Open Matte, Cinemascope, Cropping (Failsafe, Trial & Error) Rule Of Thumb? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 01-11-2020, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Open Matte, Cinemascope, Cropping (Failsafe, Trial & Error) Rule Of Thumb?

Yes, again, another question about this, to me - very interesting topic.

You can discuss PQ/AQ, bitrates, HDR, luminance, colours, calibration, screen gains, whatever, really!

For me, personally, it all comes down to the aspect ratio and the aspect ratio alone when deciding where to place my purchases for physical media.


Be it 1K or 4K, 8K, or 64K, aspect ratios is the king of presentation and it rules all odds of being able to present a feature correctly and as intended.

Some may argue that certain aspect ratios can be safely cropped, adjusted, zoomed, or by whichever means - a necessity to present the feature on your screen.


The latter is something I want to discuss in this thread, and you might very well think - why on earth would you ever want to alter with the directors intent?

The simple answer to that question would be - I want to watch the feature to the extent that my equipment and setup allows for, and add to that a personal touch of taste.


Basically, most of us in this part of the forum is talking about Constant Image Height, and 2.35:1, 2.37:1, 2.39:1 and 2.40:1 cinemascope screens and presentations.

For the sake of it, I will refer to having a 2.40:1 screen, based on the current cinemascope standard, and discuss around that aspect ratio below.



Right, to the point, I'm currently performing a clean up in my catalogue of films, ruling out all the narrower aspect ratios than 2.20:1, simply because they don't fit my entire screen.

I would rather have the screen competely filled, from left to right, to fill as much of the width of our human vision as possible, for the single purpose of creating more immursion.


More immersion to me is the better experience, of course debatable vs. having the directors intent completely intact and properly presented.

I would just want to add, that zooming down an image to fit a cinemascope screen, is not the directors intent, right - at least that is settled, further on...



I have seen a number of features having an open matte, 1.78:1 or 1.90:1 aspect ratio when the feature eventually hits television, or streaming services.

In cinema, these features was presented in cinemascope 2.35:1, 2.39:1 or 2.40:1.


See the below pictures for some examples.





Titanic (1997) Blu-Ray

In this particular case, my Swedish Blu-Ray is 1.78:1, while the US/UK Blu-Ray is 2.35:1.

Personally I have never seen Titanic in 2.35:1, Titanic to me has always been 1.78:1, my point here is that to me - seeing this 2.35:1 is just as chocking as when somebody crops a 1.78:1 movie at home.

By whichever means, masking in projector, scaling in a scaler, pretty much any function that can acommodate the purpose.

But instead, now the distributor and the feature studio decided to crop the picture, leaving the US/UK spectators with the inferior presentation, or is it really inferior?

What's right, what's wrong?

Both versions seem to have the exact same width, they have just added the letterboxing on the 2.35:1 version.








Avengers: Endgame (2019)

I have not seen the feature personally, but I imagine the same phenomenon is happening here, although this time the 1.78:1 presentation was made for iTunes.

Blu-Ray on your left side of the comparison.






The question that arises in my head are as follows:


1) Throwing away 1.78:1 features in my catalogue seems rather stupid when studios themselves decide to crop, much like just about any enthusiast on here would strongly advice against doing?

2) There might be a marginal difference in picture width between the comparisons, but the basic idea behind cropping a 1.78:1 feature down to 2.40:1 should be safe, or is it dependant on the feature itself?

3) Is there a list some group of enthusiasts have gathered and compiled for features safe to crop to 2.40:1 down from a narrower aspect ratio? By safe to crop, I don't mean the obvious IMAX titles.

4) Some features must surely of been filmed with the cropping in mind, maybe a proper 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 would not be suitable to crop due to the director using the full frame when filming?



I understand that IMAX titles can be safely cropped, but perhaps that there are many other titles that could be presented the very same way as the titles in the comparisons above.

Is it a trial and error method?


Cheers.

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post #2 of 26 Old 01-11-2020, 10:33 AM
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It depends on what the movie was composed for.

Titanic was shot on the Super 35 film format. It was composed for 2.40:1 and played in theaters at that ratio. The 1.78:1 version you've seen is an open-matte presentation that exposes extra picture not seen in theaters. Generally speaking, this is not desirable and the OAR version (2.40:1 in this case) is preferred.

