Ok. Here is the problem -
We have a great shot in an edit from “The Searchers” but it was incorrectly transcoded, inserted into an edit or just misinterpreted by Final Cut Pro. How do we know it is wrong? Because people are taller and skinnier than they should be! Your eyes have been studying how things should look since you were 2 years old. Something should pop out at you and say – “Hey that looks funny“. Another way to spot this error is to look for things that should be circles. Are they still circles? If not, there is definitely a distorted aspect ratio that MUST be fixed in order to be taken seriously as an editor.
So now that you spotted something wrong, here is how you fix it:
- Double click to load the clip in the viewer
- Click on the motion tab and go to the distort, “aspect ratio” brick
- Use one of these “magic” numbers to resolve proper resolution. -33.33, 0, or 33.33
- Try each of the “magic” numbers until it looks correct. 99 times out of 100 one of these will be the perfect adjustment to viewing the shot how it was supposed to be viewed. For that 1 other time, well adjust till it looks like the real world in your eyes.
After adjusting the famous Searchers clips above to -33.33 you can see that things are more the way things are in reality. This keeps us from thinking in the back of our minds – “hey that looks funny”.
One final side tip is this. If you are unsure about if it is wrong, then try one of the “magic” numbers and see if it gets more or less pleasing to you. If all of the adjustments are worse, then you were good from the start.