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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old September 3 2013, 09:26 PM   #61
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I don't think fan input had anything to do with it. The series was made for 4:3 aspect ratio, and they want to make as few changes as possible.
No offense, but the series wasn't made for a 4:3 aspect ratio but for 4:3 tube television sets (with overscan, I constantly need to add).
This is a subtle but crucial difference, IMHO, that too often gets forgotten (and Star Trek is about the art of entertainment and not the art of cinematography).

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
It's not just the difference between fan preferences; it's the difference between seeing all of the picture or not seeing all of the picture.
The way I see it it's the difference of watching an image with excessive overhead and bottom space (4:3) on a display device (16:9) it was never meant for.

How would the TNG directors shoot the series in widescreen assuming they theoretically could travel back in time?

Looking at the 21:9 widescreen footage of Generations I'd dare to say that for example the bridge scenes in TNG would be trimmed not only to fit a 16:9 widescreen but also to look much better.

But obviously that's something we should discuss in the future - once a tasteful 16:9 version of TNG is made available for evaluation and examination.

Bob
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Old September 3 2013, 09:27 PM   #62
Irishman
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

otomo wrote: View Post
Sorry I'm sure this has been asked before, but did they state why they didn't change the aspect ratio to 16:9, since this was shot on film? It seems like since they were doing the restoration/upgrade to HD they could have done that. A little late to the bandwagon, I just started picking these up. It looks GORGEOUS, just wondered why there's those black bars on the sides when it seems like they could have optimized it. I hear that they're restoring Seinfeld similarly, but ARE giving that the 16:9 treatment.
I think that there's a misunderstanding that film-based sources are automatically shot in 16:9 AR. This is not the case, as shown by Star Trek-TOS. Even going back to the beginning of film as an art form, the first films were in 4:3 AR. There have been about 10 or so distinct ARs for film over the past century. 16:9 was seen as a mean between 4:3 and the widest of the wide-film formats. 16:9 is recent. It's a good median. But I'm not for stretch-o-vision (making 4:3 content 16:9 by distorting the content). I think we should respect directorial intent. Do less, not more. A great example of this is 2001: A Space Odyssey's restoration for its Blu-Ray release. Another one? The Wizard of Oz. Without a doubt, the best the film has looked, and quite possibly the best restoration of classic films.

My view.
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Old September 3 2013, 09:37 PM   #63
Trekker4747
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

It is true, 4:3 was the "original" aspect ration and as time has gone otherways have been found to make a wider picture put it all has come down to cropping out what you want from that 4:3 capture.
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Old September 3 2013, 10:51 PM   #64
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Here's a link to a fairly good presentation about the history of film and different aspect ratios.

One pertinent fact that isn't mentioned is the near-universal adoption of matted widescreen (1.85:1 being the most common AR) for theatrical films starting in the mid-1950s. That is, for films not made in anamorphic processes like CinemaScope or Panavision, or wide film gauges like CinemaScope 55 or Todd-AO or Super Panavision 70 . . .

It's enough to make your head spin.

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Old September 3 2013, 11:24 PM   #65
Maxwell Everett
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
No offense, but the series wasn't made for a 4:3 aspect ratio but for 4:3 tube television sets (with overscan, I constantly need to add). This is a subtle but crucial difference, IMHO, that too often gets forgotten (and Star Trek is about the art of entertainment and not the art of cinematography).
Taking the last part of what you said first, I think the cinematographers who worked on Star Trek over the roughly five decades that it's been around would disagree with you. Part of its entertainment value is due to the work of those artists and it shouldn't be downplayed or diminished. Just my opinion, but there you go.

As for the first part, the display device that TNG was intended for and the existence of overscan doesn't really change anything. Film projection also has a difference between camera aperture (bigger area) and projection aperture (smaller area). These tolerances exists for exactly the same reason, whether it's a television set in the home or a theater screen in a cinema.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
The way I see it it's the difference of watching an image with excessive overhead and bottom space (4:3) on a display device (16:9) it was never meant for.
I wouldn't necessarily call 5% extra image all around excessive. And I think CBS made the right choice in remastering the show with the TV Trans area for three key reasons:
  1. It matches the transmission area that was broadcast from 1987-1994.
  2. It matches the image area that was presented on DVD starting in 2002.
  3. It prevents overcropping on the majority of flat screens today that ship with overscan turned on by default.
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
How would the TNG directors shoot the series in widescreen assuming they theoretically could travel back in time?

Looking at the 21:9 widescreen footage of Generations I'd dare to say that for example the bridge scenes in TNG would be trimmed not only to fit a 16:9 widescreen but also to look much better.

But obviously that's something we should discuss in the future - once a tasteful 16:9 version of TNG is made available for evaluation and examination.

