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Highest Quality SD transfer from 16mm


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 12:51 PM

Trying to figure out/understand what would be the highest quality scan I can get from a Super 16mm negative, while staying in SD, not going HD.

The material will be shot 16:9, but I do not want to go HD because I don't have an HD deck, monitor, or computer system that can handle HD. I want the highest quality SD(resolution and color space) with the least compression, and I want it to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio.

Does this mean it must be done anamorphically? Is there really no SD which is native 16:9? And will converting (or whatever the proper word would be in the telecine process from a Spirit) the 16:9 aspect image from the negative to an SD 4:3 image anamorphic, will that reduce the quality of the image?

Would this be a 2K, or is 2K a type of HD transfer? I will be working with a local house which takes the data directly from the Spirit into a Digital Disk Recorder, and I am talking to them about going straight to hard drive from there. Will this give me the highest quality image?

I am basically trying to learn as much as I can before I go in and talk with the local house this coming week. In the past I have always gotten transfers directly to digibeta, but I keep hearing that degrades the image somewhat and the purpose of this project is to show the viability of 16mm in the HVX-200 age.

Thanks for any and all information,
-Tim Carroll
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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 02:21 PM

Trying to figure out/understand what would be the highest quality scan I can get from a Super 16mm negative, while staying in SD, not going HD.

The material will be shot 16:9, but I do not want to go HD because I don't have an HD deck, monitor, or computer system that can handle HD. I want the highest quality SD(resolution and color space) with the least compression, and I want it to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio.

Does this mean it must be done anamorphically? Is there really no SD which is native 16:9? And will converting (or whatever the proper word would be in the telecine process from a Spirit) the 16:9 aspect image from the negative to an SD 4:3 image anamorphic, will that reduce the quality of the image?

Would this be a 2K, or is 2K a type of HD transfer? I will be working with a local house which takes the data directly from the Spirit into a Digital Disk Recorder, and I am talking to them about going straight to hard drive from there. Will this give me the highest quality image?

I am basically trying to learn as much as I can before I go in and talk with the local house this coming week. In the past I have always gotten transfers directly to digibeta, but I keep hearing that degrades the image somewhat and the purpose of this project is to show the viability of 16mm in the HVX-200 age.

Thanks for any and all information,
-Tim Carroll


Have it transfer to hard drive as an uncompressed SD file. You get 4:2:2 10 bit color. Better than Digibeta. The lab can, I believe, flag the file as anamorphic, so it will play as 16:9. Technically speaking, yes, there is no such thing as native 16:9 SD. The pixel dimension is 720 x 480. But this doesn't stop you from having anamorphic footage, which isn't a hassle at all. I just did this with a camea test. All worked out very well. Check out Cinelab.
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 02:23 PM

Trying to figure out/understand what would be the highest quality scan I can get from a Super 16mm negative, while staying in SD, not going HD.

The material will be shot 16:9, but I do not want to go HD because I don't have an HD deck, monitor, or computer system that can handle HD. I want the highest quality SD(resolution and color space) with the least compression, and I want it to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio.

Does this mean it must be done anamorphically? Is there really no SD which is native 16:9? And will converting (or whatever the proper word would be in the telecine process from a Spirit) the 16:9 aspect image from the negative to an SD 4:3 image anamorphic, will that reduce the quality of the image?

Would this be a 2K, or is 2K a type of HD transfer? I will be working with a local house which takes the data directly from the Spirit into a Digital Disk Recorder, and I am talking to them about going straight to hard drive from there. Will this give me the highest quality image?

I am basically trying to learn as much as I can before I go in and talk with the local house this coming week. In the past I have always gotten transfers directly to digibeta, but I keep hearing that degrades the image somewhat and the purpose of this project is to show the viability of 16mm in the HVX-200 age.

