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Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare

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thomas adjani
Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 2:09:47 am

Hoping someone can help. I shot my film using various cameras. Video (DVCProHD) and DSLRs.

When exporting Quicktime Conversion, my movie ends up with various aspect ratios for the different camera footage. letterbox taking up the entire screen. 4x3. Letterbox taking up 90 percent of the screen.

I always shot 16x9.

Can someone please tell me what I need to do to get a consistent letterbox all the way through my movie?

Thanks!



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Neil Patience
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 3:26:55 am

[thomas adjani] "Can someone please tell me what I need to do to get a consistent letterbox all the way through my movie?"

When you export, check that the size settings are correct I assume that would be 1920x1080 and make sure you dont have the preserve aspect ratio with letterbox option checked. Normally that should be fine however it sounds like you might have some mismatched source and sequence settings there as nothing should end up being letterboxed at all.

If your settings dont match then things are slightly more complicated. So only worry about the stuff below if you do have mismatched settings.

DVCProHD is 1440x1080 or at least it is in PAL land and I assume you shot the DSLR footage in 1920x1080. So you are dealing with different source frame sizes.
But hopefully only the 2 types.

In the first instance, make sure that you create a 1920x1080 sequence. You can check that, just drop one of your DSLR shots onto that new sequence. If the settings are correct that should match exactly without the need to render or change any sizes. In any event FCP shouldl ask you if you want your sequence settings to match your clip when you put down the first shot on a new sequence - so just say yes to that question.
Then when you add the DVCProHD footage FCP will automatically resize it to 1920x1080 and everything should be fine from then on.

In terms of your existing sequence its hard to know whats happened without seeing it but I would first create a new 1920x1080 sequence. You can use the method above to do that if you wish. Once you are happy that all matches, cut and paste your existing sequence into the new one.
If your settings were incorrect the first time around you will notice that some or even all the pictures will appear the wrong size. If thats the case then its going to be a little laborious to change them all but I would do the following. Select everything right click and select remove attributes. You want to make sure that there are no distort or basic motion attributes. Then all of the DSLR footage should look correct but the DVCProHD footage will look squashed/letterboxed. You then need to add a distort to the DVCProHD footage in order to remove the letterbox. Once you are happy that is correct on one clip just copy and paste the distort attributes to all the other DVCProHD clips. You should then have a complete sequence without any distortion or letterboxing, everything looking the same size and shape.
Then I would export the sequence without using Quicktime Conversion, just a straight self contained export. You can then use Compressor or whatever your favourite tool is to create whatever files you need from that.

Sorry thats a bit long winded but that should cover all possibilities.

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


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thomas adjani
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 3:59:12 am

Neil, thank you SO MUCH for your detailed answer. My HD pro specs are actually 2:

720p 60, pixel aspect, HD960x720, field dominance is none.

The other is DVCProHD 1080p30, pixel aspect is 1280x1080

So 3 different camera settings!

Should I still follow your instructions above?

Thanks again!

Thomas



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thomas adjani
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 3:42:45 am

Sorry, the specs are:

DSLR 1 - h.264, 1920x1080, pixel aspect is square, field dominance is upper (odd), vid rate 29.97


DSLR 2 - h.264, 1920x1080, pixel aspect is square. field dominance none, vid rate 23.98


HD Panasonic camera - 29.97, 1280x1080, pixel aspect HD(1280x1080), field dominance none

[B]ExportUsing QuickTime Conversion..[/B]

Compression Type: h.264
Quality: High
SIZE
Dimensions: HD 1280 x 720 16:9
Deinterlace Source Video: Tick
SOUND
Format: AAC
Rate: 44.100
Quality: Better
Target Bit Rate: 192



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Neil Patience
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:12:51 am

Ok well you have several issues there, firstly you should not have edited with the H264 footage. I am surprised you don't have flash frames and other issues on cuts just from that alone. You will find many many posts here where people have done that and got themselves into all kinds of problems. You should always transcode H264 to ProRes for editing. ProRes LT is fine for those sources no need to use HQ.

You need to standardise your frame rate. I would guess 29.97 would be best since that is the majority of your footage. However I am in Pal land and cant remember the best way to get from 23.98 to 29.97. I am not sure how great FCP is at handling the pull down. You might be better off using Compressor for that part. Sorry I cant be more specific its not something I ever have to deal with but someone here will know or just search for some posts on that there will be loads I am sure. I am assuming you are using FCP7 not X as the rules on odd frame rates will be different between to two. So you need to check that out also if thats the case.

Once you have sorted out the ProRes transcode and the frame rate issue what I said in my earlier post pretty much holds true. It looks like the majority of your footage is 1929x1080 so create a sequence for that. Your DVCProHD footage will then resize to match.

Once you have fixed all of that export a 1920x1080 master file and use that to create whatever you need.

Unfortunately you have pretty much gone wrong from the start with this one and its not a really quick fix.

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


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thomas adjani
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:15:46 am

Neil, are you saying I should log and transfer the h.264 footge again with a ProRes setting in the Log and Transfer preferences window? Thanks!



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Neil Patience
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:17:13 am

Yes thats the correct workflow for H264 footage. You still need to address the frame rate difference but I can't fully help you there apologies for that.

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


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Neil Patience
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:29:33 am

http://library.creativecow.net/ross_shane/tapeless-workflow_fcp-7/1

Thats going to show you the correct workflow for DSLR footage.

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/8/1093961

This post looks like it will help you with the frame rate problem

Good luck !

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


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thomas adjani
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:31:28 am

Thank you, Neil. You have been very helpful!

All my best,

Thomas



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thomas adjani
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 11:15:28 am

Neil, for the 1920x1080 timeline it is not automatically selecting it.

if I go to Select Sequence Preset for the blank timeline which of the 1920xx1080s do I select?

apple pro res 422, apple pro res444, hdv?

Thanks,

Thomas



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Neil Patience
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 1:32:55 pm

You only need ProRes LT for DSLR footage, HQ and 4444 are not needed, you wont gain any quality and just create huge files.
What did you transcode your H264 footage to ? If it was ProRes 422 which I think may be default then use that.
Are you using FCP 7 or FCP X ?

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


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thomas adjani
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 9, 2012 at 2:37:50 pm

Thanks to you, Neil. I am using FCP 7. The settings in the log and transfer preferences box are

It appears there are several.



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Neil Patience
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 12, 2012 at 12:53:18 am

OK so you need to standardise the codec. ProRes 4444 is total overkill for DSLR footage. Most people use either LT or 422. So just pick one of those for both and you should be just fine.

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


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thomas adjani
Re: Aspect ratio in Quicktime movie nightmare
on Nov 12, 2012 at 3:15:06 am

Yes. Using 422 LT. Thanks! : )



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