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workprinter hd place examples or comments?


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#1 adam berk

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:11 PM

All the examples I've seen from filmtransfer.com's xl-h1/workprinter-xp have been old home movie type stuff. Does anyone have any experience with their HD transfer service and higher quality 16 or super16 material?

I am shooting an extremely short super16 thing for a local non-profit and I'm planning on transferring with cinelab. They asked me about an HD master, but the budget is just far too low.

So naturally, I'm just curious.

I emailed filmtransfer and they invited me to send 100' for a free transfer, but I don't have time now. The thing's coming up this week.

thanks,
adam
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#2 Bryan Darling

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 01:53 PM

I do film transfers as a business using the workprinter. My question to you would be, do you know for sure that your computer or the one you will be editing on will be able to handle the load from HD video? Also what codec are they using? I've seen their examples and what I noticed seemed alright, however they did appear to be quite contrasty. I work very hard to preserve both the shadows and highlights in my transfers. I've been working in film for 11 years so I take the approach of matching to the professional transfers I've had done for my 16mm work in the past.

One other thing to think about is color and exposure correction. Do they do it automatically via the camera or some device hooked up? Or is it done later in post? If so, how good and of what experience does the technician have who will be doing the corrections? My hunch is that they probably don't do any post color/exposure correction. However I could be wrong. The tools available for post corrections are superior to that available at the front end of a workprinter transfer.

If you are going to do the correction, you'll want to make sure there is enough information there to work with. Additionally, you'll want to ask yourself how well do you understand color and exposure correction and how good are you at getting the results you'll need. I do enormous amounts of color and exposure correction on the transfers that I perform, all in post. That's why I worked hard to develop a system that captures as much of the film's information as possible, i.e. retaining the highlights and the shadows.

One last thing, are you shooting negative or reversal? I ask as these machines are designed for reversal. It is a big challenge to get a good transfer of negative film even with heavy amounts of correction done at the time of transfer and in post.
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#3 adam berk

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:58 PM

I do film transfers as a business using the workprinter. My question to you would be, do you know for sure that your computer or the one you will be editing on will be able to handle the load from HD video? Also what codec are they using? I've seen their examples and what I noticed seemed alright, however they did appear to be quite contrasty. I work very hard to preserve both the shadows and highlights in my transfers. I've been working in film for 11 years so I take the approach of matching to the professional transfers I've had done for my 16mm work in the past.

One other thing to think about is color and exposure correction. Do they do it automatically via the camera or some device hooked up? Or is it done later in post? If so, how good and of what experience does the technician have who will be doing the corrections? My hunch is that they probably don't do any post color/exposure correction. However I could be wrong. The tools available for post corrections are superior to that available at the front end of a workprinter transfer.

If you are going to do the correction, you'll want to make sure there is enough information there to work with. Additionally, you'll want to ask yourself how well do you understand color and exposure correction and how good are you at getting the results you'll need. I do enormous amounts of color and exposure correction on the transfers that I perform, all in post. That's why I worked hard to develop a system that captures as much of the film's information as possible, i.e. retaining the highlights and the shadows.

One last thing, are you shooting negative or reversal? I ask as these machines are designed for reversal. It is a big challenge to get a good transfer of negative film even with heavy amounts of correction done at the time of transfer and in post.


The material would be cut from dvcprohd downconverts on a media composer. After the edit, whether it's HD or not, I will be doing the online conform, grade and graphics myself on a flame (notice my sig...)

The negative/reversal issues poses a gigantic problem. Could you elaborate a bit more on how you would run negative with a workprinter?
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#4 Bryan Darling

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 01:28 AM

The material would be cut from dvcprohd downconverts on a media composer. After the edit, whether it's HD or not, I will be doing the online conform, grade and graphics myself on a flame (notice my sig...)

The negative/reversal issues poses a gigantic problem. Could you elaborate a bit more on how you would run negative with a workprinter?



So would the transfer be supplied to you on DVCProHD from the transfer company? From what I know they use a Canon XL-H1 as a camera head, I would assume they are going from the HD-SDI out to a Blackmagic or AJA card into their computer's hard drives. I guess they could have the software set to capture using the DVC codec and then record that out to tape. Although they may have it set a different way.

The issue with negative is the orange mask. It is tied so much to the make-up of the image that you can't just "filter" it out. It's not like white balancing a piece of clear neg and that cancels out the orange mask. The film is more dense and lower in contrast. It takes a lot of post color and gamma correction sometimes tied to filtration and/or white balancing on the front end of the transfer. However even with this I haven't seen results that I thought were equal or on par with conventional negative transfers using BTS Quadras, Ranks, etc.

