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how to convert 4x3 project to 16X9

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Raleigh Nanscahow to convert 4x3 project to 16X9
by on Nov 9, 2009 at 4:31:58 pm

I created a complex project in 4x3, but know the client wants it in 16x9 anyone know a painless way to covert a 4x3 PROJECT into a 16x9 asspect ratio.

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Jeff BonanoRe: how to convert 4x3 project to 16X9
by on Nov 9, 2009 at 6:22:01 pm

The problem with converting 4x3 to 16x9 is that you don't have enough image to fill the screen. If this project was filmed and composed in 4x3 then you are kinda stuck if you don't want to loose parts of your image.

Here is what's going to happen. If you scale the image to 16x9 you will loose the top and bottom portions plus loose a lot of quality.

You could build a fake letterbox (just a black bar on top and bottom) but then unless you re size the whole thing, it will still only be 4x3. And of course re-sizing it again will drop your quality and you loose the top and bottom portions of the footage anyway.

Another option is you could stretch the image, but the problem there is that it's going to look really distorted on the sides. Kinda like when you play 4x3 on a wide screen TV and tell it to stretch the image. Which if you are putting your heart into this project and the customer expects high quality, this to me defeats the purpose.

If anything was filmed in 4x3 then it's kinda tough to do anything about it. If it's just motion graphics then I would say go back and recreate the project in 16x9. If none of this is possible, I would just stick to the 4x3 and if the client is going to be playing it on a wide screen TV, then let the TV do the stretching. They might not even notice at first glance the stretching effect the TV makes if they set it to stretch it.

On a side note in the future, your initial consultation with the client should involve asking what kind of viewing format they need. That way you can plan ahead so that you don't have to drop the quality or give yourself headaches.

I know I'm being a bearer of bad news but I still hope this helps you out in some way.

Jeff Bonano

"I want to have a cool quote at the bottom of my signature, just like everyone else on the cow forum!" -Jeff Bonano

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Raleigh NanscaRe: how to convert 4x3 project to 16X9
by on Nov 10, 2009 at 12:02:28 am

thank you for your response.

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Mark HollisRe: how to convert 4x3 project to 16X9
by on Nov 13, 2009 at 7:45:05 pm

There is a way to stretch 4x3 to 16x9 without as much stretching but it's through a Terranex transcoder and those things run into money.

I would resize things a bit and hope for the best, but stretching, other than through a Terranex converter (and even through the converter) is almost always strange-looking.

But if you are at home, watching on an HD television, you'll see a stretch all the time whenever you look at 4x3 material if the television has been set to stretch the image.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

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