Final Cut Pro 6 - Letterboxing 16:9 Video in a 4:3 Frame

background image

Letterboxing 16:9 Video in a 4:3 Frame

To preserve the aspect ratio of widescreen movies on a 4:3 screen, widescreen movies
are scaled until the width fits within the 4:3 frame. The remaining space at the top and
bottom of the 4:3 frame is left empty and is usually black.

If a film or video was shot to be exclusively viewed in a widescreen venue, this
technique is usually the best approach for downconversion. However, this method
makes poor use of the already lower resolution of an SD 4:3 frame, because many lines
are not used at all.

To letterbox a 16:9 clip within a 4:3 sequence:


Create a sequence with a 4:3 aspect ratio. For example, choose the DV-NTSC or DV-PAL
Easy Setup and then create a new sequence.


Drag a clip with a 16:9 aspect ratio to the sequence.

If a dialog appears asking if you want to conform your sequence settings to your clip,
click No.

The 16:9 sequence clip is now scaled to fit in the 4:3 sequence and appears letterboxed.

For more information, see “

Scaling Images and Video Clips to Match a Sequence

” on

page 377.

720 to 480

1080 to 480

background image


Part IV

Real Time and Rendering