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Scott Pickering

Transfer Company = New Lasergraphics "Director 10K"?

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Posted (edited)

https://www.galileodigital.com/film-scanning

According to them, the Director 10K does 10K scans for all formats. It doesn't get less rez as the format size gets smaller. So the above page tells me you can do 10K Scanning from 8mm. Same with 16mm.

Has there been any updates as to who may own this scanner now, possibly in North America? Its been out for getting close to 3 years now, so I assume there must be more then 1 place now that has this machine.

Edited by Scott Pickering

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I'll add Protek Vaults now goes under the name LAC. Same company, different name. As far as I know, they still don't do small gauge on it yet.

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1 hour ago, Scott Pickering said:

https://www.galileodigital.com/film-scanning

According to them, the Director 10K does 10K scans for all formats. It doesn't get less rez as the format size gets smaller. So the above page tells me you can do 10K Scanning from 8mm. Same with 16mm.

Has there been any updates as to who may own this scanner now, possibly in North America? Its been out for getting close to 3 years now, so I assume there must be more then 1 place now that has this machine.

Yea the director has a changeable optical path, so it's easy to get 10k out of super 16, tho a bit overkill. 

Yea, the scanner has been in the States for a few years now. 

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5 hours ago, Scott Pickering said:

https://www.galileodigital.com/film-scanning

According to them, the Director 10K does 10K scans for all formats. It doesn't get less rez as the format size gets smaller. So the above page tells me you can do 10K Scanning from 8mm. Same with 16mm.

Has there been any updates as to who may own this scanner now, possibly in North America? Its been out for getting close to 3 years now, so I assume there must be more then 1 place now that has this machine.

I will check with lasergraphics at NAB but my understanding is that really small gauge film (8/S8 for example), uses a crop of the sensor and that limits its max resolution. The director doesn't have the same optical path as the ScanStation, which can move the camera and lens over a range of a couple feet. The director is significantly more compact, and the form factor hasn't changed. My understanding is that there is no change to the director or scanstation at this year's NAB, other than the addition of some software features. I'll know more on Monday.

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Posted (edited)

I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding here. And also some marketing that's probably confusing matters. 

The scanner has a 10k sensor. That means if you use every pixel on the sensor in the output image, your file is 10k. However, the scanner is taking a picture of more than just the film frame. It's capturing the perfs, frame lines, and everything out to the film edge (in the case of 8mm). With 35mm, it's going into the perfs, but I don't think it goes all the way to the film edge. This is an optics thing, and it's by design. 

With 35mm, there are 8 perfs to work with, four on each side. So the scanner doesn't need to get more than about half of each perf, and it has plenty to work with in order to align the frame to where it needs to be (digital/optical pin registration). But in order to capture the perfs, the film frame itself has to be less than 10k. In the case of the Director 10k, the scanned frame size is more like 9k, within that 10k overscan file. 

With 8mm, the camera and lens have to physically move closer to the film. In order to get an acceptable image of both extremes (8mm and 35mm), the camera has to move a fair bit. If you notice, the Director's camera module is about 18" long. The ScanStation's is about 36" long. They use different lenses, which is part of the reason why. But the Director is primarily geared towards 16mm and 35mm. That it does 8mm at all is kind of a new thing, added with the 10k version, actually. 

There's another issue with Super 8, in that in order to deal with the sloppy perf positions from the factory, the scanner has to cover the whole *film* from edge to edge, not just some of the perfs, as with 35mm. This is because the scanner uses a combination of the perf and the film edge to stabilize the image. That means you need to pull the camera farther back, so that you get the film edge plus some white to the right of it, where the is no film, in order to align that edge to a known position. This is the digital equivalent to a spring-loaded edge-guide in a camera. The more you pull it back, the smaller the frame gets in the 10k sensor.

So while you can certainly output a 10k file with Super 8 film, the area of the film frame within that 10 scan is definitely not 10k. There wasn't someone at the show who could give me an exact dimension, but my guess would be that it'd be in the 5k+ range for 8mm/S8mm. 16mm is something like 8k on this machine. 

it's worth noting that any scanner that uses optical registration (Kinetta, Lasergraphics, MWA, and others) will have the same limitations. 

Also, from what I gathered at the show there is only one Director 10K with an 8mm gate out there, and it's at an archive in the Czech Republic. 

Edited by Perry Paolantonio

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SO would this not affect the Scanstation as well? Meaning if you get a 5K scan off Super 8, your more likely only getting around 3K once cropped?

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1 hour ago, Scott Pickering said:

SO would this not affect the Scanstation as well? Meaning if you get a 5K scan off Super 8, your more likely only getting around 3K once cropped?

