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What kind of transfer to use?


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#1 Clampet15

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 10:50 AM

Ok, so I have read as much post on these forums that my eye's can stand about transfers and what not of 16mm film. I'm currently still shooting my film right now (hopefully it will be done one day). My budget is really not big at all, so I plan on just releasing this thing digital instead of going back out onto film. My question is, does it matter if I get my film transferred on a rank or spirit if I'm just going to throw it into FCP and color grade all the colors myself untill I'm happy anyways? I totally understand it is allways better to have the greatest possible image going in to work with, but for bugetary reasons, would I be sacrificing a lot of quality to just get a one light from some place that does the transfer for 15 cents a foot on a rank vs. some other place with an ungodly price with a spirit?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 11:00 AM

If the transfer is the basis for the final video master of the movie, then obviously the quality of the transfer matters. If the transfer is soft & noisy, for example, all the color-correction in FCP later won't help that.

That said, some Rank transfers are better than others so you may be fine without using a Spirit. Just depends. Many of the cheapest Rank transfers are for video dailies only (the final film will be retransferred on better equipment) using the oldest telecine in the house, run by the most inexperienced colorist in the middle of the night, and the quality is mediocre, which can hurt 16mm.

You just need to find a balance between the lowest and highest end of transfer.
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#3 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 11:34 AM

but for bugetary reasons, would I be sacrificing a lot of quality to just get a one light from some place that does the transfer for 15 cents a foot on a rank vs. some other place with an ungodly price with a spirit?
[/quote]

Another way to approach this is to transfer everything once as cheeply as possible then when your edit is done go back and re-transfer only the footage you used at higher quality (spirt or whatever). This works best when you shooting ratios are high and your film is short. You'll have to get your calculator out and run the numbers to see if it works for you. If you do go back to retransfer make sure everything is well organized and you know exactly what you want the colorist to do. Then you reconform your new transfer to your edit. Get an experienced editor to guide you through this as there are issues with edge numbers, time code, and sound sync that if not handled properly could produce headaches in the final stages.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 01:15 PM

Everyone wants things to be cheap but good.

Basically you pay for more quality; or to put it another way, you should spend as much as you can afford for better quality.

There is no scale of "x" dollars buys you "x" quality. You just have to test at various facilities, or retransfer something if you don't like the quality.

Also depends on who your market is. If you really hope to sell something for electronic distribution, some markets have much higher standards than others. Try selling a cheap one-light 4x3 NTSC beta-SP transfer, corrected on a home computer and later converted to 16x9 PAL digi-beta to the BBC in the U.K. or to German television... and you'll find out what I mean.
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#5 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 01:27 PM

helo,
If you have used more than one film stocks, one light won't help you, because of different film base colour.
So you will not be able to do the colour correction after like you suggested.
I believe that you have your answers from the two proffesionals above.
.
It is ok to do one light transfer only when:
A: u need a film transfered with keycode on tape for editing, that u will use the traditional way for release: negative editing, A-B roll and blow up or final print.
B: When u have your final print and u want it to transfered on tape or other media,Analogue or Digital.(sometimes people do colour corrections to the final print too).

Money-wise I would go one light with keycode to edit it, then cut and edit the negative, and after take the edited negative to a Spirit/da vinchi or similar that would do the final colour correction for tape release.
Dimitrios koukas
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#6 Clampet15

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 12:01 AM

Thanks for all the great info guys. I will definatly shop around. I have some 100' loads from my film I will use and get some samples from each place.
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#7 Clampet15

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 10:58 AM

One last question. Would the quality be a lot better if when I get the footage transfered, I drop it on dvd or hard drive instead of mini dv. I'm sure it would be, but I dont think i could afford to do the hard drive, but maybe so on the dvd's. Are they the same type of file?
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 12:35 AM

I'm not sure what types of video files one can burn to a DVD, but generally DVD is not meant as a original digital mastering format but a final distribution format, because you normally store the footage on DVD as an MPEG file, which is too compressed to be used as an original for editing.

