Event Media Pixel Aspect Ratio Weirdness _ Vegas 17 & 18

john_dennis wrote on 9/14/2020, 11:01 PM

In this post, the OP was having difficulty getting still photos to appear correctly in a 1920 x 1080 project.

Issue with aspect ratio on jpeg import

Pan/Crop was ineffective.

He had prepared his media in a photo editor to match the dimensions of the project. 1920x1080 for 16:9 stills and 1440 x 1080 for 4:3 stills. The 1440 x 1080 stills appear to me to have triggered a pixel aspect ratio decision in Vegas that caused the media to be stretched until the properties of the media were changed manually.

To verify my conclusion, I prepared 4:3 media as follows:

One .jpg was cropped, but not resized, yielding dimensions 4864 x 3648. The same .jpg was also resized to 1440 x 1080. Here is a demonstration of Vegas 17 and 18 interpretation of the media.

@VEGASDerek @vkmast 


EricLNZ wrote on 9/14/2020, 11:23 PM

@john_dennis That's an interesting find.

It's the same behaviour with VMS17 Build 179. A 1440x1080 (4x3) jpg is incorretly assumed to have a PAR of 1.3333 instead of 1.0000. Vegas must be wrongly assuming it's HDV.

VEGASNeal1 wrote on 9/15/2020, 3:18 PM

Yes, for media like still images which do not necessarily contain significant metadata, VEGAS applies a set of assumptions. For 1440x1080, pixel aspect ratio 1.3333 is applied. You're free to change this default behavior. After importing one of the still image files, open the properties dialog, revise the "Pixel aspect ratio" setting then click the Save icon just to the right of the "Stream" property. Now all future imports of the same media type will use these settings.


VEGASNeal1 wrote on 9/15/2020, 3:20 PM

( Help topic: "Viewing or changing media file properties", "Saving settings to video profiles for future auto-detection" )

john_dennis wrote on 9/15/2020, 4:29 PM


I did as you suggested and saving a custom setting of 1.0 PAR for 1440x1080 still images works as described. I also checked that the still setting appears to have no effect on AVCHD video (1440x1080, PAR 1.33).

EricLNZ wrote on 9/15/2020, 6:52 PM

It also works in VMS. Something new I've learnt today. Thank you @john_dennis and @VEGASNeal1

Musicvid wrote on 9/15/2020, 8:18 PM

Wow, @VEGASNeal1 thanks! Since I see the hash marks in your icon, may I suggest a future revision?

Instead of making PAR assumptions based on dimensions, may I suggest Vegas "do nothing unless it's in the metadata?"

  • 1440x1080 is not universally 1.333 PAR. In fact, it rarely is that in 2020.
  • HDV and AVCHD tape, nearly-deprecated formats from one or two decades ago respectively, always contains PAR metadata. At least that's the rule, as they are duly registered formats.
  • It's a PITA that has cost me extra time on certain projects. It doesn't seem necessary to have to live with it, as it can be bedeviling the first time one runs across it.

Respectfully, a former HDV post-editor.

EricLNZ wrote on 9/15/2020, 8:59 PM

Query - are still images ever not square pixels?

Musicvid wrote on 9/15/2020, 9:14 PM

There are no pixel aspect controls in Photoshop that I have run across.

Former user wrote on 9/15/2020, 9:20 PM

Actually, there is a PREVIEW option in Photoshop to simulate different aspects. Used to design menus or graphics for DVDs and such.

EricLNZ wrote on 9/15/2020, 10:27 PM

Actually, there is a PREVIEW option in Photoshop to simulate different aspects. Used to design menus or graphics for DVDs and such.

But, does it actually save image files with a PAR other than 1.0000?

Musicvid wrote on 9/15/2020, 10:36 PM

I don't think so, and thanks @Former user for the reminder. Saving a still from a video saves the DAR (SAR Width x PAR), not the PAR alone.