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D-20 as an animation camera


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#1 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 03:20 AM

I've always wondered why Arri haven't made a version of the D-20 specifically for stop-motion work.

What they could do is replace the D-20's Bayer-Filtered sensor with the monochrome version they use in the Arriscan - (which is the same chip but without the mask) which would then give them a "almost-true-4K" (are you listening Dalsa:-) 1.33:1 monochrome camera.

Instead of the 435-type shutter there would be a glass disc divided into four quadrants: one a reflex viewing mirror, and the other three segments precision red, blue, and green filters. The shutter drive would be replaced by a stepping motor, which would then allow the camera to produce high-quality sequential "4K" RGB stills of stationary objects.

Think of the advantages. There would be no need to worry about fogging the film already exposed; there would be instant 4K playback of every frame (I don't know how you could display it at that resolution, but I can't think of everything:-), and storage wouldn't be such a big issue because of the über-slow frame rate. (It would be quite practical to simply burn each frame onto a separate CD or DVD). The whole control box could just be a standard PC chassis, (which is pretty much what is in the Arrilaser)!

They could even go totally OTT and incorporate the Arriscan's piezo microactuators to get even higher resolution, which could be good for IMAX stop motion.

Aaaahh! They probably won't like my idea for a gas-powered studio floodlight either!
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#2 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 03:25 PM

I think that would be pretty pointless with all the new digital still camera backs out right now, like the 22mp Imacon, or the Leaf system. These cameras are used all the time on still photo shoots and they only retail for around $23,000.
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#3 Tony_Beazley

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:10 PM

What they could do is replace the D-20's Bayer-Filtered sensor with the monochrome version they use in the Arriscan - (which is the same chip but without the mask) which would then give them a "almost-true-4K" (are you listening Dalsa:-) 1.33:1 monochrome camera.

Instead of the 435-type shutter there would be a glass disc divided into four quadrants: one a reflex viewing mirror, and the other three segments precision red, blue, and green filters. The shutter drive would be replaced by a stepping motor, which would then allow the camera to produce high-quality sequential "4K" RGB stills of stationary objects.

Think of the advantages. There would be no need to worry about fogging the film already exposed; there would be instant 4K playback of every frame They could even go totally OTT and incorporate the Arriscan's piezo microactuators to get even higher resolution, which could be good for IMAX stop motion.


Jim,
I must say that is a good idea there. I have always wanted to say with all the many smart technical photographers on this list as well as the rest of the internet "WE" could make one heck of a camera for ourselves.
Why should we wait on a company(s) to get around to finally wanting to add a new button after years of sitting on their laurels when we could go forward every day with the knowledge that we have on this forum.
With the ideas that run rampant in all our minds from shooting for years and wanting a better film or video camera
we should try to progress our selves and not wait for the big machines to wake up from their slumber.
If we know what we want , lets make it.

Tony B.


Edited by TonyB, 28 October 2005 - 10:15 PM.

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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 10:32 AM

Hi,

Or you could just buy one of those huge-resolution medium format backs. All this farting about with a D20 would be fairly meaningless given that the only reason a D20 is so special is that it can work at 24fps. A decent medium format digital stills back should be better in practically every way.

And what system are you going to use to play back your 4K in realtime!?

Phil
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#5 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 07:43 PM

Hi,

Or you could just buy one of those huge-resolution medium format backs.


Yes, but:

* They don't take standard cine lenses.
* They all depend of colour masks (Bayer etc). Using separate filters and separate exposures for the Red, Green and Blue images completely eliminates the possiblilty of colour artifacts on huge blowups (IMAX) for example.
* The Arriscan's CMOS sensor allows you to take multiple reads as the exposure progresses, so you could have a dynamic range vastly greater than any film stock allows. It would also allow white balance to be controlled over a ludicrously wide range.
* I doubt that any of them could image as fast as a D-20, for computerized motion-control work and so on.

And what system are you going to use to play back your 4K in realtime!?

Phil

I was only talking about still images, but in any case 4K projectors are becoming available, and you can always print them onto paper.

Besides, in what way is that aspect different from using a still camera?


If we know what we want , lets make it.

Tony B.

Yeah but I don't know if my garage workshop is up to the task of making CMOS imagers! And you can't get them anywhere else because Arri are the only ones who make them!
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 09:54 PM

Hi,

> They don't take standard cine lenses.

