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You should be using one of the DSLR settings. However, Premiere Elements does not include a settings for widescreen 854x480 DSLR.
The program also does not allow you to create custom frame size and rates. Forum contributor gvimuser has created a number of custom presets along with instructions for using them.
However, I'm not sure even he provides a 854x40 preset. Sorry.
BTW, gvimuser's presets have not been sanctioned by Adobe and should be used at your own risk.
Hi Steve, thanks for your answer.
I was using one of the DSLR settings as you suggest, 640 x 480 but at 50 fps??? (I've never even heard of 50fps before!) I thought 30fps (or 29.97) was THE STANDARD. Elements seems to have every frame rate except that?
What is going on? 854x480 @ 29.97fps is also THE standard for video libraries as well as being accepted Youtube sizes. Surely not everyone is using HD already? And how would the libraries sell video otherwise? Or is this just some weird anomaly that only afflicts Elements and apparently renders it useless?
Have I/Adobe missed something MAJOR? Does this mean my $600 camera or my Elements software is unusable? Surely this can't be right? I have to use the exact project settings for my camera/video output right? What happens if I don't?
What is the make/model of the camera?
Does it shoot SD w/ Square Pixels, or if not, what is the PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) of the footage?
Ps and why does the DSLR 640 x 480p50 setting refer to itself as '16:9 progressive SD video' when it seems to me to be obviously 4:3 not 16:9 which I thought was widescreen.
Now I'm totally confused! And here was I thinking I'd just be able to install and start making videos (5 days later and still no closer).
Hi Bill, thanks for your reply.
The camera is the Panasonic DMC-FZ18, which I appreciate is not a 'video camera' as such but does shoot good quality video and is widely used and respected. Ermm being a bit of a newbie I'm not sure about the square pixels/PAR question (will have to flick through the manual - you may know better than me knowing the make). I will look through it now.
So why doesn't Elements feature this size/frame rate? And if it's non standard in the video world how come this is the video library standard? Totally confused and bewildered!
With SD Video (and also HD Anamorphic) the Widescreen comes through the non-Square Pixels, or the PAR.
With NTSC material, both are 720 x 480 pixels, but for Standard, the pixels are vertical rectangles, with a PAR =0.9, and for Widescreen, they are horizontal rectangles, with a PAR = 1.2.
With the Anamorphic HD, they are 1440 x 1080 with a PAR =1.3333.
Now, some cameras (older, but many still around), did some funny things with Widescreen. One migh encounter a 720 x 480 with a PAR = 0.9 (Standard), but in-camera the Frame was cropped, to "look" like Widescreen, even though it was not. Luckily, we do not see much of that "manipulation" going on, but camera mfgrs. just cannot seem to play by the "standards" of the industry, and are always coming up with some format, that is just for their cameras, and often their editing software. Most consumers do not realize how much manipulation is going on, until they try to edit the footage in an industry-standard NLE (Non Linear Editor). Then, the fun begins.
One option, though not an inexpensive one, would be to migrate to PrPro, which makes it easy for one to ingest much "odd" footage, by giving the user access to a Custom Preset, that allows for changing the Height and Width, plus also the PAR and FPS. Even with that, users are finding some REALLY odd footage, that even the Custom Preset will not do a good job of. While this is not the only "extra," that one gets with PrPro, the difference in price is ~ 6x.
If one is also faced with several different formats of footage, PrPro CS 5.5 (current edition), with its MPE and a CUDA enabled video card, allows one to mix footage in the same Timeline, and process it together.
PS - the Panny Lumix cameras are lovely little units, and most have Leitz glass, so good optics. I just wish that Panasonic (and too many others) would not deviate from the industry-standards, as it does make it both more difficult and confusing for consumers. I suppose that the corporate thinking is that the consumers will just be glad to hook the camera up to the TV and play, or upload the raw footage to YouTube, and never need to edit it. However, we see so many odd footage instances here, that the corporations seem to have guessed wrong - consumers DO want to edit their footage.
hi Bill, thanks for the comprehensive answer.
