Comparison of a 1.78:1 transfer with 1.85:1 (pictures)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick McCart, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    http://cztoondb.tripod.com/DVD/openmatte.htm
    Since some people are being misled that 1.78:1 transfers of 1.85:1 films crop the sides, I provide a comparison picture of the two.
    Any adds or corrections are welcomed. (I'll add any to the page)
     
  2. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    I'd suggest putting an outline around the pictures, or changing the background colour away from black.
     
  3. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Erm, yes, but what about hard-matted films?
     
  4. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    I'm not sure I understand the purpose of the page. Are you just showing the minor difference between 1.78 and 1.85:1? Or are you trying to debunk something?

    Regarding 1.85:1 OAR films,1.78:1 transfers may be either opened up at the top and bottom or matted on the sides.

    Also, on your page you state: "Like most open matte films, The Time Machine was filmed to be shown from 1.66:1 all the way up to 1.85:1."

    What's an open-matte film? There are open-matte transfers. I think you are referring to all spherical 35mm films that are matted in post, which would probably be the majority of films made. But it is not proper to refer to them as open-matte.

    The Time Machine filmed to be shown from 1.66 to 1.85:1? I seriously doubt that. I suspect that like most spherical 35mm films it was composed for, and intended to be shown at, one specific AR.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    An open matte film (like most 1.66:1, 1.78:1, 1.85:1 films) are shot with a negative that has an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
    The prints are usually the same ratio (very few times, films are shot with a matte in-camera).
    The projectors in theaters mask the image to the required aspect ratio (99% of any open matte films are masked to 1.85:1 in theaters, regardless of what is reccomended.).
    Movies shot open matte for 1.66:1 include Giant.
    A movie originally shot 1.33:1 and reccomended for 1.75/1.78:1 projection is Old Yeller. A 1.78:1 transfer would be just right.
    A movie shot for 1.85:1 is Young Frankenstein. The prints are 1.33:1 and are masked to 1.85:1 in the theater.
    So...when a 1.85:1 film is shown at 1.78:1 (a mere .07 in the height of the image, not the width) it's simply matted LESS. Of all the hard matted films I've seen on DVD, they are all correctly shown on DVD. Shrek was hard-matted on film at 1.70:1 (I saw the film at the theater I work at) so that's why the 1.33:1 version has a little bit more image on the top and bottom...
    ALL VistaVision films can be shown from 1.66:1, all the way to 1.85:1 with no compromises in image composition. North By Northwest looks perfect at 1.78:1 since it's an average of the full image of VistaVision to the widest matted image.
    When in doubt, always take a look at Marty Hart's excellent American Widescreen Museum @ http://www.widescreenmuseum.com
     
  6. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    There is a slight but major problem here. I saw "The Time Machine" on TCM in its proper 1.66:1 image. Cropping it to 1.78:1 or even 1.85:1 is rather an insult to the original vision of the filmmakers. It is difficult cropping 1.66:1 films for DVD.

    I saw the "North By Northwest" DVD from Warner, and although the picture was sharp, overcropping marred the VistaVision image Hitchcock intended (with apologies to his daughter Patricia and his granddaughter).

    When Disney adapts 1.66:1 for anamorphic DVD, they do the right thing...put bars on the sides to preserve the image. They did a great job at their "Bedknobs And Broomsticks" DVD transfer, and the entire intended image was presented just as the filmmakers intended.

    This is what Warner should do with its Turner films, but...oh, well, you can't please everyone.
     
  7. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  8. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    As long as we're splitting hairs (or is the expression "hares"? Rabbits or hair?), shouldn't British tv series have a TINY bit of black border at the top and bottom? (Isn't their aspect ratio a TINY bit wider?).
     
  9. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    Yes Patrick, my question was somewhat rhetorical. I was actually disagreeing with your use of the term open-matte to refer to shooting any of those ARs spherical on 4-perf regular 35mm, even though the use of mattes in motion picture cameras is essentially non-existant. Cinematographers, camera operators, camera assistants, and camera houses would not call this shooting open-matte. If you are shooting 1.85:1 on a 1.37:1 aperture, you are shooting 1.85:1, not open-matte. If someone transfers that 1.85:1 film full aperture, only then is it open-matte. An issue of semantics and accuracy. You could say the film was shot 1.85:1 soft-matte.

    My other point was that because such films can be shown from 1.66 to 1.85:1, it is erroneous to claim that most films are designed so. As I stated before, most spherical 35mm films are composed for, and intended to be shown at, one specific AR. As Damin mentioned, that AR is indicated by the ground glass and corresponding framing leader. Here, you could say that such flexibility is a benefit of soft-matte films, though not necessarily the filmmakers' intentions or design.

    Also, you are using 1.33:1 where you should be stating 1.37:1. The full aperture for regular 4-perf 35mm is 1.37:1, also known as Academy. It is also one of the four projectable ARs for 35mm in US theaters, of which 1.78:1 is not one. 1.33:1 is the full aperture for 4-perf Super35.
     

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