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16mm (not S16) blow up to 35mm?


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#1 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 11:26 PM

Hi guys,

here i am again to ask what might appear to be a very silly question. I have Arri 16BL, serviced and ready to go on its 25fps crystal speed... it is a standard 16mm camera and a very rugged at that too... I am soon to be commencing the production with this camera, an independent feature film, and was wondering if it is possible at all to ever have it blown up to 35mm (should the film pick-up distribution)...

Thus far I have shot a test shoot with this camera, you can see it on my web site www.lavproductions.com under current projects... in the telecine they "zoomed" in on the image and made it S16... I never really thought it would be impossible to blow that up to 35mm till i spoke to a fellow today who told me I was crazy for considering it... See, I thought I shoot it standard 16, croping of the image in the telecine (i know i am loosing heaps of the image by doing this) and having it in S16 format as such. once the prelimiary cut is done, if the film is to be picked up by someone, they'd be able to blow it up? No?

So now i am confused, can this be done? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, if I can do this, what other suggestiosn would you have for me, other then shooting with slow stock for the sake of less grain?

The BL is hard to convert to S16 (from what i have read) and is never really that good. The budget of doing that would also be something i didnt really incorporate into this production, so it may not be an option for me...

Thanks very much in advance.
Regard,
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:06 AM

Sure you can blow-up regular 16mm to 35mm.

It's just a FRAMING issue since all 35mm projection in theaters nowadays is widescreen, so even if you blew-up your 4x3 16mm image to 4x3 35mm (1.37 Academy), it would THEN get cropped by the projector to 1.85 : 1.

So you have to shoot your regular 16mm footage composed with this cropping top & bottom in mind, hopefully by using 1.85 frameline marks in your groundglass.

The only difference between regular 16mm and Super-16 is that you use more of the Super-16 negative area for the final 1.85 image, so therefore it looks less grainy than cropping regular 16mm to 1.85.

This is different than the telecine issues you are talking about. I'm assuming you are talking about blowing up from the original 16mm negative to 35mm, not using your telecine transfer for anything other than offline editing in order to create an negative cut list.

Now one could, let's say, transfer regular 16mm to 16x9 HD, cropping the negative from 4x3 (1.33) to 16x9 (1.78) in the transfer, and then use this 16x9 HD master for transferring digitally to a 35mm negative.

Bottom line, no matter how you plan on doing the blow-up, you have to compose your regular 16mm images with some cropping top & bottom in mind.
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#3 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:31 AM

Hi David,

thanks very much for the extremely quick reply.

i was thinking of doing exactly that...shooting 16mm but keepin in mind the S16 frame size...1.85 frame line

In telecine I would transfer to tape as 16:9 (zooming in) but this would mereley be for the sake of the offline edit - or creating a negative cut list as you said. Obviously I would have to do this, so that i see what my image should look like when blown up from neg to 35mm... If I shoot in mind with 1.85:1 frame line, I wouldnt want to do the offline edit on 4x3 for who knows what might venture into that top or bottom part of the frame that we didnt see on the video assist or similar, having not worried about it... the offline cut could serve as a good look into what the finished product would look and I wouldnt want a boom in there somewhere :D

Should it pick up some money from any given source, i would blow it up to 35mm from the negative itself...

I was confident there would be no issues with this, other then the obvious fact I am cropping my image at the top and the bottom of the frame-but saving money on not converting the old BL, till I met up with a KODAK rep today who told me this is not doable... HE said that even blowing S16 to 35mm is not fantastic and doing a 16mm to 35mm is totaly not worth while....

Those were scary words as i just based my entire pre-pro around it

I had to turn to the forum, as this is a fantastic place to get some of these questions answered, that my collage just forgot to teach :D

Again, thanks David. I reckon I should be fine if I do exactly what you said, shoot with 1.85 frame line in mind and blow up from neg.

Any other advise on the shooting itself? I know slow stock is a better choice, as it has less grain - for blowing up emphasises the grain... but it also requires more lights, better budget for some HMIs.. I intialy wanted to use 7218 stock, but have been turned away from it towards the 200T instead.. What do you think? Should i be over exposing, crunching blacks, pushing stops, bypassing bleech or anything like that? I wish to have as clear of an image as possible and majority of the film will be shot under tungesten lights. I would like a contrasty picture, with good clean blacks... and am worried of what this blow up would do to it all...

Thanks!
Lav

PS. I have had D.E.B.S. on my list to rent for a long time now... I cant wait to watch it now that I actualy exchangged words with ya! Cheers mate.

Edited by lav, 26 September 2005 - 12:33 AM.

