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 Author Thread: Grey Border Problem - Solved
ShadeSeeker is not online. Last active: 2/28/2009 4:43:49 PM ShadeSeeker
Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Total Posts: 4
 
Grey Border Problem - Solved
Posted: 26 Apr 2008 10:49 AM
First please let me preface myself by saying that I searched high and low for a solution to this problem with no success.. I acknowledge that this issue could have a known or trivially simple solution - if so please do let me know! :-)

Problem defined: I use MM6 to put slideshows together for a semi-professional photographer friend. The photos can be portrait and landscape in any number of different aspect ratios. When I add these pictures to MM6 any space around the photo that doesn't fill the "4:3 space" (as I'll refer to it) is filled with a dark gray color - a background as it were.
Most of the time is not a big issue, but when the photos are studio portraits with a very black background then these gray borders are very apparent.

Solution: I noted that when using the "Ease In" effect that the gray borders disappeared and were replaced with a black background. Voila! just what I wanted... except for the zooming in bit.
So I located the source XML for this effect here: (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb288316(VS.85).aspx)
and modified it so that it the resultant XML is thus:
<TransitionsAndEffects Version="2.8">
<Effects>
<EffectDLL guid="TFX">
<Effect name="NoMoreGrayBorders" iconid="5" guid="NoMoreGrayBorders" comment="Based on 'Ease In' " shadermodel="2">
<Param name="Animation" value="FXPanZoom" />
<Param name="FXFile" value="Parity.fx" />
<Param name="Technique" value="PanZoom" />
<Semantics>
<TextureViewport evaluation="Linear" type="float4">
<Point time="0.0" value="0.0,0.0,1.0,1.0"/>
<Point time="1.0" value="0.0,0.0,1.0,1.0"/>
</TextureViewport>
</Semantics>
</Effect>
</EffectDLL>
</Effects>
</TransitionsAndEffects>

saved to NoMoreGrayBorders.xml
The items I changed were in the second "Point time" parameter - I set them to be the same as the first so that no zoom in occurs.

And it does work - I'm very pleased.
So the questions I'm asking are:
1. Did I use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut?
2. Did someone else already work this out?
3. Is this so obscure that nobody cares?

Anyway, hopefully this will be useful to someone.
Thanks to everyone whose posts on the subject of effects and XML helped me understand enough to work this out.
Thanks for listening.

- Anthony.
PatrickL is not online. Last active: 12/4/2015 6:48:13 PM PatrickL
pleabo.home.comcast.net
Top 25 Poster
Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Total Posts: 1305
 
Re: Grey Border Problem - Solved
Posted: 26 Apr 2008 11:26 AM
Shadeseeker I think you used a nutcracker very properly. Doing it that way will letterbox any aspect ratio image.

I used this effect to letterbox images before applying borders in my DPL Frame Effects package. If you didn't, the Frames would snuggle up against the original image, rather than the edge of the video, so the frame would change size with different images. I called it Shrink 100% because the same basic XML can be used to shrink or expand (crop) an image. You can see a discussion of this at DPL Frame Effects for Vista in the Frame Effects area.

I care.Wink

By the way, it is as creative to invent something that has been invented before (if you don't know about it) as it is to invent something brand new to the world.

and BTW, you could use:
<TextureViewport type="float4" value="0.0,0.0,1.0,1.0" />
since it never changes with time.

PatrickL

DPL Freeware Effects and Transitions for Vista MM Website
ShadeSeeker is not online. Last active: 2/28/2009 4:43:49 PM ShadeSeeker
Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Total Posts: 4
 
Re: Grey Border Problem - Solved
Posted: 26 Apr 2008 07:21 PM
Thanks Patrick, the feedback is much appreciated :-)
Thanks for the tip too!

There's so much to learn about MM6 transitions and effects (which is a good thing!)... in my spare time perhaps.

Cheers,

Anthony.
considerate_guy is not online. Last active: 8/7/2015 5:49:08 PM considerate_guy
movies.blainesville.com
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Forum Moderator
Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Total Posts: 24219
 
Re: Grey Border Problem - Solved
Posted: 21 Jun 2011 08:06 PM
I've added this to the pinned post (view post 126998) so we can find it again.Smiley

Blaine
Movie Maker (Custom Titles, Effects. etc.)Cool
WMM 6.0 on Windows 7 or 8
YouTube videos
enropin is not online. Last active: 11/14/2011 2:49:00 PM enropin
Joined: 14 Nov 2011
Total Posts: 7
 
Re: Grey Border Problem - Solved <-- N O T R E A L L Y !!!
Posted: 14 Nov 2011 07:22 AM
Hi Patrick,

I was struggling with the 'grey bars' issue in MM6. My video is made of a sequence of still pictures and transitions in between. Most of them are 4:3 / 1.333 aspect ratio , but some are 3:2 / 1.5 aspect ratio. They are arranged either in portrait or landscape along the video.

