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Grain Reduction Programs For FCP


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#1 John Carreon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:16 PM

Hello Everyone,

So I was considering shooting an upcoming project on Super 8mm and I requested a promo DVD from Pro8mm. When I saw it I was a little surprised at how grainy it was. I know it's grainier then other formats but I would think if you were just finishing onto a dvd or Mini DV that it wouldn't be so noticeable...

Does anyone know of any other examples on the web of Super 8mm photography?

Does Final Cut have any sort of grain reduction capabilities or are there any plug-ins, or other programs that anyone has used to good effect?

I know this isn't exactly cinematography...but before I go out and start shooting or testing, I just want to know my options.

Thanks,

John Carreon
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:42 PM

Hello Everyone,

So I was considering shooting an upcoming project on Super 8mm and I requested a promo DVD from Pro8mm. When I saw it I was a little surprised at how grainy it was. I know it's grainier then other formats but I would think if you were just finishing onto a dvd or Mini DV that it wouldn't be so noticeable...

Does anyone know of any other examples on the web of Super 8mm photography?

Does Final Cut have any sort of grain reduction capabilities or are there any plug-ins, or other programs that anyone has used to good effect?

I know this isn't exactly cinematography...but before I go out and start shooting or testing, I just want to know my options.

Thanks,

John Carreon



The following is strictly my opinion. I think Pro-8mm likes to cater to productions that have money. Productions that have money shoot Super-8 expressly with the idea that it looks different, really different, from the other formats they normally use. Grain is an ideal way to show off the difference betwee Super-8 and all other film and video formats.

Now if you are an upcoming filmmaker and want to do a low budget project on Super-8 and you want to make it look more like 16mm than grainy 8, you'd probably be better served going to Spectra Film and Video, Film & Video Transfer, or Yale Labs.
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:51 PM

Hello Everyone,

So I was considering shooting an upcoming project on Super 8mm and I requested a promo DVD from Pro8mm. When I saw it I was a little surprised at how grainy it was. I know it's grainier then other formats but I would think if you were just finishing onto a dvd or Mini DV that it wouldn't be so noticeable...

Does anyone know of any other examples on the web of Super 8mm photography?

Does Final Cut have any sort of grain reduction capabilities or are there any plug-ins, or other programs that anyone has used to good effect?

I know this isn't exactly cinematography...but before I go out and start shooting or testing, I just want to know my options.

Thanks,

John Carreon



try www.cinelab.com they have great packages of super 8 straight to hard drive. Better prices than Pro8mm.
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#4 John Carreon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:01 PM

Thanks a bunch guys...

Anybody use any of Pro8's film? I would like to use Kodak just because it feels safer but they don't seem to make any slow speed daylight film for super 8mm.

I know that they just cut and repackage the stuff...but I like to keep the least amount of hands touching my celluloid as possible...

Thanks again

John
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#5 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:05 PM

This doesn't directly answer your question, but I find doing any type of color grading or digital effects in FCP -- even with 3rd party plug-ins -- results in a lot of compression in the image. Any type of grain reducer will be flatening the image anyway, so if this is a route you're seriously considering, do some tests before moving full steam ahead. You may be better off shooting w/ slower stocks and possibly even pulling a stop or so during processing to achieve finer grain. Good luck.
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#6 Chance Shirley

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:08 PM

Digital grain reduction is no fun. If you don't want ANY grain, just shoot it on video.

If you want less grain than Super 8, just shoot a slower-speed 16mm stock. I think you'll find that stock and processing isn't much more expensive than Super 8.
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#7 Rory Hanrahan

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:18 PM

Video does contain electronic noise though -- which (while both technically and aesthetically different) is the equivalent of grain.

Chance does bring up a good point though: I don't know if you already own your own gear, but depending on how you go about acquiring an S8 camera, renting 16mm might be a fairly close price-match.

(Good thing this isn't in Super8 Only, or I'd have the dogs released on me for hyping 16!).
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#8 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:13 PM

Talk to Charlie Rose (yes, the interview show host.) He made the same observation and mentioned that the Super 8 demo reel was not a good representation of super 8 grainlessnesssss. Not sure if he has shot or tested anything himself. I recall some of the footage on the reel was very clean though..... specifically the lily pads. Hopefully we are talking about the same reel.


