iMovie Stretches

{"Reader Dale M. wrote in to ask why -- when footage that was shot at a 90-degree angle (with the camera held sideways) and that footage is then rotated in QuickTime Pro and imported into iMovie -- his footage is stretched as if in a fun-house mirror.

Well, Dale, this is a "feature" of iMovie. iMovie displays video at a 4 x 3 aspect ratio. When you turn your camera sideways, you shoot in a 3 x 4 ratio. Rotating the video In QuickTime Player can't repair what you've done. iMovie will continue to interpret it as 3 x 4 video and stretch it in a displeasing way. iMovie doesn't do this to stills, however.

To solve your problem, you can try one of these options:

1. You know the old joke:

"Doc, it hurts when I do this!"

"Well then, don't do that."

In other words, try to resist the temptation to hold your camera at an angle.

2. If your sideways footage is irreplaceable, you can try recapturing the footage on-screen with a screen capture tool such as ",". The $69 version of the program, which includes video capture, offers a 4 x 3 selection preset that you can use to capture the version of the video you play in QuickTime Player. And yes, it can capture audio at the same time.

3. Trade up to Apple's $299 ",". The Final Cuts don't stretch video to fit the screen. If you shoot at 3 x 4, that's what you'll see along with black bars on either side of the footage. "}

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