6 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2011 6:35 AM by Ted Smith

    Mixing and matching video sizes


      My earlier saga with choosing the wrong project settings (and subsequently fixing it with ClipMate) has prompted me to wonder about best practices around choosing the right frame size for a project. Here is a typical scenario for me:


      1. I have HD video shot for which I create a PREL project at 1440 x 1080.


      2. I want to integrate some B roll video that is shot at 720 x 480.



      I would rather not letterbox the B roll video but are there any alternatives? Should I have set the project at 720 x 480 and allow my main video to be cropped? I need some good rules of thumb about this. Thanks in advance...




      Rick A.

      Pleasanton CA

        • 1. Re: Mixing and matching video sizes
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          I very much recommend against mixing these two video formats in the same project. You're going to run into issues involving interlacing as well as resolution and some codec issues.


          My recommendation is to convert one, the other or both into a common format. For instance, if you plan to output your movie to a DVD, first create a HD project (Is this tape-based HDV or AVCHD?) and add all of your 1440x1080 video to it. Then use Share/Computer/AVI with the DV preset to output this movie as a DV-AVI. (It will be widescreen.) (I'm assuming your B roll is from a tape-based miniDV camcorder.)


          Then open a new project set up for DV and you can add both videos to it. It's up to you whether you fudge it to make the 4:3 footage look 16:9 or the 16:9 footage look 4:3.


          But it's hard to be too specific, since you haven't told us what your sources are for your video or if your 720x480 is 4:3 or 16:9 if it's from a tape-based miniDV or another kind of camcorder.


          But you definitely do want to convert at least one of these sources to a common format before you mix the two. Trust me on this.

          • 2. Re: Mixing and matching video sizes
            rickaltman Level 1

            Okay, thanks -- let me be more specific:


            1. Main video is from a Canon AVCHD. Native output is MTS file, 1440 x 1080, 16:9


            2. Secondary video is from a hand-held Sony digital camera recording onto tape (once state of the art). Output is VOB file, 720 x 480, 4:3.


            This is all for web-based video, where I don't care what the form factor is. I just don't want a lot of black bars showing up. I normally use Total Video Converter for format conversions, but I do not have any experience in (intentional) aspect ratio conversions.

            • 3. Re: Mixing and matching video sizes
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

              The video from your second cam is a vob? Are you sure? That's a DVD format. And they stopped making DVD cams almost the same year they started.


              Regardless, whether it's a DVD cam or a cam that shoots MPEG, you'll want to use it in a project set up using the Hard Disk Camcorder setting for standard def video.


              Your output from your AVCHD project should be Share/Computer/MPEG and 720x480. (The DVD preset should work.) It's important that you output this file as an MPEG rather than an AVI so that when you combine the two formats you don't have interlacing issues.


              Because the AVCHD/MPEG video is widescreen, it may need to be interpretted when you bring it into your Hard Disk Camcorder project. (It will appear squished if it does.) To do this, right-click on the video in the Project/Media panel and select Interpret Footage and set the Pixel Aspect Ratio for widescreen.


              This will mean that it will bleed off the left and right of your 4:3 screen a bit -- but it's a minor compromise for combining these very different video formats.


              If you then use these output settings, you should get great online results.


              • 4. Re: Mixing and matching video sizes
                rickaltman Level 1

                Many thanks, Steve. The video from the second cam was originally MOV and is converted to VOB by a house local to the videographer who claims that to be the only way to deliver it to me. (Not worth my arguing -- result is good quality).


                So if I understand correctly, you advocate I find the lowest common denominator here and convert my MTS fiiles down to that.

                • 6. Re: Mixing and matching video sizes
                  Ted Smith Level 3

                  I wqould have thought that if you have a A 16x9 and B 4x3 in the same project, if you create a 19x9 project, the 4x3 will becone stretched horizontally or cropped vertically? You can adjust them scene by scene as long as you dont have a dissolve or clip with both pressent at the same time.


                  If you convert the VOB to AVI beforehand then there is no problem mixing AVI low def with AVCHD high but VOB - I doubt it!