I'd say your source video doesn't match your Premiere Elements' project's settings. Which project settings are you using?
I'm not quite clear though on your source for your video. It sounds like someoen else did your editing and just handed you a file for conversiobn and output.
Did you not edit the original footage in Premiere Elements?
BTW, I'm not sure why you're outputting to 640x360.
Standard frame sizes for output are 640x480 and 320x240. If those numbers are right, your problem may be that you're outputting to a frame that doesn't fit your video!
As Steve has pointed out, black borders around the Frame are almost always an indication of a mismatch between the source footage, and the Project's Preset, regarding the Frame Size. These should match 100%, or the behavior noted will result.
With the Preset matching the source footage 100%, one can then Export/Share to most Frame Sizes (with regards to the Aspect Ratio, of course).
Please list the exact specs. of your source footage. If needed, you can get these details from G-Spot. Then, list the exact Project Preset that was used.
Thanks for your responses. I am recording in SD, 16x9 using a Sony HVR-A1P camera. Up until now I have never tried to output to a specific frame size, as I've just been doing general stuff for my own personal use. However, on my web site, I have many, many movies which I have produced (and in some cases filmed), but which have all been edited for me by people that know what they are doing, and mostly in Final Cut. These have all been output to fit the specific video frame size that has been used on my web site, and that is a 640x360. There has never been an issue with black borders.
This movie (again, it's on my home page at www.incisor.tv) was the first time I have done everything myself. The Quicktime version is sized perfectly to the frame on my site, with no border, but the quality is very poor. Premiere Elements seems to be compressing too much, resulting in a poor quality file. Can I side-step the presets to create a less compressed, better quality (if bigger) file? If I can produce a better qualty QT file, this could be one solution to my problem, as many of the movies on my site are QTs.
The Flash file that I have created is great quality and streams beautifully, but has this border issue. Because I have never been worrying about outputing to specific frame sizes previously, I have never gotten into matching source footage with the project's preset. I've just been happy with the movies I have output. Now I have to output to a specific size, where are the parametres set? If I do a 'check properties' inside Premiere on the avi file that has come out of the camera, the image size is apparently 720x576, which is strange, because that is 4:3 rather than 16:9, which is how the movie was filmed.
This is probably quite easy to resolve, and I'll spend some more time looking at it now, but if anybody can help me short cut the process, that would be great.
It is the non-standard output size, Vince. (I'm 99% sure.) Try outputting to the default size and you'll see.
That's assuming your other project settings and input files are right.
Though, again, the fact that you've got others doing your editing also adds a variable.
If they're working in Final Cut, why can't they output your web file? They'll have many more options and much more control.
OK, stlll working on this!
I'm getting confused. I've recorded some footage in my camera, in SD, 16x9 format, not 4:3. I capture it using PE. When I check the properties of the media once it is inside PE, it thinks it is working with a 4:3 file. Should I be instructing PE to work with a 16x9 file, and if so, where? Is this where I am going wrong? I've never matched a file's properties to PE before.
And it puzzles me that the Quicktime file works fine - the right size as I have specced - 640x360. Incidentally, this may be a non-standard frame size, but it is correctly proportioned for the 16;9 content we are capturing, and it is the right size for my web site.
My movies have been edited by several different pro editors, most recently using Final Cut and a while ago using a PC-based package, I think it was either Vegas Pro or Premiere Pro. There's never been a problem with tapes recorded on my cameras or pro cameras we've hired in.
The reason I'm not asking one of those guys to output my file is that a) it costs me a lot of money to do so and b) I'm taking a pride in doing this myself - I'm enjoying the edit process.I've got to grips with the actual edit process, as I hope you can see from the movie I'm using here as an example.
The bottom line is that I am an inexperienced muppet. If you are able to help me get to the bottom of matching my 16x9 content with PE's expectations, so that I can then output the correct 640x360 frame, that would be marvellous.
And maybe I need to bite the bullet and stop trying to work with PE 3.0? Will my life get any easier?
Well, that's up to you.
