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  1. What are the top "photo and video to dvd" creation tools? Ive just tried Corel MovieFactory, and its one major flaw is that on a widescreen tv, even when I set MF to create my dvd in widescreen 16:9, the widescreen menu and videos when play always have large black borders top and bottom! I do not think the program supports most current widescreen resolutions, as the tvs I tried my dvd creations out on were not the biggest of widescreen tvs.. and still had borders. The only way I can get rid of any borders is to create 4:3 dvds instead, but I do not want to do that. I know MF is a good tool, but the lack of widescreen without borders is too much of a flaw at present for me, until they can fix this issue Ill be looking for another tool instead..

    Im after a program that can :-
    - add music to photo galleries, being able to choose the length between photos
    - create customised menus with my own audio and text
    - support a reasonably wide range of image and video formats (eg avi, mp4, 3gp, jpg, bmp, tif)
    - create widescreen dvds in which the image takes up all of a widescreen tv, eg without any black borders!

    Can anyone recommend other "photo and video to dvd" tools that have just as much capabilities with creation as MF? Or - better yet - are there any tools that can take my MF dvd creations (eg the "video_ts" folder on the hd) and edit it to remove the borders/enlarge the overall dvd screen, so that black borders are not visible on any widescreen tv? PS I know most tvs can zoom in to view without these borders, but this ruins the aspect ratio and squashes my dvd! So im after a program that creates a widescreen video at the correct resolutions where I dont need to zoom in at all, thanks
    Last edited by extent; 31st Aug 2010 at 14:20.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    If your source video is pure 16:9 then MF should create a 16:9 dvd with no borders. I have created 16:9 dvds with an earlier product and they play fine on a 16:9 tv. Also check your player and tv settings.

    If the source has a different AR and you want to maintain that AR in a 16:9 dvd there have to be borders. OR you crop your source back to pure 16:9 and lose detail in the frame.
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  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    I really like MemoriesOnTV4 for basics.

    For advanced work, I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS3.
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  4. My borders appear on the left and right of the image, as well as the top and bottom, for both my videos and the dvd menus, as default, on a standard widescreen tv, with my settings as 16:9 in MF.
    I think its a resolution issue rather than aspect ratio with MF, as some people in the MF forums have complained about widescreen final dvds always being bordered, despite using 16:9 imagery and videos? The borders are only there because the content is "shrunk" on screen!
    Perhaps MF just needs an update in order to cater for true widescreen resolutions, instead of merely being able to create a widescreen dvd with videos and images of the aspect ratio-but still not take up the entire screen for viewing? I can almost fix the problem by only viewing my 16:9 dvd creations on a 4:3 tv, which will not show any left and right borders on screen. I know I can use the zoom button on most dvd players remote controls, to stretch the image and remove the left and right borders (on a widescreen tv), but since this does not remove the top and bottom borders, I will get a stretched-horizontally image, every time. I dont need to do this for movies-movie dvds dont play in a shrunk form on screen. MF does not have many options for the dvd, as 16:9 or 4:3, and thats it.

    Even on a set 16:9 dvd, if I use 16:9 background images for menus and videos, the left, right, top and bottom black border areas are always there, and always the same size. My items used are of the correct aspect, but always shrunk in size on screen. The entire dvd plays as if its 'in a box' on screen, so to make it larger I can only zoom in using the dvd player remote control. My dvd players zoom feature does not allow me to maintain aspect ratio whilst zooming, so if I use this function it will remove all black border areas left and right, and so I will get a squashed image as a result, as the top and bottom borders cannot be removed (since its playing "as a box" on screen). I cannot stretch my created dvds out to remove the vertical black areas, so even if I have used 16:9 items, the 16:9 items will merely be shown or will play in reduced size on screen. I dont know of any dvd players that automatically zoom in on this kind of dvd, so Im stuck, and pretty sure the problem lies with MF.

    thanks for the suggestion, Ill need to try out some other dvd creation tools, hopefully finding one that can display widescreen menus properly if im understanding this properly and theres nothing I can do to fix this in MF, that is. lol..
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  5. I'm quite fond of Proshow Gold and Proshow Producer.

