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HDV telecine... frame accurate?


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#1 obie williams

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:46 PM

For the sake of brevity I'll jump right into this. Does a 720p HDV telecine capture each individual frame of a 16mm film without pulldown? Will this kind of telecine make editing in 24p a breeze? I wouldn't have to invert a pulldown, would I? "720p telecine" seems like a contradiction of terms considering that the "p" means progressive frames but "telecine" means that a pulldown will be inserted. I bring these questions to you, minions of cinematography.com. Pardon my stupidity on this subject but there's a lot of information out there and I'm still absorbing it.
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#2 Sam Wells

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:46 AM

I doubt anyone is transferring direct to an HDV format, what would you record to - and what variation of HDV ?

Make more sense to transfer to D5HD or even HDCam/SR

Telecine does not neccesarily mean pulldown will be inserted

-Sam
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 01:49 PM

Hi,

There is a spec for recording 720p/24 onto HDV, as applied by the JVG GY-HD100. If you are supplying 24fps film for transfer and supply on HDV, one would expect that to be the format used - although it's worth checking, as many telecine houses can be disturbingly incompetent at handling any format other than the ones they're most used to.

That said, be careful. It's unlikely you're getting an HDV transfer direct off telecine; as Mr Wells said, it's unlikely that anyone would have an HDV deck hooked up to a telecine. What you're liable to end up with is an HDV dub off an HD-D5 or HDCAM-SR master. Two things: first, this is obviously an opportunity for the rot to get in with regards to things like timecode and pulldown, so you should have them explain how they're going to get from A to B in terms of formats and interconnects (ensure you aren't going to get a nasty analog dub as your HDV, which would certainly be the easiest and cheapest way to achieve what you've asked for, equipment-wise.)

Second, make sure you take posession of the high-band intermediates! They'll certainly be charging you for them, so get the HDCAM-SR or D5 tapes and hold them against a future need to master the production in a higher end format.

Phil
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#4 Michael Most

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 08:35 PM

...so you should have them explain how they're going to get from A to B in terms of formats and interconnects (ensure you aren't going to get a nasty analog dub as your HDV, which would certainly be the easiest and cheapest way to achieve what you've asked for, equipment-wise.)


And at the moment, the only way. I don't know of any HDV format machine that edits, and I don't know of any that has an HDSDI input. Nor do I know of any that takes external time code, or can even jam time code. Or that has external, 9 pin control.

Basically, HDV is a consumer format, not professional. At the moment, it has no place in an environment like telecine, that requires editing capabilities and control of time code.
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#5 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:23 PM

My question is why would you want to telecine to HDV in the first place? If you're using it for offline editing, HDV is probably too much, and if you're using for online editing, it's way too little. You can't really even deliver in HDV; I'm not aware of any method that wouldn't involve you converting it to something else first.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 05:02 AM

Hi,

> And at the moment, the only way

Not so; you'd end up going via a computer system of some kind, but it could be done. Timing can be designated visually if you can't make the timecode stick.

> Basically, HDV is a consumer format, not professional.

You can say that as much as you like, but it's never going to be an excuse for slipshod work. Telecine is very, very very expensive, and I therefore expect very, very very good results - not excuses.

Phil
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 05:07 AM

Telecine is very, very very expensive, and I therefore expect very, very very good results - not excuses.

Phil


Phil,

Do you think mastering to HDV is the was to go?

Stephen
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 09:15 AM

Hi,

Depends, doesn't it?

If it's that or miniDV, the answer is obvious.

If it's that or HDCAM-SR, then... the answer is obvious.

HDV might make a very nice offline format, assuming certain fundamentals.

Phil
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#9 Chris Burke

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 10:32 AM

Hi,

Depends, doesn't it?

If it's that or miniDV, the answer is obvious.

If it's that or HDCAM-SR, then... the answer is obvious.

HDV might make a very nice offline format, assuming certain fundamentals.

