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Old October 1st, 2003, 09:26 AM   #1
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Telecine, film -> HD

Hiya all,

Wonder if anybody has had experience with this, i rang up the lab but even the technical people were a little iffy with the answers so i was wondering if anybody has done what i am about to ask.

I have a 16mm shoot coming up in about 2 months, and we are wanting to get a HD telecine (or scan as the lab calls it) for future festival entry and so on. A lot of festivals in Australia now are even asking for HD entry's to be submitted as most are held at ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Imagery) which is brand new all equiped for digital HD projection.

So my few questions are:

I have no way of getting to hd material off, say a tape medium, have people had Lab houses put the material directly onto firewire harddrives, can you do this with HD material?

When something is done at 720p in raw hd form, what is the bitrate, and say how much harddrive storage space is required for around 45 minutes of footage?

I am a PC user, i usually use vegas, but also have avid dv express, i notice vegas 4.0d has preset options for 720p, will this be a good tool to edit in, or does it have what i need to edit then finally recompress to HD and SD? Or is the Vegas option simply for the mpeg-2 flavour of HD?
(my machine specs are a p4 3ghz, 2gb ram, all 7200 rpm drives)

Would i be needing to install maybe a raid drive system to handle the throughput and bandwidth requirements of HD video?

And finally, i only own a SD broadcast monitor, Sony, will i be doing an acurate colour correction if i output at 576i during preview even though my original footage is 720p, or will the colours slightly differ from the HD i am seeing on my screen to the SD tv output? Should i even bother with tv output or colour correct in the digital domain since it is I believe an almost completely digital experience until projected?

Anyways i am sure i will think of some more questions.

Thank you ahead of time.

Zac
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Old October 1st, 2003, 12:39 PM   #2
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Zac:

Why not have a DVcam dub made at the same time the footage is telecined (with slaved timecode, could even do a window burn if you were concerned about frame accuracy), do your rough cut (i.e. offline) at home, and then using your EDL do an HD online assembly with color correction to make the master? No need for you to buy hardware, etc.

The 16mm will look gorgeous with a good telecine to HD, and if you wanted to strike a 35mm print, you are folding in the costs of an optical blow-up into the film-out.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 09:40 PM   #3
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Hey charles,

That was the original plan, the only problems comes in because the budget is so restricted we wanted to limit our time in the telecine booth and such. It is around $300-400 an hour in there.

I did ring the lab today, it is called ATLAB they do anything that is anything here, such as the Matrix and all of them, they are giving me student rates and so on, and they advised me to do it on Dvcam then use my friends or the uni's final cut pro machine to get an EDL, then i am free to get any type of finish i need, be it BETA SP, HD, the only thing was... i wanted a HD copy for myself, but the only way i can have that is for a HD dump. Oh well i can work this out.

Charles, we are using an SR3 for the production, would you rec. shooting at 24p or 25p, some of the output will be put on beta sp, while others will be HD and DVD, am i safer with a PAL conforming frame rate, or should i simply do the speed up in post, i am not really sure of the consequences.

Zac
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Old October 1st, 2003, 10:27 PM   #4
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many that shoot 720p or transfer to it use it as a MASTER.
they make a standard def copy of it to edit .. then spit out a EDL list to conform the MASTER HD ... AVid can spit out the EDL .. other say FCP can too ( with optional software) ... don't know about avid express?

films like Matrix do not transfer to HD they transfer FILM to data files = each frame is a data file = approx $2-4 per frame depending on if 1K , 2K or 4K res ... they then make a low res proxy of the frames and work the special effects .. later they will go back to the full res frames and farm render them out to full res..... the finished frames will later be transferred to 35mm

Vegas cannot spit out a accurate EDL .. well if you have 1 tape and you do cuts only Vegas can spit out a EDL that would work ( with some fine tuning). it cannot spit out neg key code.

"and they advised me to do it on Dvcam then use my friends or the uni's final cut pro machine to get an EDL, then i am free to get any type of finish i need, be it BETA SP, HD, the only thing was... "

a little more to it then just that ... once you spit out a EDL ( more important is NEG key code and vegas cannot do it) you need to go back to the NEGATIVE . i see you mentioned 45min .. but is that 45 min of selects or 45 min total you are shooting ?
lets say it's a total 45min = 4- 400 ft rolls of 16 ..well it's not that many so perhaps they can just put up all the Neg and go thru and transfer selects to HD .... we go in and pull the neg for the takes that are used flash to flash ( usually with a extra head/tail of a take flash to flash) .. we then transfer these selects to whatever format ... but now there are new TC "s so you have to conform it to your edited tape - using a NLE goes pretty fast because you use the old edit as a template.

for a short film i'm not sure it is cost effective? to try to re-transfer to HD then pay to go online to conform the HD material ... if might be more cost effective once you have a edit to then have the NEG conformed and a ANSWER print struck .. then a low con print made for transfer to 720P .. you are transferring the edited film = no HD online ($$$) sessions ... plus you can strike film prints ...

