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Old May 21st, 2004, 03:51 PM   #76
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<<<-- Originally posted by Wayne Morellini : Understood, it was just an interesting editing (processing) technology. -->>>

Yeah, VirtualDub is a terrific piece of software! I can't recommend it highly enough. There are also a couple of alternate versions (such as VirtualDubMod) that support things like Ogg and Matroska "container" formats and MPEG encoding.

Apologies if I came across as a know-it-all. I've been learning about this stuff for a few years and haven't been involved in many forums. I'm going to shut up now. :-)
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Old May 21st, 2004, 04:01 PM   #77
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No your fine, have a look at all the stuff I've put in here, unless sombody else does it, I may lend up doing it.

Keep researching and talking.

Thanks

Wayne.
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 02:45 AM   #78
 
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As a side note, since someone mentioned editing and end product in SD, I say I'm tired of SD. There's only so far I can go with it as a filmmaker. It's one thing if I wanted to do TV or straight to rental or what not, but I DON'T. The only reason I do any of that is for money. I want to make major theatrical releases man, high concept story-telling, the biggest of the big. So for my 2 cents, I say let's try to achieve that here and then downscale if we feel like it. If I want SD, I can walk one room over into my office.

By the way, one of my concerns in a system for capturing is dependability and user-friendliness. Wouldn't it be risky to put a system together that the programing-unsavvy might have trouble with? I've spent YEARS working on a system that crashes ALL THE TIME and don't intend to get caught up in that again.

By the way, again, if someone could check out the possiblities of that Final Cut Pro HD on a standard Mac G5 and let me know what they think, that would be awesome.

Thanks
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 05:14 AM   #79
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Yes, this is why I am putting such time into prompting people to think about working out a system, because one thing that will stop this from going large volume is te ease of use and reliability (apart from wanting to see the product succeed). Most people will go to a simular priced HDV then put up with hard to workout crashing super HDD HD. That leaves enthusiast and inde film makers, still profitable but 10 times less so (I believe). Most people want a plug and play (or install and play in this case) no brainer, reliable system, that is why I am hoping for good free Windows software aswell as Linux, because most people know how to handle the Windows beast allready.

If a flexible capture and/or editing system is worked out now, then it can be used for the Sumix or any other future project.

One note Steve, is that if Sumix could supply a seperate cheap, capture to disk board with camera controls, Lanc control port, and LCD support (with user configurable capture for any alternative input/camera module imaging format), in that price then all we would have to do is buy the drives, and connect them to the main computer for editing. It could be a bit much for them but well worth it for us if they feel inclined to attempt it. The right board could even be resold to people to put any module they like on it. That Russian guy has some of this in his freeware design.

It would be good to have completely lossless compression mode (that will allow 1080) and/or twin usb 2.0 (three for SHD). If a capture board i]s used then all we need is a straight "camera link" to the capture board (this would allow SHD imaging in future). While I think we will do fine with 720p we should aim for 1080i/p upgradability in the future (SHD would even be better).

If you could pass on these suggestios it would be good. Well, how is it going on the hardware front Steve?

Thanks

Wayne.
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 10:42 AM   #80
 
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Is 1080 considered SHD? I thought it was regular. If it's possible to do a 1080 24p chip, I think it would be better, as the difference on the screen (given multiple edits and color correction and the like) would be quite noticable. Of course, I won't balk at 720p, but I figured I'd mention my preferences.

Man, I think connecting straight to the board would be awesome!!!

By the way, I know that everyone seems to be trying to get this whole system up and running for a few grand, but truth be told, that may not be realistic if we are talking a reliable user-friendly system on a short time line. I'd be willing to pay 10 grand if that provided ample storage and the camera with it. This would most likely clear the editing system as well, but I'd go up to 15 grand for the whole thing. I know that sounds like a lot to some, but we might be considering that if it takes us 2 years or more to finish the thing (even a year for that matter), that the dollars we saved really weren't saved at all, they were spent via time wasted. The way I see it is, I'll sell a few things here, a few things there to upgrade. That'll knock down the price down some for me.

The rest of the cash will be some extra time at work and eating out less for a while, or it will be a relatively small bank loan.

The way I see it is this. Most people pay big money to drive a lusher car, but won't pay money to do what makes them happy. What makes me happy is having a real career in filmmaking. If we can swing it without it breaking us, I think we should.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 07:59 AM   #81
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Laurence,

I agree, paying 15 K for such a system well worth it. But the fact is - a lot of people on this part of the forum can't afford paying that much. The good thing though, if Sumix ever gives us the camera, it will be a start - they might come up with a finished product (PC based, USB 2, 3 monochrome CMOSs cam) later or people on this forum will polish the solution.

