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Elliot Rudmann

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  1. Hi Dennis, Those prices are definitely exorbitant and, in my opinion laughable, but they're obviously not unheard of. Labs with higher overhead generally need to milk customers for those little services that, in reality, don't take that much time or effort, excluding extensive lab work/film repair. When you have your film processed, you should ask the lab to prep it for telecine/transfer, and they will add the leader, so there shouldn't be much (if any) lab work to do for the post house doing the scanning. If you're based in Illinois, you should check out the post house I work for; Nolo Digital Film. We're a small company in downtown Chicago and can do 2k/4k/6k scans via Arriscan of 16mm/35mm to DPX or Tiff for reasonable prices that vary depending on whether you want flat LOG scans, or graded files back. We DON'T charge for copying the scans back to your hard drive! Good luck! -Elliot
  2. Hi Ram, Have you looked at the files outside of the color correction suite with a basic LUT (look-up table) on them? Were the images underexposed (leading to extra noise)? Did you shoot with a high-ISO? It's hard to diagnose the issue without seeing examples from the RAW log image and color corrected images. As a baselight colorist, I have seen Alexa get a little noisy when it's underexposed and brightened up in the color suite, or when the operators lift the ISO sensitivity to shoot in darker areas. I know this is a late response, but hopefully you've figured out what happened. Good luck! -Elliot
  3. Hi David, I work over at Nolo Digital Film in Chicago and I appreciate you putting us on your list of contenders! Just so you know, the Arriscan cannot accept 8mm film, only 16mm and 35mm. Like Mr. Korver stated, outfitting a custom 8mm gate would be too cost prohibitive for a budget medium like 8mm, though I feel that --unless you really want the 8mm look -- it's almost as cost effective to shoot/process/scan 16mm now...but that's a separate debate. The Arriscan produces amazing 16mm/Super 16mm 2k scans that yield a very natural grain structure and sharpness throughout the image, helped primarily by oversampling the scans at 3k resolution. We always scan with the "double flash" (HDR) setting in our scanner - some other post houses with Arriscans do not because it saves them time. The double flash scan essentially does 2-scans; one normal scan, the other scan to capture details/tonal range in the highlights. I can say with great certainty that the Arriscan does output images of higher quality than any other traditional telecine system, notably the Spirit systems. We have had clients come to us to rescan commercials and short films (originally scanned on Spirit 2k-4k datacine machines) that have been "shocked" when they view the comparisons on our projector. The noise, or excessive grain reduction you get from most Spirit transfers is what is generally the most perceived difference in such situations. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that a Spirit --through basic fundamentals of color correcting directly off a negative-- could handle extremely blown out highlights better than a film-scanner. However, such a situation has never been a concern from any client in any color session I've been in. Maybe the DPs and art directors aren't as picky in Chicago though :-) DFT's Scanity machine at Cinelicious would undoubtedly, and objectively, provide raw scans of better quality than the Arriscan given that it was developed more recently than the Arriscan. I'm sure Paul could fill you in on more specific and technical reasons why than I could! While I have never seen a reliable comparison of the Arriscan and Lasergraphics Director, I had a good laugh when looking at the Lasergraphics website of film print scan comparisons and the accompanied, misleading marketing statements. All I will say is that in my four years of operating an Arriscanner, I have never seen a scan from print film have such exaggerated noise and artifacting off our scanner. Interesting how they also leave off comparisons with the Scanity while simultaneously claiming superiority over it. Paul, have you ever seen direct comparisons? Seems rather convenient that they left out those comparisons. I can say that scanning print film on the Arriscan also yields excellent results, we get a lot of archive 16mm prints that we scan and we've never had clients concerned about loss of dynamic range or shadows being too crushed. The process for scanning print film on the Arriscan is more manual, as the scanner is setup with more automatic settings (for base/RGB values) for Kodak/Fujifilm negative film stocks than reversal and print stocks. We make sure that no color channel gets "clipped out" and that the deepest of shadows are never completely crushed. That being said, I can't say with certainty (because the only comparisons I've seen are manipulated) that other systems like Lasergraphics that claim to scan print film better, are in fact, better. Nevertheless, I wish you great luck in finding what suits you and your film. If you haven't contacted us already, please do so and we'll do our best to accommodate! Take care, Elliot
  4. vibrant? if anything I feel it's a bit desaturated, smokey background (00:39) gives more contrast-separation between foreground/background. More of a yellow-green type of warmth, probably supplemented by muted set design. I think most videos back then were shot on 35mm, I can't say for certain regarding this video, but I would think a Janet Jackson video could pull such a budget for 35mm :-)
  5. Undocumented? I really don't think so! Lol. All I can say is that when we have the 16mm gate up, there's a selectable geometrical setting in the arriscan gui that says "16mm-4k" "Sampling 6k" - "Size [px]: 4096x2520" (that 4k pixel resolution fits proportionally within the super 16mm 2k res of 2048x1260). The pitch setting for 16mm-4k does change but I'm not sure how much until I actually see it scan.
