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Dumb anamorphic question.


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#1 George Ebersole

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 12:58 AM

Can someone tell me what the advantage is of using an anamorphic lens for a telecine transfer?  Isn't the image on film already anamorphic?  What would using an anamorphic lens accomplish in transfering a film to video?


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:51 AM

I've never heard of an anamorphic lens inside a telecine -- unsqueezing of anamorphic images is done electronically.  Maybe someone built a homemade telecine with a 4x3 standard def sensor and is using an anamorphic lens to create a 16x9 anamorphic recording?  Beats me...


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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:00 AM

The only reason I can think of is to desqueeze  an anamorphic film so it can be viewed full screen on flat televisions, although would be done digitally. I heard the term anamorphic used when 16;9 came out by one telecine operator when deciding about doing a cropped version or a squeezed 16:9 version on digibeta, at the time I assumed it was an electronic process. 


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#4 George Ebersole

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:58 AM

That's kind of what I figured.  I read somewhere on another board where someone was talking about an "anamorphic transfer" of an older film to DVD, and it had me scratching my head.  Thanks for the replies.


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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 09:36 AM

That's kind of what I figured.  I read somewhere on another board where someone was talking about an "anamorphic transfer" of an older film to DVD, and it had me scratching my head.  Thanks for the replies.

 

If it's for a DVD I think they mean that it is stored in anamorphic 16:9 on the disc.

 

DVD players can only store their data in 720x576 or 720x480 (NTSC) regardless of the aspect ratio of the movie but a movie can be electronically squished to use all of those pixels if it is 16:9. Then the DVD player or TV can unsquish it to the correct aspect ratio again. Sadly it can only do this for 16:9. If the movie is actually shot in anamorphic scope then it has to be letterboxed to 16:9 before it is squished.

 

For some reason, it wasn't that uncommon for some 16:9 movies to be letterboxed to 4:3 instead of using this anamorphic process. This seems to be especially true in the states.

 

People sometimes talk of an anamorphic transfer when they mean it is stored on the disc in anamorphic 16:9.

 

Oh and it's nothing to do with the way the movie was shot. The movie could just be straight Super16 for example and squished down to anamorphic 16:9 on the disc.

 

Hope that makes it all a bit clearer!

 

Freya


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 02:31 AM

Yes, that's just a confusion over the term "anamorphic", the term is used to describe standard def video that is 16x9 using non-square pixels to fit a 1.78 : 1 image into 720 x 480 pixels (for NTSC).  It's not an optical process though some people have used 1.3X anamorphic attachments on 4x3 DV cameras to create a 16x9 SD recording.  A 16x9 standard def "anamorphic" recording will look correct on a 16x9 monitor but squeezed on a 4x3 monitor unless converted into a letterboxed image.  DVD's of widescreen feature films usually are 16x9 "anamorphic" rather than 4x3 letterboxed, that way more pixels are devoted to the widescreen image.


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 03:05 AM

There's an interesting point in all of this: while we understand that anamorphic video generally means widescreen, so the pixels aren't square, actually the pixels aren't square in any standard-def video format. They're fairly close in 4:3 PAL, (1.067:1 if I recall) but not quite, even then.

 

P


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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 07:42 AM

There's an interesting point in all of this: while we understand that anamorphic video generally means widescreen, so the pixels aren't square, actually the pixels aren't square in any standard-def video format. They're fairly close in 4:3 PAL, (1.067:1 if I recall) but not quite, even then.

 

P

 

Yeah! Wasn't that why people were excited by 720p at one point? Because it actually did have square pixels?

 

I seem to remember being in the same situation a while back talking about thin raster codecs or something and starting to say something about non square pixels and then thinking "well they aren't square anyway?" but then deciding I couldn't be bothered explaining that and so just going with non square pixels.

 

Freya


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#9 George Ebersole

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 12:51 AM

 

If it's for a DVD I think they mean that it is stored in anamorphic 16:9 on the disc.

 

DVD players can only store their data in 720x576 or 720x480 (NTSC) regardless of the aspect ratio of the movie but a movie can be electronically squished to use all of those pixels if it is 16:9. Then the DVD player or TV can unsquish it to the correct aspect ratio again. Sadly it can only do this for 16:9. If the movie is actually shot in anamorphic scope then it has to be letterboxed to 16:9 before it is squished.

 

For some reason, it wasn't that uncommon for some 16:9 movies to be letterboxed to 4:3 instead of using this anamorphic process. This seems to be especially true in the states.

 

People sometimes talk of an anamorphic transfer when they mean it is stored on the disc in anamorphic 16:9.

 

Oh and it's nothing to do with the way the movie was shot. The movie could just be straight Super16 for example and squished down to anamorphic 16:9 on the disc.

 

Hope that makes it all a bit clearer!

 

Freya

 

Jogging my memory, years back I saw some footage of both an anamorphic and non-anamorphic transfer of the same film.  The non-anamorphic transfer looked fairly pixelated, somewhat "flat" and stretched.  The anamorphic transfer looked exceptionally sharp.  At the time I didn't think much about the difference, but when someone brought it up, and after reading your responses, I think I understand better what he was talking about.

 

I thought the guy was just throwing out the term to make himself sound smart, but I guess I was wrong.

 

Still, I always thought anamorphic was just a way of collecting more information onto a film strip, and that when you did the telecine thing that you'd just uncompress the image optically.  Is there a difference between an optical process and a digital process?


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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:27 AM

Anamorphic images were popular in the Renaissance:

 

http://www.roserushb...amorphosis.html

 

http://linesandcolor...anamorphic-art/

 

http://www.visualnew...mages-revealed/

 

I'm guessing they got bored of tracing all those painting and were like "What else can we do with optics?"

 

Freya


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#11 George Ebersole

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:48 PM

I haven't seen those pics in ages.  Cool stuff.


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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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