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Why is aspect ratio correct in Mac OS and incorrect in Windows?

Dec 2, 2012 4:13 AM

Tags: #aspect_ratio

I have just installed the Mac and Windows versions of Premiere Elements 11, but I have a problem with aspect ratio. Can anyone help or is this a bug with the Windows version?


I imported movies clips from my Canon camcorder onto my iMac Mac OS 10.7.5 using the facilities provided by iMovie. I then added the imported media to my PE11 project timeline and the widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 came out perfectly. My Canon camcorder can use widescreen for recording.


I then imported the same movie clips from my Canon camcorder on my Toshiba Satellite laptop (widescreen display) Windows 7 Pro. I then added the media to my PE11 project timeline and the video displayed squashed into a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of 16:9 aspect ratio.


Why does the Windows version of PE11 do this? Is there a solution to making my Windows version import the correct aspect ratio for widescreen automatically?


I cannot change the aspect ratio in project settings using Edit > Project Settings > General as suggested by the Adobe help pages.


I do know how to successfully change the aspect ratio to D1/DV PAL widescreen using Expert mode and then Interpret Footage in Project Assets before adding the media to the project timeline (this cannot be done in Quick mode). However, this step should not be necessary, especially when the Mac OS version interprets the widescreen aspect ratio correctly without a problem.


Please help.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 5:41 AM   in reply to PSauthor

    If you use Premiere Elements to capture the video, the program will automatically match the project specs to your footage.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 6:09 AM   in reply to PSauthor

    I'm not sure what you're doing wrong. But, in every case, when I use Premiere Elements' Add Media/from DV tool, it comes in right on the nose.


    When you look under Edit/Project Settings, what does it show as your project settings Aspect Ratio?


    Meantime, you can right-click on any "squashed" video in your Project Assets panel and select Interpret Footage to manually set it to the correct pixel aspect ratio.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 2, 2012 1:49 PM   in reply to PSauthor

    There is a "flag" in the files' header info, that signals the PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) for SD Video, either 0.9 for Standard 4:3, or Widescreen 16:9 (NTSC). Sometimes, that flag is missed. When it is, if one Rt-clicks on the Clips in the Project Panel, they can choose Interpret Footage to "force" the program to set the PAR, as is required.


    Only a guess on my part, but I would say that iMovie is writing files, with malformed header info, or in a form, that PrE does not see properly. I do not know iMovie, so cannot determine if that is the case.


    With other Mac NLE (Non Linear Editor) programs, like FCPx, or FCE, intermediate files are used to edit, as the programs do not handle a lot of file formats/CODEC's natively. It could be something similar with iMovie.


    Regardless, when the flag is missed, for whatever reason, Interpret Footage should force PrE to use the correct PAR.


    Good luck,



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2012 4:55 AM   in reply to PSauthor

    Exactly what we recommended, PS. Glad you're up and running.

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