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Perry Paolantonio

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Perry Paolantonio last won the day on November 28 2018

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About Perry Paolantonio

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    Boston, MA
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    Eclair ACL II, Pro8mm modded Max8 Beaulieu 4008
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    5k, 4k, UHD, 2k Film Scanning, Film Restoration, Blu-ray and DVD Authoring

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  1. DOTS doesn't really exist yet. it's in development. I think the OP is looking at the problem the wrong way. We are reliant upon commercial tech companies to provide us with the formats to make and store images. There's no getting around that, and film was no different. These companies are going to change things constantly, and they're going to try to outdo each other with newer and better formats. Film definitely has long term advantages, and as David Mullen suggests - B/W separations are the current best format for long term storage (but this is wildly expensive both to make and to store and maintain - you can't just stick it on a shelf in a basement, you need climate-controlled storage and the ongoing costs - facilities, electrical, maintenance, labor - are enormous). With digital media, the only sane solution right now is to migrate, migrate, migrate, and build lots of redundancy into whatever strategy you use for storage. If you're looking to store a film, I would start with hard drives, which give you quick and easy access in the near-term, but will fail eventually. Multiple copies, in multiple locations, helps with this problem. But don't expect these drives to be good for more than 5 years, to be safe. They probably will, but don't count on it. Migrate the files every few years to new drives. As a more long term backup - maybe 8-10 years - the current best format is LTO. It's robust, it's ubiquitous and the development of it is an open book, with a well defined roadmap going out many years. It's designed by a consortium of companies, so it's not subject to the whims of one manufacturer. Major enterprise-level backup systems (banks, medical, government, defense, etc) rely on LTO, so it's not going anywhere any time soon. Amazon Glacier is LTO. Stay a generation behind what's current, and it's reasonably priced. Aside from the immediate problems of specific media (a given hard drive or LTO tape) failing, you have the larger issue of changes in the underlying technology that's used to power those devices. For example - SCSI was the only way to connect drives, printers and other peripherals for decades. Now it's all but dead as an interface to computers (the protocols live on in iSCSI and SAS, but that's software, basically). If you put stuff on a SCSI drive 20 years ago, it's going to be very hard to get the files off of that drive now (if the drive still spins up), and much harder 5 years from now. The same will happen with SATA, and USB, and all other interconnect formats. It's in the interest of the tech companies developing these formats to constantly move you to something new, to sell more product. So the best way to look at digital archiving is to see it as a constantly evolving process, and just roll with it - move your data to new formats. Keep checksums to ensure there's no corruption. Keep multiple copies in different locations on different formats, so if one goes bad you have a viable replacement. Trying to find a digital equivalent to film, where you can stick it on a shelf and more or less forget about it for a few decades, will lead to disaster and disappointment in the future.
  2. That is expensive. But remember that the scanner at 10k HDR runs at 1fps, assuming no IR flash. So the scan time alone, not including setup is over an hour, for just 100 feet. Then there's the media management. those 10k DPX files will be about 4x larger than your 5k scans were, so everything runs incredibly slowly, from capture to copy - just moving those files onto an external drive probably takes another hour or two, and all of that is time the scanner isn't working. This is a case where I think the price is justified, if a bit steep.
  3. I think we are agreeing mostly, yes. I just think that the focus shouldn't be on how much more picture quality you're squeezing out of the image. Past a certain point, you're not. But what's super important is to not paint yourself into a corner with a lower resolution scan, when display tech is constantly going to higher resolutions. Like it or not (and I mostly don't like it because 4k in a home setting is more than enough unless you've got an absolutely massive screen you're sitting too close to), more pixel density is coming. As for the pricing - our 2k and 4k HDR scans are about half of what Pro8mm charges (no idea if the pricing on their site is for 2-flash HDR, because they don't specify). Very high res scanning has been affordable for some time, if one looks around. Part of the calculus for not doing high res scans is that traditionally it was *very* expensive. And some places stick to that old model of charging high prices for high res. To a point that makes sense because it's more work to deal with and it goes slower than lower res scanning. But it's also not reflective of the actual costs of doing this kind of work, in 2019...
  4. That's the series, yes. Watch it on a decent screen though - that trailer doesn't really do the home movie footage justice.
