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Old March 9th, 2004, 10:00 PM   #1
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HDV to 35mm print? Any suggestions?

Hey everyone,

I am new on this forum. I've been using the HD10U for a while now however only for final products on SD. I am not sure if you guys would remember, but our company did a spec spot back in June last year with the HD10 for Red Bull?

As a result, we have been approached to shoot a full length feature with HD10Us. Would really appreciate some suggestions for the most stable workflow for getting this done.

We wish to do edit on FCP and do some color correction and effects in Combustion, but besides that we really would want to know what you guys think out there regarding the best possible way to get it onto film as well as keeping the final picture on HD.

Thanks and look forward to hearing from you all.

Kevin,
director of photography
www.4lanes.com
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Old March 11th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #2
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Kevin,

Nice work on the spec...

We also have a commercial on JVC's site for Moredreamhomes.com. We shot it on the HD10U and edited it in FCP using the DC30 uncompressed 4:2:2 Codec. We also used this codec to do some After Effects work.

Our conclusion was that editing in HD with a Dual G4 1.42 (2 GB Ram) in FCP wasn't a workable worflow for a bigger size project:
- Size of files too big
- Limited benefits (No realtime monitoring)
- Limited layering
- Slow response

So we decided to take a different approach for our short film "Hotel Room" which we also shot on the HD10U. We developed software (Lumiere HD) to manage the workflow and file conversion and were able to edit 5 hours of HDV footage into a 17 min short film. This was a very succesful and workable solution for us. We edited the show in DV and went online in MPEG2 Program Stream. We also did color correction in DV and fine tuning in HD, right in FCP.

Please visit http://www.lumieremedia.com/hotelroom in the next few days to watch a trailer, stills and clips of the show.

We were so impressed by the quality of image we were able to get from this camera and the low cost of production for an HD output, that we decided to shoot our coming up feature with the HD10U.

As far as blowing up to film, as you probably know 30p is probably the worse format to attempt the transfer with. The good news is that JVC recognizes the need for a 24p HDV model and I wouldn't be surprised to see one come out within a year or so (speculation). As one of their engineers told me, "24p would also allow for a better quality image because there is less data to process per second!".

So to conclude, we edited offline and are very happy. Lumiere HD will be released at NAB '04.

Please tell me more about your project...we are interested in adding a few more beta testers for Lumiere HD.

Best,

Frederic Haubrich
Lumiere Media
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Old March 11th, 2004, 01:00 PM   #3
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Thank you and greatly interested in Lumiere HD

Hey Frederic,

Thank you so much for the valuable tips on editing HDV. I've been looking around on DVinfo and found many different ways to deal with editing on FCP. This include the Heuris plug-in, Paul Mogg approach, and the Steven Mullen modification. It's a bit confusing to say the least on which is the best for long format.

I am excited to hear that you have actually dealth with 5 hours of footage and edited with it successfully. I would be thrilled to check out the film later when it is available.

I do have a couple of questions regarding the color correction process you guys went through.

1. You corrected in DV and then applied it to the HDV footage. What was Lumiere's workflow for that? Did you have to render out? Since we are most comfortable with Discreet's Combustion, it would be greatly reassuring to know that we could export to use this software.

2. When the project was finished. How easy was it to export out to a more 'common' HD format for viewing?

By the way, I've seen the commercial for moredreamhouses, I think it looks great. Good work.

We are going to camera in the beginning of April. We are doing a small test shoot on a smaller project (a music video) to test out the complete workflow from camera to the end product on HD. Would it be possible to come on as a BETA test user soon(within the next two weeks) so that we can make sure we use Lumiere HD for our post production on the feature? To me and our editor, this seems to be the most complete solution yet for long format.

I'll email you details regarding our projects.
We look forward to Lumiere HD.

Thanks!

Kevin C. W. Wong
director of photography
www.4lanes.com
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Old March 11th, 2004, 08:17 PM   #4
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1) If you are going for a filmout from hd you must remember it will cost you about $300/minute to do so.

2) It is more difficult to convert video to work with the transfer.

3) If you are sure you are going to want a film out, then shoot film. It is trivial to transfer film to video and the image will be better.

4) You can use FCP to edit the film also.

5) It's easier and cheaper to transfer film to any other format for distribution.
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Old March 12th, 2004, 11:47 AM   #5
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Kevin,

Regarding the HDV/FCP solutions you've outlined, so far I think Paul's findings are the best bet for the money: FREE!

He and Paul St. Denis have made incredible progress in the domain.

You see, I beleive that one should pay for a solution only if it offers significant benefits and unfortunately, I don't think Heuris delivers on that level. The timeline has to be rendered when using the Heuris codec and this is simply not workable for professional editors.

Editing is an art, as you know. It's all about the rhythm of work. I think the best editors I've worked with are like musicians. Anything that kills that rhythm (rendering after each change) is just not feasible for editors.

So, as far as our workflow here it goes. Take a look at the beta description of Lumiere HD. It allowed us to edit semlessly in DV and online the project in HDV (QuickTime compatible 720p MPEG2 Program Stream). After onlining the project, we encoded:

1. Widescreen DVD (Directly from HDV, the results were stunning)

2. Uncompressed HD using the DC30 Codec

We were also able to produce DV rough cuts directly from the timeline to show our producers throughout the process.

Read the feature set of Lumiere HD:
http://www.lumieremedia.com/hdv/lumierehd_features.pdf

So, the short answer is yes you can take your program to other solutions (i.e. Discreet Combustion) as long as these programs can handle 720p resolution.

I will contact you offline regarding our beta testing program.

