Choice of aspect ratio for games *spawn

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

  1. HMBR

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    I tend to think 3:2 or 16:10 would be ideal overall for PC usage, and it should be good for gaming.
     
  2. Shifty Geezer

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    They had fewer options, and modern camera work wouldn't fit 4:3, and would also lose some if its intended impact if adjusted as such.

    That's a silly remark. 4:3 vision is about pulling it the entire world space and understanding your place in it. It's completely unsuited to artistic framing. The eye might see a butterfly and the brain focus on it, but a photograph capturing exactly what that person is seeing would see a tiny blob in a see of distractions. In photography, the subject will be given enough size to show their relevance and the background will be chosen to show its place or to extract the subject as the point of focuss. eg. In close with a low DOF and plenty of blur in the case of said butterfly. Your eyes don't recreate such optical effects, but such optical effects are part of the photographers canvas.

    Now in a VR headset, 4:3 makes sense, inarguably because it's about putting the player in that space. It's trying to recreate life. In a TV though that's not trying to recreate life, 4:3 doesn't make as much sense as widescreen for many of the stories humans like because the major content is in that horizontal band.

    Whatever started the change, it had a beneficial effect for the art. And if widescreen is inferior, why didn't this change backfire? Why didn't people grumble at not being able to see as much as their 4:3 TVs and stay at home? Because the widescreen provided more impactful photography and better storytelling, that's why!
     
  3. Shifty Geezer

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    According to this, no.
    So he used an existing photography film and selected a number of perforations for a frame. I expect the idea of thin, wide frames would seem uncomfortable.

    I'm sure L. Scofield will have a different take, but as far as I can see, 4:3 was a fairly arbitrary choice (whether it was intentional to fit the human vision or not) relative to the choices artists would make once they understood their art. It only stuck because Edison wanted it to and legacy standards tend to hang around. A better, wider medium for film faced significant cost barriers, discouraging its adoption when the existing 4:3 option served the business well. TV then made the movie studios rethink their strategy, and they went to the wider aspects that had been experimented with over the years.

    It's worth noting that the anamorphic lens wasn't invented for story telling but military applications, so really the movie art had been cobbled together from other industries' 'offcuts' and none of the early choices were specifically because they were a best fit. But across the changes, things have settled to widescreen for a reason. And now we're getting 2.39:1 super-widescreen TVs, which really will be a bit rubbish for a lot of games. So the HDTV 16:9 compromise seems a good fit.
     
  4. tuna

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    This is pure bollocks. I can understand that people might think there is something strange when they are seeing much more detail than they currently can see in movies (24 vs 48 fps), but in games that is not the case. Have you ever met any that thinks that Tomb Raider PS4 looks worse than TB XBone because you can see more details when moving?
     
  5. mc6809e

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    Your 4:3 image is 5% larger than the 1920x1080 image.

    I think the 4:3 image needs to be 1663x1247.
     
  6. L. Scofield

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    You're talking about perception and attention, not sensation. Certainly many factors affect perception, but by cutting off the vertical information from the beginning you're completely negating the possibility of paying attention to it.

    Those images tell me that those shots were carefully composed to make use of the wide aspect ratio. They don't tell me why that aspect ratio is inherently superior to 4:3.

    You don't see in visual artistic compositions? :???:

    The reason why it's related is because the human brain processes as a coherent narrative. See the left brain interpreter experiments to learn more about this.

    What do you mean fewer options? Just like 16:9 camera work doesn't translate to 4:3 neither does 4:3 to 16:9. It's a tradeoff.

    Those effects are perfectly applicable to 4:3 aspect ratios.

    Are there instances where widescreen is better suited than 4:3? Sure. But the same thing is true for 4:3.

    Why didn't the change to LCD televisions backfire? By any measurement their IQ was horrible compared to CRT when people started to switch to them.

    Marketing is one hell of a motivator.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1950s_in_film

    The change wasn't inherently beneficial. Movie makers simply adapted to it.

    Yes, me.

    And it's not a matter of "getting used to". I don't know how is it in other countries but here in Mexico all news broadcasts are done at 60fps. I watch those daily and they look perfectly fine to me as they always have. 48fps in movies don't work for a lot of people precisely because of the added realism. At 24fps you see a hobbit in an epic environment. At 48fps you see a guy cosplaying as a hobbit on a set.

    Same thing with games but only when they're close enough to reality otherwise 60fps are fine.
     
  7. Malo

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    I just think that since a vast majority of activity in our visual field occurs on a horizontal plane, that my mind prefers a wider aspect ratio as I tend to ignore what is going on above and below my focal point but not my peripheral (namely left and right of focal) vision.
     
  8. tuna

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    So you actually think XBone Tomb Raider looks more realistic than PS4 Tomb Raider?

    And for the record, I do not agree with your statement regarding "The Hobbit". I remember the cinema version to look as realistic as the Blu-ray I have. But it is not possible to compare them side by side unfortunately....
     
  9. Shifty Geezer

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    You have a smaller visual stage to work with in 4:3.

    Of course. I guess you missed the reasoning there entirely. :???:

    Right. But in the field of human stories based on human characters where the primary content is focussed in a horizontal band across the FOV, there is a greater number of situations where widescreen is better than 4:3.

