alice cohen

alice cohen Plus

This topic has been brought up in a few other threads, but a staff member suggested it needed its own thread here: those of us that still work in 4:3 have been fighting for a viable way to present our videos in the best light, since the changeover to the new design. At first, there were complaints about the larger viewing window degrading the look of our SD videos. For myself, one reason I shoot 4:3, is that I much prefer a more square format, rather than the elongated rectangle, so popular now.
A "compromise" was reached, according to vimeo staff, by deciding to add the black pillarbox bars. I find this compromise unsatisfactory - it just doesn't look as nice, or as clean as before - when the edges of the frame ended naturally and there weren't heavy black bars distracting the viewer.
With all the technology out there, it seems odd to me that the wonderful feature we had before - which allowed ALL sizes of video to be displayed beautifully as they were meant to be seen - should be removed. looking back, this was possibly the BEST feature of vimeo, and one that looked so classy, when you could view the different styles of videos that people made, without "compromise". I am asking politely, if there is any way this wonderful feature could be worked back into the new system?? really i think it is extremely important, and have a feeling many other users agree. The black bars actually make the site look less sleek and modern, than it did before, which i doubt is the intention of vimeo....

Soxiam

Soxiam Staff

Hi Alice. As you have noticed we're testing a different approach to presenting SD videos on clip pages. One of the main goals for the current version in testing was to avoid scaling the SD videos unless necessary; this was negatively affecting the quality of SD video and its thumbnail. We had two approaches under consideration. Show the video in correct aspect ratio inside the video player that fits our layout or shrink and center the video player. Either of this approach will have the "effect" of pillar boxing. Even if we shrink the player, there will be the appearance of pillarboxing on either side of the player. The main reason why we chose the current direction is because we thought the spatial orientation of the player user interface elements was more consistent. We will continue to think about this and try to improve the design.

One more thing... I think it's important to remember that we're only adjusting the player size. The original aspect ratio of the video itself is not being affected nor is it being scaled up unnecessarily .

Joel Fletcher

Joel Fletcher Plus

I do think that pillarboxing is better than scaling up, but it is simply bad presentation. Vimeo is NOT a television, which is how you are currently presenting it. There is no reason to display videos online with pillarboxing, letterboxing, whatever. Yes, centering the video with no black in its correct aspect ratio will have the "effect" of pillarboxing, but that is a stretch. It would have the same white around the movie that the rest of the page has, and not have a timeline and controls wider than the movie. It would look just like an embedded video. What could possibly be wrong with that? Clearly this is the correct way to go. Please consider this approach.

FINER SIDE

FINER SIDE Plus

I agree with Joel's response, and I'm sure many other PLUS members are thinking along the same lines. Please listen to our input!

Nicole de Coteau

Nicole de Coteau

I also agree with Joel (and Alice and Rob and everyone else who has written in, but this is the only forum entry on this topic that hasn't since been locked.).

The pillarboxing looks horrible. Obviously it is better than stretching or scaling up, but the black bars really detract from the visual experience. It really looks unprofessional.

There is one staff response that says "the way our page layout is in the new design does not allow for a 4:3 player without grossly upscaling the video." If the problem is the page layout in the new design, I would like to suggest that there be a second page layout available to users, one which allows for a 4:3 player. It could be an advanced setting that you pick when you upload your video.

alice cohen

alice cohen Plus

Thanks Nicole, but it ain't gonna happen. They are dealing with our complaints by *not* dealing with them, until we give up and go away. I am now being forced to shoot in wider HD, for the sole reason that I hate the black bars. They've won. It's a shame they won't listen, but I'm tired of coming up with reasonable arguments only to have them ignored. I think the whole thing is ridiculous, and I've lost a lot of respect for Vimeo, but at this point, i just need to get back to work on my videos.

Victor Kellar

Victor Kellar Plus

Beautifully phrased, I couldn't have expressed it better. Although I now work mostly in HD I go back and look at some of my old 4:3 videos which used to look beautiful and they seem far less interesting now. Vimeo is a community, so they say, so it should try to allow all kinds of people to express themselves in the best possible way, as once it did

Dan Melamid

Dan Melamid Plus

PLEASE BRING THIS BACK!!!
The artists that use this site need this kind of freedom no constrained by proportions...
plus you guys ruined lots of great work by adding black bars to it...
this was one of the main pluses to vimeo over youtube!