Frederic
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Old March 15th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #6
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Lumiere HD

Hey Frederic,

Thanks for sending us the PDF on Lumiere HD. We are impressed with the ease of it. We've gone through the method suggested by others like Paul St. Denis and have found that it all works, but of course Lumiere HD combines and simply the process, which is greatly valuable to us, as we are planning for a feature. We are certain to be getting a ton of footage (multiple camera shoot) therefore this onestop solution is the best we've seen yet.

We would love to be on board to test out the Lumiere HD for our feature. Let us know what you think.

Kevin,
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Old March 16th, 2004, 11:32 AM   #7
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Kevin,

I will contact you privately regarding beta testing.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 10:53 PM   #8
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MOre questions...

Frederic and Kevin,

I saw the Hotel Room previews and the Red Bull Spec commercial.
Nicely done.

I have a half hour docudrama that Ben and I are shooting for client in April.

What filters did you use for your test commercials?

Did you under expose any shots? An article in American Cinematographer described how the DP of the film 28 Days Later deliberately underexposed some of the images by one F stop ( DV format). Apparently done to preserve shadow detail.

Did you rely totally on post for your color correction, or can this be helped during photography?

Some writers have indicated that the HD 10's colors are slightly less saturated than 3 chip cameras. Is this really a problem? Can this be totally fixed in post?
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Old March 17th, 2004, 03:11 AM   #9
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Ed,


Regarding Hotel Room we took our time for each setup to make sure we got the mood we aimed for (lighting wise).

we didn't particularly under-expose but rather darkned the shots in post. We also saturated colors a bit in color correction. We kept the shutter speed at normal rate.

It is true that the HD10U doesn't have as much richness in colors as a 3CCD comparable model would (HD), but HD does wonderfully with reds and other rich colors. Better than DV in my opinion.

You'll notice that the wardrobe for our short film has lots of reds. We did this on purpose knowing we were shooting in HD. We would've never used these colors in SD.

Color correction can do a lot. If you get a chance, watch "Amelie's" director's comments on the DVD. It is probably the ultimate example in color correction manipulation to match the mood of the film.
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Old March 17th, 2004, 07:04 PM   #10
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Hey Frederic,

Do you have any idea when Lumiere HD is going to be coming out? Also, what are the minimum requirements for using Lumiere? I have a G4 Powermac 800mhz and I am thinking of upgrading my computer but according to the Lumiere pdf. it sounds like you can offline on DV which means that i could use my G4. I am about to finish my feature at the end of the month and I need to start thinking about what computer I should upgrade to. Also, do you have a chroma noise filter on Lumiere HD?
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Old March 18th, 2004, 11:32 AM   #11
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Louis,

We are aiming for a first release during NAB '04.

As you said, minimum requirements are the same as DV. Unless you prefer to edit in offline motion Jpeg, in which case you can get away with even less requirements.

If you are planning on purchasing a new machine, I recommend to get the biggest you can with as much storage as possible.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 06:03 PM   #12
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Hey Ed,

Regarding your question on the cinematography for the spec spot. It was very simple actually. We just stayed well away from strong highlights and just made sure the lighting can stay consistant throughout our movements.

The color may look a bit de-saturated in the monitor as you are shooting, however when you view the rushes, you'll find that the colors are quite vivid. We used quite a bit of reds and warm tones as well, like Frederic's Hotel Room. The colors work quite well in that side of the spectrum.

We did infact put a substantial amount of work into the color correction, however we found that the footage is quite clean so it's a good 'canvas' to start with I'd say. As for the footage needing correction, it's really a matter or taste, I mean, even when shooting 35mm, most DPs add and enhance in the telecine/timing process anyway, so why shouldn't in HDV?

Hope this helps you and hope your stuff go off well.

Kevin,
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Old March 18th, 2004, 09:46 PM   #13
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HDV to 35mm is going to most likely have similar issues as DV to 35mm.

Since there isn't a 24P HDV camera yet, you will have to shoot 30i, unless you have access to a PAL HDV camera.

You definitely need to talk to whatever film out facility you plan to use about bringing HDV footage into their workflow. Think of using HDV as aquisition only, and have your filmout master on something like HDCam or D5.

Since you plan do your own editing, color correction, etc. Look at editing in DV, then do an online assemble at a higher quality.

If what I have been reading this DC30 codec seems to be uncompressed. If you can recapture the footage as 10bit uncompressed, thats even better.

The footage won't look better, but you will have more headroom when doing your color corrections.

Be sure to do as many tests you can afford with your fillmout facility and have them credit you for the cost of the tests to the final output.

But since making a 35mm negative will cost you at least $20k to $30k, you may want to go with digital projection.

I don't know where you are, but in Los Angeles, there are at least a dozen screens with digital projectors.

Landmark Theaters have been using industrial DLP projectors and encoding films into Windows Media 9 for screenings. Then Mark Cuban, owner of HDNet bought them out.

A D5 tape can handle 4 to 8 channels of audio. This is more than enough for a small indie film.

The best advise I can give is to TEST TEST and TEST often. Last thing you want is spend a lot of money and be disappointed by what you end up with.
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Old March 22nd, 2004, 09:14 AM   #14
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Kevin,

Regarding blowing up to 35mm, I would either wait for JVC's 24p HDV model or go with the European JVC GR-PD1 25p. If your intent is to go to film, I wouldn't shoot with the HD10U.

Here's a couple articles regarding the topic:

http://www.film-people.net/info/Indy-Producers/film_camera_and_camcorder_formats.html

http://videosystems.primediabusiness.com/ar/video_three_paths_film/
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