Motion 5 - Using Square or Nonsquare Pixels When Creating Graphics

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Using Square or Nonsquare Pixels When Creating Graphics

When you’re preparing to import graphics into Motion, be aware of the pixel aspect ratio
you’re using and whether your project requires you to work with square or nonsquare

• Use nonsquare pixels for standard-definition projects in NTSC or PAL.

• Use square pixels for full-raster high-definition projects as well as multimedia video

that will be played back only on computers and doesn’t use captured video footage.

• Use square pixels for graphics used in projects with decimated raster frame sizes, such

as DVCPRO HD formats recorded with a squeezed 1280 x 1080 frame size, but which
are later stretched during playback to 1920 x 1080. Raster decimation is a strategy for
lowering the data rate of recorded HD video; however, the final result is almost always
mastered at the nearest corresponding full-raster resolution. By creating composited
graphics and animation at the full-raster resolution used for output, you’ll simplify your
asset creation, and guarantee the highest quality.

Graphics created on a computer, whether scanned, painted, or rendered, will look distorted
on a standard-definition video display unless you account for the different pixel aspect
ratio. Fortunately, this is easy to do, because every nonsquare video frame size has an
equivalent square frame size that you can use to create your graphics.

To create graphics that look correct when output to video


In your graphics application, create a frame size that’s the square pixel equivalent of the
video frame size you’re using.

See the chart below for equivalent sizes. For example, if you’re working in DV-PAL with
a nonsquare video frame size of 720 x 576, your graphic should have a square pixel frame
size of 768 x 576.


Appendix B

Video and File Formats

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Create the graphic.


Do one of the following:

• In your graphics program, rescale the graphic from the square frame size used to create

it to the nonsquare equivalent used in Motion.

• Save your image as is.

In your Motion project, select the object in the Media list of the Project pane, open the
Media Inspector, then choose the correct aspect ratio from the Pixel Aspect Ratio pop-up

Square pixel size
(graphics program)

Aspect ratio

Nonsquare 4:3 pixel
size (Motion)

Video format

720 x 547


720 x 486

601-NTSC 4:3

853 x 486


720 x 486

601-NTSC 16:9

720 x 540


720 x 480


853 x 480


720 x 480

DV-NTSC 16:9

768 x 576


720 x 576

601/DV-PAL 4:3

1024 x 576


720 x 576

601/DV-PAL 16:9

1280 x 720



720i/p high definition

1920 x 1080



1080i/p high definition