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Aspect Ratios on Export to QT.Mov

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Michael Slowe
Aspect Ratios on Export to QT.Mov
on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:17:38 pm

I have a query which I dimly recall having read about before.

I have downscaled, within Media 100, an HD ProRes HQ 422 timeline, to a PAL 601 16:9 SD timeline. This plays correctly as 16:9 on both the internal and external monitors. I then export the programme to a QT file, keeping the same codec. The resulting QT .mov plays (through QT Player) in the 4:3 aspect. There is no setting in the export window where I can stipulate an aspect so one presumes that I'd get what is existing. Is the QT file really 16:9 but merely playing out as 4:3 or is it incorrectly exported?

Any help would be much appreciated. A TV channel specifically requested the programme by way of a file on a drive but in SD rather than the original HD. I just played it for checking purposes.


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Floh Peters
Re: Aspect Ratios on Export to QT.Mov
on Feb 2, 2011 at 4:22:24 pm

Hi Michael,

both SD 16:9 and SD 4:3 have the same pixel count, 720*576. So your file definitely contains all necessary Pixels. If you have the QuickTime Pro Player, you can manually set the file to show as 16:9 in QuickTime player by pressing Command-J and then setting the Video track Visual Settings to 1024*576. If you then save the file it will open up again in the "right" (correctly displayed on a computer screen) aspect ratio.



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Michael Slowe
Re: Aspect Ratios on Export to QT.Mov
on Feb 2, 2011 at 5:02:45 pm

Many thanks Floh for your quick (time) response!

I only have Quick Time Player version 10.0 (114). When I press Command -J as you suggest I merely get a box headed 'Render' with the option of choosing Text Size from 10 to 16. No mention of Visual Settings.

From what you say am I right in assuming that the file is correctly in the 16:9 aspect but just that it won't play at that in a computer? How is the broadcaster going to get it on air in the correct aspect? I don't really want to play it but I was just checking.

All the HD timelines that I have exported in HD to QT .mov have the icon in 16:9 and they play in 16:9. It's just this one that has been downscaled in Media 100 that looks and plays in 4:3.

Michael Slowe


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Floh Peters
Re: Aspect Ratios on Export to QT.Mov
on Feb 2, 2011 at 5:23:42 pm

[Michael Slowe] "From what you say am I right in assuming that the file is correctly in the 16:9 aspect but just that it won't play at that in a computer? How is the broadcaster going to get it on air in the correct aspect? I don't really want to play it but I was just checking. "

The file is not in 16:9 aspect. It simply takes the "raw" 720*576 resolution (which can be both 4:3 and 16:9) and throws it on the screen. You can (e.g. in QuickTime Player Pro) tell the computer to display it "stretched", which compenstes for the fact that Video pixels are not square (as computer pixels) but rectangular (either in a Pixel aspect ratio suitable for PAL 4:3, which is ~1.09, or for PAL 16:9, which is either 1.42 or 1.46 depending on what version of software you use). It is always the same number of pixels, but only displayed differently.

Since you have QuickTime Player 10.0 I think you are running OSX 10.6.x. On the 10.6 install disc there is an installer for the QuickTime Player 7 which has much more functionality than the QuickTime Player 10. You should install it alongside the new one to be able to do this kind of stuff.

[Michael Slowe] "How is the broadcaster going to get it on air in the correct aspect?"

The broadcaster needs to know if the file is 4:3 or 16:9; you need to tell him. On the broadcast signal there is a flag giving a hint to the receivers if the incoming (720*576 pixel) signal is 4:3 or 16:9. This has to be set by the broadcaster correctly, and therefore he must know if your file is 4:3 or 16:9



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David Issko
Re: Aspect Ratios on Export to QT.Mov
on Feb 8, 2011 at 4:38:28 am

Like Floh,I use QT 7 to stretch out ws programs that have been squeezed to 4x3 by QT 10. Open the movie in QT7, select 'Show Movie Properties' in 'Window' dropdown list.

Select 'Video Track' in 'Visual Settings' tab. Deselect 'Preserve Aspect Ratio' and adjust your picture aspect ratio to suit. Save the new QT size and you are good to go in QT10 playback as well.



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Michael Slowe
Re: Aspect Ratios on Export to QT.Mov
on Feb 8, 2011 at 5:23:04 pm

Thanks but I found that Floh's detailed instructions worked perfectly on my MacPro. I now only use QT7, I can't understand why 7 should be a better version than 10 but I'm assured that it is.

Michael Slowe


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