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Grain Issues


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#1 jijhh

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 12:19 AM

So, I just finished all my transferring on my latest project, the last step of which was a supervised selects transfer from S16 to HDCAM. We then had the HDCAM selects converted into 1080p 23.98 files in DVCPRO HD for a final online cut.

However, the footage in DVCPRO HD is incredibly grainy. One location was a dark interior being shot on 500T, so I was expecting grain, but it came out ten times what I imagined. In addition, even the bright exteriors shot on 200T have a considerable amount of grain. This is only on a 23" Cinema display--I can't imagine what a large screen would bring out. I'm guessing this is a compression issue, as I've seen the footage on MiniDV dailies and on the HDCAM tape and they look terrific.

The real reason I'm posting is, I want to know if I'm out of line complaining to the post house and wanting a better conversion? Is there any sort of compression steps they could have missed or screwed up?

Thanks
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 12:20 PM

You should definitely take the tapes to the post house and have them set-up an A/B comparison to the HDCAM tapes on the same HD monitor.
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#3 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 12:47 PM

Aye. I just had the exact same workflow execpt we went HDCAM SR 4:2:2 and my footage came out extremely grainy as well. I don't know what it is tho... it could be the stock (Fuji 8673 Eterna 500), could be the film scanner, noise added during tape to tape color correction which was done on Quantel's Pablo, hell it could be the DVCPRO HD codec adding noise maybe. Apparently the director examined the masters on a HD monitor at rainmaker here in Vancouver, and the noise is there but its much less noticeable making me believe it may be the codec or the HD monitors at rainmaker making it look better then every where else. I'm interested to see how the uncompressed HD footage works when rainmaker gets the FCP suite upgraded to uncompressed capabilities. Heres a still. You can see how mushy it gets in some points in the image... a lot flatter then it looked earlier in the process. I mean the HDCAM SR masters are very punchy on Rainmakers HD CRT's but I have nothing else to compare to untill it get the uncompressed version. And another downside is that Rainmaker doesnt have DVCPRO HD decks so i cant do a AB comparison. I'd really like to get to the bottom of this. Posted Image

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 22 December 2006 - 12:49 PM.

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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 01:35 PM

I have a similar issue where we shot on Fuji Eterna 250T. My bestlight for offline was very fine grained, I couldn't really see the grain. Then when we went into the post house for a rescan of selects(uncompressed HD 10bit to hard drive) it looked amazing on their monitor. I am guessing that their monitor is going to be more accurate as to how the negative really looks. Then when I get home and take a look at some clips on my monitor at home, tons of grain. Way more than I expected or really want. It wasn't there in the offline or at the post house. What gives? Could it be the stock? I scanned to hard drive via a Shadow. I am going back in this afternoon to have a chat an look with the colorist. I will report back here with my findings.


Chris
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 01:38 PM

I once did a 35mm-to-HD-D5 transfer on a Spirit / DaVinci at a new facility and thought that the results were noisier and "hotter" (more contrasty with limited highlight detail) than it should have been, especially considering I had shot Expression 500T stock and had flashed it!! The house engineer, who had just set-up the Spirit the week before, said it was working fine. They all said it was the original photography, which made no sense to me -- it was a low-con original that now looked like I had shot reversal stock.

Anyway, this is just to say that for some reason, some post houses seem to be running a noisier telecine set-up which they find is "normal". Ultimately you may have to take the work elsewhere just to double-check the material.
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:23 PM

Anyway, this is just to say that for some reason, some post houses seem to be running a noisier telecine set-up which they find is "normal". Ultimately you may have to take the work elsewhere just to double-check the material.


Hi David,

This greatly depends on how much noise reduction (if any) is used. A Spirit without any noise reduction is noisy even with a slow speed stock (F64D 35mm).

Stephen
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#7 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:24 PM

Hi David,

This greatly depends on how much noise reduction (if any) is used. A Spirit without any noise reduction is noisy even with a slow speed stock (F64D 35mm).

Stephen


Damn. I guess you live and learn... or read this forum more often :P
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:32 PM

Damn. I guess you live and learn... or read this forum more often :P


Hi,

I try to spend the first 5 minutes in telecine calibrating sharpness & noise reduction, starting with everything off! Sometimes it stays off, other times I add some depending on the look I want. One facility I use with a Spirit makes 7218 look as clean as HD by default!

If the colorist is grading using secondary colour correction, rather than primary color correction noise will be higher. FWIW with a pogle if the 3 tracker balls glow red that is in secondary, they are green for primaries!
With an older Mk 3 Rank it was always much easier & quicker to work in secondary, don't know if that applies today.

