Resolution, Aspect Ratios & 4K

I’m excited to share a brief announcement and another image with you, but wanted to explain some nerdy-techno-thingies first:

Back in the early 2000’s, the video editing, visual fx and compositing work I did pushed the capacity of my computer system to its knees just to create an image that was a mere 640 pixels wide by 480 tall (which was the standard resolution for TV monitors). The screen proportions were 4:3 (also expressed as 1.33), making the image much more boxy that what we’re use to today. Suddenly High Definition (HD) came along, boosting those dimensions first to 720 x 480, and then to 1920 x 1080, the “aspect ratio” widening to 16:9 (1.78) and looking much more cinematic. And those standards have continued to evolve: digital projection at 2K (2560 x 1440) was a marvel in theaters, and now you can even watch YouTube videos on your smart TV at 4K (3840 x 2160)!


For The Price, I started the project aiming at BlyRay-level HD resolution (1920 x 1080), but then upgraded my game plan (as time marched inexorably along) to create the final images at 2K resolution (so it would look its best when projected on a theater screen).

After some tests, I am excited to report that a 4K version will be available when the film is released! Because all of the images are created digitally from scratch, upscaling them and maintaining visual fidelity is much easier to achieve than someone using traditional film or video at a lower resolutions. Here’s an example (rendered at full 4K):


One of the things that helps is adding an overlay of film grain to the otherwise “pristine” digital image. I love the look and feel of film stock, and this analog patina (made from actual 4K film samples) blends everything together and adds that “extra something.”

Now, for those uber-nerds out there, you may have noticed the literal image dimensions of this frame are 3840 x 1634. The image isn’t as tall to purposely emulate my favorite cinematic aspect ratio,  2.35 instead of 1.78 (sometimes called “Cinemascope” or “Anamorphic”).

Of course, while I am thrilled by all this and wanted to share, none of it really matters to anyone until they can actually watch the movie, so… back to work!

About Xtopher

Director of The Price, and Owner/Creative Director of Silver Fish Creative, LLC.
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2 Responses to Resolution, Aspect Ratios & 4K

  1. Colin Kuskie says:

    That is totally awesome! Can’t wait to see the whole thing :)

    • Xtopher says:

      Thanks Colin! I’m not sure how many people care to know about this kind of thing, but I got really excited when the 4K upgrade worked out so well! :)

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