Shooting in anamorphic or Scope (as it’s sometimes referred to), has been mostly used on the set of big Hollywood productions by big-name filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, J.J Abrams, Wes Craven and many others, slowly turns into an accessible cinematic technique for indie filmmakers as well.
Everything you need is having access to anamorphic lenses and camera that support 4:3 aspect ratio. Alternatively, one can shoot anamorphic with 1.33x squeeze factor and 16:9 sensor, however, the most pleasing results could be achieved with true 2x anamorphic lenses attached to a camera with native 4:3 sensor where more horizontal lines are involved in the process. Due to the recently released Firmware 2.0, Panasonic GH4 is now capable of shooting in 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1 aspect ratios when the new Photo Mode is selected in the video recording menu.
Luke Neumann from Neumann Films produced informative video tutorial where he explains how to process an anamorphic footage shot with GH4:
Keep in mind the when you shoot in Photo Mode on GH4 you can select to shoot at 25fps or 30fps only. However, you can conform 25p footage to 24p later in your NLE. Further, there is another alternative workflow how to unsqueeze anamorphic footage even more easily using an Anamorphic plug-in which is part of the Dashwood Editor Essentials. This set of utility plugins can be extremely useful for repairing footage and could save a lot of time and effort in post as well. In the next video tutorial, we’ll see how to use Anamorphic filter in Premiere Pro, Final Cut 7 and Final Cut X.
The Anamorphic filter “unsqueezes” footage shot with various anamorphic lenses including standard scope 2x, specialty 1.5x, 1.25x, as well as the rare 1.33x adapters from Panasonic or Century Optics. The Anamorphic filter can unsqueeze, crop and scale 2.39:1 aspect ratio from all 16 x 9 sensors as well the Arri Alexa Studio’s 4:3 sensor.
To use the Anamorphic plugin just select the filter from the Dashwood Editor Essentials in the Effects Tab and drag it to the clip selection on your timeline. By default, a “2x unsqueeze” will occur. You have three more options to choose from 1.25x, 1.33x and 1.5x. Select the one that is appropriate for your anamorphic lens squeeze factor.
The final step is to scale up the footage so it can fit entirely on the size of your sequence. Again, you have three more options to select from. If your footage was captured in 16:9 aspect ratio choose 2.39 Scope2X 16×9 option from the drop down menu. If it was shot in 4:3 select 2.39 Scope 2X from 4:3. You can also perform a Custom Scale or disable scaling by choosing None.
At last but not least, keep in mind that you always should disable Auto Scaling to Frame Size to view the anamorphic footage appropriately scaled and in its full size. If you want to disable this function in Premiere Pro by default, you can go to Preferences and then in General Tab you should disselect Default scale to frame size.
In Final Cut X navigate to Spatial Conform of the selected clip and choose None from the menu.
You can download the trial version of Editor Essentials from the online store of fxfactory.com