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Processing and Scanning Super 16mm Vision3 500T


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#1 Adam Guzik

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 04:23 PM

Hello, all you lovely folks!

 

This is my first post here in this forum, so, quick introduction:

I'm Adam; I'm a senior Cinema & Photo student at Ithaca College, going to graduate in May.

 

So, in the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be utilizing one of my school's Aaton XTR Prods and shooting 2 rolls of 400 ft. Kodak Vision3 500T.  It's not really for a project or student film - it's just going to be me mucking about with the camera and emulsion.  It's going to be a test shoot of sorts, really.  

 

It's the Processing and Scanning part of the whole process that I need some help with.

 

So, I've done a lot of research into the various Labs around the country, and all the different types of processing and all the different types of scanning.  I don't want anything too fancy - just a really good quality 1080p scan that I can muck about with in Final Cut and DaVinci, to really test how film stacks up when it comes to color grading. 

 

The two primary options I'm looking at right now for Processing and Scanning are Cinelab and Colorlab, Cinelab for it's attractive student prices and Colorlab for it's more transparent processing and scanning methods.

 

In that regard, here are my questions:

 

1. Does scanning to 1080p mean I'm totally locked into Telecine?  I know Telecine isn't exactly ideal when it comes to scanning film, but does choosing to have my film scanned at 1080p mean I can only use the Telecine machines and not the higher-end scanning machines?  Like, could one of the 2K - 7K scanners scan 1080p?  I'm mostly looking at this from a price perspective, seeing as the higher-end scanners are more expensive.  I'd rather not use Telecine just for quality's sake, so I'd like to find out now whether to spend the extra money or not on the higher-quality scanners.  

 

2.  I'd like to know all of your opinions on the different scanning techniques.  How big of a difference is there between Raw, Best Light, and Scene to Scene scanning?  I'm mainly looking at this from a color grading perspective.  I understand that Raw will provide the most flexible image, but I'm not sure that all of the scanned film videos I've already downloaded and mucked about with were scanned Raw. 

 

Attached to this post are screen grabs of ungraded scanned film (very low quality YouTube and Vimeo video downloads in every case) that I have found to be able to grade to achieve the look I want.  Would you say that all of these were scanned Raw, or were different techniques used for some of them?  And would any of you have visual examples of the differences between the three different scanning techniques.  

 

Thank you so much!  If you need me to clarify anything I've just written here, please tell me.

 

Have a good one!

 

-Adam

 

 

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#2 Robin Phillips

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:59 PM

A 2k scan can get shrunk down to 1080 if you want. some of what you're missing in the cost estimate isnt the resolution bump, its how and the speed at which the scanners run. A 1080 telecine (usually a spirit 2k/4k these days) is running at full speed, having a look applied as it goes. Your one light / best light off one of these machines tends to mean the operator sets the look based on your charts at the head of the roll and lets it capture. Scene to scene means more care is given to each shot / take to ensure there is greater consistency between the rolls. Some times you can just do a flat pass off these machines, which is a log-ish image that gives you a bit more to work with than a one light rec709 image (with its relatively limited attitude). FYI your "ungraded" images look like they have a 1 light look applied.

 

If you choose to use an "HDR" scanner, what use to be called a cineon scan in vfx circles, you'll get an image more in line with what you'd expect out or a red camera or something - that is, a more washed out log image. These scanners will flash each frame at different exposures and/or with different color LEDs to extract the most out of the negative. Some scanners flash twice, some three times, and I think the fancy new Director 10k can flash a given frame 9 times if you want to burn money.

Cinelab's Xena scanner is pretty darn spectacular, especially for the price, but if you want 2k definitely make it clear you want that HDR image. I think they do 2k on the scan station right now which, while great, I dont believe is set up for HDR. Robert Houllahan posts here frequently, so you can probably DM him or just give cinelab a call. 


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#3 Dan Landoni

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:56 PM

Slightly off topic... Doing similar research as the OP. Can anyone post a downloadable scan sample without best light applied? Would love to color grade a LOG 2k scan for practice. Even a single frame would do.

 

I color grade RedWideGamut/Log3g10 almost daily so i want to see how a film LOG scan pushes/pulls.


