8 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2010 2:14 PM by shooternz

    How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project


      Hi, this follows another thread I started a few days ago in this forum. I need to downscale a 1080p project to 4:3 SD, and I've seen a lot of great tutorials that teach how to downscale HD to SD. But the problem is I don't want just to downscale the resolution, I want to change the format from 16:9 to 4:3. I thought this could be done on Premiere, by opening a 4:3 project with enough resolution that I could my 1080p project in there without having to downscale it to fit the 4:3 window. All I had to do then would be to letterbox it. But that's just me thinking, any of you guys know how to do this properly?




        • 1. Re: How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project
          DVDmike Level 1

          If you want to keep your vertical resolution, set your timeline to 1440x1080.  Drop your footage into the timeline and you can "pan and scan" or just lop off the sides, keeping your clip in the center.


          1440x1080 is an aspect ratio of 4x3 if you remember algebra...


          If you want a letterboxed 4x3 to keep max resolution, set your timeline to 1920x1440 and drop your 1920x1080 footage into this timeline.  If you place it in the center, you will get full horizontal andvertical resolution with no cropping and have black bars on the top and bottom.


          I don't know what you are going to export these timelines to though...

          • 2. Re: How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project
            topestana Level 1



            My objective here is recording a dvd with my video, cause I'll be entering a film festival that only allows 4:3 SD projects. Since I always record in 1080p I needed to convert both resolution and aspect ratio.

            • 3. Re: How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project
              DVDmike Level 1

              Then you do want to downscale, I thought that you did not want to loose any resolution???


              If you need to go to 4x3 for DVD, then you need to downscale to 480p.


              If the delivery at the festival is DVD, you have three choices for your output,


              1) 640x480 with pixel aspect of 1.0.  This will require pan and scan from your 16x9 footage.

              2) 640x480 with pixel aspect of 1.0 and letterboxed.  No cropping required but the least horizontal resolution as you will have black bars on the top abd bottom.  Your footage will be cropped to 640x360.

              3) 640x480 anamorphic with pixel aspect ratio of 1.2.  This is your Anamorphic widescreen option and gives you the most resolution without cropping.  But the festival needs a 16x9 Anamorphic capable DVD player and display device.


              Based on your choice of 1,2,3, this could change how you want to edit your footage.  If your footage is already edited, just create a timeline with the correct output format and drop your footage in and scale down.

              • 4. Re: How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project
                topestana Level 1

                Thanks. Yes, I need to downscale it, but the problem is that Adobe Premiere probably doesn't have the best codecs to downscale and retain best quality available. That's why I found so many tutorials online using 10 programs at the same time to do it. What I am finding harder to do is to convert from 16:9 to 4:3. Once I have my 4:3 HD footage I can then use one of those tutorials to downscale it to best quality I can have. Do you agree? Or is it better to just do it in Premiere? I really want to letterbox it, I don't want to pan and scan. I want my video to be presented in scope.



                • 5. Re: How to best downscale 1080p footage to 480p footage for letterboxed DVD
                  DVDmike Level 1

                  I have changed the title of my post to something that I think might more accurately reflect what your question is and get yousome better help.  You just want to know if there is a 3rd party plugin or software that does a better job of downscaling your footage than does premiere.  I have used "instandHD" in the past to upscale from 480p to 720p with good results.  But I have no idea if this downscales better than PPro or not.  I am sure that there are people who know these things though.


                  Good luck.

                  • 6. Re: How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    This TUTORIAL might prove useful for down-scaling from HD to SD.


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project
                      Admiral Cook Level 1

                      - Create new sequence with desired target settings

                      - Insert HD sequence to your new SD sequence

                      - Turn on 'Scale to frame size'

                      - Adjust scale

                      • 8. Re: How to fit a 1080p video in a 4:3 project
                        shooternz Level 6

                        If you have After Effects - create an SD Comp and bring in an

                        intermediate from PPRO or even import the PPRO project.