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Frame Cut-Off in transfer


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#1 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 02:42 AM

I've never had a film transferred to DVD so I must ask, how much (if any) of a regular 16mm frame is clipped on the sides when pillarboxed? If it is significant (which I don't think it is,) what is the best way to maintain the original 4:3 frame since I framed for film?

Thanks.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:22 AM

Film isn't usually transferred straight to a DVD, it's usually telecined to some video format first (SD or HD; tape or file format). From there it can be burned to DVD. I don't know if transfer houses are offering straight to DVD these days; that's not something I'm familiar with. In the transfer they can zoom in to pretty much any size you want, even as far out as to see the sprocket holes. Transfers can usually be done to any specifications you want within the aspect ratio of the format you're using.

A DVD can be 4:3 or 16:9, so you don't necessarily have to deal with pillarboxing. Just keep in mind that standard def "TV cutoff" is 90% of the full video picture area, meaning that most standard def TV's will crop about 10% all the way around. But the full transferred info can be there on the DVD, and visible when played on a computer.
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#3 Tim Carroll

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 09:42 AM

Everything Michael said.

One thing you may want to do on future projects is to shoot a framing chart at the head of the first roll you shoot on a particular project. Frame the chart (it can be something home made that shows the 4:3 aspect ratio you want to shoot in) in your viewfinder, edge to edge if you want, and then have the telecinist frame your transfer off of that framing chart. That way you will know that what you saw in the viewfinder is what you will get back on the tape or DVD (if they transfer to that).

If you hope to edit the footage you shot, getting the footage back on a DVD may not be a good idea as the footage will have to be compressed when put on the DVD (if it is to play in a DVD player). Compressed footage is not what you want to work with in a Non-Linear Editor (like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, iMovie, etc.).

-Tim
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 10:52 AM

Video is 4x3 (or 16x9) -- 16mm full aperture is 1.37 I think, not 1.33 (4x3) so there may be a slight loss of the sides. But anyway, due to overscan, unless you composed for some loss on all sides, you will not see some of the edges of the transferred 16mm frame on most TV sets unless you do a windowboxed transfer. But 16mm is close enough to 4x3 TV otherwise.
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