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In today's world, there many different formats of video.  It can be a challenge mixing computer generated graphics with NTSC video.  That's because NTSC video uses rectangular pixels which doesn't match elements designed with square pixels. 

square_vs_non-square.gif

Popular programs such as Photoshop and After Effects work with square pixels.  In these programs, you can turn on a a feature that corrects for the difference, but you'll suffer a degradation in visual quality due to the interpolation.  Therefore, a professional designer would prefer to build everything with square pixels.

pixel_aspect_ratio_correction_warning.gif

This difference is roughly 10% (.9) vs (1.0), but it's enough for the seasoned video editor to immediately notice a difference.

nstc_aspect_photoshop.gifFinal Cut Pro has a great feature that allows you change individual clips from non-square to square pixels (or vice-versa).  Therefore it's possible to compensate for the pixel aspect ratio when combining non-square and square video elements into the same sequence.

To correct for pixel aspect ratio problems within Final Cut Pro, you can follow these steps:




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Navigate to the Browser window and right click on the clip that you want to change.  Choose Item Properties / Format from the contextual menu.

fcp_right_clip.gif

The item properties dialogue box will appear.  Right click on the column next to your clip that lists it's current aspect ratio.  You can then change it to square or non-square so it's original aspect ratio matches the other elements in your sequence.

pixel_aspect_menu_fcp.gif





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Understanding Dropped Frames in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Moving Keyframes in the Final Cut Pro Timeline is the next entry in this blog.

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