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Any advices on first time 35mm D.I.?


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#1 Nojus Drasutis

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:08 PM

Hello,

It's my first project on 35mm film, and I'm not really sure how to handle the D.I. process correctly.

We have only one D.I. machine in Lithuania - And it's in our Archival Center, bought using european funds.

The thing is that people working with machine are not capable of handling this task (It's not just my opinion, lot of DOPs are complaining about it). You cannot sit and watch when they do the scan because "they have a lot of work" I did a scan for fist two days of our short films reels for teaser, and result turned out to be a bit strange, as you can see here:

keep in mind that I shot on 10 year old Kodak Vision 2 5205 250D film stock. Exposed it at 50ASA and pushed 1 stop, as advised by lab in Poland where i sent the film for a test.

Because I'm new to D.I., I cannot say if it's really crappy, or it's o.k. for old film stock? I had a really big problem in that one shot, because it was a bit unexposed in camera, But the blacks are just all over with noise.

Also, the sky is blown out, I thought that film handles whites better (when I metered it, it was in range, I think)

I'd like to hear any opinions and advice.

Thanks

nojusdra.com


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:36 PM

Yes, classic blown highlights and no shadows.. It looks like they've tried to pull them down afterwards because you can get that pink tint in digital imaging- Lightroom or Photoshop.

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#3 Michael Rodin

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:00 PM

Looks like they haven't set up the scan so that the mask is removed, and tried to subtract it afterwards in software.

 

Highlights won't get blown so easily on low-con film like Kodak V2, even pushed a stop. But pushing does decrease latitude. Combined with overexposure (the lab must've been playing on the safe side with EI 50) it could give you very dense highlights that are problematic even for an HDR scanner.  I'd skip pushing and just ovexpose. A push might have been needed for printing, to have normal contrast on the positive, but it also increases fog, which's already high on 10-year film.


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#4 Nojus Drasutis

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:13 PM

Is it worth doing a Telecine in Poland with professionals, would it be an better (dynamic range, noise)? we can't afford D.I. abroad.

 

BTW, frames were unstable, looked like they were shot on camera with no registration pins (even tho the camera itself is stable) Is it possible that they misaligned the  registration pins in D.I. process? I stabilized the footage in post.

sorry for my strange explanation I don't know exact words in English for that

 

thanks


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#5 Michael Rodin

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 02:45 PM

Since it's an archive, they're likely using a non-pin registered machine, maybe with optical registration that they haven't set up to be stable as they're post stabilizing their footage anyway.

 

Any high-end telecine operated by a pro will output a better image. Cinelab Digital in Moscow have an Arriscan which's always been properly calibrated. Shouldn't be much more than a telecine with a discount.


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#6 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 04:12 PM

Honestly, it doesn't look like there is any problem in the scan, though the grading definitely needs help. (bear in mind that it's hard to check some things on a Vimeo or YouTube link, but overall it looks like a pretty good start). 

 

Do you know what kind of scanner they used?  Can you post some of the footage pre-stabilization? if it was scanned so that you can see the perfs, or even some of the perfs, that's even better because it can help to diagnose any problems. 

 

Optical pin registration is as accurate, if not more accurate, as a mechanical pin. Some scanners might require manual calibration, but machines like our Lasergraphics scanner do not - there's nothing to do but turn registration on or off, and it's dead accurate. We've run hundreds of millions of frames of film through our scanner and unless there are a lot of broken perfs, damaged film or other unusual issues, registration is typically rock solid. 

 

If you want a quote on a scan, PM me - though shipping 35mm film to the US may be prohibitively expensive from/to Lithuania. 


Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 12 December 2017 - 04:19 PM.

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#7 aapo lettinen

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 05:49 PM

if you want to try different options, I think there is still Arriscans at the MediaMonks in Stockholm (Stockholm Post Production, "STOPP" ) . 

And Dirk Dejonghe does 3k scans with custom built pin reg scanner in Belgium. 