The reliability of the final camera will be achieved this way or another, it's just time :(

Wayne,
I wish I had any news on the point, but Sumix went silent after I described what the camera should be. There was no confirmation, nothing. They could be developing the cam now or they might have desided the trouble is financially inattractive. I am sending them a letter immediately. Sorry for such an attitude, I was very buisy these two weeks. Among other things, I purchased a USB 2 1280 X 1024 webcam that does 11 frames at full resolution, hoping to reverse engineer it and get 24 frames from a subsampled mode.
The thing is, I turned out to be overestimating my hacking abilities :(
Besides, CMOS imager on the camera is bayer RGB, not monochrome as I hoped buying it.
Although I didn't waste my time ( I found software for synchronizing the 3 monochrome streams, premultiplying by corresponding colors and outputting the final .avi or frame streams - http://www.montivision.com), I am a bit dissapointed: now there's no choise, but to spend more on expensive industrial monochrome cameras if Sumix pulls out.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 06:24 PM   #82
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new HD camera

Only just joined this forum, based in the UK. I have the same dream of a low cost HD system as many others. I'm not nearly as technically savvy as you guys as I'm a writer first and foremost. Jesus, some of you guys sound like engineers! I've been following the new developments very closely, including kinetta, sony POV, JVC etc. over in the UK we're limited to the sony hdw750p, the sdx900, imx, cinealta. All are either too expensive or do not provide enough quality.

Last week I rang a guy called Steve Nordhausen who works for silicon imaging. Within 8-12 weeks time a new camera will arrive! Here is the spec so far, forgive me if they are not detailed enough.

SI-1920 HD camera. 1920*1080 3.2 megapixel at 24fps poss 23.976 as well. Single cmos chip. Will stream to computer (PC) poss USB2 connection altough serial ata configuration was hinted at.
Frame grabber software will be required. Apparently 10bit and 12bit solutions are available. Images will be uncompressed. Frame grabber will be required along with another piece of software which I'm still a bit hazy on. Ready for the best bit? Camera will be approx $4000!
Frame grabber $1500. Camera will apparently be compatible with 16mm bolex or sneider lenses along with others. Steve mentioned that a press release would be availble close to release which may be July!

I would appreciate hearing what you guys think about this. Personally I don't think it's vapourware as they already have a 6.6megapixel camera that does the same but at different frame rates. Look forward to hearing from you guys.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 03:58 AM   #83
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8)

Adrian, thanks for posting, it was very vise to call the guys instead of dumb ass mailing :)
A few questions though - why would you need a frame grabber if you have USB 2 option? Is it that the data rate exceeds USB 2 top limit or is it just an alternative to USB?
Another thing is low light, what will be the dynamic range of the cam? Have they told you which CMOS is planned to be used?
I'm sorry for this flow of interrogativeness:), but the stufff you wrote about could be one piece of hardware!
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Old May 24th, 2004, 04:52 AM   #84
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thanks for response. I shall forward these queries onto steve. Watch this space.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 06:08 AM   #85
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Steve, no your fine, don't get over anxiouse, but if they have decided to bail out (it might have to go before a couple off montly board meetings first) they should have told you.
Laurence,

I think we are looking for realistically priced systems the price of HDV equipment ($5K or less) but a couple of levels up (lossless to disk, exchangable 35mm lense, really good sensor). At this price people can say, do I buy HDV or do I buy this. Even if people are grumbling at having to pay the HDV price, they can quickly see they are getting better value for the same price with the Sumix and pay for that anyway. Loosless to disk is also cheaper to make than highly comrpessed to tape mechanism (then you get the problem with buying extra HDD).

Steve, in Linux there is a group that does a video aplication layer used by USB drivers for webcams, ask them about this (they probably can direct you to the Linux driver writers), maybe they know of customisable Windows driver too:

www.thedirks.org/v4l

The problem with webcams, is that they probably use very cheap and nasty sensor chips, unless it is by chance something like the Smal sensor. It could also be a bit off putting to Sumix too, but I don't seriusly think there is much chance that any of these cheap wcams will have pro performance.

Adrian, unfortunately we are not engineers, though I am a computer Scientist that had Engineering freinds at Uni (one was one of the best young engineers in the country, and the top silicon engineer in the States graduated from the uni nearly 20 years before). If we were engineers we could do the lot ourselves.

I hate to say this, because the moderators might not like it. But look on the Silicon Engineering site in the news, there was a contract with Sharp for non HDV equipment.

The new chip, unless they use compresson they wont be able to get 1080i through a USB2.0 link. I have thought of the Serial ATA idea, and it could allow some by passing of the controller boards buss, and higher through put, but I have not suggested it because it is not standard in this application, and a better solution is needed, maybe the desktop version of PCI-Express serial bus. I'm not certain but I think there might be a usb like version to come. There is also a consumer AV cable standard that does around 5 Gbit/s per second (can't remember the name).