Current Scan Stations use the JAI CMV-50000 camera which is 5120 pixels wide, so more than 1000 pixels to capture the perforation and still have full DCI 4096 wide resolution for 8mm film.

This CMOSIS sensor has very variable manufacturing quality and most have issues with poor DR and FPN which LG has mostly solved with two flash HDR (15fps instead of 30fps scan speed) Some scan stations are also replacing this 5K sensor with the new Sony Pregius 4K (4012x3008) sensor which has much better overall noise and DR specs.

I thought the 10K Director used the monochrome version of the CMV50000 5K sensor with a pizeo pixel shift to achieve 10K. The 5K sensor is a full 35mm frame size piece of silicon so harder to achieve framing on smaller gauge films with it. So a machine more for 16mm and 35mm.

There is a new 6.5K Sony sensor about to become available which has the same DR and Noise specs as the 4K chip but at 6464x4852 res and less speed (10-12fps at 12 bit) and it is also a APS-C size sensor which will allow for lensing 8mm with a smaller lens box.

I really have no idea why anyone would want a higher resolution image than 4K DCI (4096x3112) for the exposed image frame on a 8mm film but I think you will see a 6.5K option in a number of scanners soon, I have a 6.5K order request in for the HDR Xena which is getting wet gates and that will do 5.7K-6K 8mm if someone requests but again I don't know why more than 4K is needed for anything.

I think most of last years Oscar winners were shot on film or Alexa and mastered to 2K as is GOT and other worldwide hits.

UHD and 8K are basically bullshit marketing to sell consumer electronics.

 

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8 hours ago, Scott Pickering said:

SO would this not affect the Scanstation as well? Meaning if you get a 5K scan off Super 8, your more likely only getting around 3K once cropped?

This is correct, though the frame area is really about 4k for Super 8, not 3k. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Robert Houllahan said:

UHD and 8K are basically bullshit marketing to sell consumer electronics.

The unfortunate thing is that they're targeting 8k towards the consumer. It really makes no sense in a consumer context -- to see a difference between 4k and 8k screens, your screen would need to be massive and you'd need to be sitting far too close to it. 

That said, 4k+ acquisition (cameras and scanners) makes a lot of sense to me because it opens up framing flexibility as well as the option to oversample and get better results. We see this all the time with Super 2k scans - same concepts apply at higher resolutions, just on a larger scale: https://www.gammaraydigital.com/blog/case-super2k

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
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2 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

The unfortunate thing is that they're targeting 8k towards the consumer. It really makes no sense in a consumer context -- to see a difference between 4k and 8k screens, your screen would need to be massive and you'd need to be sitting far too close to it. 

That said, 4k+ acquisition (cameras and scanners) makes a lot of sense to me because it opens up framing flexibility as well as the option to oversample and get better results. We see this all the time with Super 2k scans - same concepts apply at higher resolutions, just on a larger scale: https://www.gammaraydigital.com/blog/case-super2k

Totally agree, but I think they will have a hard time convincing people to buy 8k stuff, cable barely transmits HD and if you ever hookup a OTA antenna and tune to WGBH and switch back and forth between the stepped on mush that passes as HD from a cable box and the actual HD signal from the antenna the difference is striking. And I think most people who watch TV still get their feed through cable.

I think the world has mostly bought the transition between SD and HD and there will be a smaller percentage of UHD sets out there as some of the initial HD sets die and then an even teeny tiny percentage of people who buy 8k sets for the novelty but without any 8k programming.

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40 minutes ago, Robert Houllahan said:

I think the world has mostly bought the transition between SD and HD and there will be a smaller percentage of UHD sets out there as some of the initial HD sets die and then an even teeny tiny percentage of people who buy 8k sets for the novelty but without any 8k programming.

I'm not so sure about this. The fact is, UHD screens are cheap now, and as 1080p screens die (which they do because they're cheap), they're going to be replaced with 4k just because there aren't as many 1080p screens on offer now. I mean, take a look at Best Buy and the number of cheap 4k screens is pretty high. 1080p screens aren't that much less and there's a limited selection. To me, 4k in the home makes some sense. In our living room, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and 1080p, simply because we're far enough from the screen that it won't matter. But if we had a bigger screen, you'd definitely notice.

As for transmission - well, it's just a matter of time. I used to have this argument with someone I worked with who insisted that streaming would never happen so we had nothing to worry about with our DVD and Blu-ray business... 