Joel Fletcher

Joel Fletcher Plus

I would rather have the pillarbox than have my movies scaled up. However, Vimeo is not a television, there is no real reason to show black bars on any movie, regardless of the aspect ratio. I am sure that you folks have the programming skills to center standard def movies on the page without the pillarbox. Please consider doing this, and your customers will be much happier.

Christopher Guinness

Christopher Guinness Plus

Before, one of the best advantages the Vimeo player had over others was being able to upload unique aspect ratios and not have the letter box frame the ends.

Hopefully we can have the choice to go back to this.

The Film Artist

The Film Artist PRO

Dear Vimeo, I strongly agree with everyone here, the ability to upload unique aspect ratios and that too without the black bars was one of the most amazing things about Vimeo. So much so I especially used Adobe Premiere to create this effect after I edited some of my movies in Avid Studio. Many films that have been featured on Vimeo have had unique aspect ratios without black bars. It looks better and extends the creativity from users and enhances the features of the film. My film 'Supermoon' is simply not the same anymore vimeo.com/41667201 with those black bars and indeed some of the films from my favourite artists such as Philip Bloom, Vituc and Christopher Guiness. So please Vimeo put it back how it was or as Chris suggests give us a choice. Many thanks TFA :)

FINER SIDE

FINER SIDE Plus

I just wanted to agree with everything that has been said here. All of my work is in 4:3 and I hate the new black bars, centering the videos sounds like the best compromise. I really hope this gets changed in the near future.

Jack Packard

Jack Packard Plus

I'd like to add to this and say more custom sizes, I would love to create tall videos 9x16 with out worrying about black bars.
I know Vimeo does some custom player for anamorphic, and wider aspects...I'd like to see it go both ways.

Lara Scott

Lara Scott

Agreed, agreed. I'd rather the black bars than having it stretched or scaled, but I do so miss the lovely clean look of the old days. I would love to see this changed back or the options expanded. If not, I'll look for other options, sadly.

Dan Melamid

Dan Melamid Plus

can we get anyone from vimeo to let us know if this is something that might happen at any point?

The Why We Love

The Why We Love Plus

Strange that only the SD 4:3 pillarboxes but HD 4:3 is beautiful. Disappointing really. Makes every SD film I have look cheap and lackluster. I hope you can work this out Vimeo. It's unprofessional for a service provider to take payment a year in advance for a service that works perfect and then months into it everything you have worked on is compromised. Is Vimeo ready to refund all the monies to Plus and Pro users for this issue?

Liespersecond _ L Butler

Liespersecond _ L Butler

I also really don't like how this looks, and though I understand the reason behind doing it, most viewers probably won't, I have already had people ask why I've put black borders around my video. There are various reasons why I don't always want to upload in HD. I prefer the sound of the "shrink and center the video player" option.

alice cohen

alice cohen Plus

Agreeing with everything upthread - please remove black bars, and try the "centering" approach, which was mentioned.
also - the stretched thumbnails...are still just that...very stretched. there hasn't been any change or improvement with those.
Also agree with the statement upthread, that it is unprofessional to take payment from the plus users, who relied and counted on seeing our work presented the way we liked - suddenly our work is compromised, and there's nothing we can do.

Kris Peck

Kris Peck Plus

agree with alice cohen on all counts.

the vertical black bars are an improvement over the JUMBO size 4:3 player, but still not satisfactory.

how bout shift the 4:3 videos to the left and be in line with the VIMEO logo and the video title. It won't be "centered" but would look much better.

stretched thumbnails are an embarrassment. If television adds 10 pounds than Vimeo adds 40!

and please create a 4:3 Gallery layout for the channels. Thanks!

