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I want to learn more about Aspect Ratio


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#1 Joey Dee

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 10:08 AM

Hello folks,

I was reading this post: http://www.cinematog...n...=19306&st=0 and I would like to educate myself more on the aspect ratio just so I can follow along with some of the folks on here and for my own knowledge. Is there any good sites you recommend that deal with this topic? Also if there are any images associated with the aspect ratio it would help me more ;)

my best,
Joey Dee
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 12:36 PM

http://en.wikipedia....t_ratio_(image)

Aspect ratio is just the proportion of width to height -- for example, 4x3 is the same thing as 1.33 : 1 if you do the math, and you can imagine a rectangle that is about 1 1/3 units wide by 1 unit tall.

In video, it is usually expressed in whole numbers, like 4x3 versus 16x9.

In film, the vertical unit is always "1". You can convert simply by doing some math... divide 16 by 9 in order to make the "9" a "1" instead and you get 1.77777777... : 1 as the aspect ratio, or 1.78 : 1 rounded up.

Also spend some time here:
http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/
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#3 Jim Hoene

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:31 PM

What is the aspect ratio that is used for projection in most US theatres... 1.85:1 or 2.39:1?

I would like to film in super 8 and produce films to be projected in whatever is customary for feature films. Besides trying to use Super Duper 8 or Max8 is this viable? In other words can I get reasonable results by blowing up and cropping and is this easily (relative terms) done? Thanks
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 01:38 PM

Almost every 35mm theater in the U.S. is set up to show either 1.85 matted (aka "flat") widescreen or 2.40 anamorphic (aka "scope") widescreen prints. I'd say about half (or more) the movies that come from Hollywood are in scope prints, but less for indie and foreign movies.

For special projects, like an art film, you could blow a 4x3 image up to 35mm in a windowbox so that when projected in 1.85, there are visible black borders on the sides to retain the 4x3 (1.33) shape. And some theaters can close the curtains over the black side borders to hide them. Old 1.37 Academy movies are sometimes re-released to first-run theaters this way, reduced to "1.37 inside 1.85" prints, rather than in 1.37 Academy prints.
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#5 Jim Hoene

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 06:02 PM

Almost every 35mm theater in the U.S. is set up to show either 1.85 matted (aka "flat") widescreen or 2.40 anamorphic (aka "scope") widescreen prints. I'd say about half (or more) the movies that come from Hollywood are in scope prints, but less for indie and foreign movies.

For special projects, like an art film, you could blow a 4x3 image up to 35mm in a windowbox so that when projected in 1.85, there are visible black borders on the sides to retain the 4x3 (1.33) shape. And some theaters can close the curtains over the black side borders to hide them. Old 1.37 Academy movies are sometimes re-released to first-run theaters this way, reduced to "1.37 inside 1.85" prints, rather than in 1.37 Academy prints.


that sounds like a reverse letter-box job. I want to get a widescreen image for projection from my original print which will be in 4x3. I guess what I was trying to say was that I want my films to be viewed in the aspect ratio that one would expect at the theatre. thanks!
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#6 Dominic Case

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:24 PM

If you shoot super 8 as normal, and have it blown up to 35mm (Academy frame), then you can have the result projected in a regular 35mm projector at 1:1.85 widescreen ratio. The projector mask will crop the top and bottom of the image in just the same way that it does with conventional 35mm prints made from 35mm negatives - so you will obviously need to frame your original images to the correct ratio to start with.

(note that framing for a particular aspect ratio is a different thing from what you actually expose onto the camera original)

The 8mm frame is actually about 5.3mm x 4mm (that's 1:1.33 ratio). Cropped to widescreen, you'll be using 5.3mm x 2.85mm. The 35mm print would be 21mm x 11.3mm - about 4 times as big each way, so that's a sizeable blow-up ratio.
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#7 Jim Hoene

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 12:43 PM

If you shoot super 8 as normal, and have it blown up to 35mm (Academy frame), then you can have the result projected in a regular 35mm projector at 1:1.85 widescreen ratio. The projector mask will crop the top and bottom of the image in just the same way that it does with conventional 35mm prints made from 35mm negatives - so you will obviously need to frame your original images to the correct ratio to start with.

(note that framing for a particular aspect ratio is a different thing from what you actually expose onto the camera original)

The 8mm frame is actually about 5.3mm x 4mm (that's 1:1.33 ratio). Cropped to widescreen, you'll be using 5.3mm x 2.85mm. The 35mm print would be 21mm x 11.3mm - about 4 times as big each way, so that's a sizeable blow-up ratio.

Hi and thanks.

Are Hollywood productions usually shot in "Academy Frame" or 1.37:1 and simply masked during projection? If so, then I guess the viewfinder of the camera must indicate the area that will be visible during projection so you can frame the shot correctly.

How is " framing for a particular aspect ratio is a different thing from what you actually expose onto the camera original" Thanks again you all are really helping me cut through this.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 01:04 AM

Are Hollywood productions usually shot in "Academy Frame" or 1.37:1 and simply masked during projection? If so, then I guess the viewfinder of the camera must indicate the area that will be visible during projection so you can frame the shot correctly.

How is " framing for a particular aspect ratio is a different thing from what you actually expose onto the camera original" Thanks again you all are really helping me cut through this.


You sort of answered your own question. Many film formats involve cropping part of the entire negative ("full aperture") either by projector masks or cropping in post and converting to another format.

Even the 1.37 Academy format is a cropped version of the 1.33 Full Aperture (Silent) format since the Academy projector mask hides the soundtrack stripe area plus a little off the top & bottom, otherwise you'd end up with a 1.20 : 1 aspect ratio if you only masked the soundtrack (which is what early sound-on-film movies used, called the Movietone Aperture -- Academy Aperture wasn't introduced until four to five years after sound movies came out.) So the 1.37 Academy format was masked even further when the 1.66 to 1.85 "matted widescreen" formats came out in the 1950's. And yes, your camera framelines would show you the area to be masked by the projector. Now some people might also use a camera hard matte or add a black matte in post for the print in order to minimize misframing by the projectionist.
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#9 Jim Hoene

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 12:05 PM

You sort of answered your own question. Many film formats involve cropping part of the entire negative ("full aperture") either by projector masks or cropping in post and converting to another format.

Even the 1.37 Academy format is a cropped version of the 1.33 Full Aperture (Silent) format since the Academy projector mask hides the soundtrack stripe area plus a little off the top & bottom, otherwise you'd end up with a 1.20 : 1 aspect ratio if you only masked the soundtrack (which is what early sound-on-film movies used, called the Movietone Aperture -- Academy Aperture wasn't introduced until four to five years after sound movies came out.) So the 1.37 Academy format was masked even further when the 1.66 to 1.85 "matted widescreen" formats came out in the 1950's. And yes, your camera framelines would show you the area to be masked by the projector. Now some people might also use a camera hard matte or add a black matte in post for the print in order to minimize misframing by the projectionist.


Whew! I was worried I would have a tough time getting to a matted widescreen format. I guess the main trouble for me as a Super8 user is the degradation of the image after being blown up as Dominic mentioned.
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Aerial Filmworks

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Technodolly

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

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rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

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The Slider

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