Movie Film's Last Gasp - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
The Alexa really can make beautiful pictures, when put in the right hands and photographed well. Hugo and Gravity are two examples of films shot on Alexa that both (deservedly) won Best Cinematography Oscars. And nobody cared that they weren't shot on film. The only important thing was that they looked beautiful and told their stories well...
Also, Life Of Pi was shot on the Alexa and won the Best Cinematography Oscar.
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post #32 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 06:45 AM
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Film in our history that movies were born on. We should respect our film and the history it has shown us. It should never die it should just move over.
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post #33 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 07:29 AM
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For film to survive, it's going to take a mentality shift within the filmmaking industry. I don't see how a handful of them (Tarantino, etc.) can keep it going for the long term.

While digital cameras have improved, it's relatively easy to spot out a movie made digitally vs film on Blu-ray especially with a front projection set-up.

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post #34 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
The original camera negative (OCN) is what's important. Stored properly, the OCN can last well over 60-70 years, maybe longer. You can make arguments that the fine-grain IP (interpositive) struck off the OCN also holds up for a long time and has no splices. Each is kind of a backup of the other, but neither will last forever.
Are YCM separations still used to fine grain B&W film? This was the approach in the past as it had the greatest lifetime expectancy of over 100 years. The Tech NH Lab's preservation department did a lot of that. It was quite laborious in that each YCM record needed to be inspected and then a test recombination be made.

Film stock from Kodak was having some issues a few years back on IP stock. A very well known movie which revolves around induced dream state reality had issues when the IP was being struck with little blue dots in the image. It was getting so close to the film's release that the lab was considering making several IPs and splicing them together to get around the issue. I don't know if it came to that.

When comparing the resolution of digital cameras to film, it's not exactly a simple task. Digital cameras use fixed pixels while on film the crystal position changes frame to frame. Also OCN and IP stock use multiple layers to extend latitude using larger crystals for the lower light, so the size of the grain and the resolution can change with light exposure.

Even through the years that I enjoyed working around film for its quality, it certainly had its drawbacks. I remember one incident at a lab where an inadvertent mistake of routing chemicals to a negative developer resulted in 35K feet of 35mm being destroyed, not to mention the time to purge and clean up the developer. The OCN had absolutely no image left, it was just clear orange base. Most of it was for TV series at the time.

Camera problems like scratching, shutter issues like ghosting or other things like light leakage causing edge flash could not be caught until dailies were created and feedback sent the following day. X-ray flashing of higher speed stock from remote locations from airport scanners, and determining whether it was flashed before or after shooting. HMI lighting flicker. So many ways to go wrong that I was amazed at how often it went right.

If we're now down to talking about the advantages to film being defects such as grain, then I think it has run its course. Pixel density and latitude continue to improve on digital. Instant verification of acquisition and creation of backup copies is a major advantage. No need to check the gate. While many debate it as an advantage, there is now the capacity to create metadata color correction while shooting. Perhaps the biggest advantage of digital is the economy of allowing high quality production tools in the hands of far more film makers. In the hands of masters, digital's expanding capacity should enhance their storytelling.

So long silver halide. Thanks for the memories.

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post #35 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Figarou View Post

But it may need to be remastered again to 16K 60 years from now.
While 16K would be unlikely with current film stocks, unlike with digital, you can remaster at a higher resolution than what it was originally projected at.

For example, some early digitally shot movies were 2K at best from that source material. That's it. There's nothing to go back to for future improvements in home video presentation. It's looked to that resolution. Earlier films that were mastered on film without the 2K DI that was common until recently are able to be remastered for upcoming 4K presentations, and can even eek out a bit more information for the future beyond that.

On the other hand, a couple of decades worth of film will never look better than 2K and those shot on 2K cameras can't even be remastered from the camera negatives, which has been done for some films where the return on that investment would pay for the process.

One only has to look at TV production from the 70's, 80's and 90's to see the peril of being locked into a single, hard resolution format. While we have shows like I Love Lucy and sports footage from NFL Films that can look fantastic remastered for today's image quality, we have newer shows and sporting events that will look worse and worse as the quality of captured images improves in the future. Those video images from the past can never look better - and that's ignoring those whose masters are analog video tape on formats that even then were of dubious quality.

