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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just curious. Anyone recall if the short-lived HD format encoded 2.35:1 films by throwing away the resolution that we currently lose on blu-ray, or was it an anamorphic encoding scheme? I have some D-theater films collecting dust in a drawer somewhere.
 

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I never got to see D-VHS but AFAIK it was 1080/60i and and Scope was letterboxed. Not quite the level the 1080/24P we get now on BD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24514346


I'm just curious. Anyone recall if the short-lived HD format encoded 2.35:1 films by throwing away the resolution that we currently lose on blu-ray, or was it an anamorphic encoding scheme? I have some D-theater films collecting dust in a drawer somewhere.

D-VHS had the same vertical resolution as 2.35:1 Blu-ray. If you think about it, it has to be that way, for a couple of reasons:
  • Hollywood has never had a consumer media production stream that supported HD anamorphic (which is part of the hurdle we are overcoming with the Panamorph / Folded Space MFE enhanced vertical resolution process). Even 2K Digital Cinema and Digital Intermediates used in post production are limited to approximately 858 vertical lines for Scope films.
  • Even if D-VHS had anamorphic capability, you would have been left with essentially zero ways of taking advantage of it. What kind of display could have decoded an anamorphic image, and how would it have displayed it? The only possible display that an anamorphic D-VHS cassette would have worked with would have been a 1080P projector equipped with an anamorphic lens. At that point in history there would have been extremely few of them, and exactly zero with the ability to decode an anamorphic image.


We have developed a way to encode the extra resolution "behind" the black letterbox bars for HD and UHD media using our MFE technique and the studios are evaluating it right now. One of the major issues that still remains is #1 above - Hollywood does not have a production flow that supports an anamorphic end result. Of course, we are working on helping them change that. What that means is we need film scans that actually have the extra vertical resolution contained within them. Fortunately, movies like STAR WARS, JAWS, STAR TREK (2009), etc and thousands of others that were shot anamorphically exist as anamorphic archive masters, so it is just a matter of going back to the archives and remastering to anamorphic in the Blu-ray / HD media production workflow. Films that were scanned or shot in 4K also have plenty of resolution to support anamorphic Blu-ray. However, films like the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy only exist in finished form as D-Cinema 2K Digital Intermediates - at a resolution of 2048 x 858. Even if the studio were inclined to go back and remaster the films for 4K, the FX were all rendered out and incorporated at 2048 x 858. Of course, that problem can be solved by going back and re-rendering the FX for 4K, and then we have plenty of extra resolution for anamorphic Blu. It's an expensive proposition, though, so whether or not the studios undertake it depends on how much they think they can make with an anamorphic (or 4K) re-release of the trilogy. (I'm just using LOTR as an example - the same challenge applies to all films that had their FX rendered out to 2K Digital Intermediate formats).


Hope this makes sense. I'm working on an article about all of this for Widescreen Review that should be out in a month or two
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks John - excellent answer! And I certainly hope your project succeeds.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24515807


Fortunately, movies like STAR WARS, JAWS, STAR TREK (2009), etc and thousands of others that were shot anamorphically exist as anamorphic archive masters, so it is just a matter of going back to the archives and remastering to anamorphic in the Blu-ray / HD media production workflow.

Although Star Trek (2009) was shot anamorphically, it had a 2k DI, and I'm sure all of the CGI was rendered at 2k. I doubt there's an anamorphic archive master available for that one.
 

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Originally Posted by Josh Z  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24522759


Although Star Trek (2009) was shot anamorphically, it had a 2k DI, and I'm sure all of the CGI was rendered at 2k. I doubt there's an anamorphic archive master available for that one.

Are you sure Star Trek was not performed on a 4K DI? Either way, the film elements themselves should have scanned and archived anamorphically (even if post was not performed in this manner).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24523398


Are you sure Star Trek was not performed on a 4K DI?

The IMDb technical specs say 2k:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796366/technical


Although IMDb is not necessarily 100% reliable, this seems very plausible given Paramount's reputation for penny-pinching.
Quote:
Either way, the film elements themselves should have scanned and archived anamorphically (even if post was not performed in this manner).

If the DI was 2k and the CGI was all rendered at 2k, this would fall into the same category as the Lord of the Rings example you gave. The movie is effectively letterboxed in its finished form. If you're writing an article on this subject, I'd probably drop the reference to Star Trek, or change it to refer to the older movies made before the DI era.
 

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Totally agree that it is fundamentally the same as the Lord of the Rings situation. FWIW is was just trying to think of a recent movie that was shot anamorphically and Star Trek came to mind. I had thought post was performed in 4K but of course could be totally wrong about that.
 

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If it helps, Quentin Tarantio still likes to shoot anamorphically, and Django Unchained had a 4k DI.
 

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Originally Posted by Seegs108  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24525181


Christopher Nolan still shoots anamorphically too. Though his most recent movies have been shot many different ways (IMAX, Super 70) but most is true anamorphic.

The alternating aspect ratios in his Batman movies would probably confuse the issue for John's purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Schuermann  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24515807


D-VHS had the same vertical resolution as 2.35:1 Blu-ray. If you think about it, it has to be that way, for a couple of reasons...
  • Hollywood has never had a consumer media production stream that supported HD anamorphic (which is part of the hurdle we are overcoming with the Panamorph / Folded Space MFE enhanced vertical resolution process). Even 2K Digital Cinema and Digital Intermediates used in post production are limited to approximately 858 vertical lines for Scope films.
  • Even if D-VHS had anamorphic capability, you would have been left with essentially zero ways of taking advantage of it. What kind of display could have decoded an anamorphic image, and how would it have displayed it? The only possible display that an anamorphic D-VHS cassette would have worked with would have been a 1080P projector equipped with an anamorphic lens. At that point in history there would have been extremely few of them, and exactly zero with the ability to decode an anamorphic image.

John - I was rummaging through a drawer a few minutes ago and came across my D-Theater tapes. Two of them in fact do say "2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen" - those titles are Gosford Park and U-571. My other three titles say "HDTV 1080i 16:9"


You're positive these tapes aren't encoded with more vertical lines than blu-ray? Everything you said made sense. I'm just noticing what the back of my tape cases say.
 

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Originally Posted by chrisreeves  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24628749


John - I was rummaging through a drawer a few minutes ago and came across my D-Theater tapes. Two of them in fact do say "2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen" - those titles are Gosford Park and U-571. My other three titles say "HDTV 1080i 16:9"


You're positive these tapes aren't encoded with more vertical lines than blu-ray? Everything you said made sense. I'm just noticing what the back of my tape cases say.

The specs on the packaging are written by the studio's marketing department. They were almost certainly just copied from the DVD edition by someone who didn't actually understand what "anamorphic" meant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
rats.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24525181


Christopher Nolan still shoots anamorphically too. Though his most recent movies have been shot many different ways (IMAX, Super 70) but most is true anamorphic.

And JJ is shooting SW7 (with the same DP) on film ... and anamorphic, no doubt. I know it sounds like heresy from me, but I'm not sure that was the way to go. I would have guessed that powers that be would have pushed for digital, maybe the F65 using anamorphic lenses. JJ must have prevailed. Let's hope that he restrains his obsession with anamorphic lens flares for this one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24525181


Christopher Nolan still shoots anamorphically too. Though his most recent movies have been shot many different ways (IMAX, Super 70) but most is true anamorphic.

And as a DP, he's darn good with it! Gorgeous work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves  /t/1523706/remember-the-early-forma...ded-with-more-lines-than-bluray#post_24628749


John - I was rummaging through a drawer a few minutes ago and came across my D-Theater tapes. Two of them in fact do say "2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen" - those titles are Gosford Park and U-571. My other three titles say "HDTV 1080i 16:9"


You're positive these tapes aren't encoded with more vertical lines than blu-ray? Everything you said made sense. I'm just noticing what the back of my tape cases say.

Yup. positive. HD resolution is fixed at 1920 x 1080 in a 16:9 shape. If you try and use all of those pixels for a 2.40:1 movie, you would end up with an anamorphically stretched image and everything too tall and skinny. There isn't a display on the market that would know what to do with that (other than a projector with an anamorphic lens). If the display just passed the anamorphic image unchanged, I can just image the complaints JVC would have gotten!


As I mentioned before, we are trying to get studios to do exactly what you are suggesting. But again, there needs to be an application. At this exact moment, the only application for 1920 x 1080 anamorphic 2.40:1 is either a) a projector equipped with an anamorphic lens, or b) a 21:9 native display. Part of the strategy we are working on with the studios and display manufacturers is to incorporate the extra 33% resolution anamorphic provides for 4K displays. Right now a 4K display will just upscale a 2.40:1 film on Blu-ray from 1920 x 810. With our MFE process being able to store an anamorphic version of the film on the same Blu-ray, a 4K display can then upscale from 1920 x 1080 instead of 1920 x 810. The image will still be letterboxed, but will a full 33% additional resolution for 2.40:1 films on the 4K display. If you think about it, it's much the same as going from 720P to 1080P.
 
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