How to flag 4:3 MPEG file to 16:9

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John_Berger, Mar 31, 2002.

  1. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Recently, Sonic sent me a copy of DVDit Professional Edition 2.5.2 which supports the writing of 16:9 Enhanced DVDs. This is a God-send for me because my old Sony 8mm camcorder performs true anamorphic recording, and I want to convert some of those videos to 16:9 DVDs.

    Unfortunately, the software that I use (Ulead's Media Studio Pro) has no way that I know of to flag files as anamorphic. So, even thought the video image is 16:9, the recorded file is flagged as 4:3. As such, any files that I import to DVDit under 16:9 are rejected.

    I've looked for something that might help to reset the 4:3 flag to 16:9, but I can't seem to find anything. Does anyone know what could do this?
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Your camcorder does not do TRUE 16:9

    It's a 4:3 CCD that masks off and blows up a 16:9 area and performs the anamorphic squish. You lose a LOT of resolution(as much as you gain with a true anamorphic title)

    You probably need a plugin for premiere, or a new MPEG-2 encoder. Also check the DVD-It readme files.
     
  3. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    John: Adobe offers a 30-day fully functional preview of Premiere from their website (or atleast they did). Check it out and see if it does what you want. Premiere is a pretty pricey program... make sure it's what you want first.
     
  5. Dave Preston

    Dave Preston Extra

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    No "old 8mm camcorder" performs true 16:9 shooting. Yes the image is in the 16:9 aspect ratio and anamorphically squished, but it is not truly anamorphic. To do this, you need an anamorphic lens or a camera with 16:9 CCD's. These are only found on very high end cameras.

    If you want to flag your footage as 16:9 anamorphic, I suggest you use Final Cut Pro for editing.
     
  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  7. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Regarding 16X9, there's three ways of doing it in video:
    1)Electronic 16x9 This is when the pick up device is
    1.33:1. For 16x9, it simply recomposes (crops and yes
    wastes some pixels) the 1.33:1 pick up device for 1.78:1.
    Is it ideal? No. Is it nice if you have a 16x9 set, or
    if shooting for 16x9 is real important? IMHO: yes.
    2)Anamorphic 16x9 This is a small attachment that
    applies the anamorphic squeeze before the pick up
    device, so in this case no pixels are wasted. A co-worker
    with the number of 3-chip cameras owns one of these lenes
    and after A/B'ing it to Electronic 16X9, finds it superior.
    3-Chip cameras do seem to do Electronic 16X9 better than
    single chips, but the anamorphic lens of course wastes no
    pixels.
    3)A True 16x9 Pickup Device ..In this case the CCDs
    or alternate form of pick-up device are optimized for 16x9.
    These, as far as I'm aware of, are still limited to pro-
    fessional uses, and have the downside of no longer being
    optimized for 1.33:1. Of course if it's a HDTV camera,
    there's more lines (pixels) to work with, so a down-
    conversion when shooting for 1.33:1 works out better.
     
  8. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Hmmm... Intriguing. Based on what you've said, I don't really know that this model camcoder fits into any of the three categories.

    It could be electronic, but there's no cropping involved. It really is widescreen.

    I doubt it's anamorphic.

    It's possible, all be it remotely, that it's 16x9 pickup because I've noticed that the 4x3 results are a bit granier than previous camcorders I've owned, but it's obviously not a professional camera. Since I only recent got a 16x9 TV and becase I'm the only one in my family to have one, I never really played with the 16x9 function of the camcorder for "compatibility" with other family members. I should start playing with it to see whether the image is better in 16x9 or 4x3.

    Food for thought. Thanks!
     
  9. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

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    John,
    I do believe that you're camera falls into category 1 as outlined by GregK's post. I have a $2,000 Sony mini-DV camcorder that does anamorphic widescreen, but it isn't TRUE anamorphic and you do lose pixels when in 16:9 mode.
     
  10. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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  11. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  12. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    Bottom line is Sony nor any other company has ever offered a consumer or pro-sumer camcorder (VHS->DV) that has 16:9 CCDs. There was one camera produced by RCA that had 16:9 CCDs and was shown at CES back in 1992, but it never shipped.
    As pointed out in previous posts, you either need a 16:9 anamorphic lense (I have one by Optex, although Century Optics also makes one) or a 16:9 CCD.
    To show you your camera while producing a true 16:9 anamorphic image, it is NOT capturing true 16:9 information. Set your camera on a tri-pod, record some footage. Then switch to 16:9, and upon playback, you will see that there is NO additional information on the sides, and you are in fact losing information on the top/bottom of the image. Yes, it is squished into 16:9, but the image contains LESS information than the 4:3.
    In answer to your 16:9 flagging question, the MPEG file is not flagged in any way. The authoring portion (DVDit) flags the disc so that the DVD player knows it's a 16:9 video source.
     
  13. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

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  14. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  15. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  16. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    This sounds like the argument..er discussion I was having with a person over IRC who claimed that the Green Day International Supervideos DVD they bought from Best Buy had all the songs with the curse words present, that it didn't drop sound on them.
     
  17. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  18. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    Scary, isn't it?
     
  19. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    John I am pretty positive your camera is capturing a 4:3 widescreen image and is not 16x9 at all. If that is the case you will get more information on the sides but you are not getting an Anamorphic picture. I am sure you have your TV setup in Standard mode you should notice the image to be distorted a bit but it will fill your entire screen. Best thing to do for measurement is take 2 sheets of paper and put them at the edge of the view finder and start changing your modes you will then see were your camera is croping the image.
     
  20. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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