    --dES
    "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Bera
    http://www.areturningadultstudent.com
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  6. thanks for that. Ive just found a "top ten" site here for photo gallery creation tools, it seems quite difficult in finding one that accepts my mobile mp4 videos straight out of the box, without having to pay more, they state photostory (magix) is the best, it accepts movies and still images :-
    http://photo-slideshow-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

    Im not sure how good that top ten website is, but has anyone tried any of the programs in that list, that can also say what to avoid or try out? I think Ill need to get a few trials running
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    VideoStudio X3 Pro can do a good job and is easy to use, reasonably priced. Use VS to make a DVD mpg and then convert to vob's and burn. I don't use their DVD creation software as others are better. Good help site: http://phpbb.ulead.com.tw/EN/viewforum.php?f=1
    Makes good slide shows.
    Last edited by pepegot1; 1st Sep 2010 at 10:27.
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  8. VideoStudio is also by corel, their MovieFactory program for me couldnt create a dvd that would fully take up a widescreen tv - despite using widescreen aspect ratios, the entire dvd playing was shrunk to a small size on screen with black areas surrounding the entire picture - doesnt it have this same problem?

    I thought VideoStudio (compared to MovieFactory) would be more of a video editing tool rather than full dvd creation pack that would allow me to make photo slideshows and dvd videos. If it does also allow photo slideshow creation, then Im struggling to see the purpose of MovieFactory, unless MF is simply a cut down version of VideoStudio, with the main video editor features of VS missing?

    thanks
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  9. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Another vote for Magix Movie Edit here....although I really don't think you'll find the proper solution for black borders while pictures are showing.
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  10. Member DB83's Avatar
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    What troubles me here are the two sets of borders. I can understand top/botttom borders = 16:9 on a 4:3 screen. I can understand left/right borders = 4:3 source in a 16:9 frame. But to have the two together ?. I have seen something remotely similar on broadcast tv where there was a small border going around the whole picture. I put that down to some incorrect flags. But I have yet to make a 16:9 dvd, and what I regard as a 16:9 dvd is one that already had a fully compliant mpeg2 source(720*576pal) with the 16:9 flag set, which did not display properly on a 16:9 screen = no borders at all.

    What I would like to know are the EXACT parameters of your source. Can you upload a sample and those that are interested can then see if they can replicate your problem. Or even solve it.

    FYI - VideoStudio is a pretty basic video editing program with even more basic dvd authoring capabilities. Movie Factory is an easy-to-use dvd authority program with some clever menus and a quite basic editing capability but you knew the last bit anyway. But they compliment each other. VideoStudio will make DVDCompliant movies to import into MF and should not then need to re-encode them within the program. Anything else imported into MF will be re-encoded.
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by extent View Post
    thanks for that. Ive just found a "top ten" site here for photo gallery creation tools,
    Those "top ten" sites are all biased junk. They only link to tools that generate affiliate sales. Excellent products like MemoriesOnTV4, which have no affiliate program, or Adobe Premiere, which is a harder program to get accepted by, are thereby left off the list. Don't go to those sites expecting good information. All you can expect are links to (mostly) Chinese junk that earns them a sales commission.
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  12. hehe, Im sure alot of them are junk sites, but there wasnt much chinese junk on that webpage! the number one tool was magix, so german junk - although it does actually look half decent, with alot of feature options ticked compared to the rest....?

    with a couple users on here recommending Corel VideoStudio Pro, Ive just installed the latest X3 trial, and its been useless so far my recorded mp4 video files dont show any video image in VideoStudio at all when added... I can hear the audio, but I get a blank black screen. These same MP4s work fine in vlc and other video playing tools I have installed, never any problem before. I also have some avi files that DO show the video, but have no audio when added to VideoStudio (they all have mp3). although I cannot hear anything, the files themselves when added seem to show an audio signal...?? again, vlc, wmp etc can play them no problem, but VideoStudio has problems??? Even the more basic version of the same software, Corel MovieFactory, could add these files without hassle, so I dont think Ill be opting for the full Studio edition. Has anyone else had trouble with mp4s and avis in VideoStudio? thanks for any info if so, has anyone had any problems with it in adding avi and mp4 as I have with the trial version ??

