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RedRay a reality?


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#1 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:11 AM

I actually started a discussion about this just over a year ago.
, but as usual it was derailed by the usual suspects, and eventually closed:
Now some of the people on Reduser are claiming that RED Drive is a reality at last, and that there will be a demo of 4K projection from a DVD based Red Drive at the "Red Party" which is being held as an alternative to NAB since RED won't have a booth there this year.

RED are claiming that they can get 24fps 4K playback "indistinguishable from the original Redcode" with a data rate of 1.25 Megabytes per second. If that is true, it means they can get about one hour of 4K on a single-sided DVD or two hours on a double-sided disc.

Quite a few people have seen it now, and they all seemed impressed, but in the RED universe, unfortunately, such testimony doesn't necessarily count for much :lol:

Does it only work with REDCODE or can it be adapted to work with any video signal? If it can, I honestly don't understand why Jannard keeps wasting his time making video cameras of questionable quality and utility and for such a tiny market, when the market for an alternative to Blu-ray would be massive by comparison.

Edited by Keith Walters, 23 April 2009 - 06:13 AM.

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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:40 AM

Not that I am praising your seemingly-obsessive criticism of RED, but I do agree that recording master data to an optical disk is as risky, if not more-so, than entrusting data to a latent-image on a strip of unprocessed photographic film.
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#3 Michel Hafner

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:27 PM

Does it only work with REDCODE or can it be adapted to work with any video signal? If it can, I honestly don't understand why Jannard keeps wasting his time making video cameras of questionable quality and utility and for such a tiny market, when the market for an alternative to Blu-ray would be massive by comparison.

If it works with all Red shot footage it works will all 4K footage AFTER suitable preprocessing, but hardly always at 10 Mbit/s average (or it's not always indistinguishable from the 'uncompressed' version). What kind of peeks are required to stay indistinguishable for Red footage or any other we don't know yet.
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#4 Jim Jannard

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 03:32 PM

Not that I am praising your seemingly-obsessive criticism of RED, but I do agree that recording master data to an optical disk is as risky, if not more-so, than entrusting data to a latent-image on a strip of unprocessed photographic film.


Who said only an optical disk? Seems like there are lots of other possibilities.

Jim
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#5 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:55 PM

Not that I am praising your seemingly-obsessive criticism of RED, but I do agree that recording master data to an optical disk is as risky, if not more-so, than entrusting data to a latent-image on a strip of unprocessed photographic film.


Nobody said anything about using Red Ray as an origination medium, certainly not me.

I am sure it would have to be be something like other ultra-high compression codecs, in that encoding will take at least two and probably more highly CPU-intensive passes which would probably never be practical in real-time, certainly not on a camcorder setup. However this would not be an issue for movie distribution.
I can sort of understand how you could get very high compression ratios if you start with the original Redcode RAW files, but my (still unanswered) question remains: Is the process applicable to other, already existing video sources?
If it is, it would be a massive technological breakthrough, of vastly greater industry significance than RED's camera products.
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#6 Thomas James

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:09 PM

The Chinese are going to use a strategy that 100 percent of all the cheap red laser DVD players sold will be able to play at least a 720p high definition movie regardless of whether or not there is content available. This will bypass Blu-Ray licensing fees and these players will be sold dirt cheap. Once there becomes an infrustructure of millions of these players which are dumped on the U.S. market it will be argued that high definition content should then be provided for these players by the movie studios. Since the premium red laser players will be able to support 4K the movie studios will be assured that they are supporting a higher end format than Blu-Ray as well as HD for the masses. Once the studios accept the new format all red laser DVD's sold will be in high definition and will be backward compatible with older standard definition DVD players.
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#7 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:47 PM

The Chinese are going to use a strategy that 100 percent of all the cheap red laser DVD players sold will be able to play at least a 720p high definition movie regardless of whether or not there is content available. This will bypass Blu-Ray licensing fees and these players will be sold dirt cheap. Once there becomes an infrustructure of millions of these players which are dumped on the U.S. market it will be argued that high definition content should then be provided for these players by the movie studios. Since the premium red laser players will be able to support 4K the movie studios will be assured that they are supporting a higher end format than Blu-Ray as well as HD for the masses. Once the studios accept the new format all red laser DVD's sold will be in high definition and will be backward compatible with older standard definition DVD players.

You know this how?
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#8 Chris Kenny

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:08 PM

Not sure why some people are so skeptical of this. You can get pretty good looking 1080p at 10-11 Mb/s with H.264 (see trailers on Apple's web site), while MPEG-2 requires 6-7 Mb just for relatively clean 480p. This means H.264 is in the neighborhood of 4x as efficient as MPEG-2.

So if this new Redcode-derived delivery format does decent 4K at around 10 Mb, it would just be to H.264 what H.264 is to MPEG-2. Does this really seem that impossible? Or even, framed in this context, that unexpected?

Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch. I'm sure it requires gobs more processing power than H.264, just as H.264 requires gobs more processing power than MPEG-2. I suspect real-time software-based decoding is a long way off. Fortunately, this is the sort of problem that can be solved with a relatively inexpensive ASIC, these days.
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:36 PM

Who said only an optical disk? Seems like there are lots of other possibilities.

