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35mm lab development telecine scan 2k 1k

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#1 Kaspar Kamu

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:04 PM

Hello colleagues,

 

I'm shooting my first film on 35mm in the of next month and I've been in contact with a lab in Stockholm about the developing and scanning. 

 

The quote they sent me, however, has left me a little puzzled - and instead of potentially making a fool out of myself with them I'll take my chances with you guys (ha). 

 

They want to charge me for 2 scans - 1k AND 2k. The lines in the quote are the following:

 

Scan 1K onelight 35mm 4perf 
Scan 2k EDL to dpx
 
Is it really necessary to have a total of two scans? Since skipping the 1K could potentially save us a substantial amount of money I'd just want to make sure. This particular lab is the only place left in Scandinavia for developing 35mm, so I doubt they're trying to rip me off. 
 
Thankful for any answers! 
 
Best,
Kaspar 

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#2 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:19 PM

it depends a lot of your shooting ratio which option is more practical: to do a best light (or technical grade) scan/telecine right away of all the material OR to first do a "preview quality offline scan" of all the material and then scan selects according to EDL after the edit is locked. 

 

I personally shoot with low shooting ratios so it is more practical for me to do "technical grade" scan of all of the material to prores444 and edit directly from that. I am working with shooting ratios of about 2.5:1 to 5:1, if you're shooting lots of dialogue scenes with for example 10:1 it is probably much cheaper to do the 1k onelight and scan selects to dpx after editing. 

 

the Stockholm lab is very high quality and you can ask quotes if processing more material at a time. 

Another great European lab is DeJonghe in Belgium, I have used them a lot recently. they have similar approach with scanning, onelight or lightly graded editorials with telecine and dpx scanning for the finished edit according to edl. 

 

I used DeJonghe for developing last year and transferred the films (35mm and some 16mm) to prores444 technical grade here in Finland in ReelOne Oy with Millennium2 scanner. as said I use very low shooting ratios and the current arrangement is the most practical for me but if you are shooting with high ratio it would probably be much cheaper to just edit the onelight transfer and then scan selects to dpx with proper scanner


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#3 Kaspar Kamu

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:47 PM

it depends a lot of your shooting ratio which option is more practical: to do a best light (or technical grade) scan/telecine right away of all the material OR to first do a "preview quality offline scan" of all the material and then scan selects according to EDL after the edit is locked. 

 

I personally shoot with low shooting ratios so it is more practical for me to do "technical grade" scan of all of the material to prores444 and edit directly from that. I am working with shooting ratios of about 2.5:1 to 5:1, if you're shooting lots of dialogue scenes with for example 10:1 it is probably much cheaper to do the 1k onelight and scan selects to dpx after editing. 

 

the Stockholm lab is very high quality and you can ask quotes if processing more material at a time. 

Another great European lab is DeJonghe in Belgium, I have used them a lot recently. they have similar approach with scanning, onelight or lightly graded editorials with telecine and dpx scanning for the finished edit according to edl. 

 

I used DeJonghe for developing last year and transferred the films (35mm and some 16mm) to prores444 technical grade here in Finland in ReelOne Oy with Millennium2 scanner. as said I use very low shooting ratios and the current arrangement is the most practical for me but if you are shooting with high ratio it would probably be much cheaper to just edit the onelight transfer and then scan selects to dpx with proper scanner

 

Aapo, thanks a bunch for your reply!

So; explaining it to myself as if i were a 5-year-old:

 

1. We send the lab our material, they develop it and scan it to 1K which they send back to us.

 

2. The editor locks an edit which we send to the lab.

 

3. From said edit, the lab scans the developed material to 2K based on the edit we sent them? 

 

Is this correct? Sorry, it's just that I'm a complete novice when it comes to shooting on film. 

 

And what do the abbreviations EDL and dpx stand for? 

Thanks again! 


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#4 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:18 PM

 

Aapo, thanks a bunch for your reply!

