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

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Old September 5 2013, 10:42 PM   #106
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

BillJ wrote: View Post
I want TNG and the rest of Trek to live on, not fall by the wayside because of aspect ratio.
I'm certain that this is how Gene Roddenberry would have felt, had he been confronted with the issue. He would have wanted his stories to be told and heard, regardless of how it's framed.

I wouldn't recommend watching a masterpiece like Citizen Kane other than in black & white and in 4:3 because that's the context of the time it was made in. Same applies for TOS and David Lynch's Twin Peaks (and not only to ensure that younger audiences are wondering whether Agent Cooper is using a cell phone or else when talking to this "Diane").

However, regarding TNG, I still marvel at the "timelessness" of the series which doesn't show its age (hair styles notwithstanding) and will probably continue to do so for the next decades.
It looks good in 4:3 and will also look good in 16:9. But for VFX scenes taking place in space I'd dare to say that any widescreen format will literally give you "more space".

Bob
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Old September 5 2013, 10:51 PM   #107
Maxwell Everett
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
But for VFX scenes taking place in space I'd dare to say that any widescreen format will literally give you "more space".
As the video clip I just posted minutes ago demonstrates, that is not always the case. Sometimes they frame the miniatures in extreme closeup and there is literally no more image left to show!
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Old September 6 2013, 10:39 AM   #108
Start Wreck
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
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.
Okay, I appreciate you finding a picture that demonstrates what you mean, but I'm not sure it's indicative of the entire series. I've just gone through some screencaps for one episode, and already found several that don't have wasted space at the top and bottom. Eg.

http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...ise_hd_061.jpg
http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...ise_hd_127.jpg

How would you crop those without losing important parts of the picture? Or this one:

http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...ise_hd_323.jpg

You could crop that without losing anything important, but you'd be left with a very cramped frame, shaved heads at the top and/or peeking heads at the bottom.

Sure, if you have a shot where you need to see fully left and right, inevitably you will have more top and bottom space than you need (as per your example)... but I'm not convinced that happened very often. Did you notice how often Picard and Riker stand right next to each other on the bridge, to keep them together in the frame? When they made Generations, they had to put additional consoles on the left and right, because otherwise there was too much empty space!


Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Start Wreck wrote: View Post
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.
So... what? If you accept that TNG was shot a particular way to account for its 4:3 ratio, and a film like Generations was not, then you have to accept that changing TNG to a 16:9 ratio (whether by expanding or cropping) would produce an unintended result, counter to the compositional intent. In other words, the composition would be ruined. It would be made worse than it was because it's no longer composed correctly for its ratio.

If they re-made TNG today, you can bet it would be done at 16:9, no question about it. But that's not what's happening here!


Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
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.
But we could also look at countless examples where there isn't any overhead or crutch space, and the whole frame is utilised properly.

Framing and composition are very important in creating asthetically pleasing scenes. Even if you could expand a shot without losing any information, you still destroy the composition, because the relative positioning changes. You no longer have focal points along the lines of thirds, you no longer have even spacing around things, and so on.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds)

I know you don't seem to think this is important in "just a TV show", but I'd argue it very much is. Just as much as in a movie or anything else. They may not have had as much time back then to carefully consider all of their shots like they would in a multi-million dollar movie or whatever, but let's not downplay the directors' efforts by reframing things as if it's not important!

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
There will come a time when 4:3 will no longer sell as good as it still does.
I'd rather TNG not sell for what it is, than sell well as something it isn't. Gene Roddenberry be damned!
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Old September 6 2013, 12:09 PM   #109
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Maxwell Everett wrote: View Post
As the video clip I just posted minutes ago demonstrates, that is not always the case. Sometimes they frame the miniatures in extreme closeup and there is literally no more image left to show!
Sorry, when I posted last night I hadn't noticed your video clip, yet. But frankly, I can't help but wonder why you seriously used this hilarious piece of can-only-do-4:3-propaganda.

I brought the issue to Mr. Probert's attention and he expressed mild astonishment: Why then, don't they use Tobias Richter's fantastic CGI recreation to replace the 4:3-only VFX element (as they've done that already elsewhere to replace missing VFX footage)?

There is a talented artist named Justin Olsen who made rather fantastic 16:9 visualizations of the Starbase 74 scenes (and extended Mr. Probert's docking procedure matte painting, based on the original ILM widescreen studio shot of this scene - Mr. Probert thought it looked great and wouldn't mind its use in any future widescreen release of TNG).

Frankly, I rather have issues with the new aggressive posture of the Klingon Bird of Prey in "Sins of the Father" in contrast to the neutral posture in the original version.

@ Start Wreck

I agree with the problematic nature of the screencaps you illustrated and it's equally problematic for the battle bridge ready room scene with Riker and Picard in the Farpoint episode, even if it were possible to utilize the unseen areas left and right of the camera negatives.

