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One-light to EDL to final color correction from negative


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#1 Cole Webley

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 06:21 PM

I am doing a one-light next tuesday for a doc I shot in NY last week. I am in Utah and have limited colorists/telecine houses (2). We want to go out to Company Three later so now all we need is a one-light so we can digitize and cut the film and make our EDL. Later we want to take the EDL and go back to DigiBeta with the picture lock. With that edit we want to go Company Three and color correct the finished edit--but we want to do the final color correction from the negative.

Was I clear?

I want to understand this process better and I am confused as to all of the steps that need to happen to make this possible. I realize I need my one-light colorist to burn tape code and time code into my negative right? What else do we need to do?

Thanks for the help gentleman.
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#2 Cole Webley

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:37 PM

Does anybody know?
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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 03:55 PM

As I understand it, this can work two ways:

Either you have the keycode info in your EDL which is pretty much standard procedure. Or, you sync the timecode up to the hole punch at the beginning of the roll, then all you'll ever need to sync up that roll is to punch in the start timecode from the hole punch. Make sense?
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#4 Cole Webley

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:03 AM

Yes, it sounds like that is what we are going to need to do. I spoke with my colorist yesterday and he said basically the same thing. We need to sync our timecode and keycode with the hole punch in the beginning of each role. When we lay it off he will give each roll a seperate time code the first starting with 1 hour, the second role starting with 2 hours etc. Then we make our EDL and make an online with the burnt in time code and key code. With this DigiBeta online the colorist in L.A. will take our EDL with in and out points on the time code and find them on our negative and color correct them. Ok. I think I understand it.

Thanks Adam.
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#5 Chris_Burket

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 02:35 PM

Yes, it sounds like that is what we are going to need to do. I spoke with my colorist yesterday and he said basically the same thing. We need to sync our timecode and keycode with the hole punch in the beginning of each role. When we lay it off he will give each roll a seperate time code the first starting with 1 hour, the second role starting with 2 hours etc. Then we make our EDL and make an online with the burnt in time code and key code. With this DigiBeta online the colorist in L.A. will take our EDL with in and out points on the time code and find them on our negative and color correct them. Ok. I think I understand it.

Thanks Adam.


Sounds like you have it figured out but let me ask acouple questions.. Why do you want to do your final color from your negative instead of tape to tape? Are you not confident the first colorist can give you a good base look? If so, thats fine and you can go back to your neg, but if you get a nice base look on your digibeta, just go tape to tape with that.

Now, to go back to your negative for a retransfer, HD, or even a DI, this is what I'd suggest. When you transfer, have your audio and video timecode burned in as well as your keycode. Make sure you get a flex file from your first session. If you are using 1,000 ft. flats of neg to transfer, transfer each flat starting at 15 minute increments. Like flat 1 is 01:00:00:00, flat 2 is 01:15:00:00. Or if you don't have much film, you can transfer one flat per hour. Flat 1 = hour 1 flat 2= hour 2 etc... The hole punch should be on the first frame transferred at :00. A frames should fall on :00 or :05, but the telecine people already know all this.

After you are done editing, generate an EDL with KEY NUMBERS and ROLE NUMBERS. Then take this cut list to your next colorist and have these shots re-transferred with handles of course. Also, MAKE SURE TO GET A FLEX FILE FROM THIS SESSION TOO! Then, re-digitize this newly transferred tape and relink the media via key numbers. Now, you have a locked offline version with your new color corrected media attached to it. Now if you want to online in HD, SD, whatever, you can export an EDL with TIMECODE numbers, and go to an online bay. Now you have your online master. At this point, you'd usually do final color, but you've already done this so your finished with picture. Now you'd do an audio layback and your done.
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#6 Cole Webley

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 03:45 PM

I'm worried a bit about the base color that we would get from just doing a tape to tape -- yes.

Also, this is the first time for this whole process for me so I have some questions...

What do you mean by flat? Do you just mean the individual role of processed film?
Also, we are transferring only about 4,000 ft. so should we do it in 1 hour increments like I said before? Each roll having a seperate hour?
Then, and I am sorry about this one, but can you define the difference between:
Key Code specific to film, right?
Time Code specific to time once it is digitized, right?
and what you mean when you say create an EDL with Key Numbers and Roll Numbers (is that just the key code that corresponds with each shot?)

Sorry for all of the questions. I am hoping to get a grasp on all this technical stuff.

THANKS
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#7 Chris_Burket

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 03:20 AM

I'm worried a bit about the base color that we would get from just doing a tape to tape -- yes.

Also, this is the first time for this whole process for me so I have some questions...

