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s16 to 35m


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#1 Charlot Vega

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 03:24 AM

I am trying to determine a post production workflow for s16mm that will deliver the best blow-up to 35mm. We have budgeted for the following choices (besides #4). They are:

1. s16 OCN
2. SD
3. HDCAM SR
4. 2K

I realise this is, in part, an aesthetic opinion type of question, and that 2k might be the obvious path to take, but I've also seen some wonderful SD footage (on this website) and I've heard others say that a direct blow-up provides excellent results.

Would love to get some feedback,

thx,
charlot
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#2 John Brawley

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 06:35 AM

I am trying to determine a post production workflow for s16mm that will deliver the best blow-up to 35mm. We have budgeted for the following choices (besides #4). They are:

1. s16 OCN
2. SD
3. HDCAM SR
4. 2K

I realise this is, in part, an aesthetic opinion type of question, and that 2k might be the obvious path to take, but I've also seen some wonderful SD footage (on this website) and I've heard others say that a direct blow-up provides excellent results.

Would love to get some feedback,

thx,
charlot



Hi Charlot.

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. Are you saying shoot S16, then telecine to SD, HDCAMSR or 2k ? Or are you comparing those formats for shooting on ?

Super 16 can be blown up beautifully, optically, if done properly, and you shoot it well. In other words a dense negative, and doing a 35mm intermediate, not 16mm then blow up, which is what some do.
You may find trouble finding a lab that will do it. here in Australia there's only one left. The other mothballed there optical room a year ago.

SD as a blow up to 35 ?? Not much advantage here aside maybe from a reduced cost.

HDACM SR is a really really good option. I did some tests for a feature I shot last year. Most of the film was going to be Super 16, and I was wondering if there was much difference between HD and 2K. And there isn't really a lot between them. Yes 2K has a marginal advantage in resolution, but it really is negligible and not worth mentioning. HDCAM SR compression is pretty damn good, so I don't much is lost there, although 2K is probably going to be uncompressed. So for VFX it would be more important. But otherwise perceptually, i would say there's no difference by the time you get to 35mm. There are many ways to record to HDCAM SR as well, and you should investigate those to make sure you get the most form it. You need to decide between LOG and LIN and the colour sampling. Every Post facility will have their own preferences here. The big advantage I found of HD over 2k is that there's a lot more chance of real time playback and grading, and it's probably a lot cheaper than the small improvement you'll get with 2K.

I was really amazed at how good Super 16 can look.

jb
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 10:38 AM

I don't think SD is a good option, not if you want an image with decent sharpness on the screen without being obviously sharpened electronically. All SD-to-35mm needs quite a bit of edge enhancement, which is not attractive and adds a video look to the photography.

HDCAM-SR or 2K would be good.
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#4 Charlot Vega

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 06:00 PM

Thanks for your guy's input. I think we will end up with telecine SD, and then do some small tests with both direct blow-up to 35, and SR scan to arrilaser 35 (and also maybe 2k). The DI process has not come down much in price (as I, and I'm sure many other low budgeters, thought (and hoped) it would've by now) so a direct blow-up would save a lot of the budget - though we don't want to sacrifice a noticeable amount of image quality. I suppose we'll have to wait and see if the footage will translate well in that option and then decide.

Thx again,
c
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 08:00 PM

If you "direct blow-up" as in an optical printer blow-up of the 16mm neg to a 35mm print or 35mm IP (then to IN and print), that would look pretty good. But you have to edit your project with this in mind, with frame handles on each side of the edit.

If you mean "direct blow-up" as in taking your SD transfer and recording that to 35mm, that would look mediocre. Plus the major cost of a transfer to 35mm is the transfer device (let's say, an Arrilaser) and the per-minute cost is the same no what what digital format you feed into it.
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#6 Charlot Vega

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 12:54 AM

David, thanks again for your input. If we do the Arrilaser, it'll be from SR (or maybe 2k). But I think we'll definitely do some tests comparing that with a straight-up 16-35 blow-up (and, of course, we'll wait to see if the final cut is worth it). So far, I've found that to use an Arrilaser from SR/2k is comparable in price to doing a 16-35 blow-up. But it's the scanning/cleaning/correcting costs that make it a bit intimidating...

I thought for a moment that SD might be an option because someone on this site (Frank?) posted some beautiful 16 footage in SD and it appeared to look better than the SR footage he posted. I can see now, though, that it's a different ballgame if you want to bump it up to 35.

thanks again,
c
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