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Old May 15th, 2002, 03:57 PM   #31
 
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redone...

this is the kind of thing that hasn't even made it into company literature, yet. The closest available thing to it is memory cards, ala digital still cameras. In the atomic version, however, the bits of data, i.e, the zero's and 1's, will be stored as an electron circling a particular atom...or not. Can't pack data bits much more densely that THAT.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 07:12 AM   #32
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I saw Episode II yesterday. My expectations where not very high. I was chocked. It's the best film in the saga.

I wathced it at our local AMC cineplex on a 35mm print. Our AMC is supposed to be Scandinavias most high tech 35mm projection theater. It was built last year according to THX standards. What really bugged me was the the projection was unsharp. HD is soft as it is blown up to 35mm. And the print had jitter. The prints are done in the US and then shipped here to Sweden where we do laser imprinted subtitling onto the prints. These subtitles had relatively little jitter which proves the jitter is not made in projection but in fact "created" in the lab. No projection in the world can stabilize this. There were also scratches of course (on the world opening). There is no doubt in my mind that this film looks better in digital projection.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 02:28 PM   #33
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Also saw Episode II...

I went and saw the 12:01 Episode II show last night (on 35mm) and then after I threaded up a projector and watched it again with a theater all to myself at about 3:30. I really wasn't disappointed in the quality of the presentation at all.

Both prints were nicely scratch-free, I saw absolutely no evidence of any compression artifacts, and I didn't experience any of the "jitter" mentioned above. As far as the "softness" that was mentioned, I think that might just be the way the folks at ILM blend the actors with backgrounds that involve bright daylight. I remember a lot of the same thing in Episode I. But other than those scenes, I didn't notice much fuzziness/softness.

I did, however, notice slightly more film grain than I'm used to seeing. I just assume that's ILM in post production trying to make the HD look more like film and perhaps overcompensating a little.

All in all, it was a good experience and a DAMN GOOD movie. Now after Powerpuff Girls, I can kick back and wait for The Two Towers, because the summer will have fulfilled me.

-Shawn
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Old May 16th, 2002, 08:56 PM   #34
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I just came back from the watching a digitally projected EP2.

Technically (DLP projection):
I saw the compression. I know that ILM made filters that had to simulate (instead of the standard film grain) HD compression. I saw it in plenty of places. Most of the time you can see it on wide shots when a HD filmed person was comped on top of a digital backdrop. I also noticed a lot of stair stepping and popping during pans.

I think I'll have to see it with a 35mm print to make a comparison.

The DLP was super clean but...

--IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ SOMEONE'S OPINION STOP HERE--


Aesthetically:
I didn't like the way it looked. EP1 looked a little better. The whole movie had this very plastic "Star Trek The Next Generation" look. It felt fake and it looked fake.

I don't think it's the best of all the films. I think it's the worst. I was very disappointed. I didn't have much expectations but... it was even worse than I thought it would be. Nothing in the film made "story" sense, it was all over the place, random. Horrible dialogue, bad characterization. EP1 had a better sword fight.

For the life of me I can't understand why people like this one better than the rest of the films. The crowd I was with, pretty much didn't like it. Lots of groans. Again I was disappointed but I think it's par for the course with EP1.

--SPOILER BELOW--




The only thing I liked was Yoda's sword fight. Not the fancy stuff before the sabers but the saber dueling. That was fantastic. INCREDIBLE. But that's it. I can't point to anything in the rest of the film that I liked.

Of course this is all MHO.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 09:38 PM   #35
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I'm sure many prints were scratched the first time they were ran. That's because that particular theater only employs morons in the booth (ask the manager, I bet he/she will happily confirm this). Did you complain to management about the scratches? I hope so. Because if no one ever complains then they are not obliged to improve.

Seeing Episode 2 on film will look softer, but seeing Episode 2 on film is not a good way to compare film to digital. Remember that the film was transferred off of the same digital master you watched in DLP. The DLP will definitely look better. But if you watched Lord of da Ringz in DLP and Lord of the Rings on film I bet you would notice quite a difference.

I thought Yoda's battle was hilarious. I've never seen a muppet (albiet a digital muppet) jump around like such a spazzed out bastard. I thought it was cool and all, but couldn't help but chuckle. It was like watching my grandma move slowly around the house all day with her cane, barely able to do anything. Then out of nowhere she's doing backflips and kicking all ass. When she is done she suddenly needs her cane just to walk again. Hilarious!
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Old May 17th, 2002, 08:41 AM   #36
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Ep II Theater Experience

Decided to add my observations to the mix.

I'd been looking forward to seeing Clones with great anticipation and was often at the Star Wars website downloading the videos. The video preview material was all great, especially considering the fact that it was all compressed in QuickTime and scaled down in size.

My experience in the theater yesterday afternoon, however, was quite a let down from a technical standpoint. The image was indeed a bit unclear, as already mentioned in other posts. It was distracting because I kept feeling like I needed to squint or clean my contact lenses or sit closer or something. But even more distracting was the feeling that the whole thing was underexposed and too contrasty. In many scenes the background was good but the actors appeared flat, contrasty, and too dark almost like they were silhouettes. Many shots of the actors' faces looked like the person in charge of lighting during principal photography forgot to use a fill.

I was wondering if maybe it was a projectionist issue and not the film itself, but then I thought of the trailers that preceded the main feature and I don't recall them being especially dark.