    I also tried the "number one tool" from the top ten site I linked to: magix photostory. It didnt recognise some of my avis (which I had edited or joined using other programs).. and unfortunately mp4 is optional, so you have to pay extra to be able to use mp4 videos - even if youve bought the pro version! So I have no way of knowing if mp4s will work in magix either both tools = useless. If there werent any good programs around, then id of opted for the one identical to corel moviefactory that allows a good level of creation with its menus (I did like the templates in MF, and its MP4 support), but I also need to create full screen widescreen dvds, since moviefactory does not do this without showing the output on a widescreen tv at a low resolution (dvd playing on the tv is the correct aspect 16:9 ratio, but shrunk on screen with black surrounding area-very odd)!
    Last edited by extent; 1st Sep 2010 at 19:09.
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  13. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Video Studio does not support the MP4 container. There are plenty of topics in the appropiate forum here that discuss that.

    The fact that they play in players is irrelevant. They are too highly compressed to be of any use for dvds. I doubt whether you would find any authoring program to accept them without issues.

    I am offering to help but it is up to you now.
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  14. My border issue is indeed very odd, I use the default 16:9 MovieFactory menus, and set the dvd to be for 16:9 format television, yet the entire dvd plays on a large widescreen tv, shrunk, with a large black surrounding area! The content (both menu and videos) were of the correct aspect ratio, just of a small size, and zooming didnt help. I tried a couple, but perhaps I need to try out some more tvs to see if its not just the case with the one I used. Ill convert my mp4s (if I wish to use them) to an uncompressed format to be able to add them in most of the programs that do not have mp4 capability. There still doesnt seem to be a great deal of dvd creation tools that support a wide range of formats, but with those that do, many do support compressed formats. Im just after a tool that allows a wide range of customisable graphic and audio options in its menu creation, being able to show slideshows and videos on the same dvd, and being able run fully/properly on a widescreen tv-not shrunk on screen like my moviefactory output, with no visible borders top and bottom! My mp4 files were definately being accepted in VideoStudio, and playing their audio, just not showing the video. I wouldve assumed if these files were definately a no go, the program wouldve told me straight with a message that they are not of a supported format that could be added at all? Other tools such as Corels own MovieFactory have no trouble adding them - and high resolution/bitrate MP4 H.264 is what my camera records in (its mobile, but not an iphone, and the mp4s look reasonable when played directly from the camera to a large tv), so it was good being able to add them to a dvd along with my related photo slideshows no hassle in MovieFactory, despite the programs possible lack of true widescreen tv support for its dvd output


    As mentioned before, I can get around the borders issue by playing the same 16:9 set dvd on a 4:3 tv, or computer with a widescreen monitor. No borders show at all when playing the exact same disc.
    I know I can get around the mp4 and avi issues by converting them to a more accepted format, but in my opinion, for a great "video to dvd" creation tool, the wider the range of input formats the better! No one wants to have to convert their videos from their original recorded format to another format, just to be able to add them. I can add compressed images (jpg) to create photo slideshows, so I dont see why hi res/hi quality mp4 support couldnt be added to such a tool in future. Many video/slideshow creation tools, such as Magix PhotoStudio, unfortuantely only seem to only support mp4 if I pay extra - despite mp4 being built in, its just not accessable unless the extra cash is handed over, so to me that doesnt sound like a format they are not ranking highly enough themselves not to bother with! Of course, if apple can find a way to make more money, they do so-in this case by creating mp4 pay-for licenses for just about any program that can potentially use it, lol. More and more devices are also starting to use the mp4 format though, recording in hi resolution, particular mobile phones, so I would assume more software will start to support it in future, if apple allow it! haha.. but dont worry, most of the above is just me moaning-as usual!...... lol


    are there any good tools that can review/scan my outputted dvd and give out a list of its exact stats? perhaps that could help solve the problem? thanks for the reply
    Last edited by extent; 1st Sep 2010 at 20:29.
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  15. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I made the offer. It is up to you to take it further.

