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Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done

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Ryan Moyer
Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 22, 2010 at 4:09:56 am

I've made a rather large slip-up in my current project, it would appear.

I set my comp settings at the start of my project to 720x480 with a pixel aspect ration of 0.91. Now that I'm just finishing up the project, I've realized that I'm going to need to instead have it at 873x480 with square pixels.

If I change it to square pixels, everything gets squished (which makes sense). Is their a way to change it to square pixels without it changing what's happening visually, or do I need to manually go in and adjust it to look similar or start over?


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Steve Roberts
Re: Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 22, 2010 at 2:34:17 pm

It looks as if you have more than PAR going on. Here's why:

720x480 @ .91 shows as 4x3 on TV.
872x486 @ square (using the preset for now), when properly converted, shows up as 16x9 on TV.

So you're taking a 4x3 project and changing it to 16x9? Normally, if you were working in 720x480 @ 1.21 PAR, I'd say "drop it into the 872x486 (or 480) square PAR comp" and render, but it sounds as if this isn't the case.
If you're going from 4x3 to 16x9, drop it into the new comp as I described, but scale it up to crop off top and bottom. Or re-do the work in a new comp.

Just to confirm:
1) Did you start at 4x3 and are now moving to 16x9?
2) Why 873x480 square PAR? What's the deliverable?



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Ryan Moyer
Re: Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 22, 2010 at 3:02:57 pm

Yes, I started in 4:3 and need to move to 16:9.

However, everything that happens on-screen happens in the middle, in switching to 16:9 I need only to have the (black) background extended. All of the text can just remain in the middle, looking the same. I guess in that sense, the pixel aspect ratio change is what's causing issues, not the resolution change (since as far as I can tell, AE just stretches the background when you change the resolution, which is fine by me).

The issue here is this project is for a web video, and the person doing the editing in the video editor (I'm just doing the title intros and segues in AE) is using square pixels and was complaining that when importing my titles, they have jaggy edges (which I'm assuming is because mine are not in square pixels).


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Steve Roberts
Re: Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 22, 2010 at 5:40:55 pm

If it's for the web, yes, you need square pixels.

The frame size however, can be anything, since it's the web (but see below regarding compression). Here are some thoughts:

864x486 is really 16x9, which can be confirmed if you do the math (common factor being 54). If you want 16x9 for the web, you can use anything from 160x90 to 320x80 to 480x270 to 640x360 and up, and between.

872x486 is the appropriate size for eventual D1 NTSC widescreen output for tape or DVD. This is not a constraint in your case, since you are just going to the web, which can take any size ... but probably one with dimensions that are a multiple of 4 for the sake of compression.

However, when giving material to a video editor, you give him what he wants, and make sure it's documented in an e-mail.



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Ryan Moyer
Re: Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 22, 2010 at 6:56:05 pm

So I'm a bit confused now as to which resolution is actually preferred for widescreen content on the web. Not 864x486 then?

Pushing that aside for a sec, any thoughts on the original issue? Is there a way to change my 0.91 pixel aspect ratio to square pixels without mucking everything up, or do I just need to re-do it?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 22, 2010 at 11:21:22 pm

If you were to put letterboxing on a 4x3 screen to make it a 16x9 screen, you'd cut off approximately the top & bottom 1/4 of the 4x3 screen. If you want all the crucial stuff inside the action safe area, add a little bit more to that top & bottom cutoff.

Now, I don't know about you, but I like to use as much of the screen as possible in my work. If you normally consign the top & bottom quarters of a perfectly good 4x3 screen to be nothing more than dead zones, you're just fine.

However, I use as much of the screen as possible. I'd have to build new & rearrange things if I had made a mistake such as yours. I'd have to give myself a Dope Slap and get busy rebuilding my comp's elements in the new screen aspect ratio.

Perhaps you try to utilize as much of the screen, too. In which case, this whole thread is simply you trying to avoid the inevitable task before you. I say, "Get busy!"

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Ryan Moyer
Re: Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 23, 2010 at 12:27:03 am

That's what I feared.

Oh well, lesson learned!


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Steve Roberts
Re: Change PAR of project without ruining work that's already done
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:06:50 am

[Ryan Moyer] "So I'm a bit confused now as to which resolution is actually preferred for widescreen content on the web. Not 864x486 then? "

There is no preferred resolution for widescreen content on the web in general. If you're talking about YouTube, Vimeo and so on, each has its own specs. Other than that, it's anything you want. 920x384? Sure. 200 wide by 1024 tall? Sure. Get the idea?

HOWEVER ... if your client says "you know, I want that great web video on a DVD now", then you should work in a D1 widescreen square pixel preset comp, and be prepared to drop that sucker into a DV widescreen (1.21) comp preset when the client comes a-knockin'. So I'd work in the D1 widescreen square pixel comp preset just to prepare for that DVD eventuality.





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