As for b&w negative, b&w reversal, and color reversal these issues are irrelevant. The one thing about negative film though is that the dust is more noticeable and apparent because it turns from black to white when the negative is inverted to positive. The black dust seen in reversal is better hidden because it is more common to have darker tones and colors in an image. White stands out because of it's intensity and stark contrast to the image.

These are pretty much technical issues that may not have an impact on your film. With all this said you may look at your transfer and say, "that's fine with me I don't really notice it and I'm sure my audience won't." The thing I don't know is whether the money saved is going to be worth the gain in additional resolution. In my humble opinion, I really see the only thing you'd be getting here is "numbers."

Is it realistic and practical to have this extra resolution if most of the time it will be screened on DVD players, etc? I don't know what your end use is, but if it's for anything other than say screening it on an HD projector all the time, it might be more practical and economical to just to an SD transfer. It's still a long ways off that HD DVD players really hit the average home. But I digress.

I really have no clue about your project or it's final intent and use. However if HD is what you need to do then you might need to spend the money on a more "professional" transfer unless you feel the results from the workprinter will work for your needs. I've been able to master SD transfers on mine that can compete to that coming off a BTS Quadra. But it's taken three years on perfecting a complete system, a closed loop system if you will. I'm not saying others couldn't or don't offer competitive transfers to that of "professional" telecine machines, as a matter of fact I'm sure there must be. All I can speak of is from my experiences and opinions as a filmmaker and having a business that does just that.
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#5 adam berk

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 01:46 AM

So would the transfer be supplied to you on DVCProHD from the transfer company? From what I know they use a Canon XL-H1 as a camera head, I would assume they are going from the HD-SDI out to a Blackmagic or AJA card into their computer's hard drives. I guess they could have the software set to capture using the DVC codec and then record that out to tape. Although they may have it set a different way.

The issue with negative is the orange mask. It is tied so much to the make-up of the image that you can't just "filter" it out. It's not like white balancing a piece of clear neg and that cancels out the orange mask. The film is more dense and lower in contrast. It takes a lot of post color and gamma correction sometimes tied to filtration and/or white balancing on the front end of the transfer. However even with this I haven't seen results that I thought were equal or on par with conventional negative transfers using BTS Quadras, Ranks, etc.

As for b&w negative, b&w reversal, and color reversal these issues are irrelevant. The one thing about negative film though is that the dust is more noticeable and apparent because it turns from black to white when the negative is inverted to positive. The black dust seen in reversal is better hidden because it is more common to have darker tones and colors in an image. White stands out because of it's intensity and stark contrast to the image.

These are pretty much technical issues that may not have an impact on your film. With all this said you may look at your transfer and say, "that's fine with me I don't really notice it and I'm sure my audience won't." The thing I don't know is whether the money saved is going to be worth the gain in additional resolution. In my humble opinion, I really see the only thing you'd be getting here is "numbers."

Is it realistic and practical to have this extra resolution if most of the time it will be screened on DVD players, etc? I don't know what your end use is, but if it's for anything other than say screening it on an HD projector all the time, it might be more practical and economical to just to an SD transfer. It's still a long ways off that HD DVD players really hit the average home. But I digress.

I really have no clue about your project or it's final intent and use. However if HD is what you need to do then you might need to spend the money on a more "professional" transfer unless you feel the results from the workprinter will work for your needs. I've been able to master SD transfers on mine that can compete to that coming off a BTS Quadra. But it's taken three years on perfecting a complete system, a closed loop system if you will. I'm not saying others couldn't or don't offer competitive transfers to that of "professional" telecine machines, as a matter of fact I'm sure there must be. All I can speak of is from my experiences and opinions as a filmmaker and having a business that does just that.


I would get an uncompressed transfer from them on hard disk and then give the editor dvcpro that I would create from the master transfer. This is how I've worked before with HD spirit transfers. I just import the uncompressed HD transfer masters into the flame or smoke and make sure the metadeta/timecode lines up with the dvcpro I give to the editor...then take the editor's edl and do an auto-conform from the files already inside the flame or smoke.

Thanks for your input on the technical/optical side of things. The final product will mostly be used during presentations on laptops and projectors, so HD would definitely be a good thing.

It seems that the workprinter is fairly out of the question at this point for me, for color negative...which is 99.999% of what I shoot.

thanks again for your help,
adam
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Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Visual Products