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Re: Eclair Cameras: Film Editing


I like your thinking! Any ballpark figure on what this device may run (sans camera)?

P.S. I just had to cut my ex-wife a check for $100,000 (her half of the equity in the house) and am now dealing with a $3,000 a month house payment. That only leaves me with $500 a month for all my bills. Sadly, traditional telecine is out of the picture for a bit. Do I qualify for your scholarship program? :)

On Thursday, January 1, 2004, at 07:40 PM, eric jarvies wrote:

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

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

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.

Do you Yahoo!?
Free Pop-Up Blocker - Get it now

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

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

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