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Aspect ratio: 'square pixels' or '4x3 standard'?

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Oscar Gotti
Aspect ratio: 'square pixels' or '4x3 standard'?
on Mar 2, 2016 at 9:44:20 pm

So my sequence is 1920x1080, and all my footage is also 1920x1080 square pixels.

I have to deliver an SD version: 720x480/4:3 aspect ratio.

My question is:

In the export settings, what setting do I choose for the 'aspect ratio' setting: 'square pixels' or '4:3 standard'?


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Jon Doughtie
Re: Aspect ratio: 'square pixels' or '4x3 standard'?
on Mar 2, 2016 at 9:54:26 pm

If your SD center cut is for the old American NTSC standard, you would want "standard 4:3". That is a .91 pixel aspect ratio.

Also, if that is American NTSC, it would be lower field first.

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Jeff Pulera
Re: Aspect ratio: 'square pixels' or '4x3 standard'?
on Mar 2, 2016 at 9:58:28 pm

You are going from a 16:9 widescreen source to a 4:3 output. What Format are you exporting to? Meaning H.264, DVD, something else?

640x480 output would use Square Pixels.

720x480 is "DV" and uses 0.9 pixel aspect

So, if output is requested at 720x480, then you don't want square pixels (1.0), rather you want the 0.9 setting. Instead of creating a "custom" output setting, you may find an "NTSC DV" preset after choosing a Format, and that will have the correct settings. For instance, "NTSC DV" is found under H.264, AVI, and MPEG-2 DVD formats.

Another consideration - converting from 16:9 source to 4:3 output

In Export Settings window, look at upper left under Output tab. You will see Source Scaling, and it provides 3 options:

Scale to Fit = will letterbox 16:9 in 4:3 frame, black bars top and bottom on export

Scale to Fill = center crop, sides of image cropped off leaving 4:3 center

Stretch to Fill = image horizontally compressed to fit 4:3 frame, people get taller and thinner

You can choose the different options and see results in preview window


Jeff Pulera
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