W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Playing 4:3 videos on a 5:4 screen without the black bars (or 16:9 videos on a 16:10 screen) - via cropping with Zoom Player

Remember me mentioning "show 4:3 video on 5:4 screen without the black bars trick" in the previous article? Well, here it is.

If you're shouting and cursing whoever invented the 1280x1024 resolution with 5:4 aspect ratio (and it appears to be the only one in 5:4), you're definitely not alone. It's easy to find people who are frustrated with SXGA, be it gamers playing games that are fixed at 4:3, or videoers (game - gamers, so video - videoers, right?) hating the black bars on the top and bottom of the otherwise fine, large screen.

Today's post is on how to get the video to fill up the entire screen and without you changing the resolution to 1280x960 and stretching the picture. This will be done by removing, or cropping a bit of the video from the sides. Yes you do lose 6.30% of screen area this way, but out of the 3 choices of this, viewing it with black bars, and stretching the picture to fill up the screen, which of it would you rather choose? (I hope nobody chose the last one)

Now some of you may think, "yeah, and so? This is about filters anyway, and I already know how to tinker with FFDShow/AVISynth enough to get it done." Yes, you know how to do it, but remember you have to change the settings every time you play another video that has a different resolution, since the cropping values are specific to that resolution only. Especially with AVISynth, this is troublesome.

What I'm showing you is, how to set everything up first, then get the crop that you want with the push of one button, or rather, keyboard key.

If you download codecs and codec packs, you should be familiar with Zoom Player or at least heard of it. Right-click the video area and enter the Options. Switch to Advanced mode, the button's at the bottom left. In Playback -> Video -> Presets -> Position tab, you see a list of 10 presets. Choose the number you want and edit whatever you want, in this case for your stupid 1280x1024 screen, we want a 4:3 video with a height of 1024, so we get 1024 / 3 x 4 = 1365.3 ~ 1366 for width. This results in the video being larger than the screen, and so now we use presets to center it. 1366 - 1280 = 86, we remove 86 pixels, 43 from each side, so the X-Offset is -43 (Note: this means the first pixel of the video is at (-43,0) of the screen). Impt: Click the Store Preset at the top right, and don't just click on only OK/Apply.

Now start your video and press your preset button. The black bars are gone! Maybe now you have something to brag about to your friends who are also frustrated with their 5:4 screen, but most importantly you now can enjoy the video on the entire screen without you and the black bars staring at each other.

The most important part about the advantage of this trick is that, after you've set it up, this preset works for videos of all resolutions as long as they're 4:3, so you only need to make one preset.

For widescreen 16:10 cases, since there are variable resolutions and different screen sizes, I'll leave you to do the calculations yourself, but in case you're stuck, for 1280x800 it's 1422 and -71, for 1440x900 it's 1600 and -80, for 1680x1050 it's 1866 and -93, and for 1920x1200 - actually, for this resolution (and maybe 1280x800) I'd recommend not doing this trick so as to keep the picture sharp, but it's 2134 and -107 for those who want.

This trick is less visible for 5:4 than for 16:10, because you loses 10.03% of the screen area this way, so the shape of the video is more visibly changed, as in more square or less rectangular.

You can also do this trick to convert 4:3 videos to 16:10 (or 16:9 to 5:4), but I don't see the point of that for most people. You can do it to simulate what some lousy broadcasting stations do to the video so that you can receive "fake HD" and witness the damage, or see how certain videos designed to be broadcastable at both 4:3 and 16:9 looks like at 4:3, if you had the bigger 16:9 video.

No comments: