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The aspect ratio of a is the of its sizes in different dimensions. For example, the aspect ratio of a is the ratio of its longer side to its shorter sidethe ratio of width to height, when the rectangle is oriented as a "landscape".

The aspect ratio is most often expressed as two integer numbers separated by a colon (x:y), less commonly as a simple or decimal fraction. The values x and y do not represent actual widths and heights but, rather, the proportion between width and height. As an example, 8:5, 16:10, 1.6:1, and 1.6 are all ways of representing the same aspect ratio.

In objects of more than two dimensions, such as , the aspect ratio can still be defined as the ratio of the longest side to the shortest side.


Applications and uses
The term is most commonly used with reference to:
  • Graphic / image
    • Image aspect ratio
    • Display aspect ratio
    • Standard photographic print sizes
    • Motion picture film formats
    • Standard ad size
    • Pixel aspect ratio
    • : the aspect ratio of an etched, or deposited structure is the ratio of the height of its vertical side wall to its width.
  • High Aspect Ratios allow the construction of tall microstructures without slant
  • impeller sizing
  • Wing aspect ratio of an aircraft or bird
  • Astigmatism of an
  • Nanorod dimensions
  • Shape factor (image analysis and microscopy)


Aspect ratios of simple shapes

Rectangles
For a rectangle, the aspect ratio denotes the ratio of the width to the height of the rectangle. A has the smallest possible aspect ratio of 1:1.

Examples:

  • 4:3 = 1.: Some (not all) 20th century computer monitors (, , etc.), standard-definition television
  • \sqrt{2}:1 = 1.414...: international paper sizes (ISO 216)
  • 3:2 = 1.5: 35mm still camera film, iPhone (until iPhone 5) displays
  • = 1.6 (not shown above): commonly used (WXGA)
  • Φ:1 = 1.618...: , close to 16:10
  • 5:3 = 1.: super 16 mm, a standard in many European countries
  • 16:9 = 1.: TV
  • 2:1 = 2: dominoes
  • 64:27 = 2.:1 (ultra-widescreen, )
  • 32:9 = 3.:1 (super ultra-widescreen)


Ellipses
For an ellipse, the aspect ratio denotes the ratio of the to the . An ellipse with an aspect ratio of 1:1 is a circle.


Aspect ratios of general shapes
In , there are several alternative definitions to aspect ratios of general in a d-dimensional space:
(1998). 9780818691720 .

  • The diameter-width aspect ratio (DWAR) of a compact set is the ratio of its diameter to its width. A circle has the minimal DWAR which is 1. A square has a DWAR of \sqrt{2}.
  • The cube-volume aspect ratio (CVAR) of a compact set is the d-th root of the ratio of the d-volume of the smallest enclosing axes-parallel d-cube, to the set's own d-volume. A square has the minimal CVAR which is 1. A circle has a CVAR of \sqrt{2}. An axis-parallel rectangle of width W and height H, where W>H, has a CVAR of \sqrt{W^2/WH} = \sqrt{W/H}.

If the dimension d is fixed, then all reasonable definitions of aspect ratio are equivalent to within constant factors.


Notations
Aspect ratios are mathematically expressed as x: y (pronounced "x-to-y").

Cinematographic aspect ratios are usually denoted as a (rounded) decimal multiple of width vs unit height, while photographic and videographic aspect ratios are usually defined and denoted by whole number ratios of width to height. In there is a subtle distinction between the display aspect ratio (the image as displayed) and the storage aspect ratio (the ratio of pixel dimensions); see Distinctions.


See also

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