View Full Version : Help - 4:3 to 16:9

06-06-2006, 11:04 AM
Help, help, help. Need to convert a 4:3 video to 16:9, and I've never done this before so I'm a little confused as to how this works.

Edited a piece in 4:3. Suddenly client needs it converted to 16:9 by three pm.

Rendered it out as DV Video Type 2 Full NTSC D1 Video Resolution (720X480). With the Set 16:9 flag.

Imported it into Cleaner and rendered it out as a 16:9 MPEG-2 NTSC DVD file.

This I imported into DVD workshop and burned onto a DVD.

The final product is definately 16:9 but the people look stretched out horizontally as if they've put on some weight. Is this normal or did I do something wrong?

Thanks for the help.

Dan Hong
06-06-2006, 05:22 PM
Yeah, no worries. You did the right thing. That's what you get when you convert 4:3 to 16:9. Unless you shot it in 16:9.

06-06-2006, 05:35 PM
Hi Brian - don't you just love clients who don't know what they want ?

First you need to change your piece from 4:3 to 16:9.
You can either add 'curtians' to both sides of your footage or cut off the top and bottom of your picture - I think there are presets in the tool shed for this so its very quick to do. If not, use the ARC (aspect ratio converter) in the control tree settings.
If you cut off top & bottom you may need to adjust your headroom on some of the footage but the picture does fill the compleat 16:9 frame.

After that , just do what you did and all should be good.


06-06-2006, 05:45 PM
Sort of on the same note to all...

If you are making a video for a client check to see if they will use it at a trade show. If they will then make sure you shoot in 16:9 aspect as 99.9% of tradeshow displays are 16:9 Plasma screens.

Then tell your client that when the union hand sets-up the DVD player have them set-up the dvd player for a 16:9 screen. Since by default DVD players are set to play on 4:3 screens Letterboxed. And you would not believe it but most union hands do not know about setting the DVD player to match the screen aspect. They will try and use the screens's zoom fuction which will make your video look bad.

Which another option for your client is to take the 4:3 DVD you made and set the DVD Player on 16:9 mode it will then fill the screen but add the curtains to the left and right.

06-12-2006, 10:06 AM
I have a yearly job compiling movie trailers for a local film festival, and it's always fun* trying to explain to people how this works. We have 4:3 and 16:9 trailers, shown at different times on both 4:3 and 16:9 screens. Fortunately I figured out a few years ago how to make the DVD itself smart enough to do everything correctly (IF they set up the dvd PLAYER correctly). Life is good now.**


:vticon: The toolshed has presets for converting 4:3 to 16:9 and vice versa. I also change the quality to "high" for clips that I'm converting, to hopefully squeeze a bit nicer picture out of the resize.

:vticon: The VT monitor can be changed to show either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect (right click on the monitor, it's in the options). This is a very useful feature; use it to double-check that your people look correct in your destination format. Perfect circles in your video are also good for checking this. (As an aside the trailers for animated movies like Corpse Bride are surprisingly hard to tell whether they are in the correct aspect or not, since the characters are already so exaggerated!).

:vticon: Try to use "true" anamorphic (squeezed) widescreen rather than pre-letterboxed widescreen. Anamorphic will show everything squeezed on the 4:3 monitor, but will look fine on a 16:9 monitor. Pre-letterboxed will show as letterboxed on a 4:3 monitor, but you can set 16:9 screens to "zoom in" on the center of the screen. The problem? Pre-letterboxing throws away a third of your available resolution by making it black letterboxes. Anamorphic uses all of your original pixels. Unfortunately, clients who don't know what they're doing may insist on pre-letterboxing. If after explaining the above and that it's the DVD PLAYER that should be doing the letterboxing they still insist on being given that format, give them what they want and keep a hankie ready for your tears.

:vticon: As mentioned, make 100% sure that you tell them that they need to set the DVD player to match the screen it's connected to (normal or wide). This setting is always somewhere in a setup menu on the player itself. 100% of the time, when they call and say "it looks funny, you did it wrong!", it is this setting that needs to be changed. Charge them for the call.

Good luck! -MG.

*not fun.
**fun! :D