Yet another anamorphic question...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Poehlman, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Are there different levels of "anamorphism"?

    What I mean is, can a disk be "partially anamorphic".

    The reason I ask is, I just bought a DVD which is labeled anamorphic... and just for fun I switched my DVD player setup from 4:3 display to 16:9 to see the "squished view".

    Well, the image was squished slightly but there were still black bars. Shouldn't the squished film be filling the entire 4:3 frame? Did they only do partial anamorphic? If so, why?
     
  2. Gordon Moore

    Gordon Moore Second Unit

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    I believe it's an all or nothing process. It sounds more like a geometry problem. What movie are we talking about and what TV?
     
  3. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Dave,
    If a film is in an aspect ratio wider than 1.78:1, then the anamorphic process will not force it to fill the entire screen.
    Realize that 2.35:1 is wider than the standard 16x9 TV, so to maintain the proper aspect ratio, small black bars will still be necessary, even on the widescreen TV set. As a result, even anamorphic versions of 2.35:1 material will still have slight bars (which is what you've seen).
    So, anamorphism is a all-or-nothing process. The only issue you might see will be cases where the feature is anamorphic, but the menus and special features are not.
    Look over this, it might help:
    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...hic/index.html
    specifically see the examples here:
    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...ic235demo.html
    -Vince
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Thanks for the info, guys!

    BTW: The movie was Ferris Beuller's Day Off on my RCA 27" via composite inputs.
     
  5. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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  6. Gordon Moore

    Gordon Moore Second Unit

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    Oh crap, Vince is right assuming that the aspect ratio is greater than 1.78:1.
    So what movie was it ?(oh I see that's been determined, well there you go, that explains the bars)
    ... It's also an interesting note that vertical resolution increased~33% showing a clearer image because your player isn't downcoverting the image to create the correct aspect ratio for viewing (the power of the Anamorphic process). Not really the intended way for watching a movie mind you...
     
  7. Daren Welsh

    Daren Welsh Supporting Actor

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    I found this site to be pretty helpful in trying to understand anamorphic DVDs.
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    This leads me to the question: Why don't they take a 2.35:1 ratio film and "squish" it fully to a 4:3 sized frame? That would be even more of an increase in vertical resolution. But then I suppose you could say "Why not take a 1000:1 ratio and squash it?"
    Of course, maybe it's questions like that that are the reason I don't work for a film studio. [​IMG]
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Dave, the amount of the squeeze is standardized. That's what allows you to match up any DVD player with any 16:9 TV or any 4:3 TV with a 16:9 mode, and the anamorphic image will always be unsqueezed to the proper proportions.

    M.
     
  10. Robert Cook

    Robert Cook Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave Poehlman wrote:
     
  11. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Thanks for the detailed insight, Rob. And thanks to everyone else for their input. I can now explain the benefits of anamorphic widescreen without saying, "um.. well.. it's just better, okay!?!?"
     
  12. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    Robert:

    What you are proposing is, I think, a good idea. I would implement it this way:

    All widescreen formats would be "fully" anamorphic, with a tag somewhere on the DVD indicating what the aspect ratio is supposed to be.

    Recognizing that most TVs are 4:3 or 16:9, DVD players would take anything anamorphic and convert it to 4:3 with black bars (what they do now), and anything anamorphic that's not 1.85:1 or 1.78:1 would have black bars added for 16:9 TVs. In other words, except for some smarts in the DVD players, what comes OUT of the DVD player would be identical to what comes out now.

    But... HTPCs could process the new anamorphic format more specifically, and therefore there would be more vertical resolution to use in their scaling algorithms.

    --Marc
     
  13. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    I would not be surprised if some movies were put on video looking best when stretched to some aspect ratio other than 4:3 or 16:9 but really intended to be watched with slight squishing using either 4:3 or 16:9.
    Alternatively your TV might be misadjusted so the aspect ratio is not exactly 4;3 or 16:9.
    Because of overscan and/or electronic matting, you cannot simply use a ruler and a calculator to fine tune the aspect ratio by sight. You really need a perfect circle such as in the Video Essentials or AVIA test disks.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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