It sort of depends on what sort of video codec you want to be editing with. DV25 (like Mini-DV / DVCAM), for example, or DV50 (like DVCPRO-50). You could put DV50 onto a hard drive for editing assuming your editing system can work with that format. If you are going to edit transferred to DV25, then I guess it doesn't really matter if you have the footage on a Mini-DV tape versus a hard drive.
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#9 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 06:43 AM

Xfer direct to a hard drive is logical but has some nuances. The Xfer houses in my experience are not routinely set up to do this . Most often they will lay-off to a tape format and capture on a NLE storing the files on a external drive.

DVCpro 50 looks really great but you are limited to FCP/Mac editing-The Black Magic Codec is very commonly used(yes this codec is available for Windows but it does not work). So if you are on PC you are out of luck.

Xfer to DigiBeta and then dubbing to Mini-DV is a viable strategy because you have an excellent xfer medium you can go back to after a scratch editorial you can confrom from.

It is also easy to share files over a FTP or burned to DVD-Ram with Collaborators

One Key issue is to keep the capture file size small. There is a tendency for the Lab/Duplication house to capture in large chunks. I shot a Phama infomercial recently and the 70 minutes came back as a 70 gig file. a little cumbersome

Specify that the capture be in small chunks - We usually capture each specific scene as a "block" file. If the vendor is willing have them capture each shot as a file.

The day when we go from film directly to drive as a matter of routine will soon be upon us -still a little while away, Yep videotape is dead!
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#10 Tim Shim

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 02:42 PM

DVCpro 50 looks really great but you are limited to FCP/Mac editing-The Black Magic Codec is very commonly used(yes this codec is available for Windows but it does not work). So if you are on PC you are out of luck.


asparaco, what do you mean by the Blackmagic codec for Windows does not work? As I know it, Blackmagic Design hardware is supported on both Mac and PC.

What is your experience with the codec on Windows? Are you using Blackmagic hardware in your system?

Cheers,
Tim
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#11 Will Montgomery

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Posted 25 October 2005 - 07:18 PM

One Key issue is to keep the capture file size small. There is a tendency for the Lab/Duplication house to capture in large chunks. I shot a Phama infomercial recently and the 70 minutes came back as a 70 gig file. a little cumbersome


I've had 12 minutes of Super 8, 10-bit Uncompressed HD 24p come back as 91 gigs (yes, I said 12 minutes@91GIGs) with the Blackmagic codec from Bonolabs. But its easier than buying a D-5 deck.
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#12 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 07:31 AM

asparaco, what do you mean by the Blackmagic codec for Windows does not work? As I know it, Blackmagic Design hardware is supported on both Mac and PC.

What is your experience with the codec on Windows? Are you using Blackmagic hardware in your system?

Cheers,
Tim


My experience is that you get only a white frame on a PC working in AVID Express with the BlackMagic PC codec loaded.
Without the hardware the DVCPro50 only comes up in FCP. I avoid hardware based applications because they change flavors every 18 months.

As opposed to uncompressed component D1 as a Quicktime file which displays and plays with out problem on a fast/ram laden PC

Another example of manufacturer induced incompatability.
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#13 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 08:00 AM

I've had 12 minutes of Super 8, 10-bit Uncompressed HD 24p come back as 91 gigs (yes, I said 12 minutes@91GIGs) with the Blackmagic codec from Bonolabs. But its easier than buying a D-5 deck.



You really shouldn't put a large file into a editor and cut it up in chunks because you add codec generations toyour edit. Hard to keep track when you confrom your project into a final output file.


And there in lies the cause of so much digital mush, cutting, pasting and exporting digital files over and over again without hesitation adds noise and artifacts and result in terrible looking video.

You have to be a "careful worker" maintain the integrity of your data files to get optimum results. This is especially true with the low data rate file formats-DV25 and such. You pay a qualitative price for every codec cycle

Your 24p HD 10bit files have lots of bandwidth but you have to get into the habit of being a "Careful Worker" a habit developed.

AS there is no crying in baseball. "BooHoo Stros" There are no "f*&^%g" excuses in commercial production
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