What kind of file is this, cs?
Because photos use square pixels and video uses non-square pixels, a 640x480 photo exactly the same frame size as a 720x480 video frame.
The video isn't stretched. It's just at video pixels are only 90% as wide as they are tall. So they're the same size.
If I knew more about what you were working with, maybe I could offer some recommendations.
Please allow me to start from the very beginning: If I open a standard DV NTSC Preset, is my working video space "frame size" 720x480?
If it is, then why doesn't a single image (a 720x480 JPG) placed on the timeline preview at 720x480 when Maginification is set to 100%?
Also, why when I save this prset created video using a defauls export preset (DV NTSC Standard) is th eplaypack 640x480?
What am I missing?
Ok, here is a little more info - and please understand that all I have to work with is 10 years a photographer.
I ahve the original AVI file that came form the Nikon P6000.
Windows says it is a 640x480 video file 30/fps @ 8785kbps
I open my only option on PRE DV NTSC Preset and drop the clip on the timeline.
It gets distorted and I know this because in the Monitor Preview there are black bars to the right & left of the window.
If I Export this file using the standards presets, I get a 720x480 video with the black bars (to the right & left) and a distorted video that is also blurry (presumably from the distortion)?
If you've got your Monitor zoom magnification set to 100%, you are indeed seeing a 720x480 pixel image, cs. Remember, your computer monitor is likely set to something like 1280x960 or something -- so 720x480 is only about 1/4 of that screen real estate.
For some reason this forum ate the rest of my post! So I'll see if I can rewrite it.
Standard video (for TV and from camcorders) uses non-square pixels, which are 90% as wide as they are tall. That's how a 720x480 video frame gives you a 4:3 aspect ratio. A 720x480 video frame is exactly the same size as a 640x480 square pixel image or video.
In fact, if you put a 640x480 photo into Premiere Elements, the program will automatically conform it and it will fit perfectly in the frame.
But your issue is something other than frame size. Your video is not standard video from a camcorder or for showing on TV. It's from a still camera, and it uses a non-standard frame rate and a non-DV codec (most likely MJPEG). It's made to shoot and show. Not edit.
This codec, rather than the frame size, is why your video looks so fuzzy. The program is not equipped to handle it in most cases, and it's making the best approximation.
On the other hand, Windows MovieMaker is not very deep, but it's much more versatile with its sources. So you'll have no problems using that video in a MovieMaker project. But I don't think you want to do that.
Fortunately, you can use MovieMaker as a converter to turn that video into DV-AVIs, the format that Premiere Elements prefers and which will give you the very best results. Here's how, from the FAQs to the right of this forum.
Ok, I'll find a converter that will take my RAW video footage and convert it into something that Adobe can work with.
Do you have a converter susgestion that will produce the proper working file?
I have tried MS MovieMaker before and it does not run well on Vista 64. That is the whole reason I started looking for an alternate solution.
I was able to get one converted to H.264 and it does seem to export much more quickly (but the background rendering time has doubled - plus?)
Also, as far as images / size are concerned. I understand where you are coming form if pixels are not square - that makes sense. However, if I drop a 640x480 JPEG on the timeline I get Left/Right banding (see image below). I also get this banding when I drop in my 640x480 Video clip?
Here is a little more information.
On the image sample above, that is a direct drop to the timeline of a 640x480 JPEG.
I also went to the project area and set the Interpret Footage to D1/DV NTSC and the banding did get wider (as expected) and the JPEG became MUCH sharper!
So in view of this, I created a new JPEG at 720x480 and it is crystal clear. Even when I export the movie.
However, the actual video clip is still "not so clear" and I have to assume that is has something to do with the fact that PRE is distorting the clip to get it to fit?
I did try this with the video clip, and it just squished it together to a cartoon look?
I think I can get past this if I can figure out what is causing the banding?
Look, I really appreciate all the help I have received - God knows that India can't not provide this kind of support!
All I am trying to do is get my head wrapped around this tiny piece. Once I can get past this, the rest is not so difficult.
But I don't want to invest hours or even days of time into a movie project only to find out that the initial foundation is wrong and then have to start all over again!
I'm sorry, CS. I don't know how to make this all clearer. Maybe Hunt or Tony have some additional thoughts.
The short of it is:
1) a 640x480 image is a full video frame (720x480 video pixels). If it isn't, go to Premiere Elements preferences (under the Edit menu) and uncheck Scale to Frame Size. You shouldn't have to interpret the footage or change the pixels. A 640x480 photo creates a clean 720x480 video pixel image.
2) You'll need to convert the MJPEG AVI from that camera to a DV-AVI. If Windows MovieMaker won't do it for you, you can try VirtualDub (free from www.virtualdub.org). All you do to convert a file is to open it in VirtualDub and then do a Save As. The AVI it creates with this Save As should load into Premiere Elements without a red line above it on your timeline.
That's the goal: To create an AVI that, when you load it onto a Premiere Elements timeline does not have a red line above it.
Hopefully, if that doesn't make it clear, someone else can clarify it better.
I truly appreciate all the information that you have provided, however, I guess I will have to l;ook for help elsewhere?
Nothing that you have suggested is working as you have suggested?
I have tried the JPEG - no go.
I have tried the Preferences - no go.
I have tried the VirtualDub conversion - again, I am not getting the results that you suggest I get? (I have a red bar and 20 minutes in the "background" process is still running.
I am not a complete moron, and until I can get to the root of this issue, I am stuck!
Sorry for the frustrations...
Looking at your screen-cap of your still, it appears to me that it has a PAR of 1.0, and your DV Project Preset has a PAR of 0.9, which is standard for, well NTSC Standard 4:3. I think that if you do your still graphic with a PAR = 0.9 (or 1.2 for 16:9 Widescreen), your borders and the slightly "squished" look will disappear.
I create my still graphics in PS, using the NTSC Standard 4:3 720x480, PAR = 0.9, or NTSC Widescreen 16:9 720x480, PAR = 1.2. I use the PS Preset w/ Guides. This allows me to create frame-filling still graphics for either of those Presets, and works perfectly. All of my DVD-Video Menus are created this way too.
Now, with MJPEG footage, most folk find that the Morgan, or the MainConcept CODEC's for MJPEG work fine and allow ediitng of the MJPEG footage in PrE, or PrPro. Lead used to have an MJPEG CODEC, but it's now bundled into a rather expensive CODEC "pack." Now, I have to admit that I do not shoot any MJPEG footage, but many users, primarily with the various recent Nikon's do, and I have only read of one person, who had an issue. That was with the Morgan, but the MainConcept worked perfectly for them too. I sort of feel that that user experienced a bit of OE, as all other users of the Morgan have had excellent results.
Hope that something helps.