I think we're getting closer to the reality of digital overtaking film as we approach resolutions high enough where higher offers diminishing returns. In other words, I would submit when 8K digital eventually takes hold, it's probably safe to retire 35mm since getting 8K out of it is pushing the limits, if you can even get there at all. I doubt we'll see any future higher resolution film formats developed at this point.

4K and below, though, is still well within film's capabilities and should remain a choice.
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post #36 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 09:05 AM
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One only has to look at TV production from the 70's, 80's and 90's to see the peril of being locked into a single, hard resolution format. While we have shows like I Love Lucy and sports footage from NFL Films that can look fantastic remastered for today's image quality, we have newer shows and sporting events that will look worse and worse as the quality of captured images improves in the future. Those video images from the past can never look better - and that's ignoring those whose masters are analog video tape on formats that even then were of dubious quality.
Up until the late eighties and the 90's it was common to do a film finish of TV shows. Tape finish started to be heavily promoted, from what I remember particularly by Laser Pacific, at somewhat of a discount but more importantly the ability lock into the final edit at a later point. A lab I was associated with in the early '90s tried to promote film finish with electronic titles to eliminate the cost and time of opticals. This created something ready for future HD syndication with only the need to add HD titles. At that point HD didn't seem certain and at best many years, perhaps decades, in the future. Those early Laser Pacific masters were analog which came from old MkIII Digi 2s which even by Cintel standards at the time were rather jittery. Even worse was when the the desire came to re-transfer the OCN for HD versions, much of their proprietary EDLs were lost. Even then, I don't think there were references to edge numbers. Too late I guess to say we told you so.
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post #37 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 09:09 AM
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I love the realism, razor sharp accuracy & detail of Digital moviemaking. I love the epic panorama, scope and color rendition (probably related to Gamma) of traditional moviemaking. It also could be the flaws inherent in film. But I like it nonetheless. I recognize differences between the two. But I like both. Other than costs, why can't they just continue to coexist. Giving the filmmaker the widest range of latitude in creating the kid of attitude, mood and atmosphere possible?
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post #38 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post
While digital cameras have improved, it's relatively easy to spot out a movie made digitally vs film on Blu-ray especially with a front projection set-up.
It is possible to capture audio digitally (at say 96kHz/24 bits) and then simulate the combined effects of cutting, pressing and playing back 78rpm shellac or 33⅓ vinyl with appropriate stylii and cartridges of the relevant era, be that say the 1940s or the 1990s.

Similarly the look of 35mm film for different eras can be simulated. This could make it hard to "spot out" a movie made digitally.

Provided a digital video camera has sufficient dynamic range [still a challenge] and resolution, it should be possible to use it to capture a high quality digital version and then process that in the digital domain to simulate film grain and alter the gamma transfer characteristic to match up with 35mm film productions of say the 1990s. Anamorphic lenses could be fitted if seeking anamorphic lens bokeh and flare.

If it is for some reason desired to go back to say the 1960s there will the challenge of the distinctively different colour. It may not be possible to simulate that with full accuracy using standard colour sensor arrays of today. It might be necessary to manufacture a camera sensor closer to the colour sensitivity of the negatives of the era (more easily done if those characteristics were accurately measured and recorded). Colour varied a great deal in the middle decades of the 20th century, as techniques evolved and as film makers experimented to see what compromise would find greater favour with the public .

Also if attempting to simulate film of the mid-20th century and earlier, lens vignetting would need to be added (a darkening of the corners of the image).

And then there are the techniques of electronically adding scratches and frame jitter and a soft focus if attempting to emulate how a cinematic film might typically have looked when projected decades ago with imperfections in striking prints, and characteristics of projector lenses, projector lamps, and screens.

For full authenticity, the audio would need to have its frequency response altered (and noise and distortion added) to match typical practices of the era or more specifically of particular studios and particular projection equipment of the era.

