Using Stretch Mode
The Stretch Mode feature lets you preserve or change the original aspect ratio of your video source. You may choose between four options that can either keep the whole frame (but risk changing the proportions) or keep the proportions the same (but lose part of the picture), or keep both proportions and all the picture, but not use the entire screen. To change the stretch mode of a video source, select one or more video sources and select Stretch Mode from the Edit Menu.
The four types of stretch modes are:
This option stretches the video to fit the current dimensions. Video Edit Magic changes the aspect ratio as well as the screen size of the video as found necessary. If there is a huge variance between the original size of the video and the dimensions that you have defined for it in the project, then heavy distortion will occur. It is best to avoid using this option unless there is not much difference between the original dimensions and the dimensions defined by you. This is the default stretch type used by Video Edit Magic.
Keep original dimension
This option preserves the original size AND aspect ratio of the video. If any of the original dimensions are smaller, black bands appear and if any of the original dimensions are larger, then the image is cropped near the edges along the opposite dimension. Effectively, this puts the original video, at its original size, inside a window the size of the new movie you are making.
Read the article about Video Dimension, Aspect Ratio and DVD.
Preserve Aspect Ratio
This option preserves the aspect ratio of the original file and zooms the video NEGATIVELY (zooms out) so that the video image fits the screen perfectly without any stretching. However, there will be 2 black bands at opposite edges of the picture in the X or the Y dimension, whichever is smaller than the defined dimension, by a lesser margin. For example if the screen size that you have defined is 320 x 240 and if the original dimensions of the video are 600 x 480, this option will cause black bands to appear at the sides of the picture because the difference between the original and defined X dimension is not as great as the difference between the original and defined Y dimension. This is sometimes called "letterboxing".
Stretch while Preserving Aspect Ratio
Choosing this option zooms the video POSITIVELY (zooms in) so that it fits the screen perfectly without any stretching. However a part of the picture may be cropped in either the X or the Y dimension. For example if the screen size that you have defined is 320 x 240 and if the original dimensions of the video are 760 x 480, the Y (vertical) axis must be halved to fit (240 is half of 480). However, half of 760 is 380, and the new size is only 320 pixels wide (X-axis). The remaining 60 pixels of the original video are cut off, 30 at the top and 30 at the bottom, and won't be included in the new movie. This is the technique used in "Pan and Scan" video. This option is advisable if the clarity of the picture is more important than the contents near the edges of the frame.
Applying Stretch Mode
Stretch mode can be applied to sources in the Timeline by selecting one of the three options from Apply Mode To
If this option is selected then the selected stretch mode is applied to all selected sources.
If this option is selected then the selected stretch mode is applied to all the sources in the selected video track. Selected video sources in tracks that are not selected remain unaffected.
Track with Selected Source (s)
If this option is selected then the selected stretch mode is applied to all the sources in all video tracks that have at least one selected video source.