Thanks for any and all information,
-Tim Carroll


Tim,

A wide screen transfer to sd FHA (full height anamorphic) is just a pixel shape adjustment. You are using every pixel available. It is only anamorphic when you look at it on a 4x3 monitor. When viewed on a 16x9 monitor everything will look correct without any extra processing.

A Spirit to DigiBeta transfer in FHA will provide a high quality result. A Spirit datacine could output data and the facility could give you DPX (or convert to uncompressed quicktime) file. This data could be standard, high definition or 2K files depending on your budget!

Cheers,

Stephen
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 06:34 PM

Standard def has one pixel ratio for NTSC and one for PAL, but does not differentiate between 4x3 and 16x9, it's just that 16x9 uses "skinnier" pixels, hence why the image looks stretched vertically ("anamorphic") on a 4x3 monitor but correct on a 16x9 monitor. There is no square-pixel native 16x9 format for SD.

You could in theory get a better format than Digi-Beta (for example, D1 is an uncompressed 4:2:2 standard def tape format, but you aren't going to be able to use it at home!) -- maybe a data files -- but for almost any standard def purpose you can name Digi-Beta is considered good enough.

Is there any computer editing software for home use that can work with uncompressed 4:4:4 720 x 480 pixel files? Or I guess once you're outside of SD video formats, it could be something native 16x9, like 1024 x 575 pixels? Can one get a transfer to such a thing (almost like a 1K data transfer I guess)? Or would almost any telecine except the Spirit have to transfer SD rez at 4:2:2 in video color space?
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#5 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 07:34 PM

PAL will get you 720x576 with direct frame-for-frame 24->25, versus NTSC at 720x480 and 3:2 pulldown.
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 03:27 AM

Standard def has one pixel ratio for NTSC and one for PAL, but does not differentiate between 4x3 and 16x9, it's just that 16x9 uses "skinnier" pixels, hence why the image looks stretched vertically ("anamorphic") on a 4x3 monitor but correct on a 16x9 monitor. There is no square-pixel native 16x9 format for SD.


The Pixel Ratios for SD are as follows:-

NTSC 4x3 1:0.9
NTSC 16x9 1:1.2

PAL 4x3 1:1.067
PAL 16x9 1:1.422

Hope that helps

Stephen
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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:19 AM

Thanks for all the help guys.

Well, it seems like, after meeting with the telecine house here in town, the route I am going to go is to just have the output from the Spirit go directly into their Flame suite and have it output as uncompressed Quicktime on a Hard Drive. From what I have been able to determine, I can then take those raw files and compress them on my Mac into DVCPRO HD if I decide to go that way, or DVCPRO 50 NTSC, or whatever compression works for the final output options we decide on.

Thanks again for the input,
-Tim
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 08:31 AM

Thanks for all the help guys.

Well, it seems like, after meeting with the telecine house here in town, the route I am going to go is to just have the output from the Spirit go directly into their Flame suite and have it output as uncompressed Quicktime on a Hard Drive. From what I have been able to determine, I can then take those raw files and compress them on my Mac into DVCPRO HD if I decide to go that way, or DVCPRO 50 NTSC, or whatever compression works for the final output options we decide on.

Thanks again for the input,
-Tim


Tim,

I hope they are not charging for the Flame time! It is only being used as a hard drive recorder!

Stephen
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#9 Tim Carroll

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 09:20 AM

Tim,

I hope they are not charging for the Flame time! It is only being used as a hard drive recorder!

Stephen


Stephen,

They are claiming that the Flame is being used to convert the uncompressed data stream coming out of the Spirit into Quicktime. They said if they just went out of their Spirit into their Digital Disk Recorder, the files would not be Quicktime or Quicktime compatable.

-Tim
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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:07 AM

Stephen,

They are claiming that the Flame is being used to convert the uncompressed data stream coming out of the Spirit into Quicktime. They said if they just went out of their Spirit into their Digital Disk Recorder, the files would not be Quicktime or Quicktime compatable.

