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Comparing telecine from different labs


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#1 Cahit Tomruk

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 06:22 AM

I got my first test roll few days back processed and transferred to miniDV by bluecinetech in london. I took the film for telecine to a local 'lab' which would do it for a really cheap rate just to check out if the quality was passable.

https://download.you...ld0FZY1NGa1E9PQ

On that link you will find the same clips of work of both labs. 1 is bluecinetech and 2 the local guy.
As you can see 1 is much sharper and looks better in general. 2 has washed out colors and most importantly at very bright scenes in the middle of the frame the colors are 'burned' because of the lamp which looks very poor (see 1'40"). I think that this guy might as well just capture from a wall projection. In case that helps understanding his technique the very first 1-2 seconds (before the butterfly scene) at the first clip are from the telecine of 2nd lab that got into the first clip by mistake.

However 2 feels sometimes smoother. For example check the fade in/out test at 1'05". On number 2 is very smooth when on 1 looks abrupt. Why you think this might have happened?

I would also like your opinions on the processing which for me looks ok, not many stains, dust, etc. what do you think?
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#2 timHealy

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 09:15 AM

There are two main variables for getting a good quality film transfer: one the equipment and two the colorist/grader. Generally speaking you get what you pay for. A really good colorist on the best machine is going to cost more than a bad colorist and on older machine.

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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 01:19 PM

There are two main variables for getting a good quality film transfer: one the equipment and two the colorist/grader. Generally speaking you get what you pay for. A really good colorist on the best machine is going to cost more than a bad colorist and on older machine.

best

Tim


But, with analog machines, all but the vary latest still rely a great deal on the skill of the operator.

The best machine with a bad operator won't produce as good a result as an older machine with a skilled color-balancer.


Despite not being color-blind, I find proper color balance very difficult, myself. Even in Photoshop, far easier than optical or video-analyzers, it is very difficult getting colors "right."

There are also different schools of thought here. Some colorists tend to make everything warm to flatter flesh-tones. I prefer truly neutral color. What some colorists call "correct" I call too much red and too little blue.

So a very important factor is good verbal communication between the filmmaker and the colorist to make sure you are both on the same page. A sample still photo or a reference of some kind is far better, too, than written instructions.

Grey cards with instructions in the footage are helpful too.

But a lot of times instructions aren't followed. A famous example is the makeup test with Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel) in Star Trek who was being used to do a makeup test for the green Orion Slave Girl makeup.

The lab kept timing the skin back to proper magenta and they kept applying more and more makeup, wondering why they couldn't make her green. Proper communication with the colorist would have bypassed these problems.
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#4 Cahit Tomruk

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:55 PM

But, with analog machines, all but the vary latest still rely a great deal on the skill of the operator.

The best machine with a bad operator won't produce as good a result as an older machine with a skilled color-balancer.


Despite not being color-blind, I find proper color balance very difficult, myself. Even in Photoshop, far easier than optical or video-analyzers, it is very difficult getting colors "right."

There are also different schools of thought here. Some colorists tend to make everything warm to flatter flesh-tones. I prefer truly neutral color. What some colorists call "correct" I call too much red and too little blue.

So a very important factor is good verbal communication between the filmmaker and the colorist to make sure you are both on the same page. A sample still photo or a reference of some kind is far better, too, than written instructions.

Grey cards with instructions in the footage are helpful too.

But a lot of times instructions aren't followed. A famous example is the makeup test with Majel Barrett (Nurse Chapel) in Star Trek who was being used to do a makeup test for the green Orion Slave Girl makeup.

The lab kept timing the skin back to proper magenta and they kept applying more and more makeup, wondering why they couldn't make her green. Proper communication with the colorist would have bypassed these problems.



i am not really talking about the colors when comparing those two labs. i am satisfied with the results of the first when it come to colors, and they can be slightly corrected in final cut afterwards as well. the very weird thing though is the abrupt fading, why you think this might have happened?

thanks
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Metropolis Post

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Wooden Camera

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The Slider

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