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4:3 basic question

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sean jean4:3 basic question
by on May 9, 2012 at 10:57:20 pm

Hi there,

this is a really basic question, but I almost never work in 4:3.

I've edited a trailer in 16:9 (1280x720)but the client is asking for two versions. One that is 760x500 (which I can do) and another version that is 4:3.

They didn't specify which 4:3 ratio, so I'm not sure exactly how to convert it without ruining the quality or distorting the image. What are some standard 4:3 ratios, and is it as simple as going into composition settings and just changing the aspect ratio?

Any suggestions?


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Walter SoykaRe: 4:3 basic question
by on May 10, 2012 at 1:17:33 am

760x500 is not square-pixel 16:9. Something seems a little funny there.

Common 4:3 ratios are 640x480 (for web), 720x480 (for NTSC TV), and 720x576 (for PAL TV).

You generally don't want to just resize your comp; you usually have to do a center cut (nest your 16:9 comp in a 4:3 comp, scale to fit the height, and cut off the sides), pan and scan (nest the 16:9 comp in a 4:3 comp, scale to fit the height, and move the comp horizontally to keep the action on-screen), letterbox (nest the 16:9 comp in a 4:3 comp and scale to fit the width, creating black bars top and bottom), or reformat (copying your work into a 4:3 comp and rearranging elements as necessary).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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mathew fullerRe: 4:3 basic question
by on May 10, 2012 at 2:20:18 am

Actually "720x480 (for NTSC TV)" is incorrect.

720 X 480 is DV resolution.

720X486 is Broadcast NTSC

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Walter SoykaRe: 4:3 basic question
by on May 10, 2012 at 2:32:21 am

[mathew fuller] "Actually "720x480 (for NTSC TV)" is incorrect. 720 X 480 is DV resolution. 720X486 is Broadcast NTSC"

True for broadcast -- but DVD spec is also 480, and many MPEG2 playout servers expect 480.

Regardless, Sean should be getting this information from his client, not strangers on the Internet.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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