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Setting up a project for broadcast

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Ray Herman
Setting up a project for broadcast
on Aug 18, 2010 at 4:28:50 pm

Hi all,

I mostly do web commercial content but have been asked to create a TV spot for a client, and since it's been a long while since I've done anything like this - I thought I'd ask for help to make sure that I setup my composition correctly and have the least amount of issues when it comes to broadcasting.

The spot will only contain some photographs and title motion, no video at all.
I've been told to setup as PAL/D1 and 16:9, but in a way that would eventually support 4:3 as well.

They've only told me to send them an SD QT Anim, as they will output it to Beta themselves.

So do I set up as PAL/D1 Square Pixels or Widescreen Square Pixels?

So far the results I'm getting which don't look too bad are either:

-PAL D1 Square Pixels, with the image interpreted as either SQ Pix or D1/DV PAL (1.07)
or
-PAL D/ Widescreen Square Pixels, with the image interpreted as either SQ Pix or D1/DV PAL (1.07)

What would be the best solution for broadcast and to meet the client's desire for both formats as "one"?

Thanks in advance.


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Paul Conigliaro
Re: Setting up a project for broadcast
on Aug 18, 2010 at 6:07:59 pm

If I ever do anything that might be widescreen—ever—I work in a widescreen comp. Personally, what I would do is work in 720 or 1080 and render out to SD from there. This way it's already in HD should it ever be needed.

I think you best bet, though, is to work in widescreen if you think it's needed, but keep everything center-cut safe. Then render out cropped and/or letterboxed to PAL, depending on what they'll prefer.

-conigs
[Disclaimer: Sometimes I am an idiot and misinterpret people's posts. I'm sorry.]


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Ray Herman
Re: Setting up a project for broadcast
on Aug 18, 2010 at 6:27:19 pm

Thanks for replying, Paul.

Quick question: When you say you work in a widescreen comp, do you mean the actual Widescreen setting 720x576 or the Widescreen Square Pixels 1024x576 comp setting? Cuz I'm not seeing a proper "widescreen" format if I just use the standard one, it pretty much looks like a 4:3 format to me...


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Paul Conigliaro
Re: Setting up a project for broadcast
on Aug 18, 2010 at 6:35:28 pm

Sorry. I meant to include the square pixels part. Yes, you'll want to work in square pixels.

When you're ready to render out, I would place your widescreen square-pixel comp inside a PAL 4x3 comp (with proper pixel-aspect-ratio) to make sure there's no improper stretching of your material.

-conigs
[Disclaimer: Sometimes I am an idiot and misinterpret people's posts. I'm sorry.]


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Ray Herman
Re: Setting up a project for broadcast
on Aug 18, 2010 at 6:50:06 pm

So if I understand correctly, I set up a Widescreen Square Pixels comp at 1024x576 and render version 1 out for client as 16:9 broadcast.

For the 4:3 version, I create a PAL D1/DV 720x576 comp (or is a D1 Square Pixels 768x576?), add my 16:9 comp in there, scale down roughly to about 70-75%, and that automatically creates my "letterboxes".

Is that the correct workflow?


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Paul Conigliaro
Re: Setting up a project for broadcast
on Aug 18, 2010 at 9:06:34 pm

You may want to talk directly with the place mastering the spot to tape to know whether they want a square- or non-square pixel file. My step-by-step workflow would be (assuming they want a non-square PAL file):

1.) Design and animate in PAL D1 Widescreen Square Pixel, keeping everything center-cut safe.
2.) Nest that comp in two separate comps, both PAL D1 (non-square pixel).
2A.) For one, keep the original comp scaled at 100% to create a full-frame 4x3.
2B.) For the other, scale the original comp to roughly 75% to create a letterboxed version.
3.) Render out all three. You now have a full-frame widescreen version, a center-cut 4x3 version, and a letterboxed version.

If the place mastering the spot for some reason wants a square pixel comp, just create that in step 2 instead. You could also render out your original widescreen version and import that instead of nesting comps.

SD broadcast is always 4x3, so the only reason for you full-frame widescreen render would be to create an anamorphic widescreen DVD for the client, or to have for posterity. But by starting with that format, it gives you greater flexibility in renders. And by having both center-cut and letterboxed versions, your client could go with whichever they want.

Sorry, I should have posted this in the first place.

-conigs
[Disclaimer: Sometimes I am an idiot and misinterpret people's posts. I'm sorry.]


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Ray Herman
Re: Setting up a project for broadcast
on Aug 19, 2010 at 3:27:11 pm

Excellent. Thanks again, Paul.

I'll test it out and get back to you if ever I run into any issues!


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Noah Bako
Re: Setting up a project for broadcast
on Jan 22, 2012 at 10:50:41 pm

Hie Paul,

'Am trying to set up a similar project for a church tv programme which supports both 19:9 and 4:3 Pal aspect ratios for broadcast. 'Am a newbie.

if a edit my project at 16:9 aspect ratio with center safe for making sure my action stays within 4:3 and i export the 19:9 for broadcast at non-square pixel; will it mean the footage will work for both aspect ratios only in 4:3 part of the side frames will be cut to leave only the center safe?

Am asking this because i've seen some programmes which look stretched in wide tv screens and i dont want to make that mistake otherwise it may end my new career before even starting:)

your help will be greatly appreciated. thanks


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