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Robert Houllahan

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About Robert Houllahan

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  • Occupation
    Industry Rep
  • Location
    Providence / East Coast /Globe
  • My Gear
    Film Lab / XTRprod / PhotoSonics 16mm / Nikon R10/ More Film Cams /C500 / Komodo
  • Specialties
    All Analog Film work and processes / 16mm and slow motion 16mm analog film / Interviews / Music Videos /

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  1. Similar to Jeff Krienes at Kinetta Rennie runs it and has other people build parts do wiring etc. The Xena is "technical" but not as technical as running or installing an Arriscan or DFT Scannity or Spirit 4K it is fairly easy to use and I have had staff at Cinelab run Xena scans pretty easily. There is allot more under the hood control on the Xena in the GUI than there is on the ScanStation.
  2. The Arriscan does 2 exposures in HDR mode the exposure time is set by the base calibration and you cannot change the times on that machine. The Xena Monochrome you can set the exposures for both the first and second flash and the LaserGraphics Director (Now a 13.5K machine) can do 3 exposures.
  3. Well actually not really, especially on "real" RGB scanners which shoot each color with a monochrome sensor and RGB+IR LED lamp pulses, these are mapped into a Cineon Log curve to make 10bit RGB DPX frames. So there is no "Raw" file to be demosaiced as each channel is a full scan record. With a 16bit DPX or Tiff the linear data is mapped into the 16 bits from the sensor, the Arriscan for example uses a 14 bit ALEV monochrome sensor and in 2-Flash HDR it is a full 16 bits of data per channel for each RGB color. So it pulses the lamp R+ R- G+ G- B+ B- (and IR if a dirt map is to be made) in 2-flash HDR 16 bit mode, which runs at about 3 FPS scanner speed. The important thing is not to clip the file, i.e. to get all the density range on the film into a digital container without losing any detail in the shadows or hilites. Scanners with CFA cameras (Scan Station Kinetta etc) basically mimic to the best degree possible the operation of a "true" RGB scanner by setting each RGB LED lamp pulse to just below clipping on the clear part of the film base, then they do either a Matrix or 3D LUT in the scanner to fix the color channel cross-talk from the sensor's CFA dyes and that is generally then mapped into a RGB file like DPX or ProRes4444. I can ask some high end colorists who work on Marvel films etc. but in general there is no setting color space from a film scan the color space is set really by the display device and space you are grading in, not by the scanner.
  4. We only really cut a few inches off either end of the roll to build a processing flat (usually up to 2000 feet of film) so I would recommend just shooting the whole roll and be aware that the beginning (usually exposed from loading) and the end will have a bit taken off for processing.
  5. So try and find out, load a 100ft roll in open light and load a roll in darkness, this is a medium experiment for yourself. If you load your Bolex in bright sunlight you will most likely get allot of flares on the edges of your film stock. If you load your Bolex under a blanket you will get not much or no edge flares on your daylight roll. Hold your daylight roll up to Sol and get super mad flares on the roll.
  6. Or honestly go waive $60k in LaserGraphics direction and get a Archivist, LG had worked out scanning for the non technically minded. The machines just work and you don’t need to know CERN scientific Linux (Arriscan) or what the encoder count to perf ratio of your gate (Xena) or Suse Linux Cinfigs (DFT Spirit/Scannity) or go ask Jeff about the baby Kinetta if you don’t have or cannot get $60k he told me that machine is $35k with a 5K camera.
  7. If you need a small machine for 8/16 you should look at the “baby” Kinetta from Jeff Kreines its in the $35k range. sorry to be sharp toned but even LaserGraphics is a fairly small company and other smaller scanner builders are even smaller. They don’t have staff like Mercedes so more concise communication is necessary.
  8. Companies that make specialized machines like LaserGraphics, Phase One DCS Arri etc. are pretty good at being able to tell real customers from people who will never buy anything. They call me back, because I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment. If you don't have a phone how are you going to run a business or buy a machine?
  9. Well they did not "let" me have HDR for the SSP I paid allot for it, but it fixes my primary issue with the machine which is the FPN on the 5K Cmosis camera and that makes it a more useful machine for 35mm and 16mm scanning. The Scan Station has some sharp turns so it is not perfect for the most warped film but it works mostly, I have put film through the Xena that just would not go through the Scan Station.
  10. I would just run it as normal E6 as 9 years is not too long really and it is a slow speed stock.
