Anamorphic projection is a modification of the aspect ratio of an image by opticaldistortion which stretches or compresses the image in one dimension but not the other.
Anamorphic projection in widescreencinema uses special anamorphic lenses which compress the image during filming to fit the 4:3 aspect ratio of 35mm film. An equal but opposite anamorphic lens on the cinema projector stretches the image back to the full widescreen format.
Some widescreen videomonitors and DVD players are also capable of stretching an image to match the format of the screen.
In virtual reality, anamorphic projection techniques have also been used but calculations to transform the image are done by computer.
Similar forms of optical distortion have been used for abstract or artistic purposes. Where image elements are intended to appear in their stretched or compressed form in the final picture, this use of technique is referred to as anamorphic art.
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