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1.37 onto HDCAM-SR


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#1 Soren Hiorth

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 12:40 AM

Hey everybody

I'm shooting my thesis film at AFI in a month. We are right now debating to shoot it on 35mm 4-perf 1.37. And we'll probaply telecine to HDCAM-SR.

My question is:

Can a telecine-scan, use the entire spatial resolution of HDCAM-SR, by de-squeesing the 1.37 image out onto the 1920x1080 resolution?? I have tried to find out how people transfer a anamorphic neg in telecine to HD, but haven't really been able to find an answer. Hope somebody in here knows how to approach this??

Thanks

Regards

Soren
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 03:48 AM

Yes, it's quite easy to do any kind of anamorphosis on a Spirit. In the early years of the HD transition, we used to do it that way, shooting for the 1.33 frame, and deriving a 1.78 in a tilt-and-scan pass.





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#3 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 05:49 AM

I think this method would defeat the purpose of maintaining the highest resolution since the telecine would first have to stretch the image in order to fit 1.37 to a 1.77 area. Squeezing it back to 1.37 later in post is not going to be a zero loss operation.
I would suggest offlining it first and then scanning selects 2048x1556 on a real scanner, even a telecine direct to hard disk as DPX files would be better.
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#4 Adam Hunt

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:11 PM

I just recently transferred some 35mm that was shot 1.37:1. We did some tests and decided against stretching it like you suggested for the exact reason that was mentioned: the image would be stretched digitally then compressed back to it's original aspect ratio causing a significant softening of the image. So trying to use the whole HDCAM SR frame was actually detrimental to image quality rather than a benefit.

If you can afford scans rather than a telecine you can use full 2k width it's proper aspect ratio. If you go telecine then you should keep it pillarboxed on the 16:9 frame. You still end up with 1440x1080 pixels being used for the image area. It's not 2k but it will look sharper than any stretching/unstretching process.



Most films destined for a scope aspect ratio are shot 3-perf Super 35 these days, so what they do with an HD telecined DI or even a real 2k DI is they simply transfer a 16:9 frame, do the DI on that, and then crop 2.39:1 out of the center of the frame when it gets lasered onto a 35mm print. Then they matte it with black bars for Blu-ray/DVD and often leave it open-matte for television broadcast (often to the director and DOP's chagrin).

It has been a while since I went through a telecine of true anamorphically shot scope 35, but I believe they switched to a 2x deanimorphisizing lens in the telecine machine, and transferred it letterboxed to the 16:9 frame. That's why 2k DIs are really beneficial for stuff shot in actual scope. You get a full 2048x1714 frame instead of 1920x804 and the frame never goes through and digital squeeze or unsqueeze. Although many indie films you've seen were probably a 1920x804 HD telecined DI. It's definitely not as good as 2k but it's popular because of the cost savings.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 10:40 PM

We did some tests and decided against stretching it like you suggested for the exact reason that was mentioned: the image would be stretched digitally then compressed back to it's original aspect ratio causing a significant softening of the image.


How did you do that test? That's not the result we got at Laser-Pacific, Modern, Encore, etc. Telecine mostly on Spirits.




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#6 Adam Hunt

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 10:52 PM

How did you do that test? That's not the result we got at Laser-Pacific, Modern, Encore, etc. Telecine mostly on Spirits.


We transferred some selected test shots in both ways, resized the stretched version and compared them by wiping back and forth on the telecine suite's HD monitor. The stretched/unstreached version was noticeably softer.

Generally stretching/unstretching any image is a bad idea. Maybe with the setup you guys were using it was coming directly from 2048x1556 to 1920x1080. My guess is in our case it was going down to 1440x1080 then to 1920x1080. So if the telecine setup you did it on didn't have this problem then maybe Soren can get it done, but he should definitely do a similar in-suite test first to double check that it is indeed better quality given the particular setup he is transferring on.
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#7 Adam Hunt

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 12:01 AM

We are right now debating to shoot it on 35mm 4-perf 1.37.


I guess it begs the question: if you are going to HDCAM SR in the end why shoot 4-perf 1.37 at all? Are you going for some sort of retro look? Otherwise why don't you just shoot 3-perf Super 35 and end up with a nice full-frame 1.85?
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#8 Soren Hiorth

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:31 PM

Hey everybody
thanks for all of your insights. I somehow did not get any email-notifications, so I just checked in now, and saw all your feedback. Thanks!!

Talking to our post-supervisor, we found that bars on the sides, is the best way to do this, as have most of you experienced already. But I'm glad to have gotten a second opinion now.

Regarding choice of aspect ratio, I'm not going to go into a artistic discussion. But yes - we are aiming to do a 2k DI and go back onto film. There is a possibility, that we not have the money in post, and that's why Im trying to get as much rez down on the tape, should I go straight from tape to film...

Thanks guys!

Soren
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 01:19 AM

So if the telecine setup you did it on didn't have this problem then maybe Soren can get it done, ....


We did this not just once, but on most of the film originated TV shows at Paramount from the late 90's onward.





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