In order to retain the look of late 20th century film making, digital video cameras need to keep to a frame rate of 24fps and an exposure time of around 1/48th second. The blurring from the long exposure helps to mask panning jitter.

As at 2014, cinema is still essentially keeping to 24fps. Two instalments of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit have been released at 48fps [with 270 degree exposure I think], but they were strongly criticized in some quarters as not looking cinematic. (I personally found the more fluid look of 48fps refreshing and desirable.)

Last edited by MLXXX; 08-02-2014 at 09:42 AM.
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post #39 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 09:27 AM
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Other than costs, why can't they just continue to coexist. Giving the filmmaker the widest range of latitude in creating the kid of attitude, mood and atmosphere possible?
Because if there is not enough film use, it won't make economical sense to make film stock or run a lab to develop it. Cost will need to rise to maintain viability which will further make its use less attractive.
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post #40 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 09:42 AM
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Film in our history that movies were born on. We should respect our film and the history it has shown us. It should never die it should just move over.
How much film are you shooting on now?
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post #41 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 10:03 AM
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You know I should do my part to save the jobs of Encyclopedia salesmen.. I need to order 26 Britannica encyclopedias to put in my nonexistent book library. Wait since I don't have a library I can call a handyman to build me some bookshelves to put my encyclopedias in.
Man, I'm doing a better job than the government at creating jobs..
Let film rest in peace. Kodak, like every other technology company have to innovate or die.
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post #42 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 10:06 AM
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Kodak should have been preparing for the future. When RED was in it's infancy, Kodak should have bought the company. So as film is going bye bye, Kodak/RED would have been the future..
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post #43 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RSF_LA View Post
How much film are you shooting on now?
I don't know about the poster you replied to, but I actually still shoot film for B&W stills. I simply don't get the same results from digital cameras even with proper filtering at the time of shooting.

With film, there's so much dynamic range, I can see rich detail in shadows, yet avoid blown out skies. With digital, I always have to compromise unless I want to have to combine bracketed images in post.

Honestly, it wasn't until 5 or so years ago that I felt digital still cameras had gotten to the point where I was comfortable with the image quality to use one for the majority of my shooting projects. Even now, I still go back to my old manual Pentax K1000 for black and white. Of course, it means I pretty much have to process it myself since few places can handle it properly.
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post #44 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 11:00 AM
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Comparing 35mm film to a digital file is like comparing an oil painting to a piece of graphic art. The texture of film has a timeless, atmospheric, almost dream-like quality, which I have yet to see replicated in any digital medium. It's worth noting that both Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson are also advocates for 35mm film capture. Long may that continue...
The thing is that regardless of how a film is shot, the only way anyone ever sees it is a digital image, whether at home or in a theater. Between the digital post production process and the end result, we are so removed from the actual film itself, that the ethereal quality you speak of is gone forever.
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post #45 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 11:13 AM
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I'm on the digital side. It's just a waste of material.and chemicals - artistic considerations aside.

Storage areas are going to get smaller - especially when optical computing hits - then digital accuracy is going to get more and more life-like with the ability of the director to make it look like film - or anything else - if they like.
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post #46 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 11:14 AM
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You know I should do my part to save the jobs of Encyclopedia salesmen.. I need to order 26 Britannica encyclopedias to put in my nonexistent book library. Wait since I don't have a library I can call a handyman to build me some bookshelves to put my encyclopedias in.
Man, I'm doing a better job than the government at creating jobs..
Let film rest in peace. Kodak, like every other technology company have to innovate or die.
That's a poor comparison. Few can argue that an information source that needs regular updates for current events is at all suitable for a paper book. Even the CD-ROM versions of the 90's went out of date quite quickly. The fact is, if computers had been around when the first printing presses were made, encyclopedias on paper likely would have never existed.

With film production, there's no updating. Whether a production is finished on film or digital, it's still finished. The record has been sealed - unless you're George Lucas, of course. For everyone else, they could be using stone tablets with pictographs since the product is finished regardless of format.

A better comparison is to equate it to a book like War and Peace on paper verses an e-book form.

