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HD and UHD ( 2K+ ) Digital Cinema
Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.


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Old April 20th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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CSI: Colorspace 35mm / 16mm Digital Cinema Cameras

I've been a DVinfo member for a while now, and I'm excited to finally be able to let the DVinfo community know what we've been working on. Colorspace (the company I'm a part of), has been working for a while now to develop a series of digital cinema cameras and recorders that reproduce the quality of (35mm / 16mm) film but leverage the advantages of digital acquisition. The closest parallel I can draw, is comparing D-SLR photography cameras to traditional film-based SLRs. Digital SLR cameras have the sensor size, dynamic range, and resolution to produce images very similar to film, yet they can also shoot many more images without changing recording media, and these images are instantly previewable.

Of course, we have several important technical focuses, with respect to resolution, dynamic range, frame rate, etc.. but in addition to reproducing the aesthetic quality of film, to be successful, our products must be straightforward in their use, and the workflow should be intuitive. Workflow is a big issue for us, and we've been working to simplify the process of filmmaking, so that our users can focus on capturing beautiful images, not on babysitting their equipment.

I'm very happy to publicly announce the details of our partnership with post-production software manufacturer, Assimilate. Assimilate makes a very powerful 2k/4k post-production suite known as SCRATCH. SCRATCH is normally used for a film DI workflow, and because our footage is essentially the same as scanned film, that makes it a natural choice for us. SCRATCH includes realtime multi-res playback, editorial, color correction, etc.. everything but the kitchen sink! We've been working with Assimilate for a while now, to directly integrate SCRATCH into our hard-disk recorders. Yes, you read that correctly, our hard-disk recorders will natively be running SCRATCH. Obviously the simplest use of SCRATCH will simply be for monitoring and dailies functionality, but the fact that SCRATCH has built-in color correction means you can perform immediate color adjustment for preview, as well as load premade LUTs, organize clips, edit meta data, etc.

On the subject of LUTs, we're going to include LUTs (for free) that will emulate popular film stocks. This all goes back to our aspiration of letting the cinematographer focus on making beautiful images, not worrying that his monitor preview doesnt look like the film preview he is used to. With SCRATCH and our LUT's, the difference between film and digital will be transparent.

For more info about our partnership with Assimilate, you can visit:
http://www.assimilateinc.com/press/0...Colorspace.pdf
...and for more info about SCRATCH, checkout:
http://www.assimilateinc.com

Also, i'd like to point out that even though we talk about digital "cinema," we're putting forth a lot of effort to focus on all aspects of motion-capture, not just traditional cinema. Documentaries, snowboard films, etc.. we're trying to keep a broad variety of users in mind. Ultimately, I believe that modular and flexible cameras will benefit every user, even those within the realm of traditional cinema.

There are many more exciting developments on the horizon, but for the moment I wanted to give you guys a taste of what we've been working on. We'll be at NAB next week, and if you're reading this, then consider yourself invited to come by the booth (#C11331). For those who can't make it to NAB, but still want to talk about our products, you can inquire to info (AT) truecolorspace.com.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #2
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Adam,

Exciting stuff... but no pictures? We are a very visual group :). But seriously, the workflow piece is interesting, but it isn't going to grab people very hard without more information about the cameras themselves. Are they taking prime lenses? What mounts? What output formats? You mention solid-state... is that P2s? Is it too much info for Firewire? Are you putting out 4:4:4? 4:2:2:?

Capturing 2k at 60p will definitely turn some heads. Fun fun.

So the betas are up and running?

Are you manufacturing your sensors or buying them? If the former, how is yoru yield coming? If the latter, what are they?

Questions questions.... good luck, and I'm looking forward to hearing more.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 06:16 PM   #3
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Barry, we will be showing (at NAB) some material off the sensors we've been testing, but for the moment, we're still very much in testing and development (months away from releasing finished retail cameras), and the purpose of my posting here is basically to give users advanced notice of what we're doing. Up untill now, our development has been behind the scenes, and much of it will continue to be behind the scenes (internally, and with beta testers).

At this point, I feel it's better to under-promise and over-deliver, so that is one of the reasons I'm wary to get too far into talking about what we're working on. But yes, we will support common lens mounts. We will have a couple of different output formats. Again, rather not get into too much specifics at this stage in development, and just leave the much broader statement that we're working on very robust digital cinema cameras, and working very hard to make owning them (and a complete turnkey workflow) a reality for many types of users.

