DVX100B Squeeze ('Anamorphic') footage to DVD
I'm having trouble getting the aspect ratio I think I'm going to get out of Final Cut Pro to a Quicktime movie into iDVD. All the footage was shot in squeeze mode and was captured as anamorphic, edited in an anamorphic timeline.1)
Here's what I've tried:
1) Export Quicktime movie using 'Current Settings'
2) Export Quicktime movie, changing the setting to DV NTSC 48kHz Anamorphic
3) Export using Quicktime Conversion: Dimensions NTSC 720x480 16:9, NOT checking Preserve aspect ratio
4) Export using Quicktime Conversion: Dimensions NTSC 720x480 16:9, checking Preserve aspect ratio using leteterbox
5) Export using Quicktime Conversion: Dimensions NTSC 720x480 4:3, Preserve using letterbox
6) Export using Quicktime Conversion: using "Current Size" in Dimensions, which seems to indicate 727x408 by default.
In terms of how my Quicktime movie looks:
1, 2, and 6 look exactly the same, I think like a 4:3 image.
3 looks correct
4 is pillarboxed, but the actual picture dimension are the same as 1, 2, and 6
5 is even more square than 1, 2 and 6
Now, I only have iDVD on this computer right now, so maybe I'm running into a problem there, but when I dump these QT files into my movie:
1 and 2 are full screen (4:3?)
3,5, and 6 are letterboxed in exactly the same way, but the dimensions are not the same as the original footage.
4 has a square border around it.
Maybe the simple answer is that Option 3 would be fine if brought into DVD Studio Pro, where maybe there are some options in the settings for this kind of footage.
But does anyone see anything I'm doing wrong or right within Final Cut?
Not so sure about iDVD, but when I do 16:9 stuff in DVD Studio Pro I always use anamorphic media, i.e. when you play it back in QuickTime or whatever it looks stretched. In DVDSP, you tell the system that the media is anamorphic and it will letterbox for you. The advantage to this is that if the user has a 16:9 TV, it will actually play back at the original 16:9 size as opposed to 4:3 scaled up bt 133% to lose the letterbox.
However if there's no 16:9 option in iDVD then I'd probably letterbox it first in FCP and put out a 4:3 quicktime. The way I'd do it would be to create a new, blank sequence called 'Letterboxed dump for DVD' or whatever, and set it NOT anamorphic. Then drag in your anamorphic sequence, and it should automatically letterbox for you. You can then export that as Current Settings (or even as a reference MOV I think, if you're low on disk space) and hey presto, it should work.
Any changes in your original sequence should automatically show up in the 'Letterbox dump' sequence, you don't have to re-insert it every time.
Are you using iDVD 6? Or another version?
Let us know. The iLife programs all tend to change a LOT from version to version.
I think it's a shooting problem.
As I recall, Squeeze Mode on a DVX 100B creates an automatically-letterboxed 16x9 picture in a 4x3 frame. It's not DV widescreen, which is indeed 16x9, and which seems to be what you were after.
I wouldn't take this conclusion as gospel quite yet, but a quick check of the camera manual will certainly confirm it.
Sr. Promotion Producer
Thank you all for resonding. I tried the letterboxing solution and that certainly works - I don't have a widescreen TV, but I can at least check what it does on my standard TV.
I'm on iDVD 5.0.1.
It's true that the footage is not true anamorphic on a DVX100B without an anamorphic adapter. Squeeze mode is a cheat, which is mainly an improvement over letterbox mode for widescreen TV's. I'm pretty sure that the letterbox is actually better for regular TV viewing, resolution-wise.
But I don't think the aspect RATIO should look that different. I'm seeing the correct aspect ratio in both my viewer and canvas within FCP (4.5, btw) - it's just a different widescreen when I export the file to Quicktime to iDVD. I'm must trying to get a handle on what to expect out of the post end, so that I can make wiser decisions while shooting.
I don't use iDVD much, but I'm nearly certain that you need iDVD 6 to make anamorphic DVDs. The Apple website list that as a "new" feature, so I'm guessing 5 can't do it:
[Maria Luisa Gambale] "It's true that the footage is not true anamorphic on a DVX100B without an anamorphic adapter... But I don't think the aspect RATIO should look that different. "
Hmmm..... I'm going to guess that you come from a film background, and you might be comparatively new to editing video. The term "anamorphic" in TV is roughly analogous to the term's film use, but rarely encountered; the explanation is below. So here's some background to help you think in terms of the "atom" of digital video pictures, the pixel:
Your camera is capable of shooting two different SCREEN aspect ratios: 4x3 (1.33:1 for film folks) and 16x9 (1.78:1). Yet BOTH of these aspect ratios have the same screen resolution, 720x480: 720 pixels wide, 480 pixels high.
How can this be? Welcome to the world of PIXEL aspect ratios.
A normal pixel, like those used in your browser as you read this, is square. Ah, but this is not so in TV! Until you start shooting in HD (not HDV), it is most unlikely that you'll ever encounter a square pixel.
