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Anamorphic short


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#1 jijhh

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 08:44 PM

I'm shooting a short on anamorphic 35 (on a student budget), and am trying to weed through the jungle of post options. We plan to master on HDCAM SR. I was originally thinking of just offlining on DVCAM, scanning/conforming selects to HDCAM SR and color correcting that.

A friend, however, recommended just getting a 2k, downconverting and cutting, and then reconnecting and exporting an uncompressed 2k to record to tape. Just wanted to get some reactions to see which seems more sound/viable/cost efficient for about 3 hours of footage.

I realize there are a multitude of options/deals/price differences, so if you could just think completely hypothetically that would be good...
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 09:01 PM

I don't know what you mean by "2K to tape".

For anamorphic photography, 2K makes a lot more sense than HD because of the 2.40 aspect ratio. A 2K file of anamorphic photography is 1828 x 1556 pixels, whereas on HD, the 2.40 image would be closer to 1920 x 800 pixels (letterboxed from 1080 lines). Unless you transferred to HD with only a partial unsqueeze so that 2.40 was stretched-looking to fill 16x9.

But all this supposes access to a 2K D.I. facility for finishing in 2K. Then you can convert your final master to HD for home video.

Not that for a student production, an HD D.I. wouldn't be fine...
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#3 jijhh

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 10:25 PM

I wrote that a little hastily--by "to tape" I just meant finishing for the screen on an HD tape as opposed to making a print from it.

Basically what I'm trying to figure out is, if we don't have the money to finish on a print, is it worth us going 2K? Once we edit and reconnect and end up with an uncompressed 2K file of the project, where do we go from there?

I'm also wondering, how does anamorphic 2k material fit into NLE software? Where does the unsqueeze happen?

Sorry if this is basic, but I'm a little behind with my 2K and, although it seems to be within reach, I'm trying to see if we should just stick with HD.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 11:24 PM

If this is for digital projection, you might as well stick to a letterboxed HD transfer.

As for a 2K scan, most 2K D.I.'s work from an EDL, scanning selects off the camera rolls after the movie was edited using a standard def transfer. If you transferred everything first to 2K data in the anamorphic proportions (1828 x 1556) you could probably get downconversions to standard def video with a 2.40 letterbox for offline editing.

Is there a reason to not do a photochemical finish (35mm neg cut and answer print) and just offline edit using a standard def transfer to create an EDL? It might be cheaper than an HD finish, though you'd have a 35mm print instead of HD to project.
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#5 jijhh

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 12:21 AM

If this is for digital projection, you might as well stick to a letterboxed HD transfer.

As for a 2K scan, most 2K D.I.'s work from an EDL, scanning selects off the camera rolls after the movie was edited using a standard def transfer. If you transferred everything first to 2K data in the anamorphic proportions (1828 x 1556) you could probably get downconversions to standard def video with a 2.40 letterbox for offline editing.

Is there a reason to not do a photochemical finish (35mm neg cut and answer print) and just offline edit using a standard def transfer to create an EDL? It might be cheaper than an HD finish, though you'd have a 35mm print instead of HD to project.


That was originally my first preference (obviously with anamorphic 35!!). However, we do have a few shots with effects (nothing crazy, just some splitscreen stuff), so we'd have to D.I a couple shots to cut in. I've also never finished photochemically, so I'd definately want to research up on that. It isn't ruled out yet, but cost is a little more favorable to HD at the moment...
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#6 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 03:28 AM

Thanks for starting this topic :lol:

I've always been curious about the prospect of shooting with real (2x squeeze) anamorphic lenses on HD and Digital cinema cameras. I thought these had sensors that were usually the size of a super 35 frame, so they did not cover the vertical height of the slightly tall square of the anamorphic frame.

I figured you had to crop the sides of the image which would be too wide (over 3:1) when unsqueezed. The lenses would be made more telephoto in the process as well.

Are there any HD/Digital cameras being made whose sensor covers the whole 4 perf 35 frame? Genesis. Red, Viper, Phantom 65 (I assume would)? I hope they will make full frame sensors for a long time in the future for the sake of all those 2X lenses out there.

The reason I'm asking is I have a set of Lomo PL mount anamorphics and would love to keep using them if I ever got my hands on something like a future Red-like camera.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 04:05 AM

You're asking if any digital cameras have a 4x3-ish sensor that is the height of 4-perf 35mm, not just the width, so you can use 2X anamorphics without much cropping.

Basically your choices are the Arri-D20 in data mode, and the Phantom HD.