    We'll have to agree to disagree. The change allowed for better photographic storytelling. A lonely headshot to the side of the screen is more dramatic in widescreen with the greater expanse of space. Rolling hills full of warriors is more dramatic without an irrelevant sky and ground. the difference probably isn't that great to make a huge difference, but it is there and justification for widescreen adoption.
     
  10. DSoup

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    I can imagine that conversation with a cinema operator. Look, I'm not bringing this equipment in to record your movie, I want to watch my movie in parallel, honest! :yep2:
     
  11. Laa-Yosh

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    I've already mentioned how it's only possible to place two actors' faces on different halves of the frame, or how to put them in the same frame facing each other, or how to include a larger group of people. I could go on and on, and it's just about the staging of static conversation scenes, there's no real action, no camera movement and so on.

    Cinematographers and directors can and do carefully arrange their actors and other elements in the scene, which you can't do in everyday life conversations. You can't follow rules of thirds, golden rations and so on, and certainly can't fit it into the emotional and event related subtexts of the situation. Same is true for action and so on.

    What you're saying is that our vision system is basically reframing the events seen in our entire field of view.

    Movies and photographs do the same - but by choosing a certain framing, they can narrow down the possible interpretations considerably, so the viewer's perception of events will be what they intend it to be.

    Watch this video from 4:10 for a very good example:
    http://vimeo.com/107779620
    Also notice how the characters are placed in the frame, how they start to cross the middle line, where the empty spaces are located and so on. This is subtle information and most people won't notice it consciously but their perception of the events is greatly affected.
    A 4:3 aspect ratio encompassing the whole scene could not create the same impression of the relationship between the characters. Divided in two, you get pretty tall sub-frames; divided in three, it's only slivers. Widescreen has the advantage in breaking down into more balanced parts.

    There's also a nice blog somewhere about the work of Roger Deakins, one of the highest praised cinematographers, I suggest reading about his work too.
     
  12. HTupolev

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    If I were a filmmaker I'd probably usually prefer widescreen formats, but the arguments being made to that effect aren't particularly great, mostly boiling down to "4:3 isn't very good at the sorts of extreme horizontal framing commonly used in widescreen", without giving much credit to what it can do, like some sorts of aggressive diagonal or radial layouts.

    Seriously, pan and scan is being used as an example of why 4:3 is inferior? That's like riding a bike with its front wheel popped off and concluding that unicycles are better.

    "Realistic" without qualification is might be producing confusion, because people mean different things. Are we talking realistic in terms of actually looking like a real scene, or "realistic" (rawr scare quotes) in terms of convincingly being what it's trying to be?

    Hobbit 3D HFR looks extremely realistic, in that it looks like real actors walking around on a real movie set. Which, depending on how your intuition is driving your verbiage, can make things look "fake" and "less real" in terms of what you think you should be seeing and/or what the movie is attempting to represent.
     
  13. Laa-Yosh

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    Also, Shifty and the others have raised many good points as well.

    Yeah, just imagine a scene staged with two characters at the opposing edges with a lot of space (about 1/2 of the frame) between them. The dramatic tension with a widescreen frame and a static camera gets all ruined if you need to pan left and right all the time, and you're also losing the reactions of the character listening to the other that's speaking.


    It's also strange that noone has mentioned other aspect ratios here so far. I mean look at this picture:
    [​IMG]

    http://offthebase.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/eisenstaedt_alfred_m2_vj_day_lasiter_16x20_l.jpg

    This is a masterpiece in image composition, and it just wouldn't work in 16:9 or 4:3 either.
     
  14. zed

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    I think you need to look up the common ratio with imax
    its aspect ratio: 1.43:1
    [​IMG]
    you've gotta ask yourself, ok imax was designed to give the viewer the best possible/lifelike experience so why did they settle on 1.43:1 and not some widescreen format :)
     
  15. joker454

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    I do remember way back when they were deciding on what aspect to go with for hdtv, that Hollywood wanted it to be 2:1 for some of the reasons you mention regarding framing, character placement and so on although the tv industry went with 16:9 I assumed at the time for technical and cost reasons. CRT displays were still big back then and I don't think a 2:1 crt display was as cost feasible as a 16:9 version. Character placement and separation is a big subliminal thing to be sure, there's lots of articles out there on it and you typically need more than 4:3 to pull it off.
     
  16. HTupolev

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    But that's why you wouldn't stage the scene the same way to begin with, which is my point. If you were building things from the ground up in 4:3, you wouldn't place the characters in widescreen-appropriate framing locations and then just have the camera operator swing the camera back and forth. That's silly.
     
  17. zed

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    you're gotta wonder how Star Trek Into Darkness or the new star wars film or the latest hunger games film or the last batman trilogy etc worked
    [​IMG]
    they were 1.44:1

    I wonder if when you watch the bluray/dvd do they put black sidebars or just pan & scan?
     
  18. Laa-Yosh

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    Yeah, of course, aiming for 4:3 would mean different approaches, but it'd also be a lot more limited. Just look at all the old TV shows. Now however, with HD, things got very different, it's no accident that a lot of movie talent is now working in TV.
     
  19. Laa-Yosh

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    Those movies change to 16:9 on bluray for the IMAX footage. And in the theaters IMAX makes you feel more involved because your peripherial vision is engaged as well - but that aspect is mostly used in action scenes. More dramatic material is always letterboxed to widescreen.
     
  20. tuna

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    The cameras are loud as hell making studio shooting difficult.
     
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