Jump to content

Robert Houllahan

Site Sponsor
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Robert Houllahan

  1. I am actually working on a project right now that is doing the exact workflow that TX Chainsaw did.

    They shot 16mm color reversal and up shot it on and optical printer to an Internegative and then went on to make prints from that IN.

    The job we are doing tests for now is shot on Ultra 16mm Ektachrome 100D and I am setting up to up shoot it on our Producers ACME optical printer to 35mm 2254 IN stock.

    As far as printing lights go that is a bit of test and see how the stock and exposures resolve on the IN stock to print.

    • Upvote 1
  2. We are doing allot of digital to 16mm recording and I have three recordings I am doing right now which are for recording to elements to make prints with sound.

    For 35mm we can record to IN on the Arrilaser and make a print with an optical track but that is pretty expensive, I am looking into doing direct to 35mm prints.

    • Like 2
  3. Cineon LOG is a kind of lossless compression designed by Kodak to follow the characteristic curve of how negative film works, so the density range could be put into 10 bits.

    All digital sensors are linear response and early Cineon and Quantel scanners used Kodak tri-linear (RGB LIne) CCDs which were 12bit or 14bit linear, the Arriscan is a 14bit ALEV sensor and 2-flash gets it to 16bit precision.

    So all LOG curve schemes have followed on from the Cineon LOG designed by kodak in the late 1980's

    There is still calibrating the scanner to the film base and both exposure and lab variations and I think there is no way to just add technical and look LUTs to get a perfect image without also doing some base grading.

  4. On 4/7/2024 at 8:09 AM, silvan schnelli said:

    I downloaded 5213 35 film scan DPX footage and ARRI XT footage from https://www.cinematography.net/Valvula/valvula-2014.html. My goal is to compare the footages and put them through a post pipeline that I am amending and tinkering with. However, when I loaded the two DPX files into Nuke, I noticed that the film scan is much darker and slightly more contrasty than the Alexa footage. I then applied a OCIOFileTransform to both, a LogC2 to rec709 conversion for the alexa and davincis Kodak 2383 PFE for the film scan. The colours look great but the film scan is much more underexposed. On the CML website the footage looks relatively the same exposed, but for me the film looks much more underexposed. What am I doing wrong or misinterpreting?

    ARRI XT (16bit) with classic LogC2 to rec709 and Kodak Film with Davinci 2383 PFE 



    16bit DPX is linear not LOG.

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1
  5. The linescan issue in the Spirit is a temporal scan issue not a horizontal one.

    The Spirit scans the line x samples as the film moves past the aperture and "builds" the picture in the framestore in real time, the speed is governed by the encoder on the sprocket which is 4-800 lines per revolution and does not feed back into the frame store. So when there is frame instability like on a splice the velocity of the lines scanned jumps and you get the issues. In the later version of the Spirit 4K and Scannity there is some feedback to compensate for this.

    As for new sound scanning.

    The 8000 line / rev optical encoder used in these newer scanners allows for very detailed film velocity information to be mathematically combined with the horizintal picture scan info or (on the Xena) analog sound capture to create a audio signal that should be very accurate in pitch / stability.This method allows for the info to be processed for temporal variations in film velocity in a very high resolution and not just spit out to a framestore. The LG SS Optical sound reader is just doing a more detailed AEO like sound decoding, I am actually not sure it is a line scan as they may be using a area scan sensor to scan the sound areas Perry would know more about that.

    We use the built in AEO Light audio on the two Scan Station machines I have and it also works fantastically well, Arri is using AEO in the Arriscan XT now.

    I have not really had any pitch issues on any of the 8mm 16mm or 35mm films with sound we have scanned from either the Scan Station or Xena scanners.

  6. oh boy.

    Real new scanners do not rely on the crystal locked frame rate of the film to correlate the sound like legacy telecine.

    So if you look at how sound heads are setup on the LG or Xena or DFT/Sondor machines there is a very high res optical encoder drum at the sound reader, this drum will typically have a 8,000 line/rotation encoder that drives sampling the magnetic or optical sound. This frees the scanner to run at any scan frame rate and have the sound be resolved to the resultant required playback speed.

