Q: how do I make my pictures look epic?

Wondering how to accomplish a certain animation task? Ask here.

Moderators: Fahim, Distinct Sun, Víctor Paredes, erey, Belgarath, slowtiger

human
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:53 pm

Q: how do I make my pictures look epic?

Post by human » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:39 am

A: If your studio PC is big enough and fast enough to sling that many pixels, you use the Great Epic Aspect Ratio: 2.35 to 1.

See the following indispensable reference:

http://www.rexer.com/cine/oar.htm
User avatar
DK
Posts: 2417
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:06 am
Location: Australia

Post by DK » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:40 am

Nice link :)

D.K
User avatar
heyvern
Posts: 6964
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 4:49 am

Post by heyvern » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:54 am

Here's a weird one for you.

I recently got the movie "The Shining" on DVD. The original Kubric film (not that awful TV mini series remake).

On the DVD it was listed as the "director's cut" the "special edition" with the proper aspect ration etc etc... the original theatrical release.

But when I popped it in and it started playing.... NO BLACK BARS!?!? It was full screen on the TV. not the "wide screen" TV I don't have one of those. it was full screen on a "regular" TV.

Apparently the film was shot so that the whole negative was exposed. No cropping. When it was shown in theaters the wide screen aspect ration was seen.

When it was transfered to video and eventually DVD they used the whole negative. I think Kubric wanted that... I hope so anyway.

Man I was confused. I thought I got the wrong version of the movie...

... so... now when I watch it I have to duct tape black cardboard to the top and bottom of my TV. ;) (I don't really.)

So... if you see the Shining on television late at night... no pan and scan. That's the whole movie.

-vern
Bones3D
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:19 pm
Contact:

Post by Bones3D » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:58 am

First, use BIG TYPE! The bigger and more extruded into the horizon, the better!

Next, use loud, booming voices and sound effects! The more exaggerated it is, the bigger it seems to the viewer! Also, use dark, foreboding narration that starts with the phrase "In a world where...", followed by a problem and how the hero of the story will solve it.

Finally, use tons of jump cuts and explosions! In each jump cut, someone needs to be freaking out about how there's no time left! Also, throw in some gun play, hand-to-hand combat and car chases.

Then just end on a cliff-hanger...
8==8 Bones 8==8
User avatar
Touched
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:33 am
Location: Sunny California
Contact:

Post by Touched » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:52 pm

I was also confused and initially upset when I found my copy of The Shining was 4:3, but in my research looking for a widescreen version I learned that Kubrick meant it that way, so I was no longer upset. There needs to be a standard notation like that useful site Human linked uses (OAR) to indicate the intentions of the director, or at least a reference site where we can find the OAR of a given movie. IMDb is not very good about that -- they do list off what aspect ratios the various versions of the movie appear in, but not which one is favoured by the director.
User avatar
Mikdog
Posts: 1896
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:51 pm
Location: South Africa
Contact:

Post by Mikdog » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:30 pm

cool. thanks. Maybe put in HINTS & TIPS section?
human
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:53 pm

Post by human » Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:41 pm

Bones3D wrote:First, use BIG TYPE! The bigger and more extruded into the horizon, the better!

Next, use loud, booming voices and sound effects! The more exaggerated it is, the bigger it seems to the viewer! Also, use dark, foreboding narration that starts with the phrase "In a world where...", followed by a problem and how the hero of the story will solve it.

Finally, use tons of jump cuts and explosions! In each jump cut, someone needs to be freaking out about how there's no time left! Also, throw in some gun play, hand-to-hand combat and car chases.

Then just end on a cliff-hanger...
yeah, you nailed the lameness alright
User avatar
cribble
Posts: 899
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 12:42 pm
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Post by cribble » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:26 pm

human wrote:
Bones3D wrote: Next, use loud, booming voices and sound effects!
Find the bassist sound ever, and then boost the bass frequencies - especially 60hz - that'll make everyone crap their pants.

OH and you need a big space ship flying - or some futuristic box!
--Scott
cribble.net
User avatar
andrewjs
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:01 am
Contact:

Re: Q: how do I make my pictures look epic?

Post by andrewjs » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:25 pm

human wrote:A: If your studio PC is big enough and fast enough to sling that many pixels, you use the Great Epic Aspect Ratio: 2.35 to 1.

See the following indispensable reference:

http://www.rexer.com/cine/oar.htm
this might be a tad picky, but this site summarizes things a bit inaccurately. for starters, no american movies are projected 16X9; approximately 60% are 1.85:1... 16X9 is not a theatrical ratio at all, only a widescreen TV ratio, which is close 1.85 but a 1.85 movie should still look a little letterboxed on a widescreen TV.

secondly, 2.35:1 is not an "epic" standard, it is merely the standard achieved by using anamorphic lenses on the projector to unsqueeze the image. I believe approx the other 40% of American movies fall into this category, and hardly are most of them "epic". However, most of them are high-budget. romance comedies, thrillers, all kinds of flicks are 2.35.

so it's almost half and half between 1.85 and 2.35.

the biggest failing on that page is the definition of Super-35, which has nothing whatsoever to do with how it is described there. Super-35 merely means using a smaller negative area with regular spherical lenses to achieve a 2.35 aspect ratio that is still projected anamorphically, as opposed to 2.35 films which are shot anamorphically using the entire negative area. and unlike what the page says, MANY films indeed are shot on Super-35.. it is hardly rare, and is in fact becoming more and more common thanks to better film stocks and digital processing.

just a nice big f.y.i.!


ps - in Flash, the speed of your computer has nothing to do with the aspect ratio you choose; why would this be different AS? we're dealing with vectorized graphics, not higher-resolution video sources like HD editing. i'm new to AS so maybe there is something i'm confused about here.