IMO the color correction you do in standard def are NOT going to carry over to HD unless you are using a mid-hi end AVID ( perhaps AVID new mojo products can do it ) but again Vegas color correction settings cannot be transferred to another NLE or to EDL .. if you color correct in COMBUSTION the file that it stores the info can be carried into FLAME.

SR3 is excellent camera .. IMO shoot whatever is standard in your country. if NTSC remove the pull down and edit at 24fps .. if PAL then 25fps

if you are going to go to SD 1st - then just get a quick & dirty one light transfer. when you do your re-transfer of edited takes to HD you can do scene to scene color corrections.

you might have a chat with a Negative cutter to see what software they have and what works best from their experience.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 10:59 PM   #5
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Sorry for the confusions. I know the matrix didn't tranfer to HD, i was saying the lab i am using has a lot of experience, and did do the processing and transfer and prints for films such as the Matrix, they do anything that comes out of fox studios Australia.

The only reason i was going to go direct to HD and skip everything else and just edit in the HD domain is, i know this short film will never go back to a print, it will be sent out in the digital domain from then on.

We are only using 45 mins total of film. Around 1600f of 16mm (maybe 2000f). I noticed that Vegas as well as Final cut pro, can edit 720p material natively. So i was going to skip the entire process and just do the total edit at home in the hd domain. Even though 99% of the copies that will go out of this short are SD, I have noticed that a lot of the stuff i have used and seen when downconverted from HD does display a higher picture quality than something that remained SD.

The only difference with this method, while simplifying everything, just one telecine session, take the footage home, and say good bye to the lab, is that i am doing the bulk of the colour correct at home, unless i sit there and have it colour correct while the telecine is happening, and only do little curve tweaks and so on at home.

The finished product is set to run approx 4 minutes. The entire process just seemed easier if i could do i run onto my hd, then cut the thing together at home. Then just send off copies of which format i need from the finished piece sitting at home.

It is still a bucketload cheaper for me to rent a HD monitor for say a week which i could get at student rates for less than $300 than spend 1 hour in the booth at the lab.

Isn't it possible to have the time codes built into HD material, then if i ever need a print struck i can send that EDL to the lab, and have a print made from my negs in holding there.

OR as my producer has been saying.... to do very concise logs on set, marking time the timecode/frame numbering/reels whilst shooting. Then asking the labs to only telecine those certain portions with a couple of safety takes, here and there. Do a live log. So when i am editing i might only bring home only 15 mins worth of HD footage, which means i have longer in the booth whilst it is being captured to be colour correct. Then following my animatic and storyboards simply cut together at home and not worry about further colour correct.

I am not sure, i have never been so intimate with this portion of a production.

It is an amazing craft to learn.

Zac
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 01:30 AM   #6
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Zac:

The procedure with telecine is that you have a choice of going through a complete reel and making your settings, then letting the reel run while the DaVinci does its thing; or running off to tape as you go. Given that a specific setting will work for multiple takes of the same shot (unless you are shooting under changing light, like dusk), using the former process will allow you to transfer all your footage with very little time difference than if you were just transferring select takes, especially when you are talking about 45 minutes of footage. And since you plan to do the final color correction yourself, you'll just be dialing in a "best light" correction in the telecine suite which shouldn't take too long, unless you have need of power windows or other exotic tools. Just remember that once the image is committed to tape, it's just like a tape-originated image in that highlights that are allowed to transfer with no detail cannot be brought back down.
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 02:54 AM   #7
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Charles,

Yeah i just went down to the lab, they are going to allow me to have telecine suite with a corrector for $100 an hour, so all the crazyness is over. They said it will take 2 hours to do a single light copy onto beta-sp which then is copied onto minidv to be edited.

With the edl, back into the suite for a fully corrected capture and online edit. Using the rushes transfer machine. Finally outputted onto dvd, beta sp, vhs and digi-beta.

Then later on if it is required, we do a neg select, onto the spirit then onto the flame and so on and so on for a HD copy.

They even gave me a round about quote of $1000 which is really low from what i have heard.

Charles do u have experience using an AATON A-MINIMA super-16mm camera. That is the camera they were really reccomending to me, in conjunction with a deva sound recorder, which are both synched together. He was even saying you don't need to slate or worry about synching in post, as these are auto synched during shooting. Sounded very interesting, and the camera is cheaper and less bulky than the sr3 to rent.

They also have an 16sr2 super-16mm flavour lightweight production kit, but the guy kept going on about aaton code, and how it is easier and better. :-/

and Charles seriously, if budget allows, if i supply a ticket and a bed, feel like a 1 week working vacation? No pay, but many thanks, full creative input, fully acredited as the dop, and get to see the sights and drink beer with some great people (free food of course). Final product has the possibility of being seen by over 200,000 people during festival and then world wide dist.

I would love to keep you here for a while, during the editing stage too, but if you had to go i can send you copies of everything and you can tinker with it on your private fcp box, we can do the webcam and fedex thing. Damn that would be fun.

Anyways, thanks for all your great answers, really love to speak to people with the same interests and passions as mine, as have the patience to deal with a newbie to film.

Zac
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 06:58 AM   #8
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Zac, we can talk about the particulars off-line via email...
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