So?

> They all depend of colour masks (Bayer etc).

Yeah, but if you supersample sufficiently then that becomes a non issue. There are thirty megapixel backs out there, which is very considerably more than would be needed to satisfy this consideration even at the sort of resolutions usually used for IMAX digital post.

> The Arriscan's CMOS sensor allows you to take multiple reads as the exposure progresses

As you can with any digital stills camera and a Photoshop Action. Okay, this could probably be done more nicely with correct software, but that's not a camera consideration.

> I doubt that any of them could image as fast as a D-20, for computerized motion-control work and so on.

We were talking about an animation camera, by which I take you to mean a camera used for shooting hand-drawn cells. Even so, I've never seen a motion control shot that was going at less than a few seconds a frame, if you're talking about model work!

Phil
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#7 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 04:10 AM

Hi,

> They don't take standard cine lenses.

So?

So that's not important then? Whew, that's a relief; I was sure all those overpaid people in Hollywood were talking through their collective arseholes, now you've confirmed it. Have you considererd a career in cine rental? You could save Panavision and similar companies an enormous amount of money.

We were talking about an animation camera, by which I take you to mean a camera used for shooting hand-drawn cells.
Phil

No we weren't. Read the first sentence of my initial post.
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 08:13 AM

Yes, but:

* They don't take standard cine lenses.



Hi,

Its not a problem to put a PL/PV/BNCR lens mount on a Nikon DSLR as the flange distance is greater than Nikon in every case.

Stephen
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 06:23 PM

Having a wide choice of lenses is important for shooting live action, but for animation, you're just shooting flat objects of standard sizes. You really don't change lenses on an animation camera. You may run it up and down on the stand and re-focus, but that's about it. The sequential color separation idea would work perfectly, because nothing moves. Because of the low frame rate, and no need for compactness and mobility, this could probably be done using something less expensive than a D-20.

But the real killer is that nobody needs animation cameras any more. Hand painted cels have been replaced by computer generated images, with the tedious in-betweens done by the machine. It starts out digital, no need to shoot anything.



-- J.S.
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#10 Jim Murdoch

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 05:07 AM

But the real killer is that nobody needs animation cameras any more. -- J.S.

Dammit, I said: "Stop motion", NOT Cartoons! Have you seen "Chicken Run", "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" etc for example?

One of the reasons clay animation and similar is so popular is that you can get damn fine 3-D and depth of field effects with the right lenses, something that's still pretty tedious to do using computer animation.

Edited by Jim Murdoch, 05 November 2005 - 05:09 AM.

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#11 Paddy Eason

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 10:37 AM

I've always wondered why Arri haven't made a version of the D-20 specifically for stop-motion work.

It's a nice idea, but there's a couple of things that spring to mind -

- How big IS that market for stop motion cameras?

- If final delivery is 35mm print, and one is doing a DI, how much does one gain from shooting at a higher res (eg full 2880 wide as per the Arri's full RAW Bayer output)? Can you get 2880 images through any known post pipeline?

- Digital SLRs are getting pretty damn good, and shoot at considerably more that 1920 or 2880 wide. Usually with a smaller chip than 35mm too, which has got to be helpful when it comes to stop motion (DOF probs). I couldn't comment on the difference between 35mm film lenses and pro 35mm/digital stills lenses though.

But I can see why it seems a neat idea, technically. I like the idea of shooting extended dymamic range by autobraketing. Very nice.

How does anyone feel Corpse Bride looked? Shot on Nikon prosumer DSLRs, I believe (or was it Canon?).
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#12 glen

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:09 AM

Dalsa has this

FTF5066C 33 Megapixel Color CCD 4992 x 6668 7.2 x 7.2µm 35.9mm x 48mm

i'd like to get a sample please. you could could buffer half the 35mm film frame 35x24mm underneath a mask while the next image is loaded.

Edited by glen, 18 June 2007 - 04:11 AM.

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#13 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 12:09 PM

How does anyone feel Corpse Bride looked? Shot on Nikon prosumer DSLRs, I believe (or was it Canon?).


Corpse bride was shot with Canon 1D mkII's (8.2 MP) with Nikon glass.
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