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Difference between telecine and digitisation?

telecine scanning digitize digitisation film

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#1 James Ballard

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 09:28 PM

Hey guys,

 

Apologies if it's been covered already. I'm in talks with a post house here in Melbourne, Australia to get some 16mm film scanned to a 2K ProRes file so I can edit it. 

 

She is telling me that the telecine process is $450/hour then the 'digitisation' is an additional $250/hour. I was under the impression that telecine IS the digitisation of film? Am I wrong on this one? Is it a two stage process? If it is then what would be the point of doing a telecine without the aforementioned 'digitisation'?

 

Thanks again!


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 09:41 PM

In the days of videotape, there was always the cost of whatever you recorded the telecine signal onto -- digibeta, HDCAM-SR, etc. so I guess now they are just breaking down costs by what codec / file format you want for storage.
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#3 Freya Black

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:12 AM

It was stuff like this that killed film in many areas.

 

Basically the telecine goes to tape. Theres no reason for it to do so, it could go right to your digital format of choice but these places like to transfer to tape and then to digitise the tapes for an addtional charge. Obviously this isn't what the customer tends to want, especially these days, but for some reason film labs tend to be more about you working to their requirements rather than they working to yours.

 

Freya


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#4 David Cunningham

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:42 AM

Telecine is a bad idea these days anyhow...  It sounds like they have old equipment that records to a stream only so it must go to tape or an external video capture card/computer.

 

I'm not sure what other options are available in Australia.  But, film scanners are the way-to-go these days.  If you want the full information and full dynamic range you need something like the Arriscan or Director that uses a monochrome area sensor and red/green/blue LEDs to capture 3 separate images of each frame... The Arriscan and Director will even do 6 total flashes at 2 different exposures.  (The Arriscan also has an IR option for dust/scratch removal).  It slows the whole process down, but gives you good results.  Telecine CAN capture a decent image but it will technically never be as good as a full frame-by-frame capture AND HDR.  I've heard that the Scanity is a telecine/datacine that is just as good or better than an Arriscan.  But, Cinelicious in LA is the only company that I know who has one.

 

Telecine (which uses a line sensor) also has a very hard time dealing with any film imperfections.  If the film is warped, cracked, has bad splices or bad registration (jitter) it can confuse the telecine with odd results.

 

All that sad, in the states... telecine is usually a good solution especially if you just want to know what's on the film and to decide what footage you want scanned on a more expensive scanner.  It's faster and cheaper than scanning (usually) and does a decent job.  Once you narrow down (or edit your negatives) you can have it re-scanned on a scanner with all the bells and whistles for a full DI and/or archival scan.

 

For the price you are talking about, you should be able to find a good scanner like the Arriscan or Director.  That definitely sounds excessively expensive.


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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 04:10 PM

For comparison in the USA you can have a 1080P telecine done from 16mm for about $0.20/foot which is directly digitized to disk without a tape step.

 

There is, and has never been, any technical reason why the SDI video output from a Telecine and Color Corrector like a DaVinci 2K cannot be directly recorded to disk without any tape involved. I have transferred millions of feet of 8mm, 16mm and 35mm film to disk with our telecine including dailies for feature films which were then post scanned from EDLs generated from the direct to disk HD transfers and even negative cut from the transfers all without any trouble.

 

-Rob-


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#6 David Cunningham

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 07:27 PM

Speaking if monochrome area ccd scanners, the one at cinelab is excellent and very reasonably priced.
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#7 Will Montgomery

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 02:10 PM

Telecine is generally a "live" process that used to go to tape but many times goes directly to a video capture card now. The colorist would go through the film and mark scene ins and outs and adjust by the scene then rewind the film and lay it straight off to tape with the system making the color corrections that he stored as the film runs.

 

Sometimes the "digitalization" fee is taking a tape and capturing it but it could also be time needed to copy large files around. A few years ago I'd run into that type of fee every now and again as transfer houses figured out how to deal with the added machine time of moving giant files around. I think most companies in the U.S. now just suck it up as the cost of doing business and simply charge by the telecine machine running time, by the foot or by the colorist's man hours.

 

"Scanning" is a process on a different type of machine that doesn't necessarily go real-time; each frame is scanned from 15-40 fps and the raw data is then colored vs. having a telecine where the machine makes the exposure and color adjustments "live" as it's laid off to tape or capture card. Someone may have a better explanation; it gets confusing when something like a Spirit can be both a telecine and a scanner.

 

You colorists may have a better way of saying that.


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#8 Jeremy Cavanagh

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 06:21 PM

Hmmm, sounds like a cheap fare Melbourne to West Coast is in order, might save on the final bill from the quote by this Melbourne house as well. Otherwise what about Sydney?  BTW. What storage medium were you planning to use?


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#9 James Ballard

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:39 AM

Hmmm, sounds like a cheap fare Melbourne to West Coast is in order, might save on the final bill from the quote by this Melbourne house as well. Otherwise what about Sydney?  BTW. What storage medium were you planning to use?

 

The West Coast of.... America? I've actually been pricing sending the stock to FotoKem in Burbank. Could wind up being cheaper, including the shipping. Storage medium? Just onto a hard drive.


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