Desktop Video/Graphic/Video ratios


QUESTION: I am making a Video NTSC 4:3 DV 720x480 and I want to put a Graphic infront of it and I want it to cover the whole Video.

So do I make my Graphic 655x480 Pixals?


What software are you going to create the graphic in? What editorial software are you using.

These two are critical questions.

(The square pixel adjustment for 720x480 is 640x480.)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I am useing Corel PhotoPaint and I know that Graphic Images use Sqware Pixals and Video uses None Sqware Pixals.

So if I want my Graphic to cover all of my 4:3 NTSC Video I thought I make it 655x480 am I off?


The reason I asked you the software is that Adobe Photoshop has had the ability to handle nonsquare pixels for a decade (since Adobe Photoshop CS.)

The reason I asked which editing tool is because some of them handle this fine and some had different problems.

Here's the short answer: 640 x 480. (Or 720 x 540. But 640 x 480 is probably cleaner.)

Here's the longer answer:
There are actually two sizes that a still can be to accomodate NTSC/DV of 720 x 480. (There is another sizing for NTSC, known as NTSC 601, which is 720 x 486 pixels.) For 4:3 ratio, the size conversion is .9.

So, 720 x 480 can become 720 x 540 (where you convert based on the height) or 640 x 480 (where you convert based on the width.

Both are correct. But interlaced images (the process of storing a frame in alternating fields due to the redraw of the raster of television) means that vertical distortion is a bit more likely to cause problems due to their temporal difference between fields and expanding vertically leaving some pixels not hitting the field pair fully.

Even longer answer:

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Jeff Greenberg


I can answer questions about Final Cut, Avid, DV cameras + editing, Hi-def, production, filmmaking, DVD creation and special effects. Please do not ask me questions about your desktop, NOR your windows machine, nor ANYTHING to do with copyright infringement.


I'm a film editor and certified trainer for about ten different applications.


BA, Penn State university in film.

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