Your DVX 100 is a non-square-pixel-making camera. To make a 4x3 image, your camera assumes that a pixel is slightly narrower than it is high. To make a 16x9 image, your camera assumes that a pixel is slightly wider than it is high. How does it go about creating the appropriate image? Who cares, it just does, and it does it without the use of an anamorphic lens. Instead of squeezing and stretching the image horizontally, as anamorphic lenses do on shooting and projection, your camera squeezes pixels to make a 4x3 image, and stretches them to make a 16x9 image... but it is NOT anamorphic.
Fortunately, editing software like FCP already knows about these pixel aspect ratios, too: this pixel aspect ratio business is pretty standard stuff. If you shoot in 16x9, then tell FCP that it's capturing DV Widescreen (16x9) and that it's editing DV Widescreen, it will treat the pixel aspect ratios accordingly. Of course, you need to watch it on a monitor that displays 16x9... but it's still not anamorphic.
Your DVD authoring software may also be knowledgeable about pixel aspect ratios; I don't know if it is. Keep in mind that ALL standard DVDs (not HDVD, not Blu-Ray) MUST have 720x480 video, no exceptions. None! But if you tell the software that a certain clip is 16x9, it may be able to treat the pixel aspect ratio properly. A DVD player will simply play your authored DVD, know that it's 16x9 and add letterboxing automatically on playback. This isn't anamorphic, either.
Now, in addition to the two screen aspect ratios (4x3 and 16x9) referred to above, I believe your camera ALSO can shoot something which I thought was referred to as "Squeeze Mode". Maybe I have my terminology wrong, but its function is to record a 16x9 image onto a 4x3 screen area, adding letterboxing. To do so, it must "squeeze" the 16x9 image to fit into that area... hence my confusion when you talked about shooting in "squeeze mode". It's been the bane of a few DVX 100 shooters. And it's not anamorphic.
So what DOES "anamorphic" mean in TV?
The term "anamorphic" is usually reserved for the process of squeezing 16x9 video horizontally, then recording onto a tape format that is almost always 4x3, like Digibeta (aka Digital Betacam). The squeezed image is then stretched horizontally to reconstitute the original 16x9 screen aspect ratio upon playback.
So how does this differ from what you're doing in your camera? Well, you rarely encounter it, because the proper playback equipment is so rare. On your camera, it's just a matter of flipping a switch, and editing it is just about as easy. However, anamorphic video as described in the paragraph above is quite uncommon.
So: your use of "anamorphic" would actually be more appropriately called "16x9" here in TV land. Less frequently, you'll hear it referred to as "widescreen".
Okay, so much for background. I hope you find it helpful.
In your original post you said, "3,5, and 6 are letterboxed in exactly the same way, but the dimensions are not the same as the original footage." How are these dimensions different? Did the aspect ratio change? Is the image in the correct aspect ratio, but larger or smaller?
And here's something else I'm curious about. You wrote, "6) Export using Quicktime Conversion: using "Current Size" in Dimensions, which seems to indicate 727x408 by default." How did you get that 727x408 figure? It is no known screen resolution in ANY of the world's three TV systems, NTSC, PAL or SECAM. I'm scratching my head over that one.
And finally : if I had to choose one method to get your quicktime onto DVD, I'd choose number 3.
Sr. Promotion Producer
Thank you Dave. Just to answer a few questions (and yes, btw, I'm stuck between the film and video worlds, have been shooting DV for a long time, but just editing for a few years, and this is my first time working with footage from the DVX100B):
3,5 and 6 are letterboxed but they still seem stretched vertically a bit.
The suggestion to dump an anamorphic sequence into a non-anamorphic sequence worked perfectly. I am wondering if this is a non-ideal solution resolution-wise.
And in Attempt #6, those ratios were defaulted in the program when I selected "Current Size". I'm very curious where that came from too. Any takers?
Many thanks to everyone who responded.
[Maria Luisa Gambale] "3,5 and 6 are letterboxed but they still seem stretched vertically a bit....
The suggestion to dump an anamorphic sequence into a non-anamorphic sequence worked perfectly. I am wondering if this is a non-ideal solution resolution-wise....
And in Attempt #6, those ratios were defaulted in the program when I selected "Current Size". I'm very curious where that came from too. Any takers?"
I think you're just seeing things when 3,5 & 6 look stretched a bit. I don't know how they could get stretched; thjere's no logical answer for it.
You're not losing any resolution by putting a 16x9 sequence into a 4x3 sequence. Remember, they are BOTH 720x480. You're simply changing the pixel aspect ratios, which is no big deal. And if it works, more power to you.
The screwy screen resolution came from the the last person to use that particular feature of the program, which changed the "Current Size" to 481x513, or whatever it was.
If your current workflow is good for you, that's fine. But I wouldn't be shocked to learn that you intend to do a film out at some point... in which case, might have to change things. If you shoot at 24p and not 24pa, then edit at 29.97 and not 23.98, you'll definitely have to make changes.
Sr. Promotion Producer