Jump to content


Photo

Format Options for Telecine Output


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 27 February 2006 - 03:01 AM

I've been frustrated. A lot of people I know have been talking about outputting their negative to HD.

Why (besides archive reasons), would anyone want to do that, considering that there is compression going to HD tape, when they are most likely going send that footage to Avid or FCP? There is going to be compression and losses in image quality all over the place.

My school will let you go straight to a firewire HDD. I think that's got to be the best solution right there, considering you are going to be editing on a computer anyways.

Am I wrong? Is there more to this? What's your feelings?

Thanks for checkin me out.
  • 0

#2 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 27 February 2006 - 03:35 AM

My school will let you go straight to a firewire HDD. I think that's got to be the best solution right there, considering you are going to be editing on a computer anyways.

Am I wrong? Is there more to this? What's your feelings?

Thanks for checkin me out.


Hi,

If its just to 1 firewire HDD it will be VERY compressed!

Stephen
  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 27 February 2006 - 03:55 AM

It's not really clear what you are talking about. Just because you transfer your film to HD doesn't necessarily mean you have to edit it in HD. You could edit it in NTSC, create an EDL, and comform the HD transfer to that, either by doing an online or re-digitizing the HD at full-rez.

And what are you mastering in HD for? For HD broadcast markets? They don't need or use uncompressed HD so working with the standard compression of HD tape formats is fine.
  • 0

#4 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11943 posts
  • Other

Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:37 AM

Hi,

Well, one hard disk could be less compressed than HDCAM...

But when most people talk about doing that, they're thinking of a transfer to a realtime server, then a non-realtime data clone onto the customer's drive, so you get uncompressed. I think this is a very good idea.

Phil
  • 0

#5 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 27 February 2006 - 11:00 AM

My school will let you go straight to a firewire HDD. I think that's got to be the best solution right there, considering you are going to be editing on a computer anyways.

What type of transfer are you talking about? SD or HD? I'm going to speculate that we're talking about SD to hard drive, which still isn't going to compare with a high-def transfer. (although it's a convenience having the material on hard drive) I'd be surprised if any film school in the country is currently set up to transfer uncompressed HD directly to hard drive. Only a small number of high-end facilities offer this service at present, and they ain't cheap. If I'm wrong (or even if I'm right), which film school do you attend?
  • 0

#6 David Cox

David Cox
  • Sustaining Members
  • 323 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • london, UK

Posted 27 February 2006 - 03:58 PM

My school will let you go straight to a firewire HDD. I think that's got to be the best solution right there, considering you are going to be editing on a computer anyways.


The problems are mainly that of a practical nature. Apart from the amount of data needed to be stored for a film of any great length, the problem is that you can't easily distribute and play that data. When the rushes are on tape, you can just stick it in a machine and play it, copy it, down res it etc etc. People are often concerned about drives crashing and loosing all their data, so the issues of RAIDs and backups comes up too.

You are right that the best practise is to take film to files, but if the only difference is that your data is HD 4:2:2 uncompressed and your HD tape is a bit compressed such as HD CAM SR or HD-D5, then the visual difference is extremely small. The time then taken to handle the data (in real world projects) can create costs that simply outstrip the very marginal visual advantage.

There is a big difference if you are using data to carry information that exceeds the capacity of HD. For example a 4K frame with 16 bits of colour depth. Then there will be a difference but this isn't the sort of data you would want to handle in an FCP.

David Cox
Baraka Post Production
  • 0

#7 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 27 February 2006 - 04:18 PM

Thats my plan for my latest film, to go straight to hard drive. When researching the options availible it becomes quickly apparent that you can save all footage to a few Hard drives in 10bit uncompressed 1080x1920p in 24frames per second. The big problem with HDCAM is its 1/1.3333 compression(i believe, correct me if this is wrong) 4:2:2 colorspace and the same inexplicable 1080x1440 resolution HDV carries with it. Obviously HDCAM SR is much better and lower compression but it too carries artifacts. also all of these formats capture a full 30fps and you have to set your avid to remove redundant frames (this all seems a little 1990s to me. Isnt this the future? cant we have a tape format that can be frame rate agnostic? we do and its called hard drive.)

The main reason I would choose hard drive over tape is hard drives have fewer dropouts (I have worked with tape as long as I have hard drive, and tape is always first to fail) and in the end I dont need to rent expensive HDCAM or HDCAM SR decks to capture the footage. The green monster of jelousy arrises in me when I look on my desk and realize this souless VTR on my desk is getting paid more per day than I am (just glad it hasnt asked for a per diem yet.) It seemed like an unnessisary step

Also those tapes are like 100 bucks for one hour. For 250 bucks you can buy a 500gig hard drive that will hold more than 1 hour of data. factor in the rental cost of the decks and the cost of buying an aja system, you can see there are several obvious savings.
  • 0

#8 Scott Fritzshall

Scott Fritzshall
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 584 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 27 February 2006 - 05:13 PM

Also those tapes are like 100 bucks for one hour. For 250 bucks you can buy a 500gig hard drive that will hold more than 1 hour of data. factor in the rental cost of the decks and the cost of buying an aja system, you can see there are several obvious savings.

