Removing a Microphone from the Top of the Frame

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the Feb/March, 2008, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Boris Ersson writes:

I am editing my films about sailing in the northern waters of the Bay of Bothnia, and on a few tapes I have a problem: I put an extra microphone on top of the camera, and it has tilted down a little bit on some scenes, showing a black rounded edge in the upper part of the screen. I try to avoid scenes with that problem.


Is there a way to fix it? I talked to a friend who said that I could make the entire film to 16×9 format with a letterbox (under Effects-video filter-matte-widescreen) I tried it and it worked. But a friend at TV told me that they don’t approve of this because when people view the film on the new screens they enlarge the image – and the result is much worse quality.


Another editor saud that I could zoom in on the scenes with the problem and move the image a little bit up. Is that possible?

Larry replies: Boris, first if the mike is just in the shot, but outside of Action Safe (the outer of the two rectangles in the Canvas), I’d suggest just leaving it there.

Or, you could crop the top of the frame to hide the make, but that would put a black bar at the top of your image. If it is outside Action safe, you’ll probably be OK.

If the camera were stationery, you could try to composite a portion of the frame just to either side of the mike to cover the mike, for example, copy of patch of blue sky and paste it over the mike, but if the background or camera is moving this will look reasonably terrible.

You could paint it out using wireframe removal techniques, but that would require using different software, such as Adobe After Effects, Pinnacle’s Commotion, or Autodesk’s Combustion.

UPDATE – March 6

Tony Mournian writes:

In limited use, and if the mic is not too far down into the picture, can you also enlarge the image slightly, pushing the mic out of the picture, but not ending up with a black line at top or bottom of the picture?

Larry replies: This, too, would work. Generally, however, you can only zoom an image about 5% before the loss in image quality becomes visible to the average viewer (whomever that is…).


Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!


Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.