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Pixel aspect ratio dilemma...

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Raul Dederichs
Pixel aspect ratio dilemma...
on Nov 1, 2011 at 8:48:00 am


This is probably an issue that has come up over and over, I have not found the solution to my particular problem though...
I am trying to produce a DVD... the original footage is 1280 x 720 square pixel at 23.976 fps. The target format is yet giving me a headache since it will be used in mainly Africa and you never really know if the machines here will be running on NTSC or PAL but that aside, no matter which one of the two has different aspect ratios and I just can't get my head around on which one it will just look the way it is supposed to.
What I have tried: first I changed composition settings to PAL widescreen square pixel, interpreted footage to 25 fps and rendered to Mpg2-DVD, but the pixel aspect ratio choice is 1.094 (4:3) or 1.458 (16:9) , so in any case it is squeezing the footage...
I have also tried a number of other settings but there seems to be no output to square pixels in Mpg2-DVD format...
Is there any 'bullet proof' setting to get a 2,5 min. 1280x720 square pixel 23.976 fps clip + menu onto a DVD and be sure that my client can play it wherever he wants?
Thanks in advance for any help, this is my first commercial project and the deadline is today, after all the filming and editing is done successfully I did not think that I will fail on burning a disc...


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Pixel aspect ratio dilemma...
on Nov 1, 2011 at 11:56:39 am

AcCCKKK!!! You again! ;-)

Most PAL TV sets and DVD set-top players will be able to playback an NTSC DVD-Video disc. So, this is the format you should be aiming for if you want a universal disc.

Widescreen NTSC DVD-Video is at 720x480 a 1.458 PAR BUT do check AE's Composition Presets to confirm this cos my machine's tied up and I can't check it out right now. What you need to do is to nest your completed 1280x720 movie into this NTSC DV Widescreen (23.976fps) comp and scale the nested video to fit into this comp.

Then render it out using AME using the DVD-MPEG2 preset and bring the movie into Encore. In Encore, as soon as you drop the movie into a timeline, the timeline will automatically recognize the anamorphic movie.

For DVD MPEG-2, a datarate of 7-8 MBPS is a good target for quality and compatibility across different DVD set-tops.

Take note that you can load an AEP into AME and then select a composition to render from within AME.

Additionally, Encore allows you to create a DVD-ROM data. This is essentially a folder that is similar to any folder on your desktop. Within this, you can place a H264 version of your video that folks will be able to play on their computers should there no DVD-Players available. You may also want to include various versions encoding sizes for the H264 video. Take note the the DVD-ROM Folder has to be created at the root level of any drive on your computer.

Should you want to provide the DVD-Video together with a DVD-ROM folder that includes other encoding variations, then it's best that you render a high-quality version from AE and then feed this into AME. Otherwise, AME will render the un-rendered Timeline for each version of the movie that you require. This will of course take much longer than simply feeding an already rendered movie to AME.

And of course, test out the DVD on a regular player as well as on your computer.


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