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16mm chroma-keying


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#1 Niki Mundo

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 06:28 PM

I've heard/read somewhere that it's not the best idea to use 16mm as a compositing capture format, in the same way I've heard miniDV is bad because of compression. Why is 16mm bad for compositing? Can I still try?

I also have a Konvas 35mm camera. I thought maybe I should use it to capture all the green screen actors and then use 16mm as source material ala' Star Wars 65mm for the special effects and 35mm for the real action.

Would 35mm/16mm look "better" than 16mm/16mm chroma-keying?
Just wondering..

Thanks!
Niki Mundo
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 08:53 PM

The problems with 16mm for chroma keys are mainly chattering edges of keys due to larger grain structure and the steadiness/registration problems both from the camera and the gate weave during the transfer, and general lack of sharpness.

So obviously the better the 16mm photography (slow film, sharp lenses, good camera registration) and post, the better the keys. Yes, I think shooting 35mm for the chroma key shots would be a good idea, assuming your 35mm camera has good registration.

The original reason for using larger negative spherical film formats (8-perf 35mm VistaVision and 5-perf 65mm Todd-AO/Super Panavision) for efx work in the 1970's and 1980's was to counteract the increase in graininess from optical printing using dupe elements, plus as a way of avoiding using anamorphic lenses for miniature work if the live action was shot in 35mm anamorphic.
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#3 John Brawley

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 04:37 AM

I've heard/read somewhere that it's not the best idea to use 16mm as a compositing capture format, in the same way I've heard miniDV is bad because of compression. Why is 16mm bad for compositing? Can I still try?

I also have a Konvas 35mm camera. I thought maybe I should use it to capture all the green screen actors and then use 16mm as source material ala' Star Wars 65mm for the special effects and 35mm for the real action.

Would 35mm/16mm look "better" than 16mm/16mm chroma-keying?
Just wondering..

Thanks!
Niki Mundo



Hi Niki.

The main reason is the registration. Super 16 cameras are often not particularly steady meaning that the image moves around between each frame, making it hard to composite with other elements. Gate weave and roll cutting can also mean extra side to side movement.

I've found the Aatons in particularly steady in 16mm and have done some compositing with them but it's a bit hit and miss. The probelms can also sometimes be solved with good motion tracking and image stabilisation but it's not always possible.

jb
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