What do you mean by flat? Do you just mean the individual role of processed film?
Also, we are transferring only about 4,000 ft. so should we do it in 1 hour increments like I said before? Each roll having a seperate hour?
Then, and I am sorry about this one, but can you define the difference between:
Key Code specific to film, right?
Time Code specific to time once it is digitized, right?
and what you mean when you say create an EDL with Key Numbers and Roll Numbers (is that just the key code that corresponds with each shot?)

Sorry for all of the questions. I am hoping to get a grasp on all this technical stuff.

THANKS


Hey Cole,

A flat is a processed role of negative. For instance, if I shot 5 x 200ft. rolls of film and had them processed, the lab would splice them into one 1,000 roll or "flat". I assume they are called flats because they come in real thin, flat boxes.

Yes, if you are transferring 4,000 feet of film, you could have each 1,000 ft. roll have its own hour on tape.

Now, you mentioned 4,000 ft. Do you mean 4 x 1,000 ft. loads or something different? Let's just say for the sake of argument you mean 4 x 1,000 ft. loads. Normally on a film shoot, the AC would label each roll on the camera report. These roll names vary from show to show. But lets say you just name yours 1,2,3, and 4.

Keycode.... Keycode is to film what timecode is to tape. Roll Number is to film what Tape number is to tape.

So if you know that your shot is on roll 1 and starts at key number xxxxxxxxxxxxx and ends at key number xxxxxxxxxx, then you know EXACTLY where your shot is.

Please NOTE: WHEN YOU GO BACK TO FILM, THE TIMECODE NUMBERS AND TAPES ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR FIRST TRANSFER ARE USELESS!!!! DO NOT TRY TO USE TIMECODE NUMBERS FOR ANYTHING!

Why? When you go back to film, the only thing that will match back to what you have in your project is roll numbers and key numbers. So if you retransfer a shot from roll1 with a specific key number, you can then tell your AVID (or final cut) to match the new shot back via KEYCODE. If you try to tell it to match back via timecode, it won't work because your timecode numbers are now completely different.

All this aside..... I think if you supervise the initial transfer and tell the colorist what you want in the end, all this won't be needed and you can just go tape to tape. How are you finishing? What are you using to edit? What format are you mastering on? I might be able to suggest a good workflow for you....

Feel free to PM me with any other questions.
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 04:13 AM

Please NOTE: WHEN YOU GO BACK TO FILM, THE TIMECODE NUMBERS AND TAPES ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR FIRST TRANSFER ARE USELESS!!!! DO NOT TRY TO USE TIMECODE NUMBERS FOR ANYTHING!



Hi,

The lab I work with is used to neg cutting from timecode without problems. Ask your lab first!

Keycode no's can be wrong by a few frames, a hole punched in the neg at the start of each roll is important as a physical reference point.

Stephen
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#9 Chris_Burket

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 02:14 PM

Hi,

The lab I work with is used to neg cutting from timecode without problems. Ask your lab first!

Keycode no's can be wrong by a few frames, a hole punched in the neg at the start of each roll is important as a physical reference point.

Stephen



Interesting, do you know how they referenced the film from the timecode on the tape? I haven't worked in the neg cutting world, just the HD and SD finishing world.

What I meant to be more specific is that you can't relink your newly transferred media via timecode since it will be a new tape with a different duration and different timecode.
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#10 Cole Webley

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 07:34 PM

skydivekansas,

Thanks for the replay. Its like someone turned on the light for me.

I do plan on supervising the initial transfer--we are not going to a print--It is designed to show in a Museum to accompany the work of the individual who was the subject of our documentary. So, we are most likely going to deliver the finished product on Beta or DigaBeta or perhaps just simply on a DVD. We are planning on cutting it in FCP but my colorist tells me that Avid is alot friendly for this process. I keep hearing mention of FLEX files for FCP and ALE files for Avid but these are foreign to me. Also, what I meant about 4,000 ft. was that we shot 10 rolls of 400ft loads--which would equate to a total of 4,000ft. In S16 do the flats always come in 1000ft rolls? I was under the impression that they came with 1200ft of processed film (3 rolls of 400ft).

What would be your suggested workflow for these kind of circumstances?

Thanks.

-Cole
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#11 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 03:05 AM

Interesting, do you know how they referenced the film from the timecode on the tape? I haven't worked in the neg cutting world, just the HD and SD finishing world.

What I meant to be more specific is that you can't relink your newly transferred media via timecode since it will be a new tape with a different duration and different timecode.


Hi,

By making a hole punch at the start of the roll, that becomes frame 0 at a timecode of 1 hour for example.

