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H264 widescreen render problem

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Brian ScottH264 widescreen render problem
by on Nov 13, 2009 at 5:51:35 pm

I'm having a problem with H264 renders from AE. All of the combinations I have tried have either given me a vertically elongated 4x3 render, or a 4x3 that is letterboxed.
I'm working with an NTSC widescreen comp. I have tried checking and un-checking the "Stretch" option (set to widescreen). In the format settings I have set the aspect to square and widescreen. None of these combinations has resulted in a true widescreen aspect. They all look correct in the AE comp window, but look wrong when I play them back. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Brian Scott
Image Design Productions, Inc.

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Andy GeorgeRe: H264 widescreen render problem
by on Nov 13, 2009 at 8:58:12 pm

Hi Brian,

In order to create a NTSC Anamorphic (wide-screen) image it
has to be a non-square pixel aspect ratio (1.22)
and quick time player does not deal in non-square pixels.

So the vertically elongated 4x3 render should be the correct one.
If you bring it back into after effects it should display correctly
there or in an NLE that can accommodate non square pixels.

If you want to display it correctly in quicktime open
the file hit CMD+J select the video track turn off
"preserve aspect ratio" and change the
scaled size to 864x576


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Walter SoykaRe: H264 widescreen render problem
by on Nov 13, 2009 at 9:05:30 pm

Also, video encoding is not AE's strong suit -- for example, it cannot do multi-pass encodes. You'd be better off rendering a lossless movie from AE and compressing it with a dedicated compression application. encoding

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production

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