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Old December 28th, 2003, 08:25 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
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Shooting 2.35:1


I'm a newbie here. Just a bit of background. I'm a freelance cameraman, but also shot my own feature length production "Insiders" just over a year ago on a shoestring budget. I used Cinelook with that one, but have moved over to FilmFX due to much faster rendering and versitility. Although I am now moving to Vegas 4 as I would like to be able to adjust the picture more in the editor rather than exporting and recompressing etc.

Right, onto my question. It is known that by placing the camera in faux 16:9 mode with an anamorphic adaptor attached that a 2.35:1 ratio can be achieved. Given that cameras such as the XM1/2 etc using faux 16:9 can mean that the DV compression doesn't have to work as hard, how would people here rate the idea of shooting in faux 16:9 mode and an anamorphic adaptor? Then squeezing the image vertically in post to end up with an anamorphic 2.35:1 image that can be used with a widescreen TV when transferred to DVD?

I am planning a new production soon, and I am torn between either doing this, or shooting with the anamorphic lens and just letterboxing the top and bottom of the anamorphic image (as I have DVD distribution in mind for the final product. As per all commercial DVDs the DVD player itself will adjust the picture to it's correct aspect for people who don't own 16:9 TVs)

I have found that psycologically with a 16:9 TV that filling the whole screen with a pure 16:9 ratio image looks less cinematic than having a 2.35 ratio picture on such a viewing screen.
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 09:03 AM   #2
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Location: Mays Landing, NJ
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This has been discussed before if you search a bit. Look for postings by Martin Munthe who is doing this with a PD-150 and anamorphic lens. He has some nice frames posted on his website.

You aren't really specific about your camera, even though you mention the XM1. You might consider the PDX-10 which does native 16:9, then add an anamorphic adaptor to it. The nice thing about this is the 37mm filter threads, and Century makes a 37mm anamorphic adaptor iin the $200 range.

But I think the key is that you say you are going to DVD for distribution. That pretty much limits you to 720x480 anamorphic anyway, doesn't it? In that case, it seems like you'd be going to a lot of extra trouble when letterboxing inside the 16:9 frame would yield the same resolution.

Again, search through some of Martin's posts. He is upconverting the images to HD in a complex process to get the most out of the 2.35:1. That will add a lot of extra work, and if in the end you downconvert to 480p it seems like this will be mostly wasted.

I have a PDX-10 and have thought about getting the anamorphic lens myself several times, but have always stopped short when I consider the extra work involved in this procedure. Let us know what you end up doing because I find this topic interesting.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 09:27 AM   #3
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Camera details etc

Hi Boyd.

The camera I own and will be using is a Canon XM1 with an Optex anamorphic adaptor.

I was considering using the faux 16:9 mode as well to reduce DV artefacts (speaking of which anyone know a stand alone DV artefact remover? An email to Digital Filmtools put them in the frame of mind to consider releasing the one that is part of the a suite of plugins they do, but I don't know if it will come to anything).

Tell you what. I'll do some straight screen captures in a sec and upload them. I'll post the link in a moment...
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2003, 10:27 AM   #4
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Just messed around with the camera. Not really worth putting up any screenshots.

I can see why Martin shot the way that he did.

One reason I can see in favour of using faux 16x9 combined with the Optex adaptor in my case is whether or not I want Vegas to vertically compress the image automatically, or whether I want to apply a 16x9 mask manually to my anamorphic footage.

Looking at the two types of image on my TV, the difference wasn't really noticeable. The faux 16x9 one looked ever, ever so slightly softer when vertically compressed by Vegas.

I really need to test on aspects such as colour banding etc to see if the DV artefact problem can be reduced by using the double 16x9 method and Vegas.
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