  5. With all due respect, this misses the point I've tried to make here several times: Will you get more detail of the *image* out of a higher res scan? No, not if that detail is lost to bad optics, etc. But you will get a better scan of the film that contains that image. It's exactly like high sample rates in audio - you don't capture analog audio at 22kHz for a reason... And, at 4k you will avoid digitally scaling up to fit a modern 4k screen. Even a 2k -> 4k blowup is significant and will soften the image considerably. Given the predominance of 4k screens in 2019, it doesn't really make sense to scan (even home movies) to resolutions lower than 4k. FWIW, we've done probably 60 home movie transfer jobs this year so far, ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of feet. Only a few of them have been at 2k. The vast majority are done at 4k, HDR, to a flat ProRes 4444 file, and most opt for a simultaneous one-light HD MP4 file they can easily upload to YouTube or share on a USB thumb drive with family. Kodachrome in 4k can look amazing, even on mediocre cameras. I know I just mentioned it above, but do check out WORMWOOD on Netflix. The home move footage looks fantastic, and it was scanned at 5k.
  6. I gave my nephew a cheap Chinon camera when we were all on a trip to Italy about 6 years ago. He was 9 at the time, and absolutely loved it. He was thrilled to see the footage a month later, because he had forgotten what he shot while we were there. It's ridiculous to think that a kid won't like that. He had so much fun. Also, he had no idea i was bringing it on the trip for him so the whole idea of shooting film was a foreign concept. He thought a lot about what he'd shoot, and actually made a pretty cool little film with the 2 rolls I gave him.
  7. I never said it was subpar, and it does produce excellent results out of the box. As I've said repeatedly in this forum and others, it's a good sensor when it's properly tuned. We've done many scans on this system and the quality is fantastic. Check out Errol Morris' film WORMWOOD on Netflix. We did all the 8mm home movie footage, at 5k with full overscan on our ScanStation, and it looks amazing. No sensor is going to "just work" out of the gate without proper calibration and adjustment. It took some time for Lasergraphics to address issues that customers brought up with them, in part because the camera manufacturer's firmware needed adjustments. In most cases, the sensor worked great without those adjustments. The noise we're talking about happens when the film is particularly dense. For properly exposed film, it's not an issue. Others have had more problems than we have. And Lasergraphics hasn't handled this as well as they could have (I would say they should have been more proactive about addressing the noise issues - clearly it's something that can be addressed, as it was with our camera). That's not how it worked. There was no "4k" ScanStation. It went from 2.5k on the original machine (we have the first one that rolled off the line), to the 5k camera about 3 years ago. In the past few months, there was a 4k option offered, using one of the Sony IMX sensors. The scanner needs to overscan (2.5k to get a 2k frame, 5k to get a 4k frame, etc) in order to do frame registration, so the sensor is always bigger than the most common resolution. And with the 4k Sony sensor, your top resolution is less than 4k because of that overscan, which is why we didn't go for that upgrade. Even with the occasional noise, the CMOSIS 5k gave us superior scans with better options than we had with the 2.5k CCD that we originally had. For example: Super2k, where we scan in 5k but downsample to 2k - this overcomes the color sampling limits of the bayer sensor, and gives you effectively an RGB scan. ...And a sharper image to boot, from the oversampling.
  8. The 5k sensor in the Scanstation is the CMOSIS CMV20000. We have not found it to be as bad as Rob and some others have. It requires a lot of tweaking to fine tune it to minimize the noise, but it's possible. In our case, with one of the earliest ones Lasergraphics released, we had to swap the camera, there were firmware updates to the camera that are custom to Lasergraphics, and they did quite a lot of tweaking for us to get the noise to an acceptable level for a single-pass scan. We only see noise on the densest of film. In 2-flash HDR mode, the noise goes away. With the new Sony, the signal to noise ratio is much better out of the box, so it shouldn't require so much adjustment and tweaking. Can't wait to see what kind of dynamic range we can get out of it with really extreme footage. We've got several clients who do experimental animation work with 16mm hi-con film, and that can be tough on the 5k sensor. As with almost everything on the Scanstation, upgrades are fairly painless, though this one requires a new host PC as well as a completely new camera module (that tall box in the center of the scanner that sticks up above the top of the chassis). The camera they're using for with the Sony sensor uses a 25GbE interface, not CameraLink, so this is a significant upgrade that will require a fair bit of work to install, plus we'll need to migrate our RAID over to it, so lots of interim backups since we've got 50+TB of internal storage in ours. Generally, though, you can swap out most modules pretty easily on the ScanStation. I don't believe it's quite as easy on the ScanStation Personal, however.
  9. Just wanted to let you guys know we just sent in the PO and deposit for the 6.5k ScanStation upgrade. Gamma Ray Digital will have this installed in about 6 weeks.. Pricing for resolutions above 5k is TBD - our 2k-5k pricing will be the same, but we need to run some tests first to see what we're dealing with in terms of file sizes and speeds before we finalize on 6k pricing BTW, @Scott Pickering: I believe the max native film frame resolution will now be 5k, for Super 8. Currently it's about 4k for the 5.1k sensor.
