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Telecine to digibeta and transfer to minidv a good option?


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:26 AM

I am pondering possible formats to transfer 16mm neg to in relation to quality and budget constraints - and I am on an extremely low budget! Someone has mentioned before the idea of telecining film to digital betacam and then letting a video conversion company transfer the digibeta footage to minidv for convenience of editing at home. Evidently, this also eliminates the cost of hiring out digibeta editing equipment.

I'm not an expert on these things but I would assume that there would be some loss in quality when going from digibeta to minidv. I do note that some people comment that colours on digibeta footage are nicer than on DV for example. However, what I would like to know in particular is if telecining to digibeta and then transferring to minidv will produce better quality results than simply telecining directly to minidv? In other words - if the final editing tape format is going to be minidv, is it worth telecining to digibeta initially for the master copy?
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 12:25 PM

TKing to Digibeta gives you the flexibility to use an Offline/Online post workflow, using your miniDV clones to offline your project then returning to the Digi masters to conform.

If you're sure that you will never need to go back to Digibeta then you could TK directly to miniDV, but seeing as most TK houses have the facility to do a simultaneous dump to DV while playing out to Digi, what's the point? At best you'll save pennies and you'll lose the option to do a proper online later.
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#3 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 07:54 PM

I'm not familiar with the concepts of 'online' and 'offline' in relation to video editing. Additionally, what would be the advantage of returning to Digibeta after editing on MiniDv? And would there be any extra quality gained by going from Digibeta to MiniDv as opposed to going straight to MiniDv?
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 08:32 PM

Hi,

I have taken some time to form the opinion that copying from digibeta (which is slightly compressed) to DVCAM (which is much more compressed) looks noticeably worse than going straight to DVCAM - digibeta compression is nothing like DVCAM compression and seems to introduce artifacting that DVCAM finds objectionable. Avoid doing it.

> I'm not familiar with the concepts of 'online' and 'offline' in relation to video editing.

Basically, this refers to the process of using a cheaper, lower-end format to edit, then using metadata (such as a CMX-3600 edit decision list) to go back and conform the higher end format to the same cuts. The purpose of this is to be able to spend time making your creative decisions on cheaper equipment, but it can be complicated to make it work properly as there's a lot of odd and poorly-standardised file formats involved.

> Additionally, what would be the advantage of returning to Digibeta after editing on MiniDv?

You would not copy your miniDV tape back to digibeta - you would create an EDL when you cut your miniDV, and then go and have your digibeta cut to it.

> And would there be any extra quality gained by going from Digibeta to MiniDv as opposed to going straight
> to MiniDv?

No, you'd lose.

Phil
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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 10:00 PM

Thanks Phil. Perfectly understood.

Interesting that going from Digibeta to DVCAM introduces quality issues. However, what if you were planning to distribute your film on DVDs. Would burning a DVD from the edited Digibeta tape cause any of the same quality issues that are present when going from Digibeta to DVCAm or MiniDv?
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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 11:40 PM

I am pondering possible formats to transfer 16mm neg to in relation to quality and budget constraints - and I am on an extremely low budget! Someone has mentioned before the idea of telecining film to digital betacam and then letting a video conversion company transfer the digibeta footage to minidv for convenience of editing at home. Evidently, this also eliminates the cost of hiring out digibeta editing equipment.

I'm not an expert on these things but I would assume that there would be some loss in quality when going from digibeta to minidv. I do note that some people comment that colours on digibeta footage are nicer than on DV for example. However, what I would like to know in particular is if telecining to digibeta and then transferring to minidv will produce better quality results than simply telecining directly to minidv? In other words - if the final editing tape format is going to be minidv, is it worth telecining to digibeta initially for the master copy?



If you do not need to go back to the negative, ie.....your project will live on video, then have you footage telecined directo hard drive as an uncompressed file, 10 bit if you can. www.cinelab.com does a good job of it, for no extra charge over their regular telecine rates. Many other transfer houses also do this. With this production path, you have the quality of digibeta, but don't have to rent a deck. You do, however, need a very fast system to edit the uncompressed material. Don't fret, you can still do an offline of the material. Just copy the uncompressed files into a DV timeline with a window burn, output that, edit, then conform with the uncompressed. Not all that hard, much cheaper than digibeta and better quality. do search on the boards here, this topic is often talked about.

Chris
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 02:06 AM

Thanks Phil. Perfectly understood.

Interesting that going from Digibeta to DVCAM introduces quality issues. However, what if you were planning to distribute your film on DVDs. Would burning a DVD from the edited Digibeta tape cause any of the same quality issues that are present when going from Digibeta to DVCAm or MiniDv?


yes, it would introduce problems. The problem is that any compressor has a habbit of leaving little high-frequency artifacts. Theres not much contrast to them, but they do have a lot of noise in very random patterns. When another compressor comes in contact with this compression, it trys to replicate the noise as best it can, but usually it just confuses the compressor, when the uncompressed image would be easier for it to work with. Think of it as artifacts on top of artifacts.

There are ways around it, you can turn up the motion sampling on your compressor. Turn up the bitrate and use the best quality master you can to make your MPEG copy. Digibeta is a high quality master and won't introduce much artifacting. DVCAM is allright, but uncompressed 8 or 10 bit is always best.
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#8 Michael Most

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:38 AM

Thanks Phil. Perfectly understood.

Interesting that going from Digibeta to DVCAM introduces quality issues.


That's Phil's opinion. Not everybody's.

Depending on the hardware and software you're using (I'm assuming Apple/Final Cut, but I'm not sure that's the case), you might want to consider using DVCPro50. That's a standard def format that is remarkably close to Digital Betacam in quality, but compact enough to be used with single drives on almost any recent Mac computer. Most telecine facilities can deliver this to you on a hard drive, and it will take up a hell of a lot less space than "uncompressed" files - with little, if any, quality penalty. You will need either a Kona or Blackmagic card to play it out and/or monitor it during editorial, but you would need that with anything other than DV.
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