Phil



why even bother with HDV? Why not DVC PRo HD as an offline? It seem to me a waste of time, since probably for the same price you could TK to hard drive or some better tape base format.

chris
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 12:18 PM

Just to make this super, ultra, incredibly clear - I am not suggesting anyone use HDV for anything. I'm suggesting that if you ask for it, you should get it done, and done well.

Phil
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#11 Michael Most

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 01:20 PM

Telecine is very, very very expensive, and I therefore expect very, very very good results - not excuses.


Which is exactly why those "expensive" (that's a very relative term) are not setting up to do transfers from $1.5 million telecine rooms to a heavily compressed tape format for which there isn't even a tape machine that can edit.
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 03:31 PM

Hi,

> Which is exactly why those "expensive" (that's a very relative term) are not setting up to do transfers from
> $1.5 million telecine rooms to a heavily compressed tape format for which there isn't even a tape machine
> that can edit.

That would be fine if they said "We don't work with [insert format you don't like]". But that's not what you get. What you get is "We're god's gift to postproduction, and we're going to do a half-arsed job - and you're going to like it."

Not really the right way to work.

Phil
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#13 Michael Most

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 11:13 PM

That would be fine if they said "We don't work with [insert format you don't like]". But that's not what you get. What you get is "We're god's gift to postproduction, and we're going to do a half-arsed job - and you're going to like it."


Maybe that's what YOU get. But it's not what you get from any reputable post facility in Los Angeles.

Then again, you've rarely, if ever, had anything positive to say about any company here, at least not as long as I've been reading your posts. It's a good thing the industry and the players in it are not anything like what you make them out to be, because if they were, nobody would ever get anything done with any degree of quality. Fortunately, that's not the case, as most of us already know.
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:57 AM

Hi,

> It's a good thing the industry and the players in it are not anything like what you make them out to be,

Call me a liar, why don't you!

Mike, you work on huge productions with huge budgets in the world centre of filmmaking. I work on tiny productions with tiny budgets in the middle of a zone of wasted industrial dereliction. I wouldn't actually expect our experiences to be similar.

Or, to put it more concisely: you have more money than me, but it doesn't make you right.

Phil
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#15 Michael Most

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

I work on tiny productions with tiny budgets in the middle of a zone of wasted industrial dereliction.


Precisely my point. If you hate it so much that all you want to do is complain, get out. Go somewhere else that's better. As I recall, there's quite a bit of high end industry activity in a far-away land called....London. Stop complaining. Do something about it.
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#16 Michael Collier

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:04 PM

Why would you pay a telecine rate for HDV footage (or any digital footage really?)

1500 bucks and you get some of the most powerful editing software in the world. A good Avid or Premiere system can do anything a telecine can do. Shoot 24p telecine out to a 29.97i with pulldown, pitchshift the audio and you get watchable copy that can go to any other format.

HDV is limited and really is only for people who want the resolution of HD, and the quality/price of DV. It really is a huge step....over DV. nobody ever claimed DV was a great format, just practicle for low level work. Now HDV is picking up the low level indie work.

Once you have the footage in the computer and it has been cut in HDV its time to transfer anyways right? Unless you get that HDV-DVD player from JVC you can't play it as is from anything but another camera or a deck. The film I am working on in HDV we are going to do color correction in after effects and once that is done we will export it (probably in uncompressed, I dont think AE p1.5 can handle a good quality HD codec.) after the raw export it will go into avid for telecine and render to a printable tape format. So it will probably be put to the DNxHD codec and put on an external Hard Drive.

That gets shipped out and dupped to those expensive HDCAM-SR tapes for film festival distrabution.

Seriously any editor worth his weight should be able to do the telecine no problem. Its not a technical thing, or an artistic thing, its clicking one button when you go to render. I cant believe people will send it to a post house thinking they are going to do anymore than make the interlaced frames and pitch-shift the audio. Save your money for a varicam or cinealta instead.
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#17 Michael Most

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:58 PM

A good Avid or Premiere system can do anything a telecine can do.....

Seriously any editor worth his weight should be able to do the telecine no problem......


Huh? What are you talking about?

