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Doc & short film 2K online using only FCS2???


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#1 Paulo Chavarria

Paulo Chavarria

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:39 AM

Hi, there is a possibility for us to try to make an online for a documentary and a short film in the coming months. Some time ago I would have thought to send these projects to an online facility (Avid DS, Flame, Smoke...) now I am wondering if we could make those projects in-house using FCS2 (thinking here about Color).

Can we manage well if we buy a good decklink card for monitoring and a good Panasonic Broadcast monitor?... can we be getting close to results achieved before only with much more expensive equipment?

For the documentary we would be given a mix of SD DV Pal and HDV Pal. All of it 4:3 that needs to be converted to 16:9, color corrected and graded. The end exhibition format will be for Digital cinema (2K projector as far as we know). Can we upres with good enough quality using only FCS2? Do the scaling algorithms used by FCS2 for scaling are good enough, in comparison with those like Teragen (4 tap scaling, 16 tap scaling, etc etc)

For the short film we will be given source footage from the Panasonic AJ-HDX900, shot with a 35mm adapter. Footage ingested through firewire to DVCPRO HD. Would FCS2 give us the possibility of making a color grade using Color that would be good enough to make an online and rendering a Digital Cinema compliant 2K (maybe 4K?). Are the upres capabilities of FCS2 sophisticated enough?

Many questions, I know, but looking forward for a good debate ;-)

Paulo
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#2 Michael Most

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 08:18 AM

Would FCS2 give us the possibility of making a color grade using Color that would be good enough to make an online and rendering a Digital Cinema compliant 2K (maybe 4K?).


"Rendering a Digital Cinema compliant 2K" means color correcting in a DCI compliant theater, syncing picture and sound files in "reels," converting to XYZ color space, compressing using JPEG2000 compression, wrapping both picture and sound in compliant MXF wrappers, possibly encrypting the entire package, playing it back in a DCI compliant theater to check for any problems, and possibly creating and supplying keys for the theaters to decrypt and play back the material. It's not simple and it takes properly set up monitoring and environment if it's going to have any relevance to what's going to be eventually seen in a theater. It's a specialty deliverable that is not intended to be done by the do-it-yourselfer. If you want to color correct this piece yourself, and you have a qualified colorist and proper monitoring and environment (and a Panasonic monitor, particularly an LCD, is not "proper monitoring," especially for something that's going to be theatrically projected), then I guess you could. But what you do will have little relevance to DCI compliant digital cinema unless you bring it into a DCI compliant projection environment for final color correction. As far as making the DCP, most facilities that do this (and there aren't very many at the moment) will charge you a price based on the level of complication your elements present - meaning that if the facility does the DI, the DCP will be priced lower than if you bring in the elements. That's because in doing the DI, the piece is already being put into compatible files, and the color correction is being done in a proper venue. All of the elements are basically prepped for DCP conversion. With client supplied elements, there are many issues - color correction is only one. There are numerous others, based on what is supplied. The price will change depending upon how many manipulations need to be done and how long that will take.

If you really want to project in a theater, and you really want to do this yourself, you'd be much better off forgetting about digital cinema packages, and instead putting the finished piece on HDCam tape. Then you can find a theater that will project from that tape, possibly renting an inexpensive playback deck like a JH3 to do this.
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