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Tall QuickTime Movie Export

I moderate a Final Cut Pro training forum, and the question was posed... 'Can I create a Quicktime movie that is 320 x 480?' This would result in a QuickTime file that plays within a window that is tall and narrow.


At first... you would think this is not a problem. However... once I figured out what this person was trying to do, it didn't seem possible. At 320 x 480, this would create a QuickTime movie that is tall and skinny, which is very different than the standard multimedia size of 320 x 240.

At last! I figured it out. It can be done with Final Cut Pro, and the effect is somewhat interesting.
Pretty strange huh? Pretty strange huh? You can play the movie here to see what it will look like: sailboat.mov

The first step is to create a new Final Cut Pro sequence. By default, a sequence is usually set to the DV NTSC frame size of 720 x 480.

Control click on your new sequence within the Final Cut pro browser window and select settings.


Here is the trick. Within the sequence settings box, select a (custom) aspect ratio, and type of a value of 360 x 480. This will make the aspect ratio of your sequence to become tall and skinny.


Now that you have changed your sequence settings, edit a clip to the timeline. Then double click on the clip to load it back into the Final Cut Pro viewer window.


Within the viewer window, set the (viewer menu) to display image + wireframe. Then click on the crop tool within the Final Cut Pro toolbar and crop the video image so it fits within the 360 x 480 frame size.


You can also move the image around within the window to position the area of the clip you want to display.

Then, when you are finished, you can export this as a standard quicktime movie. *One important note. Only certain codecs will support custom sizes. I tried exporting as an MPG4 file and it stretched the image back to 4:3. I have tested the DVCPro Codec (native Final Cut Pro movie) and the standard video codec. They both seem to work.


That’s it. After you output your QuickTime movie, it should look like this when you play it in the QuickTime viewer.

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Troubleshooting Final Cut Pro unexpectedly quit errors was the previous entry in this blog.

Playing Clip Backwards in Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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