Telecine, by definition, is a device that transfers film to tape. Sometimes it's also used to describe the entire film to tape process. I don't know what you think it is, but if you think it's anything other than that, you're incorrect and need to clarify exactly what it is you're referring to.
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#18 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 06:21 PM

nobody ever claimed DV was a great format, just practicle for low level work. Now HDV is picking up the low level indie work.


Actually back in 1999 when they began making 35mm blow up prints of DV, many people hailed it as close enough to 35mm, to make shooting 35mm unnecesary.
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#19 Michael Collier

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:04 PM

Huh? What are you talking about?

Telecine, by definition, is a device that transfers film to tape. Sometimes it's also used to describe the entire film to tape process. I don't know what you think it is, but if you think it's anything other than that, you're incorrect and need to clarify exactly what it is you're referring to.


sorry, most of my work is digital (even film originated finds a digital end in my work) so I refer to the telecine as a macine that does the scan, modest color correction and the pulldown. I refer to everything else as just a scan. It is a telecine technically though, your correct.

I scan it all on one setting and have the post house put the data on a hard drive. Then I do color work to fit the color into the NTSC range and add a pulldown (the routine that makes 6 extra frames every second)

Actually back in 1999 when they began making 35mm blow up prints of DV, many people hailed it as close enough to 35mm, to make shooting 35mm unnecesary.


Yeah, there were some outrageous claims made back then. In my opinion mini-DV is substandard to Betacam SP, another format that is going the way of the dinosaurs. 4:1:1 is not adequate to call proffessional. It looks ok, and I do shoot mini-DV, but for SD television delivery that requires either mobility or low cost or both. Even DVCAM at 4:2:2 isnt really enough, with the cosine compression they utilize.

I think Beta SX is probably the lowest format I would call professional these days.

I just want to warn people before they spend hundreds of dollars an hour to get everything a telecine can do, when they just need the film scanned and transfered to hard drive.

The other thing that made me suggest this workflow is it seems like he wants to edit the film in an NLE, not telecine the finnished cut. If a full telecine were to be done including pulldown, you then have to remove that pulldown before editting to get back to the original 24frames, otherwise everytime you cut you will interupt the pulldown cadence. Some people may not see it, but it can be distracting, and its unnessicary to have a trunticated pulldown cadence. a scan on best light and a robust codec will give you the ability to spend time color correcting for NTSC and the pulldown can be done later.

Edited by Michael Collier, 23 January 2006 - 07:08 PM.

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#20 Michael Most

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 10:26 PM

I just want to warn people before they spend hundreds of dollars an hour to get everything a telecine can do, when they just need the film scanned and transfered to hard drive.


Sure, if you a) don't care what it looks like, and B) have the color correction skills of a colorist. When you go through a telecine process, you're shoehorning the information on the film into the much more limited space of video. If you don't do at least a modicum of proper color correction at this stage, the material will never look like it's intended to, and will never be as free from video noise as it should. Color correction itself is a specific skill and art. If you're not a colorist, you shouldn't pretend that you are, and if your "scan" is not done properly, neither you nor anyone else will be able to make it as good as it should have been.

The other thing that made me suggest this workflow is it seems like he wants to edit the film in an NLE, not telecine the finnished cut. If a full telecine were to be done including pulldown, you then have to remove that pulldown before editting to get back to the original 24frames, otherwise everytime you cut you will interupt the pulldown cadence. Some people may not see it, but it can be distracting, and its unnessicary to have a trunticated pulldown cadence. a scan on best light and a robust codec will give you the ability to spend time color correcting for NTSC and the pulldown can be done later.


Many people seem to believe that, but quite frankly, it's nonsense. Nearly all US television programs were cut on videotape, at 60 fields per second, with no regard for random cadence changes at cuts for almost 14 years, until 24p HD entered into the picture. There are no problems with this and it is not "distracting." In fact, you can't even see it unless you go through the image field by field. The "necessity" of cutting in 24 frames is an old wives tale for the 21st century, and has no validity.
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