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RE: Eclair Cameras: Film Editing

i had a premature postulation! my meesage posted before i completed it ... and i dont remember hitting the 'send now' button. so here, i will complete what was written in the last post. sorry:

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

and then maintain the master, high res files on removable media like cd roms, dvd's, hard drives, removable drives, any type of computer related storage medium, wherein the sequencial images need not be opened or played in their high res quality to referance their value/timecode. they are only used to record/store direct to dvd, or any of the digital tape formats. understand?? this is DIGITAL MEDIA!!! why are people spending a shit ton of money for DIGITAL TAPE DECKS and not taking advantage of them?? people are trying to keep their NLE from crashing when attempting to record their movie onto digital tape. hello? what is wrong with this picute? it's digital, it need only be copied ... why should you have to PLAY it or purchase expensive hardware in an effort to play it on your computer without droppin frames of taking a dump? simply ridiculas as far as i am concerned. none the less, i have been working on a new film digitizer, and hope to post images and functions/features of the device in late feb or early march. much like the jk-printer or workprinter, it allows film to be easily transfered to tape or computer. however, some basic needs are being addressed in this programmable device ... for starters, the device allows for realtime viewing(just like a traditional steenbeck, etc.), wherein you can mark an in and out point, and that is stored, and you move onto the next in/out point, until you have determined what, if anything, you wish to digitize from that particular roll of film. each rol you load into the device, may be stored/indexed, so not only can you mark you ins and outs for the time you are going to digitize, you can store these and weeks or months later, load the reel and the machine will digitize what was previously saved in memory based on the in/out points that were marked. enough on-board memory to keep track of thousands of rolls of film. the loaded film must be marked first frame(you must load and advance it past the leader to the frame you wish to consider the first frame on the roll) and market last frame. this allows each and every frame inbetween to be assign a sequencial code(like you digital still camera does when you shoot photos). if no first frame last frames are marked, it will look for first frame immedialty after the leader(it does the same for the end of the spool, but the device must have leader as the sensor requires it). when the leader is reached, the film does not advance any more unless you tell it to, this way film does not wind all the way making the film come of the other reel until you really want it to.

the device, at this point in its design, is the size of my apple HD monitor ... but the final prototype will be a tad bit smaller. either way it is a desktop device that can adjust verticle or horazontal. the device is crystal speed controlled both directions, presets and varaible dial speeds(when using this device with another film camera or a video camera, serves no purpose with a dSLR). feed and take sides of gate have loaded arms, when tensioned, make contact with shut-off switch, to prevent film from tearing if problems occur. the taking camera(video, digital video, slr, movie, digital SLR, cctv, whatever ... anything that images) mounts on a 3 axis linear movement, initially with hand dials(as are found on your mill or lathe, accurate and settable), eventually servo controlled with joystick and memory to store and recall saved positions(if you use many differant cameras .. for example, you may use your miniDV camera to telecine some dv quality footage for internet or vhs tape release ... heck, even dvd or broadcast depending on your camera. or, you may use yoru dSLR to digitize your footage because you plan to create some kick ass special effects. having the ability to store and recall these physical camera positoning setting will save alot of time when swapping or reloading cameras that you may otherwise use on a regular basis for what they were orignally intended.). the device has both led and lcd display. prior to the main gate, an inexpensive single chip sensor passes the signal to the lcd ... this way you do not have to squint :) the main gate, as the main transports, will be lock and load. another words, you will be able to load 8mm, s8mm, 16mm, 35mm, and 65/70mm transports and gates onto the device, set the dial to the applicable film format, and the macning will transport the film correctly according to it's format/size. and LED daylight temp color balanced light source with dimming control, and a seperate contrast control ... both manual and electronic control. naturally, the device will work as a free standing device, or with a computer/capture utility. and for digital slr cameras, movie, slr, etc., pc/flash/socket control is utilized so you need not manually advance non video type of devices. a number of other useful features i have most likely failed to mention ... but basically everything i felt i needed for myself, i have implimented into it's design.

