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HTF Podcast Episode 6: Aspect Ratios

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Brian Dobbs, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 74 Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
    Brian Dobbs

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    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.

    Aspect Ratios
    Join Brian Dobbs and Sam Posten as they talk about movie aspect ratios, from their history, why we need them, and optical physics that help define them. Topics such as soft and hard matting, constant image height projection, and comparisons of television, computer and movie aspect ratios are explored.



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    Show Notes

    The Future Of IMAX 15/70mm Theaters
    Anamorphic stretching on Man Of Steel? What is this!? UGH!
    The Wire Blu-ray
    The 1897 Corbett-Fitzsimmons Fight
    Amazing how focal length affect shape of the face
    The Changing Shape of Cinema: The History of Aspect Ratio
    A Brief History of Aspect Ratios, aka Screen Proportions
    The History of Aspect Ratio
    Wikipedia - Aspect ratio (image)
    An Epic Lesson in the History of Aspect Ratios from Filmmaker IQ
    The Evolution of the Aspect Ratio in Cinema
    Film Studies 101: A Beginner's Guide To Aspect Ratios
    What historic reasons are there for common aspect ratios?
    Red Camera - VIDEO ASPECT RATIOS
    A Brief History Of The Widescreen Format
    Aspect Ratios And Camera Formats
    A few words about…™ Aspect Ratios
    Brian's Aspect Ratios
    Constant Image Height: The Nitty Gritty
    Choosing the Right Aspect Ratio
    USING 4K PROJECTORS WITH ‘SCOPE’ SCREENS
    Advice Needed - Screen Size
    Center Frame Centurions: 'Ben-Hur' and the Anamorphic Frame
    Home Theater Geeks 368: All About Aspect Ratios
    Why Jurassic Park Looks Better Than Its Sequels
    Gore Verbinski on the CURE FOR WELLNESS Blu-Ray release
    Back To The Future DVD Framing Fiasco
    Music Provided Courtesy Of septahelix
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Wooohoo glad to see it up! I was originally worried we would go too deep on this subject but I think we kept it light. And we hit just the right amount of sound effects for you guys who said we might be over doing it! Thanks Brian!
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Looking forward to a listen, as always. I'll be certain to listen to it all within the next few days.

    I know I haven't listened yet, but I have to toss something in, and this comes from a lifetime in photography, including two degrees from one of the top photography schools in the country. Focal length does not change the shape of the face. That is the result of changes in distance between the camera and subject. It actually has nothing to do with focal length. Yes, the two are inter-related in some senses, but all those examples you see "proving" this misconception, including the article linked above (read some of the comments that explain what's actually going on), are due to changing the distance between the camera and subject, not focal length. I'll spare you all an explanation that nobody here wants to wade through anyway. Sorry for the somewhat off-topic rant.

    Interesting topic, though. It's probably something most viewers don't put much thought in to.
     
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  4. Message #4 of 74 Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
    Sam Posten

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  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Dude. You forgot the link. :P
     
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  6. Message #6 of 74 Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
    Mark-P

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    Sam, I think you'd be surprised to learn what a large amount of TV productions that are now shot in 2:1. You seem to be under the impression that it is just a couple. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are shooting a large percentage of their shows in non-standard ratios. It might also surprise you that The Mandalorian and the second season of Star Trek Discovery have gone all the way to 2.35:1. Needless to say, the studios are definitely not moving toward the 1.78:1 standardization that Brian is wishing for.
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    It’s not just Discovery; Short Treks is also 2.40:1 and it looks like Picard will be as well.

    The new Apple show I sampled (Morning Show) is also 2:1.

    HBO seems to be holding at 1.78:1 but that’s probably more of a legacy holdover from their days of “everything must be full screen” - expect that to change as other prestige productions continue to leave traditional TV ratios behind.
     
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  8. Message #8 of 74 Nov 20, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
    Lord Dalek

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  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I take all your points. Very few of those are any ammunition towards recommending a 2.35 screen tho. The are outliers not a movement so far.
     
  10. Worth

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    Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see the point of shooting television in 'scope. The whole purpose of the format was to provide a bigger, more immersive experience, and you get just the opposite on television - unless you're in the 0.01% who have a constant height front projector set up. Black bars are fine for preserving a wider theatrical ratio, but I don't love them for their own sake.

    This is becoming a problem in theatrical exhibition, as well. It seems more and more cinemas have constant width screens and present wider ratios letterboxed with no proper masking.
     
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  11. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Haven't had a chance to listen to the show yet, but The CW's Batwoman is using 2:1 aspect ratio, too. Looks absolutely horrible in those markets like Reno where most cable and satellite providers only offer that channel in letterboxed 4:3 standard def.
     
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  12. Brian Dobbs

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    UGH 2:1...why? All they're doing is removing image.
     
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  13. Message #13 of 74 Nov 21, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
    JohnRice

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    Are you referring to the 2:1 AR, or cable companies cropping it to 4:3?

    EDIT: Never mind. I listened. I know the answer now. :emoji_radioactive: :emoji_warning: :emoji_x: :emoji_sos: :emoji_back: :emoji_bangbang:
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    LOL here we go.
     
  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I need to actually listen to the podcast before I say any more, I suspect.
     
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  16. Todd Erwin

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    They aren't cropping - they are windowboxing, making the image even smaller.
     
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  17. Message #17 of 74 Nov 21, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
    Mark-P

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    Not as much as you think. 4K cameras have a native aspect ratio of 1.896:1 (4096 X 2160 pixels). You would be cropping the sides to make it 1.78 as well.
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Brian is a proponent of ‘new full screen’ aka taking full advantage of every 16x9 pixel on his tv.
     
  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Do creative decisions play into it at all? Or is there nothing more to consider than numbers?
     
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  20. Message #20 of 74 Nov 21, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
    JohnRice

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    Well, that creates a dilemma with about 85% of all content created through all of time, doesn't it? An image is more than just pixels and data.

    As I already said, I need to listen to the podcast.

    EDIT: Brian, Brian, Brian... (shaking my head) listening to the podcast.
     
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