That book has been around for over a hundred years and is available in both formats. Both contain the same words. Nothing has changed. There's no "special edition" that updates the original with current events. The difference is the preference people have for reading. Some people prefer a paper book. They like the feel and texture and like having a collection of well bound classic books. Others prefer the convenience and light weight of an e-book.

However, to say the e-book is somehow "better" is a personal choice.

Another example might be manual transmissions verses automatics. There are customers for both, but it's getting harder to even have the choice of buying a manual with some types of vehicles, especially SUVs. Even "manumatics" that seemed to be the next big thing are starting to disappear.

I prefer the control of a manual which comes with the ability to choose the exact gear for the situation. I like the option to engine brake by downshifting on icy conditions that allow me to come to a gentle stop while hardly touching the brakes at all. Others like having an automatic to avoid having to be clutching in stop and go traffic. Personally, I think texting and people riding their brakes would be less of an issue if people had to manually shift.

Too often, people take on a "it's new so it must be better, so to heck with the old" mentality that borders on selfishness. It's like saying "my way or the highway". Instead of understanding why someone has the preference and accepting that choice, people expect that everyone should just follow the herd.
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Last edited by NetworkTV; 08-02-2014 at 11:25 AM.
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post #47 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 11:33 AM
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Sounds like it's all over but the crying at this point . So many movies I'll never see projected .
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post #48 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 11:33 AM
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How much film are you shooting on now?

ZERO
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post #49 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post
I love the realism, razor sharp accuracy & detail of Digital moviemaking. I love the epic panorama, scope and color rendition (probably related to Gamma) of traditional moviemaking. It also could be the flaws inherent in film. But I like it nonetheless. I recognize differences between the two. But I like both. Other than costs, why can't they just continue to coexist. Giving the filmmaker the widest range of latitude in creating the kid of attitude, mood and atmosphere possible?

Money. I simply don't think that the attractive notion of the two existing side-by-side is financially feasible anymore .
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post #50 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MLXXX View Post
It is possible to capture audio digitally (at say 96kHz/24 bits) and then simulate the combined effects of cutting, pressing and playing back 78rpm shellac or 33⅓ vinyl with appropriate stylii and cartridges of the relevant era, be that say the 1940s or the 1990s.

Similarly the look of 35mm film for different eras can be simulated. This could make it hard to "spot out" a movie made digitally.

Provided a digital video camera has sufficient dynamic range [still a challenge] and resolution, it should be possible to use it to capture a high quality digital version and then process that in the digital domain to simulate film grain and alter the gamma transfer characteristic to match up with 35mm film productions of say the 1990s. Anamorphic lenses could be fitted if seeking anamorphic lens bokeh and flare.

If it is for some reason desired to go back to say the 1960s there will the challenge of the distinctively different colour. It may not be possible to simulate that with full accuracy using standard colour sensor arrays of today. It might be necessary to manufacture a camera sensor closer to the colour sensitivity of the negatives of the era (more easily done if those characteristics were accurately measured and recorded). Colour varied a great deal in the middle decades of the 20th century, as techniques evolved and as film makers experimented to see what compromise would find greater favour with the public .

Also if attempting to simulate film of the mid-20th century and earlier, lens vignetting would need to be added (a darkening of the corners of the image).

And then there are the techniques of electronically adding scratches and frame jitter and a soft focus if attempting to emulate how a cinematic film might typically have looked when projected decades ago with imperfections in striking prints, and characteristics of projector lenses, projector lamps, and screens.

For full authenticity, the audio would need to have its frequency response altered (and noise and distortion added) to match typical practices of the era or more specifically of particular studios and particular projection equipment of the era.

In order to retain the look of late 20th century film making, digital video cameras need to keep to a frame rate of 24fps and an exposure time of around 1/48th second. The blurring from the long exposure helps to mask panning jitter.

As at 2014, cinema is still essentially keeping to 24fps. Two instalments of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit have been released at 48fps [with 270 degree exposure I think], but they were strongly criticized in some quarters as not looking cinematic. (I personally found the more fluid look of 48fps refreshing and desirable.)
I have yet to see it simulated to the degree you mention. Movies shot on video look like they were shot on video. I can always tell even without looking to verify. It's very evident. Maybe one day it will change, but the 'film-like look' is not being replicated yet on video.

