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Finally...More two strip color 16mm footage


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#1 Brian Rose

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:28 PM

New VitaChrome footage at last!

Sorry all for the extended delay. When I last posted, I had built a crude, two camera system, oriented around a plate beamsplitter.

VitaChrome Camera Prototype

I shot some test footage in late January, and got the footage back a few weeks later. Around the same time, I began research for a short documentary for an exhibition in late April. Because of time commitments, I had to set aside the color work to focus on the doc. But now that that project is finished, I have returned to the test reels.

What I found was decidedly a mixed bag. Most of the footage had problems of exposure, or alignment. But, a few brief clips were reasonably acceptable, and I think they demonstrate that it is POSSIBLE to pull off multi strip color. But, I have many challenges to work through before it is acceptable as a format. This time I used double x BW neg so I could have a little more freedom in lower light conditions. However, the grain structure was not very pleasing to me, so I will probably stick with plus x in the future. There are also matters of alignment and camera synchronization that I need to work through.

So what's next? I am considering taking both a step back, and forward. Because of the difficulties and expense of shooting 16mm, I plan on setting aside my work in two-strip motion pictures and focus on achieving three strip color with 35mm still cameras. But someday, I might be ready to tackle Everest: three strip motion picture photography!

Until then, enjoy this two strip 16mm footage. I just posted it on youtube, so if anyone has trouble loading it, give it a few minutes, then try again. Lemme know if there are any problems.

Twp Strip Vitachrome Test Footage

Any feedback would be most appreciated!
Best,
Brian Rose
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:08 PM

It looks beautiful in its own way, but now that spring has arrived, maybe you could shoot something with some color it? Blue sky, green grass, flowers, yellow dresses, red jackets, face, etc.

How did you recombine the color records?
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:32 PM

David:
Thanks for the compliments. It means a lot, especially coming from someone like you. I do have a couple rolls of plus x left in my fridge, so I might go out and give it a shot. If I had the time and money, I'd love to do a short subject in two strip. It has this amazing look to it...difficult to describe. I'm a huge fan of two-strip Technicolor, and I've always wanted to recreate it. And it certainly works in winter to makes things extra dreary looking!

Now, onto your question: Recombining the colors, I discovered, is pretty simple (that is, if the images are aligned!). I had the footage telecined by cinelab (great work guys!), and loaded it into Premiere Pro 1.5. In the workspace, I layered the color separations: red on top, followed by green, and blue on bottom. I don't think it makes a difference which layer goes first, but this way, I can keep track of which color record is which. Then, I apply RGB color balance to each color record. Depending on which color I'm working with, I drain away the other two colors. If red, I zero out green and blue, and so on. This yields three records each with the proper color. Then, I apply the screen key effect to every layer EXCEPT the bottom one. This renders the frames semitransparent, and produces color. It's as simple as that. Now, with the footage on youtube, I had to do an extra step. Since I only shot the red and green records (like early Technicolor), I had to adjust the color balance to compensate for the loss. Uncorrected, the footage has a strong yellow bias. By adding blue to the green record, I can negate that tone, and produce a more normal (if not accurate) color palette.
Best,
Brian R.
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#4 Richardson Leao

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 06:54 PM

I think it's fantastic. And the alignment is almost perfect!!! Very impressive.
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#5 David Sweetman

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:17 AM

This is awesome, the only problem I see is the cost it would take to finish in a presentable format. Have you thought about this? There would be loads of tweaking/messin' - adds up to $$$, right? I'm just thinking about the cost of an online with all those layers of video.

- Not to take away form the awesomeness of the accomplishment! Great job, this is a really cool project.
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#6 Cohen Phillips

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:40 PM

Great test Brian! Glad that you're keeping us all updated here on the site. I really like the look of the 2-Strip. I too would like to see how people would look when you do your next test. ;)
Very good work...keep it up! B)

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#7 nathan snyder

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:42 PM

Hey Brian, I was just wondering how your two strip project is going. I don't know if you remember but my offer to host a webpage about your project still stands.

Anyway, I also thought you may want to talk to my friend Bruce Heller who lives near me in the Boise area. He has two Technicolor cameras that he is restoring and knows more about the three strip process than anyone I know or have heard off. Here is a link to his new blog:

http://galaxyanimati...ects.com/blog/1

There is even a picture of one of his cameras there.
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#8 Nate Downes

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:03 AM

Now I rmemeber who was looking at technicolor recreation, you!

I found some filmstocks (sheet film tho) which would make your job a lot easier. Some Ortho and some red-sensitive stocks.
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 09:45 AM

Vey surreal. I loved it. It'll be interesting to see in in three strip too. :)
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#10 Scott Bryant

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:07 AM

This is great, its nice to see medium specificity in a new light. Keep continuing to further our art.
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