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Hannes Famira

Aspect ratio and resolution question

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So I shot my first short and I started poking around in Resolve and now I want to get the basic set-up right. My question for you is: What size should I choose for editing my project. The obvious question is what is the intended use for this film, how would I deliver it? I do not expect to ever show it to anyone besides the participants and "friends 'n family". So it really doesn't matter. But it seems a good moment to learn about the considerations going into this decision.
 
The footage was captured on a Super 35 sensor at 1080p with an anamorphic 2x squeeze. So if I keep the 1080 vertical lines and apply the 2.39:1 formula it gives me a resolution of 2581x1080. That means that once the picture is de-squeezed I'd be chopping off a lot of pixels that extend horizontally beyond the CinemaScope frame: 1920 x 2 = 3840. So I would be giving up 1259 pixels per line. Wow. Still, I have no problem with this as it means that I can even adjust my framing horizontally and I am keeping every single pixel of the vertical resolution. Cool. 
 
Now I am reading that 2560x1080 wide is actually the maximum width for DVI dual link and a standard Scope film on a BluRay is just 1920x800. The last contestant for this game is the 2k Cinema DCP at 2048x858.
 
And now I am at a loss which way to go. I hesitate to reduce the vertical size for the edit. While it would allow me to tweak the frame in all 4 directions, I would be surrendering resolution. I am thinking that if it became necessary for the delivery format I might as well just scale down the finished edit, right?
 
Can you sway me in any of these directions? Do you have a personal preference or any experience what film makers prefer and why? Any input is appreciated. Thanks guys!

 

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As you mentioned, since this is just for personal home viewing, the only restrictions on your final delivery specs would be what your display and playback devices can handle. 

I would consider finishing in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. It’s visually indistinguishable from 2.39:1, and since you’ll be working with even integers for your pixel dimensions, it should scale with better quality.

If that sounds good, then I would consider setting up your project as 2592x1080. This would allow you to reframe in the horizontal dimension, while keeping the full vertical resolution. Then when you export, you can always set the frame size to 1920x1080 with a letterbox to burn to Blu-Ray disc. Or 1920x800 if you don’t want black bars for sharing online. Or export at full res for your master, and render scaled versions from that in something like Adobe Media Encoder.

The only reason I can think of for why you might want to edit with a lower res project is if your computer can’t playback smoothly at the higher res. In that case, you can always edit in 1920x800 and change the project size back to 2592x1080 before exporting. You’d just want to check any re-framing or key-framed power windows afterward to make sure they didn’t get messed up before hitting the Render button.

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But basically you have to deliver in a standard format either 1080 across for HD or 2048 across for 2K. 

If your camera is 1080p and your shooting with anamorphics with the intention of cropping to 2.39:1 your original footage is sub HD anyway. When you stretch your footage out you don't gain resolution. 

2048 pixels across would be quite a bit higher than the actual resolution of your rushes - so your not loosing anything by making a 2k master

 

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Re: DVI Dual Link

Not sure if this would be a problem. Are you using an old Cinema Display as your primary or second monitor? If you have access to an HD-SDI or HDMI monitor, you could use a cheap converter like a Blackmagic Mini Monitor to get a broadcast standard HD or UHD signal out of Resolve. They make an external Thunderbolt version for laptops and a PCIE version for desktops.

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9 minutes ago, Phil Connolly said:

But basically you have to deliver in a standard format either 1080 across for HD or 2048 across for 2K. 

Does he, though? If he wants to burn a Blu-Ray disk, then sure 1920x1080. But if he’s just uploading to Vimeo or YouTube, then can’t the pixel resolution be whatever he wants? 

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As Phil mentions, if you recorded 1920 x 1080 with a 2X squeeze and then have to unsqueeze and crop to get a 2.39 image (let's say 2.40 to make the math clear), you only used a 1.20 : 1 area of the sensor for the image. In other words, the actual image resolution is 1296 x 1080, or 1.4MP total, whether or not you unsqueeze the image by doubling the horizontal resolution in post. 

So if you had a letterboxed image inside 1920 x 1080 that was 1920 x 800 (or simply put out a 1920 x 800 video online), that's 1.5MP total for the image area -- not really a loss of resolution compared to the original recording.

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30 minutes ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

Does he, though? If he wants to burn a Blu-Ray disk, then sure 1920x1080. But if he’s just uploading to Vimeo or YouTube, then can’t the pixel resolution be whatever he wants? 

true indeed - I guess it could be any size. But sticking to standard formats perhaps simplifies things.

If Youtube is the main deliver method its always wise to make a 4K version regardless or the origination format to benifit from the extra bandwidth

 

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