Sunday, October 4, 2009

Technical Stuff part 1

Technical Stuff Part 1: Frame Rates and Aspect Ratios


You may have noticed that there are different frame rates in video, with some rates flickering more than others. Frames Per Second, or FPS, is how the frames are measured. Here is a list of common Frame Rates:







American/Asian video format



European video format



Frame rate traditionally used in film



Frame rate traditionally used in Animation


Web streaming

Frame rate traditionally used on the Web


Frame size: You also may have noticed when you open video files on your computer, that the size of the windows are different. Some poorer quality frame sizes are quite small, at 176 X 132, 320 X 240, going up to Standard Definition (SD) at 720 x 576, and High Definition (HD) at 720 X 1080. There are even higher resolutions, but for our purposes here, High Definition video will be used for the most part.


Aspect Ratio: Old fashioned televisions were sized at a 4:3 ratio:



But new Widescreen TVs are sized at a 16:9 ratio:




This is a more cinematic shape, and also, incidentally, roughly the same shape as the golden ratio (1.618:1), which has both an aesthetically pleasing shape found in nature and an elegant mathematical formula. This is what video is: a combination of math and aesthetics. The math is used to engineer the technology, and the aesthetics are used to make your video.



Litcube said...

Hello, Benny Maniacs! Thank you for this information. It is helpful.

Mr. Pony said...

Benny Maniacs. So good to hear from you again. Do you know if the similarity of movie screens to the golden rectangle is intentional?

Furthermore, do you have an opinion on the possibility that the aspect ratio may force certain types of storytelling? Does a 16x9 frame push movie directors into world-ending disaster stories and romanic comedies? Does a 4x3 frame tend television directors to situation comedies and investigative partnerships driven by sexual tension?

Furthermore, if there's a video of someone launching a pogo-stick into his friend's balls, and it's shown at 30 FPS instead of 10, is it more horrific than funny?