  6. I operate an arriscan almost every day of the week so I'd consider having first hand experience. If you can get a free test by all means do it and see the comparisons for yourself. Georg - The arriscan sensor has a native resolution of 3k by 2k pixels, microscanning is done to create the 6k-4k scans. During the microscanning the sensor shifts and grabs different parts of the image to make up the 6k frame. It does this whether or not you have 16mm or 35mm loaded in the scanner. The amount of optical shifting and microscanning done varies between the 16mm and 35mm frames obviously because of their respective difference in size.
  7. For the 2k option, yes it scans at 3k and downsamples to 2k. Our scanner has the 6k option. Frames scanned at 4k are actually scanned natively at 6k and downsampled to 4k. You don't hear this being done with Super 16 because it doesn't need to be done with Super 16. The difference between oversampling Super 16 at 3k vs 6k in the Arriscan is barely noticeable. 3k is already overkill. The theory that there might be more to gain from S16 from a 4k scan is too far from the reality at this point in film scanning technology. Like Will said, spend that money on something more tangible.
  8. 4k for Super 16 is overkill in my professional opinion. This seems to be something that a lot of clients or 16mm enthusiasts don't understand or like to hear. I did a real-world test myself with the Arriscan we have at work with a professionally shot feature film we were working on. The end sequence had a lot of awful looking blowups/resizing/digital zooms that we were hoping would look marginally better if scanned at 4k. The grain was barely sharper and there was no overall visible difference. This was the case with scenes shot on Kodak 7218 (500T) and Kodak 7212 (100T) that were processed normally and not underexposed. Go with a good overssampled 4k-->2k or 3k-->2k scan. Good luck.
  9. A few projects we've been getting at work have been shot with Alexa but NONE of them have shot RAW, all prores 4x4. Upon further investigation I heard from someone that renting the recording accessory that allows the ingest of the Arriraw t-link signal costs more than the camera rental itself! Google has come up short in helping me find a definitive answer here, so I was wondering if anyone could confirm this, or has any realistic rental figures for getting the ideal raw footage from the camera. Has anyone here actually worked on a project where Arriraw was recorded out of the Alexa? I know that Arri says there are a few third party recorders that allow this and maybe some cost more to rent than others, but it's worth noting if one of the key features out of the camera is financially impractical for most projects.
  10. How was it transferred? That example looks very soft but it could just be compression.
  11. Definitely right Paul, we use an Arriscan and I would say that, if given the choice (and free accessibility to both), I'd rather have my own work scanned on the Arri vs the Spirit. The tests I've seen (not the ones that Arri showed us), from a SDC 2k vs Arriscan showed that the Arri held up better better in the highlights (less noise) and seemed to have more "real" sharpness, in other words, the scans from the SDC looked a bit oversharpened, maybe even grain reduced as the Arriscan consistently had more texture. Were these differences extremely significant? Not at all, and I don't think most clients would even notice, but I think the subtle advantages are worthy in the long term. But believe me, there are times when we get film and edl in at 4:45 on a Friday (with a 9 AM start on Monday) where I just wish we had a Spirit! My statement saying Spirits were good for HD dailies was a short winded and left out the bigger picture (long hours at work yesterday, damn scanner only scans at 1 frame a second! LOL), and I didn't mean to neglect how much their models in the late 90's set the stage for DI workflows. (Pleasantville, O Brother). It comes as no surprise to me, that the majority of 35mm material we see are finished from Spirits, as there are a plethora of them in the market (compared to film scanners). I mentioned maintenance because of 2 engineers I worked with in the past, who worked with Spirits, said that they often required servicing, like you said though Paul, replacement costs and maintenance fees for any system can put a severe dent in any business' bottom line. Overall, the trend I've noticed among film transfer companies getting into file-based workflows seems involve the acquisition of film scanners, Efilm has a few Arriscans and the hot shots at Company 3 purchased one back in June I think and Cinelab not too long ago grabbed a PS Technik scanner (is that right, Rob?) . Costs aside, as film scanners become faster and better, their appeal is hard to ignore
  12. Yes, pin registered will produce more stability throughout, it's the advantage of having a less-than-real-time scan time. A Spirit's real time ability is excellent/efficient for HD dailies but for higher quality work and finishing a film scanner is really the best way to go, as it will produce scans with more sharpness and range (advantage of the arriscan's two-flash system). In terms of cost, I know the Arriscan, even with a 16mm+35mm gate is actually quite a bit cheaper than a Spirit Datacine, and I would guess requires less maintenance as well.
