Widescreen Gaming Forum

[-noun] Web community dedicated to ensuring PC games run properly on your tablet, netbook, personal computer, HDTV and multi-monitor gaming rig.
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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2008, 17:22 
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Sorry, I don't have the energy to keep up with this. Your point is taken, but we don't have a better word or solution. If we found one, it would have to be "really good," for us to go back and re-work everything in the site and Wiki.


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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2008, 04:59 
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Hopefully that will help you grasp the relationship between camera lenses and film and that between optical and digital imaging as well.

I'm aware of the relationship. Camera lenses produce an optical trick known as anamorphosis. Digital image processing for DVDs *simulate* anamorphosis, but it isn't anamorphosis. But we call them "anamorphic" anyway because of the similarities. And by a completely reasonable extension, games with fixed aspect ratios and dynamic letterboxing *simulate* the effect of watching an anamorphic DVD on a widescreen TV.

Also on that page, you'll find another link to the entry for Anamorphic format which describes the etymology of the term:

I'm not disagreeing with you on the etymology of the term as it applies to optics. What I'm saying is that "upwards shaping" also make sense etymologically, and that's what we use.

Adding black bars on top of and below content is not forming it again,

It's not forming the *content* again, but it is forming the *shape* again. Nowhere in the structure of the word "anamorphic" does it specify that the shape cannot include the black bars as well.

it is not the "intentional distortion" described in the definition of anamorphic.

That's why it's a neologism.

Really, anamorphic works fine. The new definition is completely logical (it doesn't matter that the new definition is different from the old one - that's why it's a new one), it's defined clearly on this website, and it refers to a behavior that is familiar to people who purchase videos that are advertised as "anamorphic."


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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2008, 11:41 
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It's not forming the *content* again, but it is forming the *shape* again. Nowhere in the structure of the word "anamorphic" does it specify that the shape cannot include the black bars as well.

The definition specifies "intentional distortion", and there is no distortion in letterboxing content. Again, the black bars are there to preserve the aspect ratio which is basicly the opposite of the "unequal magnification along perpendicular axes" which the term " anamoprhic" refers to. Also, there is no reason for you to be hanging on optical nature of anamoprhic lenses. If you had bothered to look though the sources I provided, you would have seen that we had anamorphosis long before we had camaras.

Sorry, I don't have the energy to keep up with this. Your point is taken, but we don't have a better word or solution. If we found one, it would have to be "really good," for us to go back and re-work everything in the site and Wiki.

Again, a proper description is "fixed aspect ratio". That what it is called in video drivers, and that is the function of such matting. If you have your heart set on a single word, "Unimoprhic" would be at least be etymologically correct, I can't say I've seen the it listed in a dictionary, but Google shows it being used in regard to a range of subjects. As for the work, there are plenty of programs with find/replace functions to automate such tasks across an entire database, Textpad being the one I tend to use.


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PostPosted: 26 Apr 2008, 16:24 
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The definition specifies "intentional distortion"

Again, that's just one possible definition. We're not using that one - we're using a different definition that makes an equal amount of sense considering the structure of the word.

Also, there is no reason for you to be hanging on optical nature of anamoprhic lenses. If you had bothered to look though the sources I provided, you would have seen that we had anamorphosis long before we had camaras.

I'm aware of that. But it's not the lenses I'm hanging on to - it's the optics. And the paintings you link to have everything to do with optics.

Again, a proper description is "fixed aspect ratio".

Too wordy. It needs to be a fairly terse adjective in order to fit in with other ones like "hor +" and "vert -."

"Unimoprhic" would be at least be etymologically correct

Not bad, but anamorphic is also etymologically correct and has the added advantage of alluding to a behavior that DVD consumers are already familiar with.


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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2008, 20:51 
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Again, that's just one possible definition. We're not using that one - we're using a different definition that makes an equal amount of sense considering the structure of the word.

What you are doing is using the word in a way that isn't listed in any dictionary and doesn't have any relevance to the definitions you will find in dictionary. So if one who isn't familiar with the term looks it up in a dictionary rather than asking about it on this forum, that person won't know what you are talking about but rather will either be confused or mislead.


I'm aware of that. But it's not the lenses I'm hanging on to - it's the optics. And the paintings you link to have everything to do with optics.

The paint on a canvas isn't any more optical than the cells of a film, or the pixels in a digital image. All can be anamoprhic though, but only if they have the intentional distortion absent from your usage of the term.


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 00:57 
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What you are doing is using the word in a way that isn't listed in any dictionary and doesn't have any relevance to the definitions you will find in dictionary.

That's how all neologisms begin. Not just this one.

So if one who isn't familiar with the term looks it up in a dictionary rather than asking about it on this forum, that person won't know what you are talking about but rather will either be confused or mislead.

That's why we have a page describing every form of "screen change" we recognize. Here's the one on "Anamorphism":
http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/index.php/Anamorphism

The paint on a canvas isn't any more optical than the cells of a film, or the pixels in a digital image.

Distorted paintings are more optical than distorted digital images. A distorted painting is something you look at. But by the time you look at a digital image (or by the time light has anything to do with it), it's no longer distorted, and therefore no longer anamorphic.


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 06:56 
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Hmm I see both sides of the argument here.

On one hand, based on it's use on DVDs I always thought anamorphic meant fixed aspect ratio too since those DVDs would always display in 16:9 or 2.35:1 regardless of the ratio of the display. I don't think it has a high potential to confuse anyone and I'm not against making a new meaning for an old word. How many people need to start using/accepting the term in the "wrong" context before it beomces the right one?

On the other hand, fixed aspect ratio already describes the effect accurately and more directly I suppose, so I don't know that there's a need for the new term, it's not even that much of a character savings ;)


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PostPosted: 29 Apr 2008, 23:42 
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"Fixed aspect ratio" describes a static property of the game. It isn't a kind of "screen change" like "hor +" and "vert -" are. The "screen change" of these games specifically involves the black bars becoming smaller, so the term used needs to reflect that.


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