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Perry Paolantonio

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Everything posted by Perry Paolantonio

  1. When we have something we'd like to show, we will. We're not interested in marketing or selling the scanner. this is for in-house use.
  2. We're still working on the 14k scanner. It's for 35mm and 70mm (and some oddball archival formats) though. We could probably scan 16mm on it, but the resolution would be limited due to the optical system, and we'd probably get more out of the 6.5k ScanStation, which has more range for the camera/lens system to fill the sensor frame than we do. We don't have scan samples, because no streaming format does them justice. It's more hassle than it's worth to have to explain away the compression from streaming, and there are too many variables in the playback system to make that a worthwhile test. That being said, film is just a series of still images isn't it? stills are a pretty good way to show off the scanner.
  3. If you look at it on vimeo, he details the full setup in the description
  4. Why no sync? I mean, the camera won't hold sync for long, but we've had clients do sync sound with R8. We scanned this for a client a few years ago: This is very true. While the frame size might be slightly smaller for R8, the design of the Super 8 system is kind of crap. It was about convenience, not quality. We are regularly blown away by how good old R8 film looks - stable and generally much more crisp than Super 8.
  5. Of course. That said, I can't hear the difference between 44.1 and 48, but I know audio mastering engineers who can. However, we're not talking about straight recording and then listening to that recording. Just like with film scanning, you're capturing it and then further manipulating it. And for that, more samples are critical. With an image, you may be doing a lot more than resizing. Let's say you want to do grain reduction (shudder), you're going to get better results if you have better definition of the grain, therefore you're less likely to affect the underlying image this way. Or if you're doing restoration work - the algorithms will work better with sharper images. We've been doing digital restoration for 15 years and I can tell you that the quality of the restoration work increases with resolution. We just get better results. The point most people miss is that while the film/lens/camera system can only resolve so much, and that's true, that doesn't mean there's some hard and fast pixel count that corresponds to a given film gauge. That's a gross oversimplification of the problem. For one thing, pixel count is only one small factor in the overall image (I can make you a pretty crappy 8k image that's still 8k, but doesn't look as sharp as 4k). The quality of the optical system in the scanner, the quality of the sensor, noise in the sensor, the quality of the scanner's light source, post-scan image processing, and dozens of other factors play into the quality of a scan. And the scan is not the final step in the post production workflow, yet it's treated that way. You're never scanning the film and then looking at it immediately, you're always doing more to it afterwards: Grading, compositing, restoring, etc. Does 8k television make sense? Probably not, unless you're one of those people with a 10 foot screen and you're sitting 4 feet from it. Then, the pixel density makes a difference. But the reality is that display resolutions keep increasing, so if nothing else, film scans should keep up, if only to avoid upsampling later to fit those higher resolutions. But there are plenty of good reasons to scan at a higher res than you think might be necessary.
  6. As I see it there are three reasons to scan at higher resolutions than you need: 1) Oversampling, nyquist, etc. 2) Increased fidelity. Don't think about the picture on the film, think about the film. Most people can't hear the difference between 44.1kHz audio sampling adn 48kHz. Yet every self respecting audio mastering house will work at 96k or higher. Why? Because audio is analog (and so is film), and more samples gets you closer to the original analog signal. Do you need it immediately? maybe not. But 10, 20 years from now, it may come in very handy. And if the film doesn't exist anymore, it'd be pretty foolish not to have scanned at the highest resolution you could, at the time. 3) It's only a matter of time before 8k becomes a theatrical reality and possibly even takes over home theater (I think that's debatable, but who knows). If you scan at 4k, you have to do a lot of upsampling to get it to 8k. If you scan at 8k, you already have that ready to go when needed. i"m not saying everyone needs to do this, but these are totally reasonable arguments for scanning at higher resolutions. People need to think beyond their immediate needs, especially as the costs to do this kind of scanning comes down. A couple years ago, doing a 4k feature film scan for $5000 was unthinkable. Yet, we do it all the time. Times change, resolutions increase, costs come down, computers get faster and will be able to handle it easily soon enough.
  7. There's plenty more on film than you think, and it depends on your goal. If the goal is digital preservation, higher resolution is always better. The whole point is to resolve the grain, because the grain is the picture. You may not be able to resolve more than the lens on the camera and lens were able to when the film was shot, but that's not really the point. In order to have the most to work with, especially with film that's degrading fast and won't be around in 10 more years, you want the highest resolution you can get. The idea is to future proof the scan as much as possible so when crazy algorithms for restoration are available in 10 years you have a suitable source to work with. Also, oversampling is important. if you need an 8k scan for display on an 8k screen, you need to scan at a higher res to downsample to that 8k for best results. To Daniel's question: There are a few scanners out there that can do those resolutions (Lasergraphics Director 10k, some of the GoldenEye scanners, and a couple others I think). We're building a scanner right now that will do 14k for 70mm and roughly 10k for 35mm. Our ScanStation has a 6.5k sensor in it. That said, 8k on a cell phone is nothing in comparison to the data rates required to do a proper film scan. You're comparing apples and oranges (a cell phone is capturing crappy 8-bit highly compressed files, but a film scanner is capturing uncompressed). The bandwidth requirements are beyond what even the most high end computers can handle right now, so any scanner with resolutions like that is going to be limited to a few frames per second tops and any post work is going to be done on lower res proxies.