If I had a say so I wouldn't recommend a future TNG release any wider than 15:9 (1.66:1) but I expect it will be 16:9 (1.78:1).

I also have no doubt that a reformatted widescreen version will have the aforementioned unfavorable issues which, again, is a good argument on behalf of the current 4:3 release. And just imagine all the new 16:9 fans in the future that will get excited to know that there is also a 4:3 version in HD revealing more picture content and better compositions.

My whole reasoning during this debate (I participated more actively last year and in other forums) had been and still is that we should ask CBS to do a later TNG widescreen as optimal as possible - and even if it's just for the reason that we may like it.

Bob

P.S. I don't think your remark about Gene Roddenberry is appropriate. If you seriously wish he hadn't been there, there would be no TNG to cherish and appreciate. But to him and other people content was, is and should be more important than the way it is "wrapped".
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Old September 6 2013, 12:21 PM   #110
Start Wreck
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
P.S. I don't think your remark about Gene Roddenberry is appropriate. If you seriously wish he hadn't been there, there would be no TNG to cherish and appreciate. But to him and other people content was, is and should be more important than the way it is "wrapped".
I don't wish he hadn't been there, I just don't agree with all of his opinions. He was a great ideas man and producer.


I don't think TNG going widescreen is inevitable. I think it's more likely that physical screen borders will disappear eventually, and we'll be watching TV on holographic displays that can become any shape necessary, rendering this whole issue moot. :P
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Old September 6 2013, 03:34 PM   #111
Mr. Adventure
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Start Wreck wrote: View Post
Okay, I appreciate you finding a picture that demonstrates what you mean, but I'm not sure it's indicative of the entire series. I've just gone through some screencaps for one episode, and already found several that don't have wasted space at the top and bottom. Eg.

http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...ise_hd_061.jpg
http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...ise_hd_127.jpg

How would you crop those without losing important parts of the picture? Or this one:

http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/3x...ise_hd_323.jpg

You could crop that without losing anything important, but you'd be left with a very cramped frame, shaved heads at the top and/or peeking heads at the bottom.
Tried this as an intellectual/artistic exercise. Mind you I only had the 4:3 image to work with not the full image source available to production.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...ps868e4c6f.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...ps399a0b75.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v7...psd2003749.jpg

Information *is* lost but could it work as an alternative presentation? I'm sure no one will be swayed but it was fun to do anyway.
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Old September 6 2013, 08:06 PM   #112
Maxwell Everett
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Sorry, when I posted last night I hadn't noticed your video clip, yet. But frankly, I can't help but wonder why you seriously used this hilarious piece of can-only-do-4:3-propaganda.
Propaganda only presents one side of an argument. It uses selective facts and is often emotionally manipulative. The Energized! doc on Season One puts forth an entirely rational argument why 4:3 was chosen and even shows you how 16:9 would look. If that's propaganda, then the videos I posted are too.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
There is a talented artist named Justin Olson who made rather fantastic 16:9 visualizations of the Starbase 74 scenes (and extended Mr. Probert's docking procedure matte painting, based on the original ILM widescreen studio shot of this scene - Mr. Probert thought it looked great and wouldn't mind its use in any future widescreen release of TNG).
Yeah, I know the guy. He's okay I guess.
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Old September 6 2013, 08:49 PM   #113
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I guess what I'm not getting in any of these posts is why anyone would want a cropped image.
Seconded to infinity & beyond!

It's one thing when you're talking about shows that framed and exposed with 16:9 in mind while finishing 4:3 (which was the case with most shows by the mid90s ... I think QUANTUM LEAP was doing it almost from the beginning), and quite another when you're twisting and distorting the legitimate proper image to fit the shape of your screen.
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Old September 6 2013, 08:58 PM   #114
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

BillJ wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post

Putting in widescreen would completely change the show, completely change the composition of shots, the framing and even reveal elements of production in the case of how TNG was filmed.

But, go ahead, compare apples and oranges.
As Maxwell Everett has shown, you can crop the show and none of the production elements would be any more visible than they were in the 4:3 presentation.

It's not an apples and oranges comparison. You've decided it's okay to change one persons work so it is more enjoyable with modern technology but are completely against doing the same thing with another persons work because you disagree with the change. The audio tracks were built to be listened to with the equipment of the time, just like the video was done with a certain way of viewing in mind (nevermind that with overscan we are already seeing the picture in a way that wasn't intended).

I've never seen people who are convinced allowing viewers to make their own choices is a bad thing and to be avoided at all costs.
Many disks do offer original mono tracks as an option, probably with preserving the original experience in mind. However, since mono movie soundtracks were often mixed down from stereo you're not really messing with anybody's original intent there, are you?