However, as it happens, James Cameron has some flexible ideas about aspect ratios, and has changed his mind on the matter over the years. When he had Titanic converted to 3D a few years ago, he instructed that version be open-matte. He did something similar with Avatar, which was originally composed for 2.40:1 during production, but then he had a change of heart during editing and decided that he liked it better open-matte. Ultimately, that movie played in theaters in multiple versions, some 2.40:1, some opened to 1.85:1, and some with a mix of open-matte plus cropping to 1.44:1 for IMAX. Cameron instructed theaters to project whichever one would be largest on their screens.

Avengers: Endgame was shot with IMAX digital cameras. The intention in that case was for the movie to play at 2.40:1 in regular theaters and open-matte 1.90:1 in IMAX. It was composed to be safe for projection at both ratios.

In cases like these, you can basically project whichever version you prefer. Since you'll have a 2.40:1 screen, cropping these movies to that ratio should look fine. (Well, Avatar is actually better at 2.20:1 because the open-matte version adjusts the position of some on-screen graphics to move them outside the 2.40:1 safe zone.)

If a movie was composed for and played in theaters at 1.85:1, it should not be cropped to 2.40:1. You will almost certainly lose important picture in that case.
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post #3 of 26 Old 01-11-2020, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
It depends on what the movie was composed for.

Titanic was shot on the Super 35 film format. It was composed for 2.40:1 and played in theaters at that ratio. The 1.78:1 version you've seen is an open-matte presentation that exposes extra picture not seen in theaters. Generally speaking, this is not desirable and the OAR version (2.40:1 in this case) is preferred.

However, as it happens, James Cameron has some flexible ideas about aspect ratios, and has changed his mind on the matter over the years. When he had Titanic converted to 3D a few years ago, he instructed that version be open-matte. He did something similar with Avatar, which was originally composed for 2.40:1 during production, but then he had a change of heart during editing and decided that he liked it better open-matte. Ultimately, that movie played in theaters in multiple versions, some 2.40:1, some opened to 1.85:1, and some with a mix of open-matte plus cropping to 1.44:1 for IMAX. Cameron instructed theaters to project whichever one would be largest on their screens.

Avengers: Endgame was shot with IMAX digital cameras. The intention in that case was for the movie to play at 2.40:1 in regular theaters and open-matte 1.90:1 in IMAX. It was composed to be safe for projection at both ratios.

In cases like these, you can basically project whichever version you prefer. Since you'll have a 2.40:1 screen, cropping these movies to that ratio should look fine. (Well, Avatar is actually better at 2.20:1 because the open-matte version adjusts the position of some on-screen graphics to move them outside the 2.40:1 safe zone.)

If a movie was composed for and played in theaters at 1.85:1, it should not be cropped to 2.40:1. You will almost certainly lose important picture in that case.

Excellent as always Josh!

I will refer to the OAR (Original Aspect Ratio) when selecting my titles and deciding if cropping them is safe or not.
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post #4 of 26 Old 01-11-2020, 05:01 PM
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I also ponder these ideas from time to time and as a once avid commercial theater moviegoer for at least 50 years I enjoyed the social value of going to the cinema with friends and family and being able to select an immersion level that suited us all. One of the wonderful parts of that experience I thought was the immense size of the screen but later I found it was a combination of the size along with the ability for the immersion that came with the huge screen.

Recently in the dedicated theater design and construction forum Rob Hahn was honored by AVS with the Home Theater of the Decade Award. Quite an honor and well deserved as in most peoples opinion nothing comes close to what Rob has done. Rob is a retired A-list cinematographer and I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions on this topic.
Here is the thread honoring his theater. https://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-de...n-theater.html In post 58 I asked him if he had plans to make any screen size or AR changes based around more movies coming out in the IMAX format for home. He built his theater around a 2.0:1 screen and 3-row seating and a very immersive front row. He answered my question first in post 60. Keith Yates the designer of his theater then jumped in and supplied more information in post 65 even giving some information on Robin Williams home screening room. I replied to Keith in post 68. Rob then replied to what I wrote Keith in post 72. This explanation by a professional in the field of cinematography is the most telling of why I follow the presentation method I do and if you can follow thru the thread by those posts it well sums up any advice I could offer you on the subject.

