Could this be it? Folded Space Enhanced Resolution - Page 6 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 165 Old 12-22-2014, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post
If you read the quote right above it, you'll see I was talking about projectors and not TV sets. I agree that the consumer display market isn't going to happen since the vast majority of content is 16:9 and the majority of the consumers just don't understand the benefit. The projector market is the only one with consumers that at least see the value even if they may not decide to go that way.

Folded Space getting extra resolution in the 16:9 frame is good thing and I hope it happens. However I still think that if CIH is going to gain popularity the projector space needs to really embrace it with 21:9 panels. Marrying CIH to expensive lenses or mid range units (and up) with lens memory isn't going to do it. Both those setups have extra hassles that must be dealt with in addition to the cost. If the panel is natively 21:9 setup is just like a 16:9 unit. The internal scalar takes care of the aspect ratio based on the source material (and can distort it to fill the screen if the user insists). Get this into the low end and midrange market and you may see a large shift. I can speak from experience that it doesn't take much to get people in this hobby interested in CIH. The barriers to making it attainable just need to go away.
I realize you were talking about projectors. Sorry I didn't make the connection more clear in my post.

I would argue that the projector manufacturers look at the (almost non-existent) 21:9 flat panel sales and take those numbers into account when determining whether or not to create a 21:9 chip. When Projection Design unveiled their initial 2560 x 1080 projectors at CEDIA a couple of years ago, I discussed the new model (and its price) with one of their engineers. The issue of creating a 21:9 native projector was quite a bit more challenging than you might imagine. They had to engineer a new, masked chip design, design and create new optics, design and create a new light engine, etc. TI was not interested at all in making a 21:9 chip, so what PD did was mask down an existing data grade 2560 x 1440 chip.

You probably already know this, but 16:9 was created as an "equal pain" format - 4:3 and Scope would share similar compromises within the 16:9 shape. Going native 21:9 means it gets the preferential treatment and 4:3 gets the shaft While all of us here might be totally ok with such a scenario, obviously others felt differently.

It's interesting that Digital Cinema has very similar restrictions. Even with filmmaker and studio input, Scope films have the lowest resolution in the theater (for 2K, you are looking at 2048 x 858 for Scope vs. 1998 x 1080 for 1.85:1). You would think that Digital Cinema would have gone with a native Scope imaging chip, but no. It's roughly 17:9.

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post #152 of 165 Old 12-23-2014, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
Sorry I've been away for a while - in pre-production on a film so have been distracted. Lots to get caught up on here and some stuff to clarify, so this will probably turn into a long post. FYI, some of my comments are cut and pasted from another post I did on a similar subject.

Much of what is discussed here has to do with resolution in terms of pixel counts and potential resolutions, but there are numerous hard facts of the movie-making and post-production processes we keep coming up against. As I've posted here before, one of the things we are discovering is that 35mm film really does not support much in the way of visible picture detail at scans much above 2K, especially if the original was shot Super 35mm (4K scans are likely overkill). Scope films shot anamorphically, on the other hand, do have a bit more visible (and therefore usable) resolution. I've sat in on comparisons between film sourced 4K scans and 2K down-rezzed versions, and the visual difference is almost zero. Unless the film in question was shot with a native 4K / 5K camera or sourced from 70mm, there seems to be little visible benefit to going to resolutions much higher than 1080P.

I also quite often hear from people who (quite understandably) would like to see their favorite blockbusters released in 4K. However, we now come up against another limitation in terms of how movies are typically assembled in post-production. In the case of almost every FX heavy movie over the last 10 years right up until today, the FX have been rendered at 2K. So even if you went back and re-scanned the film at 4K, you would have to totally recreate every CGI effect and composite from scratch at 4K resolution - something that would be incredibly expensive and time consuming. As others have pointed out in other threads, even those films that possess very little in obvious FX work are edited and graded at 2K resolution levels. As R Harkness pointed out in another thread, "...even the average romantic comedy can have numerous CGI fix-ups, composites for lighting alteration, adding or subtracting buildings, changing parts of locations, etc. It will perhaps be the rare movie which *doesn't* have any 2K rendered FX elements incorporated." The downside here is that any movie that was finished in 2K will need to be totally re-assembled in 4K with all new FX renders. All this means time and money.
What I'm really hoping for is to just get the Movies re-released on "4K" Blu-ray at 2K but with the higher bit depths and wider gamuts that will be available. Those are really my two biggest issues with Blu-ray today, banding and that I don't get the same gamut as I see at the theater. Heck I don't even really care if they upconvert them to 4K or sell 4K scans (with "2K" VFX), though I know the media/forums will cry out at that being a scam.

