Friday, August 15, 2008

Widescreen playback in Quicktime

Ever come across this problem - you export a self-contained movie which is 16:9, but whenever you view it in Quicktime player, it shows up as 4:3 even though you remembered to keep it anamorphic in the export. And annoyingly (unlike other viewers, eg VLC) you can't change the aspect ratio of the QT player window.

In one sense that problem's gone away with mpeg4 exports, which QT seems to display properly from the outset, but I only just discovered they sneaked an extra feature into QT 7. It's called 'conform aperture' and is accessed through 'Show Movie Properties>Presentation' in the QT player.

The dropdown box, as you can see in the screen grab, gives options not only to display in the correct aspect ratio (Production as opposed to encoded pixels) but also to hide problem edges (from camera cutoff or encoding artefacts). The option is saved with the .mov file, and obviously you need the Pro version of QT to do this. More details in the QT help file.