This is all apples & oranges. It is only the persimmons (the 4:3 shows that protected for 16:9 I mention above) that can resolve without distorting creative intent. And if viewers can't perceive that (let alone respect it), then they're demonstrating a crucial blindness about what it is they supposedly cherish.
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Old September 7 2013, 12:59 AM   #115
Robert Comsol
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Maxwell Everett wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Sorry, when I posted last night I hadn't noticed your video clip, yet. But frankly, I can't help but wonder why you seriously used this hilarious piece of can-only-do-4:3-propaganda.
Propaganda only presents one side of an argument. It uses selective facts and is often emotionally manipulative.
Exactly. Like saying we can't do widescreen for the scene with the Enterprise-D entering Starbase 74 although they had already used the CGI Enterprise-D to replace "missing" footage.

It's selective presenting of a problem (because they already knew the solution for it and didn't tell).

Bob
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Old September 7 2013, 04:03 AM   #116
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Maxwell Everett wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Sorry, when I posted last night I hadn't noticed your video clip, yet. But frankly, I can't help but wonder why you seriously used this hilarious piece of can-only-do-4:3-propaganda.
Propaganda only presents one side of an argument. It uses selective facts and is often emotionally manipulative.
Exactly. Like saying we can't do widescreen for the scene with the Enterprise-D entering Starbase 74 although they had already used the CGI Enterprise-D to replace "missing" footage.

It's selective presenting of a problem (because they already knew the solution for it and didn't tell).

Bob
Ah but missing footage is different from enhanced footage "because they can". You can see how the second goes outside of the scope of the work that was set forth for TNG-R.
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Old September 7 2013, 10:30 AM   #117
Maxwell Everett
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Maxwell Everett wrote: View Post

Propaganda only presents one side of an argument. It uses selective facts and is often emotionally manipulative.
Exactly. Like saying we can't do widescreen for the scene with the Enterprise-D entering Starbase 74 although they had already used the CGI Enterprise-D to replace "missing" footage.

It's selective presenting of a problem (because they already knew the solution for it and didn't tell).

Bob


And what about the truncated cryo-satellite in "The Neutral Zone" shot, Robert? You expect CBS-D to model that in CG from scratch too? How many other ships of the week that enter or exit the frame from off screen or are cropped by passing too close to the camera would have to be recreated? You see how it quickly becomes an unworkable solution? It's not just the Enterprise-D. If every ship stayed far away from the camera with space all around it, then yes, I suppose that would work... but that's not how the VFX shots were envisioned. It's not how the VFX supervisors approached their work.

What you're really advocating here is a TOS-Remastered approach wherein all the exterior space opticals are re-done entirely in CG. In other words, throw all that great 35mm motion control work away. But why? Just to make 16:9 possible? At least with TOS-R there was the unavoidable fact that the miniature o-negs were long gone and the old opticals cut into the show looked very poor.

As SpHeRe31459 says, it's outside the scope of TNG-R. The intent is to create 1080p versions of the episodes using as much of the original assets as possible so that it looks just as you remember it, except in HD.
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Old September 7 2013, 12:39 PM   #118
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

It would be -interesting- to create a TNG-R(R), and I might watch it at least out of curiosity, but I suspect it would also take much longer to create and be significantly more expensive. And I think there'd still need to be cropping of the original 4:3 shots in a manner that I would consider at best distracting and at worst destructive.

If nothing else, obviously TNG had more than double the number of seasons of TOS.
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Old September 7 2013, 08:49 PM   #119
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
And frankly I'm really getting tired of the Mona Lisa comparisons, it's really not appropriate to compare the accomplishments of Leonardo Da Vinci with what is essentially a TV show, IMHO. (though I do love TNG).
Forcing a painting to fit into a frame it was never intended to fit is an entirely apt comparison. No one is comparing the aesthetic qualities of a Renaissance painting to a 1980s TV series.

trevanian wrote: View Post
Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
I guess what I'm not getting in any of these posts is why anyone would want a cropped image.
Seconded to infinity & beyond!
And eight pages later I'm still not getting it, beyond some vague notion that no one will watch an old show because of the shape of the frame. It doesn't stop people from watching old B&W films. And I remember a few decades ago when people claimed no one would watch old B&W films anymore because they weren't in color.
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Old September 7 2013, 10:34 PM   #120
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Re: Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Hober Mallow wrote: View Post
And eight pages later I'm still not getting it, beyond some vague notion that no one will watch an old show because of the shape of the frame. It doesn't stop people from watching old B&W films. And I remember a few decades ago when people claimed no one would watch old B&W films anymore because they weren't in color.
Speaking of not getting comments, I don't understand why people say this when there's what one cable channel that shows B&W films? Other than TCM, maybe you might possibly see a B&W movie on AMC if you happen to catch the right day. Where are all these people watching old B&W movies?
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