HD experts, help an idiot!

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Eddie Roth, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The same mentality that puts steak sauce on a perfectly cooked steak.

    "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." -- Henry Mencken
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Well, I watch TNG on my TV all of the time (on DVD) on "stretch" without any porpotion issues, since my TV stretches the sides more than the center so the main part of the image (the center) isn't distorted.

    It's never been a problem with me. But I, kind of, see your point. But I don't think we should go around ruining, cropping, or changing things for the mouth-breathing drooling masses.
     
  3. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ And I watch 4:3 television window boxed. I even have a pre-set that will switch my 4:3 DVDs over to window boxing.

    I wish I didn't have this attitude that TNG-R would be cropped to 16:9. I guess I'm just too cynical to think it won't happen.
     
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    So as I said in my last post, rather than crop to 16:9 why not "smartly stretch" it into 16:9?

    I've had several people watch my TV and not notice the distortion issues. (It's only obvious when a character is standing on the side of the screen, then one side of their body is noticably fatter than the other or when the camera pans across something, lines and objects react as you'd expect over the transition.)

    But, to me, doing that is preferable to losing information or artificialy cropping the picture.
     
  5. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, it may be preferable. But why having the trouble in the first place? A 4:3 program should, IMHO, be watched in 4:3.

    But don't try to convince me. It seems to be just MY strange sense for aesthetics ...
     
  6. Outpost4

    Outpost4 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't like a "smart stretch" picture. While my widescreen TV is too old to do that, I see it all the time on TNT-HD. When I do, I turn to a different station.

    What you like, I don't like. What I like, you don't like. It's a quandry.

    But in a very real way, Trekker, you prove my point. People, including you, like to watch television with the picture filling up the whole screen whether it was meant to be that way or not. The idea that TNG-R wouldn't be widescreen one way or another, I think that is just not realistic.


    I share your ethic completely. I just know Mr. Typical doesn't.
     
  7. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's worse than cropping. The only thing worse than seeing short and fat people waddling across a 16:9 frame is fat people on the edges, getting steadily thinner as they reach the centre. Sensitive cropping would be preferable, together with the additional picture information in the film which was lost when it was scanned to video with wetgate or whatever.
     
  8. AviTrek

    AviTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How about leaving it as is and letting the viewer decide what method they prefer with their own TV/DVD?
     
  9. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    Are we sure that the original film stock is 4:3? These were posted a while ago (thanks StewMc) but here is an original shot from Menage a Troi:

    [​IMG]

    Then how the same clip appeared in widescreen for "These Are the Voyages":

    [​IMG]

    It appears that there is at least some information in the picture beyond what made it to the videotape.

    Maybe it was filmed in 16:9 then cropped to 4:3 for the video? (Yes, I'm being optimistic)
     
  10. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, I didn't notice that! Could it be that all Enterprise-D scenes in TATV were newly filmed on replicated sets? But if this isn't the case then it would indeed be interesting to watch an episode in 16:9 as it was filmed. (But I still wouldn't give my money in order to see them -- it'd just be interesting ...) Isn't here anyone who can answer the question whether TNG was filmed in 16:9 and then cropped off?
     
  11. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [image]http://i14.tinypic.com/4uj402p.jpg[/image]

    As I have no better way to spent my time: I analyzed the two above posted pics. There really is some picture information (marked red) cropped off on the "Ménage A Troi" one.

    [Please, fellow geeks, be so kind as to post my picture. Thanks.]
     
  12. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    Here you go:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The real problem with cropping is when you have an action scene, the scene induces nausea because of the fact that not only the camera and the actors are in motion, so so is the whole frame in an effort to fill up the picture properly.

    It turns any high-budget film into Vomitville.
     
  14. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you! I've done antoher one: Here you can see (IF someone will post it) what was also cropped off for TATV! It is marked green.

    [image]http://i17.tinypic.com/4uc8v2f.jpg[/image]
     
  15. Noname Given

    Noname Given Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's quite possible TNG was filed in 16:9 and then cropped, but the problem is, when they do that, th cameraman has a 'box' in his viewfinder showwhat will be seen in 4:3; so, if they are filming and in 16:9 they see plywood, a lighting rig, etc; they don't worry about it - so while it may have been filed with a 16:9 panavision camera/lens system; it was shot with only 4:3 in mind.

    And I'm like those above in that I just bought two HD sets for my new house (a 73" Mitsubishi DLP and 5.1 sound system for the living room; and a 42" LCD wall mounted for the bedroom); and I will still always do 'pillar box' mode for shows and TV movies originally shot in 4:3 ratio (and I was a guy who prefered letterbox on standard TVs for wide aspect ratio films too).

    Stretching is annoying whether it's done 'smartly' or not; and I find the real pisser about the TNT HD channel is sometimes the films ARE shown in 'true' 16:9 ratio (which still actually crops any Academy format widescreen films, but just crops in much less than a 4:3 pan&scan job); and at other times, they just smartstretch the 4:3 pan and scan version. I guess it depends on whether there has been a native HD tranfer of a film availble or not that they have available to them.
     
  16. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You know, IIRC, this shot was part of a larger frame, so I don't think it's shot in 16x9 or anything like that. They simply cropped it.
     
  17. benny

    benny Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hallelujah. Wholeheartedly agreed.

    I never can force myself to watch a widescreen movie cropped to fullscreen on AMC. The pans look unnatural, people look plain weird and objects disappear off the screen for no good reason. No thanks.
     
  18. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    AFAIK, they don't film anything in 16:9, unless the new HD video cameras do. Film cameras always do Academy ratio (4:3). The cinematographer's and director's monitors show the intended ratio boundaries so they can correctly frame the shot, then crop it later.

    So, TNG was filmed in 4:3, but was cropped down on all sides during editing. The TATV shot above was cropped on top and bottom, but the sides (originally cropped in TNG) we retained.

    Please let me know if I'm wrong about this (I often am).

    Doug
     
  19. Captain Kirk

    Captain Kirk Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    You are correct that 35mm film cameras shoot with 4:3 aspect ratio (the picture is the same shape as the frame of film).

    A cheap way to get widescreen is to shoot with a framing much wider than you intend for the audience to see with instuctions that the film should be matted at the top and bottom during projection to achieve a 16:9 ratio. Some eary transfers of film to VHS did not take this into account. I used to have an old VHS of a Woody Allen movie from the 70's where you could constantly see boom mics at the top of the frame and cables on the floor at the bottom. Mr. Allen is a great director and of course knew these items were in the shot, they were just never supposed to be seen. This was a case of the technician that was transfering the image to tape "projecting" it incorrectly.

    The more common and more expensive technique used to get wide images on a square piece of film is to use anamorphic (panavision) lenses. The lens squeezed a wider image onto the square film frame. Then, when it is projected onto a screen, a special lens on the projector stretches the image back out to make it look normal (and wider than a 35mm film frame).

    Most HD video cameras have wide (16:9) chips (the video equivalent of film) and can record the image in native 16:9, without the need of anamorphic lenses.
     
  20. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    They could always re-crop as best suits the 16:9 and then use digital processing to remove any boom mics or other unintentionals that happen to be in the frame.

    Yes, that makes it an even more mammoth project. But as technologies advance this kind of thing will only become easier and easier to do.

    I understand the arguments about re-cropping screwing up the framing. Certainly I wouldn't want them to recrop to a smaller version of the original 4:3 shots. But, if they used the wider pre-cropped stock, and kept the original 4:3 intended shot at center frame while adding additional information around the edges, I think that could work really well.