September 27th, 2009

vidders_do_it_to_music

Sony Vegas MS9 Platinum - aspect ratio troubleshoot

The Problem
I had a vid that was originally made in Windows Movie Maker two years ago when it was all I had. I have not saved my project files just the final vid as a wmv file

The file always played ok in Windows Media Player in it's correct 16:9 ratio. The problems started when I wanted to stream it again - YouTube and Imeem both now unusable. I uploaded to BAM where it showed up in 4:3 and obviously all squished.

I figured I could put it right in Movie Studio, that this would be the most direct way without to many times recodec-ing and loss of quality that entails, and tried all ways to no avail, the saved files won't even play at the right aspect ratio on my computer now.

Things I've Tried
At one stage I tried to put it into Virtual Dub Mod to see if I could fiddle with it once there - maybe use avisynth scripts even, I wasn't sure. It would not upload into VDM at all. Would there be a way to do this? I don't know how or if it's possible to create vob files from a file on my computer. Or if there is another software that would load my wmv file and change AR for me.

My original source was PAL so the vegas movie studio project settings were for PAL widescreen. I tried several ways actually even square pixel settings in case that is what it needed. Viewer was set to PAL widescreen and it displayed widescreen and looked good, no squish.
In pan/crop I had it set on NO for maintain original aspect ratio and tried both stretch to fit output frame and don't stretch use letterbox on different attempts.
In the pan/crop display it still looked pretty square and changing the crop did just that - cropped off some of the frame but the pictures remained squished. I don't know why it wasn't showing as 16:9 in there - probably because the source was 4:3 yes? no matter what the project was set to.
When I saved I tried wmv and tried avi too - always selecting the widescreen option. Large, small, every which way.
Always ended up with a 4:3 file.
And various combinations of these variables all to no avail.

What Worked In The End
I took a set of pre-rendered files (complete with some filters I'd liked on it) in the 4:3 aspect ratio I kept ending up with. into Windows Movie Maker - set that to 16:9 and saved a file again using PAL wide settings. This did produce a 16:9 file for me that I have now streamed and posted, although as you'd expect the quality has suffered for it. (After writing this I did do the wmm process again with a larger saved file and it was better. The pre render files are quite small actually)

Questions
Is there a magical way to do this in Movie Studio - a particular combination of settings I didn't try, to change 4:3 into 16:9 in the suite itself?
Is there a way to create .vob files or something compatible to load into VDMod from a file on my computer?
Or is there a software that will allow upload of wmv file and allow me to change the aspect ratio somehow? If it's expensive it may not help me much.
Or anything else that will work that you can think of (bearing in mind what I have and that I can't spend much on this) that may work better than this.

So despite my work around, found to my great relief, there is probably a better way methinks! If you've persisted to the end of this ramble your attention is much appreciated x