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Here's where it gets even more complicated. At 4K / 5K resolutions we are literally getting to the limits of what not only the human eye can perceive on a display at reasonable seating distances, you are also getting to the limits of what can be resolved on the source medium. For example, if you move the camera (especially at 24 frames per second, the motion picture standard), motion blur becomes such an issue that fine detail gets destroyed. If your shot is even slightly out of focus, fine detail gets destroyed. If you aren't using camera lenses that resolve 4K / 5K resolution, those fine details won't even be captured. If you are shooting a landscape on a hazy day, if the camera shakes, if your shutter speed is too long, if the photosensors in the camera don't actually resolve 4K, the list of things that can destroy fine detail levels goes on and on.
This is why I'm a lot more excited about 4K displays than I am 4K content (outside of the bit depth/gamut/HDR/etc that are supposedly coming with "4K).

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So, how does all of this impact next generation video and Blu-ray formats? So far, what has been ok'd and approved by the BDA still forces us into a situation where Scope content is letterboxed. AFAIK, there have been no provisions set aside for native 21:9 / 5K video. We have demonstrated to the powers that be that there is a clear visual benefit to Folded Space technology in going from the 810P of letterboxed material to 1080P anamorphic. As things progress toward true 4K, that benefit in terms of content sourced from film elements becomes a bit less impressive.
I kind of wondered if this would not be the case. With 4K you're already about at the limits of the source material without going "anamorphic", I kind of figured Folded Space would be a hard sell for 4K.

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Our position is that image capture technology is certainly going to improve to the point where acquisition and display of extreme detail levels is going to become more and more practical. Technologies that support this are better quality camera lenses, improved digital image sensors, and higher frame rates. With all of this technology currently being developed and actually in the pipeline, why constrain Scope images between two black letterbox bars? Why not utilize this space to store extra resolution for the displays that can actually take advantage of it? The beauty of Folded Space is that it is simple to implement, does not require dual inventory, and creates a letterbox version as part of the process.

And here is where we start getting resistance, because it requires a post-production pipeline that supports 5K and anamorphic processing. Movies would need to be captured and post-produced at 5K (5120 x 2160) resolutions in order to take advantage of a process like Folded Space. With all the post suites currently sitting at 2K (2048 x 1080) and only gradually upgrading to 4K (4096 x 2160), an additional change to workflow is required - to 5K (5120 x 2160). Now, let's think about how that impacts other aspects (no pun intended) of film post-production work. This means:
  • Digital composites need to be rendered at 5K
  • Post-production color correction and editing processes need to be rendered at 5K resolution
  • All digital FX have to be rendered at 5K resolution (even a recent CGI heavy film like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY had its FX rendered at 2K, as the cost and time involved to render FX at 5K massively increases the cost).
So, the long and short of it is that 5K post-production is not really feasible or cost-effective at this time. However, eventually it will be. This is why we still feel Folded Space is a forward thinking proposition that has its place with next generation video.

I offer all of this here to give a complete picture (again, no pun intended) of the challenges of getting something like Folded Space accepted within both the movie studio and consumer electronics worlds. These are the kinds of objections that get throw out there, and ones we have to address.

At this point we are still working with various players to bring Folded Space to fruition. The challenge remains getting all the different players on the same page in terms of seeing the benefits. Some do - and are actively encouraging us - while others do not. The challenge as we move forward is to persuade the majority to see things our way
I do wish Folded Space all the best and I'd love to see something like that supported on next-gen Blu-ray (again, hopefully the industry will be open minded and not limit it's use to just 4K sources, but give us higher quality 2K sources), but I'm not sure I really see the benefit. Or, more accurately, I understand the uphill battle to sell it. Discussions like these always bring me back to this article with some good info from Dr. Soniera:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/19840...a_display.html

We can see about 100 pixels per degree. At SMPTE reference 3 picture heights, that's just a bit over 18 degrees, meaning we can see about 1800 lines of resolution. Now this is significantly more than 1080p and especially 810p, which jives with the findings you're reporting where Folded Space (1080p) shows a visible improvement over letterbox (810p) and where 4K (2160p) shows an improvement over HD (1080p). But letterbox 4K will still be over 1600 lines which is very close to the limit of what we can see. You have to be at more like 2 picture heights, where we can see about 2600 lines that there should be much visible difference between 1600 and 2160 lines. Granted technically 3 picture heights is already across that threshold but that's probably roughly the line.

