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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2008, 04:27 
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Main Entry: ana·mor·phic
Pronunciation: ˌa-nə-ˈmȯr-fik
Function: adjective
Etymology: New Latin anamorphosis distorted optical image
Date: circa 1925
: producing, relating to, or marked by intentional distortion (as by unequal magnification along perpendicular axes) of an image


Merriam-Webster

Anamorphic content is that which has a resolution of a different aspect ratio than it is intended to be displayed at. One example widescreen DVDs which are meant to be displayed at 16:9 but are 3:2 (720x480) on the disk. Another example is games in which the display aspect ratio can be set independently from the rendering resolution.

The behavior of various cut scenes and such commonly referred to as "Anamorphic" on the this forum is not anything of the sort. "Fixed aspect ratio" would be a proper description of such content.


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2008, 04:48 
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ne·ol·o·gism Audio Help /niˈɒləˌdʒɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[nee-ol-uh-jiz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase.
2. the introduction or use of new words or new senses of existing words.

"Anamorphic" once specifically referred to a kind of camera lens, long before DVDs or even home video existed. The use of the word to describe DVDs is a neologism. Our own neologism has to do with games, and it refers to the behavior of black bars being reduced when you go from 4:3 to 16:9, as can be observed on anamorphic DVDs.

And actually, our use of the word is truer to the etymology than the DVDs' usage is. "Ana" means "upwards," and "morph" means "shape." In our use of the word, the rectangle that contains the content increases its size as a function of Δx/y. IMO, this interpretation of the word makes more sense than the DVD's definition, which essentially means "squished."


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2008, 08:12 
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What do you think the anamorphic camera lenses you mention do? They squish a wider aspect ratio image onto a narrower aspect ratio film. Then, anamorphic projector lens stretch that content back out to the wider aspect ratio when displaying it. Referring to such reshapeing methods ussed with DVDs is not neologistic.

As for etymology, the Latin prefix "ana-" has a few meanings, and the one relevant to the term in question is not "up" but rather "again". "Shape again", or in more modern terms, reshape, is the meaning expressed by "anamorphic". That meaning is completely lost in the usage of the term on this website though, as there is no reshaping of the content when adding letterboxing for a narrower display, just like there is no reshaping of the content when adding pillarboxing on a wider one; neither process is anamorphic in any etymologically accurate sense of the term.


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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2008, 15:40 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamorphic_widescreen


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2008, 02:48 
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What do you think the anamorphic camera lenses you mention do? They squish a wider aspect ratio image onto a narrower aspect ratio film.

Film has nothing to do with how an anamorphic lens works. The lens simply bends the light - a completely optical process.

Referring to such reshapeing methods ussed with DVDs is not neologistic.

It is, because the original (AFAIK) meaning of anamorphosis has to do with optical tricks, and the methods used on DVD players have nothing to do with optics. By the time optics are even involved in the process (the picture going from the monitor to your eyes), the "unsquishing" is already finished.

As for etymology, the Latin prefix "ana-" has a few meanings, and the one relevant to the term in question is not "up" but rather "again".

The one relevant to the term as we're using it is "up."

as there is no reshaping of the content when adding letterboxing for a narrower display, just like there is no reshaping of the content when adding pillarboxing on a wider one;

If you really want to disregard all meanings of "ana" other than the one that works best to describe anamorphic lenses, it can work here too. When you add black bars on top of and below a rectangle, you are in a sense "reshaping" a wide rectangle into a less wide rectangle. But I like my "up" explanation better.

Another point worth noting is that the term has been used to describe 1080p video content, even though 1080p uses square pixels and doesn't involve any squishing. The term has simply come to mean "fixed aspect ratio with black bars on the top and bottom to make up the width difference."


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2008, 05:21 
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If you look the Wiki entry Ibrin posted, you'll find:

DVDs using anamorphic widescreen are very similar to anamorphic film negatives, where the rectangular image is optically-squeezed (horizontally) to fit inside the almost-square storage space.


Hopefully that will help you grasp the relationship between camera lenses and film and that between optical and digital imaging as well. Also on that page, you'll find another link to the entry for Anamorphic format which describes the etymology of the term:

The word "anamorphic" and its derivates derive from the Greek words meaning formed again.


Adding black bars on top of and below content is not forming it again, it is not the "intentional distortion" described in the definition of anamorphic. Adding black bars to the top and bottom is simply letterboxing, which the as the entry explains, is a process used for "preserving the film's original aspect ratio", and that is done with matting rather than anamorphosis.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2008, 06:19 
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While I appreciate your fervor, and grasp of vocabulary and it's details, the bottom line is this:

For the general population, "anamorphic" means something that is letterboxed on a 4:3 screen (to maintain it's aspect ratio), and something that fills the screen (or nearly fills the screen) on a widescreen display (using the bars as needed).

Whether the term is truly accurate in the historical sense, it really doesn't matter. The games we identify as being "anamorphic" display in the same manner as an anamorphic DVD does on 4:3 and widescreen displays. The goal is to use or define a term that people will understand with no to minimal explanation. "Anamorphic" does this.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2008, 08:17 
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For the general population, "anamorphic" means something that is letterboxed on a 4:3 screen (to maintain it's aspect ratio), and something that fills the screen (or nearly fills the screen) on a widescreen display (using the bars as needed).

How do you figure that? I've rarely seen the term used to describe such matting outside this website, never by a broadcaster or on any Blu-ray box. Have you?

Also, note that I had no intention of bring up the history the term, that was The Cranky Hermit's doing. My disagreement in the usages is based on the commonly accepted usage of words which linguists record in dictionaries.


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2008, 10:45 
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How do you figure that? I've rarely seen the term used to describe such matting outside this website, never by a broadcaster or on any Blu-ray box. Have you?


It's on every DVD I own:



And major DVD websites have used the phrase for years:

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/anamorphic/welcome.html


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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2008, 11:32 
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Such DVDs are anamorphic; 3:2 aspect ratio digital video on the disks, intended to be viewed at 16:9. But again, broadcast HD and Blu-ray content aren't called anamorphic because there is no "unequal magnification along perpendicular axes" involved to meet the commonly accepted definition of the term.


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