4:3 Anamorphic

Posted by lukepick 
4:3 Anamorphic
May 21, 2007 06:45PM
Hello, I have footage that is 4:3 anamorphic (stretched vertically). When I add it to my sequence it automatically resizes it. So now it looks right but is letterboxed. I would like to blow it up and center it instead, however when I resize it, it looks pixelated and fuzzy. Can FCP do this?

Thank You,
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 21, 2007 07:06PM

Make sure you try rendering it down once scaled - you could add a slight sharpen filter too just a little to define the edges.


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Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 21, 2007 07:07PM
I think you have too many tools working. First FCP shrinks it to letterbox screen and then you try to blow it up. No wonder is looks terrible.

Final Cut can be told at the top that you want to fit the picture top to bottom and let the sides go where they will. That should look a lot better.

I have no idea how to actually do that, bit I know it can be done.

Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 21, 2007 10:24PM
Making a 4:3 video work in an anamorphic Sequence can be handles a few different ways. But remember, there is no excellent solution that everybody has figured out. Almost every aspect of every solution is a compromise in quality. That is just the way things are.

1) What you have already done: having it float in the middle of a black frame. This happens because, when viewed on a 4:3 TV both letter-boxing and plliar-boxing are taking place. This is the NATURAL state of this video. Any other solution requires "damaging" the image in some way.

PRO: objects have correct proportions in the image, and the picture keeps sharp and nice. Also, on a 16:9 TV there is no letter-boxing, there is only pillar-boxing.

CON: some feel the image is too small.

2) stretching the image horizontally

PRO: this fills the same space as the anamorphic. Doesnt require as much image pixelation as #3.

CON: except for clouds and abstract objects, things look whack and stretched.

3) Zooming in to about 133% and manually moving the frame around to re-compose your shot.

PRO: proportions of objects look correct. It fills up same amount of space as anamorphic footage.

CON: your zooming into your shot: the image is gonna look worse! Its the law of the universe! This is an uprez and cannot be defined in any other way. Properly displayed DV SD footage is 854x480.

The only good news is that I have used the Shane Ross/Compressor technique to UPREZ a DV file to 720p (30p in 29.97) using the very high quality and very slow rendering provided there. THEN I re-size it back down in the SD anamorphic timeline, and position the composition in the 16:9 frame. This looks MUCH MUCH better than just zooming in FCP. Try it. You may also need to adjust the Aspect Ratio in the Motions Tab later in FCP, but the image can handle it.

Good luck
- Christopher s. Johnson
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 21, 2007 11:33PM
Where can I find the Shane Ross/Compressor technique? I need to uprez my 4:3 DV footage to 16:9 on a new timeline, and I would like to do this without letterboxing or pillarboxing. Realizing I will lose quality, but it will look better if shown in a theatre, I understand.
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 12:02AM
No, actually it'll look worse in a theater if you zoom into the picture like that, because you'll also be projecting it to a much larger size than DV can reliably handle. But taking in your last post, I'm not even sure that you're being clear about what you are actually trying to do.

You said that you want your anamorphic footage to go to a 16:9 timeline. This can be accomplished easily in FCP by simply creating an anamorphic 16:9 sequence and editing into that. Your anamorphic footage will then fit width and height perfectly in the frame in the correct proportions and you'll lose no quality at all.

But you said in your first post you mentioned that you wanted to "blow up and center" the footage, implying that you want to output a 4:3 frame instead of a 16:9. Which is it? If you plan on showing it in a theater, I would guess that you actually want a 16:9 frame as that is more attuned to a theater vs the 4:3 ratio that is native to TV.

Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 12:55AM
Forgive me, I thought he was adding 4:3 footage to an anamorphic Sequence (timeline). I should lay off of the rum. I was thrown by the use of the term, "4:3 anamorphic".

Uh, yeah just make sure the clips are tagged as "anamorphic" and drop then in an anamorphic Sequence. Did you make sure that your clip settings and sequence settings are the same?
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 01:28AM
You can change the anamorphic flag of any clip by highlighting it and opening its Item Properties (Command-9). Just check the column by "Anamorphic" in the Format pane.

You may have to render.

- Loren
Today's FCP 4 / 5 keytip:
Fast scan your clips or timeline with Control-F12 !
Go slower with lower F keys.
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Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 07:31AM
If you are working in a 4:3 timeline, all you need to do is open the "motion" pane in the viewer and go to "distort", then in the "aspect ratio" box type in -33 and hit enter. Then go to "scale" and type in 133 and hit enter.

This is the long way to changing the pixel aspect ratio which is what's different between anamorphic/non-anamorphic clips. Both are 480 pixels vertically by 720 pixels horizontally and since 720:480 is neither a 4:3 ratio nor a 16:9 ratio (it's 3:2) that means one has 3:2 pixels oriented vertically and one has 4:3 pixels oriented horizontally (or something like that). So that's the adjustment you need to make.

I wish I could remember where I read this crap so I could link it. The math made more sense.
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 09:21AM
OK guys, after getting my head about me and re-re-reading his original post, I think it is of primary importance that he check to see if his Sequence and Clip settings are the same. ie; DV NTSC ANAMORPHIC

Lukepick, this is probably one of the most important concepts of this application to "get". The Sequence and Clip settings must match (at least in FCP 1-5) exactly for general editing to take place successfully. This is where the Easy Set-ups come in real handy because they can do all of this for you.

Sorry for the complex run-arounds. Easy Set-up is your friend.

Ohhh, coffee....
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 11:55AM
His original post indicates that his sequence is 4:3 and his material is 16:9. It doesn't sound like a settings mismatch.
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 12:18PM
But Tim, that is the very definition of a settings mismatch.
Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 12:20PM
Thanks Guys, this has been most helpful!

Re: 4:3 Anamorphic
May 22, 2007 12:34PM
Not necessarily. If your sequence is 4:3 NTSC and your material is 4:3 NTSC anamorphic, you can capture it correctly with the proper capture setting but you still need to deal with the difference. Which is where Lukepik seems to be.

If it were a settings mismatch, he be having to render it, too, such as when your project (output) and sequence settings don't match.
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