9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2011 3:15 AM by the_wine_snob

    Letterboxing

    N@omi

      I'm just learning, so my question will be silly to most of you, though I'm getting very passionate about video editing already. And need advice! I have a video of over 10 years ago with bad letterboxing, what is the best way to crop those at least a bit? I tried dragging the video margins towards the outside and got pillarboxing in rendering. Not nice...

        • 1. Re: Letterboxing
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          What format is the video in? Where did it originate?

           

          How is it letterboxed -- left and right or up and down? How badly is it letterboxed? Is it a 4;3 video or a 16;9?

           

          Most likely you'll be able to just right-click on the clip on the timeline, select Show Properties and then, in the Properties panel, go to the Motion properties and set Scale to 135%.

           

          But this will only work if your project is set up properly and you're willing to lose a little video from the top and bottom or left and right.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Letterboxing
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Letterboxing (top and bottom), or Pillarboxing (on the sides) indicate a mis-match between the footage, and the Project Preset. These should match 100%.

             

            The best way, and place, to address this is when the Project is created. To get the full specs. of your old video, you can run it through the great, free utility, G-Spot, and it will tell you all the details. Make note of those, and especially Frame Size and FPS. Go to New Project, and choose a Preset that matches. If you have NTSC, 720 x 480 @ 29.97 FPS and a PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) of 0.9 (Standard 4:3), you will want to choose an NTSC DV Project. Then, when you Import that foootage, and place it onto the Timeline, things will match.

             

            Beyond that, there ARE other ways to alter your footage, to fit into a mis-matched Project, but each has issues, and usually regarding either quality, or display. that is why the method above is recommended.

             

            Good luck, and please let us know all about your footage (posting the G-Spot screen would be helpful), and also your Project Preset.

             

            Hunt

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Letterboxing
              N@omi Level 1

              Thank you guys for so prompt replies on my first day in the forum!

              I don't have the video where I am now but remember it's an mpeg  standard PAL 16:9 quite sure it's 720xsomething (sorry!!), anyway I imported that in Sony PMB and could see all details to match the project accordingly I don't think it's a mismatch but more "how to" get this into a nice enough job.. basically the letterboxing is part of the video in the first place.in 2 horizontal quite large borders and I want to keep the oldie look but just make them thinner without losing too much on the other dimension, I try tried to crop it - will have another go.

              • 4. Re: Letterboxing
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                Scaling it up to 135%, as I discussed above, should solve your problem, Naomi.

                • 5. Re: Letterboxing
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  If the letterboxing is part of the video file, then I completely agree with Steve.

                   

                  Select the Clip and then open the Effects Tab. Look down at the bottom for Edit Effects. This will open the Effects Control Panel, and you will see Motion with a downward pointing arrow. Twirl that open to reveal the fixed Effects>Scale, Position, etc. Go to Scale, and apply Steve's 135%. Study the result. You can also adjust Position, if you wish, to move the image up/down in the Frame.

                   

                  Good luck,

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: Letterboxing
                    N@omi Level 1

                    Yes this is it. 135 removed the letterboxing nicely, only wasn't so flattering on some details like words getting chopped off on

                    the vertical sides, so I settled for scaling at 115 and that left the old look without being so awful, still maintaining everything that had to be visible on the sides. I'm not clear whether it is advisable to scale different parts of the video differently, but I think I got it now, about scaling.

                    • 7. Re: Letterboxing
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Good news, and thanks for reporting your success.

                       

                      For vertical images, you might want to explore creating a full-Frame background, and dropping the vertical stills into it. This ARTICLE from Muvipix will give you some options, material to think about, and the steps for creating an abstract background. The abstract background could well another Instance of the vertical image, with a lot of blur added. I would do that in PS/PSE, as you will have much more control. I like to "ghost" the image, with extreme Levels done, to decrease both the gamma and the contrast. You want it to be totally abstract, so as not to catch the viewer's eye. FoxNews does this, when they have 4:3 footage. They "frame" it with a very light, low-Contrast, blurred version of that footage, to fill the area around the 4:3 going to a 16:9 Frame. It looks nice, is not distracting and does a better job, IMHO, than having the black bars.

                       

                      Good luck,

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: Letterboxing
                        N@omi Level 1

                        This is excellent stuff Bill. I'm going to unplug over Easter, then...back into the game!

                        • 9. Re: Letterboxing
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          Glad to have helped.

                           

                          Happy Easter, and happy editing,

                           

                          Hunt