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Super 8mm & HDV 1080i


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#1 Eduardo Sausa

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:57 AM

Hi guys & gals,

Just a quick question. I will be doing cinematography for a short film in few months. at the moment we are discussing options of shooting it with Super 8mm and convert it to HDV 1080p.

In this process as far as quality of the footage goes would Super 8mm deteriorate? If you compared Super 8mm to HDV 1080p which one will provide higher resolution?

Thanks in advance

E.S

Edited by Eduardo Sausa, 15 August 2009 - 06:58 AM.

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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:28 AM

I wouldn't bother with HDV, use a codec like Apple's ProRes HQ. If you're paying the money for an HD transfer always get the least compressed or best codec you can. You can always down-res it if you have to for some reason.
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#3 Eduardo Sausa

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:39 AM

I wouldn't bother with HDV, use a codec like Apple's ProRes HQ. If you're paying the money for an HD transfer always get the least compressed or best codec you can. You can always down-res it if you have to for some reason.


Hey Will,

First of all thank you.
Do you have any idea how much does the HD conversion costs?
I am also trying to find quiet Super 8mm cameras as the film has a lot of interiors and dialog. do you have any suggestions?

Thanks again

E.S
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#4 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:51 AM

The attraction to HDV is the affordability of it. A common misconception of HDV is that you lose resolution. It is still 1080i/p (depending on if the device is i or p) what is compressed in the color. To the untrained eye the color compression is negligible. To someone shooting on a negative stock doing some very unique color manipulation it might be more noticeable. Right now I'm working on a S-8 project telecined to 1080i converted to 1080p and color corrected in post. I'm working with some talented colorists and we've created some nice images. These frames are NOT final products but they are a small glimpse into the kind of results that HDV can bring:

This one is V2 200T
Posted Image

These ones are E64T
Posted Image

Posted Image
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#5 Kent Kumpula

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:19 AM

The attraction to HDV is the affordability of it.


How much are you paying for the HDV-transfers?

Someone who can deliver HDV transfers should be able to deliver the same transfers as ProRes files. ProRes would be a much better option than the highly compressed HDV.

A common misconception of HDV is that you lose resolution.


You will not only loose colorspace, you will also loose image quality due to the mpeg compression. It would be much better to apply mpeg compression after the editing is done, not before editing the footage.

Edited by Kent Kumpula, 16 August 2009 - 11:21 AM.

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#6 Kent Kumpula

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:31 AM

Do you have any idea how much does the HD conversion costs?


Here is our standing offer for newly exposed super8 films: http://www.uppsalabi...glish/?page=999
Please note that we cannot transfer negative films yet, the FlashscanHD needs a firmware update for negative transfers (the update should be available next month).
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#7 Ernie Zahn

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 01:16 PM

Here is our standing offer for newly exposed super8 films: http://www.uppsalabi...glish/?page=999
Please note that we cannot transfer negative films yet, the FlashscanHD needs a firmware update for negative transfers (the update should be available next month).



That looks great! Does your facility also offer 1080p? All I saw was 720p.
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#8 Kent Kumpula

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 01:21 PM

That looks great! Does your facility also offer 1080p? All I saw was 720p.


No, only 720p in ProRes. 1280x720 is all that is needed for 8mm films, you get all the details in this resolution. 1080p is just resolution overkill.

You can see our HD testclips here, http://www.uppsalabi...glish/?page=135 from both SMPTE testfilm and "normal" film.

Edited by Kent Kumpula, 16 August 2009 - 01:21 PM.

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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 02:49 PM

I also highly recommend ProResHQ for small(ish) digital files working off of film. HDV is going to give you some headaches, not to mention render time is highly increased when you actually go to export it. Any well set up FCP system (even a fairly recent macbook) should be able to handle the ProRes files and you'll have a lot more information to work with which will yield better results on final output. Every post house I've worked with has been able to supply ProRes without much issue.
Normally, and this is working on S16mm, we'll go out to HDCam or HDCamSR depending on needs and then grab a pro-res off of that for digital deliverables.
This generally works best when you're editing and creating an EDL for a rescan. If not, you can take it all to HDCam and ProRes, then you have 2 options for how you want to work color correction later on (if at all) off of the HDCam (or SR) or off of the ProRes in something like Color.
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#10 Kent Kumpula

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 04:31 PM

... Any well set up FCP system (even a fairly recent macbook) should be able to handle the ProRes file...


Not only Final Cut. Fairly recent Premiere and Sony Vegas editing computers can handle ProRes files. Even Premiere Elements can edit ProRes. Just make sure you have the latest Quicktime version installed in the computer and it should work just fine.

Windows Movie Maker cannot handle ProRes files, it is the only editing program that I know about that cannot handle ProRes files (not that I´m surprised about it...).
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 04:32 PM

I'm not sure if Avid can handle it either, without conversion first. I haven't got any pro-res footage on me right now to test either and can't recall firing up the MC anytime recently w/o a deck.
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#12 Kent Kumpula

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 04:37 PM

I'm not sure if Avid can handle it either...


Well if you, or anyone, wants to test their editing program with ProRes we have two clips for download:

www.uppsalabildteknik.com/movies/16mm_film-1920x1080_25P-Apple_ProRes_422.zip

www.uppsalabildteknik.com/movies/8mm_film-1280x720_50P-Apple_ProRes_422.zip

They are very short, but useful to test if a editing software can handle ProRes or not. As I said earlier, make sure you have Quicktime installed and updated, since the decoder for ProRes in included in the recent versions.

Edited by Kent Kumpula, 16 August 2009 - 04:40 PM.

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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 05:01 PM

Let's compare HDV with the uncompressed original:

Demo 1
Demo 2
Demo 3
Demo 4

OK, so these are worst-case scenarios, at 60p, and I assume they're I-frames as it didn't all look this bad. However, they show that HDV isn't even on the same planet as "good". I suspect the inevitable grain of super-8 will disagree with it strongly.

Experimental methodology here was to shoot the sequence both to tape and a disk recorder from the GY-HD250's SDI output, using a xenon strobe to provide reliable sync reference.

P
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#14 Thomas James

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 06:46 PM

I shoot HDV using the 720p30 format which is one of the least compressed of all the HDV formats. This format uses short 6 frame GOP.
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#15 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:33 AM

Here's the thing with HDV, its fine when you just look at footage playing. But if you do anything it from transitions to color corrections to compositing, you notice all sorts of problems. It's a little like DV in that regard; straight cuts are fine but try to color correct it and you have nothing to work with. ProRes just gives you more options... and with a good calibrated monitor you can tell a difference.

I used to go uncompressed on everything but the file transfers take forever and you pile up hard drives fast.

It sounds like Kent Kumpula's system will be the best and most affordable for you but others houses worth checking out are: Cinelicious, Light Press (FSFT), Cinelab (I think they're doing HD now), Pro8mm (that Milllenium is sweet.) You'll pass out when you see the costs but save up and try Cinelicious once and you'll see what a good colorist can do.
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#16 Thomas James

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 04:21 PM

Actually the people who have problems with color correction when shooting HDV are the people that shoot this so called full high definition 1080i interlace which does not handle color very well. When shooting HDV 720p progressive at 24 or 30 frames per second color correction is a lot easier.
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