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#4 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:49 AM

Hi David,

thanks very much for the extremely quick reply.

i was thinking of doing exactly that...shooting 16mm but keepin in mind the S16 frame size...1.85 frame line

In telecine I would transfer to tape as 16:9 (zooming in) but this would mereley be for the sake of the offline edit - or creating a negative cut list as you said. Obviously I would have to do this, so that i see what my image should look like when blown up from neg to 35mm... If I shoot in mind with 1.85:1 frame line, I wouldnt want to do the offline edit on 4x3 for who knows what might venture into that top or bottom part of the frame that we didnt see on the video assist or similar, having not worried about it... the offline cut could serve as a good look into what the finished product would look and I wouldnt want a boom in there somewhere :D

Should it pick up some money from any given source, i would blow it up to 35mm from the negative itself... 

I was confident there would be no issues with this, other then the obvious fact I am cropping my image at the top and the bottom of the frame-but saving money on not converting the old BL, till I met up with a KODAK rep today who told me this is not doable... HE said that even blowing S16 to 35mm is not fantastic and doing a 16mm to 35mm is totaly not worth while....

Those were scary words as i just based my entire pre-pro around it

I had to turn to the forum, as this is a fantastic place to get some of these questions answered, that my collage just forgot to teach :D

Again, thanks David. I reckon I should be fine if I do exactly what you said, shoot with 1.85 frame line in mind and blow up from neg.

Any other advise on the shooting itself? I know slow stock is a better choice, as it has less grain - for blowing up emphasises the grain... but it also requires more lights, better budget for some HMIs.. I intialy wanted to use 7218 stock, but have been turned away from it towards the 200T instead.. What do you think? Should i be over exposing, crunching blacks, pushing stops, bypassing bleech or anything like that? I wish to have as clear of an image as possible and majority of the film will be shot under tungesten lights. I would like a contrasty picture, with good clean blacks... and am worried of what this blow up would do to it all...

Thanks!
Lav

PS. I have had D.E.B.S. on my list to rent for a long time now... I cant wait to watch it now that I actualy exchangged words with ya! Cheers mate.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



If you have your project allready in 16mm, and you want to blow up to 35mm as David said it is doable,
you have to consider really well the screen aspect though, cause u may end up with general shots of actors with their legs croped off the frame.
I did one feature film and was all with 7245 (50ASA) Kodak, wich it terms of picture quality (actually got a quality price in a festival) was really great,
Honestly it was better than some 16S blow ups shooted with 100ASA.
I had to overexpose for 1/2 stop or more the whole thing, but finally we got the award.
So what stock u have used is an issue too.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:51 AM

Was that sample from your peject shot on 16mm? I noticed a LOT of interlacing in it, and I dont think it was the fault of the player, as I'v seen WMV progressive and it looked nothing like that.

It was also extremely lacking on the resolution side, but that Im guessing that was because it was a 5mb video...

Cinematography was kinda dark, so much so that added with the compression and small video quality, it was hard to make out the scenes a lot of the time.

But I dont want to judge the thing based on a low-rez online video...
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#6 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:35 AM

Hi David,

thanks very much for the extremely quick reply.

i was thinking of doing exactly that...shooting 16mm but keepin in mind the S16 frame size...1.85 frame line

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Sry, I thought u had allready the material filmed.But anyway, my advise for a slow stock still counts, but u will just need more lights for it.
Except grain is something u want for the look.
Consider that you can do the opposite though.
Shoot on S16 and print on standard 16mm frame.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:10 AM

You should work with whatever speed stock is PRACTICAL of course, but the slower the better when it comes to blow-ups. Overexposing also helps.

I once did a S16 feature mostly shot on 200T stock rated at 160 ASA, and then the lower light scenes were shot on 500T stock rated at 320 ASA. That should intercut fine, especially considering how well 7217 and 7218 match each other already.

For day interiors lit with HMI's & Kinos, the new 250D stock, 7205, rated at 160 ASA, for example, would blow-up well.

Contrastier lighting helps make the image look sharper and hide graininess better.

Use good lenses.

I would letterbox the 4x3 dailies to 1.78 or transfer them to 16x9 (1.78) so you get an accurate idea of framing.
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#8 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:11 AM

London,

Yeah, I know its kind a dark and underxposed, but that is due to some issues i was having with the camera. the camera was playing up with speeds, shooting slow motion and then back at 25fps... crazy. It was droppign 2-3 stops of exposure by frames, and it was flickering heaps too... we did find the probelm - THE BATTERY... whcih was COLD on the night.

