Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Final Cut, Windows Vista, and my declining mental health

Fatal, the short film I made with Piers last December, is *this close* to being ready. Our only remaining impediment is getting the aspect ratio right.

The problem is, Piers' copy of Final Cut Pro is unable to export the project in any aspect ratio except 4:3. So he took his exported project, imported it into iMovie, and exported it from there in 16:9. So far so good. I then copied the disc image to my Windows Vista laptop and burned a DVD. Which, when played on the DVD player, froze about ten seconds in. We burned a second copy. That one also sank into the swamp. So we make a third one. That one burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.

Our working theory is that iMovie (or possibly the DVD authoring software) is adding some copy protection and/or identification data that's confusing the DVD player. Anyone got any ideas? There's a pint in it for you.


Blogger William Gallagher said...

Can't you burn a disc in Piers's Mac and cut out a stage?

12:17 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Piers' Mac has no DVD writer, so no.

12:25 PM  
Blogger William Gallagher said...

That would be why, I see.

You could send me the iMovie disc and see if I can burn it from this Mac.


12:40 PM  
Blogger Ian Betteridge said...

The problem is probably to do with re-encoding it from 4:3. I'm guessing that the original footage is in 4:3? Otherwise things are very screwy, as FCP should be able to export in the original format (I think all versions of FCP can handle widescreen).

12:41 PM  
Blogger William Gallagher said...

I did have a horrible thought that it was shot in 16:9 but brought in to FCP in 4:3.


2:09 PM  
Blogger Piers said...

Actually, FCP exports the .mov in the right aspect ratio. It was filmed in 16x9, and comes out that way in the export .mov. We tried burning on Christine's PC from the .mov, but she's got Vista on it. So that didn't work.

The current workaround we're trying is to create an .img using iDVD, then burn that on Christine's machine.

The problem with plan B is that FC doesn't export the particular piece of data that iDVD uses to determine the aspect ratio, so it stretches the pic to 4x3.

The workaround is to use Quicktime Pro or iMovie HD to re-save the .mov, which will add in the flag in question. Which it does - but unfortunately now the burning from the PC no longer seems to work after the first few seconds.

2:22 PM  
Blogger William Gallagher said...

Under the Project menu in iDVD, there's Project Info which lists things like aspect ratio - and appears to let you change it.

Can't be sure when it lets you do that because, as it happens, I'm burning DVDs right now. But I think it's an option from the start of the project.

If it is, can you import the iMovie, let iDVD do its stretching exercises and then tell it that no, it should be widescreen?

Might work. Might not, but.

2:39 PM  

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