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step by step process of di


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#1 P S Manushpsnandan

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 01:58 AM

hai :)
this may be a very simple or basic thing to post as a topic,but i need to know about the step by step process happening in a di from the beginning to end once the film is given for scanning,iam assisting a big dop in india and this is the first time iam working in project which is going for di completely,i would be happy to know everything about di process,waiting for replies
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 07:37 AM

There are lots of variations, so it would be hard not to just be general. A D.I. usually involves scanning, most often the original negative. It may be straight-cut negative, negative cut with large handles, or uncut negative (camera rolls). Film scanners may be used, or a Spirit Datacine. 4K, 4K-to-2K, all 2K data, or HD may be used.

So usually the next step involves digital conforming to create an edited digital master with all the proper cuts and scene transitions (fades & dissolves) plus any efx (freeze frames, image repositions, speed changes, etc.). Some of those may have to be created in another suite, like in an Inferno room. Plus any additional shots like from an efx company will get added at this point if they weren't already filmed-out to negative (no point if you're doing a D.I.)

That's followed by digital color-correction. There are many types of systems/software to do this, most often on something real-time like a DaVinci or perhaps a Pogle (familar to anyone doing telecine work), or something like Lustre, etc. that involves rendering the corrections.

That color-corrected master is then sent for dirt, dust, and scratch removal to create a new master.

That master is transferred to 35mm using a film recorder, often a laser recorder like an Arrilaser, or a CRT recorder like a Celco. Most commonly, you'd be going out to an internegative using a laser recorder, or camera negative stock using a CRT recorder. Any format changes, like a crop & stretch to anamorphic ('scope) would probably be done digitally before the film-out.

Then the negative or IN is check-printed. Now at this point, it may be necessary to make an IP and then IN off of this filmed-out neg for making mass release prints, or if you are lucky, you can make multiple IN's off of the digital master, at great expense but better quality for the release prints. Or you can film-out an IP instead of IN, but then you'd have to make an IN just in order to strike a check print.

Lastly, your digital master is used to create any home video masters (HD, PAL, NTSC). There may be another quick pass at color-correction to make sure the image looks correct for home video standards. Also, letterboxing or panning & scanning may be involved to make different aspect ratios for video release.
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#3 Michael Most

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Posted 02 April 2006 - 08:47 AM

David's answer is, as always, complete and accurate. However, it might be simpler to say that if you've ever done a project finished on video - and that would include just about any commercial or television program - you already know pretty much all the steps involved in a DI. It's basically the same thing, except with film as deliverable element. Substitute "conforming" for online editing, "film recording" for layoff, and "printing" for duplication and you've got pretty much the same post path. The only really significant difference in terms of the steps involved is the need to manufacture a film negative, then print it. Other than that, it's pretty much the same electronic post path that commercials and television programs have been using for the past, oh, 15-20 years or so. Roy Wagner and I have often laughed at all the press that's been afforded to DI, and comments that alllude to "these amazing new tools" that those of us who have been in telecine rooms at any time for the last two decades have already been using for most of that time.

Of course, all of this is from the point of view of the user, not the facility that has to create the technical facilities needed to manage a properly calibrated environment for producing electronic images that will match the film generated from them. That side of it is a bit more complex. And one thing that David mentioned is not always the case, and that is the point in the process in which any resizing is handled. It is often done in the recorder itself, not necessarily by the system doing the color correction.
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