    However, if I read the Corel site correctly, VideoStudio outputs Mpeg-4 NOT MP4. These are totally different.

    But, as an experiment, you may like to convert one of your MP4s into a dvd compliant format and then see if MF will handle it properly.
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  16. I was thinking of trying that out, as ive not heard any reply from corel in what might be the problem, if its not some bizarre resolution issue that MF has when trying to output a widescreen disc. ill post on here if I can solve the problem

    Since my discs play in widescreen on a widescreen pc monitor perfectly, im assuming i havent created any unwanted borders, but I cant think what else would cause it to play very small in size on a ws tv
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  17. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Maybe I didn't phrase something correctly. Your border "problem" is not a problem, nor is it unique. When was the last time you saw a 4:3 or 16:9 picture hanging on a wall or come out of a camera?
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  18. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Maybe I didn't phrase something correctly. Your border "problem" is not a problem, nor is it unique. When was the last time you saw a 4:3 or 16:9 picture hanging on a wall or come out of a camera?
    ooo -- ooo -- can I answer?

    (Okay, to be fair, I know of more cameras than you probably do. APS, anybody?)
    A devil's advocate reply, no doubt.

    Most images are 3:2
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  19. Member hech54's Avatar
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    APS as in Advantix?
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  20. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by extent View Post
    I was thinking of trying that out, as ive not heard any reply from corel in what might be the problem, if its not some bizarre resolution issue that MF has when trying to output a widescreen disc. ill post on here if I can solve the problem

    Since my discs play in widescreen on a widescreen pc monitor perfectly, im assuming i havent created any unwanted borders, but I cant think what else would cause it to play very small in size on a ws tv
    Well I also did (I think) ask if your tv settings were correct. Most modern sets have controls for different widescreen settings. Equally, your player also will have some output features. If these are not playing the same tune then who knows.
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  21. one ws tv I tried had an aspect ratio change option, but it just stretched out the image too much. retail movie dvds dont have the same border and they are also ws, on the same tv.

    I could try uploading a finished "video_ts folder" menu temporarily to a free upload site, with one of the default menus for widescreen-with 2 seconds of images-so if someone could try burning it to a dvd-rw and then playing it back on a large widescreen tv to see if the menu had issues/played small or was bordered? im not sure how big the file would be though
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  22. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by extent View Post
    one ws tv I tried had an aspect ratio change option, but it just stretched out the image too much. retail movie dvds dont have the same border and they are also ws, on the same tv.

    I could try uploading a finished "video_ts folder" menu temporarily to a free upload site, with one of the default menus for widescreen-with 2 seconds of images-so if someone could try burning it to a dvd-rw and then playing it back on a large widescreen tv to see if the menu had issues/played small or was bordered? im not sure how big the file would be though
    I would prefer to have, if you are going to upload, one of your mp4s. One that MF would accept and one that does not play back properly as a dvd. But just one minute of video, at the highest data-rate, would be less than 100 meg in a dvd _ts folder. So why not do both. That is use one minute of your MP4 to create a new one - same ratios - and also make a dvd from that. Zip them up and upload to megaupload and all under 200 meg.
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  23. Ive just noticed my created dvd video stats showing in VLC, that it has a resolution for all streams at 720x576- despite MF being set to create in 16:9. I thought that resolution was for PAL 4:3, so I thought perhaps MF was simply not working correctly after all and always creating in 4:3 ... but im getting the same resolution for widescreen movies also when played in VLC... .... ??? I was aiming to upload the smallest file possible so that many users could try it out - since my pc is from 2000 (!) encoding isnt the fastest process, for one disc I usually leave it on overnight (5 to 6+ hrs)-time to upgrade I think! Im not sure how long a one minute video would take with or without a widescreen menu, but it would still be a fairly large upload at over 100MB, so I will try it later if this one has no issues on a widescreen tv - its the shortest "widescreen" dvd image possible with a default MF widescreen menu, with 2 seconds of slideshow :-

