Jump to content


Photo

Direct Blow-Up


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Marc Roessler

Marc Roessler
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 264 posts
  • Other

Posted 31 August 2008 - 05:55 PM

Hi Guys!

Has anyone of you had any experience with direct blow-up 16mm to 35mm? I mean, actual
experience, in practice.. :rolleyes:

(I define "direct-blowup" as blowup from negative 16mm to projectable print positive 35mm)

Anything special with this? How is this different from a normal optical printer or contact print?
I was told for a direct b/w blowup you need to use intermed stock as the receiving stock instead
of print stock. Can anyone tell me why this should be the case? I can't really figure this out logically..
how can an optical printer be so different from a contact printer that you need another stock
for printing?

Greetings,
Marc
  • 0

#2 Charles MacDonald

Charles MacDonald
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1157 posts
  • Other
  • Stittsville Ontario Canada

Posted 31 August 2008 - 06:56 PM

I was told for a direct b/w blowup you need to use intermed stock as the receiving stock instead
of print stock. Can anyone tell me why this should be the case? I can't really figure this out logically..
how can an optical printer be so different from a contact printer that you need another stock
for printing?


perhaps the idea is to be sure the emuslion is on the right side of the final pront?
  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 August 2008 - 07:24 PM

If you shot 16mm negative you can blow-up directly to standard 35mm print stock -- it's only 16mm reversal that would be on the "wrong" side, but that's only an issue if you contact print anyway.

I've had a release print made from a Super-16 negative printed directly to 35mm print stock using an optical printer. Only a few labs offer this (we used Colorlab in Maryland but this was a decade ago). The negative generally has to be "zero cut" with frame handles on each side of every edit, so ask the lab doing the blow-up how many frames they need as a handle.

You would still make a Super-16 contact answer print to determine the printer light values before you made the direct blow-up to 35mm. The trick is to make these scene to scene corrections in the optical printer while making the blow-up simultaneously, which is why few labs offer the service. Most would rather work from a color-timed Super-16 IP and then blow that up to a 35mm IN, then make contact prints.
  • 0

#4 Mitch Gross

Mitch Gross
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2873 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:09 AM

Actually, DuArt Lab in NY likes to get to a 35 IP right away with most of the timing baked in and I agree. Get to 35mm as early as possible for the best possible grain & resolution.

As for direct blowups, I've done a bunch but it's been a few years. The only reason to do it is for a low budget feature that needs a festival print and can't afford the whole IP/IN stage and is hoping to have a distributor float that cost later on.

Zero cut is common but not absolutely necessary, and I would recommend against it if you can find a lab that will work around it. I did a feature about 15 years ago where we did a single-strand neg. cut with handles (meaning the shots were all the full length of the take) and the printer computer controlled shuttling back & forth through the flats. A couple of advantages to this system is that none of the neg. had to be cut in a way that would destroy any material that a re-edit may may you regret later, plus it allows you to use the same shot multiple times without needing to make dupe negs. Negatives are slightly higher costs and theoretically higher possibility of damage to the negative with all that shuttling around. It worked great for us but this was a long time ago and I don't know if they still even offer this service or if there may be anything better these days.

I know that DuArt and others are offering nice rates on scanning original neg., timing in a DI suite and then going straight to a single print if that's all that is required. With all of the handling and lineup charges that are often associated with chemical printing work, this might be very competitively priced these days.
  • 0

#5 Marc Roessler

Marc Roessler
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 264 posts
  • Other

Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:00 PM

I was told printing to intermed stock was necessary because of issues with contrast (this is with b/w by the way). But for me this is really contrary to common sense.. why should a contact printing process be different from a optical printing process contrast wise?

David, correct... the lab doing this usually does a 16mm contact print for determining printer lights,
then doing the blowup according to these values.

Actually, according to the lab offering this, no zero cuts are needed. They are using symmetric splices that seemingly aren't as much as a problem as the common asymmetric splices...
  • 0

#6 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:34 PM

You're printing color neg to b&w print stock? Or b&w neg to b&w print stock? Or b&w neg to color print stock?

Yes, there may be a gamma (contrast) issue if printing color onto b&w or vice-versa. "The Man Who Wasn't There" was shot on color neg and printed to high-contrast b&w panchromatic soundtrack stock, processed to reduce the gamma to something acceptable.

Trouble with directly printing color neg to b&w print stock is that most b&w print stock is orthochromatic, plus the gamma is not correct for color neg.

But if you are printing 16mm b&w neg to 35mm b&w print stock, there shouldn't be a contrast issue.
  • 0

#7 Dirk DeJonghe

Dirk DeJonghe
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 605 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Kortrijk,Belgium

Posted 02 September 2008 - 12:18 AM

David,

Blow-up-printing of B&W negative to B&W positive still gives you a considerable increase in contrast, not in issue in color to color but very noticeable in B&W. Contact printing the same B&W negative will not increase the contrast given same development time.

Direct blow-ups are the norm here for shorts going to festivals.

