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Pixel Aspect Ratio

When the aspect ratio of a source clip doesn't match the aspect ratio of the program, you can maintain the original aspect ratio of the source or change it to conform to the aspect ratio of the program. As discussed in Chapter 4, changing the aspect ratio of the source results in a distorted image.

Image distortion also occurs when a source clip uses a different pixel aspect ratio from the one used by your display monitor. An animation rendered at D-1 resolution (720×486 non-square pixels), for example, appears distorted when you display it on a typical computer monitor, which displays square pixels (Figure 18.21). Conversely, a 640×480 image appears distorted when it is displayed at D-1 resolution, which uses non-square pixels. Some programs and software codecs (see "Codecs" later in this chapter) correct for this type of distortion automatically; otherwise, you have to correct it by resizing the image. Better yet, prevent the problem by using consistent image aspect and pixel aspect ratios.


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