Jim


Yes, but why would you want to bother with other possibilities if they are less reliable? Surely convenience can only offset the potential for risk so far.

One of the thing I detest about shooting film is the multitude of bad things that can befall it, before, during and after shooting (and processing!) that either render it ruined, or necessitate an expensive digital fix.

If you can come up with a replacement for solid state (highly unreliable) and tape (also unreliable in many ways) that is MORE reliable, good for you.

Optical discs are a step backwards in my honest opinion.

That's like going back to records from magnetic tape. . .

Why would you embrace what is ultimate a technology abut consumer convenience? Hopefully your product is going to continue to be aimed at professionals, at least aspiring professionals with good sensibilities.

I guess I can understand, though, that maybe this ISN'T exactly your target market.
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#10 Chris Kenny

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:53 PM

Karl, the RedRay is a player, and this 10 Mb/s 4K codec being discussed is for delivery/playback, not acquisition.

Solid state is pretty clearly the future of acquisition, at Red and elsewhere. (And I'm curious why you say it's unreliable. That certainly hasn't been my experience, and SSDs are being regularly deployed these days in data centers in extremely mission-critical applications, so the IT industry clearly considers solid state storage quite reliable.)

Edited by Chris Kenny, 23 April 2009 - 10:53 PM.

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#11 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:58 PM

Not sure why some people are so skeptical of this. You can get pretty good looking 1080p at 10-11 Mb/s with H.264 (see trailers on Apple's web site), while MPEG-2 requires 6-7 Mb just for relatively clean 480p. This means H.264 is in the neighborhood of 4x as efficient as MPEG-2.

So if this new Redcode-derived delivery format does decent 4K at around 10 Mb, it would just be to H.264 what H.264 is to MPEG-2. Does this really seem that impossible? Or even, framed in this context, that unexpected?

Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch. I'm sure it requires gobs more processing power than H.264, just as H.264 requires gobs more processing power than MPEG-2. I suspect real-time software-based decoding is a long way off. Fortunately, this is the sort of problem that can be solved with a relatively inexpensive ASIC, these days.

A lot of people's "awesome" H.264 HD footage falls apart when viewed on a 40" or bigger screen. Red Ray would have to be vastly better to stand up to 4K projection.
Unfortunately when you are contimually bombarded by statements like: "This film [Knowing] is, by far, the finest example of digital cinematography I have seen thus far" it becomes difficult to take anybody's assessment of new technologies at face value.

A fresh VHS recording can still look OK on a 14" TV, but you try displaying that on a 50" Plasma! (Actually from 50 feet away, it starts to look OK again).
I've seen full-length H.264 movie files that fit onto a CD, and they look more than acceptable on a laptop screen, but pretty ordinary on a 26" TV.
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#12 K Borowski

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:20 PM

"This film [Knowing] is, by far, the finest example of digital cinematography I have seen thus far" it becomes difficult to take anybody's assessment of new technologies at face value.


Hey. What the f&ck is that supposed to mean?

It was.

Sorry, but the RED definitely doesn't look like the smeary s&*^ that got pawned off as a movie in the 2nd and 3rd Star Wars movie.

It's definitely an improvement.

So, because I thought "Knowing" was good, that somehow disqualifies me? What am I supposed to do, fu&^ing lie and say it was bad? Because it wasn't, even if I wanted it to be.

That doesn't change my opinion of digital cinema; I still dislike it personally, but it is getting better.


Alright "Keith" you can go back to being scared now. . .

Edited by Karl Borowski, 23 April 2009 - 11:21 PM.

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#13 Keith Walters

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 12:21 AM

Bah.
I can find any number of just-as-emphatic quotes from other people who say the exact opposite.
About every digital movie that's ever been released
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#14 Chris Kenny

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:35 AM

A lot of people's "awesome" H.264 HD footage falls apart when viewed on a 40" or bigger screen. Red Ray would have to be vastly better to stand up to 4K projection.


The 1080p trailers on Apple's trailer site hold up pretty well on my 46" 1080p LCD from a viewing distance of about 70", which is close enough that practically everyone who sees my living room asks why I have the couch so close to the TV. They also hold up pretty well on the 92" screen in the screening room at work (with a 1080p projector pointed at it). Are there more noticeable artifacts than with a Blu-ray disc with 2-3 times the bit rate? Yes. But they're certainly quite watchable, and I rather suspect I'm more picky than most people.

10 Mb/s is low enough that I wouldn't be too surprised to see it creep up slightly before the product is finalized (Redcode Raw's data rate crept up a bit from the initial announcement). And I'm sure there will be detectable artifacts under close scrutiny if you know what to look for (which most people notably don't, with wavelet codecs). But nothing Red is saying is so far out there, technically, that its honesty should be called into question.
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#15 Michel Hafner

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 05:03 AM

I can sort of understand how you could get very high compression ratios if you start with the original Redcode RAW files, but my (still unanswered) question remains: Is the process applicable to other, already existing video sources?