I'm using a custom profile to generate a 1440x1080 video in 4:3 since most pictures have that format.

At first MM6 was rendering the video with grey bars on the sides of the 4:3 portraits, and grey bars on top and bottom of the 1.5 ones. As many people points it does not look good, so I researched all over the web and finally got to this post, where you guys point to this XML code.

I tried both variations (the first posted by the original poster and the tweak by Patrick). Both fix the grey bar issues, which is great, but when playing the video it turns out that many of those images (the ones that suffered grey bars and I applied the 'NoMoreGrayBars' effect) suffer from some sort of 'flicker' effect during transitions.

So, when there is a transition ('fade'...) between two pictures, when the second has completely formed on the screen, the previous one ' flashes' for a split second a few times. The flash actually occurs in the (now) black bars region of the image.

If I remove the effect and re-compile the video, it plays all fine again, but with the annoying grey bars...

This does not happen in every transition that previously had grey bars, which it makes it even more complicate to trace.

Has anybody stumbled upon this issue? Any ideas on how it could be adressed?

Thanking you in advance!
enropin is not online. Last active: 11/14/2011 2:49:00 PM enropin
Joined: 14 Nov 2011
Total Posts: 7
 
Re: Grey Border Problem - Solved <-- N O T R E A L L Y !!!
Posted: 14 Nov 2011 08:11 AM
BTW I noticed that when you generate the video in 640x480 which is also 4:3, there are no issues with grey bars at all showing... this only happens when I generate the video using custom profiles like 1440x1080 or 1024x768, both 4:3....

Does somebody know why? perhaps there is something that could be done to those custom profiles that would prevent the grey bars from happening (?)

NOTE: I believe I'm using PapaJ. profiles since they came already packed in the MM6 distribution I installed from Blaine's web.
considerate_guy is not online. Last active: 8/7/2015 5:49:08 PM considerate_guy
movies.blainesville.com
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Re: Grey Border Problem - Solved <-- N O T R E A L L Y !!!
Posted: 14 Nov 2011 01:55 PM
One workaround for the transition issue would be to generate each clip out as their own movie (in a .wmv file) and then reimport and then add the transition.

By the way, is the glitching during the transition visible in the final movie or just in the preview?

Blaine
Movie Maker (Custom Titles, Effects. etc.)Cool
WMM 6.0 on Windows 7 or 8
YouTube videos
enropin is not online. Last active: 11/14/2011 2:49:00 PM enropin
Joined: 14 Nov 2011
Total Posts: 7
 
Re: Grey Border Problem - Solved <-- N O T R E A L L Y !!!
Posted: 14 Nov 2011 02:48 PM
CG, thanks for getting back on this issue...

the glitch does not happen in the preview at all, it actually plays quite smooth... for a while, and sometimes it freezes for a few milliseconds, but that is a different issue of MM we all know as there is some eventual lagging as the computer tries hard to generate the stuff in real time...

This is related to the compiled WMV movie.

Rather than creating individual WMV's, what I have just done is a batch processing of all the photos that were in portrait adding vertical black bars, to end up as 4:3 (instead of 3:4). It is not difficult to work out how many lines need to be added on each side to invert the aspect ratio without distorting the image. It just gets slightly bigger (by the aspect ratio, actually!)

I did similarly for photos from somebody else's camera, that were in 3:2. For those, I had to add both vertical bars to the portraits to get 4:3 and also a few horizontal for the landscapes, to get 4:3 from 3:2

I achieved this in no time using IrfanView's Batch Conversion > Canvas Size

more info...

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-easy-ways-to-add-borders-to-your-photos/

Then the trick I did was to rename the new ones exactly as the old ones and replace the original ones by these on the media folder so MM would not notice!

BTW, I figured that the other day while using MM2.1/2.6 and it was taking ages to open the Project File (many people complain about this). I tried do a Batch conversion with IrfanView and re-sized all the pictures to just 640x480 and replaced the original 'big' files (placing them in a 'parallel/clone' folder to bring them back at compilation/movie generation time). It worked as a charm and the project opens much more faster. I bet you nobody had figured that out.

---

I think this (grey bars) was a big issue for many people out there and to date nobody has been able to address it properly using the XML patches... it does show when you compile the movie, not always (don't know why, it may be a combination of transition type/length etc)...

I already spent the whole weekend trying to figure it out until it was well clear that if the Cesar did not want to go to Rome I had to bring Rome to the Cesar! (i.e. give MM the pictures in a perfect 4:3 format to avoid any grey bars).
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