  8. That depends on the transfer system. Modern sprocketless scanners can often scan damaged film. We do it all the time on our 6.5k ScanStation. I just searched for the manual for that machine, and it says it uses an AC power source. So finding a plug shouldn't be too hard. Can you post a photo of the socket on the machine? The manual didn't have an image of it.
  9. I don't know the situation with these sites, but I would suggest maybe not being so judgmental about it. For one thing - maintaining a web site is much more than paying $15/year for a domain. You also have to pay for web hosting, and you have to keep the site updated, even if it's static and no longer working. And getting that data into a usable form isn't always straightforward. Often sites like this are a labor of love and life gets in the way. I speak from experience - In 1996 I started postforum.com, which was one of the biggest forums for mac-based nonlinear edit systems for quite some time. It never made any money but it consumed a lot of my time. Eventually the forums were overrun with spammers and I couldn't keep up. Multiple revisions of the forum software didn't help, and it was ported to three different forum packages over the years (each port took months to pull off because the data was all in different formats). Social media took over and traffic plummeted. In the end, I had to shut the site down, which was tough because there was a ton of information there. The site had over 25,000 non-spammer users (and in the end almost as many spamer accounts), and about 4000 regulars. there were over 180,000 posts when I finally pulled the plug and made it read-only. That lasted for several years, but then the site began experiencing all kinds of hacks because of security vulnerabilities in the (by then defunct) forum software. Ultimately my web host told me to either fix it or shut it down. Since most of the data on it was way out of data at that point (I mean, who still uses Media 100 QX systems on Mac OS 9?) Keeping a web site up and running, especially one that's even remotely interactive (even if it's in read-only mode) is a lot of work and still needs to be patched and updated as the underlying OS is updated or security vulnerabilities are discovered, so it's not a simple matter of paying a few bucks a year to leave it visible. Respectfully, I'd say give the site's maintainers a break.
  10. Right. FRS is their restoration software. You'd want to see the film with and without wet gate and with no FRS and no color correction. Basically, run the film through with no wet gate and capture it. back it up, turn on wet gate and do it again. Don't change any settings on the scanner. that's the only way to test what the wet gate is doing. Once you introduce other software you're muddying the waters. Dust removal and noise reduction can affect scratches too, so they need to be turned off.
  11. Again, that's not the wet gate doing that. Look at the colors. Wet gate will not affect color. This image has been processed post-scan, and there's no way to know what else has been done to it. Post a video of the film run through the wet gate *ONLY* with no post-scan processing of any kind (color correction, noise reduction, restoration), and then you can make a comparison. But you're comparing apples to oranges here. I can scan a dirty film on our ScanStation with and without threading through PTR rollers, then run it through Resolve to color correct and Phoenix to clean it up. But I can't say the PTR rollers are responsible for the difference. That is effectively what you're saying here, only it's a "wet gate" not a PTR roller. All that system will do is clean some of the gunk off the film before it gets to the gate.
  12. The second video has been altered (the color is totally different). it has probably gone through their software scratch removal as well as some level of color balancing. It's not the wet gate that's doing that, it's software.
  13. This keeps coming up in threads I'm on. The Film Fabriek is not really wet gate. It's only a wet gate in that the film is damp when it passes in front of the camera, yes. But it's basically a cleaning thing, not a scratch concealment thing because of the solvent they're using. Wetgate works by filling in BASE (not emulsion) scratches with a solvent that's got the same refractive index as the acetate itself. **IF** and only if the light source is collimated. In this case, the photons are focused into a linear beam, and when the light hits the scratch it will bounce off of the edges like light in a prism. If the scratch is filled with a solvent that has the same refractive index as the base, then the light will pass straight through. Alcohol is not that solvent. What it will do is clean the film a bit before it goes through the gate and then evaporates, but not much more than that. If the light source is sufficiently diffuse, the scratch doesn't really appear in the first place because the photons are scattered all over the place and don't refract off the scratch so there's not much point in a wet gate on a modern scanner. It makes a ton of sense on film printers, or any scanner where the light is focused through a lens before it hits the film. That's not how most scanners made in the past 20 years work though.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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...
  17. That's the series, yes. Watch it on a decent screen though - that trailer doesn't really do the home movie footage justice.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. "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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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