Choice of aspect ratio for games *spawn

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Malo, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. tuna

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    If the objective is to display motions more clearly 60 fps is definitely better than lower frame rates. I do not really understand what "a believable experience" is in the context of games.
     
  2. zed

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    well most photo artists are 4:3 & 3:2 are the norm not widescreen

    same here, about 1/3->1/2 the films I watch are 4:3 I watch them on a widescreen device. I dont mind the black bars
     
  3. Shifty Geezer

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    It's the 'rules' of composition and the photographers art. Objectivity doesn't really come into it. It's how the media is presented, and the framing of the shot contributes a great deal to the interpretation.

    Also, we shouldn't focus on movies too much. In a game such as a FPS shooter, there's nothing to be gained from seeing one's feet or lots of sky. All the points of interest that the player is needs awareness of lie within a limited vertical field, depending on the game. As I say, if the game has lots of verticality, verticality in the aspect ratio makes sense, but we're stuck with screens designed primarily for artistic video content.

    Debatable. I don't know anyone who hates it enough to avoid 4:3 content.

    Although true, the legacy there didn't have cause to change, and the subject matter is so diverse that a single aspect isn't good anyway. In truth, many photos are of the aspect 2:3 rather than 3:2. For a portrait, 9:16 is in a lot of cases likely too long. But for content that wants a wide field, a wide aspect, and even a super wide aspect, will be used. Panoramic shots don't care one jot for the sky above the photography or the grass at his feet! The content is all along the horizon. In games and movies where the meaningful content is perhaps at a ratio of 16:9 along the horizontal versus the vertical (I'd argue more), a screen aspect of the same makes plenty of sense.
     
  4. function

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    What about the criminals who stretch 4:3 to 16:9?
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

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    That's the curse of modern TVs. People who set it wrong confuse me as surely they can see it's wrong, but those who prefer the distorted images must have a medical disorder. :yep2:
     
  6. Laa-Yosh

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    Artistically, there's a lot of difference between still photographs and movies, because it matters if you're showing a sequence of shots instead of a single image. Composition has to take into account the passage of time and the various actions, and there's of course also camera movement.

    A very simple example would be a conversation scene. With a cinematic aspect ratio of ~2.35:1 you have a lot of choices in framing: you can have a single actor's face in the middle, or on one side with empty space on the other side, or you can have two actors facing each other. Or you can show middle shots of the entire actor instead of just the face, or multiple actors with various staging and so on.
    Cutting between these setups can tell a story even without words, and usually this aspect registers with the viewers on an unconscious level, so it's an additional layer to the actual words spoken in the conversation. All of this would be near impossible with a 4:3 aspect, and this should be pretty evident when watching pan and scan versions of widescreen material.

    And this is just conversation - the possibilities with action scenes or just a more dynamic interaction between characters, with movement and such, can get even more out of the imagery.

    However, there is - IMHO - a notable difference when the movie makers are trying to include the viewer in the story. Possibly the best example is Gravity, where the long shots and the camera work are all aiming to make you feel like you're actually there - and this works considerably better with a 16:9 aspect ratio where your peripherial vision is also used. Anyone who's seen that movie in IMAX should agree ;)
    Which is also why video games should work better with 16:9 instead of more cinematic aspect ratios, the widescreen framing feels less involved. It's no wonder that games aiming for that are usually not using first person views.
     
  7. L. Scofield

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    Games with photorealistic graphic styles. At 30fps they look fine but at 60fps you can see all the seams and the illusion of reality breaks apart (clearly this doesn't apply to everybody). Things like animation anomalies, flat surfaces, 2D sprites, etc... Think of it as a generalized uncanny valley effect.


    If objectivity doesn't matter then the aspect ratio doesn't matter since everyone will simply interpret it differently.

    You said it, it depends on the game. And no, there's nothing artistic about the screen aspect ratio. It was simply a compromise between 4:3 and 2.35:1.

    My mom does this :lol:
     
  8. HTupolev

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    In my experience, a lot of people will, at least initially, complain when you correct the ratio.

    "Subjective" does not mean "random."

    Human opinions are subjective, and yet a lot of agreement can happen (especially within a demographic) because there are similarities between humans. Yes, there will be differences in interpretations, but you can still cater to an audience that you know will mostly interpret things close to a certain way.

    (Similarly, when a unified mass of people all share an opinion, that does not cause the opinion to become "objectively true.")
     
  9. L. Scofield

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    Yes, but it's not a single trend. Just like a lot of people love 16:9 framing, others would prefer 4:3. Those "rules of composition" Shifty refers to are guidelines, not absolutes.
     
  10. Laa-Yosh

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  11. L. Scofield

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  12. Laa-Yosh

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    Adding top and bottom sections to those images would ruin the carefully constructed balance. And let's not forget, these images have to work in sequence, following each other, creating a rhythm and flow through editing, and we still haven't gotten to camera moves.

    4:3 is always going to be inferior for visual storytelling. Sorry, there's no way you can convince me otherwise.
     
  13. Shortbread

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    Agreed.

    4:3 is only good for reminding me that there is also an HD channel version available… :razz:
     
  14. L. Scofield

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    So what you're saying is that all films made before the 50's are visually inferior to later offerings.

    Any evidence other than a context-less image?

    I guess my real life 4:3 vision is actually an impairment to enjoy life lol.
     
  15. Shortbread

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    A good story is a good story no matter what (regardless of aspect ratio). However, 16:9 can convey a more realistic approach… a more convincing scene… more depth… a larger focus… than 4:3 in my opinion. And during the 50’s there was a push towards 16:9 (i.e. Cinerama movies) because directors and cinematographers felt their movies needed to be expressed in a fashion that TV could not convey during that time.
     
    #35 Shortbread, Oct 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  16. orangpelupa

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    The Last of Us concept art (ellie)

    4:3
    [​IMG]

    16:9
    [​IMG]

    composition (taller vs wider view)
    [​IMG]
     
  17. L. Scofield

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    16:9 isn't more realistic since the human vision aspect ratio is 4:3. The push wasn't made for artistic reasons, it was the executives who wanted a gimmick to get people to go to movie theaters instead of watching TV at home.
     
  18. joker454

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    Is it documented how 4:3 came to be in the first place way back in the day? As in was it selected because it matched human vision or was it selected because that is what worked best for the film tech they had available at the time?
     
  19. Shortbread

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    Oh please… not this crap again! :roll:

    This has been discussed to death on many AV forums… human vision (perception) isn’t just 4:3. It’s really dependent of the persons perception of depth, distance, and awareness of such objects within it... which can go beyond 4:3 framing. Color, luminance, vision clarity/focus and the brain cognitive functions (health) can also affect visual perception.

    Anyhow, IMHO, gaming FOV is better at 16:9 and 16:10 aspect ratios. As for movies, nothing beats 16:9 in my book…
     
    #39 Shortbread, Oct 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
  20. Laa-Yosh

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    There's an entire gallery of images with helper lines on top of them to show you how shots in Blade Runner are composed. If that's not enough to make you understand then it's hopeless.

    You don't see in artistic compositions. I can't even begin to understand how this has anything to do with a widescreen format's appeal for visual storytelling.
     
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