Changing aspect ratio of a Premiere Elements project after assembling film?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by yonkiman, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. yonkiman

    yonkiman Guest

    I just assembled my first Premiere (elements) movie. My two sources
    were 16:9 DV and 4:3 DV. I created a DVD and the 4:3 clips are full
    screen (4:3) and the 16:9 clips are letterboxed into a 4:3 frame.
    That's fine for the 4:3 version of the film.

    However I also want to make a 16:9 version of the same film, with the
    16:9 anamorphic and the 4:3 either clipped at the top and bottom or
    "letterboxed" on the sides (I don't yet know what choices I have with

    But it looks like I'm not likely to find out anytime soon, because the
    help file says once I start a project in a certain aspect ratio (4:3),
    it can no longer be changed (to 16:9).

    Arrrrgh!!!!! Do I have to start a new project and reassemble the
    entire film clip by clip and edit by edit? There has to be a shortcut
    or a way to change the film I already edited! I'm comfortable editing
    text config file and even tweaking binary data if it will save me
    re-doing the same 10 hours worth of editing!
    Any tips much appreciated!!!!

    yonkiman, Jan 26, 2005
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  2. No matter what route you take the 4:3 is never going to be output as 16:9 as
    you have described (clipped top & bottom or letterboxed). The most likely
    thing to occur is that the 4:3 will end up stretched to 16:9, or if you use
    the "Maintain Aspect" within Elements 4:3 may end up with black on the right
    and left. I have never actually tried this, since I have never had the need
    to mix aspect ratios within a single project, so I cannot say with certainty
    what will be the outcome. Though the frame resolution of 4:3 and 16:9 appear
    as the same, the pixel aspect ratio is completely different.

    4:3 video would have to be clipped by you at the top and the bottom to
    approximate the 16:9 aspect ratio and possibly you would have to output each
    single clip individually to 16:9, thus replacing the original clips one by
    one on the timeline of a 16:9 project. When you trim off part of the picture
    top and bottom the remaining image is them stretched and fitted to the frame
    resolution, which in your case I would hazzard a guess is 720x576. The
    clipped 4:3 will not have the same image quality of the original 16:9 and
    getting the actual amount of the original image to trim of the top and
    bottom will be your best guess. When viewed on a widescreen it will not look
    very good in 16:9 and you will most likely be very disappointed.
    Though I have not used Elements I would assume it is much like all the other
    Premier version where you can import a previous project into a new one.
    Start a new 16:9 project and import the 4:3 project. Check the "Maintain
    Aspect Ratio" for each clip individually. If you are using Encore 1.5 for
    your DVD work that program allows both 16:9 and 4:3 in the same project.
    When played back on 4:3 televisions the 16:9 will letterbox and the 4:3 will
    full screen. On a widescreen the 16:9 will fill the screen while the 4:3
    will do what the user of that screen will tell it to do, either show in 4:3
    with black on left and right or stretch it so fill the screen.

    Save yourself the headache in the future by creating a 4:3 project for only
    4:3 material, and 16:9 for 16:9 material. Use Encore and create a DVD that
    just plays the way it should in the respective aspect ratios.
    Digital Video Solutions, Jan 26, 2005
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  3. yonkiman

    yonkiman Guest

    Thanks for the background and suggestions. Unfortunately I don't see
    any way to "import" a previous project, and searching the help files
    for the word "import" doesn't turn up anything.

    I'll probably still try messing with the project file before I give up
    and re-assemble the movie from the clips.

    So close.... :-(

    yonkiman, Jan 27, 2005
  4. I downloaded the trial version of Elements to see if I could find anything
    you might have missed, and if fact did not. Of all the other versions of
    Premiere Adobe has produced I cannot understand why import (or add) of an
    existing project file is not in Elements.

    Looks like you have some work ahead of you. Sorry for that. I know it is
    frustrating. Now you know and you won't make the mistake again. I know it's
    tough. But, look at it this way. You now know your way around Elements alot
    better than before, so it should be easier after that to get the outcome you

    How is the mixture of 4:3 and 16:9 laid out on the timeline? Is it
    intermixed a great deal or mostly one ratio after another?

    Also, what DVD authoring software do you have? Maybe there's a way around
    some of this with a little creative software dodging. By highlighting areas
    you could maybe output the sequences in their respective ratios and then
    recreate the way you have it playing back on the timeline of Elements from
    within a DVD projects. You could do that by having one video's end action
    lead to the next from ratio to ratio, if you DVD software will support both
    with a single project.
    Larry Johnson
    Digital Video Solutions
    877-227-6281 Toll Free Sales Assistance
    386-672-1941 Customer Service
    386-672-1907 Technical Support
    386-676-1515 Fax
    Digital Video Solutions, Jan 28, 2005
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