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post #5 of 26 Old 01-11-2020, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Vitus4K View Post

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

I have not seen the feature personally, but I imagine the same phenomenon is happening here, although this time the 1.78:1 presentation was made for iTunes.

Blu-Ray on your left side of the comparison.


The first Avengers movie was shot in 1.85 intentionally, because Joss Whedon wanted the Hulk to fill the frame, for no particular reason anyone else cared about.

This Endgame version on iTunes is limited in appeal mostly because iTunes does not have Disney content in 4K, in the US anyway.
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I "try" to stick to the AR that was shown in mainstream theaters (not IMAX). So if the movie was shown in scope then I watch it in scope even if the home release is in 1.78:1. Those are far and few and most of those are, like Josh Z said, intended to be "scope safe".

But there are a few that break this mold and totally screw things up...Avatar being one of them. It was shown scope in most theaters in the first run and, from most accounts, open in IMAX and 3D. The home release was obviously 1.78:1 and unfortunately, not "scope safe". I break my rule for this one and watch it in scope and live with the occasional funny framed shots. I think Dark Knight is also not "scope safe" but I also watch it in scope.

I also break my rule on some/most 2.00 & 2.20:1 movies (and TV shows) as they are pretty much "scope safe" by default.

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post #7 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 12:00 PM
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I "try" to stick to the AR that was shown in mainstream theaters (not IMAX). So if the movie was shown in scope then I watch it in scope even if the home release is in 1.78:1. Those are far and few and most of those are, like Josh Z said, intended to be "scope safe".

But there are a few that break this mold and totally screw things up...Avatar being one of them. It was shown scope in most theaters in the first run and, from most accounts, open in IMAX and 3D. The home release was obviously 1.78:1 and unfortunately, not "scope safe". I break my rule for this one and watch it in scope and live with the occasional funny framed shots. I think Dark Knight is also not "scope safe" but I also watch it in scope.

I also break my rule on some/most 2.00 & 2.20:1 movies (and TV shows) as they are pretty much "scope safe" by default.
I’m curious is all. Do you break your rule or follow the safe for 2.35 protocol because you like the movie framed that way or because you have a 2.35:1 theater / screen and given that you want the greatest immersion possible given your theater design.

The reason I ask is because I have watched all these movies both ways as in full scope width but extra IMAX height compared to full scope width and cropped height. Some for me are just about equally enjoyable both ways, but most if action filled movies are much more entertaining with the extra height and contact. You mentioned Avatar and that is my perfect example to show both ways as a comparison. Because of all the flying and height in the movie the vertical immersion IMO makes the movie. James Cameron evidently felt the same when he released that version for home and he did it well ahead of anything being labeled IMAX.

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post #8 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 12:00 PM
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But there are a few that break this mold and totally screw things up...Avatar being one of them. It was shown scope in most theaters in the first run and, from most accounts, open in IMAX and 3D.
There were open matte 2D prints as well. The movie had at least eight different variants sent to theaters: 2.35:1, 1.85:1, IMAX 15/70 1.44:1, and IMAX digital 1.90:1 - each in 2D and 3D versions. Cameron insisted that every base be covered.

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I think Dark Knight is also not "scope safe" but I also watch it in scope.
The Dark Knight is fine cropped to scope. The official 2.35:1 CIH version (available on DVD and streaming) has some framing differences because Nolan adjusted the 2.35:1 extract shot-to-shot in some scenes, but a straightforward masking of the Blu-ray looks perfectly fine on its own. You wouldn't notice that anything is "wrong."

Here are some images from a previous thread, some taken with a camera off the screen.

IMAX open matte:



Official CIH framing:



IMAX masked with a simple center-crop:



I'd actually argue that the center-crop looks better, because Nolan's reframing loses most of the effect of William Fichtner's character striding forward from the background.