Bob
If CBS didn't produce a "tasteful 16:9 version" of TOS-R -- that is, meticulously re-frame every live-action shot for widescreen -- I wouldn't expect them to do the same for TNG.
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Old September 4 2013, 01:47 AM   #66
Trekker4747
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

scotpens wrote: View Post
Here's a link to a fairly good presentation about the history of film and different aspect ratios.
Yeah, I've seen that before. It really IS head spinning.
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Old September 4 2013, 10:45 AM   #67
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Maxwell Everett wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
The way I see it it's the difference of watching an image with excessive overhead and bottom space (4:3) on a display device (16:9) it was never meant for.
I wouldn't necessarily call 5% extra image all around excessive. And I think CBS made the right choice in remastering the show with the TV Trans area for three key reasons:
  1. It matches the transmission area that was broadcast from 1987-1994.
  2. It matches the image area that was presented on DVD starting in 2002.
  3. It prevents overcropping on the majority of flat screens today that ship with overscan turned on by default.
1. and 2. were taking the overscan of then still popular 4:3 tube TV sets into account. With 3. it's really a question of what kind of flat screen you are using.
I'd dare to say that those sad examples of Joe Sixpacks mentioned here (i.e. stretching the 4:3 images horizontally to fill their screens) wouldn't give a damn whether their images would be overcropped or not.
On the other hand, I'd expect all fans to put such an emphasis on OAR etc. to use flat screens with 1:1 pixel mapping as this is the only way to ensure perfect picture resolution. Apparently, CBS didn't consider this and now these expendable overscan areas at the top and bottom, the directors didn't want us to see, show up on every properly calibrated flat screen.

Maxwell Everett wrote: View Post
If CBS didn't produce a "tasteful 16:9 version" of TOS-R -- that is, meticulously re-frame every live-action shot for widescreen -- I wouldn't expect them to do the same for TNG.
The way TOS was shot, including more close-up shots of actors and sets (i.e. Bridge) makes it unsuitable for a 16:9 reformatting, IMHO.

I feel that's quite differently with TNG. We may just take the can't-do-widescreen-sample of this "educational" shot (with the equipment left and right) from "Lonely Among US" and extract the 16:9 frame out of it. I'm confident we wouldn't loose any crucial picture information.

Bob
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Old September 4 2013, 11:56 AM   #68
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
The way I see it it's the difference of watching an image with excessive overhead and bottom space (4:3) on a display device (16:9) it was never meant for.
What excessive overhead and bottom space are you referring to? The show was composed for that aspect ratio. No space is wasted.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
How would the TNG directors shoot the series in widescreen assuming they theoretically could travel back in time?
They'd shoot it differently. Shots would be framed and composed differently. More 'spread out', less vertical layering, much like they did for Generations.

That's the important point, they didn't do that on TNG. They didn't compose their shots to look right in widescreen, so if you forcefully alter it to a widescreen format after the fact, then you're making it look worse, because the compositions will be wrong for that shape.
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Old September 4 2013, 03:42 PM   #69
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

The show was conceived, filmed, framed, edited and presented in 4:3.

The blu-rays properly maintain that, no tinkering, tweaking, re-imagining, re-formatting required.

ST:TNG is 4:3, the same as TOS, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, I Love Lucy, The Star Wars Holiday Special, etc.
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Old September 4 2013, 04:23 PM   #70
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
What excessive overhead and bottom space are you referring to? The show was composed for that aspect ratio. No space is wasted.
Again, the series was composed for 4:3 television and therefore came with the inevitable compromise (to make sure you cover all the action on the bridge from left to right) that you have image areas overhead and especially at the bottom ("crutch" space) with really not that much worth showing.

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
How would the TNG directors shoot the series in widescreen assuming they theoretically could travel back in time?
They'd shoot it differently. Shots would be framed and composed differently. More 'spread out', less vertical layering, much like they did for Generations.
Exactly.

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
That's the important point, they didn't do that on TNG. They didn't compose their shots to look right in widescreen, so if you forcefully alter it to a widescreen format after the fact, then you're making it look worse, because the compositions will be wrong for that shape.
We could just use the screencap I just linked and wonder how the director Corey Allen would have had positioned a "widescreen" camera. Probably exactly like in the 4:3 image but with less overhead and crutch space.

Admittedly, the issue becomes more problematic in close-up shots but chances that studio equipment are cluttering the unseen areas of the camera negatives in such shots would be rather negligible.

Anyway, it's a good thing TNG has been made available in 4:3 (and not in an aspect ratio according to original plans "this time for the next generation"...). There will come a time when 4:3 will no longer sell as good as it still does.

Bob
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Old September 5 2013, 12:23 AM   #71
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

I"m of two minds about it, I will always appreciate keeping the original formatting but a part of me would be curious to see it done in 16:9. If it didn't come down to a choice, if both versions were available in the same set, I could live with a widescreen version (and might guiltily even come to like it).
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Old September 5 2013, 12:32 AM   #72
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
if both versions were available in the same set
Exactly...

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Old September 5 2013, 12:39 AM   #73
jimbotron
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
I"m of two minds about it, I will always appreciate keeping the original formatting but a part of me would be curious to see it done in 16:9. If it didn't come down to a choice, if both versions were available in the same set, I could live with a widescreen version (and might guiltily even come to like it).
Using the zoom feature on your Blu-ray remote does that for you. The choice is literally at your fingertips already. If CBS-D were to create 16x9 versions, it wouldn't look any better than zooming it yourself. Heads would be chopped off, the saucer of the Enterprise would be chopped off, etc.

Also, by asking for both the 4x3 and 16x9 versions in one set, you're asking them to double the amount of discs, greatly increase the production time and cost, and double the price, things that would all enrage the fanbase. I wouldn't pay an extra $60 per season for useless discs.

Last edited by jimbotron; September 5 2013 at 12:56 AM.
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Old September 5 2013, 12:58 AM   #74
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

I guess what I'm not getting in any of these posts is why anyone would want a cropped image.
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Old September 5 2013, 01:03 AM   #75
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

I did the math - cropping a 4x3 image to 16x9 removes 25% of the image.

Think of it a different way. Would you want an episode of TNG to be cut down to 33 minutes, with 11 minutes chopped off?
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