Jun. 3rd, 2010 01:27 am
clauditorium: (Default)
[personal profile] clauditorium
iMovie can be a good tool for putting together videos, but when it comes to correct aspect ratios, it often seems downright dense.

Why is it that the only way I can get an excerpt from this 596x248 video file in the correct aspect ratio is to ask for it in 640x480 (at which point it has to add ginormous letterbox black bars)? Infuriating!!



What's that you say? What if I ask to have it in its original dimensions? See for yourself:

If anyone out there knows something I don't, please illuminate me before I pull the last of my hair out!

Date: 2010-06-03 12:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've never used i movie before but my guess would be that the program is assuming that you intend to watch it on a 4:3 television, (presumably after burning the program to a DVD). In that situation it's providing you with the proper aspect ratio for viewing.

If, as I assume, you're not planning to view this on a television and instead are using a computer there may be some setting you can change, but do the black bars really matter? The final product isn't skewed or cutting off any of the original clip's video.

The difference in picture quality however is quite noticeable. Personally, I'd find that far more irksome.

Date: 2010-06-03 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's an interesting idea, that it assumes I'm going to watch the video on a tv.

I've always been a widescreen advocate, so normal black bars don't bother me. It's just that these particular ones happen to be GINORMOUS! (Plus, why would the program add them when they aren't part of the original?)

The picture quality isn't an issue. This was just a test; I didn't bother selecting high quality.

Date: 2010-06-03 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If you look at your original file on your computer screen and then draw the imaginary shape of a standard 4:3 television around it, making sure that the sides of the imaginary television touch the sides of your file, you'll notice that there is a lot of negative space above and below where the file would appear on the imaginary television set. In the world of Standard Definition television there are only two ways to deal with this. The first is by inserting black over the negative space- which is what iMovie is doing to the final output of your file. The second is to take the top and bottom of your file and stretch it till it completely covers over the negative space- this is an anamorphic picture and you won't like how it looks. Everyone is super skinny.

The reason the black bars are GINORMOUS is the file you are using has a super wide aspect ratio. You've probably seen this before with certain movies. Tarentino films are often shot with a very wide aspect and when viewed on DVD on a Standard Def 4:3 television they are presented with more black at the top and bottom than your average movie- which are usually 16:9. It's the same situation here. If your file had a less severe picture ratio you'd have less black at the top and bottom.

Date: 2010-06-03 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I get all that. I just wonder how hard it would be for them to program iMovie to produce something that looks the same as what you feed it.

Date: 2010-06-03 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
iMovie is designed for turning home movies into playable DVD's
That kind of functionality isn't built into it.

Date: 2010-06-03 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What if I cross my arms and pout?

Date: 2010-06-03 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
perhaps if you also clapped for Tinkerbell?

I hate codecs.

Date: 2010-06-03 12:29 pm (UTC)
perlcub: (Default)
From: [personal profile] perlcub
Export with expert settings, click options, change size to "current," uncheck "preserve original aspect ratio using..." box.


Re: I hate codecs.

Date: 2010-06-03 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm pretty sure I've tried that in the past and it didn't work, but I'll try it again when I get home... You'd think it WOULD work, right?

Re: I hate codecs.

Date: 2010-06-03 02:54 pm (UTC)
perlcub: (Default)
From: [personal profile] perlcub
Yes, but what I think is going on is some cross referencing between the actual size of the movie project and the export. The FCE/P editor in me thinks this will have to do with pixel aspect ratios. But eh well.

Edit: I want to append that iMovie has some pretty concrete options for project size. It's 16:9, 4:3, or 2:3. That's all, folks. So if you have 2:1-type widescreen, iMovie won't play nice at all. You may have to look elsewhere. Even FCE would be rather set in it's ways, but there are more there....
Edited Date: 2010-06-03 02:57 pm (UTC)

Re: I hate codecs.

Date: 2010-06-03 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your edit might be my answer. My original file is 596x248. That doesn't sound like an iMovie-friendly ratio...

I seem to remember encountering similar problems with Final Cut, but maybe I'll give it a whirl.

("Why are you using iMovie if you have Final Cut?" Because it's simple. When it works.)

Re: I hate codecs.

Date: 2010-06-03 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just tried it. Comes out in wrong aspect ratio!

I think I'll just have to accept that iMovie has limitations, and take the giant black bars...

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