The Genesis, the RED, and 2/3" CCD HD cameras all have 16x9 sensors. The Genesis and the RED sensors are the size of the 3-perf Super-35 frame. You have a 1.5X size difference in the anamorphic area on those sensors compared to a 4-perf 35mm negative, so once you crop the sides and factor in the shorter height, you'd need to substitute a 35mm anamorphic to get the same field of view as a 50mm anamorphic on a 4-perf 35mm camera, 27mm to get the same view as a 40mm, etc. And effectively, you'd gain 1.5 stops of depth of field, which isn't the worse thing in the world...
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#8 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 04:58 AM

Before you're committing to any sort of finish, you need to know what formats you need. Where are you going to be screening? Will you need a 35mm print, or HD, or SD? Always figure out your destination formats first (if you're able), then work backwards. Regardless of your finish, getting an offline SD transfer to miniDV is probably going to be your most economical bet- this lets you only transfer/scan/print the exact parts you need and nothing more. From there, an HD finish is relatively straightforward- just make a selects EDL and get that transferred to HD, do your effects (which could very well be more complicated than you think due to animorphic lens distortion and artifacts), and conform. If you're doing a photochemical finish with a few digital effects, you'll need to make a vfx EDL, get that scanned, do the compositing, get a DI just for those shots, have them printed out to internegs, then cut them into the rest of the film based on your main EDL and have them timed to match the surrounding footage.

To scan the entirety of what you shot is absurd. No one does this because it's economically infeasible even for movies with really big budgets. There is one post house in Chicago with a Northlight scanner (last I checked; I've been out of the local game for a while), and their student price is $.18/frame, which is actually a pretty good deal. You can extrapolate that to whatever you want to scan. Getting your 10 minute film scanned based on your offline EDL would be just over $2000. Getting everything you shot scanned is just absurd. An HD transfer on a Spirit or whatever other telecine is going to charge you per hour they spend working (figure 3-4x the running length you're transferring) plus a setup fee that will probably be several hundred dollars, bare minimum.

As a student, this is where you want to A) heavily petition your school to pick up the costs, which sometimes happens if your film turns out really well based on your offline SD edit, or B) make friends with the transfer people at your local post house, then cajole them into slipping your film on the machine when it's not in use.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Scott Fritzshall, 30 December 2007 - 05:01 AM.

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#9 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 03:54 PM

Basically your choices are the Arri-D20 in data mode, and the Phantom HD.

The Genesis, the RED, and 2/3" CCD HD cameras all have 16x9 sensors.


Thanks David for answering my question. B)
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#10 jijhh

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 03:05 AM

the majority of my experience has been with digital finishing, so i'm not very knowledgeable on finishing photochemically. i understand the actual technical process (i'm a photographer at heart), but i've never gone through this post workflow. could someone step me through it?

my guess is...

1) make a vfx edl (which is now actually just one shot of about 8 seconds)
-grade and composite
-print to interneg
2) then give edl and vfx shot to the negative matcher (how does the vfx fit into the edl cutting instructions i give the negative matcher?)

negative is matched, and then....
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:47 PM

The digital efx shot is recorded to 35mm internegative stock.

Now this new digital efx shot on film technically now has a new set of edgecode numbers on it. So some editors would get this completed shot transferred to video and cut into the offline project so the negative cutter has its keycode/time code numbers in the EDL.

However, you'd think you could just manually insert the edgecode numbers into the EDL without going through the trouble of transferring the shot to video, etc.
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#12 jijhh

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 02:50 PM

Thanks David, that makes sense.

I also forgot to ask about what Scott brought up. Will splitscreening with a locked down camera be an issue in anamorphic because of its distortion and artifacts? I would imagine that regardless of the distortion, if the camera is locked the splitscreen will work, but I'm not so sure about the artifacts.
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#13 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:26 PM

It kinda depends on exactly what the content is, and how severe the distortion is. If it's a lockoff, that makes it quite a lot easier, and the compositor can probably just do some warping to make everything match up. It might not be a bad idea to shoot a grid chart anyway, just as reference. Try to frame things as you intend for them to end up- ie, if an element will end up on the right side of the screen, put it on the right side when you shoot it, as opposed to the center, so that the distortion is similar.
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#14 jijhh

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:08 PM

I think I've got that part figured out now after a little research...

What about the photochemical grading? How does that work exactly? Is it similar to any other supervised session? I've found plenty of information on the process, but nothing about actually doing it (where its done, working with a colorist, etc.)

Thanks
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:36 PM

Densities of red, green, blue, or yellow, cyan, magenta are balanced by varying the printer light levels for each color.

You watch a projected print with a timer and make comments, the timer takes notes, goes back and make changes to the printer light numbers and creates a new print, you project it with the timer, the timer takes more notes, etc.
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