    The LG machines use a line scan to basically do a high res picture of the optical track and decode it in the same manor that AEO Light works, but with higher accuracy as it has a known number of hundreds of thousands or millions of film velocity samples per second. The Xena uses a 8000 line encoder and a A/D in a National Instruments high res digitizer card. Not sure how the Sondor on the Scannity or Polar DFT machines works but I think it is similar to the LG system.

    So there is really no actual technical way for wow or flutter to be introduced on these new scanners because the physical scanning speed is irrelevant to the resulting playback speed of the sound or picture.

    The playback sound speed is done in math with vastly more sampling in time and visual representation per film frame than are necessary or have ever been available before.

    • Upvote 1
  7. My Scan Station SSP (perzonalz) with HDR has the same build moniker (lg_7_3_349_1221) as all the Scan Stations.

    The Archivist has the build as sa_7_3_289_5531 not lg

    I probably need to update them soon to the latest builds with DNx

    For comparison:

    The Arriscan update requires cloning the CERN Scientifc Linux drive from the Sun workstation and sending it to Arri and then they send it back and remote in to finish the update.



    • Like 1
  8. I would suggest 3D printing a cover with a 4-Pin XLR that could be fitted over the existing Arri motor terminals and cutting them down to flush with the motor casing and then soldering on wires to go from the two terminals to the XLR.

  9. 23 hours ago, Robin Phillips said:

    I dont think there are that many out there, and the ones that are out there appear to be workhorses (and money makers in the right hands). 


    LaserGraphics has sold so many Scan Station scanners I half expect to see my local Pub or 7/11 offering MP scans sometime this year.

    Everyone has one, I personally have two.

    They are just so reliable and in constant use by the labs, post shops schools and archives and they cost relatively so much less than a big iron machine that it is not likely that many used Scan Station machines will show up on the used market.

    Anyone want to buy a nice Spirit 4k?

  10. The Hydra looks really nice but I could build that in conjunction with my friends with CnC machine shops etc for what I imagine would be allot less than their asking price.

    The Lipsner XL1100 can pretty easily be made to run 8mm and lots of labs do that, the XL1100 has some "prototype" like engineering but again with some mods and an updated PLC it can be made to basically operate like the Hydra and even could be modded to have a variable gap etc. Got me thinking about mine and mods now...

    The newer Lipsner 8200 HFE ultrasonics have a PLC and arguably do a better cleaning job than any buffer only type cleaner and they can be run with the newer solvents.

    We had an early San Labs cleaner and it was pretty bad, the newer Prista cleaner is better but also not great but a good basic and inexpensive to buy platform to build off of IMO.

  11. 17 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    Tis a pretty cool video AND time period we live in. 

    Alas, I don't think the studios will be green lighting any big 15P movies anytime soon. This may all be for nothing. 

    Uh the films made the studios billions of dollars in profits why would they not green light more 65/15p films when they clearly make huge returns and audiences love them?

  12. 6 hours ago, Christian Flemm said:

    Hi Rob,

    Processing as reversal either industrially or by hand won't be an issue here in Berlin 🙂. However it is/was my understanding that B&W films with strong anti-halation layers, or B&W films that do not have a clear base, reverse quite poorly. Given that I won't be scanning the material, but developing it for immediate projection, I'm trying to determine whether I can use this material to create a strong projection positive.

    As for shooting, I'd be running it through my Arri 2B. I was more curious as to whether you / anyone on here found it strange that the base is so thin. Though I'm not as well-traveled with ORWO material, I've never handled acetate material this thin.

    Thanks again for your input.


    You would have to do some experiments r.e. running this as a positive, the Kodak manual for Reversal has a light for re-exposure between the clearing bath and second developer so that would be ideal to run as reversal with full re-exposure. I think that would overcome any base issues for reversal development.


    As for the very thin acetate I am not sure exactly why it is that way. I think the issue will be running it with camera stability and keeping it jam free. We ran a notorious 35mm feature in 2017 which was hundreds of thousands of feet of 5222 and the camera department / DP wanted to shoot 3-perf Arrcam cameras but ended up shooting 4-perf just because it was allot more steady and compatible with the Arricam pin-registerd movement.

    I would think an Arri 2C would not have issues with the thin acetate base.

