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About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing

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David Kelvin
About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 29, 2009 at 11:33:47 pm

Is it like re-sizing from 854x480 to 720x480, then re-sizing back to 854x480... or like hitting undo so that you aren't technically re-sizing at all?

In a PS image test I did, the tiny 8px pixel fonts were smeared when re-sized. This is for an anamorphic DVD menu, which is the only concern.


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Noah Kadner
Re: About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 30, 2009 at 1:18:51 am

you should only import 720x480 menus for DVDSP, which you can design at 853x480 then resize in Photoshop. They will unsqueeze at playback for 16:9.

Noah

Check out my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
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David Kelvin
Re: About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 30, 2009 at 2:17:50 am

Thank you for the reply, Noah.

So, if I understand correctly, than what I am trying to do is not possible. The goal is to avoid altering the shape of my text when re-sizing.

I uploaded an example that demonstrates the smearing issue:

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/2507/smear.png

1st frame is the original 854x480 Photoshop composition.

2nd frame is the original 854x480 re-sized to 720x480.

3rd frame is the re-sized 720x480 re-sized back up to 854x480, to simulate the squeeze/un-squeezing. As you can tell, the original geometrical shape of the text has been smeared to the point of near illegibility.

I can't test this myself yet as I don't have access to authoring software, but being in the concept phase I wanted to be aware of any issues like this to see if there were any specific workflows to avoid it, or workarounds to get the desired result.


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Noah Kadner
Re: About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 30, 2009 at 3:50:11 am

Not quite sure what you mean- that particular text is far too small to be usable on DVD anyway.

In general, if you design at 853x480, flatten image and resize to 720x480 it should then look identical on the finished DVD to your 853x480 when displayed either at 16:9 or 4:3 letterbox, which the users' DVD player settings will determine. Shouldn't have any issues of text smearing or whatever. It will look identical if you've set it up right.

-Noah


Check out my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Lens Adapter Guidebook, Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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David Kelvin
Re: About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 30, 2009 at 4:22:54 am

"Not quite sure what you mean- that particular text is far too small to be usable on DVD anyway."

I guess this answers my question. It was an aesthetic choice to use that font for a portfolio DVD that will be viewed on 40"+ plasma, and by a very limited audience. In fact, the entire design of the menu was based on, and even inspired by the font. So the small size wasn't an issue. The issue was maintaining the original shape of the font (exact pixel structure), which seems less and less likely the more I look into it.

I suppose, with my ignorance concerning DVD authoring, my assumption was that DVD menus were treated differently than the movies themselves and thus I could get away with authoring a DVD menu that was almost identical to my Photoshop comp, especially considering the simplistic design.

Compression I can handle. With the simplicity of the layout I can't imagine there would be any compression artifacts. But the re-sizing back and forth just obliterates the font's shape, making it almost unreadable.

Thanks for your input anyway. I wonder... can you have a 4:3 menu that launches 16:9 video? That would at least bypass having to re-size the menu. I would have to go with a white text on black background instead to blend with the blank space created by the 4:3 menu when played on a 16:9 monitor, but it could be one workaround.

Anyone have any other ideas?


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Michael Sacci
Re: About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 30, 2009 at 5:12:57 am

4:3 menus also get the same type of treatment but just in the other direction. But if you have any version of PhotoShop CS and above there is no need to do all this size conversion, it does it for you.

Start with a New document with Film/Video preset as DV NTSC (or Widescreen) with pixel aspect ratio set to .9 or 1.2. Design you menu, save as a tiff, bring it into DVDSP. That is as good and as easy as it gets.

What Noah was getting at, I believe, small text never works on video, especially when you go up to larger TVs. A 40" TV has the same amount of pixels as a 20" TV displayed. 720x480. That is why the bigger the TV the further back it is suggested by get from it.



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Jon Geddes
Re: About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 30, 2009 at 6:28:03 am

854x480 will not look identical to 720x480. The pixel information comes from a 720x480 source, then gets stretched out to 16:9 aspect ratio. There is no undoing anything.

If you start with 854x480, then scale it to 720x480, then it gets scaled again for the pixel aspect ratio correction, you will be putting it through 2 resizing processes, each applying a little blur (since the black text won't line up perfectly with a pixel, it will turn grey/blurred). To reduce the number of conversions, start a 720x480 document in photoshop that has pixel aspect ratio set to 16:9 widescreen.


Jon Geddes
Motion Graphics Designer
http://www.precomposed.com


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David Kelvin
Re: About Anamorphic DVD Squeeze/Un-squeezing
on Mar 30, 2009 at 1:33:33 pm

Thanks for the Photoshop tips, Michael and Jon. Will come in handy in the future.

For now, there seems to be no way to avoid the greying/blurring of the fonts as they're so small, so I've moved on to a different design.

Thanks again for all your assistance.


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