View Full Version : Your favorite resolution

02 February 2005, 03:36 PM
Hi! I started this thread to find out what resolution is best for a short movie!
I see all kinds of aspect ratios around (16:9;2:1;2.35:1) and i can't make up my mind of what resolution to choose for my short!

If you would be so kindly to advise me!!

02 February 2005, 12:51 AM
The theory is that humans view the world in a wide perspective. Because all the action is usually on ground level and it's usually easy enough to pick out an enemy in the sky and modt birds aren't strong enough to kill us.

So go as wide as your platform allows, on tv's the player can usually put it in a letterbox anyway.

02 February 2005, 04:02 AM
Are you shooting live action or is animation?

Next question is, are you aiming for the internet, DVD, or theatrical release, like a film competition?

Your standard ratio these days is 1.85 or typcially 16:9 for a HD widescreen TV. You can use NTSC resolutions of 720x480 with a pixel aspect of 1.2 and that gives you the most bang for your buck as you can create an anamorphic DVD using all the avaliable pixels and your full frame uncompressed will only be 1meg.

Or you can do it in 720p or 1080i which would only be usuful if you going to project it in a theater or transfer to film. But if you have the time to render and space to save these huge files, you can do it in an HD resolution then convert that to NTSC for DVD release. Save those HD files for future HD formats like BlueRay of HD-DVD.

mJR (

02 February 2005, 05:14 AM
thank you for your sugestions!

It's entirely animation!

So for film festivals it's desired an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 1.85?

02 February 2005, 06:18 AM
I have tried the 720x480 with 1.2 aspect ratio thingy and the antialiasing is completely scrued when streching the image!

Is that normal or i didn't do something?

02 February 2005, 06:37 AM
I believe 16:9 is 1.85, or 1.78 1.79 somewhere in there, some of the 1.85 I think is lost in overscan on a HDTV so it lowers it a bit.

what software are you using to create the animation and what are you using to edit it?

I use 3DS MAX rendering with a pixel aspect of 1.2 and then edit that in Premiere Pro.

now changing the pixel aspect should in no way affect the image quality or antialiasing because you aren't actually doing anything, to the final image. the pixel aspect is just that, the aspect of the pixel when viewing it, you can edit it with a normal pixel aspect of .9 and it won't affect anything. everything will be squezzed.

Even Photoshop CS now supports changing the pixel aspect on the fly.

because in the end, it will be recorded to a DVD at 720x480 with a .9 pixel aspect. that is what NTSC is period. then when creating the DVD you inform the authoring software that this footage has an aspect of 16:9. then the DVD is tagged wtih that 16:9 info so that when played the DVD player will know what to do wtih it.

if the dvd player is plugged into a stadard 4:3 TV it will play it back with black bars at the top and bottom. if the DVD player is properly plugged into a 16:9 HDTV it will strecth to fill the whole screen.
if you put this on to video tape, then you need to add black bars to the top and bottom, or if it's going on to the internet either change the resolution to I think it's 720x400 or like DIVX, Mediaplayer, or Quicktime for example understand 16:9 footage and will automatically do it for you and converty you 1.2 pixel aspect to a 1.0 SQUARE aspect for computer monitors.

the other option is to over render, in a large HDTV format and scale it down during editing, but this is much longer process.

oh and remember this. what you see on your computer monitor is by no means what you will see on a NTSC TV. if this is your TARGET, you need to add this to your work flow. when you do your animatic, render it out and play it out on a TV to make sure everything you did fits the TV. when you light your shots, throw stills out on to a TV now and then to make sure the colors are what you want, or are allowed on NTSC, some bright reds won't show up on a typcial 4:3 tv, but may look ok on a 480p HDTV.

michael JR. (

02 February 2005, 07:09 AM
ok i got it now

02 February 2005, 05:26 PM
i still get the same problem!

i render in maya an image at 720x480 with 1.2 pixel aspect ratio and image ratio of 1.8! I save the image as jpeg or tiff(whatever) and when i go to Photoshop CS and chose from there pixel aspect ratio of 1.2 the image gets streched but the edges are crappy! It looses all the antialiasing!

What is the problem?

02 February 2005, 11:39 PM
ok, I think what you are seeing is a "visual illusion" of the pixel aspect trying to form to the 1.0 aspect of the monitor or a scaling issue in Photoshop.

the reason I say this is that I did a few test in MAYA and MAX. I renedered out a simple sphere in MAYA first, using the right settings, 720x486 1.2 pixel 1.778 image aspect and sure enough, I to saw the funny edges in Photoshop when viewing the image. so I tried uping the poly count and changing the render filters to add more anti-aliasing. well sure enough that weird edge thing was still there.

so I did the same thing in MAX and sure enough it had the same problem.

I then noticed that even viewing at .9 pixel had that weird edging, but when zoomed in I could see that it was all properly anti-aliased. remember the anti aliasing is done in the rendered, not in Photoshop, so it's always there because it looks ok when viewing in the render window.

I also checked in Premiere and it too displayed a weird edge effect.

But when I changed the pixel aspect to 1.0, this all disapeared.

so my conclusion is what we are seeing is the effect of trying to dispaly a pixel other than a monitors 1.0. I have never seen any weird edges or anything like this once I went out to DVD or on my HDTV when checking 16:9 material.

I think it's just a weird bug, but since this is getting off topic, I think your best bet if you want to pursue this anymore is to go over to the MAYA / Rendering forum here on CGTalk and see if anyone else has the same problems. I already went through some of it and no one seemed to have this issue.

hope that helps :)

michael JR. (

02 February 2005, 07:50 AM
thanks! i'll do that! :bounce:

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