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#1 John Young

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 07:05 PM

So I'm a bit lost; let me see if I can put my thoughts into questions.

Does it work like this?:

Acquire principal photography on actual physical film > Scan into computer = DI > Edit (NLE) > Digital out or Optical print? Is that correct?

And, if that is correct... umm... so when I give the lab my original, they develop it, and one light it for tests/dailies, what ever, right? No? You know, I have many books on the subject of editing, but none of them go into the actual process... more on HOW to edit.

So if I get my neg scanned in, can I edit that? What happens when I am finished editing and I want an optical print/film out?

If I have a contact print done (interpositive?), do I edit the actual physical film on like a Moviola?

I remember something about negative conformation, but who does that, the lab? And where do they get the information to do that?

I'm real confused. This may not even be the correct forum, and I apologize if it is not.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 07:26 PM

Basically there are two types of edit: there is the one where you directly edit in a format that you want to show in (often not super high-quality due to the limitations of your computer), and one where you edit in order to create a EDL (Edit Decision List) that can be used to conform a negative or high-resolution scan in order to create a master that will be used for making prints, etc. In other words, that edit is temporary and can use lower-quality versions of the movie for ease of editing.

So if you do a complete film post, for example, you'd get your negative developed and then a print would be made, a workprint. You cut & splice your workprint, and then edgecode / keycode information on the print would be used by a negative cutter later as a guide to go back and match your negative to the workprint cut. Then the cut negative can be printed. So the workprint is a temporary version of the movie.

If you do a video post for film material, you can either telecine transfer the developed negative to a video format that your editing system can handle, often a lower-resolution compressed format (though more and more people have computers at home with the horsepower to handle higher quality formats. ) You cut that transfer on your home NLE and it's already in the format you want to show it in (for example, 8-bit 4:2:0 480P video for release on DVD.)

Or you transfer to the highest quality format you plan on needing -- let's say a telecine transfer to 1080P 10-bit Log 4:4:4 HD or a film scan to 2K 10-bit Log RGB -- and then you take that digital copy and downconvert it to the lower-quality compressed system that your home computer can handle.

From that edit, you generate an EDL based on timecode so you can go back and conform (match) the original high-quality digital files to your lower-quality edit (often called an offline edit) so you end up with an edited master (sometimes called an online edit) in the high-quality format of your choice. Then you can transfer that (using a film recorder) to 35mm negative, if you want ,for making prints, or transfer directly to a print stock (on a Cinevator), and/or downsample to a video format for distribution or duplication.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 07:41 PM

Acquire principal photography on actual physical film > Scan into computer = DI > Edit (NLE) > Digital out or Optical print? Is that correct?


Yes, you can scan developed negative into data files. You do an offline edit (probably using a low-rez copy) in order to generate an EDL (list of time codes where the cuts occurred), then you'd conform the scan to the edit, create an edited master of the scans, color-correct it, add any efx (fades, dissolves, titles, etc.) and then use a laser recorder to transfer it onto a film negative (usually intermediate stock, so an internegative) and then you'd make a print from that.

And, if that is correct... umm... so when I give the lab my original, they develop it, and one light it for tests/dailies, what ever, right? No?

You can get your developed negative telecine-transferred to ordinary video, do an offline edit, take that EDL and scan selects off of the camera rolls to a high-resolution data format, and go through the D.I. process I mentioned above. Or you could scan everything at high-resolution to begin with and make a downconverted copy at lower-resolution for offline editing, then go back to those scans and conform them to the edit.

So if I get my neg scanned in, can I edit that? What happens when I am finished editing and I want an optical print/film out?

Depends on what you scan or telecine to. Most people can't edit at home at a high-enough resolution to use that edit directly for a film-out. Though if you decide that 1080P is good enough for a film-out, some people manage to edit uncompressed 10-bit 1080P HD at home, though it's not easy.