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post #51 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post
I have yet to see it simulated to the degree you mention. Movies shot on video look like they were shot on video. I can always tell even without looking to verify. It's very evident. Maybe one day it will change, but the 'film-like look' is not being replicated yet on video.
Agreed. I can tell almost every time. But you'll need to start saying "digital" before someone really chastises you for using the term video. I guess "digital-video" would be OK, but nearly every modern camera uses cards/flash memory instead of digital tape, these days.

I do remember when some used to manipulate video-based material in an attempt to mimic film.

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post #52 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 05:30 PM
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Are YCM separations still used to fine grain B&W film?
Yes, They've always struck separation masters on 35mm fine-grain B&W negative stock. Because they now have digital methods to scan each piece of the color record and then align them all together, they can actually align them with greater quality and precision than even Technicolor could, back in the day. What happens with old films is that sometimes, one color record (say, the Yellow) is badly deteriorated but the other two are fine. There are digital methods to derive the Yellow information from the surviving Cyan & Magenta records, and you'd never know the difference when you see the final image.

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Film stock from Kodak was having some issues a few years back on IP stock. A very well known movie which revolves around induced dream state reality had issues when the IP was being struck with little blue dots in the image.
Blue dots are an easy fix. They have very, very precise ways to target random pixels and dirt and just knock them out without affecting anything else. This is not a real-time fix; it's a very involved computer render that happens over a period of hours, assisted by a skilled operator.

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Camera problems like scratching, shutter issues like ghosting or other things like light leakage causing edge flash could not be caught until dailies were created and feedback sent the following day. X-ray flashing of higher speed stock from remote locations from airport scanners, and determining whether it was flashed before or after shooting. HMI lighting flicker. So many ways to go wrong that I was amazed at how often it went right.
I worked on a major comedy film a few years ago where the biggest scene in the film got fogged by airport X-Ray machines on the way out of the city and on the way to the lab in another state. I had to call the DP and wake him up, letting him know the film was ruined. We convened a big viewing session for all the execs and some VFX people, and incredibly, they were able to salvage all the shots and remove all the interference -- big gray moving horizontal bars in the shot -- without affecting the image.

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Perhaps the biggest advantage of digital is the economy of allowing high quality production tools in the hands of far more film makers. In the hands of masters, digital's expanding capacity should enhance their storytelling.
The problem I encounter with that is that modern filmmakers (especially inexperienced ones) have a bad habit of being very casual and disrespectful of the image. This is that problem I cited earlier, where they just shoot and shoot and shoot without regard to what they're actually getting for the film. I also fear that a lot of important traditions in filmmaking are going away, partly out of ignorance and partly out of impatience. People who have shot film before understand that "every frame is sacred," and they're a lot less likely to be cavalier about the material they shoot.
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post #53 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CinemaAndy View Post

I think now we are seeing 5-8K movie's shot on digital. There is work being done on a 16K camera, still years away. Film, on the other hand has unlimited K.
It's quite surprising that film has been holding on for that long. In photography film disappeared about 10 years ago. During its disappearance multiple comparisons were done, including those with microscopes (!), it was established that one could produce equivalent to film pictures with about 6MP digital (bayer pattern), and about 3.4MP with 3-color one (a la Sigma). In movie-making, area of film frame is about a half of frame in 35mm photo, with something like 3MP of Bayer structure corresponding to it. No wonder when they showed AVATAR in IMAX using about 2MP (2K) nobody complained about lack of resolution compared to other IMAX movies.

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post #54 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidHir View Post
I have yet to see it simulated to the degree you mention. Movies shot on video look like they were shot on video. I can always tell even without looking to verify. It's very evident. Maybe one day it will change, but the 'film-like look' is not being replicated yet on video.
There was a lot of talk about that in the early 1990s, when the standards were being put together. George Lucas tells a great story about using the original Sony F900 prototype, where Sony balked at creating a 24p mode because they felt that "24fps was an aberration." All they could see were the flaws of 24fps, because they felt that 30fps delivered much smoother, more realistic motion.