  11. I Have two Xena running a Spirit 2K a Spirit 4K an Arriscan and a Scan Station SSP with HDR now. I am likely winding down the use of the Spirit(s) as they are great but complex and power hungry. The Xena system is sort of what you build it to be, or what you have them build for you. I am re-arraigning one Xena shortly adding a 9.4K x 7K sensor that will scan 8mm 16mm 35mm and 65mm/70mm. The current Xena 6.5K config has been used to scan work for NFL Films Nike Studio TV and major Music Video work in 16mm and 35mm. It makes DPX frames and is not slow but not fast either. Xena has features like GPU Perf stabilization. I have a second Xena with a 4K Sony pregius (4112x3008) sensor that I run all of my 8mm on at Cinelab, I can scan 16mm and 35mm on that machine I just run 8mm on it though mostly. Scan Station is unparalleled in it's dead reliability near bug free and fast operation, the scanner just works and runs like a top. Argue the fine points but everyone has a Scan Station and they work. Xena is fussier and you can get access to all the "under the hood" stuff you can build you own transport configs quickly so if you have 7 perf 35mm scientific film from a camera built by a maniac by hand you can just config the transport and GPU perf stabilization to run it. You can DIY a IMAX gate and transport setup and config a Xena to work. You can select the camera you want and integrate it. So build a Xena with a 6.5K Sony and a top quality lens and you can get results on par with Scan Station or Kinetta it will not be as fast nor as dead reliable as a LaserGraphics scanner but it works and works well. Totally different approaches to building a scanner.
  12. What manufacturer is the processor? Allen? B&W Negative is pretty easy to setup and maintain honestly it is the simplest chemistry basically wash developer wash fix wash final drybox. B&W Reversal is allot more complex and the chemistry exhausts allot faster than negative. The machine itself is fairly easy to setup and get running as long as things like the tires and spring bearings etc. are good and or available. Most of the rest of the machine is drive components like motors and chains and sprockets or tanks and pumps which are all off the shelf kind of parts. DM me for more advice..
  13. I think this assumption is incorrect the color space for a film deliverable grade is chosen and the film scan is a RGB value (linear or log) with 0-1024 values for each color in 10bit. As long as the scan is not clipped either in the shadows or the hilites the color balance can be set to the desired look of the colorist. Same with Arriraw or other formats they are color space agnostic.
  14. I question your workflow from this. Motion Picture scans generally do not have any color gamut assigned, you take a DPX or TIFF scan and put it into Resolve or Baselight etc. and then work in the color space you want to work in, the scanner does not assign a color space. So you can take the 16bit TIFF sequence and run in ACES or BT2020 etc. and off to the races you go.... DNG is not really a format that any motion picture post uses to work in, so I have a few questions. 1. Are the cDNG files directly from the Scan Station? 2. Are the cDNG files from a Negative scan or Print positive? As far as I understand the Scan Station can make cDNG files but they are just the unprocessed data from the Sony Pregius IMX342 sensor so a negative scan will not be encoded into LOG nor will the cDNG file appear loaded into a piece of software as a positive so you will have to do that transform. The LED Lamphouse is set to the just below clipping balance of the film stock per color channel which is your primary light source for scanning. The Sony Pregius IMX342 sensor has a CFA (Color Filter Array) built by Sony and the color dyes are not something a scanner manufacturer can choose, these are off the shelf machine vision cameras used by LaserGraphics / Xena / Kinetta / VarioScan etc. So the scanner manufacturer has to do some math in the Debayer and encoding and if you scan from a color sensor system to cDNG you are likely missing any color science the scanner manufacturer does to write to DPX or TIFF or ProRes and also the cDNG precludes using a 2-Flash HDR process etc. So if I were trying to figure this out I would drop all the still processing apps and work in Resolve or some other system for motion picture work and go from DPX or some other motion picture file format.
  15. If you want to DIY I would strongly encourage a look at the DCS Xena system. You can buy a full running pinless GPU registered scanner or a full running Oxberry pin reg scanner but you can also buy modular parts from them to build your own machine. The software is extremely sophisticated and has all the features like GPU perf stabilization and proper sound reading. There are basic modules and when is supplied is the software, a motion control and LED lamp control module and a LED lr LED+ IR lamp. I put more than 200,000 rolls of 8mm through our 4K Xena in the last four or five years with excellent results for example and scans from the 5K and 6.5K Xena machines have run for NFL Films Nike Major music videos and features etc. http://digitalcinemasystems.net/?page_id=17
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