Blu Rays Aspect Ratio Question

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by otomo, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. otomo

    otomo Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    It was originally shot to be 4:3 if they did 16:9 they'd either have to do one of two things:

    1. Simply use a wider film exposure. However, this may reveal crew, equipment, and other elements of production just off camera.

    2. Crop the picture. This would remove elements from the top/bottom of the picture which would alter the original episode and director's intent for the scene.

    The show was show shot to be seen on a 4:3 screen and that's the way we should watch it. People need to stop this obsession with "filling their screen" with a picture.
     
  3. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    They will start doing DS9 remaster in widescreen because CBS is getting tired of the fans complaining! :p
     
  4. otomo

    otomo Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Ahh, so I'm guessing that Seinfeld was shot with a different framing in mind then?

    I don't mind that it's shot that way, but I was under the impression that it was shot on film and therefore it could translate. Deep Space 9 was shot differently?
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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  6. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was shot on film, but the shots were framed for 4:3. Therefore off to either side of every shot the directors were not bothered about whether parts of the set were undressed, or a lighting rig was visible, because the only part of the film that would actually be seen on screen would be the 'center' part of the shot. So yes, 16:9 versions could be done, but every shot would have elements to the left and right of it that break the illusion of the episode.

    Check out this screencap, which shows a full exposed film frame as shot for Lonely Among Us:

    http://scifanatic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/tng_extras_003.jpg

    Notice all those lighting rigs and other material on the sides of the shot? That's the reason they can't do it in 16:9. The only section the directors actually framed the shots for was the bit in the middle, which was all you'd see on a 4:3 aspect television. Hence, even on blu ray, the black bars down the sides are necessary to maintain the illusion, as well as to keep the shots as they were originally intended to be seen. :)

    DS9 was not shot differently and therefore would likely also be in 4:3 (black bars down the sides).
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I don't know what Seinfeld has to do with this. But if there's a 16:9 version of Seinfeld out there/coming it's likely due to a number of reasons. Sitcoms are filmed differently than hour-long programs especially since Sitcoms are often one-camera shows. (You put the camera in one place and let the scene unfold. As opposed to multiple cameras for close-ups, reaction shots, different angles, etc.) If there's a 16:9 version of Seinfeld coming then, yes, it probably was "shot differently" to allow this to happen. Or they're going to crop the picture.

    But we DO know TNG was shot for a 4:3 picture. Film or not has nothing to do with it. As the above link shows there's all sorts of bullshit outside of the picture that could be seen or gleamed in a 16:9 picture. So why mess with it?

    Further, I also stand by "director's intent."
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, they could have reformatted the image areas of the camera negatives with some cropping of picture information at the top (and mostly the bottom).

    In September 2011 Robert Meyer-Burnett twittered that he had seen a 16:9 reformatted episode study (I assume "Sins of the Father"), that it looked great, and 16:9 would probably win "by a landslide" if fans were given the choice to vote.

    I'm also confident that the very first HD teaser (with the 16:9 VFX footage from ILM) suggested that reformatting into 16:9 was an option.

    Regardless whether there is camera equipment left and right in the full shot bridge scenes, to look good in 16:9, it would require is to trim the 4:3 image area to get rid of the excessive overhead space and Data's crutch. ;)

    Since the restoration cost a lot of money I totally understand CBS' strategy to first release TNG in 4:3 and keep the option for a later re-release in reformatted 16:9.

    Bob
     
  9. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    16:9 versions of "Seinfeld" are already being circulated. They're cropped, so in fact there is less image, not more. I can't speak for how they shot that series though, maybe the film negatives don't show unintended details like the TNG ones?

    Here's another one, from "Q Who":

    http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/1528/borgsliceapertures.jpg

    This is a full frame of unexposed film, from which a 16:9 version could be printed... the white box represents the 4:3 frame, the image that actually appears in the episode. As you can all see, the decals on the saucer are not complete, because the people involved in shooting the scene never intended for these details of the saucer to be seen. All that mattered was what was inside the white box section. That section is fine, but a widescreen copy would make it obvious that the Enterprise is only a model! :guffaw: This is why the 4:3 format has been maintained.
     
  10. otomo

    otomo Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Cool, thanks for the pictures and video, makes a lot more sense when you actually see it than hear the theory. Bummer for Seinfeld fans in a lot of ways that it's cropped.

    One question still unanswered: Was DS9 shot differently, or VOY? If they were shot the same then I hope they do keep it the same.
     
  11. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    They likely were shot the same or in a similar fashion they'd have no reason to do anything different. I again play my "director's intent" card as well as my "you watched it 4:3 for x-years, why make it different NOW because your TV is bigger?" card. This is the opposite problem people had with "wide-screen" DVDs back with 4:3 TVs. Stop obsessing over every square millimeter of the screen being filled and stay satisfied with the OAR.
     
  12. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Yet it's what a lot of fans seem to want. I'll never understand wanting to see less of the picture, but there you go.

    No, they were also shot for 4:3.
     
  13. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    16:9 will always win by a landslide in a public vote because most people know shit about aspect ratios.

    I don't care what he says, it cannot look great in 16:9, it can probably look acceptable but great? Never!
     
  14. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    The same people I knew who hated home video releases I in widescreen letterbox format now hate movies released in 4:3. It seems no matter what TV formats come out, they just want to see less of the picture.

    I've heard people say the black bars on the side of the screen are distracting. Well, yes, black bars are visible, but so are the sides of your TV and part of your living room wall. Is seeing those too distracting also?
     
  15. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My choice would be 16:9 with minimal cropping. There are a few ways it could be done - CG to remove the lights and stands at the edge of shots, CG inserts to extend the frame where necessary, new SF shots (not too hard with extending the starscape background for space shots), subtly stretching the edges of shots and as a last resort, cropping.

    Some of this would be expensive, but as digital tech gets cheaper it will become more viable.
     
  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    You realize to do CGI stuff would take a lot of time, work and money to do right and even then it'll be limited in what it can accomplish. CGI isn't magic, it's a process that has limitations just like any other effects technique.

    And it would, again, change the look and feel of the scene. This may seem like something but it could have big impacts on scenes in there series where a certain look or "feel" was achieved by being shot for 4:3 now being shot for 16:9.

    The show was originally produced, shot, directed and presented for 4:3 viewing. That's how it is MEANT to be seen. That is how the original directors want you to see it. Stop trying to change that. I know we're not talking about fine film here or anything, by why not also complain about and demand cinematic classics like Casablanca use CGI or whatever else to make them 16:9? I mean, I need to fill my TV so who cares what it'll look like. Black bars! The scourge of TV-viewing. And colorize it too!

    No. 4:3 is the Original Aspect Ratio of the show and it should be maintained.
     
  17. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In the VHS/DVD era, people who didn't know any better wanted 16x9 content cropped to fill 4x3 TVs. Now they want 4x3 content cropped to fill 16x9 TVs. Sigh, it never ends.
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    We need TVs mad of some elastic material with an AI built into it that allows the TV to stretch and contort to match the content. We'll call it, "There! Now the screen is filled for you!"
     
  19. Beta-Z

    Beta-Z Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'll never get it why people would want to watch TV shows in the wrong format.
    It was intended, arranged and filmed to be watched in a 4:3 aspect ratio, so why rape that by zooming or streching it?
    Just because they did this mistake with Seinfeld and other shows (bad enough) doesn't justify to publish all TV shows in the wrong picture format!! That is so beyond me, really.. :rolleyes:
     
  20. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Enthusiasts already do that with CIH projectors (constant image height).