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RE: Eclair Cameras: Film Editing


i have found this to be an issue not very well addressed by the industry at this point in time. typicaly, most telecine houses go directly to tape of one format or another, while only one or two claim to record directly to hard drive/removable media. although i am not certain, i beleive these few companies that do record directly to hard drive/removable media(digital file on a physical hard drive, or removable media like cd rom, dvd, etc., accessable on the desktop using a player(quicktime, etc.) or an editor(fcp, premier, avid, etc.) or a file manager(explorer, etc.), record an sRGB based signal/movie onto the drives/media ... NOT a true RGB type image, raw, compressed or otherwise. digital video cameras as we all know, record inferior image quality then that of a digital SLR camera, for example. this is why a digital SLR camera, eve the best ones, are not capable of recording 30fps ... at most perhaps 6-10fps with a limiting burst rate factor. older analoge video cameras(much cheaper/less expensive) are capable of capturing higher quality images then the newer digital cameras, providing you do not record to the on-board tape, but rather, using a computer and capture utility which basically only utilizes the video camera's optics, sensor, and signal transport. but not tostray too far, and getting back to receiving your footage as digital files on a hard drive/removable media, it will only be as good as the capture device that was used to image your film. a 3/4" HD video sensor used to telecine your film footage will not provide as good a quality image if you used a 3/4" sensor recording raw sequencial images, which are later assembled into clips on the computer.

most of you probably already know this ... but i only learned it over the past few months, and for those of you who do not know .. this may clear things up a bit. and if i am innaccurate, please advise and explain why. editing on your computer(fcp, avid, etc.) in either DV, SD, or HD, is by all means alot easier if you were to receive the footage stored on a hard drive. this way, you do not have to own or rent an expensive deck. however, just remember as mentioned above, just because your footage is on a hard drive, does not mean it is true raw uncompressed RGB content. it will most likely be sRGB. if your footage is going to be edited directly to DVD, then an sRGB imaged/telecined film will provide as good an image as was the lens and sensor(and lumination/contrast no doubt) used on the telecine machine itself ... and as we all know, telecine machines vary greatly amongst manufacturers and the place that owns the equipment, and if the equipment has been modified with differant sensors or lenses, and the actual quality and maintaince of the optics and measuring the light source/color tempurature/balance and contrast all play a role a significant role in the quality of the digital image of the frame(s) of film. then you throw the recording device(tape) into the mix, and the image could potentially suffer additional degregation. i would assume any telecine house that offers digitized film on hard drive FIRST records to tape, and then uses a capture card to perform the digitizing process. correct?

if you want film digitzed for the purposes of COMPOSITING(creating special effects using your computer and photoshop, shake, combustion, etc.), you would be must better off having the film imaged directly to hard drive using a high quality RGB sensor, either single chip, or 3 chip(prism seperates primary colors onto individual sensors), or layered chips(primary colors are filtered out as they pass thru on a single chip). this route is MUCH slower then using typical telecine machines(remember, a telecine machine is fast, like a video camera, because the sensor is not procesing the image as would a digital SLR for example, which is processing true RBG), and is typically done one frame at a time, instead of multiple frames per second, or realtime. as best as i can tell, regarding a $1m telecine machine and a $20-80k HD camera, the only differances are the controls and confguration of the machine itself ... meaning it is setup for the purposes of imaging frames of film, instead of shooting object or subjects or sceneories. a sensor in a digital SLR camera, a higher end camera like a kodak 14n, etc., will provide a SUPERIOR image to that of a $1m telecine machine ... REALLY!! what it can NOT do is provide you with the procesing speed. however, that seems to all be changing technology wise, but the irony is, film technologies are only met with a few companies worldwide, whereas video technologies are being met by thousands of companies. for those of you who have taken and edited an HD clip on you nle machine, and inserted a high quality RBG image or sequence, you will notice your computer's processor is bogged down considerably ... correct? in other words, if you have a playback card capable of sd or hd, and you play a telecined film delivered to you on digibeta, for example, that would play much better and with less problems then would a clip created from rgb images from your imaging application, like photoshop. same thing with any of those filters or special effects you use. this was confusing for me for sometime, because the lines are exremely blurred in the industry, and most people are not aware of the realities beyond the formats. and for those who would challange the image quality comparison of a telecined HD clip to that of a clip sequenced from a medium format camera with a digital back on it, conected to the computer capturing one frame at a time, you would clearly see how futile the argument would be. the digital era now, is differant then what the digital era has been ... it has been VIDEO, 30fps of it, with what?? frames and fields? new digital displays and hd footage is doing what? it is displaying frames ... not frames and fields. correct? so, based on my own observations, what i beleive film related technology companies should be working on at this point in time, are software applications that assign timecode to sequencial images, that are LEFT as sequencial images, and ONLY used to either generate editable(dv, sd, and for those who have the raids capable or realtime playback) footage for preparing your final cut, or for compositing, or for printing back to film.

the system right now, which is to telecine your film, give it timecode if it does not already have it, edit a low res version on the computer(or a high res if going out to video tape or dvd), then take your edl back to the transfer house, and have them cut the original film accoriding to your edl, and print new film that contains compositing/special effects, which then are assembled to form a complete reel of your movie, and then it follows the traditional film replication process. today, and to me, this system is a pain in the ass. all we really need to be doing is having a machine assign a value to each frame of film, digitize it verbatim(today's sensors can digitize film much more information then could ever be found on a 16mm frame of film, and even a 65/70mm frame of film!! and no, i am not talking about a digital video sensor/processor), which means an exact digital duplicate that cannot be told apart from the original image on the frame of plastic film itself, and

Paul Williams wrote:


it is certainly possible to digitize directly into
your computer without actually going down to tape.  I
have seen some great setups where Final Cut Pro
digitises at 10 bit resolution directly from the
telecine chain.

VTRs that are only players certainly can be used to
digitise your dailies.  But how do you want to
digitise them?  Do you want to get it in at 10 bit or
do you want to work in offline resolution?

Your question is hard to answer as it's very broad. Give me a more specific guide to how your productions work in terms of the post path you've been using. There's just so many ways to skin a cat these days.
Warm regards,
Paul Williams

--- Bill Wiley <billwiley1@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hey everyone,
> > I am looking at investing in my own editing system, > instead of always > driving two hours and paying a healthy fee to use > the labs equiptment. > My question is this, I know that digital Beatacam > ($30,000 for used > VTR)is the format these days to telecine to (unless > you can afford the > equiptment and telecine cost of HD), but how far out > is the technology > for this going to CD with out taking alot of space > in hard memory and > raids. And can anyone explain the diffence between > VTRs that are > Editing (studio), players, and recorders. "Besides > the obvious > explainations". Can just players be used to digitize > the dailies, or do > you need the edit version. > > >

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