There is even possibilities for high quality telecine or scan here in Finland (Reel One has a Millenium2 which is capable of 4k transfers if using external recorder, the standard setup is 444 hd prores. There is one Spirit HD telecine, I think at YLE, with very good operator. And the National Film Archive, KAVI, has a 4K Scanity which is setup for dpx workflow and the operators are used to handle damaged material if needed. ) 

 

Michael mentioned the Cinelab option, and there should be some options in UK and France I think. 

And the USA option as well if shipping is not a problem.

 

Europe may be a bit expensive but you just need to ask around. 

I don't know about Poland, is there any good labs there which have proper telecine/scanning options? 


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#8 Nojus Drasutis

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 05:56 PM

Thanks guys!

 

Honestly, it doesn't look like there is any problem in the scan, though the grading definitely needs help. (bear in mind that it's hard to check some things on a Vimeo or YouTube link, but overall it looks like a pretty good start). 

 

Do you know what kind of scanner they used?  Can you post some of the footage pre-stabilization? if it was scanned so that you can see the perfs, or even some of the perfs, that's even better because it can help to diagnose any problems. 

 

Optical pin registration is as accurate, if not more accurate, as a mechanical pin. Some scanners might require manual calibration, but machines like our Lasergraphics scanner do not - there's nothing to do but turn registration on or off, and it's dead accurate. We've run hundreds of millions of frames of film through our scanner and unless there are a lot of broken perfs, damaged film or other unusual issues, registration is typically rock solid. 

 

If you want a quote on a scan, PM me - though shipping 35mm film to the US may be prohibitively expensive from/to Lithuania. 

They used ARRISCAN 3K. It's impossible to see the perfs

here's an example of pre-stabilized footage:

(shot with 1.33 GG, open gate, so there's a bit of mattebox in the left side.)

As far as I know, They scan it on auto mode, and do not change any properties


Edited by Nojus Drasutis, 12 December 2017 - 06:06 PM.

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#9 Nojus Drasutis

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:05 PM

if you want to try different options, I think there is still Arriscans at the MediaMonks in Stockholm (Stockholm Post Production, "STOPP" ) . 

And Dirk Dejonghe does 3k scans with custom built pin reg scanner in Belgium. 

There is even possibilities for high quality telecine or scan here in Finland (Reel One has a Millenium2 which is capable of 4k transfers if using external recorder, the standard setup is 444 hd prores. There is one Spirit HD telecine, I think at YLE, with very good operator. And the National Film Archive, KAVI, has a 4K Scanity which is setup for dpx workflow and the operators are used to handle damaged material if needed. ) 

 

Michael mentioned the Cinelab option, and there should be some options in UK and France I think. 

And the USA option as well if shipping is not a problem.

 

Europe may be a bit expensive but you just need to ask around. 

I don't know about Poland, is there any good labs there which have proper telecine/scanning options? 

 

 

 

 

I just wrote an email to a lab I sent my film to be developed, It's in Warsaw, Poland. They have some kind of telecine, I'll report when I'll have the answer myself


Edited by Nojus Drasutis, 12 December 2017 - 06:06 PM.

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#10 aapo lettinen

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:39 PM

seems that they changed the film lab to Focus Film but it should still be running in Stockholm

if you want to try different options, I think there is still Arriscans at the MediaMonks in Stockholm (Stockholm Post Production, "STOPP" ) 


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#11 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:18 AM

Can you post a link to the video that shows the frame lines? for some reason the usual vimeo controls aren't appearing and I can't look at it large enough to see what's going on. 

 

The color in the sky is definitely weird, and suggests that something wasn't set correctly in the scan, but it does seem like something you could work with in tools like Resolve. It should be easy enough to adjust the highlights to get that pink/magenta tint out of there.


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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 02:20 PM

What camera was this shot on?
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#13 Michael Rodin

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:35 PM

Can you post a link to the video that shows the frame lines? for some reason the usual vimeo controls aren't appearing and I can't look at it large enough to see what's going on. 

