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Camera Mat

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Sean Simms
Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:09:11 pm

Hi,

I am looking for a 2:1 camera mat so I don't have to shoot 16:9 anymore. Can't find one on the internet. Any suggestions? I'd also be willing to make my own if there's an online guide for them.

Thanks,

Eros Salvatore (another victim of creative cow's "real name" policy")


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john sharaf
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:15:58 pm

Hi Sean,

Not quite sure I understand, as there really is no such thing as 2:1 (not to say you couldn't do it). Conventional wide screen is 2.35:1 and many cameras allow you to choose (or create) framelines in the viewfinder in order top compose this format, although the camera continues to record the full frame. then in post production you could create the matte and letterbox the picture to the 2.35:1 format.

Another alternative is to use anamorphic lenses or adapters to squeeze the wider format onto the full frame recording. You'd view a squeezed picture in the viewfinder and presentation would be an issue unless you intend to film-out.

JS



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Todd Terry
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:38:44 pm

I'm with John, I'm not really sure what you mean either.

But... there is (sorta) a 2:1 format. It's called Univisium and was created by a cinematographer named Vittorio Storaro about a decade ago. It is a three-perf format. Very oddball size ratio, and as far as I know he is the only person in the world who has ever shot in this format, and of course it requires special three-perf cameras with modified gates.

The closest "normal" formats to 2:1 are regular widescreen academy ratio 1.85.1 or the little-used ToddAO format at 2.20:1.

Also, what do you mean you are wanting a matte? Do you mean a hardmatte such as you would put in a matte box? A film gate matte to put in a camera? An electronic matte to use with an NLE?

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Sean Simms
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 5:13:38 pm

Thanks Todd, you are the only person I've ever met who knows about Univisium....lol

I'm using digital cameras...so sorry for the confusion...I was thinking of a hardmatte for the matte box....don't know where to buy one or how to make one....I called B&H and they didn't have a clue....I'm going to be shooting with a Canon 7D that I'm going to borrowing and never shot with before...I was never aware that there could be settings inside video cameras that would change the aspect ratio to exactly what I wanted but I'll check into it....

Thanks,

Eros Salvatore (another victim of creative cow's "real name" policy")


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john sharaf
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 5:20:50 pm

Sean,

There is no such thing as a "hard matte" for a matte box (it would not be hard but rather a soft out of focus box). Hard mattes are used in film camera apertures to create a border inside the full aperture to assure a certain format is embedded onto the negative.

Furthermore, I did not say, nor is it possible for video cameras to change the aspect ratio other than to letterbox a 16x9 picture or side cut a 16x9 picture to 4x3.

If you insist on shooting a 2:1 format, you'll need to somehow indicate that in the viewfinder for framing purposes (which as I say, vcan be done in some professional video cameras, but I doubt that it can be done on a DSLR) and then create a "hard matte" in post-production that is the equivilent of letterbox, but with slightly different top and bottom borders.

JS



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Todd Terry
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 5:38:37 pm

Yeah, just do it in post.

If you don't want to do whatever wiping or cropping features that you NLE will do, just make a image file (a .tif, or a .tga, or a Photoshop file) that has the letterbox borders at the top and a 1920x960 "hole" in the middle and lay that on top of all of your video.

You probably won't need frame guidlines in the viewfinder, you're only going to be losing a little sliver off the top and bottom of the frame, you can probaby account for that just eyeballing it.

I think both John and I are wondering though, why would anyone want to shoot 2:1? It's certainly not a standard format by any means. And while Vittorio Storaro is a well-respected ASC cinemetographer (Apocolypse Now, etc.), his Univisium concept was somewhat considered something of a crackpot idea and no one has adopted it or the 2:1 ratio.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Sean Simms
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 6:02:46 pm

Thanks...I'm learning more about this as I go....I've always wanted to shoot in other then the standard option rations because:

16X9 and 1.85:1 offer a too narrow screen that doesn't capture as much of the background as I want and makes me "block" two actors who appear on the same screen closer then what I want.

While 2.35 captures too much of the background and is more for (in my opinion) shooting majestic landscapes or on large extravagant sets (I wish I had the money to shoot on those type of sets!).

I want something inbetween. I'd like to be able too experiement with ratios between 2.0 and 2.15 to 1. This seems like the optimal for me.

Going back to the discussion on how to change the aspect ratio, I just was talking to someone at Calumet and they gave me a link to companies that makes custom matte boxes for what I want and another company that makes custom focusing screens for the view finders....I'll probably go with the cheaper one when I get price quotes....

Thanks,

Eros Salvatore (another victim of creative cow's "real name" policy")


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john sharaf
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 6:15:19 pm

Sean,

I just want to make sure you understand that putting a black "frame" in the matte box will not create a hard edged frame on your recorded picture; it will be a soft edged rectangle and different for each focal length. The advice from Calumet about "Custom Matte Boxes" is incorrect. When mattes are used in matte boxes it is to limit the stray light and flares on the front element, and never to intersect the photographed image.

In film the concept of "hard mattes" applies to a matte that is placed at the film aperture or in the projector aperture, so that it's focus and hardness is the same as the in-focus picture or projection.

The only way to alter the aspect ratio in video, is as Todd has described, place the frame over the picture in post.

JS



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Sean Simms
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 6:32:24 pm

the softness of the frame was explained to me by the sales person...I was thinking of cropping that out in editing...

as for the problem of the focal lengths....could I just put in a different matte for different focal lengths? Or maybe one of those companies will make me an adjustable matte for aspect ratio....

the reason I have been talking about using the mattes is that this is what my cinematography professor told me a while ago...and she says she was a well respected camera servicing tech for a large rental house....and was highly sought after as an AC for her skills at manipulating and servicing film cameras.

I think she might be full it....lol

Thanks,

Eros Salvatore (another victim of creative cow's "real name" policy")


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 7:01:16 pm

[Sean Simms] "the softness of the frame was explained to me by the sales person...I was thinking of cropping that out in editing..."

If you are going to crop in post, then just crop in post and skip the hard matte on the camera. What you can do for framing purposes is to create a camera monitor overlay with frosted acetate or even scotch tape to show you where the borders of your image will be.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Sean Simms
Re: Camera Mat
on Sep 1, 2010 at 11:37:57 pm

thanks Jason...that's the answer...

Thanks,

Eros Salvatore (another victim of creative cow's "real name" policy")


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