Point is, as you say "anamorphic"/native scope mastering will require new/additional mastering steps/costs, and with the minscule market that will actually be able to appreciate the difference (those sitting less than three picture heights), I just see it being a hard sell.

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Originally Posted by GetGray View Post
They tried, it flopped.
That will tend to happen when you charge more for an inferior product. Those 2.35:1 machines cost more than better 16:9 machines with ISCO class anamorphic lenses.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #153 of 165 Old 12-23-2014, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by John Schuermann View Post
I realize you were talking about projectors. Sorry I didn't make the connection more clear in my post.

I would argue that the projector manufacturers look at the (almost non-existent) 21:9 flat panel sales and take those numbers into account when determining whether or not to create a 21:9 chip. When Projection Design unveiled their initial 2560 x 1080 projectors at CEDIA a couple of years ago, I discussed the new model (and its price) with one of their engineers. The issue of creating a 21:9 native projector was quite a bit more challenging than you might imagine. They had to engineer a new, masked chip design, design and create new optics, design and create a new light engine, etc. TI was not interested at all in making a 21:9 chip, so what PD did was mask down an existing data grade 2560 x 1440 chip.

You probably already know this, but 16:9 was created as an "equal pain" format - 4:3 and Scope would share similar compromises within the 16:9 shape. Going native 21:9 means it gets the preferential treatment and 4:3 gets the shaft While all of us here might be totally ok with such a scenario, obviously others felt differently.

It's interesting that Digital Cinema has very similar restrictions. Even with filmmaker and studio input, Scope films have the lowest resolution in the theater (for 2K, you are looking at 2048 x 858 for Scope vs. 1998 x 1080 for 1.85:1). You would think that Digital Cinema would have gone with a native Scope imaging chip, but no. It's roughly 17:9.

They could look at flat panel sales and equate that with theoretical projector sales, but that would be a big mistake in my opinion. Even those folks that buy the high end sets are not going to be nearly as cognizant of aspect ratios and CIH as most projector buyers. Most just see a bigger TV and that's that.

You would have some hurdles to get a 21:9 DLP DMD off the ground, but once production starts the additional cost per chip would not amount to much. I imagine the example you're giving didn't have the volume to really justify the investment from TI. If you had a large number of vendors asking for this in volume, things would probably change (they usually do when the money is there). The LCD side has been making panels of various AR's for some time. So that should be less difficult to get going. Economics of scale would make the chassis and lens changes affordable as well. I can't imagine anything about a 21:9 setup that would be significantly harder to engineer.

I realize 21:9 panel adoption is not something that is likely to happen. But I think it is the only feasible way to see widespread adoption of CIH. Unless projector manufacturers find a way to seamlessly integrate the optics into the projector itself and have it auto switch depending on content detected. And it would have to be done with a reasonable cost to the consumer. But even then I don't see it dealing with the few multi-aspect ratio films the way a native panel would.

Even if it remains niche most of is in this forum will continue to enjoy it. I can't see going back to 16:9. I just hope ideas like Folded Space can get traction even with just a small percentage of us actually enjoying it.

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post #154 of 165 Old 12-24-2014, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post
You would have some hurdles to get a 21:9 DLP DMD off the ground, but once production starts the additional cost per chip would not amount to much. I imagine the example you're giving didn't have the volume to really justify the investment from TI. If you had a large number of vendors asking for this in volume, things would probably change (they usually do when the money is there). The LCD side has been making panels of various AR's for some time. So that should be less difficult to get going. Economics of scale would make the chassis and lens changes affordable as well. I can't imagine anything about a 21:9 setup that would be significantly harder to engineer.
The problem is HT projectors, in total, just aren't really a volume item as far as TI is concerned, if they were they likely wouldn't have stopped developing HT DMDs. On the flip side they sell so many flat panels that even a niche in LCD sales is likely larger than all the HT imaging device sales.

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post #155 of 165 Old 01-10-2015, 10:43 AM
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No mention of Folded Space or Anamorphic in the UHD Bluray spec:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Spec at CES 2015

John, care to comment? The spec isn't finalized yet, so hopefully it's not out of the question. Crossing my fingers..
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post #156 of 165 Old 01-10-2015, 12:11 PM
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Unfortunately, I'd be quite surprised if it's in there.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #157 of 165 Old 01-11-2015, 06:07 AM
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First thing that came to my mind also was this thread....hoping John chimes in with good news
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post #158 of 165 Old 01-11-2015, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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UHD will be for nothing if they stay with 16:9 as the primary format. It would be like HD staying with 4 x 3.