The closest digital projection theater in about 3 hours away, so it's not likely I'll be able to see it in that format anytime soon. I may visit a few other standard theaters to compare images - maybe it was a projection issue, after all? But in the long run, since the same scenes in the QuickTime videos look fine, I'm hoping the DVD release will be much better and will be released soon.

Looking for a brighter digital future,
Tim
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Old May 17th, 2002, 10:43 AM   #37
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I'm wondering how many people would complain, actually see
any difference if they hadn't known it was shot digitally. Ofcourse
I haven't seen the movie yet and it might be very obvious. But
people also tend to want to find problems if they believe there
are problems (not trying to start a war here against anyone,
just stating a fact)... because it sounds like it is really bad. I've
seen Vidocq (a french movie) that was shot with the same
camera and it looked brilliant. Although it featured a very strange
(deliberate) color palette, I noticed no other problems....
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Old May 17th, 2002, 10:50 AM   #38
 
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ahhh...beauty is in the eye of the beholder....and influenced by the color of the glasses he/she is wearing.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 10:55 AM   #39
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Martin:

Do you have any resources that describe the uncompressed recording that Lucas used? I couldn't find anything on the web...
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Old May 17th, 2002, 11:14 AM   #40
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Charles, I don't think it was uncompressed. Primarily because I know ILM had to make a "compression look" filter to blend their digital effects plates with the live plates.

Am I the only one who saw a DLP screening?

I think most people won't notice the difference, but I have yet to see the EP2 35mm projection.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 11:47 AM   #41
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I saw the DLP last night.

In my opinion it was the most amazing picture ive seen....very crisp and clear.
i was very impressed with the picture quality..it would be hard to go and view
the 35mm version after seeing that. Definatly a giant step for technology.

The movie (as if you want to read another critical opinion) was good.
Better than EP1 but maybe a bit too much foreshadowing, stupid comical
pun's and unrealistic action scenes. Other than that it was great!!!!!
very impressed.

I recomend watching the DLP version if you can...very very nice!
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Old May 17th, 2002, 11:49 AM   #42
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<<<-- Originally posted by steadichupap : Martin:

Do you have any resources that describe the uncompressed recording that Lucas used? I couldn't find anything on the web... -->>>

I don't know if there is any web resources on this. A guy at SGI told me this. It makes sense. You don't shoot a 100% FX shot film like this to HDCAM tape as your original source for FX work. Ever tried to do chroma key work on DV (5:1 compression)? Well, it's worse on HDCAM (7:1 compression). Not everything was shot "uncompressed". Whenever I do chromakey from a DV camcorder I always go out S-video to a mac with an Igniter uncompressed card in 4:2:2 in stead of 4:2:0 DV/PAL. It really makes a HUGE difference when doing comps. Stairstepping is kept to a minimum.

By the way; the term "uncompressed" is not very easy to define. Lucas (and Tattersall) was working in 4:2:2 as far as i know but in 1:1 to disk compression. This still means the image does not contain all the information it should. Real uncompressed would be 8:8:8 in 1:1 1080p. The problem with this format is that it would take up 1, 6 GB per second (!). D6 is the only tape format that can store it. And those babys are extremely expensive. Regular HDCAM is 135MB/sec. Most HD cards (like the Kona and Digital Voodoo) will easily capture 230MB/sec (transfering more information).
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Old May 17th, 2002, 12:06 PM   #43
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_redone_

I agree the projection was great. And I'd love to see more films like this. I think a film with less special effects and comp work might show better. Or a film that's pure digital. Toy Story looked great in DLP.

Martin_M
I've pulled mattes from DigiBeta, with AE (which worked better than Ulttimate at the time and for our particular footage). A lot of EP2 reminded me of the problems we had in that process and noticed the type of problems that we had.

Granted it was much better than what we did. I did notice a shot where Amidala's (I think it was her) stray hair was severely compressed against the background plate.

I probably see these things more than other people, because I'm just used to seeing Star Wars stuff with noticeable pixels. The text crawl in the beginning looked exactly like the crawls we would render at high res. I could see the pixels and squarish stars in the DLP screening.

But again, I think the DLP screening was fantastic. Bright, clean and steady. I was mostly upset at the "artistic" values in the film. I didn't like the design and the story. Remember when characters had ideas, dreams, goals? I didn't see any of that in EP1 or 2. Oh, Anakin is a brat, I guess that's character development.

Maybe I'm just sick of Star Wars and have become a bitter man.

BTW, the Goldmember and Matrix Reload trailers were fantastic. So maybe there's hope for me yet...
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Old May 17th, 2002, 12:43 PM   #44
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The cool thing (production wise) of making Episode II the way they did is that ten or even five years ago you would never in your wildest dream do a film that way. Remember the matte work on the first Star Wars movie? Great work considering the tools they had to use but you can't even begin to compare that work with what's in Episode II. The mattes in the first Star Wars films are aging - real fast. In those days you couldn't even think of comping a shot containing footage of hair. In five years hair won't be a problem at all.

The future looks bright. I love it.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 12:55 PM   #45
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i agree...

i think the design was good...yet all the random alien characters got old.
they just put "weird" creatures in there just for the purpose of having
"wierd" creatures in the film....and the design of some of them werent that
great. The Fett family, father and son thing was way overplayed. Love story
was necesary yet plastic, no real emotion especially from Natalie Portman.

anyway i could go on for ever, though i am now intersted in seeing alot more DLP films.
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