...do people put a plain black banner at the top and bottom of music videos, if so why?
Yes they do. They do it to fake an even wider screen aspect ratio than 16x9. At the movies, they call it 2.35:1.
Can't really tell you why things are darker without knowing a bit more:
What else do you need to know buddy?
Any idea where I can get a banner the normal size usually used, I don't want to create a banner and in the future give myself stick for it being too small or too large,
Hasty reply appreciated :)
You can find what else people need to know by clicking on that link above, pal.
I wouldn't sweat the letterboxing: if you're close, you're good enough. I doubt very much that your opus will be going to a post house for a film-out at 2.35:1 for use in motion picture theaters.
Cripes, take a screen shot of that youtube video. Bring it into AE. Put it in your comp. Scale it up until it fits properly. Make a mask on a black solid that matches the letterboxing. Get rid of the youtube layer. You now have letterboxing that's close, and in your case, close is good enough.
That clip you linked to is still 16X9 video. They letterboxed it. THEY'RE FAKING IT JUST LIKE YOU'LL BE FAKING IT.
Apologies as i was on my phone before so i didn't see that link, the only other bit of information i see relevant on there to provide is that the recordings are .mov, thanks for teaching me about letterboxing, i normally learn everything off of youtube and google but couldn't word what i was looking for
Well, Jack, sorry to say this, but you've still got a problem.
"mov" only indicates that you're working with quicktime movies. But in order to get closer to solving the dark video problems, people need to know the CODEC of the quicktime movie files... which we still don't know.
Highlight a clip in the AE project window, and look at the info at the top. You ought to find the codec listed there.
In the meantime, you might find this helpful:
Normally, you don't have to fool with color spaces with quicktime in AE.
Apologies again, I take it quicktime movie is the standard format for dslr video then, the codec is H.264 which if I remember correctly is also the codec for the youtube preset in ame
Cool. Well, then forget that linearizing the color space nonsense and read up on the link above.