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post #159 of 165 Old 02-26-2015, 12:29 PM
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I'm definitely curious what titles will use Folded Space. I'd pick it up in a heart beat, if the movie was decent and especially if it's a UHD Bluray.
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post #160 of 165 Old 02-28-2015, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CAVX View Post
UHD will be for nothing if they stay with 16:9 as the primary format. It would be like HD staying with 4 x 3.
I really appreciate John's efforts. Unfortunately, I think were going to be disappointed. I think 16x9, w/o anamorphic video, sticks, as its been adopted and entrenched in the residential market now. Even filmmakers are good with it so IMO its a losing battle. Maybe if a Criterion-type company got involved it would be different. This is a labor of love. With the big Corps its all about the bottom line and there's no bottom line here. As always, we will continue with being a niche within a niche but I'm fine with that. When UHD Bluray hits I'll buy in and continue on.
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post #161 of 165 Old 02-28-2015, 11:09 AM
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I really appreciate John's efforts. Unfortunately, I think were going to be disappointed. I think 16x9, w/o anamorphic video, sticks, as its been adopted and entrenched in the residential market now. Even filmmakers are good with it so IMO its a losing battle. Maybe if a Criterion-type company got involved it would be different. This is a labor of love. With the big Corps its all about the bottom line and there's no bottom line here. As always, we will continue with being a niche within a niche but I'm fine with that. When UHD Bluray hits I'll buy in and continue on.
Yeah, at this point, I'm not holding my breath for many anamorphic BDs ever being made.

Anamorphic really needed to be in the UHD spec itself, I think, for it to take off. Like by using the 21:9 flag, just encode the film with that and set the flag to true, and have the player downscale it vertically during playback. None of this backwards compatibility folding needed. I wonder if they can't even just do that, anyway. The big question is the 21:9 flag, is it mandatory for players to support it.
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post #162 of 165 Old 02-28-2015, 01:02 PM
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The problem is, as you increase resolution, anamorphic encoding (packing as much detail as possible into whatever frame shape you decide) gets less and less important. With DVD, anamorphic was critical, it was the difference between 360 lines and 480 lines. 360 lines is pitiful and only acceptable for tiny screens, anamorphic encoding made DVD at least passable for larger screens.

With Blu-ray, anamorphic encoding would have been nice, a potentially noticeable improvement but only on the largest screens/closest seating distances..

With UHD, I think anamorphic encoding, from a practical standpoint, is all but irrelevant. With normal theatrical seating distances (2-4 picture heights) even non-anamorphic UHD, with it's 1620 lines of resolution is at the threshold of no added visible benefit. And of course it's further complicated by the issue/question of just how many films out or coming out even have more than "2K" worth of detail in them to begin with, let alone more than the 1600 lines on non-anamorphic UHD.

I wish they'd have put anamorphic encoding in Blu-ray, and I wish it were in Ultra HD Blu-ray, but I'm much less disappointed/worried with UHD BD than I was for BD.

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post #163 of 165 Old Today, 11:19 AM
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33% extra resolution isn't anything to sneeze at, it's still a fixed percentage sharper. Vertical resolution matters to the human eye more than horizontal, but I see your point.

The greatest benefit to lens users at UHD is then mere brightness. I think projectors with a masking system to go from 16:9 to 2.37:1, will be a better system for Scope movies than a lens. And I'm a big fan of lenses, I just think there's too much 16:9 content out there to forego it entirely. So, a motorized masking system, with a trigger based letterbox detection, with no scaling, would be ideal. But masking the DMD is closer to what a VC lens achieves, so it's not CIH but CIW. At that point, then you'd use "reverse zooming" for 16:9 content, to make the 16:9 height fit into a scope screen's height when the masking comes off.
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post #164 of 165 Old Today, 11:58 AM
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33% extra resolution isn't anything to sneeze at, it's still a fixed percentage sharper. Vertical resolution matters to the human eye more than horizontal, but I see your point.
Bit's not a fixed percentage perceptually sharper, NHK did a study on resolution vs reality and there is a definite curve/knee in the graph, the difference is much larger at lower resolutions than at higher ones. Just like everything else, increasing resolution has diminishing returns.

FWIW, I think Folded Space is a great idea, and I'd love to see it on Blu-ray, unfortunately I think (pragmatically) that they missed the boat as it were. They didn't get it in (don't think it even existed) at the beginning of Blu-ray where it could have made a difference, and now we're on the brink of having Ultra HD Blu-ray which even without anamorphic encoding will bring 50% more resolution than even Anmorphic Folded Space would. And at UHD resolutions, I think the additional resolution would be all but meaningless, perceptually.

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Looks like I'm not ditching my ISCO.
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