Anyways, that's taken care of now, and the camera is good to go. I was merely pointint to the footage for the sake of the frame size, as that was shot on 16mm and croped in telecine - or should I say zoomed in. I was hoping to get it looking like that when i blow up the 16mm neg to 35mm...

Oh yeah, and yes its been compressed heaps to fit into the 5MB and I didnt deinterlace it either-it was a quick post on the site :D I used it to show it to few people really quickly to try and pin point the prob, we changed everything from motor, to SYNC add-on, to none-flicker lights, to different magazines and much more... only to find it all within the BATTERY!!! Good lesson in life that shoot was...


Dimitrios,

thanks for the great tips! I will defeinetly shoot on slower stock. I got a 200T here now that I will try out on the weekend as one more test for the camera (to give it that green light after the service it had). I also got some 250D and might run a bit of that through... just to get the feel for it. I predict Ill shot the majoirty of the flick on 200T, so that I do not get too much grain if blowing up to 35mm. I'd like the film to be as crisp and clean as possible... now i just need to get some HUGE lights :D

Were you proposing I overexpose 1/2 a stop? If I do overexpose, and pull back in telecine does that gurantee blacker blacks if I do blow up the neg to 35mm? I hope my question makes sense...

Thanks very much!!!


PS. The footage on the website was 500T 7218, but like I said earlier it was shoot with cold battery... and therefore ruined and wasted... (I still got 300feet of 500T but doubt i should use it on this project as that would have heaps of grain if blown up to 35mm???)
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#9 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:20 AM

David,

Preciesly what you said in your post here I plan to do. It makes perfect sense. I planned it as such from start, but got freaked out when a KODAK representative told me that 16mm cannot be blown up to 35mm.. I think I am quiet confident now, after this forum chat.

And yes, it would be good to use real nice lenses! Unfortunately, BLs are blimped housing cameras, and although I do have a series of blimp housings, I am pretty much limited in what I use. My ZOOM lens Zeiss 10-100mm T3.3 is not multicoated. I wish I had a T3... The primes, I got 2 and will rent the rest from panavision...

Lights wise I am also limited, mainly working with tungesten set-ups... My lights will vary on days between combinations of Redheads, Bardonts, Blondies and some Kenos... I;m yet to try and score a deal with a lighting company on some HMIs. I doubt I will be able to afford flicker free once though, well yeah, I am pretty sure I wont be able to... :) but i guess that's all part of indi filmaking...

So just to confirm on Exposure... Do you think I should overexpose by 1/2 - 1 stop? To make the blow up less grainy?

Cheers!

Edited by lav, 26 September 2005 - 10:21 AM.

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#10 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:34 AM

David,

So just to confirm on Exposure... Do you think I should overexpose by 1/2 - 1 stop? To make the blow up less grainy?

Cheers!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As u see like me, David is rating his stock 1/3 slower.200 ASA for 160.
I am doing a bit more(maybe I ve got this habbit from commercial work) 1/2 stop
example 250D at 160, but this will help you as I always like to say''light the blacks''.
I am not affraid to go half stop up in film, (and for most of the new videocameras), but for film it really helps the shadows to have detail in them, so when u bring it to normal in the final print (or lower) your blacks won't suffer.
Do some tests, even 2stops up and down then bring the colour timming to normal to see what happens.The underexposed negative will have grainy blacks.
Try a test that will include a face side lighted, a colour patch and grey scale.

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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:45 AM

Most people overexpose by 1/3 or 2/3's of a stop because light meters input ASA ratings in 1/3-stop increments. So you can just set your meter to 160 ASA for a 200 ASA stock, but you can't input a 1/2-stop overexposure so you'd have to mentally always remember to open-up a half-stop from what your light meter told you.

I usually use a 2/3-stop overexposure for the faster stocks.

Overexposure doesn't reduce grain size -- that's designed into a stock, the faster stocks having larger grains which makes them more sensitive to light. Overexposure exposes the smaller, slower grains inbetween the larger grains, which always get exposed first. This sort of fills in the gaps and makes the grain structure tighter, which in turn helps reduce the appearance of graininess. But the large grains are always there in a faster stock.
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#12 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 01:00 PM

I agree. If you are shooting regular 16mm and plan a blow up to 35mm, it is especially important to control the graininess --- use the slowest stock the light allows, and overexpose slightly (by up to a stop) to use more of the finer-grained mid and slow emulsion grains.

Enlargement from 16mm is specified by SMPTE Recommended Practice RP 65. Enlargement from Super-16 is specified by standard SMPTE 201M.

