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Getting Letterboxed Effect When Exporting

Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Hi Everyone-

 

This is my first post ever on here, so if I am doing something wrong, please let me know. 

 

So I am new to Premiere, have done a bunch of tutorials and was recently putting together a sizzle for a friend. When I export my sequence, I cannot figure out why I am getting a letterboxed effect when my sources are not letterboxed. My video sources consist of a variety of formats, such as the following: 1920x1080, 960x540, and 640x360. I have also attached pics of the letterboxed image (top) and the source (bottom) as reference.

 

FWIW, I have Default Media Scaling set to None under Preferences/Media. I am not sure if this is why this is happening. Or is this an export settings issue? Anyways, I'm pretty lost, so thanks in advance for any help or advice!Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 1.10.17 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-24 at 1.12.14 PM.png

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Correct answer by PhillipJoseph | Adobe Community Professional

In that last photo your Sequence and your Export settings match, yes. But the media inside the sequence (variable 1) does not. The media is obviously quite small - or already scaled down. Scale it up to fit the frame size of 1920x1080.

 

Here is a little graphic to convey the idea better when working with variable media:

Source_Sequence_Output.png

You can add any sized media in the sequence. Big, small, widescreen, square, whatever... it isn't all going to fit perfectly. Some things you'll need to scale up, some things you'll need to scale down, some things you'll need to crop the left and right, or the top and bottom.

 

The only way to not do any of that - and generally speaking your ideal Recording>Editing>Output situation is when they all match (or if your source media is larger than the sequence/output):

Source_Sequence_Output_Ideal.png

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Getting Letterboxed Effect When Exporting

Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Hi Everyone-

 

This is my first post ever on here, so if I am doing something wrong, please let me know. 

 

So I am new to Premiere, have done a bunch of tutorials and was recently putting together a sizzle for a friend. When I export my sequence, I cannot figure out why I am getting a letterboxed effect when my sources are not letterboxed. My video sources consist of a variety of formats, such as the following: 1920x1080, 960x540, and 640x360. I have also attached pics of the letterboxed image (top) and the source (bottom) as reference.

 

FWIW, I have Default Media Scaling set to None under Preferences/Media. I am not sure if this is why this is happening. Or is this an export settings issue? Anyways, I'm pretty lost, so thanks in advance for any help or advice!Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 1.10.17 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-24 at 1.12.14 PM.png

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by PhillipJoseph | Adobe Community Professional

In that last photo your Sequence and your Export settings match, yes. But the media inside the sequence (variable 1) does not. The media is obviously quite small - or already scaled down. Scale it up to fit the frame size of 1920x1080.

 

Here is a little graphic to convey the idea better when working with variable media:

Source_Sequence_Output.png

You can add any sized media in the sequence. Big, small, widescreen, square, whatever... it isn't all going to fit perfectly. Some things you'll need to scale up, some things you'll need to scale down, some things you'll need to crop the left and right, or the top and bottom.

 

The only way to not do any of that - and generally speaking your ideal Recording>Editing>Output situation is when they all match (or if your source media is larger than the sequence/output):

Source_Sequence_Output_Ideal.png

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Editing, Export, Formats, How to

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Yes, your default should be on the "set to framesize" scaling option ... then all clips would drop onto the sequence at the frame-size of the sequence, and should export accordingly.

 

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Thanks so much for the quick reply, Neil! Just so I am clear - moving forward, before I create a sequence, I should have Default Media Scaling set to "set to framesize" correct?

 

In my scenario, what if I already have my sequence laid out? If I change my setting like you mentioned above, will that be enough? Or do I need to also change each clip in my sequence to "set to framesize" as well? (I am aware that you can do this by right clicking on each clip.

 

Are there export settings I need to worry about or avoid as well? Thanks so much again!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Post screenshot export settings with left tab to output with an image showing and clip properties.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Hey Ann - here is a screenshot of my current export settings, assuming this is what you were asking for - thanks!

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 3.32.56 PM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Guessing you dropped a widescreen clip into a 4:3 sequence.