Stephen
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#9 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:44 PM

Now does this calibrating have to be done physically with the machine or is it done while in the suite with the colorist threw a da vinci, pablo, or whatever? Do you find drastic increases in noise when sharpening? When your doing your transfers do you prefer to transfer your raw neg (with a little matching done) to tape then do a tape to tape color correction or do you correct your neg closest you can to the final image?

Edited by Chayse Irvin, 22 December 2006 - 02:46 PM.

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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:58 PM

Now does this calibrating have to be done physically with the machine or is it done while in the suite with the colorist threw a da vinci, pablo, or whatever? Do you find drastic increases in noise when sharpening? When your doing your transfers do you prefer to transfer your raw neg (with a little matching done) to tape then do a tape to tape color correction or do you correct your neg closest you can to the final image?



Hi Chayse,

I added to my previous post!

The calibrating is done to my eye on the fly using a split screen. Sharpening will increase noise (like hell if over done). I try to get as close to the final look in Telecine, I find the telecine colorists are better at grading, than later down the line. (I live in a secondary market so that may not be the case in LA!)

Stephen
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#11 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 03:14 PM

Hi Chayse,

I added to my previous post!

The calibrating is done to my eye on the fly using a split screen. Sharpening will increase noise (like hell if over done). I try to get as close to the final look in Telecine, I find the telecine colorists are better at grading, than later down the line. (I live in a secondary market so that may not be the case in LA!)

Stephen


This last project i did a Tape to Tape correction and I liked it in a way that you can color correct an online edited project from the raw neg but you defiantly have less control over the image once its gone to tape... And seeing the noise that was added on this project was not cool. I think for future projects I will supervise the transfers and try and bring the image as close to what it will look in the final without all of the information that was in the neg. Then for the online tape to tape i'll do minor adjustments... probably more matching issues that can be easily solve on a cut project. Or try a tapeless uncompressed workflow. See how much noise that will add.
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#12 Stephen Williams

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 03:36 PM

This last project i did a Tape to Tape correction and I liked it in a way that you can color correct an online edited project from the raw neg but you defiantly have less control over the image once its gone to tape... And seeing the noise that was added on this project was not cool. I think for future projects I will supervise the transfers and try and bring the image as close to what it will look in the final without all of the information that was in the neg. Then for the online tape to tape i'll do minor adjustments... probably more matching issues that can be easily solve on a cut project. Or try a tapeless uncompressed workflow. See how much noise that will add.


Hi Chayse,

I will always try to attend a telecine (unpaid) if at all possible. I don't need to be there for the full session, but fot the first 20 minutes, just to confirm everything is looking as it should. Almost every time I have not been at a telecine, there was some form of problem, the telecine operator would blame the DP and become a hero to fix it! Working in commercials I can't afford that sort of poop behind my back!

Stephen
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#13 jijhh

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 05:06 PM

Could someone explain further what an AB comparison is? I'm really not happy with my footage and kind of pressed for time, as I need to have a final cut with sound done January 8th. In bad need of a solution.
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#14 Jon Kukla

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 05:15 PM

Could someone explain further what an AB comparison is? I'm really not happy with my footage and kind of pressed for time, as I need to have a final cut with sound done January 8th. In bad need of a solution.


A vs. B - in other words, side-by-side comparision.
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#15 jijhh

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 05:55 PM

That's what I figured but it seemed too simple for some reason. Fair enough, back to the post house.
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#16 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 07:09 PM

That's what I figured but it seemed too simple for some reason. Fair enough, back to the post house.


Good luck man. Make sure you let us know how it goes.
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#17 adam berk

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 08:39 PM

I try to spend the first 5 minutes in telecine calibrating sharpness & noise reduction, starting with everything off! Sometimes it stays off, other times I add some depending on the look I want. One facility I use with a Spirit makes 7218 look as clean as HD by default!


what facility is this?
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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 December 2006 - 11:21 PM

A vs. B - in other words, side-by-side comparision.


I would rather have the same monitor AB the two images. That's how I do it in my studio. I simply hit two buttons on a router and I can instantly see the difference. Of course it's best if both video sources are synced up, but that would apply if one was using two different monitors as well.

The advantage of one monitor is that the issue of two monitors being equally calibrated becomes a moot point.
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#19 alfredoparra

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 02:06 AM

I had the same problem, can you guys list the name of the lab that did the transfers?
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#20 Sam Wells

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 10:21 AM

I'm working with some 16mm transfers that end up on DVCProHD (from D5HD in telecine) and I don't think that really should be a cause of grain/noise IF of course you haven't played with gammas, levels etc on the timeline(where DVC-HD can be 'fragile' if you are not careful).

I don't see why HDCam should be much different (I think D5HD is a slightly better format, but...)

What was the post path ? How did you ingest into your computer ?

-Sam
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