Yes, too much info for firewire. There is some gray area in that statement, but the short answer is basically that firewire isn't easily do-able.

We are outputting uncompressed rgb. We should be offering a couple flavors of compressed output as well (both lossless, and lossy).. but again, i'd rather keep this development behind the scenes, and then show you all in a few more months a fully tested version of what we've accomplished. The sensors are custom manufactured for us.

With respect to Assimilate, we really do feel this workflow is revolutionary. Even if i could show you a camera the size of a cellphone that can output 4k 60p, that won't mean much if it's outputting gigs of raw bayer data that you have no way to preview in realtime, and no feasible (or at least simple) means of stuffing it into a workflow. There are perhaps a few technically advanced users who would be interested in such a device, but the real issue for me, is streamlining such a workflow, so that a technically advanced camera doesn't require a technically advanced user-- you shouldn't need to understand demoasic algorithms, nor do most users want to. Just attach the recorder, pull up the LUT for your preferred film stock, and get back to focusing on what is in front of the camera.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #4
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Adam,

All understood, and though we want to know more we certainly appreciate the updates...

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:25 PM   #5
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so i see on assimilateinc (scratch) web site

"SCRATCH mixing up the digital film workflow with:"

RED Digital: (SU1401) ***TOP SECRET*** just need to come by and see!
Color Space: (C11331 ***TOP SECRET*** just need to come by and see!
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Old April 21st, 2006, 07:19 AM   #6
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Honestly, I see this camera more realistic than RED. Even thou RED was announce earlier and have made many promises, the only advantage at this moment I see RED has is its name only. RED grabs attention with the name, but I don't see when they will be doing something tangable.

" very hard to make owning them (and a complete turnkey workflow) a reality for many types of users " - see this is the approach that at least makes me think optimistic. I have been after DRAKE, then the Russian CMOS camera,( now they call it KINOR) and had two disappointments, because even thou I was ready to pay as much as they requested for the camera, they never finished it, and don't even care about bringing ends to it.

So, the bottom line is that first one out will take the market, if it will be what they promise it will be.

Good luck Adam, see you on NAB.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 09:13 AM   #7
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Levan, RED will deliver...

And don't forget you dont' have to shoot 4k or 2k with RED... you can also shoot 720p and 1080p...
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 08:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
Levan, RED will deliver...

And don't forget you dont' have to shoot 4k or 2k with RED... you can also shoot 720p and 1080p...
RED is announced to be a great camera, and I don't mind shooting 2K either, but when will it deliver? As for myself, I am after the first one out (or course if the features are as good as described)
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 09:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levan Bakhia
RED is announced to be a great camera, and I don't mind shooting 2K either, but when will it deliver? As for myself, I am after the first one out (or course if the features are as good as described)
They are very much trying to make the deadline of:
NAB - non working prototype and specs
Fall - first footage of the camera
End of this year - shipping working cameras.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 10:26 AM   #10
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Great then... what about colorspace? do you know their timing? I hope they are faster.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 11:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Levan Bakhia
Great then... what about colorspace? do you know their timing? I hope they are faster.
Nope, no idea. Only know about RED :-)
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 12:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Levan Bakhia
Great then... what about colorspace? do you know their timing? I hope they are faster.
Faster than the end of the year? Because personally, I am amazed that RED was announced a few months ago and is expected to be delivered a few months from now. If they pull off that timetable it will be quite an accomplishment, IMO. I've been seeing photos of the Kinetta prototype for a couple of years now and there's still no viable product out there. And of course it was supposed to sell for $60k when and if it was ever released. If the RED comes out at the end of this year it will be the fastest delivery time on a product of this scale that I can think of off the top of my head.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 12:24 PM   #13
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Well, the company RED says it was established in 1999, so I'm assuming they've been working on this for a while now. It only a few months ago that they began to share their mission with us.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #14
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What has happened at NAB, what is the price?

Thanks

Wayne.
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Old April 30th, 2006, 11:56 PM   #15
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They have updated their website. Someone who came to their booth in NAB mentioned the price of their True35 cam to be in the "red" price range, but its still speculative until they make an announcement. There really isn't much more info except that the products are now called True35 (2048x1556), True16 (1280x960) and TrueRecorder (both solid state and hard disk).

I'm eager to hear more...
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