Episode of the Week: 3x14 "A Matter of Perspective"

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Jeyl, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Not standard definition. It's another example of the "Pan and Scan" method where the camera was moved further back so they could capture the entire scene in one frame and pan across the video in post production. The problem with this technique is that they have to zoom into the picture, and whenever you zoom into the picture, it will look fuzzier. I bet it was easier and cheaper to do the since the camera is not moving and the effects crew wouldn't have to track the double image of Riker with real camera movement.

    Here's a video example of other times this technique was used with a bit of extra tinkering to show the entire shot in widescreen!

    TNG in Widescreen
     
  2. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Zoom isn't the right term. The vertical resolution is unchanged. The image is being stretched horizontally to undo the anamorphic squeeze. When cropping to 4x3, there is less horizontal resolution only. Film grain then gets stretched and appears bigger and splotchier, which contributes to the drop in picture quality.

    The film is scanned at 2K, right? It would have been nice if CBS-D scanned these anamorphic shots in 4K, so they could squeeze every bit of detail from the film. That might have reduced the drop in picture quality.
     
  3. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    Although it looks quite glaring now it was an ingenious solution to the problem they had (tracking a double image of Riker). I've been quite interested to learn about some of the techniques used at the time so I can live with the drop in image quality - without it I would never have learned some TV history.
     
  4. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    But that's exactly the way the compositors describe what happens when you're dealing with 4x3 vs 16x9. Take the discussion on why TNG can't be shown in widescreen,

    Eric Bruno: You would have to really significantly change the composition of the shots. Why don't you just push into it (Zoom in)? Well, if you push into it, whatever information you have going on at the top and bottom is gone. So you actually have less information than what you had in the original. And also on top of that, you're going to be softening the image.

    And that's what we get with these shots, they pushed into the image which resulted in the shots coming out soft.

    My guess is that they shot these scenes anamorphic while the regular shots that dominate the show were not shot anamorphic. I may not have that right, but there has to be a reason why these shots look soft when every other shot does not.
     
  5. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    The show should have been shot with a spherical lens. Only these effects shots would have been shot using an anamorphic lens.

    What Eric Bruno is describing is slightly different, but the right idea. Cropping to 16x9 means removing vertical resolution, but you have to zoom the image to fill a 16x9 frame. With pan-and-scan, you're getting the same 4x3 image vertically, but losing horizontal resolution as you can only see a portion at a time.

    This is what the anamorphic shots would have looked like:
    [​IMG]

    It's a 4x3 shot much like any other, but has to be stretched in order to remove the distortion. More information in the same amount of space.

    If you watch Sins of the Father, you might notice it looks noticeably different from the rest of the season. It looks much softer to me. I don't know if that's a result of the slight cropping/zooming or because it was done at the beginning of the process before they had fine-tuned their skill.
     

Share This Page