That Red Code is RAW is not relevant. Grading it does not add information, just moves existing information around or deletes some. That it is a Bayer pattern is relevant. General 4K footage would have to be filtered down to a Bayer pattern (which usually removes some information) and then Wavelet compressed like Red Code (which again removes quite some information). From there the further processing can be done as with Red Code. It could be done with 4K, 2K or even 480p. But I guess the approach works better with smaller pixels (relative to a fixed image size) than with large pixels (SD). The softening might be too obvious with SD.

Edited by Michel Hafner, 24 April 2009 - 05:04 AM.

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#16 Keith Walters

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 06:35 AM

But nothing Red is saying is so far out there, technically, that its honesty should be called into question.

OK, well first of all, when I started this thread, there was nowhere near as much information available, but enough people have seen the demo now to be reasonably convincing. Anyway, I never said they couldn't do it. The question was how good is it going to be rated by someone other than a Fanboy looking through Red-Kool-Aid goggles :lol:

The question I really wanted answered is: "Can the same system be used for video from other sources (scanned film etc)?"

If so, it may be a vindiction of one of the many arguments against using video origination: Anything you shoot on video is going to be frozen forever in whatever resolution the camera/recorder supported at the time. If you shoot 1920 x 1080, it is always going to be 1920 x 1080.

The amount of detail 35mm negative is capable of capturing has always exceeded our ability to make use of it. But it is still in there, and when the world eventually moves to 4K or higher displays, the original negative can be re-scanned to take full advantage of it. But you can't re-scan 1920 x 1080 videotape!

This is also a pretty good argument for using a camera like the RED or its descendants by the way.
OK 2K DI and projection may be the cinema standard NOW, but it's not always going to be.

If they can fit a 2 hour movie at 4K on a single dual-layer DVD, imagine what they could do with Blu-Ray!
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#17 K Borowski

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:11 AM

Bah.
I can find any number of just-as-emphatic quotes from other people who say the exact opposite.
About every digital movie that's ever been released


Oh yeah?

So as a cinematographer, someone who has studied imaging systems on the collegiate level, shot 16- and 35mm are you REALLY, going to casually lump what I said in there as a fanboy post, and quote it here, verbatim, as a reason why I shouldn't be taken seriously?

Or is it because I don't agree with you that I shouldn't be taken seriously? Don't presume to lump me in with an internet armchair expert, because I'm not. I have a very critical eye for this s%$# :ph34r:

Don't take someone's quote from two weeks ago, out of the blue, throw it back at them, and expect them not to get pissed at you.

Have a nice day! :)
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#18 K Borowski

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 08:18 AM

The amount of detail 35mm negative is capable of capturing has always exceeded our ability to make use of it. But it is still in there, and when the world eventually moves to 4K or higher displays, the original negative can be re-scanned to take full advantage of it. But you can't re-scan 1920 x 1080 videotape!


Unless you're talking about '01 rated at EI 25, 35mm 4-perf isn't' 4K; sorry.

People keep throwing Ks around like they're important. They're not. What is important is flesh rendition and color range.

Digital still sucks at this, and as soon as the chip companies figure out that this is what people care about, not resolution, the better.

Hell, they were shooting 16mm professionally in some applications in the 1920s. There were photojournalists shooting 35mm 8-perf. professionally before WWII, 30 years before everyone had completely stopped shooting 4x5" sheet film.

Sometimes it's about what equipment will get your the shot.


And, let's face it, film cameras have definite disadvantages in terms of run time, weight, and sync sound.

So instead of being a number whore, how about somem legitimate real-world objections to digital imaging from you Keith? Because '18, even '19 are not 4K imaging media, unless you have a Vistavision camera. Sorry. . .
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#19 Tom Lowe

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 09:13 AM

A lot of people's "awesome" H.264 HD footage falls apart when viewed on a 40" or bigger screen. Red Ray would have to be vastly better to stand up to 4K projection.


What does this mean? Either footage holds up at its stated resolution or it doesn't. If a clip is 4K and it looks great, pixel for pixel, on a 37" 4K display, then it's met the test. Why would the footage suddenly "fall apart" on a 60" display?

Obviously, with a large screen you sit back farther. But that is always the case.
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#20 Chris Kenny

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 10:27 AM

OK, well first of all, when I started this thread, there was nowhere near as much information available, but enough people have seen the demo now to be reasonably convincing. Anyway, I never said they couldn't do it. The question was how good is it going to be rated by someone other than a Fanboy looking through Red-Kool-Aid goggles :lol:

The question I really wanted answered is: "Can the same system be used for video from other sources (scanned film etc)?"


I can't imagine any technical reason why this codec couldn't be used for material from other sources. There was some info about the post process for the reel over at RedUser; the compressed files were produced from DPX and TIFF files. Once Red footage has been graded and rendered out to DPX or TIFF or whatever, it's just like any other footage in such files.

Though remember that noise and grain are the enemy of aggressive compression. Correctly exposed Red footage is pretty clean, and I suspect the result benefited from this. It's not too hard to imagine you might have to up the data rate a bit if your footage has a noise/grain texture that you're interested in preserving.
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