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Final Cut Pro 6 insists on changing the aspect ratio of my project

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Marc Dewey
Final Cut Pro 6 insists on changing the aspect ratio of my project
on Feb 20, 2019 at 7:05:31 am

I'm trying to finish up an old project in FCP 6 on my Mac Pro, and now it has me tearing my hair out.

Most of the footage was from my Canon XH-A1, shot in 1080 HDV 24fps. Everything looks great in the preview monitors in the program, but when I go to export (either straight to QT from FCP or using Compressor) it insists on "squishing" the frame to a more square aspect. I've tried seemingly every combo of compressor/format & aspect ratio to no avail. It makes no sense to me that if I'm keeping the export settings identical to the original sequence settings that Quicktime can just fiddle with the final product.

I've also tried going back and changing the project's sequence settings, and no matter what it just comes out wrong. It even manages to squish the font of the titles and move them to a different place on the screen. JUST EXPORT IT EXACTLY HOW IT LOOKS IN THE PREVIEW WINDOW!!! ARRRRGGGHHH!!!

The strangest thing is, I copy & pasted a small clip into a new sequence with identical settings & exported that, works fine.

The original sequence settings (which match the source files):
Frame size: 1440x1080 / Aspect Ratio: 1440x1080 (16:9) / Pixel Aspect Ratio: HD 1440x1080
I've tried: 1920x1080, square aspect ratio, ProRes 422, Apple Intermediate, H.264, etc. etc.
In Compressor, when I change the aspect to 1920x1080 it adds vertical black bars in the preview window.

I seem to remember having a Canon HDV plugin for FCP that allowed me to import/export in 1920x1080 resolution, but maybe I'm just crazy?


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Shane Ross
Re: Final Cut Pro 6 insists on changing the aspect ratio of my project
on Feb 20, 2019 at 8:51:08 pm

Well, as you pointed out, HDV isn't full raster 1920x1080, it's thin raster (anamorphic) 1440x1080...and is more square. BUT, when you use an HDV sequence setting, FCP knows to stretch the image out to be more full frame, full raster.

[Marc Dewey] "The strangest thing is, I copy & pasted a small clip into a new sequence with identical settings & exported that, works fine."

Might be a corrupt sequence. Why not make a new sequence with matching settings, and copy and paste everything into it? Then export and see what it does.

[Marc Dewey] "I seem to remember having a Canon HDV plugin for FCP that allowed me to import/export in 1920x1080 resolution, but maybe I'm just crazy?"

It wasn't a plugin, it was a setting so when you captured, it captured it as ProRes. That process is laid out on this COW article:

https://library.creativecow.net/articles/poisson_chris/hdv-prores.php

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Marc Dewey
Re: Final Cut Pro 6 insists on changing the aspect ratio of my project
on Feb 20, 2019 at 9:24:00 pm

Thanks for chiming in. I had captured the footage some time ago using Firewire, but I think it was just set at the default FCP 1080 HD setting. If I go to the individual clip settings it says the Compressor is "Apple Intermediate."

Anyway as I was typing that last post, I had an epiphany and went back to the project and copied the entire sequence and pasted it in the 2nd sequence that I'd used for the test clip. The aspect ratio of the footage looked correct but it still insisted on squishing the titles and the other non-1080 clips I had in there, so I had to go through and manually go to the properties for each one (Distort - Aspect Ratio) and change them all to 0, and that fixed that problem.

I exported using Compressor and H264 Quicktime and lo and behold, it actually gave me a 1920x1080 correctly-scaled file. Quite the workaround but I guess that's what I get for not capturing it using the right settings as you stated.


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