Please post the screenshot of a clip properties.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Here are the properties for the clip I posted a screenshot of above. I couldn't fit all of them in one screenshot, so please let me know if I need to scroll down further and take a second one. Appreciate the help - thanks!

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 4.01.28 PM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Yup that is what i thought.

You can change the sequence settings very easily.

Select sequence in project window and go up to sequence settings.

Set Editing Mode to custom

height and width to 1920, 1080 or better yet 1280, 720 (see what works best, need to do some upscaling and downscaling)

Pixel aspect ratio 1.0.

Fields to progressive.

As for export pick a matching full HD Youtube preset under H.264.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Ann, you're the best, thanks so much for taking the time. I will try this shortly and report back. 

 

For future projects where I may have various sources, is there a uniform setting I should follow when creating a project and before I do any edits?

 

Thanks again!

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Hi there...well, I still must be doing something wrong, as the video has somehow gotten smaller. I have attached screenshots of how the video looks now, my Sequence Settings and Export settings. Any idea what I am still messing up? Thanks again!

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 5.41.42 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-24 at 5.41.57 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-24 at 5.45.32 PM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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You have three variables to consider:

1. The settings of your source media - which you are aware consist of multiple frame sizes

2. The settings of your sequence - which can not be variable. This is one frame size and one frame rate. This should ideally be your intended output frame size and framerate - it should further ideally be the same settings as your source media, but in the case of having multiple formats (as you do), I would prioritize either your intended final output or your "hero" or "A Cam" source media. Like if the bulk of your media is 1920x1080 @ 29.976 fps, then that's what your sequence should be.

4. Your output settings. If you've set your project up properly from start to finish, then this should be the same as your sequence settings (and also your "hero" source media)

 

So if you want your output to be 1920x1080@29.9, then you want to set up your sequence to be 1920x1080 @ 29.9fps. Your 1920x1080 media will obviously fit perfectly in this sequence, but the clips that are smaller are... smaller. They are going to have black bars around them. You need to scale those up to fit the larger frame size of your sequence (in this example I'm making).

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Thanks for the info, much appreciated. Based on your last paragraph - if you look at my screen grabs above of my sequence and export settings, I feel like they match, don't they? Again, I am new to Premiere, so maybe I am wrong.

 

I think what it comes down to is, whenever I begin a new project next, to follow exactly what you said. But for now, I'd love your advice re: whether these settings and if they appear to match.

 

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2020

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In that last photo your Sequence and your Export settings match, yes. But the media inside the sequence (variable 1) does not. The media is obviously quite small - or already scaled down. Scale it up to fit the frame size of 1920x1080.

 

Here is a little graphic to convey the idea better when working with variable media:

Source_Sequence_Output.png

You can add any sized media in the sequence. Big, small, widescreen, square, whatever... it isn't all going to fit perfectly. Some things you'll need to scale up, some things you'll need to scale down, some things you'll need to crop the left and right, or the top and bottom.

 

The only way to not do any of that - and generally speaking your ideal Recording>Editing>Output situation is when they all match (or if your source media is larger than the sequence/output):

Source_Sequence_Output_Ideal.png

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Thank you so much for this. Appreciate everyone's patience with me. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2020

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I am not 100% sure what you are doing. That being said if you drop  a 640 X 480  video into a 1080 sequence it will be letter boxed by defualt. You have to scale it up by 200% or more but hair might look like rabbit fur instead of hair. If you start watching the video below at 6:30 you will see what I mean.

https://youtu.be/dVLUxRkPMdA

This video shows the easiest method to capture VHS tapes and export to blu-ray or social media. I use the Canopus ADVC 110 and the Intensity Shuttle. fire wi...

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 24, 2020

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Thanks Andy. Totally understand what you're saying about scaling it up. I apolgize for the dumb question, but how can I see if my sequence is a 1080 sequence? Is it possible that I need to change my sequence settings?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Click on the seqeunce and in the menu bar find the sequence settings tab. You can change sequences or create another sequence and drop and drag the content from one to another.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Thank you again!

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