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post #9 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 01:12 PM
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The Dark Knight is fine cropped to scope.
A crop is a crop is a crop. Even Nolan can’t crop something he intended to be a taller image and keep the full intent. There is no “safe” mode that’s 100% as good as the intended version that is taller. You call it IMAX open matte and that alludes (at least to me) IMAX is showing content the director didn’t intend to show something out of the frame that was captured as part of the filming process. What it really is just the IMAX version of the movie. If the director liked scope best he would make a scope movie and it could be shown in any IMAX theater as they do all the time. The fact they crop them to fit in scope theaters is just a cropped version of the true movie. Sure it’s safe and enjoyable but something has to be cropped and at the very least what is being cropped is vertical immersion.

I have friends that when a scope movie pops up on their TV they quickly hit the zoom button and fill the height and chop off the sides. When I mention they are chopping off part of the movie I’m told there is normally nothing to see on the sides anyway. Are some movies 1.77 safe and some not?

Just because people paid money and were shown the scope “safe” version IMO doesn’t make that version automatically equal to the taller version other people paid even more money to see. It just means do it if you want to.

I don’t know how anyone could be shown these 3 images and not want to see the top one.

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post #10 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 01:45 PM
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A crop is a crop is a crop. Even Nolan can’t crop something he intended to be a taller image and keep the full intent. There is no “safe” mode that’s 100% as good as the intended version that is taller. You call it IMAX open matte and that alludes (at least to me) IMAX is showing content the director didn’t intend to show something out of the frame that was captured as part of the filming process. What it really is just the IMAX version of the movie. If the director liked scope best he would make a scope movie and it could be shown in any IMAX theater as they do all the time. The fact they crop them to fit in scope theaters is just a cropped version of the true movie. Sure it’s safe and enjoyable but something has to be cropped and at the very least what is being cropped is vertical immersion.
This has been explained about a hundred thousand times in this forum, and I know you've read some of those posts. The movie was made by design to play in both 2.35:1 theaters (in the vast majority of cinemas) and IMAX open matte (in a small minority of cinemas). The camera viewfinder had etching for both framings during production. Both versions are legitimate.

Bud, why do you persist in pretending to give advice about Constant Image Height when you clearly do not have any interest at all in Constant Image Height? Post after post from you are about how you think Constant Image Height is foolish and how you think everybody should just project 16:9 onto a blank wall like you do. That is not what this forum is for. That is not what the o/p was asking.

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I don’t know how anyone could be shown these 3 images and not want to see the top one.
Yeah, those ceiling lights sure are super-critical to the storytelling in the scene. The movie doesn't work at all without them. That's why 99% of the original audience in 2008 couldn't follow the movie at all. "Where are all the ceiling lights?" they asked. "I just can't figure out what's going on in this scene without seeing the ceiling lights!"

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post #11 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 02:54 PM
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That is not what the o/p was asking.


I suggest you read the opening post again it is exactly what the OP was hoping to talk about. I didn’t start the thread the OP mentioned he had a scope screen and CIH presentation method and he was wondering about not shrinking lesser ARs to fit his screen because of the loss of immersion. He was even considering purging his film collection of anything narrower than 2.20:1 because they don’t fit his screen. There are one heck of a lot of great movies out there narrower than 2.20:1 I would hate for him to never get to see.

I suggested to him others feel this way to some degree and one that does is Rob Hahn and he solved that problem in his HT of the Decade.

I do understand the historic nature of CIH and respect it as a viable method of presentation for all the motion pictures made over that era.

As to the ceiling lights they are as important to the movie as the tread pattern on the Jokers shoes IMO. Both things don’t bring anything to the movie except immersion and that’s what they were there for to fill out the visual image in our mind. When the gun shot rings out it sounds different in a cavernous setting like the grand bank building with those high ceilings. In the cropped version I’m left thinking that sounds odd from a building with 10’ ceilings. Millions more saw the movie as scope because there are more venues sized to that after all they have been building them that way for 80 years.

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post #12 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 03:24 PM
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I suggest you read the opening post again it is exactly what the OP was hoping to talk about. I didn’t start the thread the OP mentioned he had a scope screen and CIH presentation method and he was wondering about not shrinking lesser ARs to fit his screen because of the loss of immersion. He was even considering purging his film collection of anything narrower than 2.20:1 because they don’t fit his screen. There are one heck of a lot of great movies out there narrower than 2.20:1 I would hate for him to never get to see.