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#4 Michael Rodin

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 05:45 PM

Kodak 7203 2/3 stops overexposed, 10 bit log from Arriscan.

http://dropmefiles.com/q2DDp


Edited by Michael Rodin, 17 November 2017 - 05:45 PM.

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#5 Dan Landoni

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 09:48 AM

Thank you!!!!


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#6 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:33 PM

HI

 

We offer 1080P scans on a DFT Spirit-2K to ProResHQ

 

We also offer up to 2.5K Scans on a Scan Station CMOS scanner and up to 5K HDR scans on a Xena Dynamic Perf scanner.

 

Most of our student work is done either on the Spirit or the Scan Station.

 

We have to update the web site and I am working on that.

 

In general 1080P scans done on the Spirit-2K (With a DaVinci 2K color Corrector) are color corrected REC-709 so the color correction is more baked in.

 

Data Scans (and you you could scan to 1080P on Scan Station for example) are usually flat (Log) to be color corrected later either at the lab or in Resolve etc. after edit.

 

The newer machines like Scan Station can do a "Best Light" overall color correction for 2K, 4K 5K scans if requested.

 

-Rob-


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#7 Adam Guzik

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:06 PM

Hello, again!

 

A big thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to this thread, especially Michael Rodin; his post with the DPX file convinced me to have my film scanned raw.

 

Anyways, everything's been finished; I shot back over Thanksgiving, got my film processed and scanned, edited, colored, and put up on Vimeo!  I've made graded and ungraded versions for you all to see!

 

So, basically, from shooting and getting a RAW scan of my film, I've come to the conclusion that film is kind of just as ugly as raw digital footage straight out of camera, but color grading is where film really shines.  Film just responds so much nicer than digital when you start mucking about with all the colors, and I was able to get the look I was after very, very quickly.  

 

Of course, from this shoot, I've also learned the importance of lighting, production design, and costuming: My mom was a good sport for letting me film her at all, but I wish I had told her to wear a different top.  That bright turquoise turtleneck just throws off the whole color palette in a couple of shots, and man is it saturated; I tried selectively desaturating just the turtleneck to tone down the color palette a little bit, and at 50% saturation, it was still really distracting, so, I just left it alone.  I've had this sort of trouble with digital images before, but now, having shot on film, I can see why so many people use more muted, natural colors for costumes for most characters, unless the story calls for otherwise. 

 

Anyways, here are the two videos; first, graded, then ungraded. 

 

Thanks a ton for watching!  Have a good one!

 

-Adam

 

 

GRADED:

 

 

UNGRADED:

 


Edited by Adam Guzik, 29 December 2017 - 11:10 PM.

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#8 Samuel Berger

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:56 PM

I like the footage, I think you did really well if this is your first time. I watched both versions. I don't think "ungraded film is ugly", though. ;-) I see some overexposure and mixed color temperatures but I don't think the turtleneck was a major distraction. It helped the scene, in my opinion, and it's a good thing she was wearing solid colors and not stripes or plaid or prints that are too distracting to the eye and take away from the human presence. In acting auditions, "blue gets the job" is often said.

 

Thanks for the sharing!


Edited by Samuel Berger, 29 December 2017 - 11:56 PM.

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#9 Adam Guzik

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 12:19 AM


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#10 Adam Guzik

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 02:12 AM

Thanks so much!

 

This is my second time shooting film.  I first shot motion film 3.5 years ago for my freshman film class; back then, it was black and white Kodak Tri-X 16mm reversal film.  I had a really great time then, too.  This was my first time shooting color film, and the Aaton XTR Prod was a much bigger camera - really heavy when you shoulder rig it for hours at a time, which I did the day I did my shooting - but I'd love to get one after I graduate, both to have such a really rugged, rock-steady super 16mm camera and for it's ability to shoot 23.976 fps. 


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#11 tom lombard

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 02:11 PM

Adam - I noticed in the Vimeo comments of your graded version that you chased the film look with your T4i and came quite close.  I'd welcome any tips/settings that you might offer in that regard that I might apply to my T3i.  Thanks.


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