However some of it went a little over my head in terms of the technical side (but thanks for the education).
I should have mentioned that I'm using PAL. I put the price in $ as I was replying to Steve in his money
What this doesn't explain is the fact that if I go to any video library site they offer as STANDARD???
SD 854 X 480 @ 29.97 fps MPEG or HD 1920 X 1080 @ 25 fps JPEG!!!
So if this size is so unusual how come this is the ONLY size they offer? And this is a US website (so not an NTSC/PAL issue)!!! Please someone explain!!!
And back to a rather essential question. Do I have to use the exact size/setting for projects, what happens if I don't?
And does this mean that Elements/my camera is now obsolete and one of them must go in the bin, and I'm down at least £600, either on Premiere Pro (which may still not work even if I upgrade!), or the loss of the use of my camera, and the forced purchase of another camera.
I'm really finding it very difficult to understand all these contradictions ... I can't be the first to come across this problem surely, though it seems like it.
Right now I feel like I'm on another planet.
Can anyone shed more light on this please? Im completely astounded!!!
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SD 854 X 480 @ 29.97 fps MPEG or HD 1920 X 1080 @ 25 fps JPEG!!!
So are these stock Still Images, stock animation Clips, or stock Video Clips?
If they are stock Video Clips, what is the PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) of those Clips?
Can you furnish a URL for the producer of this stock material, as I would like to see what they are saying about it?
As for PAL, one difference is the 25 FPS Frame Rate, but then for SD material, it's:
SD Standard 720 x 576 w/ PAR = 1.066
SD Widescreen 720 x 576 w/ PAR =1.422
and then there is 768 x 576 w/ Square Pixels (PAR = 1.0), but this is not as common, as the other two.
For HD, one has the same HDV Frame Sizes and PAR, as for NTSC, but at 25 FPS.
If one does not use the proper Project Preset, there will first be the issue of either having black bars, or effectively cropping the Source Materials Frame Size to match, and usually with some bit of the Fixed Effect Motion>Scale (either adjusted manually from the Effects Control Panel, or automatically with Scale to Default Frame Size checked. Even with that, one might still need to do some manual Scaling, as PrE will only fit one dimension to the Project's Frame Size, and that can still leave black bars. Next, one will have to Render the Timeline for smoothest playback, due to that mismatch. Finally, the Export/Share settings might be limited, depending on the format chosen, and how one wants that output material to display.
I do strongly urge that you use the proper FPS for the Project, even if you have to convert the Source Footage to match - for PAL, you will want 25 FPS.
Hi Hunt, once again many thanks for all your detailed replies, they are giving me some valuable info and a crash course in video tech.
However the puzzle remains. The Stock clips I was referring to are video and are the top result if you google video library. Here is a link to a page http://footage.shutterstock.com/clip-1391458-stock-footage-dragon.html with the 3 standard options, the SD one of which seems to concur with my FZ18.
That's interesting with regards to the Project Setting mismatch. I was using the DSLR 640 x 480 50fps setting (the nearest) last night with 640 x 480 30fps video and it was juddery. I would also assume that autoscale to default frame size would depreciate the quality considerably, as does autosizing images on the web instead of presizing to perfect size first.
I am still at a loss as to why such a popular camera and Stock library produces footage that is apparently not able to be edited? Surely I am not the first to have this problem?
Is there a way as you suggest to convert formats somehow to an Elements acceptable format first? What software would I need if so? None of the 25fps PrE formats were anything like 854 x 480/640 x 480.
If not I am not sure of the solution to this problem. It does seem to mean that my FZ18/Premiere Elements is useless. I'm not sure why or who is to blame but only that it could prove expensive. Do I change the camera or the software.
