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Digital Intermediate and Super 16


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#1 Pavan Deep

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:59 PM

Hi

I am planning to do a film on Super 16 I am trying to understand the post production route.

After processing should I have my film telecined to HD, SD, 2k, 4k? I want to edit using my Avid Xpress HD nd then want my edited tape to be transfered to 35mm (is this DI?). Is this a normal way to work? I want to use Super 16 for the look and feel I need ti add in computer graphics, titles and animation when editing but I need a 35mm print. What are the DI costs? And what does the process involve? Grading? Interneg? a 35mm print?

I need to understand the process - please someone help?

Pav
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 02:27 PM

Hi,

> After processing should I have my film telecined to HD, SD, 2k, 4k?

Depends what you want to do with it really - if you want to have it projected from 35mm, then 2K is probably the thing to aim for, but it's expensive. It sounds dangerously like you're just throwing out buzzwords here.

> I want to edit using my Avid Xpress HD nd then want my edited tape to be transfered to 35mm (is this DI?).

That's a form of DI, yes. Is your Avid equipped to handle the very high data rates of uncompressed HD or 2K material? Few such systems are.

> Is this a normal way to work?

I'm not sure too many people are onlining DIs on Avid Xpress, to be honest - it'd be less unusual to offline it, that is cut a low resolution version and have the high-res material conformed to that cut.

> I want to use Super 16 for the look and feel

Well, OK, but if you do a high quality DI, you'll make it look a lot more like it was always 35 anyway. Doing an optical blowup might be more what you're after, if you're interested in the grainy, gritty look of a smaller film format.

> I need ti add in computer graphics, titles and animation when editing but I need a 35mm print.

Well titles aren't a problem, titles were done for years without digital technology, but if you definitely want to shoot 16 and you have digital effects you want to do that really, absolutely can't be done any other way, then some sort of DI may well be the way to go.

> What are the DI costs?

Lots and lots and lots.

> And what does the process involve?

Well, you've pretty much outlined it there. Scan or telecine the o-neg, process it usually involving an online/offline process, then shoot the results out to film.

> I need to understand the process - please someone help?

Actually I think what you need to do is to describe more precisely what effects you want to achieve, and what results you're after, then we can advise on the best way to achieve it. I hate to be negative (well, actually I love being negative, but I don't want you to take it personally) but it sounds like you've seized upon a buzzword and applied it to something you want to do without really understanding how the two dovetail.

Be specific about the effects you're after and what your aims are for the production - then people can better advise.

Phil
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#3 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:12 PM

Hi

I am planning to do a film on Super 16 I am trying to understand the post production route.

After processing should I have my film telecined to HD, SD, 2k, 4k? I want to edit using my Avid Xpress HD nd then want my edited tape to be transfered to 35mm (is this DI?). Is this a normal way to work? I want to use Super 16 for the look and feel I need ti add in computer graphics, titles and animation when editing but I need a 35mm print. What are the DI costs? And what does the process involve? Grading? Interneg? a 35mm print?

I need to understand the process - please someone help?

Pav


It sounds like you think you want is to transfer your film to HDV (XpressHD??) I do not think this software will deal with a high quality HD format, furthermore I do not think anyone could/would transfer to HDV as no deck I have looked at has any real I/O on it.

A better solution would be to get a Keycode transfer to Dvcam and make a neg cut list as Phil suggests which you can then have conformed and have an optical blowup done. For the sections of the film where you need Digital FX I would suggest creating those in the computer (AfterFX, Digital Fusion, Shake, etc) and then have them shot individually to 35mm neg on a film recorder.

This was a typical workflow on a film like the original "Jurassic Park" (I believe) where the bulk of the film was a traditional neg cut and conform with color timing done in the printer. Dinosaur shots recorded to 35mm on a solitaire or similar were then cut in.

I would think the advantage of this kind of workflow today would be cost i.e. you do not have to scan all the film and similarly you do not have to shoot everything out to 35mm either.

-Rob-
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#4 Pavan Deep

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:54 PM

Thanks for your replies, every bit of adivice is a help.

Just to clarify I am new to DI but have used Super 8, 16mm and Super 16 for some time. I have a Canon Scoopic 16M and have used an A-Cam Super 16. I have always had my film telecined via a Rank to Digibeta or DVCAM and then edited on computer and the final project is always in video. There's never been the need for a 35mm print and in that respect DI is something new to me.

I am trying to get to grips with a standard workflow method, if there is a standard way of working with Super 16. I am dealing with people/funders who can't think beyond Digital and HD and believe that the anythng in this day and age will be cheaper to shoot on HD apply a film look and then output to 35mm. for projection. I on the other hand want to use Super 16 as understand it and feel comfortable shooting it.

I don't really understand what the easiest and cheapest way is to get a 35mm print from Super 16. The traditonal route getting a neg cut, labs etc seems cumbersome, whereas the DI route seems easier, but is it a lot more expensive?

Pav
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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 04:10 PM

Thanks for your replies, every bit of adivice is a help.

Just to clarify I am new to DI but have used Super 8, 16mm and Super 16 for some time. I have a Canon Scoopic 16M and have used an A-Cam Super 16. I have always had my film telecined via a Rank to Digibeta or DVCAM and then edited on computer and the final project is always in video. There's never been the need for a 35mm print and in that respect DI is something new to me.

I am trying to get to grips with a standard workflow method, if there is a standard way of working with Super 16. I am dealing with people/funders who can't think beyond Digital and HD and believe that the anythng in this day and age will be cheaper to shoot on HD apply a film look and then output to 35mm. for projection. I on the other hand want to use Super 16 as understand it and feel comfortable shooting it.

I don't really understand what the easiest and cheapest way is to get a 35mm print from Super 16. The traditonal route getting a neg cut, labs etc seems cumbersome, whereas the DI route seems easier, but is it a lot more expensive?

Pav



There are some good deals to be had in pin registered scanning these days PM me off list and I can give you contact info for a really reasonably priced scan service in LA which does Super16 scans.

-Rob-
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#6 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 02:49 AM

If you are talking about S16, 35mm print, lowest cost and highest quality then the obvious solution (time-tested) still is a direct blow up to 35mm positive. If you need more than a few prints, then IP blow up is still slightly cheaper than DI and you will definately get the film look and S16 feel. Why make it complicated?
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#7 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 01:49 PM

If you are talking about S16, 35mm print, lowest cost and highest quality then the obvious solution (time-tested) still is a direct blow up to 35mm positive. If you need more than a few prints, then IP blow up is still slightly cheaper than DI and you will definately get the film look and S16 feel. Why make it complicated?

I think Dirk is right here a good photochemical finish will look better than a hack DI.

-Rob-
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 07:12 PM

I think Dirk is right here a good photochemical finish will look better than a hack DI.

-Rob-


Unless you're making radical alterations in color or going for some sort of outlandish effect, photochemical resolution gives you better resolution, far better color, far better retention of shadow detail, and detail in areas of low contrast, and it costs less to boot. People are quick to knock the optical blowup process, but they seem to forget that the DI master negative will go through at least one generation itself. DIs are great for fixing mistakes, but that leads one to ask the question: wouldn't it have better to fix this mistake during shooting (and yes that means actually viewing dailies, heven forbid, and testing cameras).

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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Aerial Filmworks

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The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

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Metropolis Post

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