I suggested to him others feel this way to some degree and one that does is Rob Hahn and he solved that problem in his HT of the Decade.
I don't want to argue with you, Bud. Frankly, you're not worth the effort. The o/p has made it very clear in this thread and others that he plans to install a 2.40:1 screen and is looking for advice on the best way to project content onto that screen. He does not want a 16:9 screen. He does not want a 2.0:1 screen. He does not want to project onto an open wall like you do.

He aspect a specific question pertaining to Constant Image Height projection, and you immediately suggested that he abandon Constant Image Height. As you always do.

Again, why do you post in the Constant Image Height forum only to tell everyone not to do Constant Image Height?

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post #13 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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IMAX masked with a simple center-crop:



I'd actually argue that the center-crop looks better, because Nolan's reframing loses most of the effect of William Fichtner's character striding forward from the background.

Josh, is this how the Ultra HD Blu-ray would look like when cropping?

It certainly looks better.
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post #14 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 03:46 PM
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I would just want to add, that zooming down an image to fit a cinemascope screen, is not the directors intent, right - at least that is settled, further on...


If you adhere to classic CIH standards yes The director intends 1.85:1 movies to be fit into the 2.35:1 screen fully with black bars on the right and left side. This is how it has been done in commercial theaters for the last 75 years. You may not have noticed it as the side curtains would have been slightly closed when you walked into the theater. You may or may not have selected the row you sat in based around the perceived immersion of what you saw as screen.

It was most assuredly the directors intent as he was well aware of the presentation method when making the film and supposedly adjusted his cinematography accordingly.

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If you adhere to classic CIH standards yes The director intends 1.85:1 movies to be fit into the 2.35:1 screen fully with black bars on the right and left side. This is how it has been done in commercial theaters for the last 75 years. You may not have noticed it as the side curtains would have been slightly closed when you walked into the theater. You may or may not have selected the row you sat in based around the perceived immersion of what you saw as screen.

It was most assuredly the directors intent as he was well aware of the presentation method when making the film and supposedly adjusted his cinematography accordingly.
I'm not experienced enough to say what's right and wrong, but to me a narrow presentation is surely best presented on a narrow screen.

Otherwise I don't see the directors thinking when he/she choses 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 when all screens supposedly have been 2.35:1 and 2.39/40:1.

Could you explain further?
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Bud. Frankly, you're not worth the effort.
It didn’t seem so clear to me that the OP had or intended to have a 2.40:1 screen. The way I read it is he is under the impression that a scope screen will give him the maximum immersion possible and he was now almost despising his lesser width movies and in total confusion about IMAX cuts having everything the same in width and more top and bottom. I know you wish IMAX1.89 was not a movie format, but it is and it is growing in popularity. Amazon just made one even that played for a week in IMAX theaters (The Aeronauts) and went straight to TV. Is it scope safe? Who knows I guess it is because it was an AR changer between scope and IMAX. But it has less impact cropped to 2.4:1 and I doubt anyone watching it on their 85” flat panel TV is cropping it that way. Sure I know you will say what’s the big loss more balloon and more ground it wont impact anyone watching the movie because the people are the same size in the frame. I guarantee if the OP watched it full IMAX and then letterboxed he would feel the impact.

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post #17 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 04:12 PM
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I’m curious is all. Do you break your rule or follow the safe for 2.35 protocol because you like the movie framed that way or because you have a 2.35:1 theater / screen and given that you want the greatest immersion possible given your theater design.

The reason I ask is because I have watched all these movies both ways as in full scope width but extra IMAX height compared to full scope width and cropped height. Some for me are just about equally enjoyable both ways, but most if action filled movies are much more entertaining with the extra height and contact. You mentioned Avatar and that is my perfect example to show both ways as a comparison. Because of all the flying and height in the movie the vertical immersion IMO makes the movie. James Cameron evidently felt the same when he released that version for home and he did it well ahead of anything being labeled IMAX.
When I break my rule it's due to my 150" scope screen and because I saw the movie in scope (if the home release is 1.78:1). On 2.20:1 movies/TV I really hate to see so much screen wasted if I just leave it at 16:9 so if it's "scope safe" I will move the a-lens in place.
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
There were open matte 2D prints as well. The movie had at least eight different variants sent to theaters: 2.35:1, 1.85:1, IMAX 15/70 1.44:1, and IMAX digital 1.90:1 - each in 2D and 3D versions. Cameron insisted that every base be covered.
I saw Avatar a total of 6-times in theaters (2 IMAX and the rest normal) and NOT once did I ever see a non-scope in a non-IMAX theater. Just my experience.



