What is the Proper Frame Size to Create Graphics for Premiere Pro?

Frames sizes will vary as project settings can have different sizes and pixel aspect ratios in Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro 1.5 added a menu selection to create a "New Photoshop Document."

This will open a Photoshop document that is configured properly for the Premiere Pro project you have open. Photoshop CS (or later) will create a document of both the proper dimension and pixel aspect ratio. If you are running an earlier version of Photoshop, the document will open with the proper pixel dimensions but will create the raster as square pixels only.

If you are capturing using FireWire, you are likely using the DV format. Regardless if you are using DV, DVCPRO, or DVCAM, your end result is a frame size of 720X480 for NTSC or 720X576 for PAL. If you are using Photoshop CS or later, you should design using the built-in non-square pixel document presets, which will match the native size of the video frame.

Format 4 x3 Aspect Ratio 16x9 Aspect Ratio Native Size*

Square Pixel Square Pixel Non-Square Pixel

NTSC 720X534

864X534 720X480

PAL 768X576 1024X576 720X576

* Native size is the actual frame size stored by the Premiere Pro system and supported by Photoshop CS or later.

If you are working on a standard definition hardware-accelerated system, you are likely working at a standard frame size. The following offer general guidelines, but always consult the documentation that shipped with your hardware capture board or check the manufacturer's Web site. If you are using Photoshop CS or later, design using the built-in non-square pixel document presets, which will match the native size of the video frame.

Format 4x3 Aspect Ratio 16x9 Aspect Ratio Native Size*

Square Pixel Square Pixel Non-Square Pixel

NTSC 720X540

864X486 720X486

PAL 768X576 1024X576 720X576

* Native size is the actual frame size stored by the Premiere Pro system and supported by Photoshop CS or later.

If you build in square pixels, the final step is to resize the square pixel graphic to the desired non-square pixel size. To do this choose Image>Image Size. Uncheck the Constrain Proportions box and type in the native size from the chart above. The graphic will now display correctly when played back from the timeline.

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