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Spirit HD and reg-16mm


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#1 Michael Collier

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 05:48 PM

This is a random question, I am sure someone can answer quickly for me. I am about 5 days away from my shoot, so in the grand sceme of things I am not rushed to understand the post details, but I have been curious what my options are.

I am shooting for 1.85 in reg 16mm. The plan is to scan on a spirit HD for eventual HD projection. My question is am I forced to transfer it at 4:3 with pillar boxing, or can I specify that they zoom in and frame 16x9 (cutting off top and bottom) then further matte the image in post to get back to the 1.85? I plan to shoot a frame guide on the first roll, so that when I do the crop, I will be cropping to the lines as I saw them in the camera.

Not a huge deal either way, but I would like to preserve as much data as possible (I am paying for each pixel weather its a scan of the film, or just black pillar boxes.) lab is PWNY.
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#2 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 06:21 PM

... or can I specify that they zoom in and frame 16x9 (cutting off top and bottom)...


yes, it should be no problem.

Edited by Jaan Shenberger, 16 October 2006 - 06:22 PM.

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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 06:59 PM

By transfering full height 16:9 you will gain a lot of resolution which might come in handy for later digital projection. However, you also give up that neg space and headroom (from 4:3 to 16:9) at the top and bottom, which makes it impossible to rack the image later in post if you'd want to reframe slightly. There is some slight leeway from 16:9 to 1.85:1, but it's not much.

But as long as you're confident you won't need to reframe the shot in post, the 16:9 full height anamorphic transfer is a better choice.
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:04 PM

The post chain you're planning on would definitely favor super 16mm, which you should absolutely try for if at all possible. Zooming regular 16mm in order to fill an HD frame will noticeably degrade the image.
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 09:22 PM

By transfering full height 16:9 you will gain a lot of resolution which might come in handy for later digital projection. However, you also give up that neg space and headroom (from 4:3 to 16:9) at the top and bottom, which makes it impossible to rack the image later in post if you'd want to reframe slightly. There is some slight leeway from 16:9 to 1.85:1, but it's not much.

But as long as you're confident you won't need to reframe the shot in post, the 16:9 full height anamorphic transfer is a better choice.


Thanks. i am pretty confident in my framing. Years of video work doesn't leave much room for error anyway, so I rarely reframe. In fact, the leway that going from 16x9 to 1.85 allows is way more than I would usualy do for my other movies. The extra leway, I imagine, would only help to make up any inconsistency between the frame lines I see, and the true frame center (and thereby, the true 1.85 uper and lower frame lines) so I can shift up or down a few pixels to get it into place.

Goulder: I am well aware of the loss that reg. 16 provides. In fact for HD projection, I will probably downres to 720p. I fought for super-16, but the extra cost was between $2000 and $4500 (not for the upgrade, but to rent the only S16 camera up here, or rent from out of state and pay for shipping.) It would be nice, but this is my first short movie on film, so just having that boost in quality is going to make me feel good. And the story can use some grain and grit. What I am wondering about your comment though (and this speaks to my lack of understanding of the spirit systems) is the extra loss when zooming in an opticle loss thing, or do they just scan the film at 2K full frame, and since digitally its zooming in further, I loose quality that way? I am not even sure if the spirits put the film in contact with the sensor and take a picture, or if a lens focuses the film onto the sensor? (I imagine its the latter, though I would like to be sure)
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#6 Jon Kukla

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 03:09 PM

I know it probably sounds obvious but...

Don't forget to shoot a frame leader! :)
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#7 Sam Wells

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 08:32 AM

The Spirit uses a fixed size imager (unlike Cintel); you are effectively doing a "blow up"

-Sam
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