But I really think it's as simple as using the right Premiere Elements project settings for your input files (assuming they're giving you properly formatted files) and letting the program output to a default setting. 95 times out of 100 the default setting is the correct one, even if it doesn't look right, and second-guessing it is what causes problems.
I'm reading the words you are writing 'using the right Premiere Elements project settings for your input files (assuming they're giving you properly formatted files) and letting the program output to a default setting' but I don't know in practice what this means I have to do.Surely, if I don't change anything in the Flash pre-set, I'll end up with the wrong size/shape movie for my web site?
Do I need to do something at the capture stage (a bit late for that!)?
Do I need to do something at the render stage? If so, what?
The goal is to be able to take my captured content, edit it, and make it fir the frame size on my web site that all my other movies fit.
I've bought a new camera - Sony Z7 - which I will pick up on Tuesday. That's being used by a cameraman I've hired for a job in Seattle later this month. It comes with a copy of Vegas. Having spent months and months learning how to use PE, I'm loathe to start again from scratch, but maybe it is an option. As updating my PE from 3.0 to 8.0.
I feel so stoopid.
That camcorder shoots in HDV so, if you want to keep your footage in hi-def, you should use the HDV project preset. Unfortunately, version 3 doesn't have one.
Your other option with HDV is that most camcorders, including this one I believe, can downsample -- or export standard DV-AVI footage -- over FireWire to your computer. This you can edit in Premiere Elements as well as any number of PC or Mac-based programs.
And, as I've said, if you use the right project preset, you're over halfway there. When you output, you can usually use the default output preset for whatever format you're outputting to and you'll get a video in the correct aspect ratio.
Try it. You'll see. But it only works if your project preset matches the incoming video.
I'm deliberately shooting in Standard Definition, not HD. While PE handles HD editing, my laptop (a stopgap - my decent laptop was recently stolen) really struggles, so I've defaulted to SD, so the HD issue is not a factor.As these are tiny movies to go on the web and nowhere else, I don't need HD anyway.
Anyway, I'm off to bed now. I'll try again tomorrow.
Thanks for the help.
OK, this is what happens when I change nothing in the PE output preset. This is the way it appears on my site when I am using the Flash Video8 700k preset - http://www.incisor.tv/Incisortvarchive.php?mid=118
Clearly PE thinks it is dealing with a 4:3 movie, not 16x9.
When I used this pre-set to render previously, I changed the frame size to 640x360 and that at least got me a complete black border! As a reminder, this is what it looks like when I change the output frame size - http://www.incisor.tv/
If anybody is able to tell me (in words of one syllable, ideally), how to take this 16x9 file, recorded in Standard Definition on my Sony HVR-A1P, and output to a Flash file, filling all of my web site's 640x360 pixel video window, I would be very grateful.
Thanks for your help, guys! I've resolved my problem.
You were right, I was using the wrong pre-set at capture stage. I have just done a quick experiment, changing the pre-set used for the capture of a new bit of footage I've just taken. I then rendered it as a Flash file, first using the default frame size (no good - wrong size for my web video frame) and secondly outputting to a 640x360 frame, and this worked perfectly.
It is amazing how simple things are when you know the answers! I am a happy man.
Great news, Vince!
It is amazing how simple things are when you know the answers! I am a happy man.
Now, sometimes, those "simple things," are not really so simple. There are several ways that different cameras get to 16:9 (Widescreen), and finding out exactly what is going on is not easy - the camera mfgr's. are surprisingly tight-lipped, or at least omit some necessary details. Finding out first how the camera does things, and then how the NLE sees these files can take experimentation.
On one hand, it would be great if Project Presets also had a complete list of every camera and every setup of each of those, to check things. Unforunately, cameras come and go with too great a regularity and simple model changes can differ greatly, so such a list could never be up to date, and would only confuse most users. It's worse than ICC profiles for desktop color printers and various printing media - you often have to do extensive tests to get it perfect.
Thanks for sticking it out and experimenting, and especially for reporting your success. Trust me, it WILL help someone else in the future.