    http://www.mediafire.com/?mcy31r7xwextlhf

    Its 16MB. If anyone tries it, they will need to burn it to dvd-rw and watch on a widescreen tv, not a pc monitor. Let me know if there is are visible top and bottom black borders on the menu and slideshow when viewed on their widescreen tv (if youre fast enough to be able to pause the slideshow to notice that is-lol). Obviously if MFs "widescreen" menus arent perfect in aspect ratio, there may be a black border to the left and right of the image if their tv or player is not set to zoom in automatically to fill the picture left and right, but I need to know if there are any borders at all on a widescreen tv, zooming in or not? If the menu works on a widescreen tv without any borders top and bottom and at the correct ratio, then I will try adding some recorded video to dvd in the same way. thanks
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    Got the file. I will try it out later on a widescreen tv.

    But even on a 4:3 monitor the menu is fine 16:9 letter box(and the dvd is reported to be 16:9) but the image is not. The image is pillared and lettered.

    But I am not sure if an image really is the best way to test this. The program could create the borders if the image is not 16:9 spec.

    I really would prefer to see a short video and a source clip.
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  25. Thats the same for this 16mb output when displayed on my old 4:3 monitor also, the menu is displayed correctly, and there is very slight pillar boxing on the slideshow, but thats natural due to the original aspect ratios of the used images, so on the 4:3 pc screen its working fine. On my 4:3 tv the menu shows identically, with the widescreen top and bottom borders, but the very slight pillar boxing borders of the slideshow left and right cannot be seen. I think thats probably just the way a 4:3 television may display the disc, with a very slight cut off, so not really an issue. Its probably doing it to the menu too, but it isnt noticable.

    I did think that too - that perhaps videos or images not perfectly 16:9 might be causing my dvd content to be shrunk on a ws tv screen, but I think thats fairly unlikely, especially when using media that is very close to, or exactly 16:9. The two photos I added were originally 1280x800 - so were very close in aspect ratio. 720x576 is definately the highest option for dvd allowed in the program. The only other video options are in the choice of fields (upper or lower field first, or no fields?), and in the choice of video quality. The video bitrate can be set right up to 7000kbps- I was using "normal" which is around 2000kbps - perhaps if this is set too low, the output may then automatically be set to a smaller maximum size on screen?

    Let me know if you experience any top/bottom borders on a widescreen tv for the menu and/or slideshow. Ive now updated MF, so I think I will burn some quick dvd slideshows off again too, with images that are all 16:9 of differing quality options, and test them tomorrow on the last widescreen tv that wasnt showing them properly, to see if that helps at all. thanks
    Last edited by extent; 2nd Sep 2010 at 13:08.
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  26. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Well, I have now replicated your problem and even on a 4:3 monitor.

    The program takes the image at its given scale and does no rescaling for the final dvd. An image by default is 3:2 which equates to, for example, 720*480. A 16:9 image is 720*432 PAL which means if you imported such an image into a standard dvd to use as as menu it will (or should) fill the 16:9 frame.

    But if you put that same 720*432 image to use as a slideshow it creates the lbox+pbox effect you are seeing. You may argue that is a fault of the program but the fix is to edit your image so that it fills the frame in the window you see just after you import the photo(s) - I suspect you saw the lbox+pbox effect there but thought no more about it. Someone with more knowledge of photography should come on here now to give you the exact dimensions to fill the frame but my experiments show that a pixel width of 1024 is quite close and a height of 620. My test image of 1200*680 certainly filled the frame.

    So if you want to retain the whole picture as it was originally taken then you must have some borders.