Visionlux

Visionlux Plus

I do a lot of portrait oriented video for digital signage and this new, ahem..."Improved" player has destroyed 80% of my work .
All I want to know is, why was the old player so flexible and beautiful for a diverse body of work and the new ahem..."improved" player is stubborn and homogenic?
Is it really impossible to code this?

alice cohen

alice cohen Plus

could a staff member please address our concerns? I don't think anyone is requesting anything outrageous, and it would be nice to have our issues acknowledged - all the concerns in this thread seem perfectly reasonable, and everyone's being respectful, just concerned for the presentation of our work. can someone please at least acknowledge that they understand why we're upset? and that perhaps we are raising important points here for the good of the vimeo community?

Kasra Design

Kasra Design Plus

Hi Alice,

We are dealing with this attitude : I own the company and I do what i like, if you don't like it, leave it.

So better don't waste your time. Since day one that we addressed the huge design mistakes to the staff, my perception about Vimeo changed drastically. I used to think Vimeo is made with love by a cool and supportive management team who understands art and design.

Kris Peck

Kris Peck Plus

yeah....sadly I agree. Although, there have been many small improvements made to the new vimeo since it was first launched. The custom video sizes must have the design team stumped. I KNOW they can do better than simply pillar-boxing everything that's not 16:9.

Harry Juselius

Harry Juselius Plus

Yesss...I agree.... rather the black bars than having my films stretched or scaled so that its not clear anymore and lets have space for longer videos too ..., well...my videos were ok in the good old days and clear but ...... I would like all this to be changed back ...some times the improvements just do not work as there is things you did not think ....as now....so if Youtube boys can do it you can do it too.....Harry.

Link: vimeo.com/1197925

Visionlux

Visionlux Plus

"rather the black bars than having my films stretched or scaled so that its not clear anymore"

I'd rather my Videos look like they did when I paid for an account. Properly framed at the intended resolution.

Perez

Perez

I agree with all of the above... Even if I heven´t read everything!

Dan Melamid

Dan Melamid Plus

can youtube videos be uploaded with custom sizes? is there any service besides vimeo that allows custom sizes without borders?

FINER SIDE

FINER SIDE Plus

Any further thoughts from the staff? Please consider our feedback!

Luke Haddock

Luke Haddock Plus

Seriously guys, the pillarbox format with the timeline stretching into the black just looks shoddy. It makes a 4:3 video look like it's swimming in a black lake of broken. Please give us back honest to goodness 4:3.

alice cohen

alice cohen Plus

This thread was started a month ago - with only one staff response, saying they are "testing" the black bar pillarbox thing. despite complaints in this thread and elsewhere, there has been no further comments from the staff - I guess that means black bars are here to stay!
At least the videos look "normal" when they are embedded, which makes me very curious why Vimeo isn't able to find a satisfactory solution to this problem. They do not seem concerned, they do not seem to care. I would like them to honestly say that they think this looks good, or that there is no way to solve this issue. it was fine before - why is it not possible now to have the custom sizes, i still don't understand. the technology was supposed to be an "improvement" not a step backwards.

Irani Friend

Irani Friend

"videos look "normal" when they are embedded, which makes me very curious why Vimeo isn't able to find a satisfactory solution to this problem. They do not seem concerned, they do not seem to care. I would like them to honestly say that they think this looks good, or that there is no way to solve this issue. it was fine before - why is it not possible now to have the custom sizes, i still don't understand."

The Vimeo staff have gone silent on the vast majority of "issues" that paying customers and community members have raised both in this thread and in several others regarding failings / shortcomings of "New" Vimeo - The Vimeo staff simply do not engage in any way. What hurts most is that this behaviour is 180˚ from their former friendly, creative and welcoming manner - and displays quite a shocking paucity of imagination and resourcefulness on the part of what had been the most lively, aesthetically pleasing and hip video site on Earth...

There seems to me to be no plausible reason for this silence and lack of engagement...

It *is* a blessing that the videos embed well and look as their creators intended - I really like *YOUR* videos, btw, Alice - and I thank you for your calm persistence in the face of the Borg...

alice cohen

alice cohen Plus

Thank you Irani. I think this is "it". there are not going to be any more replies given, or changes made.
I am being forced now to shoot in wider HD, just so my stuff won't have those gross black bars. It is clear that "they" don't give a shit, or maybe it is beyond their control, and they still need to get their paycheck, so I guess that's it, nobody's gonna fight for us. I appreciate what you're saying about my being "calm", but at this point I am giving in and shooting differently, just so my stuff doesn't look so unprofessional and shoddy with the bars.

