exports are all squeezed vertically - FCP 5.1.4
March 23, 2016 01:19PM
Hi; far from a video editor (sound guy who does basic stuff in video) -

Working on a project I shot with my phone and everything looks fine video aspect ratio wise as I'm working and even in the preview window for outputs (have tried Quicktime, Compressor and various settings). But yet the final output is ALWAYS squeezed vertically. Any hints?

Re: exports are all squeezed vertically - FCP 5.1.4
March 23, 2016 04:23PM
squeezed vertically?

if everything is a bit tall and skinny,
that would suggest you are working in standard def, anamorphic.
that only appears to be 16/9. the actual screen ratio is 4/3, but it gets stretched out in FCP.

but phone video would not be standard def.

how did you get the video off your phone?
can you post screen grabs?

Re: exports are all squeezed vertically - FCP 5.1.4
March 24, 2016 07:14PM
You might consider quick-and-dirty solutions for this which just modify the file's media descriptors in order to make playback have the desired shape.
I assume that what you call the "final output" is a .mov file.

You have QuickTime Player 7 if you have FCP 5.
    Open the .mov file in QuickTime Player 7.
    Window > Show Movie Properties
    Video Track > Visual Settings
    Deselect Preserve Aspect Ratio
    Enter whole numbers in Scale Size that give the desired shape. The ratio of the numbers is what matters.
    Close file, saving the changes.
Unfortunately this fix only works when the .mov file is played back with QuickTime Player 7! Other players I tried -- QuickTime Player 10, VLC Player, Blu-ray Player -- ignore the Aspect Ratio descriptor. FCP7 is befuddled by it. (I guess FCP5 likewise.)

A better method is to use QT Edit to edit a different descriptor.
    Open the .mov file in QT Edit.
    Video > Encoding Attributes
    Enter the Pixel Aspect Ratio that gives the desired image Aspect Ratio (considering the pixel count, which you're not changing). The viewer shows the result.
    File > Save
This fix works with QuickTime Player 10, VLC Player, and Blu-ray Player. It does not work with QuickTime Player 7 or FCP7. Those two read the Pixel Aspect Ratio descriptor but interpret it incorrectly.

Now you can take the .mov file that has been fixed by the second method and apply the first method to it. With both the descriptors changed the .mov file plays correctly in all four players I tested. FCP7 still can't deal with it.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany

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