i have an electrical engineer taking care of the circuitry/electronic componants, and a another engineer experienced with cad dealing with our design issues as we advance the physical prototype. the initial prototype consists of various componants for purposes of testing function. once the device is working, all componants that cna be purchased off-the-shelf, will be! so those being the least expensive and most reliable will naturally be used, and will dictate the final design of the product. any componants that we are not able to purchase off the shelf, like the actual chassis/housing/mounting parts, as well as gates, etc., those will be made using emachineshop.com, based on the cad files converted into emachineshop.com's own cad utility file format, at which point online orders can be easily placed and parts delivered in a matter of days. the reason i have eelcted to go this route is because if anyone else is interest in such a device, i will either sell it as a kit(you will receive the parts from emachineshop, not the digital drawings, and the list of off-the-shelf componants from various vendors, which you will purhcase directly), or as a completely assembled and tested device. naturally, over time, lens/bellows, direct sensor imaging couplers, and other accessories will be designed based on third party products(particular cameras, etc.) and will be available for purchase, which again, you can but from me, and you will receive direct from emachineshop.com(the company that machines the actual part). this route means the device componants on a machined/custom basis, are more expensive. however, if the demand warrants the manufacture of 50-100 or more of the same item, then i will do that and sell direct. but untl such a day, i care not invest the money in inventory ... as i am sure you cna understand why. the plastic and rubber parts i have no choice but to run in qty ... imagine your printer or scanner on your desk with it's housing ... it would still work, but would look like crap and the internal componants would get dirty. so i am doing a 50piece/per componant run ... so aside from design time and costs i have spent, and will continue to spend until completed, as well as third party contracting and consulting fees, those will be my only costs into the creation of the device ...so naturally, i would like to sell as many as possible to recoup those fees.

so let me know if any of you are interested. i am sort of taking the same approach that the a-cam took with their s16 camera ... and most likely in the next month or so i should have a website with detials and photos of the device in it's current stage. although the working prototype will be completed in short order, the completed assembled unit may take only a short time, or a considerable time ... that really depends on multiple factors, of which are not conclusive at this point.

the bottom line is, for people like myself who live over 1000 miles away from a film transfer house, the entire process is a pain in the ass. because a device like this, coupled with a nice digital SLR camera/videohead, digital video camera, can and will provide you with the same or better results as you would get from most telecine services, then why not? the only draw back is time ... going the ultra high res route will take a day or two per roll of film ... but it is automattic, so you need only start the transfer and walk away. but because the device will allow you to mark in and out points throughout the reel, you can digitize only the footage you really need for your final output. otherwise, use a video camera and digitize it in a matter of minutes for dailies of offline or for work where that quality is not an issue.

once i get the bugs worked out of this remote product development process, wherein myself, the other contributors, and the manufacturers and suppliers are all over the world, i will most likely apply some additional efforts to a simple, yet effective film processing machine that will again, provide a simple solution to a currently difficult proposition. had i been able to find a film digitizer or film processor that fit the bill, i would have spared myself all of this research and expense ... beleive me. i just hope there are other people out there that could benefit from these types of devices.

oh ... icing on the cake? a software application(mac/pc), that allows you to manage your chemicals mixtures and temps and times ... directly controlling the processor .. so if you have processed a filmstock in a particular fashion, you no doubt stored that data in memory ... because the device wil lkeep track of time and temps, you will most likely be able to replicate a process again and again with fairly consistant results, providing you physically mix your chemicals consistantly(the tank design is small, this way you can process a 400' roll of film and replace the chemicals(instead of replinish them) for repeatable results each time ... unless you are really good at replinishment and dont mind spending the time(not me). regarding the film digitizer, as mentioned early on in my last post, a utility will be created that will allow the management of high quality sequencial images wherin they are treated as movies, but not for the intention of playing them back on the computer for recordng to tape, but for digitally copying them and storing them to a digital format, thus somehow allowing these images to be reduced to their applicable output size and quality, compressed according to the playback device(focusing on dvd primarily), and mastered without having to have expensive raid configurations etc. this software may or may not happen easily ... i will put it out to the linux/freeBSD developers and see what kind of response i get, and who is willing to contribute/code for a modest fee the various elements that would be involved. still lots of investigation needed for this particular idea ... but all is currently doable, just need ot take the existng ingreients and mix them correctly and have people sample the flavor and buy into it.


eric jarvies wrote:


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:
> > Bill, > > 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. > > > > > > > > > __________________________________
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Free Pop-Up Blocker - Get it now
> http://companion.yahoo.com/

eric m jarvies
cabo san lucas, baja california sur.  mexico

eric m jarvies
cabo san lucas, baja california sur.  mexico

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