Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Documentaries are complex, structurally yes, but also technically. As the documentary editor, you often live under the I'll take what I can get mentality, and it's up to you to tell the best story possible, using the materials you can acquire. Therefore, many times material will be shot on multiple cameras, with varying formats. Let's take a look at a couple of format discrepancies scenarios and talk about some ways to deal with them. All right, so here is my Intro scene and everything is looking great and just kind of serving everything's, ah, when I get to this shot and he looks a little stretched and squeezed definitely, not the correct shape we have these three people in a row and he definitely stands out.
So he's at the wrong aspect ratio. I can always check if I right-click on my Record Monitor here and say Project Aspect Ratio, 4 x 3 now he looks okay, when I'm in 4 x 3 and everyone else looks stretched and squeezed. So with documentaries, this is so, so common, you are always working with either archival footage that is shot 4 x 3 or just footage from another camera that's at a different Aspect Ratio, but you will have to deal with it, you can't output it with the varying aspect ratios.
So I'm going to go back to 16 x 99 because that's what the rest of my show is at. And let's go ahead and take a look at how to deal with this. Okay, I go into my Effect palette and the Reformat effect. The first thing that I could do is apply a 4 x 3 sidebar. So if I just apply a 4 x 3 sidebar, this is actually going to reformat it, so it's not just a mask, but it actually resized this image, so that it basically shrunk in and stretched it.
So that now I'm at a correct 4 x 3 Aspect Ratio, and it's pillar boxed on the left and the right in order to make that happen. Now this isn't the best solution because nothing else in the show is pillar boxed, this would really stand out, okay. So while it does fix the problem aesthetically, it doesn't look that great. So I'm going to remove that, and let's take a look at a better solution. The Pan and Scan effect, if I apply that, you can see that nothing happens initially, but when I open up the Effect Editor, this will allow me to choose my source video, which is 4 x 3, and my Target, which is my sequence which is 16 x 9 Anamorphic.
Now when I do that nothing happens regarding reformatting immediately, but what happens is I get this wireframe and so if I close the Effect Editor you can see it fixes it, it basically reformats it so that it fits in the 16 x 9 video frame appropriately. Now it doesn't look that great because the top of his head is cut off. So you do have some flexibility with this. If I go back into my Effect Editor I can basically use any part of this frame.
I have all of this down here to play with, and I have all of this down here to play with. So if I move up with my vertical position and sort of just have that be the portion that I show and then I'm going to go ahead and close it out. You can see that now his Aspect Ratio is fixed, and we're not cutting off the top of his head. So I think that's how I would like to keep it. Now if I open up the Effect Editor one more time, you'll see that I can also keyframe it over time if I need to.
So if this was a very active shot, and I had some important information down here to begin with, I could keyframe it here and then we'll just move this over, so you have access to it, and then I can move that down there and then let's just have it move up to the top over the course of the shot, this would be obviously possible, and if I close that you can see what's happening, and kind of an added camera movement.
Now this is not that practical for the shot, this is a lockdown shot and obviously unnecessary, so I'm just going to delete those keyframes and have it be the way it was, so I'll move that back up to the top. Okay, obviously we also have some scaling parameters. So if you wanted just a portion of it, if I wanted to have a super close-up I could do that and then really zoom into any portion of this video frame, but again, I do want it to be all the way zoomed out and up here at the top so that he is fully included, and I'm just going to move that down just a bit so that I include him fully, and we'll close this, and it looks like it's okay, all right.
So he's in the correct Aspect Ratio, the Pan and Scan has fixed it for me, and I'm ready to go. So again, this is a really, really common thing you'll have to do with documentaries when working with various aspect ratios, but fortunately it's very easy and very flexible.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
93 Video lessons · 33542 Viewers
135 Video lessons · 67820 Viewers
79 Video lessons · 23837 Viewers
350 Video lessons · 108107 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.