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Resolution/Aspect Ratio

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David SmoothResolution/Aspect Ratio
by on May 17, 2015 at 11:02:23 pm

I'm just gonna lay my cards on the table...I'm a decent film maker creatively and practically. but technically is a different story...

Right now I'm trying to get my head around aspect ratios and what differences there are if you're adding bars on the top and bottom of your footage rather than shoot natively in a certain frame size.

Basically I am shooting a mixture of C4K footage (4096x2160) and regular 1920x1080 slow mo footage on a GH4 and editing on Adobe Premiere Pro CC and am thinking about what aspect ratio would give it the most "cinematic feel".

Should I shoot a mixture of those two resolutions, edit in a 1920x1080 timeline sequence and then export a 1920x1080 master in 1:9, or export with added black bars on the top and bottom to give it more of a widescreen feel? Let's say 2.35:1

I guess my question in regards to this is there much of noticeable difference between doing this and actually shooting anamorphic?

What, if any, are the differences between exporting 1440x1080 in HD Anomorphic 1080 (1.333) or exporting 1920x1080 Square Pixels (1.0)? They both come out at 16:9 and neither have black bars above and/or below their image. I did a test and as far as I could tell there was no difference...

What would happen if you stuck 16:9 footage on a cinema screen. Am I right to assume you'd have black bars at the left and right of screen, usually hidden by the cinema curtains?

I apologize in advance if this isn't the most appropriate forum section to post this question on.

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Jon DoughtieRe: Resolution/Aspect Ratio
by on May 18, 2015 at 8:58:10 pm

On the 1440x1080 in HD Anomorphic 1080 (1.333) or 1920x1080 Square Pixels (1.0). . .

Both are Pixel Aspect Ratios. That is why the HD Anamorphic still comes out to 16:9 Screen Aspect, even though the resolution is different. The HD Anamorphic pixels are not square.

Which is more cinematic? Well, to me that is as much what the shots are/how they were shot/how they look as it is screen aspect.

Why not render both and watch them/live with them a few days? May help you make your choice.

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Jeff PuleraRe: Resolution/Aspect Ratio
by on May 18, 2015 at 9:50:48 pm

I think when you see 1440x1080 anamorphic, you might be confusing that with some Hollywood films that are shot using an anamorphic lens, which I think allows wide video to be shot onto 4:3 film stock, or something like that.

1440x1080 is the standard for HDV tape cameras, basically to save space by recording less data than "full HD" at 1920x1080 pixels. It uses a pixel aspect ratio of 1.333, which uses rectangular pixels that are wider than they are tall.

When played back, if the playback device understands and respects PAR, then 1440x1.333 = 1920 in "square pixels" and therefore correctly displays as 16:9, even though 1440x1080 pixels is really 4:3 without accounting for PAR.

But anyway, you never want to export as 1440x1080 since many software players incorrectly assume a 1.0 PAR and your video will play back looking like 4:3 format! Plus, less resolution = less quality. Keep it at 1920x1080, or "Full Raster" as it is often called.

Hope this makes sense


Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers

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David SmoothRe: Resolution/Aspect Ratio
by on May 18, 2015 at 11:15:11 pm

I had a feeling to stick with 1920x1080 since it is higher resolution than 1440x1080.

So what happens if I exported in 1920x1080 and added black bars at the top and the bottom to simulate 2.35:1 Cinema widescreen? Would it look really weird as the pixels are still Square (1.0)?

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Tero AhlforsRe: Resolution/Aspect Ratio
by on May 19, 2015 at 6:32:38 am

[David Smooth] "1440x1080"

You do not need to mess with this resolution unless you're given footage that is shot in that particular resolution and PAR:

[David Smooth] "Would it look really weird as the pixels are still Square (1.0)?"

No. Why should it? You are just adding black bars to it. If you are doing a DCP for cinema the image is cropped so you do not see any black bars. Here are specifications for that:

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Jeff PuleraRe: Resolution/Aspect Ratio
by on May 19, 2015 at 1:34:00 pm

HD DELIVERY formats use square pixels, 1.0. So get the anamorphic thing out of your head, barking up the wrong tree there.

Full HD is always going to be 1920x1080, 1.0 PAR, and if you want to deliver some other cinematic widescreen look, you're simply adding black bars inside the 1920x1080. Nothing at all to do with Pixel Aspect Ratio.

With the black bars, you ARE changing the aspect ratio of the IMAGE, not the pixels, they remain square, just that the "picture" aspect ration is no longer 16:9 if you add black.

A lot of the movies I rent play with black letterboxing, so they are maintaining the original aspect ratio of the film (non-16:9), however it is still a square pixel video format.

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers

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