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The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old January 29th, 2003, 09:34 PM   #16
 
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If you had 24 megapixels I think you'd probably be doing OK. I don't think you'd be sad at the lack of detail you were getting. :)

When motion pictures are scanned in for CGI work, lots of times the are scanned in at approximately 2k resolution (The Two Towers, for instance). If you look closely at TTT projected on a big screen, you can see some jaggies and sharpness artifacts. Sharpness artifacts look like white "halos" around contrasty edges. Some films are scanned in at 4k resolution and look much, much better. Stuart Little was scanned in (and rendered) at 4k resolution for example. Star Wars Episode 2 used a run-of-the-mill Sony HD camera modified to use professional lenses, and the backgrounds were all rendered at around 2k resolution (higher than the camera). So this camera *should* look damn good. But you will only be able to tell when it is transferred to film, as digital projection cannot even begin to approach this yet.

The question is are there any editing softwares and hardwares set up to handle this format yet?
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Old January 30th, 2003, 01:16 AM   #17
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Robert:

Focus--yes and no. Yes, the ground glass does deliver an image that is focus-critical, and the operator can and will make a determination if a given shot is soft, but it is ultimately the camera assistant who is performing the task entirely by instinct and feel.

<<If the operator's main task is composition, wouldn't he/she want to see the digital data stream (the image that's actually being recorded) rather than the approximation offered by the optical viewfinder?
>>

Compositionally, the optical viewfinder is EXACT, not approximate (unlike that rotten color viewfinder for the XL1!). I would expect an optical viewfinder for a digital camera would have framelines etched for TV transmission as well as TV safe, and of course you would be able to see outside those areas to watch for boom mikes and anticipate people entering the frame etc. That advantage cannot be understated.

As far as Panavision optics being defective as you indicated, I'm very surprised, Robert. Panavision, being a rental-only operation, keeps very high standards on their gear. Their viewing optics are usually flawless. I've never seen one with alignment/focus issues yet. Occasionally oil will get on the groundglass, causing that spotting issue you may have seen, but it is easily removed and cleaned (the assistants weren't on top of it, I guess!). There are various vintages of camera bodies available for rental, some of the models being nearly 30 years old (such as the Panaflex Gold, which was used for the first time on Sugerland Express, Spielberg's first picture). The viewing optics are not nearly as good on that camera as on the more recent Panavision offerings such as the Platinum or Millenium, which are plenty bright and sharp. Then again, imagine looking at the viewfinder of a 30 year old video camera!

The monitor tent is a great thing. It is the final word on the image being layed down, no question. But as far as operating the camera, given a choice between a good optical viewfinder and a black-and-white 1" CRT viewfinder, or even a standard resolution 7" LCD, you'll see much more useful information in that optical viewfinder. The latest HD onboard monitors are starting to approach a level of viewability that rival optical finders, but in bright sunlight, it's still better to have your eye in an eyepiece.
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Old January 30th, 2003, 03:38 AM   #18
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Curtis,

If they can already scan in film at 4K and handle it, yes, there
must be software out there thta can handle the output from
this camera (the resolution, not talking file formats here).
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Old January 30th, 2003, 07:46 AM   #19
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Any price on this baby yet? My guess is you could buy a small country for the same price.
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Old January 30th, 2003, 07:17 PM   #20
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No pictures of the kit, but interesting nevertheless.

It reminds me of this, the part about optical viewfinder and PL mount lenses: http://hugecgi.com/cgi-bin/ibc_dailynews1.cgi?db_id=21406&issue=5
Ikegami are doing the back end digital it seems. But you've got to ask yourselves what are Arri and Aaton planning. My guess will be some sort of digital back as well, though I wouldn't put it past Arri to bring out a whole digital cam based on the SR. They do after all have experience with digital already with their Arri laser post facility in Germany.
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Old February 6th, 2003, 08:08 AM   #21
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>>>>>>>>
Looks AMAZING... A few questions arise though...

1. where will it store these images on?

