November 29, 2014 at 1:01AM

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Super 16mm Digitizing and Aspect Ratios

I'm about to purchase an Arri sr3. I have experience working with 16mm and want to make my own investment into the medium. Yet I've only shot in 16mm and really want to dive into using super 16mm. I'm most curious about the workflow when digitizing your film stock. More specifically what happens to your 1.66 aspect ratio when converting it into digital files.

This leads to my more general question about projection aspect ratios. When shooting 1.78 (16x9) with digital files, is that the best way to show them on a big screen when projected? What are the benefits or methods for projecting in 1.85. This question also applies to when files comes from a super 16mm film. What happens when you blow up your 1.66 image to 1.78 or 1.85.

I understand aspect ratios but get confused when understanding how you change them from their capture format to projection format.

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In my experience when I scanned my super 16 footage at 2K, the files were 2048 by 1296 pixels which is taller than most files because super 16 is 1.66:1 aspect ratio. I've also had the scans come back already in 16:9 when I scanned in HD. What I'm doing for release right now is cropping the top and the bottom of it to make the image 1.85:1. I downloaded the matte frame from Vashi Visuals. My reasons for 1.85:1 are generally for retaining resolution. It has also been useful in being able to reframe slightly in post as I can slide the image up and down without any real problems unless there's hair in the gate. Also as my plan is for projecting it, most projectors project one of two of the mainstream cinematic aspect ratios, 1.85:1 or 2.39:1. You always crop out pixels, never set it to "fit to" 16x9, preffer "scale to horizontally" if you're going for 16x9. For a 2K DCP, set your output resolution to 1998 by 1080 and scale horizontally to fit. If you want to retain 2048 across for some other file output, set your vertical resolution to 1107 pixels.

November 17, 2015 at 5:30PM

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Peter Phillips
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