I'd also like to see a comparison of the cost of trasferring to an HD format and then ingesting that onto Hard Drive as opposed to a Datacine session.
  • 0

#9 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 27 February 2006 - 05:50 PM

what I found Ironic (though not terribly surprising) is that if you want your datacine converted to HDV, it is actually MORE expensive to have it rendered and put to HDD rather than having the uncompressed put to HDD. who would want that. 10bit uncompressed, 1423Mbps compared to 19.2Mbps MPEG-2 footage. (oh, 25Mbps if there is sound, but most datacines I found worked with MOS, but maybe I only got MOS quotes because I was asking about super16) buts seriously, would anyone pay more for that? I understand it saves a hard drive, but come on, they are cheap! and if you dont have one, most places rent them out as a part of the cost of doing the scan!

I'd also like to see a comparison of the cost of trasferring to an HD format and then ingesting that onto Hard Drive as opposed to a Datacine session.


I cant say for sure from my research, it was never an option I looked closely at, but my assumption would be that most places that do a datacine have HD-SDI running to either a deck or to a computer equipt with an aja card or something similar. I doubt there would be much advantage at all to doing an HD capture then ingest (It would probably cost much more to pay for the tape to record to, plus the added machine time to ingest that footage.)

Either way its actually pretty cheap to get an HD scan done. My HD scan will cost around 2grand, and that inludes 120minute scanning time, covering the 90-100minute film, plus lots of room for handles. 2 500 gig hard drives (one my production company owns, one we are picking up at best buy this weekend for 250 bucks) and we have a way to finnish our narrative. Once we are done its a realativley cheap option to send that out (compressed to a quicktime, avi, or Avid DNxHD file) to a post house to master to HDCAM or HDCAM-SR (or DVCPRO-HD or whatever the film festivals in question accept.)
  • 0

#10 David Cox

David Cox
  • Sustaining Members
  • 323 posts
  • Digital Image Technician
  • london, UK

Posted 27 February 2006 - 06:56 PM

...when adding up the costs, remember that few places can TK real time HD to a removable hard drive, and few places can ingest from a removable drive to the editing systems native drives / format in real time. Add a couple of hours of spirit time on a booking, and that soon covers tapes, deck hire etc.

Also a drop-out on a tape causes a fault on a field. A drop out on a hard drive can cause entire data loss. If you have just spent several thousands or tens of thousands transferring from a datacine, you would be wise to always copy to two seperate disks. Having to pay for your transfer again because you dropped the drive on the way home is an expensive lesson to learn!

If you're working on your film for you, then a single hard drive is fine. But if there are others involved - ad agency, record company, studio execs, then having rushes only on data becomes a real pain when you are asked to send a copy of time coded rushes for their approval. If all you're getting from your data is 4:2:2 1920 x 1080 uncompressed, then you simply will not see the difference going to HD-D5 or HD CAM SR. (This was mentioned in another thread). You will be saving the cost of the deck hire, but you will be spending longer in other areas and potentially putting your rushes at risk. I don't think its worth it in the long run.
  • 0

#11 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 27 February 2006 - 11:31 PM

My bad for the Lack of detail.

I am still in school, so I am speaking of Short films from 100 foot rolls, to 30 rolls of 400 feet.

I just found out from the guys at telecine that they can put your footage (s16) onto HDD, which I think is a great idea, since almost everyone I know puts their projects on DV, and the image just looks terrible.
  • 0

#12 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 01 March 2006 - 03:13 PM

Somewhere lurking in these forums or elsewhere (I cant remember where) there is a side by side comparison of an area of a S16 frame, one telecined to Digibeta and one to Mini-DV. Amazing the compression involved (not refering to color space, it was actually black and white, just talking about the cosine compression artifacts.)

Mini-DV is useless I am convinced of it now. (well obviously it has some purpose, but hopefully we will find its uses qwindling.) DVCPRO-50 is about the lowest I would even call 'Broadcast Quality'
  • 0

#13 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11943 posts
  • Other

Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:01 PM

Hi,

I would second Mr. Cox's concerns about the reliability of hard disks. They can be terribly fragile.

That said cloning to two spindles at once is not rocket science.

Phil
  • 0


CineLab

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Glidecam

Abel Cine

The Slider

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Opal

Paralinx LLC