Setting LiveType for 16:9 NTSC or PAL Projects

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the February/March, 2007, issue of
Larry’s Free Monthly Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Tony Liuzzi, and many editors in the UK, were asking how to configure LiveType to work with 16:9 material.

The answer took me a while to figure out — mainly because you need to configure LiveType manually for 16:9 sequences. What I did initially was to change the width setting in LiveType, then the aspect ratio in Final Cut.

UPDATE: Then, when I thought I had it all figured out, Tom Wolsky wrote in saying:

This is quite wrong. This is not the way to do this. You’re massacring the pixels.


DV 16:9 is always anamorphic. It’s always squeezed in NTSC or PAL. SD 16:9 is also anamorphic. The way to handle this material is not to change the width of the image but to change the pixel aspect ratio. LiveType supports pixel aspect control.


For DV NTSC the pixel aspect ratio is 1.25. I’m sorry I don’t know off the top of my head the pixel aspect ratio for the other formats, but you absolutely should not treat them as square pixel projects. The correct frame format should be used for all projects only the pixel aspect should be changed. Once the pixel aspect ratio has been changed to the correct value in LiveType nothing needs to be done to the project in FCP, other than fixing the alpha interpretation.

Larry humbly apologizes to all the massacred pixels and herewith removes his egregious attempt at pixel manipulation in favor of Tom’s much more better way.

If anyone knows the correct pixel aspect ratio to use for PAL in LiveType, please let me know.

UPDATE 2 : So, Matt Davis wrote in to say:

The pixel aspect ratio to use in LiveType for PAL projects is 1.42

UPDATE 3: To which Chris Roberts adds:

However, on importing the LiveType project into FCP you still need to manually check it as anamorphic in the appropriate Browser column.

Larry replies: Thanks to Tom, Matt, and Chris for these much better methods.

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Your email address will not be published.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.