From a known timecode the neg cutter knows how many frames to sdvance the film.

The neg cutter will note the keycode of the punched frame.

Stephen
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#12 Chris_Burket

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 04:30 AM

skydivekansas,

Thanks for the replay. Its like someone turned on the light for me.

I do plan on supervising the initial transfer--we are not going to a print--It is designed to show in a Museum to accompany the work of the individual who was the subject of our documentary. So, we are most likely going to deliver the finished product on Beta or DigaBeta or perhaps just simply on a DVD. We are planning on cutting it in FCP but my colorist tells me that Avid is alot friendly for this process. I keep hearing mention of FLEX files for FCP and ALE files for Avid but these are foreign to me. Also, what I meant about 4,000 ft. was that we shot 10 rolls of 400ft loads--which would equate to a total of 4,000ft. In S16 do the flats always come in 1000ft rolls? I was under the impression that they came with 1200ft of processed film (3 rolls of 400ft).

What would be your suggested workflow for these kind of circumstances?

Thanks.

-Cole


First of all, to be perfectly honest, I really think you'll be able to work off the initial transfer. If you supervise it and get a good transfer to digibeta, you should be able to do small tweaks in tape to tape. However, you may not get a good transfer...

A FLEX file is a file generated in telecine that is basically a log of the telecine. It has all the information about the film, audio and video in it. It has all the keycode, video timecode, audio time code, role numbers, tape numbers, etc... ALE or Avid Log Exchange is what AVID's use. Most telecine suites can generate a FLEX and ALE for you. If you get a FLEX file, AVID has a program called Avid Log Exchange. You can convert a FLEX to an ALE using this program. You then import the ALE into your AVID bin, and it has each clip displayed as offline including all the important data like timecode and keycode etc.... Then you tell AVID to batch capture. Now your clips are online and you are ready to edit.

If you use FCP, there is a program called Cinema Tools. You convert the flex to a cinema tools data base, then follow the same steps...

Which would be the better choice? That depends on which system your editor and/or assistant editor are most familiar with.

Super 16 should work great for you. Have you already shot and processed this film? Or are you getting ready to shoot? Label each roll carefully. If you already shot, label each flat. If they are 1200 feet, that's fine. Usually flats are 1,000 - 1,200 in length.

Are you the editor, or is there an assistant editor?


skydivekansas,

Thanks for the replay. Its like someone turned on the light for me.

I do plan on supervising the initial transfer--we are not going to a print--It is designed to show in a Museum to accompany the work of the individual who was the subject of our documentary. So, we are most likely going to deliver the finished product on Beta or DigaBeta or perhaps just simply on a DVD. We are planning on cutting it in FCP but my colorist tells me that Avid is alot friendly for this process. I keep hearing mention of FLEX files for FCP and ALE files for Avid but these are foreign to me. Also, what I meant about 4,000 ft. was that we shot 10 rolls of 400ft loads--which would equate to a total of 4,000ft. In S16 do the flats always come in 1000ft rolls? I was under the impression that they came with 1200ft of processed film (3 rolls of 400ft).

What would be your suggested workflow for these kind of circumstances?

Thanks.

-Cole


First of all, to be perfectly honest, I really think you'll be able to work off the initial transfer. If you supervise it and get a good transfer to digibeta, you should be able to do small tweaks in tape to tape. However, you may not get a good transfer...

A FLEX file is a file generated in telecine that is basically a log of the telecine. It has all the information about the film, audio and video in it. It has all the keycode, video timecode, audio time code, role numbers, tape numbers, etc... ALE or Avid Log Exchange is what AVID's use. Most telecine suites can generate a FLEX and ALE for you. If you get a FLEX file, AVID has a program called Avid Log Exchange. You can convert a FLEX to an ALE using this program. You then import the ALE into your AVID bin, and it has each clip displayed as offline including all the important data like timecode and keycode etc.... Then you tell AVID to batch capture. Now your clips are online and you are ready to edit.

If you use FCP, there is a program called Cinema Tools. You convert the flex to a cinema tools data base, then follow the same steps...

Which would be the better choice? That depends on which system your editor and/or assistant editor are most familiar with.

Super 16 should work great for you. Have you already shot and processed this film? Or are you getting ready to shoot? Label each roll carefully. If you already shot, label each flat. If they are 1200 feet, that's fine. Usually flats are 1,000 - 1,200 in length.

Are you the editor, or is there an assistant editor?
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#13 Cole Webley

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 12:01 PM

We have already shot the film and it has been processed--recieved it yesterday. One-light is set up for tuesday. Actually I am neither the editor or the assistant editor. I am the DP but I feel responsible for overseeing this process both because of being the DP and because the others involved in the project aren't familiar at all with this process.

