As[ect Ratio

Hi All -

Got this from the film editor regarding pixel aspect ratio… my part will be including animation with humans…

"The shots I have exported are full size - 720x480. This is exactly the size in which you need to work. The thing to worry about is the pixel aspect ratio. You’ll have to worry about aspect ratio with EVERY project you do that is made for broadcast. A normal television set FRAME aspect ratio is 4x3, with a PIXEL aspect ratio 0.9:1. This means
that each pixel is 0.9 times as wide as it is tall. We shot the film ‘MirrorMirror’ in widescreen 16x9 (frame AR) which has a pixel AR of 1.2:1 (each pixel is 1.2 times as wide as it is tall). "

The 720x480 is no problem - however, the aspect pixel ratio is something I could not find in the manual - initially I thought this was a non issue as TB is vector format… if anyone has any idea how to address this, I would appreciate it … thanks, dan

Please have a look here:


Hi Nolan -

Thanks, I read the article a couple of times and if I understand correctly, there is no way to actually set the aspect ratio, it is determined by the frame size which if set to 720x480 would give me an AR of 1.5. If the client wishes a different AR I would do this by changing the frame size. My concern about the 16x9 is pixelation, whereby the images created in ToonBoom become ragged looking as if created in a bitmap format, when enlarged for widescreen 16x9. I realize that TB uses vector imagery, but once exported to .mov, it no longer maintains that format, but converts to a bitmap format… is that correct? The client has given me clips in 720x480 which I need to animate on. Do I need to change the frame size in TB to 720x576 to compensate for the final 16x9 widescreen format? Or do I just work in the 720x480 with the confidence that all will view properly in the end… hopefully, this makes sense to you :slight_smile: thanks, dan

720 x 480 is the resolution for digital NTSC Video, but it is a rectangular pixel ratio.
As far as I know Toon Boom Studio renders out in square pixels. Those pixels getting
a little stretched when converted to DV, but you might see this only with a perfect eye.

However if you are doing cartoon animation on top of your life footage you might have
to do your composition in a video editor or composition program like After Effects.
I presume 720 x 480 converted to square pixels is 720 x 540.

I think it is a good idea to stay with square pixels as long as you are in Toon Boom Studio
and not to worry to much about what will happen later. A resolution of 720 x 540 with
square pixels would be an aspect ratio of 4 : 3, ideal for standard TV.
Converting this to 16 : 9, your video editor might take care of it, or you might have to run
your footage through an “aspect-ratio-converter”.

Here are some common resolutions to use for different video formats (the 16:9 versions are for widescreen):

NTSC - 720x540
NTSC 16:9 - 960x540

PAL - 768×576
PAL 16:9 - 1024x576

Web - 320x240
Web 16:9 - 426x240
(You can really output any size for the web, but 320x240 is somewhat common.)

Below are the actual resolutions of TV screens. NTSC and PAL TV signals use rectangular pixels, and if you use these resolutions, your animation will appear distorted on TV.

NTSC - 720x480
PAL - 720x576


Hi Nolan -

Thanks, I do so appreciate the detailed assistance. I will work with the person merging the film with the animation sequences based on the information you provided and see what happen… thanks for the help … dan