[This article was first published in the September, 2010, issue of
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David Counts asks:
When creating titles for a 16×9 movie that will go to SD DVD should I keep my text in a 4×3 title safe grid? And is the answer the same for DVD menu text created in Photoshop? I generally use Photoshop and AE to create my titles.
Larry replies: David, thanks for the question.
Title Safe is defined by a rectangle drawn 10% in from each edge of the video image. This means that the size of Title Safe varies between 4:3 and 16:9 screen formats.
So, regardless of what application you use to create your titles, as long as you keep all essential text 10%, or more, away from any edge, you are fine.
UPDATE – Oct. 21, 2010
Eric Mittan, from WSIL-TV, sent this in:
Just wanted to pass along some thoughts to David Counts in regards to his 16×9 movie and his question about title safe (and anyone else that works with widescreen material).
I know David mentioned his movie is going to DVD, but he probably wants to save himself some work in case there’s even a prospect of this item going to broadcast or some other distribution medium. Working in broadcasting, our department has worked to follow 4×3 title safe guidelines, even in our 16×9 work. Our market is mostly rural, and most of our viewers purchased Digital Television converter boxes with the government subsidized program, rather than purchase a new High Definition television. What hasn’t been widely discussed in the post-production community is that a number of these boxes shipped set to a default setting that crops 16×9 signals to 4×3 to fit “fullscreen” on the television, rather than letterboxing the content. Since the majority of viewers will use those boxes in their default mode, any titles in a 16×9 piece of media that do not also fit inside of the 4×3 title safe INSIDE the 16×9, will probably be cut off by most viewers’ televisions.
We’ve come to notice that as a network affiliate, the network broadcasts also fit within the same guidelines. The network icon that appears on 16×9 primetime shows sits right in the lower right corner of 4:3 title safe. All lower-third promos for upcoming shows – that all the networks have been using to interrupt what you’re currently watching – all contain their text within the 4×3 title safe, even if the graphic portion of the promo spills out a little.
Larry replies: Thanks, Eric. I appreciate your comments.
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