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How do I get this aspect ratio?

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Eoin Ryan
How do I get this aspect ratio?
on Nov 19, 2008 at 1:31:10 am

Hi, I'm shooting standard def 16:9 footage with the Canon XL2 and High Def with the HV20. I'm trying to burn my DVDs with the aspect ratio shown in the following clip:







I believe this ratio is 2.35:1. It resembles most DVDs you would buy on Amazon or at the store. How do I get this? Do I have to shoot with a specific lens? The shooter who put the above clip on You Tube was using the Sony EX1, and I suspect he masked the image rather than using a different lens. Anyone know?


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Eric Pautsch
Re: How do I get this aspect ratio?
on Nov 19, 2008 at 1:48:20 am

This is 4x3 Letterboxed. Just create a 720x480 Sequence and size your 16x9 clip there. Encode 4x3 for DVD.



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Michael Sacci
Re: How do I get this aspect ratio?
on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:33:47 am

The sample is a lot more narrow than 16:9 letterboxing. But Eoin needs to keep the DVD 16:9 or else the image will swim if displayed on a 16:9 TV with black bars all around. You still want the left and right sides to be all the way across a 16:9 tv and the only way get this is to keep the footage as 16:9 that has been masked top and bottom.



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Michael Sacci
Re: How do I get this aspect ratio?
on Nov 19, 2008 at 2:29:05 am

SD Video has just 2 ratios, 4:3 and 16:9 anything you see like this is normally 16:9 with a black mask that puts black bars top and bottom. This is the most Hollywood are released on DVD, they are still just 16:9 masked to give the shame aspect as displayed in theaters. FCP has these mask built into the Widescreen filters.



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Eoin Ryan
Re: How do I get this aspect ratio?
on Nov 19, 2008 at 6:51:44 pm

If I want to do it without masking anything, I believe I'd have to be shooting with an anamorphic lens. Is that correct?

Michael, you are correct in saying that the image in the clip is narrower than 16:9 letterboxed. The only way I can imagine I can get this 2:35.1 effect is by masking (which I don't want to do) or by using a special lens. Anyone know which lens and can I use it with most digital cameras?

I believe that a lot of filmmakers (take Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood), didn't shoot 16:9 but shot "anarmorphically", with special lenses... This gives the 2:35.1 aspect ratio that fits on a cinema screen and is why the black bars are thicker when watching the film on a DVD release (the DVD has preserved the 2:35.1 ratio). I'm wondering do I have this right?



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Michael Sacci
Re: How do I get this aspect ratio?
on Nov 19, 2008 at 7:30:56 pm

There is no such aspect ratio on video video on a DVD is always 720x480 (in NTSC) With 4:3 the pixel aspect is .9 and with 16:9 it is 1.2 but the count is always 720x480. So if you want this look (like most Hollywood movies on DVD) you would should/edit 16:9 (anamorphic if shooting/editing in SD). The you mask to the narrower aspect ratios to achieve the look you want.

The only thing shooting with a anamorphic lens on a 16:9 would do is to optically put the bars on for you. You are still dealing with the chip size and pixel count. What you do gain is a wider field of view when shooting. The problem you are going to run into is finding a lens that is made to do this, I'm sure Paul was working with a bigger budget. So you got gain any resolution with the lens, just the scope of the shoot.

Hope this is at least semi-clear.



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Max Kovalsky
Re: How do I get this aspect ratio?
on Nov 19, 2008 at 7:31:39 pm

Last time I looked into it, there was no good way to shoot video anamorphically. If you're using a 35mm adapter, anamorphic lenses will make your image much wider than 2.35. Research http://www.cinematography.net/ for info on this.

Also, unless you're shooting with a pro DP and AC and a heavy lighting package, you will not manage an anamorphic production.

As to the DVD production... film that was shot anamorphically will get transfered to tape as 16x9, letterboxed, resulting in the DVD looking the way you're describing.

Max
--
Blu-ray producer
New York
Area4.tv


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