    Video is no different. If you want to take a 4:3 clip and make it 16:9 you either crop top and bottom and lose some detail or you stretch the image horizontally and thus distort it.

    I now wonder whether you are making a standard 16:9 dvd or actually a 16:9 video slideshow. If the latter, it would not surprise me you are now having these issues for the same reason as with the stills. As I said before, the PROOF is to take one of your own MP4s and try to replicate it.
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  27. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    APS as in Advantix?
    APS was actually the name of the format. (Advanced Photo System = APS)
    Advantix was just one of the "brands" used by other companies to sell film. There were many.
    But yes, that's it. It has several shooting sizes. (Convoluted discussion here, however.)

    There are several cameras that shoot 4x3 actually, including some Olympus DSLRs.
    More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Thirds_system

    Always a good idea to ask about camera being used, for slideshow questions involving AR.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 2nd Sep 2010 at 19:36.
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  28. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    APS as in Advantix?
    APS was actually the name of the format. (Advanced Photo System = APS)
    Advantix was just one of the "brands" used by other companies to sell film. There were many.
    But yes, that's it. It has several shooting sizes. (Convoluted discussion here, however.)

    There are several cameras that shoot 4x3 actually, including some Olympus DSLRs.
    More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Thirds_system

    Always a good idea to ask about camera being used, for slideshow questions involving AR.
    I had a little pocket APS camera. Awesome little thing. One of my favorite pocket cameras next to my OLD original Canon
    SureShot just before it was called SureShot.
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  29. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Well, I have now replicated your problem and even on a 4:3 monitor. The program takes the image at its given scale and does no rescaling for the final dvd. An image by default is 3:2 which equates to, for example, 720*480. A 16:9 image is 720*432 PAL which means if you imported such an image into a standard dvd to use as as menu it will (or should) fill the 16:9 frame.

    But if you put that same 720*432 image to use as a slideshow it creates the lbox+pbox effect you are seeing. You may argue that is a fault of the program but the fix is to edit your image so that it fills the frame in the window you see just after you import the photo(s) - I suspect you saw the lbox+pbox effect there but thought no more about it. Someone with more knowledge of photography should come on here now to give you the exact dimensions to fill the frame but my experiments show that a pixel width of 1024 is quite close and a height of 620. My test image of 1200*680 certainly filled the frame. So if you want to retain the whole picture as it was originally taken then you must have some borders. Video is no different. If you want to take a 4:3 clip and make it 16:9 you either crop top and bottom and lose some detail or you stretch the image horizontally and thus distort it.

    I now wonder whether you are making a standard 16:9 dvd or actually a 16:9 video slideshow. If the latter, it would not surprise me you are now having these issues for the same reason as with the stills. As I said before, the PROOF is to take one of your own MP4s and try to replicate it.

    Yes, it would definately seem now that the output display option, between 4:3 and 16:9 in the program, is for only in choosing between either a non-letterboxed 4:3 output, or letterboxed 16:9 output, but both options are possibly only for playing on a traditional full-screen 4:3 television - and not in creating a true output suited for a 16:9 television that will show and fill out the entire screen (providing the media used was also widescreen 16:9). The above are the only display options available in the program. I was always choosing the 16:9 option, and then wondering why everything was shrunk down on screen The only videos I were adding to into the program to create a dvd were my own original videos, originally a fairly low 848x480 resolution, so 1.7 to 1, or 16:9.
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  30. Member DB83's Avatar
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    So we are nearly there now.

    To recap, you CAN have your pictures to fill the 16:9 widescreen if you are prepared to crop them. What you also have to bear in mind is that whether the frame will be 4:3 or 16:9 we are still talking about 720*576 PAL. Your player adjusts that according to the flag beit 4:3 or 16:9. What the player can not do is adjust any 'picture-in-picture' to automatically fill that frame as well. Or in other words, borders in = borders out.

    The video dimension you quote is hardly standard as again we are talking 720*576 PAL but I would still like to 'play' with one of them just to be certain of the theory offered or even suggest some other option.
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