-Tim


Tim,

Just finished a Spirit transfer to 'Directors Friend', the facility would give me virtually any file I wanted DPX, Tiff's. I did not ask for Quicktime but in the past I have had a SD telecine Data to Quicktime.

Flame is not a conversion tool! Any facility that charged Flame rates for file conversion would loose me as a customer.

Stephen
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 11:43 AM

Hi,

Yes, I strongly agree. People should not be screwing you for a super high-end tool like Flame to act as a recorder.

Just out of interest, if they went straight out of the spirit into their hard disk recorder (which is what, exactly?) what -would- it give you?

Usually they record DPX sequences which you should be able to use. In fact, I believe Quicktime Pro will read image sequences. It would be highly unusual for you to have to work very hard to get to DPX sequences.

Phil
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#12 Tim Carroll

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 09:01 AM

Thanks again for all the help guys. Spent yesterday morning at the transfer house and here is what I found out. They have a Spirit datacine, but there is something called a hippy(I know that is spelled wrong, but that is what it sounded like when they explained it to me) attachment for the Spirit that this particular house does not have. Therefore they cannot go right out of the Spirit to DPX files or the like.

They are cutting me a really good deal on the Spirit time and the Flame time, so I have no complaints. What we ended up going with for this test was capturing thrity frames per second on the Spirit, dumping into the Flame, and outputting 23.98 fps uncompressed anamorphic SD Quicktime files out of the Flame, onto a hard drive.

Part of this project is to see what kind of quality can be gotten from regular 16mm film shot with the viewfinder marked for 16:9 and then tranfered anamorphic. You can see a short clip of the results here:

Test Clip

Not exciting footage I realize.

Thanks again for everyone's help. This transfer stuff can get real confusing.

-Tim Carroll
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#13 Stephen Williams

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 11:00 AM

They are cutting me a really good deal on the Spirit time and the Flame time, so I have no complaints. What we ended up going with for this test was capturing thrity frames per second on the Spirit, dumping into the Flame, and outputting 23.98 fps uncompressed anamorphic SD Quicktime files out of the Flame, onto a hard drive.


-Tim Carroll


Tim,

I have used that workflow, you get beter quality than DigiBeta with out having a DigiBeta deck!

Cheers,

Stephen
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#14 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 05:08 PM

Tim,

I have used that workflow, you get beter quality than DigiBeta with out having a DigiBeta deck!

Cheers,

Stephen


But where, on the computer screen? When it gets back to a SD television set, is it better than going DigiBeta, then making a serial digital dub to DV-CAM?
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#15 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 03:37 AM

But where, on the computer screen? When it gets back to a SD television set, is it better than going DigiBeta, then making a serial digital dub to DV-CAM?


Hi,

Better quality for post production. Final delivery will usually be Via DigiBeta!

Cheers,

Stephen
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#16 Tim Carroll

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 11:14 AM

But where, on the computer screen? When it gets back to a SD television set, is it better than going DigiBeta, then making a serial digital dub to DV-CAM?


For me, it is about saving compression to the last step. That way, if I am delivering on DVD, I compress uncompressed material, giving me higher quality than compressing material that has already been compressed once. If I am delivering to web, again, compressing only once. Depending on what delivery method I need, again, I am only compressing as a final output, working with the highest quality material going into that compression.

Going to DVCAM from telecine, already degrades and compresses the image, and there is no way to get that lost information back.

-Tim
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#17 SSJR

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 07:04 PM

Your using an uncompressed system to down convert right?







For me, it is about saving compression to the last step. That way, if I am delivering on DVD, I compress uncompressed material, giving me higher quality than compressing material that has already been compressed once. If I am delivering to web, again, compressing only once. Depending on what delivery method I need, again, I am only compressing as a final output, working with the highest quality material going into that compression.

Going to DVCAM from telecine, already degrades and compresses the image, and there is no way to get that lost information back.

-Tim


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