Converting Cinema Mode from early DV Camcorder to full widescreen DVD

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Hi
I would like to recount my recent experience of trying to produce a real widescreen DVD from material shot on an early DV camcorder in “Cinema” mode. As a consequence of my experience I would like some advice on whether I could have done it differently and/or how I might do this better by upgrading one ore more of my software packages. I have read the FAQ's on this and it appears my old Panasonic does it the "Wrong way"

Cinema mode on my camcorder produces a picture which is 16:9 but letterboxed into a 576x720 4:3 display.

I have Ulead vs9.0 which I have used off and on for a few years now to edit my camera footage -imported via firewire. This has 16:9 mode but this is the first time I have attempted to use it. I also have Adobe Premiere Elements 2 which I got bundled in when I bought Photoshop Elements 6 a year ago. I have not used Premiere before.

With Ulead with project settings in 16: 9 mode the resultant DVD gave a display on my LCD TV of a 4:3 pillar box with a 16:9 display within it. Ok I could expand this using the controls of the TV but not ideal!

I then found that if I left the project settings to 4:3 but changed the burn settings to 16:9 I got a DVD that showed a full width picture on the LCD but this was still letterboxed within what was now a 16:9 display . I still had black bands top and bottom and everybody/thing looked short and fat!

So I thought I have got to produce an anamorphic full height version of my pictures that when expanded by the widescreen flag it will fill the 16:9 display. I could find no way of doing this in Ulead v9.0 however?

So I looked at Premiere and found I could expand the picture laterally or vertically at will. After a bit of calculating I applied a 133.3% vertical expansion and lo and behold it looked like I had the basis of a picture that would deliver the goods if expanded by a widescreen flag. Hoorah! However I could find no way of setting a widescreen flag to burn in Premiere so I exported the modified movie as .avi and imported it into Ulead as a 4:3 project added a title screen etc and burnt to DVD with 16:9 set in the burn conditions.

I’ve got a DVD now that automatically plays as full widescreen.

The problem is that I seem to have lost a fair bit of picture quality in the process which I assume is down to the expansion and re-coding to .avi?

Whilst I am contemplating buying a new HD camcorder it strikes me that upgrading later versions of one or the other of my software packages may perform this task more efficiently or have I missed something in my current versions. I would greatly appreciate any comments that would enable me to produce a better quality widescreen DVD from the original DV footage.

Many thanks in anticipation.
 

A n d r e w

Well-known Member
The vertical transform would certainly cost you something in resolution. Whether that accounts entirely for the drop in quality you've noticed depends on how you're exporting from Premier. Was your export uncompressed? If so, then it must be the transform that's responsible, and there won't be much you can do about it. As you may already know, vertical resolution is a greater and more noticeable factor in sharpness than horizontal resolution.

Andrew.
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Whether that accounts entirely for the drop in quality you've noticed depends on how you're exporting from Premier. Was your export uncompressed?

Andrew.

Hi Andrew

Many thanks for your comments. The part quoted above got me thinking. As I said I had not used Premiere before and assumed an export as .avi would involve no recompression, however an exploration of the depths of the settings revealed a checked box by "Recompress" I have therefore re-exported the expanded movie with this box unchecked and there is definitely some improvement in the PQ of the resultant DVD

Many thanks again.

If I was to update my editing software with a view to handling both DV and a future HD camcorder what is current thinking on the best way to go?
 

ade4all

Active Member
unfortunately none of the editing programs available will give that good a result converting 4:3 to 16:9. the best 2 ways of doing it that i've used are photozoom pro & instant hd. they both produce excellent results but are not free software. for photozoom pro here is the way to do it

Procedure for uprezzing 4x3 letterbox to 16x9 - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking

seeing as you already have premiere i would keep with that for both dv & hd, they are now supporting avchd should you choose that type of camera in the future
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Thanks ade4al.

I had a look at your link but it talks of treating 1100 ish frames at a time. Since my movie is about 88000 frames I would have to do this 80 times! A bit tedious!

However thanks for your general comments and interest.


Boostrail
 
Last edited:

John7

Well-known Member
Have you tried PGC Edit?

This allows you to "enable" the 16:9 switch in the DVD file, prior to burning to DVD
 

John7

Well-known Member
Download and run PGC edit

"open" DVD (video_TS folder)

Locate the main video stream file (usually the largest).

Right click and select "Domain Stream Attributes". Change that to 16:9 and save DVD file.

Aspect ratio fixed. Done!
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Thanks works a treat! Looks to be an interesting bit of software must read the manual. How did you come across it?

I am now able to burn the project direct from Premiere to a DVD folder and after altering the widescreen flag in PGC can produce a disc. I still have to use premiere to stretch the frames to the anamorphic "4:3".

The interesting thing I have found is that if I play the original captured DV.avi's in VLC the output is not letterboxed into a 4:3 pillarbox but as a 16:9 display but that does not fill the screen vertically or horizontally, there is no blank raster above or below. It is the absence of any aspect details etc in these files that seems to make the video editors I have assume its a letterbox in a pillarbox.
 

John7

Well-known Member
Glad to be of help!

I came accross the software as I was having a similar problem with some TV recordings I had transferred to my media player. The original DVD/HDD recorder played them back 16:9. However, once the file was backed up to DVD and copied to the MP, the video playback was 4:3.

A search through the Forums at Doom9.net led to PGC edit. Like you, I need to read the manual as it look to be a very comprehensive and capable app.

Rather than stretching the files in Premiere, have you tried just compiling the native file to DVD format, using PGC to enable the 16:9 flag and then burning to DVD? This would probably avoid the detail loss you get by stretching the video first?
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Rather than stretching the files in Premiere, have you tried just compiling the native file to DVD format, using PGC to enable the 16:9 flag and then burning to DVD? This would probably avoid the detail loss you get by stretching the video first?

Thanks yes I just tried that and I get a picture that fills the full width of the screen but is still the same height so I have black bands top and bottom and people look short and fat.
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Thanks to all but in particular to John 7 I now have a movie that looks considerably better than what I had whe I made my first post in this thread.

However the PQ on the DVD is still someway off the imported DV.avi

The remaining problem I now have is that the movie is being spoilt by apparent field interlace problems. i.e.micro- tearing apparently on a "line by line" structure ?

I thought DVD's were progressive? As I say I am new to Premiere....???

This is viewed from the DVD folder using VLC.
 

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