  10. "4k" is not really a spec, per se. It's a rough pixel count of only the horizontal component of an image's dimensions, and it can vary. 3656x2664 is 4k as generated by our Northlight scanner for a 4k Academy Aperture 35mm scan. It does 4096 for full aperture, but if you don't include the soundtrack area the file is 3656. I'd respectfully disagree that UHD isn't 4k. I mean, technically, it's not 4000+ pixels across, but it's advertised widely as 4k and it's what people know as 4k. Arguing otherwise is kind of futile since that's what most of the world knows as 4k at this point. Of course, the vertical number is whatever you need it to be to match your aspect ratio. so UHD is 16x9 which is purely a resolution from the video world and doesn't exist in film or photography really. If you scan most non-widescreen motion picture film you're usually looking at 4096x3112 or thereabouts, but I've seen other resolutions as well.
  11. FPN is different on every sensor, so probably not. To a large degree it can be compensated for with proper sensor calibration. Our ScanStation exhibits very little noise, except with the densest of films (a situation where there's not enough light getting to the sensor - when you try to pull details out of that dense film in grading, you expose the underlying noise). HDR scans basically eliminate this by doing a special exposure for the dense areas, by getting more light to the sensor.
  12. 4k is 4 times the "resolution" (that is, pixel count) of 2k. Assuming you're comparing apples to apples in terms of aspect ratio, a 2048x1556 file is 4x fewer pixels than a 4096x3112 file. But as mentioned in my last comment, you're not going to squeeze picture information out of the film if it's not there. But if you scan at 4k you are going to get a better scan, because you're starting with more digital samples of the analog image.
  13. One should never upscale the film, as you have to create picture data where there wasn't any before, and that will always degrade the image. See the example about halfway down the page here: https://www.gammaraydigital.com/blog/busting-resolution-myth If the goal is to squeeze more picture information out of the film by increasing the resolution, that will depend on a bunch of factors: the film stock, the camera's focus, the lens quality, the steadiness of the film in the gate, the steadiness of the camera, the exposure, the lighting, and I'm sure more. The fact is, you can see more defined grain in a natively scanned 4k image than in a 2k image that was scaled up. You're using more pixels to make the initial image, thus you're taking more samples (think audio sampling - same idea). And the end result is that you get a better representation of the physical film, which is what holds the image. And that's the whole point.
  14. I guess what I'm getting at is that it's not an HDR scan if you're starting from the same, single scan. It's kind of mimicking what you'd get with HDR, but it's only able to work with what's in the initial scan. A true HDR scan, made from multiple images, works by making different exposures for each at the time the scan is made. that means for really dense areas of the film, more light gets to the scanner's sensor, and more detail, if it's there, is extracted. And for the thinner areas of film, a normal exposure is made, which ensures nothing gets blown out. But if you start from a single scan, you're only able to work with what's in that scan, it's not able to pull out detail in areas where the scanner didn't pick it up. What you're describing should be doable with any good photo editing software, but it's not an HDR scan. We're working on a web site redesign, which will include more HDR samples. Our current scanner does 2-flash HDR only, though we'll have a 3-flash scanner within the next few months. It's more expensive because the machine has to run twice (or three times, for 3-flash) as slow, in order to capture all the images. the scanner handles doing that, and it outputs a single SDR image. The basic idea is the same as what you're doing (at least algorithmically), except that instead of starting from one scan, it's starting from two or three.
  15. If I understand correctly what's happening here, a single scan is split into three versions, each with a "-1, 0 and +1" (stop?) exposure, then merged together in the same way a multi-shot HDR would be? If this is correct, while it may have some effect on the image, it's basically just a post production grading technique that could also be done with curves or multiple-layer or multiple node color correction. It's not really extending the dynamic range, or getting any of the benefits of scanning the film at two or three exposures and merging them. There is a significant difference. With a true HDR scan, you get three things: 1) Extended dynamic range by scanning for the dense, normal and thin areas of the film, then merging them into a single SDR image. The end result is detail in all three ranges. A scan done for the shadows would blow out the highlights, and vice versa. 2) Depending on how it's done, for color images you get more bit depth in the resulting file than you would with a single scan 3) Reduced noise (if there's noise in the scan in dense areas of the film, an HDR scan will pretty much eliminate the noise from the scanner's sensor, by pumping more light to it, and creating an image well above it's noise floor. -perry
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