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Jeffrey Dean, Pixar

  • Aspect Ratio is very important to home video.
  • What is aspect ratio – the ratio from the height to the width
  • 2.35:1
    • The image is 2.35 times wide as it is high
    • Pixar uses this for half of our movies
    • This is called a widescreen image
  • When modified to fit your television screen
    • They cut this to fit the box of your screen
  • When a comparison is made huge chunks of picture is missing
    • It is harder to find what is going on when these pieces are missing
  • The whole is greater than the pieces themselves. If you are missing pieces – you are missing the movie
  • The soul and the mood is in the film shots.
  • Cutting it to fit a screen, you are losing 30% of the movie
  • Why different aspect ratios?
    • Film before the 1950s
      • 1.33:1 Academy Standard
      • There were all aspects of images though. There was no standard.
      • Thomas Edison developed projecting images onto a wall/screen
        • He didn’t patent it as he saw no value in it.
      • Then 1.37:1 came about to add a strip of sound
      • This is the same size as a 35mm film
    • Around 1952 – TV comes along
      • NTSC Television followed the Academy Standard (4x3)
      • Once TV came out, movie theater attendance plummets
      • So Film brought forth color to combat this.
        • Also early 3D
        • Also Widescreen was brought forth.
          • Cinema-Scope
      • Studios at the time made movies bigger and bigger
      • There was a Napoleon movie that was actually 4x1 … really wide.
      • 1.85:1 Academy Flat
      • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Scope (aka Panavision/Cinemascope)
        • Almost all movies are made in these two aspect ratios
        • Pixar has done half in one and half in the other
  • Why choose one over the other?
    • Artist choice
    • It is part of the story the director wants to tell
  • Can we preserve the story outside of the theaters?
    • TVs before 1998 – they were very square
    • Now TVs are very wide
    • Historical options
      • Toy Story released as it was and people cut it in a way that wasn’t liked by the studio
      • Pan and Scan is another option
        • Cut and then scan left or right depending on where the action is
    • Frame Height
      • Pixar can go back and animate more picture to account for the bottom/top bars.
        • You end up with more sky and more ground
        • The characters seem to get lost in the picture
        • You lose what the director original intended
    • Re-staging
      • For animated movies, you can move characters around – restage the scene.
      • It is a new completely different version of the film
      • This is the best possible option that Pixar came up with
      • They have stopped doing this really as the demand as pretty much dropped off
  • Why not 1.33 today?
    • There has been an evolution of taste and demands.
    • VHS is a linear item
      • The focus is about portability and not about quality
      • Most was pan and scan and the quality was so bad – but people didn’t notice
    • DVD was introduced in 1996
      • You could have more content – two versions of the film
      • You could have the widescreen version and the 1.33 version
      • People realized that they are seeing more of the movie with the widescreen
    • High Def Televisions (16x9 monitors)
      • This was introduced in 2005
    • Blu-ray Disc was introduced in 2006
      • This is all widescreen
    • You cannot find a square TV anymore
      • TVs are roughly 1.85:1 aspect ratio
    • There is a change in demand
      • Users are used to black bars and are used to widescreen
      • Users are educated now
  • What’s next for in-flight entertainment?
    • High Def IFE
    • Personal Electronic Devices
    • 3D inflight
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:30 AM | Back to top

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