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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
The Dark Knight is fine cropped to scope. The official 2.35:1 CIH version (available on DVD and streaming) has some framing differences because Nolan adjusted the 2.35:1 extract shot-to-shot in some scenes, but a straightforward masking of the Blu-ray looks perfectly fine on its own. You wouldn't notice that anything is "wrong."

Here are some images from a previous thread, some taken with a camera off the screen.

IMAX open matte:



Official CIH framing:



IMAX masked with a simple center-crop:



I'd actually argue that the center-crop looks better, because Nolan's reframing loses most of the effect of William Fichtner's character striding forward from the background.
Now this one I am not 100% sure but I do remember a center crop when I saw it at the Cine Capri and the reason I remember that is the same reason you pointed out that the later home releases did have a different matte crop and it really stood out.

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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
A crop is a crop is a crop. Even Nolan can’t crop something he intended to be a taller image and keep the full intent. There is no “safe” mode that’s 100% as good as the intended version that is taller. You call it IMAX open matte and that alludes (at least to me) IMAX is showing content the director didn’t intend to show something out of the frame that was captured as part of the filming process. What it really is just the IMAX version of the movie. If the director liked scope best he would make a scope movie and it could be shown in any IMAX theater as they do all the time. The fact they crop them to fit in scope theaters is just a cropped version of the true movie. Sure it’s safe and enjoyable but something has to be cropped and at the very least what is being cropped is vertical immersion.
Non-IMAX theaters are almost 98% of all venues across the world (according to IMAX's own screen numbers) and every single one of those showed this in a "cropped" scope version. So how can you argue that it was his intent to show it to the rest of the world in open matte when it could have been really easy to just send everyone an open matte release that everyone of those theaters could have easily shown. Nope, he sent 98% of theaters a scope version.

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I don’t know how anyone could be shown these 3 images and not want to see the top one.
I would pick the scope version every single time. It doesn't matter which version (center crop or bottom cropped). If I saw the movie in one of 98% of non-IMAX theater in scope, I will watch it in scope at home. Period.

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Originally Posted by Vitus4K View Post
Josh, is this how the Ultra HD Blu-ray would look like when cropping?

It certainly looks better.
Yes, the BD/UHD will have a center crop. That's the way I watch them with my a-lens.
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 04:35 PM
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I'm not experienced enough to say what's right and wrong, but to me a narrow presentation is surely best presented on a narrow screen.

Otherwise I don't see the directors thinking when he/she choses 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 when all screens supposedly have been 2.35:1 and 2.39/40:1.

Could you explain further?
Don’t confuse AR with the size of the screen. Classic CIH (constant image height) presentation came about when the theaters wanted to give the consumers something new and different. Some movies lend themselves to wide vistas and once the format was a standard many movies were produced to fit the format. Other movies where they take place in a more close personal space have little need for the expansive screen area and sometimes the wide field of vision is actually a distraction. It is up to the director to select what AR best suits the movie he is making and one is not better than the other. Wide ARs we call scope the 2.35 ones and narrow ARs we call flat the 1.85 ones.

Then along came IMAX not the IMAX of the 1960s but the new IMAX we are hearing about today where there is one or two in each town and their AR is 1.89:1 That doesn’t mean they are at all close to 1.85:1 flat movies even though they are close in AR. These movies are actually wider than the Scope movies in terms of immersion and much taller. That’s what Avatar is someone mentioned earlier and why you feel you are getting cheated playing some movies fit into a scope screen.

