picture is lost left or right as long as you don't scale down to much it should work well. I'm trying it now I'll tell you how it goes.


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