So; explaining it to myself as if i were a 5-year-old:

 

1. We send the lab our material, they develop it and scan it to 1K which they send back to us.

 

2. The editor locks an edit which we send to the lab.

 

3. From said edit, the lab scans the developed material to 2K based on the edit we sent them? 

 

Is this correct? Sorry, it's just that I'm a complete novice when it comes to shooting on film. 

 

And what do the abbreviations EDL and dpx stand for? 

Thanks again! 

 

yes, that is correct :)  

edl is for Edit Decision List (a software readable text file containing info of the edit points) and dpx is a standard file format for film scans. dpx scanning is normally quite expensive which is why only the material needed for the final movie is scanned in best quality to dpx. after developing the raw materials just get the most affordable basic telecine transfer so that the edit can be done affordably and when absolutely sure which frames are needed, then finally scanned in best available quality. 

 

if you are shooting very small amount of material (like under 1km or so of 35mm 4-perf)  it may be more practical to just transfer it all in reasonable quality to prores444 or proresxq or uncompressed quicktime and do your edit versions and final versions directly from that transfer (the transfer quality needs to be good of course and material needs to allow grading) . I tend to do "technical grade" transfers instead of full Best Light because I will grade everything properly later anyway and it is much more expensive to actually grade material in telecine rather than just correcting the too dark/too bright/ clipping/crushing shots in film transfer and leaving the other variances there to be corrected in final grading. it may necessitate for you being in the transfer session with the operator to guide which shots need more highlight correction and which need more detail to shadows etc. so that the operator can make quick adjustments to settings on the fly. it is not live grading though so you need to know which shots you can grade to the desired look afterwards without adjusting scanner/telecine settings for that specific shot and which need to be corrected in film transfer so that you don't miss the critical parts of detail from the negative


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:21 PM

EDL stands for Edit Decision List, basically a list of time codes where cuts begin and end.  Ideally you'd use something like Cinema Tools in editing so that the EDL also listed camera negative keycode information as well.  

 

DPX stands for Digital Picture Exchange, it's a file format for scanned frames.

 

There are many variation in doing a digital workflow for something shot on film, it's partly a question of cost and what your end format will be.  For example, you could get your developed negative scanned to 2K DPX files (which are uncompressed RGB files, usually in 10-bit Cineon Log gamma) from the start, then either edit in 2K ProRes or 1080P ProRes or whatever format you want to edit in, generate an EDL, then go back and conform your 2K DPX files to match you offline edit, finish with a 2K master, make whatever other masters you need from that.

 

You could telecine your film footage to a cheaper video codec or something like 1080P ProRes, do an offline edit of that, and from your EDL, go back and scan selected sections off the the camera roll at 2K or 4K.

 

There are many more variations.


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#6 aapo lettinen

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:32 PM

here is what I normally want to have when transferring to prores: a somewhat flat scan with shadows or highlights corrected when needed (if they would clip and the look requires saving either them) but color cast etc. easily correctable stuff can pass on uncorrected during transfer if I can easily correct it afterwards in grading. this is only how I normally do transfers, for different project with different stock and film amounts and shooting ratio another way might be much better

 

 

 

 


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:43 PM

If the transfer is ONLY for offline editing, then they might as well get something close to normal Rec.709 gamma, color -- seems a pain to have to personally grade all of one's dailies just for editing when you're going to re-scan and color-correct again from scratch.

 

If the transfer will be used to make a color-corrected master, then yes, a flat log scan would be best and then you can make a set of dailies with a Rec.709 LUT applied.

 

If the transfer is for some personal project where you plan on doing minimal corrections yourself on a home computer to something mostly correct, then it makes sense to ask for something close to normal Rec.709 but a little lower in contrast so that nothing is crushed or clipped.


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#8 Kaspar Kamu

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 06:46 AM

 

yes, that is correct :)

edl is for Edit Decision List (a software readable text file containing info of the edit points) and dpx is a standard file format for film scans. dpx scanning is normally quite expensive which is why only the material needed for the final movie is scanned in best quality to dpx. after developing the raw materials just get the most affordable basic telecine transfer so that the edit can be done affordably and when absolutely sure which frames are needed, then finally scanned in best available quality. 

