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Author Topic: Aspect ratio dilemma for time lapse videos  (Read 3126 times)

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« on: May 30, 2018, 23:52 »
I have some time lapse videos that I want to submit for stock but I have a dilemma with the aspect ratio. I do my cropping of the Raw stills in Lightroom. And although I crop them as 16:9, it seems that Lightroom does not do a perfect 16:9 crop. Because after exporting, I find that the cropped images don't exactly meet the specifications for the HD and 4k aspect ratio standards. For example, an image sequence might be 4096 x 2303.89 instead of 4096 x 2304. Or alternatively 1920 x 1079.80 instead of 1920 x 1080. Or 3840 x 2159.89 instead of 3840 x 2160.

Of course one thing I could do is add a little bit of black to the bottom or sides of the image to produce the required pixel dimensions, allowing for a true 16:9 aspect ratio. Though one thing I notice about some stock sites like SS is that they don't like mattes or borders etc added to videos. So doing such will probably get my TL videos rejected. Would there be any solutions to this issue?

Edit: Actually, I'm wondering if this is something that is really worth worrying about at all. If I did add a bit of black to the clips to make them precisely 16:9, it would only be a few black pixels that encroach into the image area. The amount of black would be so tiny that I wonder if reviewers would even notice. Unless they have automatic systems that detect such things? I guess I may as well submit one anyway and see if it gets accepted or not.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 01:37 by dragonblade »

« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 02:36 »
Absolutely, never, ever, add black to your clips. A buyer doesn't want a 1 pixel black row.

Furthermore, you can't have part of pixels. There is no such thing as 1079.8. You can't divide a pixel. A pixel is the smallest step.

I would use a real video program like After Effects to make the final files if this bug keeps happening. If you are already using that, don't do your cropping in Lightroom. Save cropping for later.

If you, for some strange reason, happen to get a non 16:9 aspect ratio, the best thing is to simply stretch it out by scaling just the x or the y axis, or scale the whole thing.

« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 02:49 »
It's VirtualDub that's giving me those strange figures. Though some images sequences I import into there have a true 16:9 aspect ratio. Unfortunately, I don't have the $$$ for After Effects. Stretching or scaling could be viable options if I could find some programs that did that. Though that may introduce unwanted distortion. I wonder if there's freeware available that could crop still images in 16:9 and batch process. Cos those images simply need a little extra trimming.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 02:52 by dragonblade »

« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 02:55 »
I would highly recommend using real software if you're going to make commercial time lapses. After Effects would be my top recommendation (get the free trial and try it out), but why not try something free like Da Vinci Resolve?

And to preserve quality, I would work with RAW image sequences and export a high quality video file from that, like a ProRes HQ. When you export JPGs you throw away a ton of information, and working with TIFF sequences takes up enormous space compared to RAW.

And as for stretching. Stretching 1 pixel will result in absolutely zero visible distortion, but one row of pixels will be duplicated. But since you can't have 1079.80 pixels, that is actually 1080 anyway. I would stay very far away from VirtualDub if those are the results it produces.

Your life will be much easier with professional software.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 03:01 by increasingdifficulty »

« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 03:14 »
Very good points though like I already mentioned, I generally shoot my time lapse sequences in Raw anyway. Ive heard a lot of good things about Da Vinci Resolve but haven't tried it as yet.

« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 03:19 »
Very good points though like I already mentioned, I generally shoot my time lapse sequences in Raw anyway. Ive heard a lot of good things about Da Vinci Resolve but haven't tried it as yet.

Yes, of course you should always shoot in RAW. My point was that when you export JPGs from Lightroom you throw away a ton of information - you make it 8-bit. If you use something like After Effects you can create a higher quality 10-bit time lapse with more room for post processing.

You never actually have to export any image sequences of any kind. The only one you need is the original RAW sequence.


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