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Old September 29th, 2006, 10:53 PM   #1
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Semi-final verdict on best option for film-out?

Ok after having read all the problems with selecting 'FILM-OUT' on the camera for an actual film-out I'm confused as to what to do. Here is my situation:

Shooting a feature, with no plans of getting a film-out due to $$, however if film is shown and someone decided to do a film-out, I want that option to be open therefore I want to shoot with the best settings possible for a film-out without sacrificing the look for a straight to DVD or HD transfer. I realise there are lots of variables. But the basics? I mean I should definitley stay away from the 'FILM-OUT' in the camera right?

I'm thinking just shooting with True Color V3 as it provides the best real-world look, and letting post and the actual film if i do a film-out do the rest of the work. Am I right in this sort of thinking?

Thanks.

ps. I just got my 110, so I have a bunch of newbie questions to post after this clearly-way-in-over-my-head post.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 01:00 AM   #2
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I have the identical question: what is the best setting for the camera if there will definitely be a DVD and there may well be a FilmOut?

After reading Steve Mullen's book, it seems that for a filmout, the gamma setting must be different than for a video final. However, can the gamma be adjusted in the NLE, or should the video be shot originally with a gamma setting apropriate for filmout?

Second part of the question: after the video is shot and edited, what is the best place to go to learn exactly how to prepare the video for a filmout.

At this point I am talking about a 7 to 12 minute short that will need to be prepared to go to film festivals.

Thank you!
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Old September 30th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #3
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Now, I haven't ever done a film-out myself, so take this with a grain of salt. But I've experimented a bit, and followed the various posts on the subject (There have been a few).

I would say that if you're not sure you're doing a filmout, don't worry about it. Shoot, edit, and prepare your look for your guaranteed delivery medium. So if you know you'll be delivering on DVD, make it look good on DVD. If, somewhere down the line, you end up needing a film-out, a good lab can tell you what you need to do. Your first priority should be simply getting the best quality images.

Regarding the camera's built-in FILMOUT setting, I seem to recall a discussion a while back about it being effectively useless, unless you're recording off the component outs. Something about the linear gamma putting a bunch of the data into the ends of the "curve", where it's then lost in the MPG compression.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 03:37 AM   #4
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so.....

but i've always figured its best to plan a little ahead for something like this and i'm just wondering if there is something i can do about that...
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:57 AM   #5
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Andrew Young at Duart NY and James Tocher at Digital Film Group Vancouver seem to have the most experience with filmout of HD100 material. They are both members here at dvinfo.net, so hopefully one or both of them will notice this thread and give us their opinion.

I have discussed this topic at great length with Andrew and a little with James. Although there seem to be two schools of thought with regards to latitude, there are some commonalities:

Lens: Use the Fuji 13x3.5 lens if possible, double check back focus on a HD monitor all the time.

Detail level: Don't turn it off, but turn it down to at least -7. Some have suggested MIN for a filmout, but personally I think -7 offers a good balance of natural "filmlike" edges without video enhancement. MIN almost seems to blur the pixels.

Frame rate: Obviously 24P is ideal. 25P is usable (with a 4% speed reduction when projected.) NEVER EVER use 30P unless it is for slightly "overcranked" slo-mo. There is no algorythm to convert 30P to 24fps and maintain true speed.

Gain: always on "0"

H Frequency: Middle
V Frequency: Low (this has something to do with video noise being introduced on HIGH setting.)

Color Matrix: Normal


As for gamma, black stretch and knee settings, opinions differ.
James Tocher helped JVC design the linear FILMOUT curve that is now in the camera, but the limitations of 8-bit HDV seem to hinder the use of a linear curve the way we would normally on a Varicam. The latitude of that curve is also very limiting and a monitor with a gamma box would be required for WYSIWYG monitoring.

I am of the mind that since any filmout is going to go through a D.I. timing stage, you might as well capture as much information as possible. For me this means an 80% knee and possibly Black Stretch as high as 3.
However, I have been told that the trade-off for a filmout might be the introduction of noise. I think I would still use black stretch simply to have the option to crush blacks if needed in D.I.

The other thing to keep in mind is to avoid the cine curve when shooting for film. The Cine curve emulates a film curve when presented on a TV, but will not help you with video response when colour correcting for a filmout. Stick with standard curve and normal colour matrix.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #6
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What Tim said, but more...

