Merge 4:3 material with 16:9 material?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by HerHusband, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    When we go on vacation, I like to film our trips using the 16:9 mode of my
    Canon ZR-500 camcorder. It shows a wider field of vision, and it just looks
    nicer on our widescreen TV.

    However, I just bought a Pentax Optio W30 underwater digital camera, and
    plan to use it's 4:3 "movie mode" to film fish and whatnot when we go

    I would like to combine the 4:3 snorkeling footage with the rest of our
    16:9 material, but am not sure of the best way to do this. Both are 720x480
    pixels, only the aspect ratio flag is different.

    If I just join them end to end, the 4:3 material will end up stretched
    horizontally, which is NOT the look I want.

    I either want to add black bars to each side so the 4:3 material has the
    right aspect ratio in the center, or I want to expand the 4:3 material so
    it fills the screen horizontally but cuts off the top and bottom. I suspect
    the black bar approach would degrade the image less though.

    I have VirtualDub and Adobe Premiere 6.0. Is there someway I could
    accomplish my goal using these tools, or is there another free tool I could


    HerHusband, Jan 20, 2008
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  2. HerHusband

    Guest Guest

    You ca crop the top and bottom of the optio's picture. Off topic: I bought
    the same Optio and took it to Mexico for snorkeling - it leaked. Three weeks
    ago I sent it back to Pentax. They said the main circuit board was cracked
    as a result of - (my words) - a less than 1mm scratch in the plastic front
    cover. And offered to fix it for $30 more than I paid for the new camera two
    months ago. You may wish to reconsider this camera.

    Carey Robson
    Guest, Jan 21, 2008
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  3. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    Hi Carey,
    By how much? And using what program?

    Like I said, both the 4:3 material and the 16:9 material are 720x480
    pixels. So I'm not sure how to best scale or otherwise adjust the 4:3 image
    so it displays as 16:9 without aspect distortion.
    Well, I already purchased the camera a few months ago, so it's mine now. :)

    We've used disposable underwater cameras in the past, but the quality is
    not that great, we have to go through extra inspection procedures at the
    airports, there's the hassle and expense of getting the pictures developed,
    and then I have to scan them back into the computer. So, I figured the
    Optio W30 was a worth a try.

    Hopefully we'll have better luck with it than you did. I've seen lots of
    positive reviews of the camera, and lots of really nice underwater pictures
    taken with it.

    HerHusband, Jan 21, 2008
  4. HerHusband

    Netmask Guest

    You can crop with VirtualDub and resize etc and probably the same with
    Netmask, Jan 22, 2008
  5. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    You can crop with VirtualDub and resize etc and probably the same
    Yes, but again, "how much"? The 4:3 material is the same 720x480 pixels as
    the 16:9 material. How much do I crop or resize so the 4:3 material doesn't
    looked stretched when displayed as 16:9?

    HerHusband, Jan 22, 2008
  6. HerHusband

    Netmask Guest

    The mathematics are not that difficult to work out. 4:3 can be expressed as
    an aspect ratio of 1.33333 etc
    and 16:9 is 1.7777 etc I would try removing around 40 pixels top and bottom
    and then take a look at the result after resizing.

    half of this is 37.5 pixels to be removed top and bottom - so say 40 or even
    up to 60 might look better.
    Netmask, Jan 22, 2008
  7. HerHusband

    HerHusband Guest

    You can crop with VirtualDub and resize etc and probably the same
    That's somewhere to start. Thanks for the info!

    HerHusband, Jan 23, 2008
  8. HerHusband

    yeltz Guest

    Cropping the 4:3 video is one way of incorporating 4:3 footage with
    16:9 but in my opinion you would get a better result by dropping your
    4:3 footage into a 16:9 frame (which will result in black borders
    being added to the left and right hand sides of the 4:3 video).

    Anytime you crop video you loose quality and depending on how you shot
    your underwater video you might lose some of the subject. Another
    factor to consider is that your 4:3 footage comes from a digital still
    camera so the quality is going to be sub-par (at least compared to
    your high quality 16:9 footage) so cropping will make it look even

    Unfortunately I'm familiar with Premiere 6.0 so I can't offer any
    instructions on how to mix these two types of video, but it's a common
    thing that's done nowadays so you should be able to find a tutorial
    online somewhere.
    yeltz, Jan 25, 2008
  9. HerHusband

    Ken Maltby Guest

    That is one good way to do it, and offers the option of
    decorating the pillars, and you are entitled to your opinion,
    but your next statement is not an opinion:
    Not true, cropping itself has no effect on the quality of an
    image, just how much is there. Resizing the cropped
    image to full screen will introduce the possibility of some
    impact on the image quality, but it can often be virtually
    unnoticeable in the final render.
    True, and might be something to consider when shooting
    4:3 material for inclusion in a 16:9 project.
    I have no idea what the image quality of the OP's
    "Pentax Optio W30's 4:3 movie mode" might be,
    but the image quality of digital still cameras is most
    often somewhat better than what you will have from
    a frame of "your high quality 16:9 footage". (Check
    the specs.) Taking a wider shot and cropping the
    "extra" can be a useful practice for more than the
    issue being addressed here, and has no effect on
    the quality of the resulting image.
    Ken Maltby, Jan 25, 2008
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