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DVMP Pro 7 User Help

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Portrait Oriented Video

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Traditionally, video (and film) has always been in landscape orientation - that is, wider than it is high. This is partly due to the way our eyes see the world. Television screens, and most computer screens are landscape oriented. So it's no surprise that video files are encoded by the camera with landscape orientation - usually as 16:9.


The ideal way to shoot video with a smartphone is therefore to hold it lengthwise so that the recorded image is landscape - the video can then be played back full screen on television and computer screens.


However lots of people find it natural to hold their phone upright when recording video, so the image is in portrait orientation. But just like any other video camera, the video is still recorded as landscape, so when it is played back on a television or computer screen the whole image is lying on its side (i.e. rotated by 90 degrees). This isn't a problem if the video is going to be played back on the smartphone as it can just be held upright again to view the picture the correct way up. But it's not really practical to pick up a large television or computer screen and turn it on its side so that the video can be viewed full screen. If portrait video is to be played on a landscape screen or edited into a landscape video project (e.g. for a video DVD), then you will either have to lose the top and bottom of the image, or wide black bars will get added to either side (with a reduction of resolution too). Obviously this isn't ideal, so we would recommend that you always shoot video in landscape orientation on smartphones.


Although smartphones always record in landscape format (even when held in portrait orientation), some such as the iPhone store some advisory "orientation information" in the video file saying that the phone was held upright (i.e. rotated by 90 degrees) when the recording was made.


Playing Portrait Oriented Video


From version 7.4 of DVMP Pro, when you play MOV and MP4 video files with the default EVR renderer selected, the video image is displayed rotated according to the file's orientation information; so files that have been shot in portrait orientation are displayed in the same portrait orientation. Apart from the EVR renderer, all of the other selectable Windows renderers listed in Tools > Options > Renderers are not capable of rotating the video image, so they will always display video in landscape orientation.


We therefore recommend that you always have the EVR renderer selected, but if you prefer instead to use a third-party renderer, you can check the tickbox Use third-party rotation-capable renderer which tells DVMP Pro to override the selected renderer and use a third-party rotation-capable renderer whenever you play a file that is flagged as portrait oriented. If your computer does not have a third-party rotation-capable renderer installed, the tickbox text will be suffixed with "(none detected, setting ignored)".


At present the only third-party rotation-capable renderer that is supported by DVMP Pro is madVR which can be downloaded from its web site - but it is slighty tricky to install. It downloads as a ZIP file which you must unzip into a new folder on your computer - the new folder will be its home so you must not subsequently delete or rename the folder otherwise madVR will stop working. You then right-click the install.bat file and choose Run as administrator - this will register the MadVR renderer with Windows which allows it to be used by DVMP Pro and other video software on your computer. Then in DVMP Pro click the Tools > Options > Renderers menu and the "(none detected, setting ignored)" text should have disappeared - this confirms that madVR was successfully installed. The first time you play a portrait video file you might see a warning message box saying "File Open - Security Warning Do you want to run this file madHcCtrl.exe" - this is just the madVR control panel, so UNtick "Always ask before opening this file" and click the Run button, then you won't see the warning again.


Please note that on some computers the Intel AVC/H.264 and MPEG-2 video decoders do not work well with madVR. If you are using madVR and the Intel video decoders, and you encounter errors, freezing or green-tinted video in the player window when playing portrait oriented files, then change the selected AVC/H.264 and MPEG-2 video decoders in Tools > Options > Video Decoders to the "LAV Video Decoder" which works much better with madVR. Further details of the LAV Video Decoder can be found in the Decoder Recommendations section.


Because of the above complications of using a third-party renderer, we recommend that you instead leave the default EVR renderer selected, and leave the Use third-party rotation-capable renderer setting un-ticked.



IMPORTANT: Third-party renderers and decoders are developed by other suppliers that have no connection with us, so we are unable to give any assurances as to their safety or freedom from viruses etc. When you install a third-party component the license is between the third-party supplier and yourself. As with all software, ensure that you only download it from their official web site, and ensure that you virus scan anything that you download before you install it. Installation of any third-party software is entirely at your own risk!