I think it is great you are asking these questions and I have no stake or care how you set up your own personal home theater. There is no alternative presentation forums here on AVS and we sometimes talk about the alternative methods here and in other places. People passionate about presentation are here so it is IMO logical to talk about those ideas here. Some valued members here have screens sized that they call CIH+IMAX a few use a presentation they call CIA constant image area where all ARs are presented with the same area in the image. There are movies that change AR and movies that change between IMAX and scope and Josh Z even catalogs these movies here. He also catalogs TV shows that as he calls it have wider ARs and people then play them without black bars top and bottom giving them extra prestige over TV that they are.

Some people play strictly flat and scope movies in their theaters and others play everything and anything including video games that no one knows what or if there is even a cinematography process to them.

It is totally up to each person to decide what method works best for them and the starting point of that is doing just what you did and asking questions and for advice. It would be a boring world if we all had the same advice to offer you.

Bud

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post #20 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, the BD/UHD will have a center crop. That's the way I watch them with my a-lens.
Thank you, beds for a nice watch whenever I get my projection system up and running, The Dark Knigh trilogy is one of my favourites.

To clear up some of the confusion in the thread, in my original post I tried to express my concern of cropping, the effects and advantages, possible benefits - when and where it can be done without ruining the directors intent.

Josh Z perfectly answered and addressed all of my concerns in post #2 , the thread could easily of stopped at that point.

However, to further explain my approach to immersion, it's actually quite simple.

I believe that a narrow presentation should be presented on a narrow screen, a wider presentation on a wider screen, no mixed bag.

My installation space does not allow for a tall screen, that's why I go wide. By going wide I can fit a bigger screen, fill more of the wide scope of our vision, thus creating a bigger immersion based on the area I have to play with.

Maybe I didn't explain it all fully, but if I had the space, I would certainly install each of every screen, each of every ratio, but presenting either type of content on the other is far from ideal.

You wouldn't base 90% of your collection on wide presentations if having a narrow screen, would you?

I wouldn't.

Also, part of me starting this thread was to get advice on cropping in general, since I have a couple of narrower titles I would like to present in a respectable manner.

However, I put some movies through Avidemux and applied a crop filter, scrolled through the preview, and the perceived effects are like you move camera closer to the whatever you're framing due to the letterboxing/cropping/edges are creeping closer to the content.

You want to 'move the camera back' when you look at it, and it basically just confirms what's previously been discussed, nothing but titles with wide OAR's should be assumed safe to crop.

'Pure' narrow titles just rely too much on the whole frame, better stick to wide titles, really.

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post #21 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 05:02 PM
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I saw Avatar a total of 6-times in theaters (2 IMAX and the rest normal)


Non-IMAX theaters are almost 98% of all venues across the world (according to IMAX's own screen numbers) and every single one of those showed this in a "cropped" scope version. So how can you argue that it was his intent to show it to the rest of the world in open matte when it could have been really easy to just send everyone an open matte release that everyone of those theaters could have easily shown. Nope, he sent 98% of theaters a scope version.



I would pick the scope version every single time. It doesn't matter which version (center crop or bottom cropped). If I saw the movie in one of 98% of non-IMAX theater in scope, I will watch it in scope at home. Period.


For the same reason you play things scope safe is the reason the movie industry sends scope versions to scope theaters and IMAX versions to IMAX theaters. They want the most immersive experience any given theater can give the audience. You saw Avatar 6 times and 2 of them were in IMAX. Did you notice any difference with the two IMAX showings in term of impact caused by the extra vertical immersion? James Cameron did when he watched it both ways and that’s when he selected the taller AR for home release. There are several interviews out there where he talks about the flying and how much impact that extra immersion gives.

I’m sure when scope first came out there where far more Academy AR theaters around the quantity of venues has nothing to do with what the director prefers. I’m sure directors get pushed to make an IMAX version when they don’t see it also sometimes. We know some directors make the IMAX version as their premier product guys like Nolan talk about it all the time and encourage people if possible to see it in IMAX. Scope was partly gimmick when it came about and I’m sure IMAX is also to some extent. I can show you 100s of scope movies I could deem Flat safe also. Directors shoot in scope all the time to give a little prestige to projects that don’t deserve it. It is nice when watching a bad movie in scope to start watching the action off to the sides as it is sometimes better than whats in the middle.

Bud
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What you describe is a height limited room. Others often say their room is width limited.

In actuality no space is height or width limited as long as you take seating distance into account. If your room isn’t high enough just sit closer and you have more vertical vision available.