1. Knee should be @ 85 for the best possible highlight handling (IMO)
2. Of all the scene files I'd tried on film transfer, Tim's "warm" scene file transfered with the most expected results. Since then I haven't tried the newest scene files in transfer. I am going to shoot a transfered peice this fall using the Panamatch file hoping for similar results with better overall color saturation
3. In post production you must not skimp on your render codec. If on an 8 bit system use 2vuy uncompressed. It is the best match for what actually comes off the camera head. If you're capturing component and you can afford it then Blackmagic's 2vuy 10 bit codec is superb.
4. You can overcome dancing artifacts in background elements (sky or black) in post production so don't sweat it. A couple of filter that will smooth out these elements are Commotion's Smooth Screen or Magic Bullet.
5. If you need slow motion use the HDV50p SD option. The scale up is minimal and the resulting 60% slow down will give you impeccable results if you take the care to scale it properly and then lay "smooth screen" or magic bullett on the file afterwards.
6. I have not tested it but maybe the "filmout" gamma on the HD-110 is different than the HD-100? As for the HD-100, filmout gamma was definately flat on the scope but most elements are lost in the darkness on interiors and if you're sourced from tape then the HDV codec has to handle alot of black. This is not good for the codec and if you attemp to bring the gamma back up in post production then you'll see all of the blocks that go into making MPEG2. There is no smooth screen filter or magic bullet filter that can save the image.
7. The absolute best way to know that your getting is to actually do a transfer and look at the results.

S.Noe
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Old September 30th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #7
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i wish...

unfortunatley i can't afford a transfer but everything you have said helps. The 'FILM-OUT' hasn't changed from the 100 to 110, from what JVC says about it, which is nothing. What about True Color scene file? Any tries with that for a film-out?

Also one thing i'm confused and have been for a while, why would you shoot in a different frame rate and overcrank so you can get slow-mo when you can easily do this in post? Sorry if its a dumb question.

Thanks
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayk Paul
Also one thing i'm confused and have been for a while, why would you shoot in a different frame rate and overcrank so you can get slow-mo when you can easily do this in post? Sorry if its a dumb question.

Thanks
Mainly because you're dealing with progressive frames shot at 24fps. If you try and slow that down in post you're in for a surprise. Your footage will look very choppy in motion because even if your NLE supports mixed frames, strobe or trails, you still can't overcome choppy looking video. This is where 50fps comes in very handy. 50fps slowed down (or in your case spread out over 24fps) will be ultra smooth without chop. If you're planning on speeding up footage then it doesn't matter really what framerate you choose because your NLE will handle the speed up with cut frame math.

S.Noe
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Old October 1st, 2006, 11:59 AM   #9
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Tim and Stephen,
Thank you for the details about setting the camera for video that will transfer to film. This is very extremely helpful.

If anyone has had good experiences with specific labs that have worked with HD100 video, I would be happy to hear the experiences and know who the labs are.

It appears that DVFilm has a book that covers the whole process (and they do transfers for some major independent films), and I think I will get this book. It is currently not for sale because it is undergoing revision and hopefully this will include info on the JVC camera. The info currently on the website doesn't include the JVC HD100 camera.

By the way, if one is going to do a transfer, should it be planned that the transfer facility also do a color correction? I notice that with DVFilm they have this option, for an additional $50 a minute, using Rembrandt. Is the $450 a minute for an HDV transfer charged by DVFilm typical, low or high? (There is a discount for a feature length transfer.)
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Old October 1st, 2006, 01:29 PM   #10
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We use Ił (I Cubed) for transfer in Chicago.

We use Cinefilm lab in Atlanta.


The process was easy as long as I provided the images in the fasion they needed. I cut the 24p video on Liquid which outputs the exact format they need and without any rez/color robbing transcode to another format.

We have not tried DuArt yet. I'd like to get the next project into Andrew Young's hands for their group to test using our editing and output process.

S.Noe
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Old October 1st, 2006, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
The process was easy as long as I provided the images in the fasion they needed. I cut the 24p video on Liquid which outputs the exact format they need and without any rez/color robbing transcode to another format.
What is the output/export from Liquid? I believe you said in another file that it is TARGA. Are there special settings?

