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Thread: Need to retain square pixels in DVDSP video

  1. #1
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    Default Need to retain square pixels in DVDSP video

    I am working in DVDSP 4.2.1 on my ancient but effective Powerbook G4, 1.67 GHz with 2GB of RAM.
    I am working with old SD 4:3, square-pixel wedding footage to make a 4:3 SD DVD, and I have set all the preferences accordingly. In DVDSP, the video plays fine in the viewer if I set playback to square pixels. In the simulator, it turns the pixels into rectangular pixels and stretches the image and letter-boxes it, regardless of the playback setting. (BTW, the simulator only give me the display-mode options of 4:3 Pan-Scan, 4:3 Letterbox, and 16:9) After viewing the video in the simulator, when I return to playing from the track, I have to reset the pixels to square. Even when all the preferences are set on 4:3 with square pixels, the final DVD menu opens in 4:3, but when you press enter on the video, it pops into stretched 16:9 format.

    I've tried everything I can think of over and over. How do I retain the square pixels when I ask DVDSP to burn. What can I do to rectify this situation and have the videos play back normally in 4:3?

    Thanks!
    Lauren Swain
    Mind's Eye Productions
    Denver, CO
    (303) 887-5951

  2. #2
    Expert BenB's Avatar
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    DVD's do not change pixel shape when playing. Video is non-square pixel, and that's it, there's no changing that once you hit the FCP timeline, export a QT file, make a DVD. So that's not what's happening. You have something changing playback settings from non-anamorphic to anamorphic when you play back. These settings are manual and in the DVD player itself, be it the DVDSP preview window, the OS X DVD player software, or a set top box.

    So, there are no "pixel shape" settings anywhere.

    You can set the "Display Mode" for any given Menu or Track in DVDSP. It is not set for the disc overall, as it's not a global setting in the DVD specs. For Menus it's in the Menu tab of the browser. For Tracks its in the General tab of the Browser.

    Go through all tracks and menus and verify the Display Mode is set to 4:3 for each and every one of them.
    Last edited by BenB; 04-17-2012 at 05:48 PM.
    Digital Media Instructor for
    Louisiana State University & Delgado College

  3. #3

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    I beg to differ. video is never square, unless it's been formatted for a computer, via qt or flash, SD video is "almost" square with a pixel aspect ratio, (PAR) of .9091 to 1. DV widescreen is 1.2 to 1, HDV 1440 X 1080 is 1.3333 to 1, and there are many more. This is important to understand when juggling multiple formats, or working with stills in photoshop. Understanding PAR and how it works, is essential for professional multimedia developers. Google it up for yourself. In the meantime this is handy to have:
    http://www.csgnetwork.com/pixelratiocalc.html
    Last edited by mmckee58; 04-17-2012 at 12:46 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Expert BenB's Avatar
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    It is common in this industry to refer to square and non-square pixels, non-square for video, square for computer graphics applications. And it doesn't have anything to do with the playback of a DVD.
    Digital Media Instructor for
    Louisiana State University & Delgado College

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