View Full Version : Two aspect ratios possible on one video?

December 18th, 2009, 09:32 AM
I am currently working on a video of our son that I make each year for family. My problem is this:

The first half of the video was shot on a Canon Mini DV camcorder, standard def, 4:3. Earlier this year we bought a new Canon HD flash memory camcorder, and the rest of the footage was shot with this camera in standard def, but 16:9. I upgraded to PRE8 from PRE6 to be able to recognize the new camera's video formats. I did a test DVD of two scenes, one 4:3 and one 16:9 to see how it would come out. I burned the DVD using the NTSC 4:3 aspect ratio, and playback is on a PS3 and a 16:9 TV. The 4:3 portion plays as I would expect on a widescreen TV with black bars on each side, but the 16:9 portion letterboxes within the 4:3 area of the TV, rather than taking up the full screen. I realize that this is probably the result of the settings I chose in burning the DVD, but I imagine that if I burned the same project as a widescreen DVD, the 16:9 protion would play correctly, but the 4:3 part would not.

Is there a way to burn the project so that it will play each portion it it's native aspect ratio automatically? Short of creating two projects, and combining them on one DVD later, I'm not sure how to go about this. I searched and found this thread:


There are some things in there that I will try, but I'm at work and won't be able to test until later. I really appreciate any an all help! Thanks!

December 18th, 2009, 05:08 PM

There was a problem in the system earlier today with your thread.

I will repost my response to your questions in a few hours or sooner.

Sorry for the inconvenience.


December 19th, 2009, 12:58 AM

Test video plays correctly on standard def TV. I was pretty sure it would. 4:3 part fills the screen, and 16:9 part is letterboxed. Now I just need to figure out how to make it work on an HDTV. Thanks again for any suggestions!

December 19th, 2009, 09:43 AM

Bottom line: As you have been doing, you are going to need to coordinate your TV/DVD player settings, what you are seeing on the TV, and what Premiere Elements is generating as DVD-VIDEO.

The following is the essence of the message that I sent you yesterday which apparently detoured elsewhere.

The Premiere Elements encoded DVD-VIDEO (NTSC) is either standard (4:3) OR widescreen (16:9), not both. Both have frame sizes of 720 x 480 (4:3). Widescreen has a 16:9 flag that stretches the 720 x 480 for display after encoding. Your TV and DVD player and the directives that they take from the DVD will determine what you see on your TV screen. You have already indicated that you are exploring your TV setting options.

On the Premiere Elements side, I would suggest the following for you to look at if you are going to combine standard 4:3 and standard widescreen 16:9 video within the same Premiere Elements.
Assuming that you decide that you want a DVD-VIDEO NTSC Widescreen (16:9), then open Premiere Elements and set the project preset (new project dialog) = NTSC DV Widescreen. When the workspace opens, make sure that you have checked “Default Scale to Frame Size” via Edit Menu/Preferences/General.

Bring your video clips in via Get Media/Files and Folders. With any one of your 4:3 clips in Preview Media view, right click the 4:3 clip, select Interpret Footage, and, in the Interpret Footage dialog, under Pixel Aspect Ratio, dot the Conform to: and set the pixel aspect ratio for D1/DV NTSC Widescreen 16:9 (1.2…). Then drag that clip to the Timeline. Of course, with the 16:9 clips you would just drag them to the Timeline, but, if you saw any irregularities with regard to their aspect ratio, you could apply the Interpret Footage feature to them also if indicated in the Interpret Footage dialog.

Another approach is to set the Premiere Elements project preset (new project dialog) = NTSC DV Widescreen (same as above), but, instead, leave “Default Scale to Frame Size” unchecked.
In this scenario, you would do your own scaling of the 4:3 to the 16:9, using Properties Palette, Motion Panel, Scale properties, and the template frame in the Edit Mode Monitor.

And, these approaches would apply if you wanted to go 16:9 to 4:3 instead of 4:3 to 16:9. In that scenario, your project preset (new project dialog) would be NTSC DV Standard. And, in Interpret Footage, the Conform to would be = D1/DV NTSC (0.9).

With these types of approaches for dealing with mixed Timeline, there is always the potential for distortion in varying degrees, some acceptable, some unacceptable. You need to evaluate this issue. Have you read the recent post
in which the video tutorial that I suggested for watching suggested an alternate approach to mixed Timelines, namely, use of a picture in picture effect? In spite of the fact that this thread posed a Premiere Pro, not Premiere Elements, question, principles (if not feature location and such) are the same.

Please update me on your progress.


