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Old May 25th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Framing in 16:9

Now that I am shooting almost exclusively in 16:9, I have a question about framing.
Does the same rule of thirds that we use for 4:3 apply to widescreen except that it is streched out, or are there a different set of rules that apply?
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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Interesting question and one that didn't even cross my mind when I jumped from from SD in 4:3 to HD and 16:9. Perhaps the reason it didn't is that all I've ever read and learned about the rule of thirds never mentioned aspect ratio. Sure, video and film, both still and moving have traditionally been 4:3, but I don't think it matters. Since I'm just an old onionhead I'll wait until a classically trained professional chimes in with a definitive answer.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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Interesting question:

I was taught about the rule of thirds in a photography class back in 1966. It is as valid as ever; however, proprotions are in slightly differing apsects of their own. this means that how you apply the thirds is different!!

while the rule of thirds is of value there are other issues that strongly efect compositions: a few would be Motion, direction, point of focus, back ground , foreground, and color and subject matter. There are plenty of creative pictures/compositions that break the rules, so to speak.

I find composing for hdv which is 1.33 to be far more difficult than standard 16x9 or 4:3. to be honest, I do not rreally care for the 1.33 footage even though that seems to be here to stay!!!

the trick is that as you are viewing your footage on your nle any time you stop the footage that frame should be a god still if you are composing well. that is a tall order to be sure, but something to live up to.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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At the risk of sounding ignorant, could you please elaborate on 1.33 versus 16:9 in relation to HDV.
I assumed that I was shooting in 16:9 with my Canon A1, am I actually shooting in 1.33?


BTW, I was born when you were learning photography! I don't mean to make you feel old ;)
My dad actually worked at Eastman Kodak in Chicago in the late 50's processing photos while he was in college.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ganglfinger View Post
At the risk of sounding ignorant, could you please elaborate on 1.33 versus 16:9 in relation to HDV.
I assumed that I was shooting in 16:9 with my Canon A1, am I actually shooting in 1.33?
No, no, don't let him confuse you; that sentence
Quote:
I find composing for hdv which is 1.33 to be far more difficult than standard 16x9 or 4:3.
makes absolutely no sense at all. While some HDV cams have 1.33 *sensors* (1440 x 1080), the *picture* is always 16:9. And 1.33 *is* 4:3, no matter where you're from -- there's no difference.

I have no idea what Dale's referring to.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 01:11 AM   #6
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I work mostly with a talking head, many times I wish I could turn the camera on its side like you would with a still camera.

I use the rule of thirds, but then again I have never been formally trained.

I suspect 16:9 is what caused the trend of chopping the tops of heads off.

Here's an example of what I do:
GTY Videos

The cameras are 16:9 SD Panasonic AWE860 on remote pan/tilt heads. To be honest I'm not happy with my work here. I'm responsible for the sermon portion of the show. How can I compose the shots better?

thanks,
~Jay
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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #7
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Jay,
I think you're being a little too critical on yourself. The only thing that I see is the absence of the vertical part of rule of the thirds, but that's hard to do when you only have one person giving a speech to a live audience and there's nothing much behind them. The wide shot from the side could have been panned to the right a little more, but that's just an opinion. The horizontal part of the rule of thirds looks fine to me.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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16x9 footage is great for landscapes, wide scenes in dramatic pieces, etc. But for the standard one person in frame interview, I actually prefer 4x3. With 16x9 there is usually too much "wasted" space on the edges, or you end up framing it tight and cutting off heads. No use complaining, though. 16x9 is obviously here to stay. I will continue, though, to complain about the people that watch 4x3 footage on their 16x9 TVs with everything stretched out to make them look fat!

Have fun!

Rob
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #9
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sorry if I confused the issue.

Maybe I got it wrong,


If I look at the 16x9 from my xl2 with its native 16:9 ccd s the image different than the image I get off of xlh1 that shoots hdv. When you put them on a wide screen tv you will note that the HDV (which is 1.33, right?) is wide and narrower than the standard 16 x 9 off the dv xl2. I personally found that disconcertng when I started working with the hdv.


This is what I was refering to, perhaps someone else can explain it better.

Because of the difference it requires a little more consideration in composing.