It appears that the stock agency is furnishing Video that is Square Pixel, and to obtain the Widescreen, are extending the horizontal pixels. My guess is that they are taking HD material (Square Pixel), and then down-rezzing, but keeping Square Pixels. Unfortunately, that will create some issues. Also, their conversion is 1.1861 and not the BBC accepted norm of 1.212, which is what Adobe has been using for several versions. That was upped from the previous, 1.2, prior to the change - the rounding to 4 places is barely noticeable, but can create very thin black lines on the sides, if one has materail edited in an older version, and Exported from that, then Imported into a new (BBC standard) Project.
I have a close friend, who sells stock nature footage and stills, to several major stock agencies. They want HD material, with Square Pixels. My guess is that the agencies are just keepting those Square Pixels.
I looked at several reviews of your Panny, but could not find the full specs. (just Frame Size) on the MOV files (Motion JPEG CODEC), but would assume that it also uses Square Pixels, for the material.
For more detail on PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio), see this ARTICLE.
One day, in the future, there will be no more non-Square Pixels, when the last of the CRT TV's passes onto the recycle heap, and PAR will not even be discussed. It will become a historical footnote.
Now, I would create a PAL DV-Widescreen Project, and Import your footage into that. Next, in the Project Panel, Rt-click on the Clips, and choose Interpret Footage. There, choose PAR = 1.422, and see how that looks. Next, when you have those Clips on the Timeline, Hit the Enter/Return key to Render (see this ARTICLE for Rendering), and look at the playback.
Ok, thanks again Hunt I'm starting to get some idea of what square pixels are (I think), thanks to your link. Though it is all a bit more complex than I imagined. So only HD is shot in square pixels? Not sure what you mean by conversion, the only reference I can see to 1.21 is in the D1/DV NTSC section of Common pixel aspect ratios in your link.
So the SD footage this stock company sells is unusable in practice? What issues might it cause? It is a shame because I'd already earmarked a few relevant clips.
What about their HD clips at 1920 x 1080? Are they usable in Premiere Elements under DSLR 1080p25 without any of this messing about? And if so would the best long term option be to get a 1920 x 1080 HD camcorder? Would everything then live in perfect harmony and simplicity (yeah right!) and could I then just focus on the video itself? Could I then stop having the nightmares about deformed square pixels?
But wait, would my PC handle HD editing or is that yet another can of worms? I have a fair bit of power, quad processor, 4gig ram, Win 7 64bit. Would the fact that everything matched smooth it out (dreeeeammm, dream dream dream)?
I just want a simpl(er) life. sniff.
Btw here are the specs taken from the manual of the FZ18 (minus some unrelated ones) - can't see any mention of square pixels but they probably make more sense to you. Once again your help is greatly appreciated!
Camera effective pixels: 8,100,000 pixels
Image sensor: 1/2.5q CCD, total pixel number 8,320,000
pixels, Primary color
Lens: Optical 18k zoom, fl4.6 mm to 82.8 mm (35 mm
equivalent: 28 mm to 504 mm)/F2.8 to F4.2
Digital zoom: Max. 4k
Extended optical zoom: (Except for the maximum picture
size for each aspect ratio)
recording: When the aspect ratio setting is [ ]
640k480 pixels (only when using a Card)/320k240 pixels
When the aspect ratio setting is [ ]
848k480 pixels (only when using a Card)
(Performance in burst recording is only with SD Memory
SDHC Memory Card. MultiMediaCard performance will be
ISO sensitivity: AUTO/
[HIGH SENS.] in scene mode: 1600 to 6400
LCD monitor: 2.5q low-temperature polycrystalline TFT
(Approx. 207,000 pixels) (field of view ratio about 100%)
Viewfinder: Color LCD Viewfinder (Approx. 188,000
(field of view ratio about 100%)
(with diopter adjustment j4 to i4 diopter)
Memory Card/MultiMediaCard (Still pictures only)
Still picture: When the aspect ratio setting is [ ]
3264k2448 pixels, 2560k1920 pixels, 2048k1536 pixels,
1600k1200 pixels, 640k480 pixels
When the aspect ratio setting is [ ]
3264k2176 pixels, 2560k1712 pixels, 2048k1360 pixels
When the aspect ratio setting is [ ]
3264k1840 pixels, 2560k1440 pixels, 1920k1080 pixels
Motion pictures: When the aspect ratio setting is [ ]
640k480 pixels (Only when using a Card), 320k240 pixels
When the aspect ratio setting is [ ]
848k480 pixels (Only when using a Card)
Recording file format
Still Picture: JPEG (based on “Design rule for Camera File
on “Exif 2.21” standard)/RAW, DPOF corresponding
Picture with audio: JPEG (based on “Design rule for
Camera File system”, based
on “Exif 2.21” standard)i“QuickTime” (picture with audio)
Motion pictures: “QuickTime Motion JPEG” (motion
pictures with audio)
Well, I would not say "unusable," just that with most SD functions, like DVD, it is not what is ideal, but is quick for them to produce, and I am sure that they think that SD is dead now, rather than 2 - 10 years into the future. They are just being lazy, now.
