Jump to content


Photo

Aspect Ratios


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 JaredSmith

JaredSmith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Student
  • NYC

Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:08 AM

Alright there's a good chance this has already been covered, but I every time I read a forum discussion on the topic of aspect ratios I am completely oblivious to what is being said.

Can someone(s) explain to me what all I need to know about aspect ratios (as a director or anyone else involved in filmmaking)... or do I really have to read a 10 page online guide to Understanding Aspect Ratios?

Thanks, Jared S.
  • 0

#2 Vincent Sweeney

Vincent Sweeney
  • Sustaining Members
  • 686 posts
  • Director
  • LA at the moment.

Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:24 AM

I doubt you need to know more than this: If you want to compose your film to fully fill out a modern TV or movie screen, then shoot 16:9, which all HD cameras do natively, which is very close to a ratio of 1.85:1 which is the full theater screen ratio. If you want the super widescreen look, then you compose it in 2.4:1. This is what you see when you see the black bars on the top and bottom on an HD TV. In a theater, the curtains will form a more rectangle or wider looking ratio for movies shot in 2.4:1.

There's little to worry about other than that; 2.4:1 or 1.85:1... your choice. Tell your DP which you like, he might have an opinion too, then pick it. Let him worry about dealing with it technically.
  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:59 AM

Aspect ratio is simply the ratio between width and height. In cinema, the height is always "1" so the width is not always a whole number, whereas in video, width and height are whole numbers.

Hence 1.33 : 1 (cinema) is the same ratio mathematically as 4x3 (video)... And 1.78 : 1 is the same as 16x9.
  • 0

#4 Jock Blakley

Jock Blakley
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Other
  • Melbourne, VIC

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:31 AM

Vincent pretty much has it down: 2.39:1 or 1.85:1 are the two choices for mainstream theatrical exhibition, and 16:9 / 1.78:1 for television.

If you shoot in 1:85 it's very easy to crop down to 1.78 for television - only a little trim from each side.

Oh course you can get arty and use all the other various "standard" ratios out there - Silent or Full Aperture at 1.33:1, Academy Aperture at 1.37:1, "widescreen" 1.66:1, Superscope at 2:1, TODD-AO and Panavision Super 70 at 2.2:1, original CinemaScope at 2.55:1, and the grand poohbah of wide, Ultra Panavision 70 at 2.76:1.

Of course the way you acquire your footage may introduce technical limitations.
  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Technodolly

The Slider

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc