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1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:58 am UTC
by Argure
Image

Title text: I'm always disappointed when 'Anamorphic Widescreen' doesn't refer to a widescreen Animorphs movie.

So, what happens to the cars of people that upscale an SD movie to 1080p and then call it HD?

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:59 am UTC
by rhomboidal
Owch. I don't think even the most sophisticated motion-smoothing is going to help with that car.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:05 am UTC
by Sheikh al-Majaneen
An Animorphs movie would be terrible. Like how the TV show turned out, except for two straight hours.

The books were fantastic though.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:06 am UTC
by Steve the Pocket
I have the same problem with people who watch SD broadcasts on widescreen televisions stretched out to the edges. How does it not bother them? There should literally not be the option on the remote. Pillarbox that shit or spring for the HD cable package, buddy! This goes double for the morons in charge of the TVs at places like Applebee's because then everyone else has to put up with it too.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:07 am UTC
by Linux0s
Argure wrote:So, what happens to the cars of people that upscale an SD movie to 1080p and then call it HD?


You arbitrarily send them a bill for a $5k paint job.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:16 am UTC
by superglucose
Fuck yeah animorphs!

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:16 am UTC
by Quicksilver
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:An Animorphs movie would be terrible. Like how the TV show turned out, except for two straight hours.

The books were fantastic though.
But Brooke Nevin <3

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:18 am UTC
by tagno25
Steve the Pocket wrote:I have the same problem with people who watch SD broadcasts on widescreen televisions stretched out to the edges. How does it not bother them? There should literally not be the option on the remote. Pillarbox that shit or spring for the HD cable package, buddy! This goes double for the morons in charge of the TVs at places like Applebee's because then everyone else has to put up with it too.

What is even worse it when there is a 16:9 show (or commercial) that has been windowboxed (16:9 to 4:3 to 16:9) and has been degraded to SD playing on a HD channel.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:26 am UTC
by phlip
What's worse is when different elements in the same clip are mismatched, aspect-wise. I remember an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was definitely 4:3... if you watched it at 16:9 everything was badly stretched. However there was one exterior scene where the moon was clearly squished, taller than it was wide... such that if you stretched it to 16:9 it would appear circular. The VFX department had clearly taken the full-frame footage and composited it together with an anamorphic-widescreen sky backdrop, and ended up with a result that didn't look right at either aspect ratio.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:02 am UTC
by Bernkastel
Carspect ratio: how much you respect your car.

Fortunately, I don't remember seeing or being annoyed at improper letterboxing and aspect ratios.

Then again, it would be at least slightly funny to see this happen to their car.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:20 am UTC
by Steve the Pocket
phlip wrote:What's worse is when different elements in the same clip are mismatched, aspect-wise. I remember an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was definitely 4:3... if you watched it at 16:9 everything was badly stretched. However there was one exterior scene where the moon was clearly squished, taller than it was wide... such that if you stretched it to 16:9 it would appear circular. The VFX department had clearly taken the full-frame footage and composited it together with an anamorphic-widescreen sky backdrop, and ended up with a result that didn't look right at either aspect ratio.

Ooh, ick.

We were at a restaurant today, actually, that had a widescreen display mounted sideways showing a slideshow of various dishes on offer, and I swear not one of them had been properly cropped for that shape screen; they had all been stretched out heightwise. Some of them I swear at a ratio of two to one. And it was clearly done manually, because there was perfectly normal text on top of them.

There are some things I wish I were capable of being less picky about — font choices, bad kerning, the subtle mismatch between the text smoothing in some versions of Firefox and ClearType — but ... I don't want to be the kind of person who's so defective that they can't tell something's wrong with a photo of pie being stretched to twice its height.

On another note, how about the inability of computer monitors to recognize non-widescreen resolutions as such and automatically display them pillarboxed instead of stretched out? Seriously, there isn't even a workaround for that, because the picture comes out of the computer raw unless you're running the program (usually a game) in some sort of emulator or virtual machine.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:24 am UTC
by LordBritish
Sorry to be nitpicking, but I think letterboxing and pillarboxing got mixed up in the comic.

AFAIK letterboxing means adding black bars above and below the picture (so it resembles a letterbox slit). So a letterboxed 16:9 video would mean the video was originally shot in a wider aspect ratio such as Panavision's 2.35:1.

I think what Randall refers to is an original 4:3 video pillar-boxed (padded with black bars on the side) to have 16:9 ratio, which is later rescaled to 4:3 ratio - awful as I must admit.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:51 am UTC
by edenist
Steve the Pocket wrote:On another note, how about the inability of computer monitors to recognize non-widescreen resolutions as such and automatically display them pillarboxed instead of stretched out? Seriously, there isn't even a workaround for that, because the picture comes out of the computer raw unless you're running the program (usually a game) in some sort of emulator or virtual machine.


My monitors do this..... they are BenQ 22" widescreen monitors from around 2008/9 timeframe. By default, it will stretch out any aspect ratio to fill the screen, but in the menu there is an option to maintain aspect ratio and pillarbox the display when a 4:3 is used.
Likewise, I believe AMD Catalyst drivers can do this in software [well, my 2007 dell laptop can do this in the driver settings anway].


LordBritish wrote:I think what Randall refers to is an original 4:3 video pillar-boxed (padded with black bars on the side) to have 16:9 ratio, which is later rescaled to 4:3 ratio - awful as I must admit.


I read it as a 16:9 video which is letterboxed to give a 4:3 video. Then this video is converted back to 16:9 by pillarboxing.
This is the same as what you are suggesting, but your source video is 4:3, whereas mine is 16:9. Either way, you are left with what you really want to watch being a tiny video surrounded by lots of wasted black space!
The reason I lean with my view is because you see this a LOT with embedded video online. So many pillarboxed 16:9 videos I just scream at wanting to fill my screen!

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:22 am UTC
by BAReFOOt
I find people watching 4:3 videos stretched to 16:9 much worse. Or anything stretched to anything that is not the same aspect ratio.

It’s like wearing a sign that says “I’m a moron.”. Similar to having a clock blinking at 00:00, still having the protective foil from the factory on their electronic devices, and still having those black plastic bits on the axes of their bicycles. Or those who still have everything on default… including things that nobody ever is supposed to have on default, like ringtones, chair positions, etc.

In other words: I can’t stand zombies… the passive drones that ask you if you want fries with that or go through a fixed list of support hotline questions, because they can’t think outside their fixed-function programming. Those that you can replace with a very small shell script. I despise them.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:36 am UTC
by Wooloomooloo
BAReFOOt wrote:In other words: I can’t stand zombies… the passive drones that ask you if you want fries with that or go through a fixed list of support hotline questions, because they can’t think outside their fixed-function programming. Those that you can replace with a very small shell script. I despise them.

You're welcome to hate anything you want (and I myself find those moronic fixed support lists an insult to the whole concept of "support"), but be aware that fixed-list-based support is the industry standard in the 21st century - the only way support is supposed to be done as per the job description right now, and it's not particularly the fault of the poor bugger sitting between the list and the headset...

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:54 am UTC
by BAReFOOt
Wooloomooloo wrote:be aware that fixed-list-based support is the industry standard in the 21st century


For the sake of sanity and friendliness, I’m going to assume you are aware that that is not a valid argument, and that that is the point you were making. :)

Wooloomooloo wrote:the only way support is supposed to be done as per the job description right now, and it's not particularly the fault of the poor bugger sitting between the list and the headset...


I’d rather be without a job. I have my pride. I’d literally prostitute myself, and take it up the ass, before ever doing any of that. (Not that I would actually do that either.)
To me, it is equal to being dead… except that it’s worse, since you get to watch the whole thing, without the right to scream.

So yeah, I blame them too. It always takes two. One who forces others, and one who lets others force him. And, hey, look, the latter is the epitome of being such a spineless drone again. ^^

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:58 am UTC
by teelo
I was an animorphs fan back in the day. That brings back memories!
Pity Remnants didn't do so well. Those books were awesome too.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:59 am UTC
by CharlieP
Steve the Pocket wrote:I have the same problem with people who watch SD broadcasts on widescreen televisions stretched out to the edges. How does it not bother them? There should literally not be the option on the remote. Pillarbox that shit or spring for the HD cable package, buddy! This goes double for the morons in charge of the TVs at places like Applebee's because then everyone else has to put up with it too.


I was in a sports bar in Nottingham several years ago, where every single screen in the building was 16:9, showing the central 4:3 of the source material, stretched to fit. The manager literally didn't have a clue what I meant when I pointed this out.

Mind you, at least back then the sides were "protected", with scores, clocks etc. in the central 4:3, but now that 4:3 televisions are so rare, broadcasters have mostly shifted these to the sides of the 16:9 frame. I stayed in an apartment in Mayfair the other weekend which had Sky Sports 1 available - however, the delivery chain must have been pretty complicated as the end result was a snowy analogue picture with only half of one team's score visible. :shock:

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:12 am UTC
by CharlieP
BAReFOOt wrote:I find people watching 4:3 videos stretched to 16:9 much worse. Or anything stretched to anything that is not the same aspect ratio.


When I lived in a shared house, we upgraded to a 16:9 set in 1999. 16:9 content was still the minority back then, and while I preferred to watch everything in the correct ratio (i.e. 4:3 pillarboxed), one housemate was adamant that everything had to touch all four sides of the screen ("because we're paying for all that screen!")

Everything seemed fine when I moved into my own house, but, apart from the occasional material stretched by broadcasters before transmission, when I upgraded to Sky+HD (HD digital satellite) and connected it to my HDTV with HDMI, the TV's aspect controls are now disabled, and there doesn't seem to be an option on the STB to watch 1080i as 1080i, 720p as 720p but "old" 576i 4:3 in 4:3. Apparently this isn't something they think that customers want. :(

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:13 am UTC
by chrisperry
Wow, I am not the only person who ever heard about animorphs! Well, maybe the only one in Europe?

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:16 am UTC
by J L
LordBritish wrote:Sorry to be nitpicking, but I think letterboxing and pillarboxing got mixed up in the comic.

AFAIK letterboxing means adding black bars above and below the picture (so it resembles a letterbox slit). So a letterboxed 16:9 video would mean the video was originally shot in a wider aspect ratio such as Panavision's 2.35:1.

I think what Randall refers to is an original 4:3 video pillar-boxed (padded with black bars on the side) to have 16:9 ratio, which is later rescaled to 4:3 ratio - awful as I must admit.


Thanks for pointing this out. Indeed, I find pillarboxing to be much more distracting than letterboxing. The only thing even worse, as has been said before, is stretching or cutting it, Cinderella-like, until it fits, without any pillars at all.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:31 am UTC
by noregsson
BAReFOOt wrote:It’s like wearing a sign that says “I’m a moron.”. Similar to having a clock blinking at 00:00, still having the protective foil from the factory on their electronic devices . . .


Protective foil stays on until it falls off naturally!

(OK, so I only do it to annoy people. Tho, you wouldn't think such a small thing was so important to so many people. CoughITTcough)

chrisperry wrote:Wow, I am not the only person who ever heard about animorphs! Well, maybe the only one in Europe?


Nonsense! We dug Animorphs in our secluded snow covered valley in Norway! Everyone in school read those books. It was more popular than pogs and pokemon for a while.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:46 am UTC
by Arancaytar
If you repeat the letterboxing/rescaling process often enough, it also becomes an extremely efficient compression.

(Black screens compress like nothing else.)

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:08 am UTC
by CharlieP
On the subject of pillarboxing...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt9zSfinwFA

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:13 am UTC
by rmsgrey
Arancaytar wrote:If you repeat the letterboxing/rescaling process often enough, it also becomes an extremely efficient compression.

(Black screens compress like nothing else.)

Lossy as anything though.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:13 am UTC
by rickane58
I have no problem with stretching 4:3 content to 16:9, but I HATE HATE HATE that scaling that has lower scaling in the middle and extreme scaling on the sides. It makes everyone looke like they're flying off the screen when they walk out of frame, and makes people severely misshapen (you thought everyone looking fat was bad? How about fat on one side, skinny on the other?) Almost every in-flight TV show I've seen has been like this, as well as most hotels in california (don't know why mostly california, just seems that way)

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:40 pm UTC
by thevicente
Some movies still show wrong in every combination of settings in my tv and dvd player.

I gave up.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:52 pm UTC
by imantodes
phlip wrote:What's worse is when different elements in the same clip are mismatched, aspect-wise. I remember an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer which was definitely 4:3... if you watched it at 16:9 everything was badly stretched. However there was one exterior scene where the moon was clearly squished, taller than it was wide... such that if you stretched it to 16:9 it would appear circular. The VFX department had clearly taken the full-frame footage and composited it together with an anamorphic-widescreen sky backdrop, and ended up with a result that didn't look right at either aspect ratio.


If the moon was out of focus, you could just be seeing anamorphic bokeh.

Probably it was just someone not thinking in the effects, but the old anamorphic lenses can produce a similar result. Confused the hell out of me the first couple times I saw it. In scenes with relatively shallow depth of field, the foreground looks normal but the some objects in the background are obviously squished. This tends to be most noticable with lightbulbs and other bright objects; it's pretty obvious in a few scenes of both Blade Runner & Apocalypse Now.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:04 pm UTC
by kasmeneo
Why is it so hard to scale an incoming video image to fit a display while preserving aspect ratio?

Also, I hate how that 16:9 ratio infiltrates computer displays. Nowadays you can't get a laptop with a good 4:3 display.

And also for TV I prefer the good old-fashioned 4:3. I don't have or want home cinema.

Random curious fact: 30 years ago German TV did an experimental broadcast in "3:4" (you were supposed to turn the TV 90° or tilt your head):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_8CRbDfo7c (the original show was 30 minutes long, IIRC)
And yes, I watched it back then and thought it was a nice idea.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:10 pm UTC
by phlip
imantodes wrote:If the moon was out of focus, you could just be seeing anamorphic bokeh.