$4K+, yes there is a market, above the Sumix at that price, as you are talking of 2.5K+ more, and beyond the non pros threshhold of pain.

I have just received a Javascript notification that the limit of messages are around 1000 characters and I'm allready double that. I think one of my messages in another thread has dissapeared too. This is unrealistically small for such technical issues (10K would be better). If a lot of work was being done here then there would be many 1000+ messages floating back and forwards from time to time. Believe me I have aeen this in tecnical discussions (well there is another few hundred characters).
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Old May 24th, 2004, 06:14 AM   #86
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Another message

Steve, you mentioned an engineer, a while ago, called Vladimire, or something like that, that name sounds familiar. It could have been a video group, or the Misc (Minium Instruction Set Computer) mailing list I know it from. If he was in Misc, say hi from fellow member.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 07:13 AM   #87
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To Wayne

Wayne, thank you for typing that much :) I would sure use your advise and look for guys who deal with webcams but I came to realize that the thing I bought a few weeks ago won't be suitable for serious filmmaking. The hardware bayer pattern on the CMOS sensor ruins all hopes.
As for saying hi to the Russian guy, I would definitely do so if he replies to repeated inquiry I sent yesterday :)
You sure did a right thing making it off with a diploma in computer science ; ) It might be off topic, but what are you doing for living with that big diploma?
It's just I've been into this "cinema-SFX-help_yourself" utopia for the last 2 years, but having no proper tools for getting written scripts shot, I am gradually shifting towards electronics. The area is vast and amazing. Just curious how (if) you apply your knowledge towards sustainable living :)
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Old May 24th, 2004, 07:46 AM   #88
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Steve,

If you have scripts, I'd like to read them. We're always looking if they are of the standard length. No zombie movies though.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 07:50 AM   #89
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I am an software engineer, and I have done some embedded systems work. What I would love to see is an "open" hardware platform that people like me could write and adapt open source software for.

For example, the camera itself would have ...

- A standard CPU/memory/flash configuration
- A standard I/O port such as USB2, Firewire800 or Gigabit Ethernet.
- Support for a few selected imaging chips

If you could upload software into flash (Bayer algorithms, codecs, etc.) then the camera would be incredibly flexible.

We could define a standard protocol (or better, use one that already exists) for the video stream coming down the wire, then provide open-source tools to convert it into the necessary formats for the NLE -- AVI, Matroska, QuickTime, etc.

It's obviously necessary to work with any NLE out there -- Final Cut, Premiere, Avid, etc. in addition to supporting a free alternative (such as Cinelerra).

I for one would *love* to work on a project like this (though my time is already way overcomitted!). If it meant I could get an inexpensive high-quality "cine" camera, I would be really tempted to dig into the software.

[personal preferences]
1. I would like to see a Gigabit Ethernet port on the camera. This is quickly becoming a commodity and is even faster than Firewire 800. (Though I do not have specs on sustained throughput.)

2. To simplify the design I think the camera should not have audio capability -- external sync audio is very practical for filmmaking. This would also free up I/O bandwidth so the video would require less compression.
[/personal preferences]
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Old May 24th, 2004, 09:34 AM   #90
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I was following these threads with fascination in the last few weeks. I will briefly "chip in" in this thread.
I am a cinematographer and I have worked with all formats from 35mm to miniDV. I can see that a homemade HD cam is not far from being a reality. Even the so called Hi end products that are to be released (Viper, Dalsa) are not far as concept from what I've seen here lately. I welcome Rob's observations for a prototype and would like to add few things:
- the camera can be built around a motherboard with Gigabit Ethernet/FireWire
- a minimum 2/3" chip: to keep as close as possible to the depth of field and angle of view of bigger sisters/brothers we want to emulate. Larger chips also have bigger photosites and lower noise. The single CMOS (Bayer) color chip option is attracting some difficulties and postprocessing requirements like unsharp mask... and other things that I would like to have them done at that stage anyway. I can see it as bonus though: the raw files are the "negative" that we all want to have. Both Viper and Dalsa are using the same aproach. From my experience a 1.2 - 2 megapixel RAW file would generate an excellent image for the current projection environement. It will also offer an acceptable data rate to be handled by an inexpensive frame grabber card or even current logic boards and SATA+RAID drives. Don't forget that bigger files and a large data vault will make the post-production costs prohibitive for the indie filmmaker.
I have to go for now, I have an early start for the next day.

PS A link to an interesting chip. Check it out:
http://www.photonlines.com/English/Eframe_intro.htm
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