Irani Friend

Irani Friend

Well, Alice - Austin Briggs *did* discover and point us all to the "Creative COW" ( "Creative Communities of the World" ) site, which allows for video uploads in all sorts of formats...

Shoot as *YOU* think best, but I suppose one also has to acknowledge the relentless Borg...

I really *DO* like your work, and it would be good to work together...Message me if you would like to discuss - I have one poem project and I plan on doing at least one music video before too long...

As you say - the Borg are not even paying attention to the Artists, the articulate, the thoughtful - any longer, hereabouts...!

All Good Wishes, Alice ! ! !

Smithers

Smithers

Any answer - can we have a custom size without black bars? Personally I don't mind if the video quality suffers a wee bit by the stretching.

Rolf Mahnke

Rolf Mahnke

I clearly agree. Since this is a very important issue, which is even questioning the use of vimeo, it is a shame that vimeo disregards all these posts.

Aline Motta

Aline Motta

Vimeo staff, please please please let us have our 4:3 videos without pillarboxing back.

Dan Melamid

Dan Melamid Plus

Having other issues that never happened on the old vimeo (audio sync!)
I came back to visit this topic, and was not surprised to see that the staff and owners don't give a shit about their long time paying users...
bring the old vimeo back!!!

Soxiam

Soxiam Staff

Hello Dan. If you have issues with audio sync, please post the URLs to our HELP forum and our staff will investigate and try to help.

Phil Hastings

Phil Hastings Plus

Thought I'd through my experience into the open request. I am currently working on a very large series of vertical videos for galleries. I'd love to be able to upload and view these as intended but as so may have already said, the Vimeo formatting does not allow for custom/non-standard sizes. As Vimeo is an organization promoting itself as an alternative to the commercial and crass seen elsewhere, it would be nice to actually be able to preview my work as I intended (vertically). Especially now that I am a paying Plus member.
Vimeo, please find a solution to this. Support your artistically inclined clients, and yes those that are paying members are your clients too. Thanks for the site and hard work that you do put in.

94 Elements

94 Elements Plus

Very sad to see the option of custom aspect ratios disappear - it was was a fantastic and unique feature previously provided by Vimeo which offered endless creative possibilities. There is so much more to life than 16:9! It would be great to see this feature returned.

Kris Peck

Kris Peck Plus

seriously!!!! as if any film shot other than 16:9 is somehow wrong or weird.

I noticed my 4:3 videos are presented correctly on "my videos" page and also on "choose a thumbnail" page without the unnecessary vertical black bars. If only they could look like that on the main video page.

please vimeo. help us out here. love us back.

Erik Forsström

Erik Forsström

I'm usually not a guy that complains, but c'mon!!!

I'm paying for this.

Simon O'Neill

Simon O'Neill Plus

This is a very interesting discussion as I am re-editing some TV sequences I made for a pilot in 4:3 but will now have to present here on Vimeo wedged between the black bars like a head in a vice. I wasn't aware that Vimeo got rid of the option to house your videos in a bespoke 4:3 setting but would love to see this feature return.

And, as mentioned above, this isn't like people moaning about Youtube or even Facebook's unending series of tinkering. They are free sites and if you don't like what their meddling you can always leave. As a PLUS Vimeo user however, we all pay towards the upkeep and advancement of the site so these opinions should carry more weight with the staff.

julien dorra

julien dorra

I just came back on Vimeo, after a 3 years hiatus, and realized that there is now a standardized size for videos -- everything else got the ugly blackbars.

For a creativity-oriented platform, it's kind of sad. The web itself, and now the VIDEO html5 tag, allow us to think about videos very much like images, integrated in the page and more free than on TV.

A creative platform like Vimeo should enable us to explore a variety of formats: square videos, vertical videos, 2.35 cinema ratio videos, etc. It would be forward thinking.

