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How to convert 4:3 projects to 16:9

Jul 7, 2009 6:04 PM

I have created many projects in 4:3 with Premiere Elements 4. I now want to change these projects to 16:9. Each project has a mix of 16:9 videos, and many still photos in 3:2 and 4:3. I can see how to set a new project to widescreen, but how can I convert the existing 4:3 projects to 16:9. I don't want to have to redo them all because that would take many many hours of rework.


Any help would be very much appreciated.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 7, 2009 6:34 PM   in reply to PhilNeil

    Unfortunately, you can not change project settings mid-project. They can only be set when you create a new project.

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    Oct 19, 2009 11:21 AM   in reply to PhilNeil

    It IS POSSIBLE to convert 4:3 projects to 16:9, but it will require some editing:


    How to convert 4:3 projects to 16:9 widescreen


    1. Open a NEW 16:9 Widescreen Adobe Premiere Project.
    2. Rename file Sequence 01 to Sequence 02.
    3. Import the OLD 4:30 Premiere Project (File>Import>filename.prproj)
    4. Open the Bin Folder that is Imported.
    5. Select all the contents of the Bin Folder and MOVE them beneath the Sequence 02 file.
    6. Close the Bin Folder and Delete (Clear) it.
    7. Double Click the Sequence 01 File and all Project Files should appear in the Timeline:Sequence 01 window.
    8. Delete (Clear) the Sequence 02 file.
    9. Edit motions, sizes, positions, and timings for New WIDER Screen model.
    10.Save file as NEW Widescreen version.


    Good Luck,




    Ridgeline Marketing Services

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 19, 2009 11:56 AM   in reply to RidgelineMarketing

    Premiere Pro has sequences, but Premiere Elements does not.


    Does this method work with Premiere Elements?

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    Oct 19, 2009 12:26 PM   in reply to Steve Grisetti

    I am sorry, I do not use Premiere Elements, so I do not know what the results will be. Basically the Sequence file stores the timeline. I do not know where the timeline is stored in Elements.


    It may work if you substitute that file for the Sequence file.

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    Oct 19, 2009 1:18 PM   in reply to RidgelineMarketing

    One of the biggest differences between PrE and PrPro is the lack of Sequences in PrE. That is why one is limited in how one handles changes, such as PAR for Widescreen and Standard Projects.


    Now, PrPro CS4 has gone one further. You can have a Project (no Preset here now), and each Sequence can be different (Presets done at this level now). You can mix 16:9, 4:3, HD, SD, AVCHD, etc., but just doing a new Sequence with the proper Preset and they are all in the same Project. In CS4, if one had set up a Sequence to 4:3, only to realize that footage was really 16:9, all they need to do is set up a new correct Sequence, and just Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V that footage, all within the original Project.


    One could also Nest the 4:3 Sequence into a new 16:9 Sequence and use Interpret Footage to adjust the PAR. PrE does not support Nesting, as it has no Sequences.



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    Oct 19, 2009 5:57 PM   in reply to RidgelineMarketing

    Steve/Ridgeline Marketing Services


    Thank you for having this July 2009 thread surface again, especially since it was left with such an inappropriate conclusion.


    I have given a step by step by step account of how to do this in Premiere Elements 7 and 4. IT DOES WORK, that is, converting a DV Standard 4:3 project to a DV Widescreen 16:9 one and vice versa, although the party line is that is cannot be done. All this was based on the initial thinking of Paul_LS.

    See this not so long ago thread



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2009 9:08 AM   in reply to PhilNeil

    Thank you for reporting your success. Both ATR and Paul_LS have been valued contributors to this forum for a long time, and it's very nice to see their work validated.


    Good luck,



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