Sony (at the time) didn't understand that 24fps was an inherent part of the film look. Eventually, more studies were made and they tried a lot harder to look into shutter angle, global vs. rolling shutter, color rendition, and a lot of other factors that helped make digital cameras more like film. I think you'll find that a lot of TV shows now shooting on Alexa can be very much like film. In some cases, they're actually better in that they can shoot at up to ISO 800 without much of an increase in noise; before that, the fastest Kodak stocks we had only went to 500 (and they were noisy).

Like the Joni Mitchell song "Both Sides Now," one thing you can say about digital vs. film is that "something's lost... but something's gained" in the switch. It's not all a drawback, and there are aspects of film that were terrible and problematic. If it were up to me, I think they should've kept shooting films on film and then finish them all digitally, because then I think they'd have the best of all worlds. But I think that ship has sailed.
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post #55 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 05:36 PM
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The one thing that film has over digital, is longevity. Film stock, if properly stored, can last a century or more. Digital, if you get 5 years out of it, your doing good. And with the ever changing formats used to play digital, i have actually seen players stored along with digital content, just so someone can watch it at a later time, as the playing device might very well be obsolete or impossible to find. Film, however, needs no more than a light behind it and it's good to show.

Plenty of the studios have archives with films that, in a few, date back to the 1880's. Film versus digital is a no brainier when it comes to storage. I have seen plenty of instances were a hard drive or even video was pulled to display and you were rewarded with a snow filled static picture, Video, or the ominous "pop, pop, pop" or "click, click, click" hard drive, in that case it meant delivering the content to a digital company that specializes in recovering data, cross your fingers, and adds some more $$$ to the overall price. Having to maintain two or three copies is not very economical, neither is jogging the equipment to keep it from freezing up. With film, it is a simple process of cleaning and drying the film, putting it into sealed film cans and keeping it stored at temperatures below 60 degrees. If all that is done with film, you can pull it out 50 years later, or longer, and still display it, and it will look as good as the first time viewed.

Unlike digital, the last big break through with film, was with technicolor. Most of the film stock used on various movies, it's chemical capture process, dates back to the Wizard of Oz as for color and long before that with black and white. Nothing really changed. About the time these changes were coming out of the engineering and development labs, digital was a new thing that was cheap. Cheap is what sold digital to the studios. So with cheap being the new thing, development of anything new with film was canceled or delayed or stopped in it's tracks. If you are on the A list for directors or producers, you can pull film, if not, they(studios) will badger you with digital till your ears bleed.

There is some really good debates, my favorite is Side By Side, a 2012 documentary done by Keanu Reeves. He did a very well rounded job of interviewing both the film and digital crowd, so this is not a lopsided view on film or digital capture. My biggest gripe about this documentary is that out of, i think a hour and forty five minutes, they spend ten minutes on the display side of it. Martin Scorsese made the point to go out on the limb, and say the projectionist has the final control of how the finished product looks. And he is correct. To dim or to bright of a display can completely alter a movie from what the director and cinematographer wanted it to look like. This documentary also spend some time with smart phone and tablet's for watching movies. I hate watching anything on a phone or tablet. I strongly suggest you put Side By Side on your watch list, or add it to your library.

I think it all comes down to what you want to capture and what you want the final content to be, if it is best to use film or digital. If you wanted green clouds and blue grass, this can be done with film, but requires many filters and other insider tricks, for digital it's a simple process. Digital, also makes it possible to go in and easily lighten or darken certain areas, without loosing the effect of the entire frame. For more natural appearing image, you can't beat film. You can do a still photo in both digital and film and holding them side by side, the clarity and image is as different as night and day. To me film captures a more natural appearance that mimics what your eye's see, digital captures a more unnatural image to me. So i prefer film over digital and i can tell the difference, no matter how much DMR the film has been through. Film has the look.
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post #56 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RSF_LA View Post
A lab I was associated with in the early '90s tried to promote film finish with electronic titles to eliminate the cost and time of opticals. This created something ready for future HD syndication with only the need to add HD titles.
That wouldn't work, because the aspect ratio was wrong. One studio that was very forward thinking about HD was Warner Bros., which decreed that all their TV projects shooting film had to shoot on 3-perf 35mm, which was inherently a 16x9 format. Starting in the summer of 1994, all the WB film shows were 3-perf, and this has allowed them to retransfer all the films to HD without compromise.

