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General grading / telecine question


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#1 Brenton Lee

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:06 AM

I'm currently tinkering with some footage I shot. I don't know much about the digital side of things, but i feel like the footage is just hell grainy or dotty. Grainer than any other samples online of the film I was using.

 

What I'm having trouble discerning is where 'film grain' ends and 'digital dots' starts.

 

I'll include some screen shots, one direct from the flat scan and one in a sad attempt to color it.

 

Arri SR2

Canon 8-64 Zoom
2 gate hairs

Kodak Vision 3 200T (some shots with 85 filter, some without)

2.5k Scan that comes as a flat Prores444 file. 

 

My question is:

What should I expect for clarity/quality from the telecine? Or would you consider this about standard for 200T? Bare in mind these are screen grabs from my computer, its not like youtube has compressed the files already.

 

Screen%20Shot%202017-05-31%20at%2010.40.

 

Screen%20Shot%202017-05-31%20at%2010.52.


Edited by Brenton Lee, 31 May 2017 - 08:10 AM.

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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 04:32 PM

That does seem pretty noisy and/or grainy for Super 16mm 200T.  As a reference, here's something I shot on 200T 7217 Vision2 stock in regular 16mm years ago, which still seems much cleaner: https://vimeo.com/20427663. Telecine'd in HD on a Spirit Datacine, which is a pretty old machine.

 

There are a number factors that could cause grainy or noisy footage - underexposed negative, old filmstock, overdevelopment (push processing), the scanner itself, and color grading.

 

The negative looks pretty well exposed based on the scan. What ASA did you rate the film at? Did you intentionally over/underexpose at all? While an underexposed negative will create grain in the shadows and mids on the film, an overexposed negative may create noise in the highlights of the scan due to the scanner's backlight struggling to get through a dense neg and expose the sensor. But we're not seeing that here.

How old was the film? Did you store it in the fridge or freezer? How long did you wait to get it processed after shooting? Was it subjected to extreme heat at any point prior to processing?

Was it processed normally or push/pulled?

Which scanning machine was the scan done on? Some emphasize grain more than others, others have less latitude which may increase noise. The first image you posted doesn't really look like Cineon Log to me, the red is too saturated and I would expect it to look flatter in contrast. If the scan was already graded, and then you pushed the saturation further, then that could create more noise.

 

Here's a 2K 35mm Log scan for comparison (please excuse the jpeg compression of the stills):

34631600610_d163f598c9_c.jpg

 

Corrected with only Contrast Curve and Saturation Boost:

34208295053_7985688f12_c.jpg

 

Color Corrected with Lift/Gamma/Gain:

34208295343_8b66469fe6_c.jpg

 

As for what to do now, since you're mostly seeing blue grain/noise in the shadows, you could try crushing the blue channel by pushing the shadows slightly toward yellow if you want to get rid of the noise.


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#3 Brenton Lee

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 08:29 PM

Man Satsuki, thanks so much for your response.

 

I think the film was pretty new, I don't suspect any mistreatment there. It was sent off to be processed within a few days.

 

As far as exposure goes, I went for the normal/correct exposure (taking in to account 85 or ND filters) - didn't rate it for pushing/pulling etc. 

 

I got it scanned in Australia but I'm currently on my way back to the USA and am considering getting it scanned elsewhere just for the comparison. Can you recommend anywhere that would do a scan for a humble 400' of film?


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 11:04 PM

Cinelab in MA does a good job scanning. Ask them to clean the negative ultrasonically first though, dust can be issue.
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#5 Chris Burke

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:28 AM

some great advice given here. If you are trying to get rid of the hairs in the gate, ask about an IR flash of at least the footage that needs it. THis will cost a bit more and adds the actual work of removing the hairs, but at least you will have the garbage matte so you can do it if you choose to. 


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#6 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:40 AM

some great advice given here. If you are trying to get rid of the hairs in the gate, ask about an IR flash of at least the footage that needs it. THis will cost a bit more and adds the actual work of removing the hairs, but at least you will have the garbage matte so you can do it if you choose to. 

 

IR flash won't do anything unless the hair is physically on the film, or stuck in the gate of the scanner. If it was in the camera gate, it's part of the picture, and IR won't do anything. An IR pass works by preventing light from hitting the film wherever there's physical stuff on the film. The result is a B/W map of that dust that some restoration software can use to target and remove dirt. But it only works on dust that's on the surface of the film when it runs through the scanner, or hairs in the scanner gate, etc. It won't do anything if there was hair in-camera. 


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