Oh yes I forgot... the stock footage sold by a number of companies including the one mentioned all seems to be @ 29.97 or 30fps? Why is this? And would this be the fly in my oh so smooth ointment if I used the 1920 x 1080 HD files even though everything else matches? How would I convert from 29.97fps to 25 and what would I use? Would an HD camcorder record at 25fps? Why is life so damn complicated...can't we all just talk to each other lol!
the stock footage sold by a number of companies including the one mentioned all seems to be @ 29.97 or 30fps? Why is this?
This is probably because they see NTSC as their major market.
So what are we talking in terms of resolution loss? Would the videos be goodish quality for full screen pc monitor Youtube but nowhere near broadcast, and suffer on a TV? I am I really better off upgrading as mentioned and would that all work smoothly with PrE and be broadcastableish (mmm new word...nice) or would the framerate problem mess things up a tad.
Did I mention I don't have much of a clue yet.
Ah can I convert to 25 fps easily then and without too much loss in quality? Sorry this seems endless but I'm just trying to find some kind of workable solution...
There should be no "resolution loss," but one must take the FPS aspect into consideration.
It might well be that you will need to convert NTSC to PAL, to get things to work.
Did you try the workflow, with Interpret Footage, that I suggested? Did that not work? If not, how?
omg just googled it and I can see why you couldn't answer in one sentence...that's a whole other can of worms! So the Stock companies video files only work with NTSC? They don't offer PAL it seems? This is one hell of a bummer.
I'm stuck again...
I didn't try it yet, as I was unsure as to how unworkable it all was in terms of quality. I'm not sure what scale of quality loss we've ben talking. I also need to use that companies stock files as well as my own at the same size so I thought you meant it might be a severe quality/compatibility issue and so for the sake of long term simplicity I went off on a sideline thinking it may be easier to buy an HD camcorder. If I can avoid it for now and use the FZ18 that would be great but I ultimately I just want a workable solution that gives me acceptable results without days of headaches and would hate to spend ages shooting/editing and find I couldn't upload the video or it was poor quality due to some conversion issue or something.
It would be great to have a video that was broadcast quality or close though.
However I will try it out now. Though will it still potentially cause me problems when I come to export/upload etc even if the render is smooth?
Do experiment, and let us know how it goes.
Ahh I see what you mean about the black lines at the edges.
Ok I brought a 854 x 480 30fps into DV widescreen. Leaving at square pixels there was a narrow black line left and right and quality was poor with lots of zigzaggies on the diagnol lines.
At PAR 1.4587 PAL widescreen (there was no 1.422) there was a very large black band top and bottom of screen and exactly the same picture quality, pixelated with zigzaggies. Same with PAL 1.0940 but obv with narrower lines top and bottom.
Rendering in both cases didn't improve things.
I tried the video in DSLR 640 x 480 50p and it was a lot clearer without the zigzaggies but obviously with black bands top and bottom.
I guess this means I'm knackered with my FZ18?
I have also just noticed that some stock videos are at 29.97, some at 30, some at 25 and even some at 24 fps, all from the same company. Seems crazy, why can't they just offer all of them in either PAL or NTSC?