(Many, many video artists, for example, have used vertical videos for exhibitions and installations).

The good news is that embedding seems to still work in any ratio, so I will probably try and embed some videos and see if it's easy and fun enough.

All Things Moving

All Things Moving Plus

I made a square Video Christmas Card two years ago (vimeo.com/18079320) and I would like to show it around here at Vimeo but I understand from this discussion there's no way to get rid of the letterbox? I have seen a vertical video some three weeks ago. How did this user get it right?

Link: vimeo.com/18079320

EatApp

EatApp PRO

Interesting - I've just signed up to Vimeo Pro. I now need to embed a video into my website but it needs to be square in shape, without any pillar box effect.

Is there anyway of doing this via the vimeo embed options?

Any help greatly appreciated.

The Line

The Line Plus

Hi.

I have just completed a 2 year project in a portrait aspect ratio. We tested it on Vimeo 2 years ago when we started, and are really disappointed to find out about this development.

I am a huge fan of Vimeo generally but this seems mad. The site has a white background, sticking black bars either either side of a video looks strange.

Hopefully

Sean Ross

Sean Ross

I'd like to add my voice to the choir here. Black bars simply look unprofessional. It's quite common for everyone to shoot in different aspect ratios and sizes. In order to be perceived as a pro video option you need to address this and make your player more flexible to what's inside of it. Can you imagine if museums did the same, forcing "consistency" in terms of only allowing one frame size, for every artist? Yeah, it's THAT ridiculous.

Ben Jacobs

Ben Jacobs Plus

Is there STILL no word on this from staff? Embedding a video 16:9 but it's automatically adds black borders around to fit the website space...which doesnt look good on a white background. Client isn't happy and I need a solution to this otherwise I'll have to find another way!

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hey there,

Is the video 4:3? If so is there a reason the player needs to be 16:9? The player will always fit the video size unless you deliberately alter the aspect ratio of the player size when embedding.

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

Sorry but we don't offer the ability to change the color of the player background.

videorize

videorize

Just upgraded to plus because I needed to upload some HD videos one of which was created for a vertical monitor. Was very disappointed when I saw the black pillars on the side. Since I remembered seeing all sorts of video aspect ratios on vimeo I had no idea I could not upload my video without having those horrible pillars. If I had known, I think I would not have upgraded to plus.
I think Vimeo should take this issue in serious consideration. I cannot see how going back to free custom aspect ratio can damage vimeo, but I surely can see how not satisfying clients' reasonable requests can.

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

Unfortunately, vertical videos are not ideal for working within our design, or most web sites to be honest. We have to put pillar boxes on the left and right to keep the video's height within a viewable area of the page.

If you embed your video, you shouldn't see any pillar-boxing.

videorize

videorize

Unfortunately, vertical videos are not ideal for working within our design
(YOUR DESIGN IS NOW 16:9 WHICH IS STANDARD. IT USED TO BE MORE FLEXIBLE IN THE PAST AND IT WAS VERY COOL AS I WOULD EXPECT A COOL CREATIVE MEDIA SUCH AS VIMEO TO BE. THE CHOICE OF SHOOTING OR EDITING IN A PARTICULAR ASPECT RATIO IS PART OF THE ARTISTIC CREATIVE PROCESS OF A VIDEOMAKER/MEDIA ARTIST. SETTING LIMITATIONS TO THE ASPECT RATIO MEANS SETTING BOUNDARIES TO ONE'S CREATIVITY)
, or most web sites to be honest (INFACT BY CHOOSING TO CONFORM TO WHAT MOST WEB SITES DO YOU ARE KILLING WHAT MAKES VIMEO SUCH A COOL INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE MEDIA). We have to put pillar boxes on the left and right to keep the video's height within a viewable area of the page. ( YOU DONT HAVE TO PUT PILLAR BOXES, YOU CHOSE TO DO SO - AND NOT TO BE A NUISANCE- THE REASONS GIVEN FOR DOING SO ARE NOT SATISFACTORY SO FAR)
If you embed your video, you shouldn't see any pillar-boxing ( NOW DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?)

