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Have any Digital Sound Tracks tried using Red, Green & Blue?


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#1 Terry Mester

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:22 AM

Have any Digital Sound Tracks tried using Red, Green & Blue?

Does anyone know if there has ever been a Digital Sound Track design that utilized the Red, Green and Blue colour layers instead of just using monochrome Blue (SDDS) or Grey (Dolby)? If RGB has been attempted, were there any problems? Using RGB would of course provide three times more data per unit area of Film.
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 06:20 PM

It's cyan, not blue. You're thinking in primary colors. Color film utilizes subractive colors in a CMY configuration. And, while you could conceivably use different colors maybe for different channels, the move to cyan was to complement red LED technology.

Cyan is also compatible with the magenta dye on the edges now used for Kodak and Fuji edge code. The red LED lamp is essentially blind to all but the cyan information.



And, I have to ask, at this late stage in the game, what is the point to a new technology? Theatres want film to be gone, whether we like it or not.
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#3 Terry Mester

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 04:41 AM

It's cyan, not blue. You're thinking in primary colors. Color film utilizes subractive colors in a CMY configuration. And, while you could conceivably use different colors maybe for different channels, the move to cyan was to complement red LED technology.

I wasn't referring to the subtractive Dyes in the Film. I was referring to the blue colour of the SDDS code when looking at it. It would use the Yellow Dye layer.

Regarding Cyan, are you talking about the "analogue" sound track? That's not what I was referring to.

... Theatres want film to be gone, ...

Are you not being too pessimistic? :( Do these Theatres actually pay for Digital conversion themselves, or do they want the Studios to pay for it?
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 04:47 AM

Bear in mind that by using all three colour layers on the film, systems like Dolby's are gaining a better signal-to-noise ratio than they otherwise might, by averaging the layers together (I know it's unfashionable to refer to film grain edges as noise, but they are nevertheless). Treating the layers independently would certainly reduce that SNR, but the practicalities of it would bear experimentation.

P
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:38 AM

I wasn't referring to the subtractive Dyes in the Film. I was referring to the blue colour of the SDDS code when looking at it. It would use the Yellow Dye layer.


I'm pretty sure it's all cyan now, though I do remember an older SDDS that did appear to be blue, not cyan. If anything isn't cyan, it's Dolby digital. That might use all three dyes, though it doesn't need density. It's print film. It's using the cyan layer to create cyan dye (red on the negative or using a red filter on a B&W negative).

This is digital sound. It doesn't have an analog response. It uses discrete blocks of pixels to be interpreted as bits of information. While having all three dye layers used would reduce dropouts, I guess, that ship has already sailed.


SDDS isn't even supported by Sony anymore.



And yes, all the theatres want film gone so they don't have to think about the booth and they don't have to hire a "Booth Usher" for minimum wage to actually look after it all. The writing is already on the wall for AMC, Regal, and Cinemark in the U.S. They've gotten the loan to convert and are actively in the process of doing so.
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#6 Terry Mester

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 12:26 AM

There are three reasons behind this enquiry. The first is that the current Digital Sound Tracks are not adequately reliable. This is a significant reason for the push for Digital Projection which comes with reliable Digital Sound. The second is that computer scanners have monumentally improved over the last ten years, and should easily be able to identify RG&B for each "pixel" area of the Sound Track. The current Digital Sound Tracks were devised twenty years ago or more when scanners were very primitive compared to today. The third reason is that I have an idea for RG&B pixels to record 48 KHz Six-Track Digital Sound in the length of 24 Super 35mm (3 perforation) Film Frames. This would enable Super35 to become the filming standard for theatrical movies with reliable Digital Sound. My pixels would be considerably larger than the original Sony SDDS pixels, and so this Digital Sound Track should be as reliable as the current Analogue Track. This would also make it practicable to have Eight-Track Digital Sound on 70mm Film. The Studios only have a mediocre commitment to quality which is causing the push for Digital Projection. However, there is plenty of room for improvement in the Film duplication process, and Digital lovers shouldn't sit too comfortably just yet.

You're right Phil about problems with graininess affecting the quality of the Sound Track. Cinematographers should endure the difficulties of using 50 ISO as much as possible in order to minimize graininess problems. Cecil B. DeMille's production of The Ten Commandments was filmed on Kodak's then new colour Negative which was ASA 10 to 32. The great colour quality of low speed Film speaks for itself in TTC movie.
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 09:32 AM

The conversion has already happened on paper. The loans have gone through. They are manufacturing the digital projectors 24 hours a day.


And there is no real estate left on 35mm print film to put new digital sound anyway. That ship sailed a decade ago, no?