The editor will be working in Final Cut Pro so we will be getting flex files. I am really nervous about going tape to tape because our colorist really isn't the best--really great guy--but I fear that we won't get the best one-light even...and if there isn't a price difference between going back to the neg. or tape to tape I am more apt to want to go back to the neg. assuming we can get through all of the technicalities.

The rolls were labeled carefully as to their # and I looked at the flats that we got back and each one specifically notes which rolls were placed on which flat (which is normal obviously) and we will make sure each flat is labeled carefully.

Thanks again!
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#14 Cole Webley

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 01:01 PM

Someone just told me that when I am doing my online that the best quality is the D5 HD tapes and that HDCam tapes are not much better then DigiBeta--is this true?
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#15 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 01:33 PM

Someone just told me that when I am doing my online that the best quality is the D5 HD tapes and that HDCam tapes are not much better then DigiBeta--is this true?


Hi,

The best HD tape format is HDCAM SR. D5 HD is slightly less good.
HD CAM is HD but highly compressed and 3:1:1 so not that good to color correct or key from.
DigiBeta is SD and 4:2:2

HD Cam has more resoloution but less color information than DigiBeta, maybe you could say its both better and worse than DigiBeta!

Stephen
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#16 agno3

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 02:37 AM

Hi,

The lab I work with is used to neg cutting from timecode without problems. Ask your lab first!

Keycode no's can be wrong by a few frames, a hole punched in the neg at the start of each roll is important as a physical reference point.

Stephen



How can the Keycode be wrong? its a number burned into the film? At most it could be off by one frame because someone decided the code was with the frame on the left or right of the frame.
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#17 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 03:45 AM

How can the Keycode be wrong? its a number burned into the film? At most it could be off by one frame because someone decided the code was with the frame on the left or right of the frame.


Hi,

Keycode on a telecine transfer can easily be wrong! It has to be set up with care and tested each time the keycode reader is removed. When rushes are being transfered in a hurry at night by a trainee anything can happen.

Stephen
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#18 agno3

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 03:54 AM

Hi,

Keycode on a telecine transfer can easily be wrong! It has to be set up with care and tested each time the keycode reader is removed. When rushes are being transfered in a hurry at night by a trainee anything can happen.

Stephen


hmm I guess that is a good reason to use Kodak's keykode system then. I don't know much about video. I really only work on features. For feature work we totally depend on the keycode as the cute list is 100% based on the keycodes on the film.

I don't understand how you give a timecode to the neg cutter and he can do anything with that.

Randy
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 04:04 AM

I don't understand how you give a timecode to the neg cutter and he can do anything with that.

Randy


Hi,

In short form work its not an issue, mabe 10 telecine rolls and tapes. Each roll has a hole punch reference starting at a specific time code no. Works very easily in PAL at 25 FPS with film running at 25 FPS.
One minute is 1500 frames
One second is 25 frames

A time code of 32 seconds and 4 frames would be 804 frames from the reference hole. A neg cutter with a simple software can easily convert time code back to keycode noting first the keycode from the reference frame. Hardly rocket science IMHO.

Stephen
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#20 Chris_Burket

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 02:38 AM

We have already shot the film and it has been processed--recieved it yesterday. One-light is set up for tuesday. Actually I am neither the editor or the assistant editor. I am the DP but I feel responsible for overseeing this process both because of being the DP and because the others involved in the project aren't familiar at all with this process.

The editor will be working in Final Cut Pro so we will be getting flex files. I am really nervous about going tape to tape because our colorist really isn't the best--really great guy--but I fear that we won't get the best one-light even...and if there isn't a price difference between going back to the neg. or tape to tape I am more apt to want to go back to the neg. assuming we can get through all of the technicalities.

The rolls were labeled carefully as to their # and I looked at the flats that we got back and each one specifically notes which rolls were placed on which flat (which is normal obviously) and we will make sure each flat is labeled carefully.

Thanks again!


Now you are talking about going HD??? The best thing would be to do your initial transfer on a spirit to HDCam SR in 4:4:4. However, you mentioned budget might be an issue and you only have to deliver Digi Beta. So why go HD if your delivery is SD? By all means, use the highest format your budget can afford, but if budget is an issue, then you'll probably be staying SD.

Since you are not the editor, I can't tell you how important it is to have you editor have this exact conversation with the online editor and final colorist. If you don't have the editor or assis. editor have this conversation with these people, you will probably end up spending a lot more $$$ to correct problems you could have prevented.
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