  13. That seems like a nice machine and kind of similar to but updated XL1100 buffer style cleaner.

    I have had two XL1100 Lipsners and they have been reliable aside from some of the questionable engineering in a few areas, things which can be remedied with some work.

    Most places run an Ultrasonic cleaner for all negative scans and there is a new HFE replacement which is less costly.

  14. 10 hours ago, Geffen Avraham said:

    Man I wish Blackmagic would make a Cintel with a new imager, and perhaps an RGB illuminator and monochrome sensor. No other professional scanner is plug-and-play like that, getting an imager capable of 4k S16 scans would make it perfect for my use.

    Well this has nothing to do with digital recording to film.

    As for "plug and play" the BMD Cintel is very sub par, the LaserGraphics Scan Station beats it in every possible way.

    Blackmagic seems to have no intention to replace the noisy sensor in the BMD Cintel and absolutely definitely will never make that thing a RGB scanner.

    If you want true RGB HDR scans be prepared to pay Arri / DFT / LaserGraphics a half a million or more. You could have a Oxberry pin registered Xena for about $55K with a new 6.5K sensor.

  15. I think there is some misinformation about early scanning in this thread.

    None of the telecine machines even the very old ones had "sharpening" (Coring and Aperture correction) which was not able to be turned off. Even the old Bosch Quadra and other early CCD telecine had these controls, the colorists tended to ride them to taste. The original SDC2000 Spirit ( one 1920 mono line and three 960 rgb lines) which was the first real "Data-Cine" used on "Brother Where Art Thou" with the HIPPI data and Pogle had the ability to make quasi 2K scans that looked fairly good when setup correctly. Same with the Cintel / ITK Millenium and DSX flying spot 2K 4K Data-Cine machines.

    The Spirit SDC2000/2001 the Millenium and DSX and especially the later Spirit 2K / 4K machines never had problems scanning prints or other positives like Kodachrome or Ektachrome, the need for a low con print was really a standard def issue not for any of the HD telecine. People would make a Low Con print to give more room in grading in the early HD days but it became a legacy practice by 2005.

    The Spirit 4K was the fastest scanner for 4k and 2K until after 2010 and the fastest 4K / 2K true RGB scanner until the Scannity replaced it, it ran 2K in real time and 4K at 7.5fps.

    There were no real 2K + res Bayer Mask scanners till well into the 2010's the first ones were Kodak 2K and 3.3K CCDs used in the Scan Station / Kinetta / Xena etc. scanners with some single tap and some with various levels of tap balance issues. None of these machines were major market scanners.

    The Jurassic Park scans done on a Kodak Cineon 4K Tri-Linear CCD scanner hold up well today 30yrs later, it just took 4 minutes per frame to scan them to some beast of a SGI machine.Quantel had the Domino system which had similar performance both based on the Oxberry shuttle.

    Great data scanning has just become available to everyone, the Cineon technical specification that Kodak built and which became the basis for all data scanning was and is a very high technical spec which has worked for thirty years, this is separate from and concurrent with scanning film to video for broadcast which is low DR Rec709 and what Telecine was built for.


    • Like 2
  16. 3 hours ago, Christian Flemm said:

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the recommendation. To be clear, the only reason I was curious as to the stock's lineage was to determine in advance how suitable it would be for reversal processing. The base being as clear as it is is a positive sign, but as I mentioned above, the acetate base is also incredibly thin, similar to polyester-based stocks. Any thoughts on this?




    Any B&W stock can potentially be developed as Reversal but you would have to hand tank it and that will be allot of work, I do not know of any B&W reversal processing labs (Like us at Cinelab) who have a 35mm capable processor setup for doing reversal. This is simply because Tri-X Fomapan etc. are only really available as 8mm or 16mm.

    As for the thin acetate base I am not sure what to say about that it should not be that much of a problem in a still camera but might be an issue in a motion picture camera especially a pin registered one like an Arricam or Panaflex. I would think an Arri 2C or Camflex or similar camera without pin reg it would transport fine.

  17. 19 hours ago, Christian Flemm said:

    Howdy Rob,

    I’ve also only ever had good luck with old Plus-X. I hand-processed a roll of Plus-X in Super 8 for a friend not so long ago; the cartridge expired sometime mid-70s but came out good as new.