Burning-in Portrait Oriented Video


In the past, the Burn-in Time Stamp and Burn-in Metadata tools of DVMP Pro always wrote the burned-in text (and the burned-in logo image) in landscape orientation. However, if the smartphone had been held in portrait orientation when the recording was made, the text would appear to be written down the side of the image after it had been imported to video editing software and rotated back to portrait orientation.


But now, for MOV and MP4 files, DVMP Pro can check for the presence of the orientation information. If this says that the phone had been help upright during recording, then the whole stamped/burned-in text layer can be rotated by 90 degrees so that the text is written the same way up as the image content. So when you import the burned-in files into video editing/authoring software and rotate it to portrait orientation, the text will be the "correct" way up.


Furthermore, if you choose one of the MP4 output file types in Tools > Options > Burn-in > Output then the orientation information is copied from the input file to the burned-in output file. In effect this "preserves" the orientation information, so when the burned-in MP4 file is imported into other orientation-aware software it will be able to tell whether it is portrait or landscape.


Choosing the Orientation of the Burned-in Text


The orientation of the text layer can be selected by the Orientation drop-down control in Tools > Options > Burn-in > Positioning. The Orientation control allows you to rotate the whole burned-in text layer in 90 degree increments, so that the text is in the same orientation as the video image. You can set this control to any of the following orientations:


Automatic (recommended) - this sets the orientation of the burned-in text to match the orientation information (if present) in the input video file.

Landscape - regular landscape orientation.

Landscape 180° - upside-down landscape orientation.

Portrait 90° CCW - portrait orientation, rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise.

Portrait 90° CW - portrait orientation, rotated 90 degrees clockwise.


The Automatic setting will try to choose the correct orientation for the burned-in text if the file contains orientation information. If there is no orientation information in the file, it will use regular landscape orientation which is how most video is usually shot. The other 4 settings allow you to set a specific orientation manually.


The vast majority of correctly-shot video will be in landscape orientation, so you should leave the orientation set to Automatic. Only choose one of the other 4 manual settings in exceptional circumstances, such as when the camera had been held vertically (i.e. in portrait) but it did not store any orientation information in the recorded video file.


If the orientation is set to Automatic but you notice that the text has been burned-in with the "wrong" orientation, this is probably because the camera does not store orientation information and it was not held horizontally (landscape) during recording. Occasionally this can also seem to happen for cameras that do store orientation information; this happens because the camera stores the orientation information a fraction of a second before the recording commences, so for example a file might be marked as landscape when only the first few frames were recorded with the camera held in landscape and the rest of the file with the camera held in portrait. Whatever the reason, if you notice a burned-in file seems to have text in the wrong orientation, set the Orientation control to the correct manual setting and burn-in the file again - and remember to set the Orientation control back to its previous setting afterwards!


How the Burned-in Text is Rotated


Because you may be burning-in a mixture of portrait and landscape files, it is important that the burned-in text size and positioning are consistent. The text size and positioning is therefore always calculated based on the landscape shape, and then for portrait files it is rotated by 90 degrees. Because the portrait width is less than the landscape width, any text positioned with high values of X%, after the 90 degree rotation may be truncated against the portrait's right edge (being the landscape top edge before rotation).


Burned-in text layer rotated to Portrait 90 degree CCW orientation

Burned-in text layer rotated to Portrait 90 degree CCW orientation


Also any text that was positioned with high values of Y%, after the 90 degree rotation would appear about a third of the way down the portrait image. This isn't ideal, so DVMP Pro applies an adjustment to the text positioning for portrait video. For metadata text items whose Y% value is set to 50% or greater, their position is shifted so that they are justified to the portrait top edge. This means that there is a "Dead Zone" across the middle of the portrait where no text can appear, but that's OK as it's very unlikely that you would want text written across the center of the image.


All of the above also applies to the Custom text item and the logo image (if used).


See Also:

Time Stamping Video

Burning-in Metadata

Burn-in Time Stamp

Burn-in Metadata

Options - Burn-in