Other studios -- even Sony Pictures and Paramount -- were slow to agree, but by about 1997-1998, just about every significant show was either shooting in Super 16mm or Super 35mm 3-perf, both of which were 16x9. In some cases, as with That '70s Show, they did go back and redo them all for HD, and they look better now than they used to.

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At that point HD didn't seem certain and at best many years, perhaps decades, in the future. Those early Laser Pacific masters were analog which came from old MkIII Digi 2s which even by Cintel standards at the time were rather jittery. Even worse was when the the desire came to re-transfer the OCN for HD versions, much of their proprietary EDLs were lost. Even then, I don't think there were references to edge numbers. Too late I guess to say we told you so.
Those old Ranks were total dogs. Everything changed when the Philips Spirits came out around 1998-1999, and those were actually capable of reasonable HD transfers.

OCN scans for TV shows were complicated by the need for KeyKode, which was a barcode numbering system invented by Kodak, used to keep track of all the different pieces and rolls of film. As long as the Laser-Edit/Laser-Pacific EDLs referenced the KeyKode, it would be possible to redo the show in HD later on.

The problem is with shows that were done before KeyKode came out. In the case of, say, Star Trek: The Next Generation, the people on that project had no choice except to just rescan everything, then eye-match the material to the finished show, one shot at a time. It can be done, but it requires, patience, time, and a whole lotta dough.

I do think it's important that classic film TV shows survive and get remastered in HD. What's sad is that shows that were shot in standard-def video are doomed to be 4x3, soft, and ugly forever and ever. There's not much you can do to improve those -- though you can do a little touch-up here and there.
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post #57 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 06:24 PM
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There can be real difficulties with simulating older colour (mid to late 20th century) as this webpage indicates: http://www.lifeafterphotoshop.com/fi...tion-plug-ins/

I think the difficulty arises because the wavelength response curve of the dyes used in the emulsions of the negatives used in the middle of the 20th century differed markedly from those typically used in the sensors of today's video cameras. On top of that, the chemical process of creating prints provided different colour to the colour the negatives had been sensitive to. The overall look achieved for the print was unique, and to achieve an acceptable balance for human eyes would have been as much a matter of artistic judgment as scientific measurement.

If you watch the Sound of Music (1965), even its latest restoration, you can see that it has a unique colour that differs substantially from reality. It is very difficult now to simulate the colour of a 1960s production accurately, to match with the spectral response of the cones of human eyes; in the absence of the type of film stock used in that era and the chemical developing and printing processes.

It is much easier to match to film made in the very late 20th century as the colour achieved on a film print from that era is much closer to the colour achieved today with video cameras and digital projectors.

My main gripe with 35mm film (apart from its use in conjunction with a frame rate of only 24fps) is its lack of resolution. The Modulation Transfer Function (contrast) for fine detail is not good, and grain competes with detail. If anyone is really serious about film, I suggest they should be pushing for a larger format (such as 70mm). However that would of course add to the expense of shooting with film! Presumably the negatives would then be scanned to create a digital intermediate at 4K (a "solid" 4K with good contrast for small detail, unlike 35mm negatives) or possibly at 8K or 16K to wring out the last bit of usable visible detail. However, this seems unlikely to happen. The movie industry has quietly moved on to all digital technology for the majority of productions, and the vast majority of public cinemas are digital.
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post #58 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
Blue dots are an easy fix. They have very, very precise ways to target random pixels and dirt and just knock them out without affecting anything else. This is not a real-time fix; it's a very involved computer render that happens over a period of hours, assisted by a skilled operator.
True, but this was on the IPs meant for creating prints. Not much a computer can do with dot removal on optical printing.