 

The color in the sky is definitely weird, and suggests that something wasn't set correctly in the scan, but it does seem like something you could work with in tools like Resolve. It should be easy enough to adjust the highlights to get that pink/magenta tint out of there.

By the way. How is color neg's orange mask removed in scanning, on Arriscan, for example? Is it some hardware color matrix, software LUT? As far as I remember, you had to calibrate the scanner for the film stock, and that included masking, but I could've mixed up.


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#14 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 03:43 PM

By the way. How is color neg's orange mask removed in scanning, on Arriscan, for example? Is it some hardware color matrix, software LUT? As far as I remember, you had to calibrate the scanner for the film stock, and that included masking, but I could've mixed up.

 

Depends on the scanner. On our Northlight, there's a physical filter between the light source and the film. On our Lasergraphics scanner it's done by adjusting the color of the LED light source directly, I believe. It could just as easily be done with white light and some manipulation digitally, though. 

 

I don't know how the Arriscan does it, but because it has an LED light source, I'd imagine it's either in software or in an adjustment to the color of the light, since those are significantly easier than engineering a filter change mechanism into the system. 


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#15 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:46 PM

Arriscan does a base calibration similar to the Scan Station with it's RGB LED but it is a true RGB scanner with a monochrome CMOS sensor.


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#16 Nojus Drasutis

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 05:20 AM

What camera was this shot on?

Tyler, This was shot on Moviecam SL

 

Can you post a link to the video that shows the frame lines? for some reason the usual vimeo controls aren't appearing and I can't look at it large enough to see what's going on. 

 

The color in the sky is definitely weird, and suggests that something wasn't set correctly in the scan, but it does seem like something you could work with in tools like Resolve. It should be easy enough to adjust the highlights to get that pink/magenta tint out of there.

Perry, I don't know, If I understood you right, but here's desqueezed version with actual framelines:




Anyway, I'm not so concerned about the color - As all of you have pointed - It's easy to fix it. I'm more concerned about frame stability, dynamic range, and digital noise, witch you can definitely notice in every shot. Should I ask them to rescan the footage?


Edited by Nojus Drasutis, 15 December 2017 - 05:21 AM.

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#17 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:13 AM

The problem is that the video is showing up as this tiny thumbnail with no way to expand it to full frame. When I mouse over it I just get the play/pause button. Can you post just the link to the video on Vimeo? There there should be controls to expand it to something large. My screen is 2560 x 1440 so this is too small to actually see what's going on. See attached screen shot

 

-perry

Attached Images

  • Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 08.11.18 AM.png

Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 15 December 2017 - 08:15 AM.

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#18 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:23 AM

Nevermind - I found the link to the video in the page source for this page. it's https://player.vimeo...video/247458549

 

I just don't see "digital noise" in this (beyond compression that's likely introduced by Vimeo), but the vertical stability is pretty bad. However, without seeing the perforations, it's impossible to tell if that stability is from your camera or your scan. If you scan it and the perfs are perfectly in place, then the vertical stability issue is your camera. If the perfs are moving in the same way as the top and bottom edges, it's in the scan. 

 

Either way I'd raise this issue with the people who scanned it and ask if you can do a test to see. Use the same shot as this one if you can, so we can compare apples to apples. Ideally (and I don't know if the Arriscan can do this), a scan that shows at least some of the horizontal edges of the perfs would be best. 


Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 15 December 2017 - 08:24 AM.

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#19 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 04:05 PM

Arriscan is mechanical pin registration so I do not think the scan can see the perfs.


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#20 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 10:48 PM

Tyler, This was shot on Moviecam SL


What did the camera sound like running? Was it loud at all?

If your pitch isn't adjusted, it can give you an unstable image like this, but it would make one heck of a racket. The SL is a pretty quiet camera, but you'd be able to hear it.

I'm still not sold on it being a scanner issue.
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