Pixel Aspect Ratio

Posted by Brandon102 
Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 24, 2008 01:41AM
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for helping me. I have a quick question. I am editing a documentary shot on dv at 29.98 fps. In final cut pro, my sequence settings for pixel aspect ratio are set to
"NTSC-CCIR 601/DV" which it has been this whole time. In the browser window, the frame size for all my clips is 720x480.

Today, after a meeting with an animator, he said that while looking at my footage, it appeared to meausre 640x480. He said I have to change the pixel aspect ratio settings from "NTSC-CCIR 601/DV" to "Square" for it to then be the full 720x480.

I've never heard of this. Could someone please shed some light on what to do? Thanks so much in advance.

Re: Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 24, 2008 01:50AM
Your animator needs to go back to school and learn a little more about video before he/she screws up someone program.
Re: Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 24, 2008 02:00AM
Hey Tom, that may be the case but for the time being, I am correct in leaving it under the NTSC-CCIR 601/DV setting right? The animator is good at the graphics but maybe not this stuff, so what should I do? Thank you so much
Re: Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 24, 2008 05:29AM
Open the export file in the QT player and see exactly what it says about it. Take a snapshot of the info. Send it to the animator and explain what it means. (Assuming you exported it correctly.)
Re: Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 25, 2008 02:09AM
You're right. The animator is wrong. Your DV is 720x480 non-square pixels. IF translated to square pixels, it would be 640x480. However, if you're planning to output to tape then you want to keep your sequence 720x480 with your aspect ratio NTSC-CCIR 601/DV. Actually even if you're planning on outputting for the web or another square pixel format, wait til after you are done editing and have exported a full rez 720x480 file to do that. If you follow you're animator's advice you'll be giving yourself a ton of headaches.
Re: Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 25, 2008 07:13PM
Great Bill and Tom! Thank you so much for your help. If anyone else has anything to add, please feel free. Thanks guys!
Re: Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 25, 2008 11:33PM
One more thing. I exported an edited file in quicktime and here's what it says:

Format: DV, 720 x 480 (640 x 480), Millions
16-bit Integer (Big Endian), Stereo, 48.000 kHz

Normal Size: 720x480 pixels
Current Size: 720x480 pixels (Actual)

If I play the footage itself in quicktime from the capture scratch, it has the same format except:

Normal Size: 640x480
Current Size: 640x480 (actual)

Why is that, what's the 640x480 in parenthesis above? So when I export my edit, it will be true 720x480 right? For example, I did a trailer and it has the top settings of all 720x480.

Re: Pixel Aspect Ratio
March 29, 2008 08:19AM
The settings in parenthesis means that it's DV expressed in square pixels. DV pixels are NOT square pixels but a little rectangular.


keep your settings and send Tom's advice to your animator.
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