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projecting miniDV


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#1 Bill Totolo

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 01:08 PM

I have a little experimental film that I shot on miniDV that will be screening at the Arclight in Hollywood. Last year when I was in this film festival the projection of my miniDV to Digi beta looked terrible. I QC'ed the tape on calibrated monitors at my place of employment and everything looked great.

Is there any way to up-res the image captured on miniDV so it won't fall apart when projected? This piece has a lot more contrast to it than my project last year, which I feel is a large component to the illusion of sharpness. Last year's piece was very low con.

Can I bring this to a tape house and ask them to up-res to High Def, then make a digi beta dupe off that?

The end product needs to be a digi beta tape.

Thanks,
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#2 Sam Javor

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 01:21 PM

I would suggest going for the smaller screen the website says 40'-60' screens... IMHO nonHD DV shouldn't exceed 20'... preferably 2' :)
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#3 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 10:54 PM

Hey Bill
I've run into the same problem. It's just a matter of resolution and compression of DV. I don't know if it'd be worth going to HD and back. Going to HD is going to add a bunch of new interpolated resolution that's not there to begin with, then take it away when you go back to DigiBeta. Not to mention it's a pricey experiment.

It's hard to say because you didn't really mention specifically why the image is unacceptable. Can you provide more detail?

Keep in mind that you are used to seeing images on those screens that have a minimum of 4x the resolution of DV.
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#4 Bill Totolo

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 11:34 AM

Last year I shot my project on the Panasonic DVX100. I reduced the detail level to -6 and lifted the black level. So you can tell it was a very soft , low-con image to begin with.

There were other films screening before mine that were shot PAL; some that were shot progressive and most were very high key (sunny day ext's or night ext's with huge overhead lighting).

The thing that really annoyed me, beside the color shift from cyan to green, was a ghosting effect where there was a slight double image, if you know what I mean, that I can't account for. It wasn't present on any preview monitor.

This year I shot with the tiny Panasonic GS-120 (three chip handycam) in Cinema and soft skin modes. Soft Skin lowers the edge enhancement (near as I can tell) and cinema mode crops the image to 16:9 and appears to do some subtle voodoo to the frame rate giving it what some might call "film look. This frame rate conversion isn't as aggressive as Canon's "movie mode".

Thanks for your advice on not really pursuing HD to digibeta. That saves me time and money.

BTW, they don't fill up those 40' screens. They project a letterbox and crop within that. You end up with an image about 20' wide.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 12:33 PM

Digi-Beta is a very good SD format so there's not any reason to go from DV-to-HD-to-Digi-Beta. You're really limited by two things, one of which is in your control: the quality of the original and the quality of the SD video projector, many of which are truly awful in terms of contrast, which in turn affects perceived sharpness.
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#6 Jason Varner

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 02:45 PM

Hey Hey, if possible when you transfer to digibeta use a DVCAM deck with an SDI out that way you can transfer to digibeta and preserve the most data. If you use analog connections you're essentially converting the signal twice and you're going to lose information. As far as ghosting, was it only your movie or all of them? Ghosting is usually a byproduct of lo-res cabling or amplification of long runs of signal cable to the projector. Good Luck, Jason.
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#7 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 05:15 PM

for video/digital projection, i'd advise you don't add setup/7.5 ire to your submitted tape. i've seen some fairly nice-looking projection from dv/dvcam, so it's very likely to be the projector. they come in as many flavors and grades of quality as video cameras do, and just like with cameras, there can be a huge difference in image quality.

do you know what kind of projector it was?

one thing about projecting from dv/dvcam:
depending on the projector and deck and set up they have, the yucky color compression blocks of 4:1:1 might be showing up on the screen (though if they have their system set up correctly, this'll be remedied with a low pass filter). to be safe, you could try getting the dv dubbed to digibeta, but ask the dubhouse if they can run a low-pass filter on the U and V channels. or get a dub to betaSP (which i believe will lowpass filter it by default), but check to see if they can do that without adding setup/7.5 ire (which usually is set up to happen by default when dubbing to beta SP).

hope this helps,
jaan
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#8 Bill Totolo

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 07:55 PM

Last year I did add a 7.5 IRE lift to my image.

As far as ghosting, mine was the only piece that experienced this but they changed the settings before my film played. They projected the menu on the screen and fumbled between RGB, Component, Composite etc. I have no way of knowing what signal they ended up projecting.

I vented my frustration last year and made note of the projector but the name escapes me now. As I recall it was not a high end projector.

Jaan, that's very interesting re: the low-pass filter to the U and V channels. I've never heard or read anyone mentioning that before and I'll admit I don't know what that will be applying. Before I request that could you explain it in simple terms so I might have an idea of what to look for when I get the tape back?

Thanks
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#9 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 12:07 AM

hey bill. sorry for the delay in responding. i haven't set my thingee to subscribe or whatever.

if the ghosting was caused simply by a change in input connector, then your tape was probably coming in via composite... albeit a bad composite. but if it was from digibeta, then it'd be silly for them to not use component. oh well, who knows.

as for the low pass/4:1:1 thing... this is a very expansive issue. adam wilt probably explains it best: http://adamwilt.com/pix-sampling.html

and a general rule of thumb with 7.5 ire... if you are in the digital realm (minidv, digibeta, etc.), then do not add it. ever. it's only supposed to be added when being laid to an analog format like betasp or vhs. and if it's for projection, then don't add it, regardless of the format, digital or analog.

hope this helps,
jaan
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