14 Replies Latest reply on Aug 21, 2009 11:53 AM by Harm Millaard

    Inconsistent letter boxing

    surf dawg

      New to Premiere CS4. Filmed everything the same and all settings in Premiere appear to be the same. However, some footage in the main display window show's with the letterbox and some doesn't. I don't want the letter boxing. Have i inadvertently done something to some of the footage? See example attached.

        • 1. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          It appears that there is a difference in the footage, or that PrPro thinks there is a difference. Look in Properties for two of the "mis-matched" Clips. What are the Frame Size and PAR for these. It is likely that you can use Interpret Footage to correct this.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
            Colin Brougham Level 6

            What is your source material(s), and what project preset are you using to edit?

            • 3. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
              surf dawg Level 1

              When looking at the properties for each clip, they look the same. Did not see PAL setting. One thing I did notice, is that the the clip that does fill the screen appears to be scaled. I did not scale anything. It's like the clip was automatically scaled within Pr with minimal loss in quality. I'm including a grab of the two properties panels.



              • 4. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                Why are you using QuiRckTime?

                • 5. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                  surf dawg Level 1

                  As opposed to? Should I be capturing it from my mini dv camera as some other format. I've kind of stuck with defaults. I'm new to this and have managed to put together a pretty decent little video. Am now trying to go back and fix inconsistencies. This is the last thing and It's driving me crazy. I've incorporated flash animations, adjusted video effects within Pr and adjusted audio in soundbooth. Seems like Pr CS4 is doing some thinking for me and I cannot figure out why/how. I've attached the file with the clip and main video views. The clip on the left is the source clip which has the letter boxing and the clip on the right is the main video preview. As you can see, somehow it has scaled perfectly to the top and bottom edge of the letterbox, there fore filling the frame and trimming out the black from top and bottom. I like it but don't know how to apply the same thing to the other clips that are not self adjusting.

                  • 6. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    QuiRckTime has an excellent reputation of messing things up. Why not use the standard MS DV AVI type2?

                    • 7. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                      surf dawg Level 1

                      Thanks for the advise. I'll try that in the future. Up against a deadline now and don't have time to go back and re-capture all that footage. 13 min video with many dif clips. You think this might be a bug associated with using Quicktime?

                      • 8. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        I would not be surprised. 13 minutes of source material and you don't have the time to recapture? You have spent far more time here than recapturing would take.

                        • 9. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                          surf dawg Level 1

                          Well there was only one place where this was an issue. Still not sure why. My fix around was to go to into the effects panel under motion and adjusted the scale to 130%. That'll work for now.



                          • 10. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                            Jim_Simon Level 8

                            The Properties do indeed show one as 4:3, and the other as 16:9.  You didn't record them all in the same format.

                            • 11. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                              Colin Brougham Level 6

                              You didn't answer my question about source material and the sequence preset you're using, but the bits-and-bobs you posted have led to the following observations:


                              1. You're on a Mac. You SHOULD be using QuickTime, and not Microsoft DV AVI. For capture, you don't have another option; you can import MS DV AVIs, but not capture to that particular codec/container. As much fun as it is to tell people not to use QuickTime, with your setup, it's the correct choice.
                              2. You're editing DV footage, as evidenced by your screenshots of the movie properties panels. I've guessing your footage came from a DVX100 or an HVX200 in DV mode, because...
                              3. As Jim pointed out, your footage has been recorded with two different PARs, which means somehow your recording mode was changed during your shoot. The movie you've indicated shows up "with letterboxing" has a PAR of .9091, and appears in the source monitor with black bars: this means your footage has been recorded with the black bars, probably in the DVX/HVX "letterbox" mode. The movie you've indicated has "no letterboxing" has a PAR of 1.212, and fills the program monitor from top to bottom; this means the footage has been recorded in the DVX/HVX "squeeze" mode. The black bars in the first video are actually part of the video, and to get rid of them in the program monitor you had to scale up to 130+%, because...
                              4. You're editing in a standard 4:3 DV sequence preset, which doesn't match the majority of your footage which is widescreen. It's not that you can't or shouldn't do what you're doing, but common practice is to use a sequence preset that matches the bulk of your footage, provided that that's the look you're seeking. The widescreen clips (those with the 1.212 PAR that seem to fill the program monitor perfectly with no tweaking) are being cropped on the left and right sides by your 4:3 sequence preset; not a big deal as it looks like your subject is center and fits in the frame OK. The other, troublesome clip seems to be letterboxed because, well, it is, for all the reason mentioned in #3 above. It actually wouldn't matter if you edited in a widescreen sequence preset--which would give you the full frame of your widescreen clips--because you'd have to scale the letterboxed clip anyway to fill out the frame and get rid of the black bars.


                              At any rate, I know you'd found the "solution", but since you indicated n00b status, I thought it might be helpful to understand the "reason". Again, you didn't directly indicate any of the above, but all of this is replicable for me and would seem to be the explanation for what you're seeing. Please refute any of this if I missed the mark.

                              • 12. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                                surf dawg Level 1

                                Sorry for slow response. Crashed external hard drive has had me a bit tied up. All good now thanks to Data Rescue II. Anyway, thanks for all the info. Didn't intentionally change any settings on my camera. Need to go back to the manual see to how I might have inadvertently done something. Learning and having a blast. Thanks again.


                                • 13. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                                  sync2rhythm Level 1

                                  Harm Millard asked:

                                  Why are you using QuiRckTime?

                                  - Looks to me like he's on a MAC and you cannot capture to .AVI on a MAC same as you can't capture to .MOV on a PC.


                                  Harm Millard said:

                                  13 minutes of source material and you don't have the time to recapture? You have spent far more time here than recapturing would take.

                                  - Looks to me like his final Video is 13 minutes. Doesn't mention how much source or how many tapes it originated from.


                                  Colin Brougham is spot on. Looks like your footage is different from the camera. As if you switched from 4:3 to 16:9 or vice versa during your shoot. Although you can mix & match the two, a little planning goes a long way to determine which you'll use for your projects. As you discovered if your are mixing and matching the two you'll have to MOTION > SCALE your footage to fit full screen or do a Picture in Picture effect to suite your taste. You'll notice your footage focus gets 'Soft' if you Scale too much.

                                  • 14. Re: Inconsistent letter boxing
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                                    The OP left out the detail you are assuming, that he is on a MAC. 90% are clever and use a PC.


                                    The second point is another detail the OP left out, so you are assuming again as I did, all I had to go on was his info, which is lacking in details.