4046x2048
x5.25 -> (14 bits x 3 colors) / 8 bits per byte
x60
= 2,610,155,520

That is 2 GB per second... (uncompressed).
<<<<<<<<

If this is a 1 CCD camera, then recording the pixel data uncompressed in raw format from this camera takes only a little more storage space than it takes to record it from a 3CCD HD camera. Here are 8Mpixels versus 6Mpixels. If you record 60 frames/s, of course it is more data, but you shoot much less time
for slow motion.

So if framerate is 60/s, then data is less than 1GB per second. For 24frames/s the rate is less than half GB.

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Old February 6th, 2003, 08:17 AM   #22
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There are quite a few companies preparing to launch digital movie cameras with more than normal HD resolution. I put here a few links about them:
This link is about a Lockheed Martin 12 megapixel cine camera which is still at an infantile stage:
http://www.uemedia.com/CPC/article_2980.shtml
A JVC movie camera utilising 3 pieces of 8 megapixel Photon-Vision chips:
http://www.towersemi.com/press/apr0402.html
About a Sony 10 megapixel camera for the shooting of Episode III:
http://www.forbes.com/asap/2002/1007/013.html
An Olympus 8 megapixel movie camera, coupling four 2-megapixel CCDs. It has already been demonstrated:
http://www.olympus.co.jp/Special/Info/n020522aE.html

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Old February 7th, 2003, 05:00 AM   #23
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Balazs,

The 1 versus 3 CCD's has nothing to do with the actual data
stream, why? Because it will still have three colors: Red, green
and blue. The difference between 1 and 3 is that with 1 chip it
outputs all of the colors at the same time (but there are still 3
there!!). With the 3 chippers each chip outputs its own color
(actually, black and white).

So this will result in the same amount of bits (assuming they
both allocate the same amount of bits for each channel
ofcourse) for each pixel.

Cheers!
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Old February 7th, 2003, 06:33 AM   #24
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Rob, I think Balazs__ is correct. 1-chippers user a CFA post-processing scheme to derive RGB from luminance data from a CCD overlayed with a known-pattern color filter array, typically [GRGR/BGBG].

Thus raw data from a 1-chip camera is actually 1/3 the size of raw data from 3-chip cameras--the colorization is essentially a post process, and thus the color data doesn't need to be stored.

(Foveon chips notwithstanding, of course, and "pixel shift" schemes such as the one employed by the XL1 make things more complicated still...)
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Old February 7th, 2003, 07:11 AM   #25
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Robert,

Okay. My bad then. But, I was talking about the format they are
laying back to tape/harddisk/whatever. If we take the DV
cameras as an example the DV spec only allows for one format.
So this format has the same bandwidth with a one chip or three
chip camera! I suspect the "professional" systems to do the same.

But if the raw datastream is working like that (which would mean
that actually the resolution is lower than a 3 chipper as well
since they are using less bits then a 3 chip would -> lowering
(color) resolution) I have said nothing :)
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Old February 15th, 2003, 07:46 PM   #26
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This may sound stupid, but now that the formats are close to the same size ( canon's 11 megapixel CCD is the size of 35mm film) I was wondering what the size of one pixel on a ccd is compared to a grain of film?
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Old February 16th, 2003, 08:48 AM   #27
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A ONE CHIP camera? Why not 3 chips? Isn't 3 chips immensly superior?
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Old March 27th, 2003, 07:07 PM   #28
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Yes the resolution at that 4K would make it equivalent to film, but still less resolution than the human brain and eye combo....
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Old March 27th, 2003, 07:31 PM   #29
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Todd's right, of course, but camera technology can't be appropriately compared to the HVS. Our clarity of visual perception drops off significantly outside of a small foveal region. Designing cameras to behave like a human eye would mean chips with high density of small pixels in the center and fewer, blockier pixels on the periphery.

Also there's a significant amount of post-processing done that makes our images much appear to us to be much better than they really are.
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Old April 4th, 2003, 04:07 AM   #30
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Chris.... They do have a booth number up now.

Its SU6245

Go take a look and report to all of us stuck in PAL Land :-)

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