This is most likely a PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) issue. With SD (Standard Definition) Video, you can have Standard 4:3 w/ PAR = 0.9, Widescreen 16:9 w/ PAR = 1.2, or a non-standard 4:3 w/ PAR = 1.0 (rounded PAR's for NTSC).
In Ps, you have the ability to adjust the PAR, under the Image menu from the Toolbar. For use on a DVD, you would choose a PAR of 0.9 if you have Standard 4:3, or 1.2 for Widescreen 16:9.
With the PAR adjustment, to match your Video footage, you should then be able to get what you want, without the distortion. Also, note that one can change how the PAR displays in Ps. By default, it will be Square Pixels, or PAR = 1.0, and you should get an info message that the display is not showing the exact PAR. This can also be changed in Ps.
For more discussion on PAR, see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3456609#3456609
Thanks Bill for details of PAR. I also read the articles from the url you provide and further ones from that. This is good information giving dimentions.
I looked at the Photoshop CS5 Image menu from the toolbar but so far I cannot find a function that indicates a choice for PARs. Perhaps CS6 has that option that would further convince me that I should upgrade from Ceative Studio CS5 to CS6.
Am I missing a submenu function?
The PAR adjustment was introduced in Ps CS, and has been included ever since.
I do not have Ps CS 5, but can't believe that it has moved that far. As I only have Ps CS2 on this laptop, here is where it's found in that version:
Maybe a Ps CS 5 user can tell us both where it moved to, if it has moved.
Uh-Oh, looks like it moved under View in Ps CS 5, and later.
Note to self: do not be lazy, and go turn on workstation with Ps CS 6, before you write responses...
Thanks again Bill.
My apologies for putting you through the extra work. Looks like I was equally guilty of making an assumption without looking into all the menus. Image or Adjustments is where I expected to find PAR.
Most of my work in Ps is the link from PPro to make background adjustments for DVD menus or working on individual frames. I have previous DVD discs with covers I created several years ago along similar lines without distortion. I do not remember using PARs. This was probably before a link was provided from PPro.
To do this you must create an equivalent sequence in Premiere with a pixel aspect ratio of 1.0. For example, let's say that your HD video footage is 1440 x 1080 (1.3333). This means that the pixel aspect of your footage is 1.3333. To convert to an equivalent HD footpixel with a pixel aspect ratio (PAR) of 1.0, simply multiply the pixel width of the original HD video by its PAR. In this example, it would be 1440 x 1.3333 = 1920. In Premiere, create a new sequence with an HD setting of 1920 x 1080 (1.0)...that is, a PAR of 1.0. Then drag your video clip(s) into this new sequence. Now when you export a still frame from this new sequence into a photo editing software app (e.g., Photoshop), it will be distortion free. It took me four hours of fishing on the beach to figure out this pain-in-butt problem. I thought I would share my solution with those of you who have been experiencing this pain. Hope it helps.
Bill is definitely the man for this sort of thing, but it occurred to me that considering what you are looking for, if you could display full screen, you could simply use a screen grab to capture the still image, and the aspect ratio would automatically be right.
Best to do it properly though, I guess.