Bud
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-13-2020, 07:34 PM
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For the same reason you play things scope safe is the reason the movie industry sends scope versions to scope theaters and IMAX versions to IMAX theaters. They want the most immersive experience any given theater can give the audience. You saw Avatar 6 times and 2 of them were in IMAX. Did you notice any difference with the two IMAX showings in term of impact caused by the extra vertical immersion? James Cameron did when he watched it both ways and that’s when he selected the taller AR for home release. There are several interviews out there where he talks about the flying and how much impact that extra immersion gives.

I’m sure when scope first came out there where far more Academy AR theaters around the quantity of venues has nothing to do with what the director prefers. I’m sure directors get pushed to make an IMAX version when they don’t see it also sometimes. We know some directors make the IMAX version as their premier product guys like Nolan talk about it all the time and encourage people if possible to see it in IMAX. Scope was partly gimmick when it came about and I’m sure IMAX is also to some extent. I can show you 100s of scope movies I could deem Flat safe also. Directors shoot in scope all the time to give a little prestige to projects that don’t deserve it. It is nice when watching a bad movie in scope to start watching the action off to the sides as it is sometimes better than whats in the middle.
I was a huge fan of IMAX in the 90's while living in LA then Phoenix. Probably saw every single IMAX produced film they put out. IMAX was spectacular on their native film stock. Then they went to digital and the impact was gone. Huge screen but the added quality of their large film stock was GONE.

To answer your question... Avatar and the last two Harry Potter films were the last I ever saw on IMAX. The latter were seen in their home office screen in Las Vegas. Their flagship screen. The PQ was absolutely horrible. It was just a huge screen, nothing else. I spoke to one of their VPs and they flatly said that they had shifted their business model away from incredible PQ to just having the biggest screens possible with the biggest sound system. IMAX became an aspect ratio like TODD-AO with no benefit whatsoever other than a huge screen. Just like TODD-AO and Cinerarama, they all become a gimmick with no future. Calling a 4:3 screen in a regular theater IMAX is proof that they really don't care about anything but their name gimmick.

Sorry but when they stopped making films their format is just a big screen.

Final rant... IMAX is now financing movies so the directors are shilling for them. If they (directors) truly believed on the IMAX format they would mandate that all theaters show their movies in what you call a more immersive open format size. But truth be told, IMAX pays for the films...they can't make them money on smaller screens so the studios mandate that blockbusters films be released in scope to show them in wider screens. That has always been the draw of movies over home releases. Just like widescreen was over 4:3 back in the 50's.
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What you describe is a height limited room. Others often say their room is width limited.

In actuality no space is height or width limited as long as you take seating distance into account. If your room isn’️t high enough just sit closer and you have more vertical vision available.
I can't move closer, there are objects in the room that are static which cannot be moved, these objects doesn't allow my seating to sit closer.


A scope screen in also easier to make big without making such a dramatic impact on the wall, I'm doing this in a living room, all in all I chose to go wide because going tall was simply a much worse option in my environment, hence my original question.

Add to that, the absolute best films to me are scope, a very few select titles that are dear to me are 1.85:1, if I had to choose one over the other I would pick scope any day of the week.

It's also a standard, which probably beds for more possible future releases than non-scope. I leave TV-content and 16:9 to televisions and flat panels.
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post #25 of 26 Old 01-14-2020, 09:24 AM
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Is it a trial and error method?

Sorry to rock the boat here. If your seating is fixed and you have a room only suited to a scope screen by all means you are on the right track.

Show your scope movies in full splendor and crop any IMAX movies down to the scope safe size to fit your screen.

If you can’t handle watching you flat content CIH with black bars to the sides then you will have to forego watching them or use your trial and error method of seeing if you personally think they will be scope safe.

Bud
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Sorry to rock the boat here. If your seating is fixed and you have a room only suited to a scope screen by all means you are on the right track.

Show your scope movies in full splendor and crop any IMAX movies down to the scope safe size to fit your screen.

If you can’t handle watching you flat content CIH with black bars to the sides then you will have to forego watching them or use your trial and error method of seeing if you personally think they will be scope safe.

Thumbs up!
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