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Shooting Effects with Super16


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#1 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 11:34 AM

I've heard that Super16 is rarely used for shooting effects because of stability issues from having only one pin registration. I've also been told that it's become acceptable due to digital stabilization. Has anyone had any experience with this? If I was shooting a movie on Super16 with a large amount of effect shots, is it okay to shoot everything Super16, or would I need to go to 2-pin 35mm for the effects?

How do people usually deal with this?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 11:50 AM

I've heard that Super16 is rarely used for shooting effects because of stability issues from having only one pin registration. I've also been told that it's become acceptable due to digital stabilization. Has anyone had any experience with this? If I was shooting a movie on Super16 with a large amount of effect shots, is it okay to shoot everything Super16, or would I need to go to 2-pin 35mm for the effects?

How do people usually deal with this?


Hi,

I usually shoot effects work on 35mm, using a Fries Mitchell or Arri 435. Both these cameras are totally steady. This can be proved by multi passes in camera. If you are scanning with a pin registered scanner everything is fine. However today many people will use a telecine such as a SPIRIT. As the Spirit is NOT pin registered there can be mild weave with multi passes. Stabilizing in post is fairly easy, but the image will be SOFTER.

I have used an Aaton S16, transferring on a Spirit and the results were very good.
Be aware that the perforation spec for 16mm was changed about 10 years ago. Many older pin registered cameras including some Arri SR's may have the old size registration pin. Those cameras won't be as steady as an Aaton without any register pins.

You should always TEST the camera and any telecine you intend to use.

Stephen
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 12:13 PM

Hi,

I usually shoot effects work on 35mm, using a Fries Mitchell or Arri 435. Both these cameras are totally steady. This can be proved by multi passes in camera. If you are scanning with a pin registered scanner everything is fine. However today many people will use a telecine such as a SPIRIT. As the Spirit is NOT pin registered there can be mild weave with multi passes. Stabilizing in post is fairly easy, but the image will be SOFTER.

I have used an Aaton S16, transferring on a Spirit and the results were very good.
Be aware that the perforation spec for 16mm was changed about 10 years ago. Many older pin registered cameras including some Arri SR's may have the old size registration pin. Those cameras won't be as steady as an Aaton without any register pins.

You should always TEST the camera and any telecine you intend to use.

Stephen

Which Aaton? We've got an XTR and an A-Minima here. Speaking of the A-Minima, their site says that it's got some wierd method that keeps it really stable despite only having one pin; is that just marketing BS or does that actually work, and would it be an acceptable camera to shoot with?

I'm still a student, so in many cases a lot of testing is probably beyond what we can afford. I would hope that the effects shots at least will be scanned in HD- are those usually pin-registered? What about something like Bonolabs HD telecine?
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 01:40 PM

I have done some simple effects shots on my arri hs sr and it worked fairly well for a project transferred to video, but some cameras may be better suited than others in design and one must consider the age and wear and tear of the camera. I did mine after I had new rails installed on my camera and some registration work done at Arri in Blauvelt after it was discovered that my camera "failed" a registration test. I had all sorts of get weave.

If you are a student using school equipment I might be leary. I know how student cameras can get beat up and never get the service they need. So it might be prudent to err on the side of safety and choose a route like Stephen suggests, especially if this will be projected on a large screen where little problems get multiplied up on a big screen.

I concur with Stephen that a registration test and transfer test is the way to go to protect your work and your financial investment in that work. Or else the shoot will be the test if everything goes wrong and you have to do it again. Or you may have to live with what you get. Referring to producers and production managers trying to do things on the cheap, a friend of mine always says "There's always money to shoot it right the second time."

Best

Tim
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#5 Keith Mottram

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:16 PM

can you give more information about what kind of effects you are talking about? Personally I'd avoid 16mm, I'd actually avoid 35mm given the choice. If you have to shoot film the 435 is probably the best, anything else even with a rocksolid transfer is going to need stabilisation.

Keith
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#6 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:55 PM

I would go for 35 mm as well. Everytime I did compositing/special effects was shot 35 not 16/S16.

Another point being the loss in resolution when you do SFX/compositing...

In 16/S16 Arriflex seems the most steady As far as I am concerned

Even with 35 (though Mitchells, 435 are very steady cameras) I would be very carefull with the pin registration test anyway. Mind that these tests can reveal a problem with the stock itself...
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 03:53 PM

Hi,

If you are shooting locked-off plates you can put a tracking marker of some kind in the shot, which should allow the instability to be removed in post. I believe this was done for "Space Precinct" which shot effects on 16.

Phil
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#8 Robert Glenn

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 06:49 PM

How do you do a registration test? Shoot some type of grid with a spool, rewind, and shoot it again?

ah nevermind, found an older post on the forum by searching :rolleyes:

Edited by RobertNC, 13 October 2005 - 06:45 PM.

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#9 Stephen Williams

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 03:34 AM

Which Aaton? We've got an XTR and an A-Minima here. Speaking of the A-Minima, their site says that it's got some wierd method that keeps it really stable despite only having one pin; is that just marketing BS or does that actually work, and would it be an acceptable camera to shoot with?


Hi,

I've done Double exposure tests with both the XTR and A-Minima. I was VERY suprised how good they were!

Stephen
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#10 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 05:04 AM

Hello,
If there is only change of fps, I suggest that there is going to be no problem, unless u want double exposures, wich the aaton still has no problem to deal with.

Dimitrios Koukas
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#11 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 06:38 AM

If you use different fps, don't forget to do the registration test at the different speeds you plan to use.
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#12 Nate Downes

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 06:41 AM

can you give more information about what kind of effects you are talking about? Personally I'd avoid 16mm, I'd actually avoid 35mm given the choice. If you have to shoot film the 435 is probably the best, anything else even with a rocksolid transfer is going to need stabilisation.

Keith


I've shot fx on Super8 before. In all honesty, the bigger the negative, the less weave is noticed. And, I'd list the Mitchell above the 435 in terms of stability. But above even that I'd list the B&H 2709. Now that is a rock-solid image no matter what. For the fx, I'd rent a 2709 animation setup and downprint it to S16 afterwards, if you're looking for a S16 final product.
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#13 Stephen Williams

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 09:02 AM

I For the fx, I'd rent a 2709 animation setup and downprint it to S16 afterwards,



Hi,

2709 is totally steady. A 16mm Oxberry using the B & H design gain is PERFECTLY steady. I've shot 100 passes on an Oxberry in my distant past. The problem then was, the only stock was 7247.

Stephen
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#14 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 04:55 PM

Gee I loved 47 !

Stephen, do you mean you made a hundred passes for one shot ? :D
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#15 Nate Downes

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 08:31 PM

Hi,

2709 is totally steady. A 16mm Oxberry using the B & H design gain is PERFECTLY steady. I've shot 100 passes on an Oxberry in my distant past. The problem then was, the only stock was 7247.

Stephen


I've never used an Oxberry, only heard of them. Know where one can rent them/buy one for that matter? I could use a pin-registered camera for some fx in the next project I'm working on. (Principle shooting is on S8, so 16mm is perfect for fx work downprinted to S8)
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