 

if you are shooting very small amount of material (like under 1km or so of 35mm 4-perf)  it may be more practical to just transfer it all in reasonable quality to prores444 or proresxq or uncompressed quicktime and do your edit versions and final versions directly from that transfer (the transfer quality needs to be good of course and material needs to allow grading) . I tend to do "technical grade" transfers instead of full Best Light because I will grade everything properly later anyway and it is much more expensive to actually grade material in telecine rather than just correcting the too dark/too bright/ clipping/crushing shots in film transfer and leaving the other variances there to be corrected in final grading. it may necessitate for you being in the transfer session with the operator to guide which shots need more highlight correction and which need more detail to shadows etc. so that the operator can make quick adjustments to settings on the fly. it is not live grading though so you need to know which shots you can grade to the desired look afterwards without adjusting scanner/telecine settings for that specific shot and which need to be corrected in film transfer so that you don't miss the critical parts of detail from the negative

 

Thanks for your help, Aapo! 

 

I think the quote we got from Focus Film is very reasonable for the two scans, so I think we're going to go with the option they laid out to us. The 2K scan to dpx itself (for a 7 minute film) costs over 700 €, so I can only imagine (and quiver) at the thought of what it would cost for the entire batch of raw footage. 

 

Is there anything else I should make the editor aware of when exporting the EDL? We're all very new to this kind of jazz and feeling a little bit anxious! 

 

 

If the transfer is ONLY for offline editing, then they might as well get something close to normal Rec.709 gamma, color -- seems a pain to have to personally grade all of one's dailies just for editing when you're going to re-scan and color-correct again from scratch.

 

If the transfer will be used to make a color-corrected master, then yes, a flat log scan would be best and then you can make a set of dailies with a Rec.709 LUT applied.

 

If the transfer is for some personal project where you plan on doing minimal corrections yourself on a home computer to something mostly correct, then it makes sense to ask for something close to normal Rec.709 but a little lower in contrast so that nothing is crushed or clipped.

Thanks for your very useful input, David! 


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#9 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:45 PM

What is a 1K scan?? Isn't that basically standard definition?
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:56 PM

Do some searching about using Cinema Tools and generating an EDL with a keycode list -- for example:

 

https://documentatio...on=2&tasks=true

https://forums.creat...hread/8/1079837

http://www.lafcpug.o...1,270536,270541

 

Talk to your D.I. facility too about what they need from you.

 

I haven't really heard of a 1K scan before, usually below 2K, you are in the realm of telecine transfers to video formats like 720 x 480 (NTSC) or 1920 x 1080 HDTV or the less common 1280 x 720 HDTV (the closest thing that comes to "1K").


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#11 Chris Burke

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:56 AM

How much film are you shooting? For a 7 minute film, I would scan at 4k to ProRes4444, edit with hd proxies. At least you will have a 4k file you could online with, if need be. 1k?? Forget it. 2k is now often considered offline for 35mm.
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#12 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:32 PM

I haven't really heard of a 1K scan before, usually below 2K, you are in the realm of telecine transfers to video formats like 720 x 480 (NTSC) or 1920 x 1080 HDTV or the less common 1280 x 720 HDTV (the closest thing that comes to "1K").

 

I've only heard this from scanner manufacturers, on machines that have fixed camera positions, relative to the film. So smaller gauges would be a crop of the sensor, kind of the way the Blackmagic Scanner or some others do it. In those cases, the really small gauges are referred to as "1k" but only by the engineers and marketing people for the manufacturers of these things, not by the people in the industry actually using them. 


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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:47 PM

A lot of people wrongly call 1080p (1k) I hear it around these parts a lot.
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#14 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:56 PM

We used to telecine 16mm to 'anamorphic' 16:9, by stretching the 4:3 (720x576) image to 1024x576.  That could be called 1k, i guess, although it seems in this case that it is just a loose term for "less than HD".


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