And is it really a problem to convert? I've come across some horror stories of juddery video etc, but others say it's fine. Any tips for the best converter software to use?
I have never converted this sort of material, so my rec. is based totally on using other footage, and going to DV-AVI (SD). I use an older DigitalMedia Converter 2.7 by DeskShare, but it has been replaced by newer VERSIONS. As my old DMC works fine for me, I have not upgraded any of my licenses for it. I can only vouch for DMC 2.7, and used with the Source Footage, that I have been handed. It appears that DMC has a trial, and when I "test drove" 2.7, the trial was only limited to time (30 days, IIRC). I liked it, and bought two licenses - one for each of my two main editing computers. I see that Deskshare now has a "Pro" version, and if I do upgrade, it will be to that version.
Wish that I had more to offer, but good luck,
Yes, there are several Frame Rates, and then some different ones for NTSC, or PAL. Each has its uses, and its followers, like 24 FPS for a "film look."
Also, with the 29.97 and 30, while there are some subtle differences, one also needs to realize that many folk call 29.97 30 FPS, when it is really 29.97.
You are correct - it can be very, very confusing.
It can be very confusing yes, and I couldn't have been more confused yesterday.
But in the last 24 hours I've undergone a baptism of fire. I've spent the last day studying and have realised the extent of my naivety prior to this. I have a long way to go but have a much greater idea of some of the parameters and concepts I'm working with, such as different resolutions and the difference between interlaced and progressive formats.
I would therefore like to thank you for your unwavering patience in the face of such blatant ignorance. In weathering my storm (in part stimulated by my realisation that the nice cozy world of compatibility I'd misperceived was disintegrating around me and taking my FZ18 with it!) you have helped me give birth to a new found and altogether more serious relationship with video.
Indeed in line with this I have decided to bite the bullet and move on up to HD. After many hours of research, reviews and Youtube watching I have decided to purchase the Panasonic HDC-SD800. It has a number of great features like 3CMOS sensor, Optical Image Stabilizer, Leica lens and of course 1920 x 1080 50p (60p in US) resolution. The only word to describe its image quality is beautiful.
I am aware that Premiere Elements doesn't import 1080 50p (or 60p) and that Premiere Pro does but only as a custom size. I understand the problem though is then outputting at this resolution and finding the means to presently play back files smoothly. And Blu Ray doesn't support it either. So it doesn't seem worth upgrading to Prem Pro right now. Plus I have a camera to buy already. Also editing massive 1080p files doesn't seems practical right now unless you have a cutting edge fast pc.
My understanding is that my best option would be to either use 1080i at 25fps or 720p at 50fps, using the corresponding Elements PAL presets AVCHD Full HD1080i 25 and AVCHD LITE 720p50? I have read that the 720p option would work better with motion based footage due to interlaced video showing anomalies under these conditions and it also has wide compatibility, and 1080i as a general setting for most stuff. Both are compatible with Blue Ray.
However I am also considering shooting in 1080p to use for archiving footage/potential future editing, and then converting using the included HD Writer AE 3.0 software to convert to 1080i or 720p for editing. I am also interested in what applications I might use 24fps, which it will apparently shoot natively in for the 'film' effect you mention.
What are your feelings on this? Which format would you go with and would you convert or just shoot at and import the native footage straight into PrE (forsaking archiving)? How do you feel about interlaced greater res v progressive less res (1080i 25fps v 720p 50fps) taking their frame rates into account also? How does a framerate of 50fps affect my output compatibility? Or you could argue that 1080i has less resolution as it only effectively uses 540 whole frames at any one time? I know most TVs etc use progressive so this may be a factor though some say the inbuilt compensation on modern HD TVs hides the difference. Your thoughts?
Sorry I went off on another tangent somewhat off topic there, forgive me. It was just the final resolution to my problem and closure I was seeking so it felt related.
However I realised that Steve had already answered this dilemma further up the page, ironically, as it wasn't the solution until I decided to go the camcorder route!
So big thanks to all.
The best news is that you are now editing!