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Analytical breakdown of DI or Telecine process w digital or film source footage


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#1 Stelios Contos

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 04:49 PM

Hey all,

 

I wanted to know if anyone has found a site that gives literature breakdown as well as footage that shows the DI or Telecine process's? 

 

Also, are film "Blow Ups" [E.G for IMAX] done in the DI or Telecine stage? And could someone expand on Film Blowups and when/how they are used?

 

My 3rd questions is partially tailored for a film section topic but: Generally speaking, whats the better option when shooting 4-perf 35mm, 16mm film or digital super 35mm sensor for a production company intended for DCP release(theater release if thats correct) with a final aspect ratio of 2.35? If the production company wanted to save money, would the principal photography process benefit from shooting w anamorphic lenses or just do the cropping and ratio changes @ the end? 

 

Easier said: What are the resolution, sharpness, grain, etc gains or losses when using anamorphic lenses v. spherical lenses on 4-perf 35mm, 16mm or S35mm digital sensors? 

Also, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea behind the cost associated with shooting with one film size & the final released aspect ratio (I.E The cutting of the film) that suits the story at-hand.

 

Thanks.

 

Hope that make sense.

 

Sites, video links, charts are all helpful.

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 06:36 PM

If resolution is the only consideration, then shooting with 2x anamorphic lenses, either onto 4 perf 35mm or a 1.33.1 digital sensor is the best bet. It used to be said that using sharper spherical lenses when cropping Super35 to 2.40:1 offset the increased resolution of anamorphic 35, but with a new generation of modern anamorphic lenses that's probably less true. It would also depend on what camera you are using. Cropping a RED Dragon at 6k is different to cropping an Alexa at 2K

 

You could shoot with 1.33x anamorphics on a 16:9 sensor, which would allow you to use just about any modern digital cinema camera with a PL mount, but you'd be losing most of the artifacts that make anamorphic so appealing, like oval bokeh and flares, and 1.33x lenses are expensive and much rarer than 2x anamorphics.

 

Cropping s16mm to 2.40:1 results in a very small negative, and a lot more grain when blown up.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:02 PM

Today we don't use the DI process because nobody prints back to film.

Films are scanned to digital and from that point on, they are digital.

Blow-up's are the increasing of an image to fill a greater resolution. With film, 35mm would be blowed up to lets say IMAX 15/70 or standard 5/70. But with digital, there are only TWO theatrical resolutions; 2k and 4k. Since almost all movies are shot and/or scanned at 4k and presented in the same or less resolution, the whole verbiage of blow-up doesn't matter anymore. Even IMAX films today presented at science museums are generally shot in 4k digital and scanned back to film in 4k. So you aren't "blowing" up anything, you're simply taking 4k and scanning it to film.

For wide-screen (2.39:1) movies on film, there are five ways to go; S16 with 1.3x anamorphic lenses, 2 perf (2.39:1 with spherical lenses), 3 perf with spherical and cropped OR 1.3x anamorphic lenses (2.66:1 and you crop the sides) and 4 perf with 2x anamorphic lenses to get 2.40:1.

2 perf is a great format if you use the finer grain stocks, it looks pretty good.
3 perf anamorphic (1.3x) has less distortion then 4 perf (2x) and the lenses CAN BE faster.
4 perf anamorphic (2x) yields the highest resolution, but it also uses the most film AND has slower/more distorting lenses.

With digital, you can use the same process. Either crop the imager top and bottom with spherical lenses (2 perf). You can use 1.3x anamorphic lenses on digital cameras with a native 1.75:1 aspect ratio. Or you can use 2x anamorphic lenses with square 1.33:1 imagers. The same issues with glass remain however, 1.3x will be a cleaner/faster lens then a 2x.

If I was to shoot a film today that was going to be digital distribution only, I would absolutely contemplate S16 1.3x anamorphic and 3 perf and 2 perf 35mm with no anamorphic, just crop. I'd focus on finer grain stocks and lighting properly to compensate. For anything that MAY go to film print, it's a no brainer to shoot 4 perf 2x anamorphic. Yes, you can do a 1:1 (1.67:1) blow up from S16 to 35mm with a slight matte. It's kind of expensive, looks great, but doesn't get you the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The problem is, 4 perf 35mm with anamorphic is very expensive. This is why a lot of people shoot 3 and 2 perf with a crop, it's SOOOO much cheaper. Nobody is going to give you anamorphic lenses for free, but 16mm and 35mm bodies can be found pretty easily for great deals.

