Rendering Resolution


Does anyone know what resolution I render out in XSI to get that “DVD” Look? You know Letterbox?

Normally we render out to 720X486 for NTSC but that’s full screen. I’d like to cut to DVD next.

Thanks for your advice.



if you open the camera properties there is a pull down that has a load of presets
we work in pal 16:9
you would want to be using NTSC 16:9
make sure the render format matches the camera format
and be aware that these images will be ‘squashed’ in x so they come out at 720x486 this is because most post-production equiptment can’t handle full frame widescreen (beta tape etc)

hope this helps




Thanks for the reply. I tried your suggestion and it looks like a square picture? The only difference as far as I can tell is…

16x9 NTSC 720X486 has a tighter lens

4x3 NTSC 720X486 has a wider lens

but they are both pretty square renders…

I tried the HDTV 720 16/9 1280X720 preset and it looks exactly like the way I want it. My only questiuon is…will I have problems with this resolution when I cut to tape?

PS i don’t have the luxury of dumping the renders to tape right away…I can only send the renders to editing once they are approved as final renders. That’s why I can’t test it out myself :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help,



this is my point…
the type of tape decks that ‘all’ post places use cant handle full width wise screen frames.
you will lose the stuff at the sides of the frame.
the ntsc 16:9 setting will render the scene as if it is widescreen, but will distort the pixel width to fit it into the 4:3 I used to work at a place that authored DVDs and did the menus…
If the frames we rendered were to go elsewhere for sound etc (ie out of the building) that meant they would have to be pout on Digi-Beta, which can’t handle 16:9 full width frames, so you HAVE to render at 16:9 FHA (full height anamorphic) which looks ‘square’
when it is played out ion dvd it looks wide
If the stuff we were doing was going straight accross the network to the DVD authoring system, we could render at full width widescreen, and just copy the files accross the network.
Ultimately you need to find out how you are getting this stuff to DVD, if it has to go via tape, it HAS to be the NTSC16:9 render preset in xsi (on both camera and render settings)
(I seem to remember that Sony actually do make a Digi-Beta deck that handles full widescreen , but they cost about$150,000 so not many places have them)

hope this isn’t to confusing…

i remember having arguments with clients about this (all commercials are now broadcast widescreen here in Britain, but we have to do stuff that will play out abroad aswell (4:3) it’s a nightmare!!)


see these images

16:9 4:3



Thanks for clearing that up for me…makes more sense now.
I spoke to our editing guys and they will have to dump it to tape so the 16/9 NTSC 720X480 will be the way to go as per your suggestion:)

It actaually works out for me since we don’t have to render at terribly large resolution. Render time is like gold!

Thanks again for your help!



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