1280x1024 is 5:4

category: general [glöplog]
It's becoming pretty standard for productions to offer aspect ratio selection now. Thusfar, very few offer 5:4 as an option.. so I thought I'd put a note out that the availability of 5:4 mode is much appreciated when I come across it. Otherwise, on my 1280x1024 (square pixels, hence 5:4) display, I need to try and select 1280x960 is conjunction with 4:3 in order to maintain correct aspect.
added on the 2007-08-21 14:06:08 by bigcheese bigcheese
added it to my list of monitor aspects. forgot it before.
added on the 2007-08-21 14:22:47 by smash smash
I agree with bigcheese...
added on the 2007-08-21 14:35:27 by texel texel
Thanks. I figured some people just aren't aware of it. I had never calculated 1280/1024 until I'd already bought my display.
added on the 2007-08-21 14:45:08 by bigcheese bigcheese
And talking about aspect ratio, how do coders really cope with these ? are you using diffrent screen size , different font sizes ? different perscpective ratio ? or is it just resizing the viewport ?
added on the 2007-08-21 15:16:16 by kohai kohai
for demos it's mostly knowing the demo's preferred ratio and then letterboxing (even at the sides somethimes).

For games (at least ours ;) it's planning for 4:3, then extending the 3D viewport FOV and having a grid/ruler based layout engine that can re-layout the 2D overlays so they look good in every ratio.
added on the 2007-08-21 15:28:10 by kb_ kb_
kohai: I render to an off-screen surface of the demos preferred resolution (if the screen isn't already the preferred aspect ration, that is) and blit that to the screen. after clearing the borders.
added on the 2007-08-21 15:41:31 by kusma kusma
Referring to kb's explanation, I consider the key word to be "extension".. always considering the center area to be a 4:3 viewport (which always has the same standard FOV), with extensions as required. The extension may be on the sides (for extension to widescreen), or on the top and bottom (for extension to 5:4, for example). (this was basically already explained.. but I figure there's no harm in explaining it again) I came up with the same solution once when designing for multiplayer viewports on a shared screen.. and also for flexible window extents.. so it has applications aside from just supporting different fullscreen resolutions.

A thought I often have is that rather than tell the app that my display's aspect ratio is 5:4, I think it would be more logical for me to tell it that my pixel aspect ratio is 1:1. To tell it that my desired resolution is 1280x1024 and that the aspect is 5:4 is redundant.. unless my pixel aspect were not 1:1. But in that case, then the calculation may be a bit complicated.. and so again, I'd prefer to state my pixel aspect ratio.
added on the 2007-08-21 16:15:48 by bigcheese bigcheese
I suppose a different way of viewing it is that the "display aspect ratio" is the ratio of its physical horizontal dimension over its physical vertical dimension. That's probably the most intuitive anyway.. though after doing some coding, it's not so obvious anymore.
added on the 2007-08-21 16:18:14 by bigcheese bigcheese
we let you choose an aspect ratio (erm, unless we forgot your monitor's aspect from the list :) ) and screen res separately so you can e.g. run 800x600 on a 16:9 screen with no borders.
all our demos are produced in 16:9 these days (as it's a good common denominator), and we just set the viewport and render straight to back buffer.
added on the 2007-08-21 16:19:31 by smash smash
Ah, that makes sense. I hadn't thought of it that way. Normally I'm afraid of any unnecessary filtering, so I prefer to choose exactly 1280x1024 or to choose 1280x(<1024) so that I avoid extra filtering (and get letterboxing). If I'm really desperate for a higher framerate though, then I do occasionally make an exception.
added on the 2007-08-21 16:35:46 by bigcheese bigcheese
smash, as you default to the desktop resolution anyway, how about an "auto" setting that assumes square pixels. This way people can simply start the demo/mag and it will look right - or at least exactly as wrong as everything else on their computer ;)
added on the 2007-08-21 17:16:38 by kb_ kb_
kb: it does autodetect native aspect and res (from the monitor rather than the desktop, actually :)), its just it then uses the results for a combo box. which didnt have 5:4 on it. :)
the good news is i added it yesterday, so you'll be ok from now on. :)
added on the 2007-08-21 17:19:57 by smash smash
While you guys are at it: A lot of demos use a widescreenish look. Please support also 1440×900.
I wonder if there's a way to detect squarepixels mode...
added on the 2007-08-21 20:42:14 by Gargaj Gargaj
I should change my interface... instead of having a list I'll simple have 4 text fields. Yes I have one. Yes, I have never used it.
added on the 2007-08-21 20:49:36 by xernobyl xernobyl
Maybe I should skip the Aspect Ratio part and only use the desktop's aspect ratio.
added on the 2007-08-21 20:50:24 by xernobyl xernobyl
bigchesse, I've seen a lot of people using 4:3 CRT in 1280x1024 and others using 5:4 TFT in 1024x768... So not everybody is using 1:1 pixel ratio...
added on the 2007-08-21 21:21:05 by texel texel
texel, yeah, but on those configs everything looks wrong. so simply assuming square pixels and desktop resolution won't perhaps work 100%, but at least it won't make things look any worse than the user is used to anyway ;)
added on the 2007-08-21 21:24:17 by kb_ kb_
kb: one of my brothers is architect and it is so sad it is one of the users of 1024x768 and 5:4 tft... I tried to explain the aspect ratio problem and he just said "so what?"... I've had a good laugh when I read your "but at least it won't make things look any worse than the user is used to anyway ;)" remembering this...
added on the 2007-08-21 21:43:12 by texel texel
Architect... let me guess... he thinks is houses are slightly taller than they really are. :D
added on the 2007-08-21 22:09:04 by xernobyl xernobyl
yeah well, i had an artistic director (amongst other things) who was evaluating the roundness of his photoshop or freehand drawings by sticking a cup or whatever round objects to the screen... i pointed him that making a circle in photoshop or freehand or whatever is way quicker and much more accurate. and after quick verification (cup on actual circle) his pixel ratio wasn't square.
also it's interresting to see how screen size evolved from 320x200 (8:5) to 1280x1024 (5:4) on 4:3 CRTs :) ..square pixels are just a myth!!
added on the 2009-03-13 08:43:03 by BarZoule BarZoule
bigcheese, but, what makes you think your pixels are square and not rectangular? picking the actual measures of your screen would be much more useful to determine its aspect ratio..
added on the 2009-03-13 09:15:25 by nystep nystep
are there "standard" displays out there with non-square pixels these days?
added on the 2009-03-13 09:18:45 by blala blala
xernobyl, that's what I've thought too. Have text fields for width, height, aspect and refresh rate. Can't really go wrong with that :)
added on the 2009-03-13 09:20:13 by pommak pommak