If you do the math, you'll find S16 and 2 perf 35mm with a digital finish, to be very similar in cost to Alexa 4k from the point of view of camera rental, extra hardware needed for set, the coloring process and long-term storage. Obviously if you shoot with a friends camera for free and somehow have a cheap/free colorist, it doesn't matter. But if you want good color, if you want the very best camera's, digital is nearly the same price of film. Anamorphic lens rental will triple the lens rental budget and 4 perf is double the pricing from purchasing stock through finishing. So when you sit down to do the math, to make a movie on motion picture film and do a digital only finish, 4 perf kinda goes out the window budget wise. If you do a photochemical finish only, it's BETTER... but still nowhere near the price of S16 and 2 perf 35mm with digital finish.
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:16 PM

The same issues with glass remain however, 1.3x will be a cleaner/faster lens then a 2x.
 

Hawk 1.33 Anamorphics, which are pretty much the only professional lenses of their type, are T2.3, which is the same as the Hawk 2x, and the new Cooke 2x, and slower than the ARRI Master anamorphics which are T1.9, and Panavision Primos which are a T2.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:29 PM

Sure, but you can't use 2x anamorphic's wide open, they're very/super soft. The 1.3x Hawks can be run wide open no problem.
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:34 PM

Sure, but you can't use 2x anamorphic's wide open, they're very/super soft. The 1.3x Hawks can be run wide open no problem.

Sorry Tyler, but you're going to have to back that up with some evidence. It may be true that older anamorphics don't perform well wide open, but these lenses, particularly the Cookes and Masters are brand new designs.


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#7 Giray Izcan

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:46 PM

I worked on a tequila commercial a few months back with anamorphic masters. We shot wide open with absolutely no barrel distortion or any other artifact. I was blown away by its sharpness and lack of 'character' wide open.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:54 PM

Aye the newer anamorphics from Zeiss and Cooke can pretty well be done WFO, however i think it's a strange situation where you have the buy, essentially, an anamorphic fx filter kit to throw into the lens (zeiss).

 

That said, they're some pretty fantastic glass.

 

The biggest issue you'll have WFO on ANA or any lens, really, becomes focus-- moreso with ANA than anything spherical, so while you may not have the lens "character" WFO you'll certainly want to give your pullers a fighting chance by getting them to something like a 4/5.6 -- which honestly on a base 800ISO camera (digital) or 500T (FIlm) that's not a super difficult proposition.


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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 07:55 PM

Sorry Tyler, but you're going to have to back that up with some evidence. It may be true that older anamorphics don't perform well wide open, but these lenses, particularly the Cookes and Masters are brand new designs.


Sorry, I haven't used the BRAND NEW 2X anamorphic's.

I just know from my experience with older 2x anamorphic's, the lenses were very soft wide open, where the older 1.3x one's weren't. I like running stuff all the way open and to me that was a huge pro with the 1.3x anamorphic's.
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#10 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:21 PM

I like running stuff all the way open and to me that was a huge pro with the 1.3x anamorphic's.

Shooting anamorphics wide open sometimes means that the DoF doesn't cover the field curvature, leading to soft edges in the frame. That's why a lot of anamorphic photography is done at a f4 or greater.


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:25 PM

Shooting anamorphics wide open sometimes means that the DoF doesn't cover the field curvature, leading to soft edges in the frame. That's why a lot of anamorphic photography is done at a f4 or greater.


That's right and the 1.3's don't have that problem, especially the Hawks. I'm no expert, I've just used both and that's what I've experienced. I absolutely love the 1.3x Hawks, but they're $5000/day to rent! OUCH!
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#12 Stelios Contos

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:38 PM

If resolution is the only consideration, then shooting with 2x anamorphic lenses, either onto 4 perf 35mm or a 1.33.1 digital sensor is the best bet. It used to be said that using sharper spherical lenses when cropping Super35 to 2.40:1 offset the increased resolution of anamorphic 35, but with a new generation of modern anamorphic lenses that's probably less true. It would also depend on what camera you are using. Cropping a RED Dragon at 6k is different to cropping an Alexa at 2K

 

You could shoot with 1.33x anamorphics on a 16:9 sensor, which would allow you to use just about any modern digital cinema camera with a PL mount, but you'd be losing most of the artifacts that make anamorphic so appealing, like oval bokeh and flares, and 1.33x lenses are expensive and much rarer than 2x anamorphics.

