How to make a video 4:3 (with black bars) from an original 16:9 or HD video in Final Cut Studio

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Don’t you ever wnat to transform your HD videos into a normal PAL 4:3 in Final Cut with black bars? With the option, File/Export/Using Quick Time Conversion you can’t do this even if you choose the options “Preserve the Aspect Ration” or “Change the Aspect Ratio”. Normally if you choose this way, you will get the original size resolution. There is no problem with this final result but if you convert and record this video to a DVD, you will have a bad result in the DVD Player, because it will cut some part of your video and it will not maintain the wide aspect that you see in HD or original 16:9!

So if you want to do this right, lets follow the eight simple steps:

1º – Inside of Final Cut make “In & Out” of the film that you want to export and convert

2º – After this, go to File/ Export/ Using Compressor

3º – Inside “Compressor”, open the “Inspector” (click at two times in the video track)

4º – Select the “Encoder” option of “Inspector” (its below the Description)

5º – Select “Video Format” and change the “Aspect Ratio” to 4:3 (it should be pre configured at 16:9)

6º – Now go to the “Geometry” (its below the Description)

7º – Now look for “Output Image Inset (Padding)” and in the “Padding select box”, change the option Custom to 16:9 1.78:1

8º – Now that the configuration is done in Compressor, you only need to click “Submit” to get your false 16:9 (PAL 4:3 with black bars).

Is simple isn’t it? Enjoy your conversion!


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