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Author Topic: screen resolution question
ApeLad
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I'm working on a series of illustrations (not animated) to be used during the opening credits of a film. What's the rule of thumb for resolution? I'll be creating them in photoshop, and was told to keep them 1500 px wide @ 300 dpi. That seems small to me.
It's not direct to dvd, it's going to be projected in theaters, if that makes a difference.
I don't know the aspect ratio but am going to give them plenty of bleed area to work with.
Thanks in advance.

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EustaceScrubb
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Here are 35mm motion picture film resolutions :

2k film full aperture = 2048 x 1556

2k film Anamorphic (widescreen) ratio = 1826 x 1556


4K film full aperture = 4096 x 3112

4K film Anamorphic = 3656 x 3112

Here is an article which compares 2k resolution to 4k resolution:

4K resolution vs. 2k resolution

If your computer can handle it without getting laggy I'd go for the higher resolution to make sure everything stays as sharp as possible when projected on a big screen.

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Joris
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If I'm not mistaken, these are the standards today to work with:

4k = 4096px broad
2k = 2048px broad
HD uncompressed = 1920 px
1k = 1024px broad (needed for widescreen squarepixels for DVD and TV)

If i'm not mistaken, IMAX uses 4k and regular cinema's usually use 2k. (I also think his was(is?) used for digital export to be printed on film later)
So 1500 px seems quite small then, yeah. the DPI doesn't really matter, as long as your pixel resolution is good, but it makes easier export/import with size relations for some programs.

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Gagne Michel
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Hey ApeLad.

It seems like most company have now adopted HD resolution as standard: 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels.

I was asked to render my files on Ratatouille at 1920 x 803. That's because the film was 2.40:1 aspect ratio.

Here's a small resolution chart:

1.78:1 - 1920 pixels x 1080
1.85:1 - 1920 pixels x 1038 (regular theatrical)
2.40:1 - 1920 pixels x 803 (cinemascope widescreen)

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Joris
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Michel, does this mean that Pixar works at HD instead of 2k?

Sorry for the double answer, btw. Waited too long to hit the "add reply" button.

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Gagne Michel
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Hi Joris - yes, Pixar works at 1920 pixels, although I hear that the original Toy story was done at 1024 pixels.

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toonstruck
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Michel, are you sure about that? Perhaps that is what they wanted you to deliver, however, I'd be very surprised if they did their film CG at 1920x803.
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Joris
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I've always been wondering about older 'digital' cinema movies, like The Rescuers Down Under. What were the resolutions they worked on, and how did they process (rendering and editing, etc) this with the older computers.
I'd love to hear some (historical) background on that subject...

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ApeLad
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Me too, Joris.
Thanks everyone! I'm very glad I asked.

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Gagne Michel
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Hey Toonstruck - The technical guy I dealt with at Pixar told me that the frames are final rendered at 1920x803 in 10bit color. I needed those specs because I had to deliver final rendered frames to them.

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toonstruck
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Huh... That really surprises me. However, if that is indeed the case, then I'm certainly not noticing it when seeing the movie in the theater. Looks great.

And all along, I thought I was being cheap by rendering my short film at 1920x820. Maybe the pixels won't look that huge after all once on the big screen. [Smile] BTW- it premieres at Palm Springs in a couple of weeks!

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Gagne Michel
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Toonstruck - Congrats on finishing your short film. Looking forward to see it.

I also just finished a new short film and after talking to the Pixar tech guys and making a few phone calls to knowledgeable people, I decided to do the whole thing at 1920x1080. Although most theatrical digital projection is set at 2K (2048), filming at 1920 seem to have become the industry standard.

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ColorInAble
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The only real answer for this is to ask your employer how big they want it.

I worked on a fully CGI feature that was done at 720P. Yea Yea, lots of shock at such low res from all on the board here, but hey, it's all rendered out and it's not even 2010 yet...

The best answer is to ask who wants it what their deliverable standards are, and then make your process work from there...

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-FP-
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I'm not registered to post at any other relevant boards, so...

This is distantly related, but it just happened to me, so it may be of technical interest:

I just got, from a client, a hard drive full of greenscreen files to composite. I was pleased to see they're hi-def, because the project is standard def and the res-wiggle room is good for obvious reasons. I was not pleased to see they were output directly from a Mac running FCP. The source video was not available to re-encode to a more PC-accessible format. I have a desk full of PCs. No one I know has a high-powered Mac with FCP. I could not import the files into any of my editing apps. I downloaded and tried everything. Finally I found these solutions for viewing and transcoding the video on a PC:

The files can be viewed with the FREE MPlayer (The free Media Player Classic can play some of them, but it crashes a lot when doing so)

They can be viewed and transcoded with the FREE VLan

They can be more flexibly transcoded into many more formats with the FREE and surprisingly powerful SUPER

Even now I'm not sure if the troublesome files are DVCPRO HD or AVCHD or what, but it doesn't matter. They've been transcoded. They can be used.

Anyway, if you're a PC person who gets handed a bunch of weird, unloadable Mac hi-def video files, and the source files and original effects person is totally out of the picture, this info may save you a whole day of blindly wandering the internet and running into one trial-and-error dead end after another.

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Caracal
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Curious did you have a preference between Super and VlC? VLC had been a godsend. It will play almost anything!

Cheere

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-FP-
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The VLAN conversions were as good or better than the transcodes of SUPER, but SUPER has a batch-processing function, and VLAN does not. I took the quality hit and went with SUPER for the bulk of the shots. I used VLAN, one file at a time, for some of the green screens which needed a particularly clean matte.

It's odd that almost $2K worth of NLE apps will not load a codec that three free, open-source programs will.

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ColorInAble
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FP
Thanks, I ran up into this about 3 months ago, and between doing research and coming up with a work around, [Gary]
And then getting the editor to use the workaround... [Mad]
And trying to fit all that into my schedule... [Eek!]
Needless to say, I didn't end up doing that job... [bawling]

The best answer for this though is to get them to export from FCP with "None" as the compression codec. Yes, it takes a lot of space, but while those FCP codecs are great on live action, they really show the artifacts on animation, "None" just looks much better.

But thanks, I'll download one of these and be prepared for the next time...

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-FP-
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quote:
The best answer for this though is to get them to export from FCP with "None" as the compression codec
Yeah, that would be best. Unfortunately, this was a salvage project and the original crew is long gone. I got handed the shots - arbitrarily labled - on a hard drive, with no hint as to what they were.
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