 

Cropping s16mm to 2.40:1 results in a very small negative, and a lot more grain when blown up.

 

Stuart, thanks for that knowledge. I've seen anamorphic lenses but never applied to the camera. Does the lens slit-appeared interworking face vertical (if looking through the lens from the front) or horizontally? I ask because I'm trying to understand the loss/waste of film stock when the anamorphic lens does the squeezing of the image during production & the un-squeezing later on... depending on the film format I would assume.

When I hear discussions from people that have experience working in such production I'm trying to cross-reference the data of the film area and how the numbers work out.


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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:51 PM

For 2.39:1 widescreen:

There is no waste/loss when shooting 4 perf anamorphic.

There is is only a tiny bit of waste/loss shooting 3 perf 1.3x anamorphic. (2.66:1 - 2.39:1 crop)

There is no waste/loss when shooting spherical 2 perf.

There is no waste/loss when shooting S16 1.3x anamorphic.

The only loss would be "CROPPING" any given format.
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#14 Stelios Contos

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:52 PM

Today we don't use the DI process because nobody prints back to film.

Films are scanned to digital and from that point on, they are digital.

Blow-up's are the increasing of an image to fill a greater resolution. With film, 35mm would be blowed up to lets say IMAX 15/70 or standard 5/70. But with digital, there are only TWO theatrical resolutions; 2k and 4k. Since almost all movies are shot and/or scanned at 4k and presented in the same or less resolution, the whole verbiage of blow-up doesn't matter anymore. Even IMAX films today presented at science museums are generally shot in 4k digital and scanned back to film in 4k. So you aren't "blowing" up anything, you're simply taking 4k and scanning it to film.

For wide-screen (2.39:1) movies on film, there are five ways to go; S16 with 1.3x anamorphic lenses, 2 perf (2.39:1 with spherical lenses), 3 perf with spherical and cropped OR 1.3x anamorphic lenses (2.66:1 and you crop the sides) and 4 perf with 2x anamorphic lenses to get 2.40:1.

2 perf is a great format if you use the finer grain stocks, it looks pretty good.
3 perf anamorphic (1.3x) has less distortion then 4 perf (2x) and the lenses CAN BE faster.
4 perf anamorphic (2x) yields the highest resolution, but it also uses the most film AND has slower/more distorting lenses.

With digital, you can use the same process. Either crop the imager top and bottom with spherical lenses (2 perf). You can use 1.3x anamorphic lenses on digital cameras with a native 1.75:1 aspect ratio. Or you can use 2x anamorphic lenses with square 1.33:1 imagers. The same issues with glass remain however, 1.3x will be a cleaner/faster lens then a 2x.

If I was to shoot a film today that was going to be digital distribution only, I would absolutely contemplate S16 1.3x anamorphic and 3 perf and 2 perf 35mm with no anamorphic, just crop. I'd focus on finer grain stocks and lighting properly to compensate. For anything that MAY go to film print, it's a no brainer to shoot 4 perf 2x anamorphic. Yes, you can do a 1:1 (1.67:1) blow up from S16 to 35mm with a slight matte. It's kind of expensive, looks great, but doesn't get you the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The problem is, 4 perf 35mm with anamorphic is very expensive. This is why a lot of people shoot 3 and 2 perf with a crop, it's SOOOO much cheaper. Nobody is going to give you anamorphic lenses for free, but 16mm and 35mm bodies can be found pretty easily for great deals.

If you do the math, you'll find S16 and 2 perf 35mm with a digital finish, to be very similar in cost to Alexa 4k from the point of view of camera rental, extra hardware needed for set, the coloring process and long-term storage. Obviously if you shoot with a friends camera for free and somehow have a cheap/free colorist, it doesn't matter. But if you want good color, if you want the very best camera's, digital is nearly the same price of film. Anamorphic lens rental will triple the lens rental budget and 4 perf is double the pricing from purchasing stock through finishing. So when you sit down to do the math, to make a movie on motion picture film and do a digital only finish, 4 perf kinda goes out the window budget wise. If you do a photochemical finish only, it's BETTER... but still nowhere near the price of S16 and 2 perf 35mm with digital finish.

