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Alexa Studio Anamorphic requires codex?


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#1 Eric Lin

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:49 AM

Hi all. I'm shooting a music video next week and was looking into the possibility of shooting anamorphic on the alexa studio which it seems perfectly suited for. I heard however that the Alexa Studio requires the Codex recorder to record the full 4:3 frame of information even if you only want ProRes and not ARRIRAW. Can anyone confirm?

After digging through the specs, I suppose it is because the SxS cards are only equipped to output 1920x1080 files and can't handle the bandwidth of information from the larger sensor?

We are a low budget music vid so renting two codex's along with two Alexa studios is out of our budget range. I guess I was just surprised that the Alexa Studio must rely on a 3rd party solution to utilize it's foremost feature. Tell me I'm wrong!

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Eric Lin
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:12 PM

Right now, I think only 1920 x 1080 HD can be recorded using the internal SxS cards.
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#3 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:31 PM

I heard however that the Alexa Studio requires the Codex recorder to record the full 4:3 frame of information even if you only want ProRes and not ARRIRAW. Can anyone confirm?


Yes that's currently correct. Future firmware upgrades might change things.
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#4 georg lamshöft

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:58 AM

According to the ARRI website ProRes 4:3 (2048 x 1536 pixels) will be available with SUP 7.0 (Mid 2012) - maybe you should ask them about a beta-version?
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#5 Eric Lin

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:00 AM

Thanks all for the confirmation. I had trouble finding the specifics in the Arri Documentation.

Thanks Georg for pointing me to the news section. I talked to CSC in New Jersey and they had mentioned they were working on the new update but apparently not close to releasing into the wild even as a beta.

Thanks again.

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Eric Lin
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#6 CSmith

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:03 PM

We are a low budget music vid so renting two codex's along with two Alexa studios is out of our budget range.


Just want to add that I did a Texas-aired Superbowl spot anamorphic just to SxS cards at 1080 and thought it looked great. ARRI even used shots from it on their NAB reel. So, if you are on a budget, maybe you don't need to go STUDIO or RAW.

Vimeo is only 720, but here's the spot:


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#7 Eric Lin

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:04 AM

That spot looks great! So just to confirm you shot 2x anamorphic output to SxS cards and just cropped it in post to get 2.35?

We're also thinking that is the way to go.

Did you shoot Alexa Plus or the Studio? Were you able to monitor an unsqueezed 2.35 image on set?

Thanks for sharing!

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Eric Lin
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#8 Eric Lin

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:09 AM

One other Alexa Studio question: Does anyone have experience shooting with strobe lights with the mechanical shutter? Does the mechanical shutter reduce the split white frames that comes along with rolling shutters on digital sensors? We are thinking of playing with strobes and curious if it gives you half frame flashes of white.

Thanks.

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Eric Lin
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#9 CSmith

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:02 PM

That spot looks great! So just to confirm you shot 2x anamorphic output to SxS cards and just cropped it in post to get 2.35?

We're also thinking that is the way to go.

Did you shoot Alexa Plus or the Studio? Were you able to monitor an unsqueezed 2.35 image on set?

Thanks for sharing!

Best,
Eric Lin
NYC
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Hi Eric. No Plus or Studio. Good ol' EV. We used 2x Anamorphics and set the Desqueeze setting on set to the "2x plus zoom" option in the camera so that it showed us what 2.39:1 would be like. Then in Resolve for post production change the 'y' to .5 (to make up for the 2x squeeze) then scale up the image globally a little to match the 2:39 letterbox. So nothing is being cropped over. Just scaled up slightly as the 2x unsqueeze makes an aspect ratio longer than 2:39.

edit: but to be clear even though it's a "normal" Alexa, I have the desqueeze and high speed licenses in it and used the de-squeeze for set monitoring.

Edited by CSmith, 07 May 2012 - 08:05 PM.

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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:11 PM

Hi Eric. No Plus or Studio. Good ol' EV. We used 2x Anamorphics and set the Desqueeze setting on set to the "2x plus zoom" option in the camera so that it showed us what 2.39:1 would be like. Then in Resolve for post production change the 'y' to .5 (to make up for the 2x squeeze) then scale up the image globally a little to match the 2:39 letterbox. So nothing is being cropped over. Just scaled up slightly as the 2x unsqueeze makes an aspect ratio longer than 2:39.


Sure you are cropping -- you have a 2X squeeze on a 16x9 (1.78 : 1) recording, which gives you a 3.56 : 1 image once unsqueezed, so you have to lop off the sides to get back to 2.39 : 1 (by enlarging the image so that the height matches the 2.39 frame lines and the sides are lost). That's cropping.
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#11 Eric Lin

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:27 PM

Thanks for sharing CSmith. Great to know!

E.
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#12 Oliver Temmler

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:46 AM

[…] Does anyone have experience shooting with strobe lights with the mechanical shutter? Does the mechanical shutter reduce the split white frames that comes along with rolling shutters on digital sensors? […]


Hi Eric,
the mechanical shutter acts as global shutter on the ALEXA Studio. It eliminates the partial exposure/split white frames effect rather than just reduce the effect.

Also, you can find the information about when ARRI is planning to provide ProRes 2K 4:3 on the front page, where it says "ALEXA tomorrow, A roadmap of ALEXA software updates to come in 2012". You could also go to www.arri.com/alexa if you just want information on what's new about ALEXA.

Cheers
Oliver
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#13 Oliver Temmler

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:51 AM

…ARRI even used shots from it on their NAB reel.…


Because it looks awesome!
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