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Thread: Converting 4:3 to 16:9 in Premier Pro CS3

  1. #1

    Default Converting 4:3 to 16:9 in Premier Pro CS3

    hi there,

    I have tried searching for this but found nothing exactly like i need.

    I'm new here, and I have recently filmed some footage on two cameras, unfortunately the 2nd camera was on pal 4:3 format as opposed to pal 16:9 format that i wanted.

    I want to use Premiere Pro CS3 to change this 4:3 footage to 16:9. I have tried google but got no definitive answer.

    I realise the footage will become degraded somewhat as I have to scale up the 4:3 footage to fit 16:9 screen dimensions and I know to use the matte letterbox template in the title editor to do the lettterboxing. I understand how to change the PAR but not sure if i should etc.

    My footage will be rendered as a full screen .avi for conversion by handbrake to go online at

    My questions are

    1. When starting Permier pro cs3 do i start a new 16:9 project or 4:3 project when importing my 4:3 footage to convert it?
    2. Do I need to alter the PAR at all during this process or leave as is and let the letterbox matte and scaling do the job?
    3. What do i export it as?

    I have experimented in both project settings and rendered a few different versions but it doesnt seem right. If i add a letterbox matte to a 16:9 project display, then that is becoming less than 16:9 isnt it as the display video track screen is already 16:9 i believe

    any help would be greatly appreciated, even youtube had no direct answer.

    thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    ok open up a 16:9 project and just edit normally and when you get to the camera that needs to be "converted" just click the clip on the timeline line, goto the effects panel and scall it to around 113% of the original size.

    it's as simple as that

  3. #3


    hi smifis,

    thanks for your reply, but in a 16:9 project 113% leaves alot of pillarbox still remaining on the preview window viewer. 134% will fill the 16:9 preview window. Am i doing something wrong or was that percentage meant to be 134%? So i just need to increase the size until the preview screen is filled totally correct?

  4. Default

    this is problem that i've faced few month ago and couldn't resolve it...
    from my experience use SONY VEGAS to do the job, its very very easy to do it with vegas, on the corner of each clip at your timeline , you have a square box, open it and set where ever you wanna set.

  5. Default

    one other thing that i liked about using sony vegas for such a situation is that you CAN put PAL and NTCS on the same timeine and will work together and then you can render is as one project. it does the conversion somehwere within sony vegas !

  6. #6


    hi kishoreda,

    i just tried Vegas Pro and yes you can use the event/pan/crop part to go to the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio template change but even changed with the template, if i export as 4:3 or 16:9 .avi the result when imported into premiere is letterboxed and pillarboxd footage both ways. so that has not helped unfortunately. thanks anyway

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    yeah i said AROUND about 113%, it's not exact, 113% 114%. for some reason it's always been different with me.

    you can mix ntsc and pal footage in Premier anyway, it's not a spotlight feature anymore, it's considered standard. i have yet to find a NLE that can't use both.

  8. #8


    smifis to fill the preview window in a 16:9 project it has to be 134% not 113 or 114% like u say. so im just not sure if we are on the same page?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Perth, Western Australia



    Just also remember that when you crop an interlaced clip you MUST de-interlace it first!! Otherwise what happens is you are also making the interlacing lines larger by 134% and you will get terrible interlacing as the frames will now be incorrect.

    Dunno about Prem but in Vegas all you do is set the de-interlace to "blend" in the project setting and then use crop and the 16:9 preset. Even if it doesn't show the preview window filled completely just render to your file and check the expand video to fill frame option.

    Before you do any resizing of a video read the link below and will save many hours of fustration!!! However your PQ will still be degraded a lot!!!

    What is deinterlacing? The best method to deinterlace movies


  10. Default

    my understanding is that you wanna change the 4:3 footages to 16:9 ? right? and then export them to CS3 ?
    import all your 16:9 and 4:3 footages to vegas timeline , select 16:9 for your 4:3 footages , don't touch anything else JUST RENDER IT AS AN AVI FILE, save it and then imoprt that avi file in CS3 as 16:9 project....persoanlly i don't see any problem with this way !

    so, now that you have that AVI its all 16:9
    Last edited by KISHOREDA; 07-30-2009 at 07:29 AM.

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