Peace.
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#9 Aaron Martin (TX)

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 02:33 PM

Talk to Charlie Rose (yes, the interview show host.) He made the same observation and mentioned that the Super 8 demo reel was not a good representation of super 8 grainlessnesssss.


That's interesting. Where did you read/see the Charlie Rose quote? Was it on his program?

Thanks,

Aaron
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#10 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 02:22 AM

Hi!!
if you dont want grain shoot video or 16 as the other guys tell you.

if youre still interested in S8 and want to reduce grain the best way is in telecine. if not, dont use final cut to reduce grain, final cut filters generally sucks.
boris have a grain reducer in FCP but it only blur the image an add digital noise.

try film fix, it works ok in after effects. i think its around 500usd if wanna buy.
bye!!

Treegan

Edited by General Treegan, 12 February 2007 - 02:23 AM.

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#11 timHealy

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 02:54 PM

I feel that some are talking about grain when they mean electronic noise or compression and vice versa. I think you may have to ask yourself what you are looking at when it comes to a DVD. Sure there may be inherent grain it the origination format if it were film, but I just had some regular 8 my grandfather took about 50 years transferred to DVcam and it look wonderful. Film really stands up to the test of time.

But what I am suggesting is that every step of the process may introduce some sort ot degradation to the image. It may not be just film grain, even if it is a small format like Super 8.

Questions to ask:

What kind of film was shot and at what ASA?
Was the film pushed or did it have some other processing that may introduce more grain for dramatic effect?
What kind of machine was the transfer done on and what were the abilities of the colorist?
What format was this post produced on?
Was a non linear editing sytem used and was there a lot of color correction and effects used?
How was the DVD produced?
How was the DVD files made and the disks produced?

So basically any or all of the above done in a cheap manner can degrade your image and add grain, artifacts or noise that may leave one displeased with the results.

Best

Tim


Hello Everyone,

So I was considering shooting an upcoming project on Super 8mm and I requested a promo DVD from Pro8mm. When I saw it I was a little surprised at how grainy it was. I know it's grainier then other formats but I would think if you were just finishing onto a dvd or Mini DV that it wouldn't be so noticeable...

Does anyone know of any other examples on the web of Super 8mm photography?

Does Final Cut have any sort of grain reduction capabilities or are there any plug-ins, or other programs that anyone has used to good effect?

I know this isn't exactly cinematography...but before I go out and start shooting or testing, I just want to know my options.

Thanks,

John Carreon


Edited by timHealy, 12 February 2007 - 02:56 PM.

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#12 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 03:43 PM

If you're thinking about shooting super8 than you probably won't have sync sound so why not get your hands on a Bolex or a Scoopic MS and shoot 16mm.
The vastly increased image size, larger choice of filmstocks, the time saved not fiddling around with electronic means of grain reduction and above all the increased satisfaction with the image quality make it worth it.
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#13 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 06:43 PM

This doesn't directly answer your question, but I find doing any type of color grading or digital effects in FCP -- even with 3rd party plug-ins -- results in a lot of compression in the image. Any type of grain reducer will be flatening the image anyway, so if this is a route you're seriously considering, do some tests before moving full steam ahead......


That's why I recommend using a kona card or a black magic card and go to betacam sp for the original transfer, then use component output and use the Kona or black magic card to convert it to a DVC Pro-50 codec. The compression has to be LESS than a straight DV codec, which should mean less compression artifacts, perhaps none.

A betacam sp super-8 film transfer original will NOT have any compression artifacts in it at all, so if you start with no compression blockiness, and go component output from the betacam sp into final cut pro via the DVC-Pro 50 codec, you will basically have a clone to your original betacam sp tape but with way more data to work with, yet not so much data that it bogs your computer down.

If you must have a low ASA Super-8 film, you might be able to get Ektachrome 100D from Spectra film and video, or you can get 50 ASA velvia from Spectra. Suffice it to say that the Velvia looks better than the best looking Super-8.

I have also found the Kodak 500T transfer that Spectra did for me looked real good, the grain was so tight that even though it was visible, it did not affect the coloration of the scene, the colors rocked and were very accurate, even in wide angle shots, and the grain was tight, a very winning combination.

By tight grain I mean the size of the grains are very small, and what you don't see is the old style of larger grain in which orange and blue sort of swirl around each other.
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