I don't think it was noticably out of focus... the blur was certainly significantly smaller than the moon itself. I'm trying to remember what episode it was in so I can get a screenshot, but it's hard, and Google doesn't have much useful results for "the Buffy episode where they go outside that one time".

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:23 pm UTC
by Showsni
Sheikh al-Majaneen wrote:An Animorphs movie would be terrible. Like how the TV show turned out, except for two straight hours.

The books were fantastic though.


I'm sure an Animorphs movie could work... Maybe? Or perhaps a cartoon series? At least that way they could protray the effects as they're described in the books.

Actually, I see that a movie based on Stephanie Meyer's The Host is coming out. That basically is an Animorphs movie, I guess (based on the book, anyway... haven't seen the movie myself).

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:30 pm UTC
by jasc15
Here is a more elaborate rant on this topic that I was immediately reminded of when reading this comic. It's a blog by a photographer, and he offers explanations as to why this ridiculous artifact is so prevalent.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:03 pm UTC
by popman
I recall downloading a copy of a film encoded by some guy in India (he made a pretty good NFO) and the aspect ratio changed from 2:1 during most scenes and 16:10 during action scenes.
That said, I have to deal with missing space all the time due to my 16:10 display.

what really gets me though, is when people upload a film and mark it based on horizontal resolution e.g. a 720p release which is actually 1920x600. efficient, but I'd like to know beforehand.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:26 pm UTC
by Liggliluff
There was an 4:3 video on the TV,
it had colorful edges to fit a 16:9 image,
but it was saved in a 4:3 format with black bars top/bottom,
and it was shown on a 16:9 channel with black bars on the sides too,
so it did end up as a tiny square in the middle... on my 16:9 screen.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:34 pm UTC
by Klear
I don't see why are you all so worked up about this. The crushed car looks awesome!

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:10 pm UTC
by Hiferator
kasmeneo wrote:Random curious fact: 30 years ago German TV did an experimental broadcast in "3:4" (you were supposed to turn the TV 90° or tilt your head):
LINK (the original show was 30 minutes long, IIRC)
And yes, I watched it back then and thought it was a nice idea.

I'm quite sure that was an April fools hoax.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:13 pm UTC
by Manabu
So, no discussion about people who encode 720 × 480 NSTC (or 720 × 576 PAL) DVD and leave out the aspect ratio correction? And then all the work to convince the person that the resolution of the encoded stream is not the resolution you are supposed to see?

Anamorphic content may be clever, but it is a headache...

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:42 pm UTC
by Don Calvus
BAReFOOt wrote:
Wooloomooloo wrote:the only way support is supposed to be done as per the job description right now, and it's not particularly the fault of the poor bugger sitting between the list and the headset...


I’d rather be without a job. I have my pride. I’d literally prostitute myself, and take it up the ass, before ever doing any of that.


Sure, no doubt, man, you would. Yeah. You sure fucking would. Let us watch when it happens, though, ok?

I'm pretty sure you're not just a bigmouth, but you would indeed take it up the ass.

So yeah, I blame them too. It always takes two. One who forces others, and one who lets others force him.


Yeah, this is called a fucked-up work market and/or a bad economic crisis. Be thankful for what you've got. It might not last forever.

You know, we're all just humans. And I sometimes forget to remove the protective cover off my devices. Guess it makes me a spineless zombie jerk.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:15 pm UTC
by Whizbang
The support script is the only workable solution to the problem of people thinking they know what they are doing, without spending gobs and gobs of time and money to train support techs, and even more time and money training users. Even the best tech will fall into the trap of the "smart" user who has "tried everything", only to find out that "everything" didn't include checking the plug or turning on/off some minor and obvious setting.

It sucks. It is excruciating for everyone involved, but it works and avoids spending heaps of time on more complex fixes when the solution is something simple. So, unfortunately both techs and users need to run through the script.

Sometimes it just takes having someone stand over your shoulder, making you take it one step at a time.

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:32 pm UTC
by webdude
My son loved Animorphs. He also read Everworld and Remnants.
* Animorphs TV series: Screwed up by the network, which kept bouncing the show to different days and different time slots. Many shows need a full season or more to jell. To do that, they need to air for one or more seasons before the cast and crew hit their stride. Many decent shows never get a chance, thanks to short-attention span programing monkeys. And what programming moron decided viewers would just love to guess what day and time the show would be aired each week?'s
* Everworld: I liked this series; surprised it hasn't been made into a movie. On the other hand, how many mashup movies have been financially successful?
* Remnants: Ended early; guess Applegate needed a break.

If you ever want to visit the zoo mentioned in Animorphs, go to Santa Barbara, California. There were plenty of clues to tell you the series was based in the Ventura/SB area.