"Size DOES Matter" when it comes to film format and grain/sharpness.

http://www.smpte.org...tore/standards/
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#13 Mark Williams

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:21 PM

David Mullen said

Now one could, let's say, transfer regular 16mm to 16x9 HD, cropping the negative from 4x3 (1.33) to 16x9 (1.78) in the transfer, and then use this 16x9 HD master for transferring digitally to a 35mm negative.

David I just wondered does transferring to 16X9 HD help with grain and sharpness? Is there some way this workflow makes a transfer as good as S16?

I WOULD imagine transfering 16S OR Regular 16 TO 16x9 HD Will leave you with a HD PICTURE of the same OR Similar quality? Or does the grain go along too..

Thanks :)
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:41 PM

Just depends. You can blow-up 16mm to 35mm in these ways:

(1) Direct blow-up in optical printer from 16mm neg to a 35mm print. This is only offered at a few labs, requires a "zero cut" negative -- often with frame handles on each side of an edit as much as five frames -- and is rather expensive per print. I did it about seven years ago at Colorlab in Maryland and it was about $12,000 per print for a feature. Plus you risk damaging the original negative. I believe this technique is more common in Europe than here.

(2) Blow-up in optical printer from 16mm neg to a 35mm I.P., then make a 35mm I.N. for making prints. Same neg comforming requirements as with doing a direct blow-up to a 35mm print.

(3) Make a contact-printed 16mm I.P. from the 16mm neg, then optically blow the I.P. up to a 35mm I.N. Probably the most common approach that most labs can handle.

(4) Scan the 16mm negative at 2K and do a D.I. to create a 35mm I.N.

(5) Transfer the 16mm negative to HD, do a D.I. to create a 35mm I.N.

(6) Transfer the 16mm negative to Standard Def video, do a D.I., etc.

In terms of HD versus 2K, there are different levels of HD quality. A transfer to 4:4:4 HDCAM-SR (very low compression) would be very similar to a 2K D.I. Below that, there is 4:2:2 HD-D5 (mild compression), and then 4:1:1 HDCAM (high compression).

Optical printing tends to "sharpen" grain whereas a D.I. would tend to keep the existing grain structure intact, or soften it due to lack of resolution. So a D.I. may not look quite as sharp but it could look less grainy, especially if you have to optically blow-up through I.P. and I.N. steps. A direct blow-up to a 35mm print will look the best probably.

The advantage of using HD or 2K however is the ability to more easily incorporate editing devices like fades, dissolves, speed changes, plus add titles and other efx and create a seamless master.
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#15 Mark Williams

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 04:52 PM

A direct blow-up to a 35mm print will look the best probably.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks David! Have to try and lobby to get Ultra Up'n Running OR perhaps think about Anamorphic.. Although you'd be stuck with that in 35mm I guess.. :)
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#16 Chris Alex

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 07:23 PM

Now one could, let's say, transfer regular 16mm to 16x9 HD, cropping the negative from 4x3 (1.33) to 16x9 (1.78) in the transfer, and then use this 16x9 HD master for transferring digitally to a 35mm negative.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Ive heard about this before.
But, will you be able to preserve your film resolution by digitizing your 16mm to HD?
I mean its ok if you plan to play your clip or movie on TV screen (Broadcast or DVD) but if u plan to prject your film on the big screen, is the final 35mm film the same at the end of both transfers?

If its "the same", why cant we just shoot on HD and transfer only the final cut on 35mm?
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:38 PM

Well, think of it this way: the 16mm frame is half the width of a 35mm frame, so scanning it at 1920 pixels across is the same thing as scanning 35mm at 3840 pixels across, almost 4K. So HDCAM-SR would be sufficient to capture most of the resolution of 16mm, not all, but close enough when you consider that using an IP/IN method also loses resolution over generations.

As for why not shoot in HD to begin with, the difference is more in terms of color and exposure range -- plus lack of compression artifacts compared to camcorder formats like HDCAM or DVCPRO-HD -- than resolution. Not that I think HD is inferior to 16mm myself, just different in look.
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#18 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 08:26 PM

Thanks heaps on your replies!

I believe for now I will concentrate on shooting on slower stock, with suggested exposure, working on minimasing that grain. Obviously, I will have to frame my standard 16mm frame with 1.85 frame line in mind...

In regards to the blow up, I'll probably wait till I finish shooting before I think about it any further. What David wrote in regards to different options of blow from 16 to 35 is a bit overwhealming... there seems to be so many choices, and I'll wait to see what the film looks like before making that decidion - which i am sure will depend on the cost of each process and avability of it in QLD, Australia labs. Plus you mentioned that using HD or 2K has an easier ability to incorporate titles, so we will see.

Again thanks!
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