Cinematic Rendering: Tutorial

Being interested in film, I started digging around Wikipedia, namely aspect ratios.
I was interested in what created that lovely cinematic look with the black bars (letterboxing) the top and bottom of the frame. Well, as Wikipedia puts it, there are two common film aspect ratios and one VERY common TV/INTERNET aspect ratio (no prizes for guessing :) )

So, what are these film aspect ratios?

US cinema common: 1.85:1
Common Cinema 2.35:1 & 2.39:1 (2.40:1)

So, How do I achieve the cinematic look in my work?

Well, one amateur way that it is achieve is, rendering or shooting at 16:9 (1920x1080)
then adding in black bars or cropping so that the visible film is now 2.35:1.

SO, when rendering or working completely with CGI, this is UNNEEDED!


Why not render at the wanted aspect ratio, this could cut down on render times, when for example rendering at 1920x817 (2.35:1), you render half a million less pixels.
Depending on the scene intensity, that can cut render times down considerably.

Well, what if I want to render at a different aspect ratio?

use THIS website
I input 1920, then the aspect ratio (1.85:1) and the website calculated dimensions of:

This keeps the internet dimension of 1920xB, making it easy to upload to the web (i.e youtube)
This means you can upload the rendered content directly to Vimeo, and the 2.35 aspect ratio will remain,
so you would get a video without black letterboxing, 


you could put the file through say, after effects or premier, into a 1080p composition, then export at 1920x1080, achieving a 16:9 file, with letter boxing to 2.35;1

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