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Compositing using MiniDV and 35mm


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#1 Niki Mundo

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 10:16 PM

Would inserting composited/chroma-keyed 35mm explosions,stunts and small stuff into miniDV footage and then video projected.
Would it look good and would it be believable? Can motion picture photographed composite effects work be seemlessly intergrated into consumer video to achieve a superior look/product?
Just wondering..

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#2 Niki Mundo

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 10:17 PM

Cause I got that russian 35mm camera.. so so very expensive to run.. but a great image.. what if?
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:50 PM

You can do it, but you'll have to seriously degrade the 35mm material to get it to match the MiniDV material.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:55 PM

You can do it, but you'll have to seriously degrade the 35mm material to get it to match the MiniDV material.


...and if it applies to your particular subject, you'd have to get the depth of field to match. Probably some serious contrast and color adjustments to make the film footage look like DV.
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#5 Niki Mundo

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 12:19 AM

OK.. but what I meant is would it look really good ie. "not a fake looking travelling matte"
Meaning 16mm on 16mm composite work is not a good idea because of the image size,registration etc..
35mm/35mm is the best but may be too expensive for a starbucks barista to pay for out of her own pocket..

So.. What about 35mm effects work on a miniDV feature. Degrading the 35mm down to miniDV - would it yield a highly believable composite? Or should I go big with 35mm on 35mm composite work only?.

I don't care about anything other than using whatever format (using imax,vhs,mixing etc..) to achieve the maximium seemlessness/believability of my green screen/ compositing work

Is there a better composite (mixing formats, editing programs) than 35mm on 35mm?

Maybe you guys just don't know because you haven't tried it..
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 12:50 AM

Maybe you guys just don't know because you haven't tried it..


Or maybe there are too many variables to give a definite answer. ANY successful composite relies on lots of little details beyond just the format(s), so it's impossible to simply say that two formats will create a "highly believable" composite.
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#7 Niki Mundo

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 01:27 AM

You're fired.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 01:52 AM

If you're just trying to create better composites in video, why not shoot the efx material on a better video camera that records to a better codec? For example, rent an SDX900 recording SD to DVCPRO-50 for the effects work, and shoot the rest on Mini-DV. Why bother with 35mm just to shoot elements for composited efx in a Mini-DV project?
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#9 Niki Mundo

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:09 AM

Because all those expensive video camera cost more to rent on a daily basis than my $500 Konvas that has a superior 35mm image (that I own). All I need to do is put film in it.
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 03:54 AM

Because all those expensive video camera cost more to rent on a daily basis than my $500 Konvas that has a superior 35mm image (that I own). All I need to do is put film in it.


Riiiiiight, because processing and a QUALITY telecine doesn't cost much at all ;)

In my opinion, it would be pointless to mix 35mm effects work with MiniDV. It'll most certainly stand out and not match the rest of the film. Unless, as has already been stated, you do the composite AND THEN degrade the image...thus ruining your 35mm footage.

By the way Niki, be more respectful to those who are trying to help you. Before you know it you could be on a lot of important people's "ignore" list.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 11:36 AM

You've not only got 35mm stock & processing & telecine costs, but if you transfer it to Mini-DV, you've got the same compositing issues all over again.

Also, some people do manage to make composites in Mini-DV, so see if it's a real problem before you think about shooting something else.
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#12 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 05:00 PM

I'm happy to give you advice, but you've got to be more specific about what you're doing. I don't know how much experience you have doing compositing, but if you don't have much, you might be surprised at just how complex it is.

The general rule in VFX (or my rule, at least), is that you always start with the highest quality you can possibly afford. So yes, I would say that in general, shooting elements on 35mm would be beneficial, but there are many, many variables that go into it, so don't interpret this as a blanket statement that you should always do this. There's issues of stock and lenses, and the big issue of how you're getting it transferred. If you get a transfer to MiniDV, for instance, you're shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to material you're going to composite. On the other end of the spectrum, you've got your 2k scans, but really a 2k scan is pretty overkill for elements to be comped into miniDV material, and plus it's extremely expensive unless you've got a good friend in a post house. I'd say that transfer to DBeta is probably a good idea, but that's still expensive since you've got the transfer, and then you need to capture it off the deck.

Anyway, yes it's possible, but you need to be more specific about what you plan on doing and how you plan on doing it.
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#13 Niki Mundo

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 09:50 PM

By the way Niki, be more respectful to those who are trying to help you. Before you know it you could be on a lot of important people's "ignore" list.

No disrespect Jonathan or David. I just don't have time- I'm dead in around fifty years.


I'm happy to give you advice, but you've got to be more specific about what you're doing. I don't know how much experience you have doing compositing, but if you don't have much, you might be surprised at just how complex it is.

The general rule in VFX (or my rule, at least), is that you always start with the highest quality you can possibly afford. So yes, I would say that in general, shooting elements on 35mm would be beneficial, but there are many, many variables that go into it, so don't interpret this as a blanket statement that you should always do this. There's issues of stock and lenses, and the big issue of how you're getting it transferred. If you get a transfer to MiniDV, for instance, you're shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to material you're going to composite. On the other end of the spectrum, you've got your 2k scans, but really a 2k scan is pretty overkill for elements to be comped into miniDV material, and plus it's extremely expensive unless you've got a good friend in a post house. I'd say that transfer to DBeta is probably a good idea, but that's still expensive since you've got the transfer, and then you need to capture it off the deck.

Anyway, yes it's possible, but you need to be more specific about what you plan on doing and how you plan on doing it.


Explosions,planes blowing up..lots of 1/10 scale models composite onto a real sky of a downtown city.
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 09:52 PM

Sounds like you need a camera that can shoot slow-motion if you are doing miniature explosions.
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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 03:42 AM

No disrespect Jonathan or David. I just don't have time- I'm dead in around fifty years.


After hearing what you plan to do with squibs, I wouldn't count on MAKING it through the next 50 years if I were you. Ah, but what the Hell, Live Fast, Die Young and leave a charred, dismembered corpse, right?!


Explosions,planes blowing up..lots of 1/10 scale models composite onto a real sky of a downtown city.


What, you're not planning on stuffing a Cessna full of M80s and gasoline and flying it over Santa Monica??!!!, Nikki, you're slipping! :rolleyes:
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