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Old 04-12-2006, 07:00 PM   #1
Simon Wicker
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video sizes/aspect ratio - the answer!

okay, here is the definitive answer of what size video and aspect ratio you should use straight from the horses mouth (i.e. me). if you follow these guidelines you will not go wrong ever! however you must know what format you are using and why you are using it! don't use the D1 PAL size if you are trying to add cg elements to NTSC DV footage! always check beforehand what you need to render.

DV NTSC: 720x480, pixel aspect ratio 0.9:1, render from cinema @ 30fps
DV NTSC widescreen: 720x480, pixel aspect ratio 1.2:1, render from cinema @ 30fps
D1 NTSC: 720x486, pixel aspect ratio 0.9:1, render from cinema @ 30fps
D1 NTSC: 720x540, pixel aspect ratio 1:1, render from cinema @ 30fps
D1 NTSC widescreen: 720x486, pixel aspect ratio 1.2:1, render from cinema @ 30fps
D1 NTSC widescreen: 864x486, pixel aspect ratio 1:1, render from cinema @ 30fps

DV/D1 PAL: 720x576, pixel aspect ratio 1.067:1, render from cinema @ 25fps
DV/D1 PAL: 768x576, pixel aspect ratio 1:1, render from cinema @ 25fps
DV/D1 PAL widescreen: 720x576, pixel aspect ratio 1.42:1, render from cinema @ 25fps
DV/D1 PAL widescreen: 1024x576, pixel aspect ratio 1:1, render from cinema @ 25fps

HDTV 1080/29.97: 1920x1080, pixel aspect ratio 1:1, render from cinema @ 30fps
HDTV 1080/24: 1920x1080, pixel aspect ratio 1:1, render from cinema @ 24fps

2K Film: 2048x1556, pixel aspect ratio 1:1, render from cinema @ 24fps

notes:

1) don't bother using interlacing when you render as you don't need it. most high end commercials and television is sourced via 35mm film or HD cameras that all capture images using progressive (non-interlaced) frames.

2) whether you work square pixels with standard definition footage or not is fully your choice but at the end of the day what gets played out by the tv station is the squished image.

3) NTSC video is properly 29.97 frames per second but when rendering from your 3d app you should use an integer frame rate so stick to 30 fps.

4) always render animations to discrete frames (i.e. .psd, .tif, .png) rather than to a single quicktime or avi. if your computer crashes during a render a quicktime would be rendered useless. it is also preferable to maintain your images in an uncompressed or losslessly compressed format so they can be further edited without losing quality (so no rendering to jpegs).

anything else people need to know just ask and i will update this post.

cheers, simon w.

Last edited by Simon Wicker : 04-13-2006 at 03:46 AM. Reason: reformat/added notes
 
Old 04-12-2006, 07:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wicker

D1 NTSC widescreen: 720x486, pixel aspect ratio 1.2:1, render from cinema @ 30fps


So I set Premiere to output NTSC widescreen D1 and then I'm good. I think...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wicker
straight from the horses mouth


I owe you a beer, then, or a saltlick if you prefer. (Horses don't drink beer, usually).
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:40 PM   #3
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thank you thank you thank you.....

I have asked for this so many times on so many forums - and never had such a great answer. You could make money with this answer.

Mike
 
Old 04-12-2006, 07:45 PM   #4
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Good reference to have! Thanks!

Chris
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:54 PM   #5
ooo
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Very usefull indeed! Thanks

odo
 
Old 04-12-2006, 08:11 PM   #6
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great! Thank you very much for the effort.

One thing I wanted to know is, what actually does D1 mean?

Is PAL always D1? Does D1 equal DV ?

Just need to grasp that bit.

again cheers mate
 
Old 04-12-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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thanks Simon, usefull list
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:35 PM   #8
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this is really great, thankyou.

I like your no nonsense 'you don't need to know why just do it this way' approach
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunmade
One thing I wanted to know is, what actually does D1 mean?

D1 is an old, uncompressed digital tape format from Sony.
PAL used to be edited at 786x576 1:1, then Sony introduced the D1 tape and the 720x576 format... It's been that ever since in the digital world.

Cheers,
Mike
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:35 PM   #10
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Thanks a lot Mike for the D1 insight.
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:29 PM   #11
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Thanks, it always keeps on being confusing, nice to have this overview... now only rest the letterboxing, anamorphic, etc...
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Old 04-12-2006, 10:36 PM   #12
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Smile

Simon,

Not sure if you mention this somewhere else, but what about field
rendering in your table? For DV, I believe it should be 30fps and Lower Fields.
For D1 I believe it is upper fields. Regardless, in PPro you can change
the field dominance if it is rendered wrong. Not having fields or rendering
at 60fps really limits the composing and effects quality. Moving edges
in the rendered video can appear choppy even with the correct PAR
and framerate so I usually render out at 30fps with 0.9 PAR and lower fields.

Just my 2cents.

Mark
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Old 04-12-2006, 11:47 PM   #13
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Simon,

In a nutshell, thanks.

But... you have taken all the sense of adventure out of it all! I have all kinds of books, and website bookmarks amassing detailed explanations over the years, then you go and ruin it all putting everything you wanted to know about DV, but were afraid to ask, including the meaning of life, the universe and everything (42).... thanks for all the fish.... into one page. feh! Your making it too easy, where's the pain? Where's the feeling of accomplishment?

Well, I take some solace in the mystery yet to be detangled of the HD mess 0' catfish... 720p, 720 interlace, 1080i, 1080p, 29.97 fps, 30 fps, oh and lets have 60 fps in there too... that'll be fun...

: )

Joe
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Last edited by Joseppi : 04-13-2006 at 12:11 AM.
 
Old 04-12-2006, 11:58 PM   #14
Simon Wicker
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as i mentioned i don't believe that people should be rendering out of cinema using interlacing:

people should always output full frames.

most high end commercials and television will be sourced from progressive material (either film or HD) and cinema output should match this. film scanned through a telecine is not truly interlaced - true interlacing only comes from video sources like low-end miniDV cameras. i would imagine that even the most strapped for cash indie production would be using something like the panasonic AG-DVX100 which is progressive scan at 24 fps.

rendering interlaced footage from cinema is doubly evil because you cannot then further edit your footage - you are locked to what you have created (so no taking your renders into after effects and scaling, rotating, blurring, etc. because these effects all destroy the fields). the only way around this is to then de-interlace and interlace within AE which introduces another level of complexity that people really shouldn't have to deal with.

this is of course my own personal preference and not gospel truth! you should use whatever works best for YOU.

cheers, simon w.
 
Old 04-13-2006, 01:43 AM   #15
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Totally agree with Simon about rendering out full frames and not interlaced. This is a pet debate between me and a mograph buddy of mine, who insists on rendering everything interlaced.

In comparison, when looking at interlaced renders/captures, I've always 'felt'(and it really does boil down to perception) it looks like video it's too smooth and sharp. Great for reality TV, but doesn't have that filmic, cinematic feel. Progressive frames tend to stutter if there's plenty of camera movement, but if motion blur is added(esp for mograph work) it looks very film-like.

Thanks very much Simon, for this thread. It should be made a sticky or something. Just wanted to add that it's also better to render out image sequences(numered picts/tifs/tga) rather than movie files, so if anything goes wrong halfway it's easier to start again from the errant frame without losing the whole movie. It's also easier for the post-house as they don't need to stuggle with QT or AVI formats.

andrew
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