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NTSC equivalent PAL comp settings

May 2, 2012 11:25 AM



I've created a number of NTSC short films in AE CS4. Burned onto DVD using Encore, they play fine. Now, I want to create PAL versions. I think I've worked out the equivalent comp settings to use but I'm not sure. Please can you look over the settings below and let me know if you can foresee any problems in the PAL settings and, if so, offer alternatives. Thanks.


For NTSC I use these comp settings (this is NOT for rendering; please see below for that.)

Preset - NTSC D1 Widescreen Square Pixel

Width - 872

Height - 486

Pixel aspect ratio - Square pixels

Frame rate - 29.97


If I want to create PAL versions of these films, what settings should I use for the individual comps, please?

Is it these?

Preset - PAL D1/DV Widescreen Square Pixel



Pixel aspect - Square Pixel

Frame rate - 25


The PAL width seems very big, but then that's the default when you choose that PAL preset, so I'm guessing it's right.



I add all the above NTSC comps to one final comp, which is rendered to m2v using these settings

Preset - NTSC DV Widescreen

Width - 720

Height - 480

Pixel aspect ratio - D1/DV NTSC Widescreen (1.21)

Frame rate - 29.97


If I want to render the PAL comps, what are the equivalent settings, please?

Will they be:

PAL D1/DV Widescreen



D1/DV PAL Widescreen (1.46)

25 frame rate


Thanks for any help,


  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 12:00 PM   in reply to Steve836

    Do you even need to do this?  Every PAL DVD player I know about plays NTSC DVDs just fine.


    Do you have any footage in your NTSC comp with a frame rate?  Video?  Image Sequence? 


    If yes, you'll need frame rate conversion software Like Re:Vision Twixtor (pricey), and use it on duplicates of the footage.  You can't simply conform the existing footage to 25fps because you'll slow it down and make it longer.    Failing that, you'll have to settle for weird jerky motion from your footage.


    If no, or if the goofy motion won't bother you, just nest your NTSC comp in a comp created using the  PAL DV Widescreen preset.  You should be fine in Encore.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 1:06 PM   in reply to Steve836

    No frame rate issues?  You're in luck: this is easier than you think:


    Make a comp using the PAL DV Widescreen comp preset.

    Nest the NTSC comp in it.

    Scale the nested comp to fit in the PAL DV Widescreen comp: Cmd-Opt-f Mac, not sure for Win.

    Add the comp to the render queue.

    Adjust Rener Settings and Output Module as necessary.

    Hit the Render button.


    That's it.  Seriously.  No other hoops to jump through.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2012 3:24 PM   in reply to Steve836

    I've heard PAL players will play NTSC, but do all PAL players play NTSC


    All of them do, but some only handle the luma, meaning you only get a greyscale output. More a problem with what chipsets some of them use in combination with how the TV set handles this. Modern LCDs with the DVD player connected via HDMI will usually work fine, if the signal needs to be fed into an older TV via FBAS/ Scart it may show the described behavior. No way to be 100% sure, so if it's not a problem to create separate versions, consider doing it.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 9:16 AM   in reply to Steve836

    "Image Sequence" is an extremely common term in AE-Land and elsewhere.  I mean REALLY common, as in, "How come you don't know something this basic?" common.


    One of the best examples of an image sequence would be sequential animation cels from a Disney cartoon.  Viewed separately, they're a series of pictures of Mickey, and he appears to be in slightly different positions from picture to picture.  Projected at 24 fps, Mickey's dancing.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 10:48 AM   in reply to Steve836

    Steve836 wrote:


    Thanks for your patience with this "tourist"!



    Yeah, well, don't drink the water here without popping one of those purifying tablets in your canteen.


    2-second images are no problem in the easy method.  Nor are 6-frame images... oh, some may be a frame longer or shorter than you originally intended, but if you can live with that you're good to go. 


    The alternative to the easy method would be to copy every layer of the 29.97 comp into an identically-sized 25fps comp and tweaking everything, then nesting it in a PAL DV Widescreen comp, scaling to fit & rendering.

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