-andrew
human
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:53 pm

Re: Q: how do I make my pictures look epic?

Post by human » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:17 am

andrewjs wrote:this site summarizes things a bit inaccurately
Thanks for your corrections about cinematic aspect ratio. They have an authoritative ring to them, so I'll assume they're right.

However, you go on to remark that PC speed should not affect the rendering of vectors at a given aspect ratio.. you reference the premise that vectors are resolution-independent.

I don't want to pursue the ins and outs of this.

All I am trying to do is to state the obvious: if you're trying to display motion graphics in really big, really wide frames, you may run up against the limitations of your cpu and display.

Your monitor doesn't know a vector from our Evildoer in Chief-- you have to feed it pixels.

Sooner or later, it all comes down to refreshing a boatload of pixels several times a second, and there's only so far you can push your 'puter.
User avatar
DK
Posts: 2417
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:06 am
Location: Australia

Post by DK » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:27 am

Hi Human. I have found that vectors can also slow down operations in AS. Some of the character library files I create now have to be limited to around 6mb in total as I find AS starts to really bog down after that. I run 2.4 gig windows xp system with NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4400 graphics card.

D.K
User avatar
andrewjs
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:01 am
Contact:

Re: Q: how do I make my pictures look epic?

Post by andrewjs » Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:27 am

human wrote:
andrewjs wrote:this site summarizes things a bit inaccurately
Thanks for your corrections about cinematic aspect ratio. They have an authoritative ring to them, so I'll assume they're right.

However, you go on to remark that PC speed should not affect the rendering of vectors at a given aspect ratio.. you reference the premise that vectors are resolution-independent.

I don't want to pursue the ins and outs of this.

All I am trying to do is to state the obvious: if you're trying to display motion graphics in really big, really wide frames, you may run up against the limitations of your cpu and display.

Your monitor doesn't know a vector from our Evildoer in Chief-- you have to feed it pixels.

Sooner or later, it all comes down to refreshing a boatload of pixels several times a second, and there's only so far you can push your 'puter.
So I guess really the question is not the aspect ratio, but the desired output resolution (ie number of pixels).

I just read artfx's post about HD rendering, and that also cleared up some points on this. Even at that many pixels for HD, however, you're only at 1.78:1 aspect ratio.

My guess is that anyone creating a 2.35:1 ratio would simply reduce the vertical lines and keep the horizontal, thereby actually using less computer processing than a 16X9 render (fewer pixels). This would also create a letterboxed image even on widescreen TVs, further making it obvious that you are rendering out less pixels.

So I would think that a very widescreen aspect ratio, unless designed for theatrical projection, would actually be faster to render if TVs and computer monitors are your intended audience.
human
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:53 pm

Re: Q: how do I make my pictures look epic?

Post by human » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:21 am

andrewjs wrote: My guess is that anyone creating a 2.35:1 ratio would simply reduce the vertical lines and keep the horizontal, thereby actually using less computer processing than a 16X9 render (fewer pixels). This would also create a letterboxed image even on widescreen TVs, further making it obvious that you are rendering out less pixels.

So I would think that a very widescreen aspect ratio, unless designed for theatrical projection, would actually be faster to render if TVs and computer monitors are your intended audience.
Yeah, actually, thanks for getting there slightly ahead of me in puzzling out how this will actually work. I think it will happen as you see it.

The reason I say is that I am now doing my concept art in Illustrator at that big honkin' 2:35 aspect ratio.

You pointed out that, in practice, it's not only epic features which are being produced with this Lamborghini of a picture frame. However, speaking as an artist, I have just learned that when I compose for this luxurious (almost outrageous) format, it suggests a sort of grandeur.

I don't know whether I will be successful in producing my short, but I do know that if I want to future-proof my work for showing on a big screen, I need to start composing shots that way NOW.
User avatar
slowtiger
Posts: 5388
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:53 pm
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact:

Post by slowtiger » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:44 am

2.35:1 is Cinemascope. Very few animation production use this format anymore because they not only rely on theatrical release but also on DVD sales to get their money back. And Cinemascope on DVD just looks ugly: you always trade in details for full image or vice versa.

But I know an animator who does her film in this format anyway. She works in that original 2.35:1 screen aspect ratio, which later will be reduced to an anamorphotic 1.33:1 on 35mm film. What some of you might call a waste of disk space and CPU time is done for a reason: you can't judge a movement if you just look at an anamorphotic view. Try to draw a circle which is a perfect circle in 2.35:1 in that anamorphotic 1.33:1. It's impossible.

Technically there would be another solution possible: if the software would be able to stretch each pixel of the anamorphotic image to what it should look like on the screen. Your plain square pixel would become a horizontal rectangle. But I know of no animation software which does this. Some video editing software as well as Mirage (pixel-based animation software) provide the opportunity to work with non-square pixels for, I think, DV format, which means the basic mechanism already is implemented, but they can't compensate for anamorphotic ratios.
User avatar
Touched
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:33 am
Location: Sunny California
Contact:

Post by Touched » Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:56 am

I saw a movie which was presented in that extremely wide aspect ratio, one of the Alien movies, or a Terminator movie, I think. Viewing it on my 4:3 TV was painful. It was a thin ribbon of screen in the middle of a vast field of black. I'm someone who prefers widescreen presentation, but that was just excessive.
Post Reply