Keep in mind, you can transfer almost anything to film no matter how crappy, you could shoot in IMAX and transfer it to consumer DV tape, and edit that and transfer the DV edit to 35mm. It would look terrible and be a waste of money, but it can be done. So you can shoot in 16mm and transfer it to standard-def video, edit that, and transfer that videotape to film again, but it won't have the quality inherent in the original negative, which is why you are talking about transfers to 1080P HD video or scans to 2K RGB.

If I have a contact print done (interpositive?), do I edit the actual physical film on like a Moviola?

A contact print off of the negative used for editing is called a workprint and uses standard projection print stock. But it will get quite beat-up in the Moviola or Steenbeck or whatever you run in back and forth through, bit that's OK because it's only to get a cut so you can use the code numbers on the edge of the print as a guide for cutting the original negative. Usually you hire a professional negative cutter for that. Then the cut negative can be answer-printed for determining the printer lights needed to balance each shot. After a few answer prints, you will be able to make a color-timed print with optical sound on it for showing people.

I remember something about negative conformation, but who does that, the lab? And where do they get the information to do that?

Answered that.
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#4 John Young

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 08:05 PM

David, you are amazing. If I ever get millions of dollars, your hired.
Thanks a lot.

I guess I need to learn about the EDL now.

...off to research.


Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#5 John Young

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 08:47 AM

So I have one more question.

What about titles? I have been reading about EDL's and they say that Fades and simple things work well on an EDL.
I was reading that titles and color grading doesn't work with an EDL, and that totally makes sense (cuase there not on the orignal negative).

But how would I get the titles I create digitally onto the final print?

Would I make a high res version to give to the film out house?


THANKS!
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:06 AM

First you have to decide what the resolution and format will be of the final digital master that will be recorded to 35mm. Likely it would be either in 2K RGB data or 1080P HD video. Any titles over picture would have to be done at that resolution. If you are editing a lower-rez compressed copy, generating an EDL, and then going back to the negative for rescanning, or transfer to HD, or if you had done that upfront and made your lower-rez copy from that and now you are going back to the originals for the D.I., then you'd have to recreate any temporary titles you did on your home editing system, now using the full rez backgrounds and using higher-rez lettering, etc.

Generally this is part of "building the efx" that will be laid into the conformed master. Simple titles over picture probably would be handed over to a department at the D.I. facility, working from the 2K scans or 1080P HD video. Of course, you could take the footage over to another facility or do the high-quality titles over picture yourself if you had the right computer software and knowledge.

At your level, it may be simpler to do a 16mm-to-1080P HD D.I. workflow, you'll have more options working with 1080/24P video. You could even try mastering to Apple ProRes 444 and using that for a film-out. Then it's possible to do everything yourself if you have a powerful enough computer and knowledge, though I recommended doing a final color-correction pass at the D.I. facility if you can afford it.

Sure, color grading works using time code EDL's, but basically in a typical D.I. situation, you first conform the scans to match the offline cut using the EDL, then you have an edited master from which you make a color-corrected master. But all the cuts are marked in the color-corrector following time codes.

Now if you do it all yourself in 1080P using Apple ProRes 444, then it's possible to do a color-correction pass in Apple Color I guess (this is getting out of my area of knowledge); however there are a lot of calibration issues involved, particularly if you want to color-correct looking at a Rec.709 monitor yet turn in a final grade that is still in Log form.
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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 11:44 AM

From that edit, you generate an EDL based on timecode so you can go back and conform (match) the original high-quality digital files to your lower-quality edit (often called an offline edit) so you end up with an edited master (sometimes called an online edit) in the high-quality format of your choice. Then you can transfer that (using a film recorder) to 35mm negative, if you want ,for making prints, or transfer directly to a print stock (on a Cinevator), and/or downsample to a video format for distribution or duplication.


As David implied, you can also use the EDL to have the negative cut so as to go down an entirely optical path without any D.I.

Not sure exactly how that would work in practice however? Would you perhaps have an EDL based on edgecode or would there have to be a way of matching the timecode back to the edgecode?

Anyway most people in a low budget situation tend to stick with an entirely digital path ending in a digital master, as film-outs and making prints generally, is sooooo expensive.

love

Freya
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