I have only been on the xlh1 sense January, maybe I have something wrong in my work flow.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
you will note that the HDV (which is 1.33, right?) is wide and narrower than the standard 16 x 9 off the dv xl2.
Nope. All HDV is 16:9 (or 1.78). It should be exactly the same as the XL2 picture (notable because it is one of the only, if not THE only, true 16:9 SD chip out there in the prosumer arena), except of course sharper. If it's not showing up that way for you, you've got something set incorrectly.

How can something be both wider and narrower?
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Old May 26th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #11
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The 1.333 referred to in HDV is the Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) which is not 1.0000 due to the 1440x1080 pixels. Multiply the 1440 by 1.3333 and you get 1920 which is the Picture Aspect Ratio of 1920 x 1080. The two are separate and often create confusion and problems when people take HDV footage and try to create SD DVDs to play on 4:3 aspect ratio TV's.

By definition HDV has a PAR of 1.3333 due to the fact that it captures 1440 pixels by 1080 pixels. So, Canon or Sony or any other manufacturer that is shooting HDV is 1440 x1080 to my understanding. If it isn't it isn't shooting HDV.

Generally there are two work flows for HDV footage that seem to make sense. Either transcode the HDV footage into an intermediate codec and have it converted to 1920 x 1080. Then work all the way through to final output using a PAR of 1.0000 at 1920 x 1080 pixels.

or

Ingest the HDV footage. Keep it at 1440 x 1080 all and when outputting to final delivery if going to BluRay stick with 1440 x 1080 and flag it as 1.33333 PAR and the player should automatically make the adjustment (basicaly stretching the pixel horizontally by 1.3333x). If going to SD (DVD) tell your NLE that each pixel has a 1.3333 PAR then render it correctly to 16:9 widescreen (which will effectively be 720 x 405 pixels instead of the 720 x 480 for 4:3).
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #12
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Thanks guys,

I understand what you are saying here, makes sense.

Why does the h1 footage have top and bottom letter boxes on my big plasma and the xl2 does not.

By narrower I ment top to bottom, not side to side. poor choice of words

I also movies, dictated as wide screen but inorder to fill a proper wide screen you have to magnify/zoom the picture slightly.

I am obviously missing something.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:42 PM   #13
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Garrett -- an excellent explanation, and one I was trying to avoid so as to not complicate the issue further, as we were discussing the aspect of the actual picture. But you said it better than I could, and as you correctly point out, a 1.33 sensor with 1.33 pixels invariably ends up as 16:9 no matter what. (1.33 x 1.33 = 1.77; thus 4/3 x 4/3 = 16/9.)

Dale -- Movie DVDs could exhibit the "letterboxing" phenomenon you describe, as widescreen movies are usually even "wider" than the HDV/HDTV aspect ratio -- the standard for theatricals in the US is 1.85 and big action pics frequently go as wide as 2.35 or more. But there really shouldn't be any difference between your H1 and Xl2 (other than resolution). If there is, something's wrong.

Can you post screen grabs?

Mark -- to get back to your original question, yes, the same rules generally apply, with the following proviso: many people mask off or draw guidelines on their VF/LCDs to indicate the old 4:3 frame so they are framing properly for that as well, as many people will still be viewing on older sets and zooming/cropping rather than letterboxing, which annoys some people. If you watch many HD channels, you'll see they frame as if it's still 4:3, with the added real estate on either side of the 16:9 screen virtually devoid of important content -- just air space.

Last edited by Adam Gold; May 26th, 2009 at 05:24 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #14
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Adam,

I will post a couple grabs tomarrow.


I believe that if you are going to shoot wide then that should be the consideration in composition. 4:3 is vanishing at a wicked pace. I shoot weddings in 4:3 still because it is requested but in no time i bet no one will want rregular screen.

I really do not like the real wide big screen movies and always zoon them. I feel the proper 16:9 like I get with my xl2 is about ideal.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 03:08 PM   #15
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Just to make sure that the peripheral discussion remains fact-based, it should be said that the HDV specification does not exclusively address 1920 x 1080 (1440 x 1080 pixels with the 1.33 PAR) but also includes 720p. At a native 1280 x 720, which is what the chip in JVC's HDV cameras shoot, the image starts out with a 16:9 aspect ration with square pixels and no extrapolation of data into a rectangular pixel. This results in a lower bit rate (19.7 Mbps vs. approx. 25) but still specifies MPEG-2, 4:2:0 color space, etc.

TVH
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