So, Tyler. 

Depending on what film size & perforation as well as lens like 1.3 anamorphic, 2x anamorphic and other combinations you can have different results on a film? 

Could you explain what the different anamorphic lens magnifications on various film sizes means, I don't really understand that. Thats is, if how I explained the anamorphic question right. I definitely understand the price breakdown that you described when contemplating finishes with S16, 2 perf35mm or 4 perf.

 

P.s I meant 2.40 in my original post, but y'all knew.


Edited by Stelios Contos, 27 May 2016 - 08:53 PM.

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#15 Stelios Contos

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 08:57 PM

Aye the newer anamorphics from Zeiss and Cooke can pretty well be done WFO, however i think it's a strange situation where you have the buy, essentially, an anamorphic fx filter kit to throw into the lens (zeiss).

 

That said, they're some pretty fantastic glass.

 

The biggest issue you'll have WFO on ANA or any lens, really, becomes focus-- moreso with ANA than anything spherical, so while you may not have the lens "character" WFO you'll certainly want to give your pullers a fighting chance by getting them to something like a 4/5.6 -- which honestly on a base 800ISO camera (digital) or 500T (FIlm) that's not a super difficult proposition.

Adrian, whats WFO & is ANA is anamorphic shortened?


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#16 Stelios Contos

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 09:03 PM

For 2.39:1 widescreen:

There is no waste/loss when shooting 4 perf anamorphic.

There is is only a tiny bit of waste/loss shooting 3 perf 1.3x anamorphic. (2.66:1 - 2.39:1 crop)

There is no waste/loss when shooting spherical 2 perf.

There is no waste/loss when shooting S16 1.3x anamorphic.

The only loss would be "CROPPING" any given format.

Is there no waste/loss when using 4 perf anamorphic because 4 perf 35mm is standard?

So when shooting on S16 (with its respective film size) with a 1.3x anamorphic lens w/o any cropping what happens as far aspect ratio? Is the 1.3x lens making or utilizing more of the film space than a spherical lens would??

Im rocking two ? marks now;I'm getting there!


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#17 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 09:08 PM

35mm and digital S35 imager cameras are 4x3 or 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

So with a 2x squeeze, the imager captures twice the width.

With a 1.33:1 aspect ratio frame size, you're talking about 2.39:1 aspect ratio.

With 16mm and HD digital cameras which are 16:9 or 1.75:1 aspect ratio (Super 16 is 1.67:1), 2x lenses would create a MUCH WIDER image then 2.39:1, so that would mean much more cropping on the sides. To remedy this issue, 1.3x anamorphic lenses were developed. These lenses work perfectly on that size imager, to deliver an almost perfect 2.39:1 aspect ratio.

Your budget would also include production right? 2 perf 35mm and S16mm are more then HALF the price then 4 perf anamorphic just for production. In post, you have less film to deal with, less money involved as well, so it's cheaper both in production and post.

I've done MANY S16 spherical budgets with a 10:1 ratio, they all come out the same, around $40k for everything from stock, processing and transfer. 2 perf 35mm is $50k. 3 perf 35mm is 70k. 4 perf is 90k. Then anything you shoot anamorphic, it's more money due to the lens expense. Spherical is A LOT cheaper!
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#18 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 09:11 PM

Is there no waste/loss when using 4 perf anamorphic because 4 perf 35mm is standard?


Because 2x anamorphic was made for the format from the ground up.

So when shooting on S16 (with its respective film size) with a 1.3x anamorphic lens w/o any cropping what happens as far aspect ratio?


It's 2.35:1 I believe.

Is the 1.3x lens making or utilizing more of the film space than a spherical lens would??


Nope, it squeezes the information onto the frame. You need to google search "anamorphic lenses" there are great reads.
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#19 Stelios Contos

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 09:44 PM

Because 2x anamorphic was made for the format from the ground up.


It's 2.35:1 I believe.


Nope, it squeezes the information onto the frame. You need to google search "anamorphic lenses" there are great reads.

 

Hotdam. Thanks Tyler & everyone else who decided to assist me.

You have some project page or something of your creations Tyler?


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#20 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 27 May 2016 - 09:52 PM

Yep ANA is shorthand for Anamorphic and WFO is Wide F***ing open (eg as wide as the lens goes).


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