Is this right?
1. Capture/import m2t native files.
2. Edit the m2t files with rendering set to uncompressed--is there a special setting for the uncompressed
3. Export a Targa sequence. (settings?_
4. Deliver for transfer on what medium? Hard drive? or other?

Thank you!
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Old October 1st, 2006, 03:21 PM   #12
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I live in New York, and am going to Duart this Thursday to see a demo of what different DV and HDV cameras look like on 35 mm film.

I'm planning on doing a filmout with HD100 footage, but I'm a total novice at this. Andrew Young at Duart explained the workflow to me the other day.

I'm coming up with a list of questions for Thursday, and if anybody can help me out with some good questions, I'll post what they tell us.

So far, I've found out Duart prefers projects done on Avid or FC (I have Vegas), but I think plain old uncompressed Quicktime files will also work.
They recommend cuts-only (disssolves, composites, etc. don't work well with .m2t). They transfer the files to D5(?) tape (uncompressed HD) in order to import it onto a machine that up-rezes the 720 lines to 1080(?). After this(?), they do color correction, and add in titles.

As you can see, I'm still pretty much in the dark on this. Filmout seems to be the goal/dream for a lot of us, so this is a pretty important thread.

Thanks guys for the info so far.

-Miq
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Old October 1st, 2006, 04:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker
What is the output/export from Liquid? I believe you said in another file that it is TARGA. Are there special settings?

Is this right?
1. Capture/import m2t native files.
2. Edit the m2t files with rendering set to uncompressed--is there a special setting for the uncompressed
3. Export a Targa sequence. (settings?_
4. Deliver for transfer on what medium? Hard drive? or other?

Thank you!
Download this video. I can't possibly make the workflow any more clear than what is displayed. I can add that the post house expects a TGA sequence on a USB2 drive. We bought a 200Gig USB2 drive just for this purpose. Each frame will be 3.51 MB so you can do the math on how much space it will take to deliver the project on USB HDD.

PS Don't forget that you must create 2 things to be successfull

1. Create the 24fps TGA preset and use that to export your frames
2. Create a 24fps AVI export in order to get your audio out for the post house.

Piece of cake
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Old October 1st, 2006, 08:08 PM   #14
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Regarding potential film-outs, there are basically two conceptual choices: one is that you shoot and create a timed master optimized for a film-out and then from that make a second master adjusted for release on video; the second is that you make the best-timed master for release on video and let the people doing the film-out adjust their LUT for that.

There are also general issues like avoiding doing anything that will be aggregious on the big screen, like use too much detail or over-diffuse or use too much gain, etc.

But what I was talking about before has more to do with gamma & color.

Now many of us don't have the budget to time the movie twice, so we make the best master for video release that we can and let the people doing the film-out make adjustments. The main problem with that may be a loss of shadow detail and a certain video-ish quality to the color and contrast, but you will probably be fine.

The real problem with the other approach, shooting exclusively for a film-out, is that ideally you be shooting to create a flatish 10-bit Cineon Log look (the look of film negative scanned for D.I. work) and then applying a LUT for monitor viewing on set and in post, and then later making a separate video master for video release with this LUT applied. But if you aren't shooting with a camera that can create a Log look, then you'd have to do some testing to simulate one using the right combination of knee, black gamma, etc. and live with a rather low-con image that needs some sort of LUT applied just to look correct on a monitor.

Probably some sort of middle-ground approach works best for the smaller HDV cameras, etc. which is to make a good-looking image for video monitor viewing but on the low-contrast side, avoiding using much detail, etc. and then use that for the film-out, and then make a separate master for video release where you go back and goose up the contrast and lower the blacks a little to look snappier, something that wouldn't take much time to color-correct, more of an overall adjustment.

Ultimately if you shoot good-looking video, a film-out company can figure out how to transfer it to film and retain most of that look.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 01:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mullen
Regarding potential film-outs, there are basically two conceptual choices....
Thank you for this further addition to the discussion. It is very helpful. The middle-ground approach you explain seems to make sense, and it can be used with the settings given by Stephen and Tim.

As in the print world, where the printer is the ultimate counselor, so must the transfer house be such in the DV/HDV to film world. When a project is in the serious planning stage and will be shot, it seems that contacting the a probable or possible transfer house for guidelines would be in order.
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