  13. I'll try to answer some questions for you, Will. [[[i'm curious how different telecine houses work because where one place does something "all the time" another one might never work that way. It's kind of interesting how there isn't a standard.]]] If all of the companies used the same standard and workflows, the one with the cheapest prices would probably win out :-) but seriously, the simplified workflow is pretty standard actually, it's what the client wants at the end that can change how things are done. Also, technology and newer systems/upgrades play a big part in determining workflow, as the equipment used in DI/telecine houses can vary greatly. [[[it was my understanding that a DI system and telecine system are separate and distinct.]]] Yes and no. A DI system typically involves a film scanner that generates files from each frame of film scanned, which is then color graded. Many places that use a spirit datacine for example, or other high end telecines that incorporate a file based workflow can also be called a DI system. Telecine, for the most part, has essentially been a heavily tape based workflow. [[[so unless the scanning machine can directly output DPX files (which I guess some can?)]]] No guess. Modern film scanners CAN. Arriscan I know for certain can also output tiff and cineon. [[[it would be a two-step process in outputting to a DI then outputting DPX or whatever files where requested. Which of course adds time and money so if ungraded DPX files are what is needed then using that machine that can directly output those would be the most efficient and least expensive right?]]] 3 step more realistically: Scan film to dpx, color dpx, and render out dpx/file/layoff to tape. A post house could technically charge you for all three if they wanted. But then again, every company is different. If you are capable of handling dpx files, and know how to properly grade LOG files, then the most efficient (and cheapest route) would be to simply pay for film scanning. Sometimes what I do is literally hook up a clients hard drive and literally have the arriscan scan dpx files directly to that hard drive. No copying necessary. Overall it's a confusing process because of the varying degree of what clients want and what workflows post houses like, which is largely determined by things such as their equipment/staff/company overhead. Personally, I think the production stage is a bit more unpredictable. :-)
  14. Phil, I mention that process because it's actually a very common workflow where I work, and for lower budget clients, it's often the preferred one since it's less work for us given that we're a smaller company than most post production houses that do telecine/scanning. Sometimes the film students/independents want to grade their scans (on Apple Color or whatever platform..) so they specifically ask for DPX log files back, so we give them dpx right out of the scanner. Scan and copy to hard drive, bam, done. We do own an SR deck that we often use for the higher end clients who are finishing their projects with higher end finishing houses that demand SR tapes, we know it's a type of deliverable that's not very practical for lower budget projects. Nevertheless, I wouldn't be surprised if bigger labs with a larger overhead tend to push a more expensive workflow; business is business. Given that the post process can be a very technical and difficult workflow to understand for some, I wouldn't be surprised if they got away with it. -Elliot
  15. LOL. You and I are quite the elitists, Will! Well it would be the opposite way around, if he wanted a prores color corrected file at the end. But if he wants just DPX, all the lab would have to do is scan the film to dpx, grade accordingly, and spit back out dpx, which may actually save him some money vs going to prores because it would cut one step out (dpx to quicktime conversion) for the lab. The prores codec is proprietary to Apple, and as far as I know, isn't licensed out to high end color correction systems. However, a third party software like Pomfort Silverstack can be used to take in dpx stacks and create prores files from them.
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