I am taking 1920 by 1080 footage and creating a motion menu inside AE. When I export the video using the MPEG-DVD setting, the 1080P footage is automatically resized to fit the 720x480 frame. Is there a setting I can choose to tell AE to fill the 720x480 frame? As the preset is now, I get the small black bars on either side of the frame. In Premiere's export options you can choose Scale to frame size. Is there something similar for AE?
First, in what application are you seeing the pillarboxing? If it's the DVD authoring software, have you specified that you're making a 16x9 DVD? If you didn't, many applications assume 4x3, and that's what you're seeing.
Second, don't use AE to render out MPEG files. Open the AE project in Adobe Media Encoder, navigate to the desired comp and do the compression with AME... and don't forget to set up the AME compression for 16x9 video.
AE does a substandard job of making MPEG video.
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA