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Foofoo

question about movie resolution

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say hypathetically i was to make a short film of some sort. what do you think would be the best resolution to use??? as in ####x#### format.
thanks <3

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go to http://www.videohelp.com/ and delve into the formats, first consider your recording medium, VHS for example has an effective resolution of about 420x480* (see http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=34122 for a lively discussion). so when i'm capturing the camcorder-recoreded home movies of my little monsters i'm only aiming for SVCD, 480x480* as there's simply no point capturing it any higher^.

DVD is 720x480 so you might as well aim for that. note here though that the 720 horizontal does not denote "widescreen" (except in anamorphic presentations) a true analog TV signal has an effectively infinite horizontal resolution, so a 4:3 TV showing 720x480 obviously does not have square pixels and showing THAT picture on a computer monitor requires jiggery pokery, which might make the picture appear worse than it actually is.

Any higher and your camera or hard drive speed wont be able to keep up anyway, home grown HD is a few years off yet but it's worth remembering that there are also other very important factors in picture quality aside from the physical number of dots that make it up:

- noise: getting the light reliably from the outside world, through the lens and into a digital format - this is a simple factor of cost: the more expensive the camera the better (higher) the signal-to-noise ratio

- depth of field: this is the region in space that is in focus at any one time, the cheaper the camera the deeper the field. Which sounds good but isnt. as the depth of field shrinks the clarity and sharpness of what is in it increases, this is why you see hollywood film studios literally measuring the distance to the actors' noses. you do need to compromise, however as you can't use a narrow deth of field on moving shots unless you're an uber geek film maker with decades of seat of your pants experience to keep it all in focus.

- lighting: yeah, this is stupendously important. cameras record light, therefore the more light you have the better. you can post produce the picture to get thick black shadows if you need to but when filming you need a zillion megawats to light what's happening. filming a bunch of people chatting in a dark coloured room under a single shaded 40W light bulb will require you to rack up the exposure to capture every photon possible, which reduces the signal-to-noise ratio, which is bad.

- stability: a static unmoving camera will always capture a better picture than a hand held one, you may think that a steadycam is a bit of overkill when you can just get a mate to pull you while you sit on a skateboard but all those vibrations will effect the resulting picture. even someone walking near the camera, wobbling it by a fraction of a pixel during the shoot will create digital noise (where colors are aliased across adjacent pixels) after lighting the single most simple thing you can do to improve the picture quality is to invest in a decent tripod and keep the camera absolutely fixed in place (rotation of the earth and shifting of the continents notwithstanding). Of course, this can look a bit boring so again, you have to compromise but the moving skateboard shot really is a bad idea, at least use something with inflatable rubber wheels on a very smooth polished flat surface.

i've probably rambled enough here, i'll stop now


^though arguably if you are using a lossy codec, such as the ghastly Mpeg2 a higher actual resolution than your effective resolution will actually help counter the effects, though it will look terrible if you press your nose to the screen

* all dimensions in NTSC, but the PAL dimensions are out there too

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*hypOthetically.

Otherwise it sounds like you're pathetically trying to make a short film. Which may or may not be closer to the truth.

I'd also say shoot for standard DVD res if you can.

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cycloid said:
though it will look terrible if you press your nose to the screen

Especially because the nose will leave an icky smudge mark on it.

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If you're shooting live action that will entirely depend on the camera you use and how you capture said footage for editing. Can you provide a bit more detail?

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Mancubus II said:

If you're shooting live action that will entirely depend on the camera you use and how you capture said footage for editing. Can you provide a bit more detail?

Exactly, what's the source going to be (digital camera, VHS, etc.), and what's the destination format (DVD, DivX, etc.)?

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well thanks a lot cycloid for all of that, and to the others <3.

but to shed more light on things- i'm not actually 'shooting' anything, as its an animation. and yeah, just arent sure what to make the screen size.

so DVD resolution, 720x480, is the best way to go?

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It would mainly depend on where you want to show it and what kind of animation it is. DVD resolution would be a good all-around choice though, I'd imagine.

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