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[Idea] fix CinemaScope anamorphic lenses distortion
#1
Lightbulb 
Working on 20,000 leagues under the sea, the distortion given by the CinemaScope anamorphic lenses was clear (to me) in more than one horizontal pans; vertical axis seems to not be affected at all, but I may be wrong.

So, it would be beneficial to fix this problem; Avisynth filter WarpedResize (http://avisynth.nl/index.php/SimpleResize) may fix this easily; the only problem is to find out the right settings... once found them, the fix *should* apply to all CinemaScope films - at least the ones which had not received an eventual distortion fix.
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#2
The early anamorphic camera lenses did indeed introduce geometric distortions. Search for 'anamorphic mumps'. Eventually the designs were refined, increasing the number of lens elements and improving the focussing mechanisms to minimise the 'bad' distortions whilst keeping the 'good' distortions we all know and love (flares, bokeh). The expansion anamorphic lenses used in cinemas are much simpler in design (generally two doublets) and will introduce their own distortion but the large throw distances tended to mitigate this.
You will probably find that the distortion will vary from production to production and indeed from shot to shot. It'll be interesting to see how this works out though.
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#3
The earliest Scope lenses were quickly cobbled together for the first Fox feature length Scope films, so each lens for the early Scope work was unique and each could have it's own advantages and issues. A couple of lenses were typically used for any one given feature, so as Zoidberg noted, you could see distortions change shot by shot.  By the mid-1950s, Scope lens quality control had improved.

Variables also include how close subject matter is to the camera, distance between subject matter and background, etc.

All this said, yes.. I do think if parameters were tracked and presets made, this could be dealt with.  IIRC, Lowry digital had asked Fox if they wanted anamorphic issues corrected or minimized for their restorative work on THE ROBE, the first CinemaScope released feature. Fox declined.  (No worries though, as I'm pretty sure this title is being revisited..)
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#4
An interesting Scope sidenote on the making of "20,000 Leagues", and this might be common knowledge, but had read this in an interview with someone on the making of the feature back in the late 1980's in a magazine called the Perfect Vision.

Apparently they were having problems getting good shots of the Nautilus model for the underwater tunnel shots with the then new scope lenses and getting the model shots to look .. well.. realistic, with the lighting requirements needed for Scope. Then someone devised an ingenious workaround: They built a new model of the Nautilus- only now it was squeezed, right down the oval rivits. They shot said footage without anamorphic lenses but when played back with a Scope lens, said it looked fantastic!
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#5
I love reading about all the old school 'tricks'.
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#6
(2018-04-20, 01:47 AM)Wisp of Smoke Wrote: Apparently they were having problems getting good shots of the Nautilus model for the underwater shots with the then new scope lenses and getting the model shots to look .. well.. realistic.  Then someone devised an ingenious workaround:  They built a new model of the Nautilus- only now it was squeezed, right down the oval rivits.  They shot said footage without anamorphic lenses but when played back with a Scope lens, said it looked fantastic!

Great! I love pre-CGI effects and workarounds! Ok
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#7
I always wondered why a lot of modern digital transfers didn't correct anamorphic distortions. HD transfers and great looking home televisions have really made it more noticeable than ever before.

I'll be following this thread...
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#8
You'd also have to worry about distortion during any pans or camera movement. There was a whole list of things cameramen had to avoid doing and this caused a whole new method of composition. Many of these films were shown cropped to 2.35 on video until HD and sometimes not in the correct ratio either such as Bridge on the River Kwai being corrected only for the new 4K scanned version.
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader
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