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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
That wouldn't work, because the aspect ratio was wrong. One studio that was very forward thinking about HD was Warner Bros., which decreed that all their TV projects shooting film had to shoot on 3-perf 35mm, which was inherently a 16x9 format. Starting in the summer of 1994, all the WB film shows were 3-perf, and this has allowed them to retransfer all the films to HD without compromise.
WB was using 3 perf, but from what I remember 4 perf was still the norm as shows were shot 4:3. It also allowed for projected print dallies. This pitch for film finish was around 1991 as electronic finish was taking off.

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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
Those old Ranks were total dogs. Everything changed when the Philips Spirits came out around 1998-1999, and those were actually capable of reasonable HD transfers.
While I won't debate the progress CCD scanning has made, up until the Spirit made its appearance my opinion is the Cintels made the best SD video and they became very refined. The good machine's CRT spot size allowed nearly flat response to 400 lines on a DEL chart. CCDs have a more gradual rolloff from aperture effect, and the early Spirits used that dual green arrangement where I think there was some horizontal overlap of the effective adjacent elements causing greater rolloff. Obviously there's been much improvement. How bizarre Cintel is now part of Blackmagic with a rather inexpensive UHD CCD telecine/scanner one can hang on a wall.

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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
OCN scans for TV shows were complicated by the need for KeyKode, which was a barcode numbering system invented by Kodak, used to keep track of all the different pieces and rolls of film. As long as the Laser-Edit/Laser-Pacific EDLs referenced the KeyKode, it would be possible to redo the show in HD later on.
I participated in early tests of KeyKode. TLC provided the logging and I'm trying to remember who supplied the reader (might have been Cinema Products). I don't think Evertz had a KeyKode product yet, let alone the the inverse CRC VI data. It was a test of the workflow which became commonplace. A final test was to take the derived edge numbers from the editing, cut the film to it, transfer that back to video and compare it to the edited video. It's funny to think this is now a near dead technology.

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post #59 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 09:13 PM
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You can blame the Digital Hate on post production and Blu-ray encoding. You can add digital film grain, if you want, to a movie totally shot on digital. The digital look is a choice. Older movies that have been digitized don't look like "old movies" because they were shot on film. They look like that because the guy encoding them didn't go overboard with noise reduction or go crazy with digital color timing.
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post #60 of 221 Old 08-02-2014, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jurid001 View Post
It's quite surprising that film has been holding on for that long. In photography film disappeared about 10 years ago. During its disappearance multiple comparisons were done, including those with microscopes (!), it was established that one could produce equivalent to film pictures with about 6MP digital (bayer pattern), and about 3.4MP with 3-color one (a la Sigma). In movie-making, area of film frame is about a half of frame in 35mm photo, with something like 3MP of Bayer structure corresponding to it. No wonder when they showed AVATAR in IMAX using about 2MP (2K) nobody complained about lack of resolution compared to other IMAX movies.
Film was officially on it's way out in around 1997 or so. There were enough who complained they couldn't get what they wanted with digital capture, so that kept film around.

There has been plenty of debates and scientific experiments ran on film. However, it is hard to compare film, when your looking at it on, or with, a digital device, like a monitor screen. You want to see film in the correct way, put a bright light behind it. It just kills me to see a film scanned, then shown on a monitor of CRT/LED/LCD picture. Whatever. It kills the whole point of film.

By the time James Cameron's Avatar hit theaters, IMAX was already using digital projectors at most of it's locations. IMAX also has it's own standard for image quality. Despite there being much hype of Avatar being digital, thousands of 35MM and IMAX 70MM prints were made and distributed. Some IMAX screen's used film for there 3D Avatar showings.

On 35MM stock, the entire frame is used. The half area you speak of, is when the 2.39:1(or other format) gate is in place. That way things like, boom mic's, feet, directors dog, etc, are removed. You can see with the picture i'm adding, it's a film, copied off a negative with the gate in place on the negative, so it looks like only half the 35MM frame was used. Of course there is all the 2, 3, 4 perforations that is just a way to save film, some take that approach and some don't.
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