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tv safe

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tv safe

i know that 720 by 540 is ''tv safe'' but i just want to know is that what the studios use? is for instance the simpsons made with 720 by 540 pictures?

just wondering because i want the best quality picture i can get :D

"tv safe" means the border that the action and titles are put in an image to make sure that no television cuts off the important parts of the image. What you're talking about is resolution, and NTSC television resolution is 720x486 with a .9 pixel aspect ratio - or 720x540 with a 1.0 pixel aspect ratio. Something like the Simpsons is probably created in a much higher resolution - maybe 2k, and then scaled down to tv res. "The best picture quality you can get" is only limited by what you can load on your computer. If you want to output to tv only, then 720x540 would work for you, but if you ever want to output to film then you should do 2k resolution or higher. It is always better to scale down to the required resolution than scale up.

Well . . . The Simpsons is actually still drawn (unless I'm mistaken) on acetate cels, then scanned into a computer to do digital ink and paint. So, from one point of view, it doesn't have an "original" resolution, and then I don't know what resolution they use when they scan it in.

Secondly, "TV Safe" is very important when animating or laying out a scene, because you don't want things to be cut off by a "normal" TV when broadcast. You should always turn on a "TV Safe" reticle so that you stay within its borders.

- Jason Scott

i always thought it was 720x576 (tv safe i mean)

I think people are confused on what "TV Safe" is . . .

When an image is shown on a normal CRT television, about 10% is lost on the edge of the screen due to the way TV's work. The resolution is still 720x486 (at a .9 pixel aspect ratio), but you won't be able to see the edges of the image.

So, "TV Safe" is the area in which things will ALWAYS been seen on a TV (in other words, they won't disappear at the edge). So, if you have some item or action (it's also called "Action Safe") that's important to your image, don't put it at the edge of the screen.

There's also "Title Safe" which is where you should put any text for your film. Its area spares another 10% of the TV safe area just to be . . . well . . . safe.

- Jason Scott

Well . . . The Simpsons is actually still drawn (unless I'm mistaken) on acetate cels, then scanned into a computer to do digital ink and paint.

Inking cleanup drawings onto acetate just to scan them into a computer would add a level of labor and expense that modern TV budgets just can't support. I'd wager that it's the cleanup pencils that get scanned.

actually i heard they scan in the rough frames and draw over them with a tablet.

I've included a sample 720 x 540 title safe overlay that I base mine off of. You should be able to find these on different animation websites. I know there's a Flash one floating around. In fact if you have Flash MX, not MX 2004, they include a template for title safe. The outer edge is your work space. The next line in, is the action safe. You want to keep all your critical animation in here. The next line in after that in the title safe. You want to keep all text with in this area.

These are getting more and more obsolete as new HD TV's come on the market. It was more neccesary with older TV's where the case edge holding the glass were bigger and would encroach on the TV image. It's still good practice to keep these guides in mind as you don't want action and text too close to the edge of the TV.

Oh, and for the Simpsons, they still draw and clean-up everything traditionally on paper. Then scan that in for digital ink and paint. I can't remember what program they use for that though. I know they had to go in and add noise and cel shadows because the higher ups thought it looked too clean. Not sure if they are still doing that though.

the Ape


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