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Fixing a small flaw on a print in post... possible?


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#1 Matt Stevens

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:54 PM

I've got a conundrum. My first short film was shot on Super16. I have a 35mm blow-up print from the A/B/C rolls. I have no transfer, other than VHS from Avid (yuck).

Transferring from the original Super16 is considerably more expensive than from a 35mm print. The problem is, my print has a slight flaw.

There must have been a spec of dust or something on the glass when the blowup took place because a tiny spot is visible all the way through. It was not noticed until it was projected on a very large screen for the first time (at the 2002 NY International Film Festival). I saw it and on a movie theater screen, it was not distracting. Most screens have tiny spots anyway. But no doubt, the flaw is there. other screenings had it as well.

So is there a way to transfer this print to 1080p, but then in post 'fix' that spot?

I know that artifacts or flaws that appear on a single frame can be fixed. But can a small flaw that is there the entire time be 'erased' via modern methods?

I have CS5 Production premium and my PC has considerable horsepower. For all I know I have the tools to do this. But beng an amateur, what the heck do I know? :huh:

Good gravy, it would be amazing if there was a way to at least minimize the flaw, as I have long wanted to transfer my first short film.
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 12:15 AM

Yes, that kind of thing can be fixed. Any facility that has an MTI box or equivalent can do it. It'll take a little longer, since they'll have to work from adjacent pixels and check it shot by shot. The other question to consider is whether the contrast and dynamic range available from the print will be good enough. Going back to the original will get you better results on both issues. Have the facility price it out both ways, then make a decision.




-- J.S.
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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:12 AM

Why would it be more expensive to transfer from the 16mm? I would think transferring from the original negative would be preferable to transferring a print; even in 35mm.
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#4 Matt Stevens

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:44 AM

Why would it be more expensive to transfer from the 16mm? I would think transferring from the original negative would be preferable to transferring a print; even in 35mm.

It's twice as expensive. Every quote I have received is double the cost of xfering from 35mm. perhaps because of the prep involved and that it is three rolls of negative as opposed to one roll of 35...?
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 11:45 AM

It's twice as expensive. Every quote I have received is double the cost of xfering from 35mm. perhaps because of the prep involved and that it is three rolls of negative as opposed to one roll of 35...?


One point to keep an eyes on: if it's a projection contrast print you tend to lose detail in the shadows, this becomes more noticeable if you've got contrasty or night scenes.
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 12:33 PM

It's twice as expensive.


Subtract from that the cost of the dot fix, and the subjective value of the better dynamic range.




-- J.S.
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#7 Will Montgomery

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 02:23 PM

How interesting. Any colorist I've worked with would rather have the negative to work from than a print any day. Maybe its because it would take longer to grade properly rather than just doing a one-light transfer? I assume they can do a one-light on a print and just run it off.

Be careful, you get what you pay for in telecine.
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#8 Matt Stevens

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

We all have budgets. Going with the 16mm A B C rolls seems to skyrocket the price way beyond what I can afford. I want the best image I can get. Absolutely. But good grief, 16mm, the less expensive format, is more expensive to scan, by a huge amount.

This is one reason why I have not done it. I can never come up with enough money. $300 I can do. But two to three times that amount, every time I get close, something comes up and bye bye savings. I've been trying for three years now, on and off.
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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 04:27 PM

This is one reason why I have not done it. I can never come up with enough money. $300 I can do. But two to three times that amount, every time I get close, something comes up and bye bye savings. I've been trying for three years now, on and off.


Where are you scanning a 35mm feature to 1080p for $300? I can't imagine it could be done on any modern telecine for that. This must be a completely flat scan with no color correction right?

There shouldn't be any difference in price between 16mm and 35mm at all. In fact there shouldn't be any difference between Super 8, S16 or 35mm if it's on the same machine (i.e. Spirit).
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#10 Matt Stevens

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 04:52 PM

Where are you scanning a 35mm feature to 1080p for $300? I can't imagine it could be done on any modern telecine for that. This must be a completely flat scan with no color correction right?

There shouldn't be any difference in price between 16mm and 35mm at all. In fact there shouldn't be any difference between Super 8, S16 or 35mm if it's on the same machine (i.e. Spirit).

I'm talking a flat scan, which I can color correct myself.
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#11 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:13 PM

How interesting. Any colorist I've worked with would rather have the negative to work from than a print any day. Maybe its because it would take longer to grade properly rather than just doing a one-light transfer? I assume they can do a one-light on a print and just run it off.

Be careful, you get what you pay for in telecine.


I telecined a 35mm projection contrast print and it was anything but a one light, it took a lot of grading.

They usually charge by time in a telecine, so you'll need 3 runs for A, B & C rolls.
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#12 Robert Costello

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:54 AM

I had a somewhat similar issue in that in something I shot there was a fly on the actresses's hair and for some reason it bothered me--
What I did was to take the clip, which was only about 30 seconds, and export the entire thing as a full res image sequence--I brought all frames into photoshop and used the clone stamp to remove it on each frame, saved it and replaced the footage---
It took a while even though the action was pretty static and there was no dialog so I didn't care so much about syncing--Depending on your exhibition format and the complexity of the shot and seriousness of the defect
you can do it yourself, but it will take time and resources---If you are showing the film digitally then this might be the best option --might be cheaper to hire a few photoshop people in need of a gig---
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