Blow-up printing from color neg to sound recording stock give good sharpness and grain, S-shaped curve with very small straight-line portion in the curve and grey D-Min. Using 5366 B&W interpositive stock for direct blow-up works fine too, with adjusted processing times, but will give a slight brownish tint to the print.
  • 0

#8 Marc Roessler

Marc Roessler
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 264 posts
  • Other

Posted 02 September 2008 - 01:58 PM

Ok i should have been more precise.. this is a blowup bw neg to bw print.

Dirk, where does this increase in contrast come from, compared with a contact print?
  • 0

#9 Dirk DeJonghe

Dirk DeJonghe
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 605 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Kortrijk,Belgium

Posted 02 September 2008 - 02:37 PM

It has to do with the silver retaining nature of B&W film. A 1:1 optical print or reduction has the same problem with B&W stocks.
  • 0

#10 Brian Pritchard

Brian Pritchard
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 328 posts
  • Other
  • Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Posted 02 September 2008 - 05:28 PM

Trouble with directly printing color neg to b&w print stock is that most b&w print stock is orthochromatic, plus the gamma is not correct for color neg.


Actually all B/W print stocks are blue sensitive and not orthochromatic (blue and green sensitive), the only orthochromatic stocks of recent years have been sound recording films. Orwo duplicating positive is panchromatic unlike Kodak which is blue sensitive.

B/W prints and colour prints made for cinema projection are normally produced to the same gamma.

Problems arise when printing colour neg onto B/W pos stock because it is only blue sensitive and you are only printing the yellow layer which is the grainiest and highest contrast.

Many years ago Ilford made a panchromatic print stock to avoid this problem. In those days releases were made in colour and also B/W for the cinemas that could not afford to pay for colour.


Brian
  • 0

#11 Marc Roessler

Marc Roessler
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 264 posts
  • Other

Posted 02 September 2008 - 06:37 PM

Dirk, wouldn't contact prints be too contrasty then as well?
  • 0

#12 Dirk DeJonghe

Dirk DeJonghe
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 605 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Kortrijk,Belgium

Posted 02 September 2008 - 11:59 PM

Marc,

Contact prints come out fine, optical prints (blow-up, reduction and 1:1) gain considerable contrast from the same negative and printed on the same positive stock processed at the same time.

Our blow-up workflow usually means making first a contact S16 print for viewing and adjusting the grading, then a blow-up print. This works perfectly for color but not for B&W due to contrast increase.

Making direct blow-up from color negative to B&W positive won't work because the Kodak '02 stock is blue-sensitive only and the Orwo stock doesn't have the essential anti-halo layer that was added in the Kodak product about 15 years ago at my request.

Intercutting B&W negatives with color negatives is not a good idea either because the normal gamma of B&W is lower than color (B&W positve gamma is lower than color to compensate); so B&W negatives printed onto color positive come out very contrasty too with greyscale mismatch because of missing orange masking. There are ways to intercut B&W and color but it is either with IP/DN or digital scanning/recording.
  • 0

#13 Marc Roessler

Marc Roessler
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 264 posts
  • Other

Posted 03 September 2008 - 02:20 AM

Dirk, I thought all Orwo b/w stocks (neg, dup and print) had an integral anti reflection layer, isn't this doing roughly the same as the external kodak anti halation layer? Or am I mixing something up here?

To sum it up, it seems it is yet unknown why an optical b/w blowup gains so much contrast and a direct blowup does not?
  • 0

#14 Brian Pritchard

Brian Pritchard
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 328 posts
  • Other
  • Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:34 AM

To sum it up, it seems it is yet unknown why an optical b/w blowup gains so much contrast and a direct blowup does not?


Marc
All prints made on an optical printer, 1:1, blow-up or reduction, have higher contrast than a contact prints. This is due to a number of factors including the fact that the light on an optical printer is more specular which produces higher contrast. Flare also comes into it.

One of the advantages of working with B/W is that you can adjust the process to alter the contrast so by processing the positive faster you can lower the contrast. You can also flash the print stock; this is the way you could reduce contrast when working with colour where you cannot control the contrast with processing. Unfortunately all these things are expensive and time-consuming so labs are not too keen to do them unless you are prepared tp pay a premium.

Brian
  • 0

#15 Brian Pritchard

Brian Pritchard
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 328 posts
  • Other
  • Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:50 AM

Dirk, I thought all Orwo b/w stocks (neg, dup and print) had an integral anti reflection layer, isn't this doing roughly the same as the external kodak anti halation layer? Or am I mixing something up here?

You are right Marc, all Orwo stocks do have an anti-halation undercoat, and it does serve the same purpose as the rem-jet backing used on Kodak colour and Fuji colour negative stocks. The advantage is that it does not have to be removed during processing, the disadvantage is that unlike the rem-jet backing it does not given protection against base scratching and static although this is not quite so important in B/W printing.


Brian
  • 0


Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

CineLab

The Slider

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Technodolly