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

We made the choice to keep vertical videos within the viewable area of the page, because if we didn't, they'd extend below the fold and make it impossible to see the whole video without scrolling.

When you embed the video, the player conforms to it's dimensions, so you wouldn't see black bars.

videorize

videorize

We made the choice to keep vertical videos within the viewable area of the page, because if we didn't, they'd extend below the fold and make it impossible to see the whole video without scrolling. SINCE THE MAXIMUM SIZE ALLOWED IS HD (1080 PX FOR THE VERTICAL SIDE) HOW WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO HAVE THE VIDEO EXTENDING BELOW THE FOLD?)
HAVING VIDEOS CONSTRAINED TO A SPECIFIC AREA OF THE PAGE OF YOUR CHOICE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ASPECT RATIO AND PILLAR BARS. ALL YOU'D NEED TO DO IS SET A MAX LENGHT FOR HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL SIDES - WHICH YOU ALREADY HAVE - BUT INDEPENDENT FROM ONE-ANOTHER. RESULT= ANY ASPECT RATIO IN AN AREA OF THE PAGE YOU CHOOSE WITHOUT THE VIDEO EXCEEDING SPECIFIC DIMENSIONS.

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

Sorry, not sure what you're talking about? Also, please try to avoid using all caps, it makes it hard to understand your intended response.

Videos will always fit within the 16:9 player, so we have to add pillar boxing on Vimeo.com. We will not shrink the width of the player on-site to make it fit a vertical video. Again, when you embed these videos this wouldn't be a problem.

videorize

videorize

I apologize for the caps. Your statement : "We will not shrink the width of the player on-site to make it fit a vertical video" is pretty clear and is all you needed to say since the beginning.
I think it's a bad choice on your side, and the reason this thread is here is because other people agree with me, but at least it's clear. Maybe you should state these aspect ratio limitations as clearly in your guidelines. Let's drop the customized aspect ratios topic, but at least as far as 4:3 is concerned you should state that videos get displayed pillarboxed, this way people may sense that any format other than 16:9 would have black bars somewhere whether it's vertical; 4:3; 21:9 or whatever. That being said, I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my comments, nevertheless, "your" inflexibility on such a task is quite discouraging.

RS Designs

RS Designs

Really Vimeo???? Listen to your paying customers! Everyone check out Creative COW they will let you host any format WITHOUT BLACK BARS.

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

As I mentioned above, when embedding your videos shouldn't have black bars, but when using Vimeo certain videos need to be scaled to fit within our page design.

SWG - Stonewall Group

SWG - Stonewall Group PRO

Matt, we're trying embedding a 1920x450 video in the header of a website and it's still adding top and bottom blacks to fill out a 16x9 ratio. Any ideas?

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

Are you changing the aspect ratio of the player? When setting the size on Vimeo, we automatically calculate the correct width or height to keep from letter boxing the video. If you change that manually afterwards, you need to figure out the proper X or Y value to keep it from happening.

HoneyTrek

HoneyTrek

we also agree.....any word on this from the Staff? seems like a big enough issue they should make this at least an option for people

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

Sorry, what issue are you referring to? As we mentioned as long as you're setting the embed player size from our Share box, we won't letter-box your video. Letter-boxing occurs when your site, CMS, or you manually change the dimensions of the player after copying the embed code.

Unfortunately, on-site 4:3 videos will have black bars to fit the video within the design of the page.

Michael

Michael

Matt, the issue is that 4:3 videos have black bars on your site, as you say. I believe the previous comment is asking whether or not this is going to change. I am wondering the same thing.

Matt Schwarz

Matt Schwarz Staff

Unfortunately we don't have plans for this. The majority of content uploaded to Vimeo, as well as future content will be in a wide format, therefore fitting within our design.

Andrew Aldridge

Andrew Aldridge

Welp folks, it looks like our wish (4:3 with no black pillar bars) will never happen. As for the staff members who are confused by the root of our concern, simply read the name of the thread. What is more important, your customers or the "design" of your site? I feel like I am having a bad dream...how can Vimeo neglect the concerns of customers? Skip the response, Staff Member,I just wanted to rain on the barless-4:3-formatter's parade.

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