    It’s not clear how old the ORWO stock is. Still I’d guess it’s no older than 1980. The native ASA of the stock is 80, so we have bulk rolled a six still canisters and are testing 80, 64 and 50, as well as those same speeds with +1 push.

    For anyone following this thread, ORWO told us that NP55 is not at all related to UN54.



    Maybe not related but still there are only a few ways to make B&W film stock so definitely cousins.

    I would rate it at 20iso and not shoot in low light.

  18. 3 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    IMAX themselves does the 15P recording actually. They have a fleet of Celco's. I'm not sure if Fotokem even screws with the 15P format recording unless it's just VFX shots going to negative. I think their CRT tube collection is fading fast and they really don't want to use them. 

    Yeah them CRTs got to be looking pretty crisped by now.

    Kind of difficult to keep them and even the Arrilaser machines running.

    Sony just came out with a new 4K x 3.5K Micro OLED I am trying to get my hands one one when they release them, of course they want to know how much volume you will be selling and that is not allot...

    There is a French company that also does Micro OLEDs so maybe one of these panels with a piezo shift or the JVC LcOS with Piezo shift for 8k recording...


    • Upvote 2
  19. Old first gen MP film scanners used tri-linear CCDs that were 3K / 4K and then 5.7K this was true RGB scanning where there are three lines of pixels and they were R, G and B with color filters over each part of the line, they were typically made by Kodak's CCD division. This was usually in conjunction with a pin registered Oxberry transport and it took 20-30sec (or much more) to scan each frame. This is "Jurassic Park" era where only some shots would be scanned for VFX to then be recorded out and inserted in a negative cut.

    So 35mm and even 16mm was able to be scanned on Cineon scanners in the 1990's to 4K and that worked pretty well.

    Later scanners like the Northlight-2 got the 8K (or 9K?) Kodak Tri-Linear sensor and could to 2X over sampling or actual 8K scans. The Later generation Spirit scanners (2003-2009) had three 4K Kodak CCDs with dichroic color filters for real time 2K and 7fps 4K true RGB scanning. These scans still look really great today. The Arriscan has a 3K ALEV sensor and does a piezo shift to make 6K true RGB and true HDR down sampled to 4k.

    None of the above was in any way available to the regular public to fuss over these machines were in big iron post with engineering staff and got fussed over by the big guys.

    CFA scanners like the Scan Station only really got going fairly recently and the first gen Scan Station used a 2K or 3K Kodak CCD in quad tap mode and it had allot of issues with showing the tap balance so there would be obvious quadrants, they went for speed over quality as allot of places wanted the speed. Things only really got to somewhat modern when CMOSIS introduced a 5K 30fps capable Cmos sensor used in the Scan Station and the GPUs got fast enough to process that, this is about five years ago.

    Now there are some new sensors like the Sony 6.5k used in the Scan Station (color) and Director (Mono sequential RGB) for up to 13K scans and DFT has put the new G_Pixel 9.4x7K mono sensor in their Polar scanner and the Sony 14K mono sensor in their Oxscan for 65/70

    I don't really think there are any definitive public tests on "what res" is film as it is an organic medium being pushed into a grid pattern. In general I think Nyquist over sampling at 2X the intended res is what should be the goal and true RGB still beats CFA in detail and color fidelity and separation, I think both 16mm and 35mm really benefit from a 4K scan, negatives more so than prints.

    As the sensors get better and higher res capturing the whole film image which is made of clouds and grains at reasonably higher res shows an improvement in the final results and with that resolution comes the other horsemen of the emulsion full density range and color separation especially in over exposed negatives.

    I think everyone who does this work as a job sees the benefits of scanning 16mm and even 8mm at 4K and it is trivial to do now in fast color scanners and even true RGB scanners, I can see 35mm having some benefits from 8K scans too as they become more easily available. Ultimately is this a pixel peeping tech obsession or realistic best practice for the intended delivery format, most likely to be compressed online or UHD and HD video and rarely (for most) a return to 35mm prints or finely finished 4K DCI distro.

    • Upvote 1
  • Create New...