December 19th, 2009, 02:18 PM

Thanks for giving me some suggestions to try. I tried the first method and it stretched the 4:3 footage to fit the 16:9 frame. This isn't exactly the result I'm looking for. I don't mind if the 4:3 footage plays in the correct 4:3 ratio with the black bars on the side on a 16:9 TV, I actually prefer that to the stretching it to fit the TV. I would like the 16:9 footage to fill the screen however, but right now it is being letterboxed within the area where a 4:3 signal would play. Unfortunately, this project is being distributed to people with standard TVs and people with HDTVs. As I first tried it, it works as expected for a standard TV. 4:3 footage fills screen, 16:9 footage is letterboxed. I'm not sure if I am expalining this correctly or not.

December 19th, 2009, 02:56 PM

I tried a project starting as a widescreen project and burnin a widescreeen dvd and it plays correctly on a 16:9 TV! However, I have to set the DVD player to P&S on the 4:3 TV. This results in correct display of 4:3 footage, but the 16:9 footage is cropped on the sides. Not ideal, but workable. Relatives will just have to update their hardware! ;) Due to time constraints, I'm going to have to stop testing different scenarios and just move on and finish the project. Such is the life of a procrastinator. Thanks to ATR for your help!!

December 19th, 2009, 03:25 PM

Thanks for letting us know the outcome and glad that you found a workaround to get your project finished on time.

Keep up the good work and, when you get a chance, please let us know how your projects are progressing.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday.


December 27th, 2009, 11:15 PM
I have created two videos of pictures and stuff I want to send to family for the year. One I created using WS aspect and then I changed the settings and created one in FS. The material is the same, they are just two separate videos. How do I burn the to a DVD so that both videos are on the disc and the person can select whichever is appropriate for their setup? I have been using Roxio Creator 8 to actually burn the videos. As a second option I would also like to include a digital copy they can play on their computer. It's too late for this year, but I'm getting ahead of the curve for next year.

Thanks All

December 28th, 2009, 08:08 AM

You should start your own thread on your question. But here are some comments.

As I said earlier in this thread, within Premiere Elements you can burn to disc (a DVD disc) either DVD VIDEO Standard (4:3) or DVD VIDEO Widescreen (16:9). Not both on the same DVD disc.

You can have a "mixed Timeline" 4:3 and 16:9, but, depending on your project preset (new project dialog), you can scale one to accommodate the project preset. But, you may get into video stretching issues. This has been discussed in a recent thread here.

And, the Premiere Elements Timeline content (one or more video files) can be encoded to DVD-VIDEO to generate only ONE VIDEO_TS folder which contains the DVD-VIDEO files for that whole Timeline.

Aside from the aspect ratio matter, you have more than one movie on the Timeline, using stop markers between and main menu markers for viewer choice (the Bonus Item concept). In the typical stop marker scenario, you loss the Play All function.

Then there is the matter of the TV and/or DVD player settings with regard to TV display (a lot of variations that need to be looked into case by case).

As for computer playback of the DVD-VIDEO, that can be accomplished using Windows Media Player (if it comes with a DVD plugin which it may not), CyberLink Power DVD, or other computer software specified for DVD-VIDEO playback.

Please take a look at a writeup that I posted at the Premiere Elements User to User Forum related to this matter....

I have purchased DVD-VIDEO movies that are 2 sided, one with widescreen and one with pan and scan. Have you looked into that as a possible answer to what you want to do?

What version of Premiere Elements do you have?
You could experiment with
Premiere Elements project preset NTSC DV Standard (or PAL counterpart)
Edit Menu/Preference/General with Default Scale to Frame Size checked
Import 4:3 and 16:9 to the same Timeline
Place Stop Markers and Main Menu Markers (and Scene Markers as well if needed)
Create Menu, placing text with caution to prevent cut off on TV display
Share/Disc/Disc using the NTSC Standard DVD or PAL counterpart.
See what that looks like on TV display with known settings.

To be continued in your own thread, if necessary


January 2nd, 2010, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the reply. I figured out the digital copy for the computer portion. I just created the directories for the DVD portion and then burned everything from Roxio as a data disc and it worked perfect.

The double sided disc with WS on one side and FS on the other was what I was looking for next. Do they sell disc's that you can burn both sides of?

January 2nd, 2010, 06:34 PM

Although I have never used them, I see that double sided DVD discs can be found online. There are a variety of sites. The first one that I came across was Amazon.com which also had some reviews about the discs.

As for your present project, what did you do?

I figured out the digital copy for the computer portion. I just created the directories for the DVD portion and then burned everything from Roxio as a data disc and it worked perfect.

Where did that work perfect? Computer?

From your description, I am trying to figure out what you did....
2 videos, one 4:3 and the other 16:9
Some digital media (presumed to be photos)

If you left the two videos on one Timeline (4:3 OR 16:9), created menu, and burn to folder and, using 3rd party software and your DVD burner, then burned the VIDEO_TS from the folder plus the photos to a DVD with make data disc, that might be one route that you took. But the videos would all be encoded 4:3 OR 16:9, but not both.

Looking forward to your details.