Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pixel Arrays for Digital Cinema

So we make things around here for Digital Cinema since the incredible IU Cinema is fully DCI compliant at 2K and will be considered an E-Cinema for 4K content.  The digital projectors both have a 1:1 PAR, that's pixel aspect ratio, so the dimensions of source material are projected true.  The pixel array values we use when creating content and packing digital cinema packages (DCPs) are:

  • 2K container = 2048x1080
    • 2K Silent 1.33:1 = 1440x1080
    • 2K Academy 1.37:1 = 1480x1080
    • 2K European 1.67:1 = 1804x1080
    • 2K Flat 1.85:1 = 1998x1080
    • 2K Scope 2.39:1 = 2048x858

  • 4K container = 4096x2160
    • 4K Silent 1.33:1 = 2880x2160
    • 4K Academy 1.37:1 = 2960x2160
    • 4K European 1.67:1 = 3608x2160
    • 4K Flat 1.85:1 = 3996x2160
    • 4K Scope 2.39:1 = 4096x1716
The accepted aspect ratios are: 1.89:1 for the container, 1.33:1, 1.37:1 for Academy, 1.67:1 for European, 1.85:1 for Flat, and 2.39:1 for Scope.  We only need to know the full container aspect because that is what we pack the DCPs in.  Movies aren't generally made with this 1.89:1 aspect in mind.  Most everything you'll see these days are made for Academy, Flat, or Scope.

For a bit of history regarding aspect ratios, check out this article from the Creative COW.

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