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converting super 16 footage to regular 16 (I know, sounds silly!)


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#1 Brian Rose

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 08:31 PM

I was wondering..suppose for some reason I shot something on super 16, but then wanted to make it fit with some regular 16mm. Could I just blow up the super 16 in post to fit the 4x3 frame? Although it would certainly increase apparent grain, would it be that severe?
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 09:22 PM

Extra grain is one consideration. As I understand it, you would also have to do an optical to reframe it back onto the regular 16. I think that would introduce the most visible artifacts. I am sure there are people here who have done this, but I continually hear about how much distortion is introduced when you do a super16-35mm optical blow-up. I can only assume trying to project onto a smaller format would increase these problems. Check out colorlab they will probably be doing my proccessing and video dailies for my next feature film (unless someone has heard bad things about them?) They have deals on blowups to 35mm film that seemed pretty cheap. And the extra cost of the 35mm stock might be outweighed by the tighter grain structer and the ability to release to any theater.
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 09:25 PM

Not quite sure what you are talking about Brian. Are you planning on telecining the footage, or are you optically printing? If telecine, just have the colorist scan a 4:3 section of the Super 16 frame. It will be the same size, same resolution and same apparent grain as your regular 16 images, because the Super 16 frame is the same height as the regular 16 frame, it is just wider. So the colorist is just cropping off material on each side, or all on one side, depending how you framed.

If optically printing, I would assume they will just mask the Super 16 frame so you are only printing a 4:3 section, but again it should be the same resolution and apparent grain as your regular 16 image, if they are both shot on the same stock.

Make sense?
-Tim
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#4 Brian Rose

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 09:41 PM

Mr. Carroll,
Your question is well founded. Here's the situation: I will be attending film school beginning in the fall. I own my own equipment, and I was planning on upgrading to super 16mm, so my projects would have that extra bit of quality. Not to mention, it definitely helps for HD transfers and 35mm blowup. But, I was also hoping to rent out my services to the other students, to make some extra bucks--with there being so much competition for equipment on project, I figure there might be a niche for a privateer like myself. However, the school I will be attending still works in regular 16mm. The problem then becomes: suppose someone has shot a project using school equipment on 16mm, but needs me. Suddenly, you have two different formats to deal with. Most of these projects won't be finished on 16mm, but rather edited NLE and exported to DVD. So, would it be possible to shoot something on super 16, frame it for reg. 16mm, then telecine it, and in post like Final Cut or Adobe Premiere, make the appropriate cuts to shape the image to match the rest of the regular 16mm. Do you understand now? Basically, I need to decide if I should wait on getting a super 16mm conversion until out of school.
Best,
Brian Rose
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:14 PM

Well if the school only wants film projects to be framed in 4:3, and if the program is two or more years, you may want to consider waiting till after graduation to have the camera converted. Alot can change in a few years in this business. I don't think film will be dead or anything like that, but there may be some camera technology that is all the rage and you may decide your particular interest lends itself in a direction where Super 16 may not be the format of choice. It's really up to you.

As far as Super 16 footage (16:9 approx.) intercuting with regular 16 footage (4:3) in a NLE Final Cut Pro world, what I said earlier would apply. Someone is going to have to transfer the image from your negative to a digital format by using a Rank, or Datacine or some kind of film scanner. The colorist (the person operating the scanner) can just crop a 4:3 section out of the Super 16 image, which is more like 16:9 (but not exactly). Since the height of the image on the negative is the same whether you shoot Super 16 or regular 16, and the Super 16 image is just wider than the regular 16 image, the colorist just crops from the sides of the Super 16 image to get a 4:3 image. You are not blowing up the Super 16 image to get a 4:3 picture, you are just cropping or cutting away image, so there is no loss of resolution or enlarging of grain, etc. As long as the regular 16 footage and the Super 16 footage are both shot on the same film stock and both processed the same, there should be no difference in grain between them both scanned for a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Make sense?
-Tim
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#6 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 05:46 AM

Have a ground glass with both S16 and regular 16 marks on your camera, frame each film according to its decided format, and then crop regular 16 projects in post...
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