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But are you actually changing the footage interpretation? That would be the part most relevant to eliminate the stretching....
I tried every interpretation offered. But, believe it or not, I may have found a solution. If I set the composition to NTSC D1 Widescreen Square Pixel, the imported DV video looks correct in the display/preview with the imported video set to DV/D1 Widescreen 1.2. And a test file did seem correct when imported back into premiere, but I'll have to do more testing to be sure.
Sounds like you need to read up on pixel aspect ratio's, please read the section in the manual that Todd linked to earlier in this thread.
Step 1. Interpret the footage correctly.
Step 2. Drag the footage onto the "New Composition" icon in the bottom of the Project panel.
Step 3. There is no step 3; just work.
- Jonas Hummelstrand
If you properly interpret your footage as widescreen (AE may guess incorrectly here) and put it in any square pixel comp it will not look distorted but it may or may not fill the frame. It will only fill the frame if the frame size is the square pixel equivalent size of your widescreen footage. This applies to all non square pixel aspect ratio footage.
If you interpret your footage as widescreen and put it in the same format (NTSC, PAL HDV) widescreen comp it will also fill the frame. There may be some black pixels on the left and right side because almost all cameras don't put live pixels in every column or even every row of the frame, but the footage will fill the frame. The caveat is that this footage will look distorted unless you activate pixel aspect correction preview in the Comp window because computer displays are always square pixels. You have to fool the display by selecting this option.
When you render your widescreen comp, if you're using any of the standard DV codecs or a codec like Quicktime Animation or JPG, there is no place in this codec for an aspect ratio tag that will tell apps like Premiere or FCP or Avid that this footage is supposed to be widescreen. Once you import the footage to another app you'll have to check and make sure that the footage is interpreted as widescreen there too.
I hope this helps. What ever you do, do not use the Fit to Frame option to force footage into a comp frame. If you insist on using Fit to Frame then check the X and Y scale values after you do and make sure they are identical. If they are not, you've distorted your footage at that point and it will be difficult or impossible to fix it later.