I hate to see you bang your head against the wall, Terry, like Paul did. Ask for a tour of a local projection room and talk to the projectionist. He'll tell you the same thing. Our days are numbered.
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 10:12 AM

Cinematographers should endure the difficulties of using 50 ISO as much as possible in order to minimize graininess problems.




That's not going to help with a soundtrack, anyway, since the soundtrack is only ever exposed onto (ultra-slow) print stock.


But yes. An idea fifteen or twenty years behind its time, I fear.
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 05:48 PM

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That's not going to help with a soundtrack, anyway, since the soundtrack is only ever exposed onto (ultra-slow) print stock.


But yes. An idea fifteen or twenty years behind its time, I fear.


I don't want either of you to get me wrong. I hate it too, but it is what it is, which is why I applied to and got in to #600.


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#10 Terry Mester

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 08:01 PM

...
And there is no real estate left on 35mm print film to put new digital sound anyway. That ship sailed a decade ago, no?
...

I was talking about replacing the existing SDDS Track. If a new Digital Sound Track is more reliable than the existing SDDS, then SDDS would become obsolete. I had written to Kinoton and Cinemeccanica four years ago to suggest the following design feature addition to Projectors to replace the DTS Time Code.

------------------------
July 18th, 2006

Kinoton GmbH
Industriestrasse 20a
82110 Germering / Germany

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have a few suggestions to offer Kinoton for improving both 35mm and 70mm Film Projectors.
As regards 35mm Projectors, I wanted to suggest a very simple method to enable one Projector to be able to run both regular 35mm as well as Super 35mm Films. All you need to do is make the Lens movable sideways by 1.47 Millimetres in order to accommodate the centers of both regular and Super 35mm Frames, and that's it. More movie-makers would likely use Super 35mm if Theatres were equipped with Super 35mm Projectors. By combining regular and Super 35mm into one, the problem will gradually be solved as Projectors are replaced. Now, the Super 35mm Film does not contain the DTS Time Code. However, you can provide a 'time code' mechanically from the Projector. The Projector need only produce an 'electric pulse' each time the Shutter opens, and this electric pulse circuit would simply lead to an external Phono Jack. The Jack would just be connected to the Computer containing the Digital Sound Track on the Hard Drive. The Computer software would simply use that electric pulse to maintain synchronization with the Film Strip in the exact same way it uses the DTS Time Code. The only difference from the DTS Time Code is that the projectionist would need to synchronize the Sound Track with the Film Strip at the beginning. This is not a problem for a qualified projectionist. You would also want to enable the lights for the Analogue Sound Track and DTS Code to be shut off when the Projector runs Super 35mm Films in order to protect the left portion of the Film Frame from fading. The Super 35mm Frame (24.89x18.66mm) is bigger than regular 35mm (21.95x16mm), but there are so few theatres equipped with Super 35mm Projectors that few movie makers bother to use it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
An additional necessity for a Projector that runs Super 35mm Films is that it allow for both 4 and 3 Sprocket Hole advance. Super 35mm Movie Cameras allow for filming with 3 Sprocket Holes in order to provide a shorter Frame which saves on wasted film. This allows for a Film Reel to last 33% longer than with 4 Sprocket Holes. It is therefore imperative that a Projector capable of playing Super 35mm allow for 3 Sprocket advance. This would require one of the Projector's "Gears" to have TWO versions -- each with the appropriate size and number of teeth for either 3 or 4 Hole advance. The procedure of changing between two different Gears probably would require opening up the Projector to do it manually, but this again is not a problem for a professional projectionist. It's not possible to design everything to be simple, and the benefits of having 'two Projectors in one' outweighs any inconvenience in having to change Gears. One potential problem with the 3 Sprocket advance might be with the SDDS and Dolby Digital Sound Tracks. You'll need to look into this. SDDS should be able to manage with a shorter Frame Height, and if necessary it could just store Six Tracks of Sound instead of Eight. Dolby can always use the unused space between the Right Side Sprocket Holes which would double their amount of data. This should enable enough sound data to be stored on a shorter 3 Hole Frame of Film.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

----------------------------

We all know that switching to Digital Cinema is about the Studios making more money. However, if the Studios were smart, they would shoot 'A' movies in 65mm, and release them both in 70mm and 35mm / Digital. They could resurrect the "VistaVision" name for the 70mm version, and charge 50% more for the higher quality 70mm presentation. Digital Cinema would then universally be the poorer cousin to 70mm Film. I have a separate idea for a design improvement to the Continuous Contact Printer, but I won't get into that now. However, it would improve the quality of the duplicating process, and 35mm release prints would then be noticeably better than Digital. It's only due to poor quality duplication that Digital is considerable comparable to 35mm.
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