Join Todd Kopriva for an in-depth discussion in this video Scaling and cropping in Adobe Media Encoder, part of Premiere Pro CS6 New Features Overview.
Quite often, you need to output a movie in a format that has different dimensions than those of the source video. Let's look at the improvements in Adobe Media Encoder CS6 that increase the control that you have over the Cropping and Scaling that is used to resolve such mismatches. We will begin by importing a file in the Q panel. Click the Plus sign, choose Double Identity, click Open. Positioning the mouse pointer over the asset, we say that it has a 1280x720 image aspect ratio. That is 16x9, typical of high definition.
Let's deliberately choose an encoding preset that does not match this. The NTSC, high quality preset for DVD, is a standard definition encoding and preset for 720x480. Dragging this on top the existing encoding preset replaces it. And now, we click the name of the encoding preset, it opens the Expert Settings dialog box. The first frame of this movie isn't very interesting, so let's drag the current time indicator to a frame that's more typical.
There, I like that one. By default, Adobe Media Encoder has chosen Scale to Fit as the way to resolve the mismatch between source and output. Meaning, that the 16x9 image, which is the long rectangle here, has been scaled down. So that one of the dimensions exactly fits, and the other dimension is being filled with black. Placing back bars like this at the top and bottom is refferred to as letter boxing.
If there are black bars at the sides, that is referred to as pillar boxing. If instead of scaling into one dimension and leaving black bars, you want to scale so that some of the image is cropped off. But there are no black bars, choose Scale to Fill. Notice that this removes some of the image information. It doesn't have chopped off on the sides. But there are now no longer black bars on the top and bottom. If we choose Stretch To Fill, notice the image is distorted, but no image information is being cropped off. You can manually control cropping in the source tab. Click Source and click the Crop button.
Now, if we choose 4x3 from this menu, we get a 4x3 rectangle placed within our 16x9 frame, and we can crop whichever part of the image we like. I'll move it over here a little bit. One change in Adobe Media Encoder CS6 is that the cropping rectangles are now centered by default since usually you want to crop at or near the center. In Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5 and earlier, the cropping rectangles started aligned to the left, which is far less often what you want. So, I'll put this back where I like it, and now go back to the Output tab. We can see that Stretch to Fill is only stretching the area that is within the cropping rectangle.
When we've defined a cropping area, another option becomes active. That's Scale to Fit with black borders. This option performs the scaling operation without considering the cropping rectangle and then does the crop afterward. So to recap, the options Scale to Fit will scale such that none of the image is cropped off. But you end up with black on the top and bottom of the image frame and the source frame are mismatched. Scale to Fill will crop off some image information, but you will not have any black bars. Stretch to Fill does not lose any information, and it does not have black bars, but the image may be distorted.
And Scale to Fit with black borders does the same scaling operation as Scale to Fit, but then also does a crop. One final option. Change the Output Size to Match Source is currently unavailable. The reason that this is unavailable is that we're currently using the DVD encoding preset, for which the output size is specified. There are may formats for which the output size can't be changed because they must meet some sort of specification or standard. Let's choose a more flexible format to see how we can use change output size to match source, such as DPX. With DPX, the default size is 1920x1080, and our source is 1280x720. But we can make the output size match the source size by choosing Change Output Size to Match Source.
And now, output is set to 1280x720. As you can see, with the new Scale to Fill and Stretch to Fill options in Adobe Media Encoder CS6, you have far more control on how your movies are scaled and cropped. So that they can fit within the dimensions specified by your output format.
- User interface improvements
- Importing and sequence setup improvements
- Editing improvements
- Effect improvements
- Performance improvements
- Audio improvements
- Exporting improvements
- Miscellaneous new and removed features