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Completely General Format Question


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#1 Mark Smith

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 02:18 PM

This is just a general telecine format question. The lab gives me a list of the following to scan/telecine my film into:

D1, D2, D5, D5-HD, HDCAM, DVC ProHD, Digital Betacam, Beta SP, DVC Pro, Mini DV, DVCAM, Umatic, Umatic SP, Hi-8, 8mm, SVHS, VHS, DVD and to Files.

My question is simply what are the best/advantages of the different files. Which are HD? And if anyone has experience with transferring film [S16 by the way] straight to files on a computer, what type of format are those transfered in generally? Is it something you can edit in Final Cut? I hear the term SD files thrown around a lot...and am not sure what it is. I am thinking I would like to go to files on my Harddrive and then use a digibeta deck to output the final film...any ideas/concerns with this?


As always - Thanks,
Mark.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 02:25 PM

Hi,

> My question is simply what are the best/advantages of the different files

Only one of them is a file, the one you cunningly called "files". The rest of them are tape formats and that's such a general question that the only possibly answer is "it depends." What sort of decks do you own? What's the eventual use of the material?

> Which are HD?

D5-HD, HDCAM, and DVC ProHD.

> And if anyone has experience with transferring film [S16 by the way] straight to files on a computer, what
> type of format are those transfered in generally?

They should have told you; saying "files" is as inspecific as saying "video tape." Usually it's Quicktime or AVI movies, or a stills sequence in one of the usual formats.

> Is it something you can edit in Final Cut?

They should be able to offer Quicktime files, yes. Even if they only do stills sequences, it's not too much work to batch convert them to whatever you need.

> I hear the term SD files thrown around a lot...and am not sure what it is.

Standard definition, as opposed to HD for high definition. 720x576 for PAL and 720x480 for NTSC.

> I am thinking I would like to go to files on my Harddrive and then use a digibeta deck to output the final
> film...any ideas/concerns with this?

Then you'll want it as SD, obviously, but if you're planning to do this and your system is up to it, the expense of pursuing film production really only makes a lot of sense now if you want an HD result. When you say "output to Digibeta", I assume you're talking about sending a file back to the facilities house for ouput? This is reasonable, but you should check that they do it - it's rare.

Phil
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#3 Mark Smith

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 03:18 PM

Okay, so SD files are what I want...but again...i don.t really know what those are...? Can Final cut open them/edit them? What is the compression etc. on them? And as far as the digibeta question...I have access to it at my school.s lab, so I assume I could print to tape - to digibeta from Final cut...no?

Mark.
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 04:52 PM

SD just means Standard Definition - it's not a tape format. DVCAM and DV is SD, so is DigiBeta, Beta SP and DVCPro. Generally that means 720x576 pixels in Europe.

The thing you need to find out is what are the capabilities of the editing suite you have? Even if you have a DigiBeta player in school doesn't help you much unless you also have a high end video capture card to be able to log the material and bring it into the computer. If you don't have a video capture card - transfer onto DV. Because then you can use any camcorder to get the material into the computer. If you do have a video capture card - then by all menas transfer to DigiBeta, then capture it. DigiBeta is less compressed and looks slightly bettern than DV.
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#5 Mark Smith

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 05:11 PM

Okay, I get the SD thing now...I thought it was a different format or something...I didn.t realize it was a traditional size [720x480 i guess here in the states?]...another question arises though...if the final output is going to be DVD via DVDstudioPro, does it matter if the original telecine transfer is to DVCAM or SD files? Am I gaining any quality with SD over DVCAM that is not going to be erased by the compression for DVD?

Mark.
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#6 Dan Goulder

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 05:28 PM

Okay, I get the SD thing now...I thought it was a different format or something...I didn.t realize it was a traditional size [720x480 i guess here in the states?]...another question arises though...if the final output is going to be DVD via DVDstudioPro, does it matter if the original telecine transfer is to DVCAM or SD files? Am I gaining any quality with SD over DVCAM that is not going to be erased by the compression for DVD?

Mark.

If by SD files you mean Digibeta, than that will be a superior format for transfer to DVD.
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 07:35 PM

DVCAM and DV have exactly the same quality. DigiBeta and DVCPro are equivalent and better than DV/DVCAM.
Beta SP is an analog format and has roughly the same quality as DV has.
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#8 Chris Burke

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 07:51 AM

DVCAM and DV have exactly the same quality. DigiBeta and DVCPro are equivalent and better than DV/DVCAM.
Beta SP is an analog format and has roughly the same quality as DV has.



Technicallly speaking, depending upon the lab that you use (search this forum for a thread posted last week about this very topic) you may be getting a digibeta quality transfer simply dumped onto tape. Some labs, ie Cinelab.com, transfer uncompressed SD straight to hard drive. Uncompressed SD is of better quality than digibeta, not much, but better. Often and increasingly more so, many labs are offering this service at NO PREMIUM charge. So why not do it? Get the best that SD can be for little money. The file or files you would get are an uncompressed Quicktime file, either 8 bit or 10 bit, get the 10. You need a RAID to play back files of this type, so if you don't own one, you will be doing an offline/ online edit scenario. Search for the affore mentioned thread and good luck.

Chris
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