Compression keeps getting better, and the way it's been going for 20+ years now has been either the same quality at half the bit rate, or better quality at similar bit rates, with each new generation of codecs. With ATSC's digital bandwidth at around 20Mbps for MPEG2, a better compression format would run rings around it, without requiring more data. The cable boxes and transmission stuff just has to catch up, which it will, in time.

 

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4 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

I'm not so sure about this. The fact is, UHD screens are cheap now, and as 1080p screens die (which they do because they're cheap), they're going to be replaced with 4k just because there aren't as many 1080p screens on offer now.

I definitely get that cheap lcd UHD screens are basically what is available now and streaming services headed up by Netflix are rolling out better compression and UHD content... still I think 85% or so of viewers are on cable boxes and those get updates very slowly and the cable networks are loath to provide bandwidth so they will step on that compressor pedal as much as possible.

I think the only real benefit of UHD is the move from 8 to 10bits and less banding artifacts especially in dark scenes... the rez is pretty much useless.

 

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I know in the SF bay area along with most of LA, cable only pushes at 720p (though some on demand stuff is 1080). If these regions dont even push 1080, it helps the argument that UHD TV is... questionable in practice.

Also I've found that, at least with S16, scanning at 2k and upscaling to 4k can (emphasis on CAN) result in an equal of better (where better equals more satisfying to people who want a sharper picture) image than a 4k scan. So the idea of doing 8k scans of super 8 seems utterly insane

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What kills me is that modern 4k sets look like crap. I have a beautiful color grading monitor that's 10 bit 4k 17:9 and it doesn't matter what media I put on it, darn thing looks great. However, if you take that same media and put it on a normal TV set, the 1080p looks super soft and the 4k looks overly sharp. It's a pretty dramatic difference and they do this purposely so people are like "ohh gosh the 4k is so much better" but reality is, it's just a horrible scaling chipset within the TV. 

What I keep telling people is that outside of Netflix, Amazon and UHD Bluray, there is no UHD at home. There are only a handful of UHD Bluray's made from 4k sources. Netflix and Amazon "originals" need to be UHD, but that content is only a limited amount of total programming. Standard ol' television is still 1080i and nearly all of the content is finished in 16:9 1080p because they don't want to spend the money on upgrading. Outside of a few sports games per year, there just isn't any UHD broadcast, with very few people even capable of receiving the signal. Where we have seen a shift in the last year to 4k, 6k and 8k sources for theatrical, the vast majority of movies are still being finished in 2k and NOBODY is finishing in 6 or 8k, even IMAX. 

So I do think the standard Lasergraphics Scanstation is fine for everything. I don't imagine seeing us in an 8k world with film, it's just not going to happen. One could argue that 5 and 15 perf should be scanned at higher resolution then 5k, but which one of us is doing that work? I mean if you're shooting those formats, you can afford to pay someone extra to deal with it. Super 8, 16mm and 35mm are the main formats and that's what would-be owners need to focus on in my opinion. Heck, even vistavision would be nice to have, but 65mm is whole other expense. 

Ohh and 8k? Yea so stupid. 

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5 hours ago, Robin Phillips said:

I know in the SF bay area along with most of LA, cable only pushes at 720p (though some on demand stuff is 1080). If these regions dont even push 1080, it helps the argument that UHD TV is... questionable in practice.

Also I've found that, at least with S16, scanning at 2k and upscaling to 4k can (emphasis on CAN) result in an equal of better (where better equals more satisfying to people who want a sharper picture) image than a 4k scan. So the idea of doing 8k scans of super 8 seems utterly insane

That is what they should do 8K with. At least you could have manageable files.  It is not like you could project on the big screen. But it should give you a better Q image. They should make a little 8K mini scanner...if it is feasible. 8 needs all the help it can get.

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On 4/19/2019 at 6:24 AM, Robin Phillips said:

So the idea of doing 8k scans of super 8 seems utterly insane

 

22 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Ohh and 8k? Yea so stupid. 

Wow, man. I really have a hard time understanding this way of thinking. Firstly, it's way better to downsample to 4K than to upsample to 4K. It has been pointed out many times that where film is concerned, the grain is the image, and the more you sample the grain (or dye clouds), the more authentic the image gets, at least up to a point. Ideally you should not notice whether the image is projected or generated on a TV.

5K (the effective area of a Super 8 frame after an 8K scan) lets you reframe a little bit before you downsample to either 4K or HD. Either that or you might need to do some colour correction or repairs. Do all that at a higher resolution, then downsample.

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1 minute ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

Wow, man. I really have a hard time understanding this way of thinking. Firstly, it's way better to downsample to 4K than to upsample to 4K. It has been pointed out many times that where film is concerned, the grain is the image, and the more you sample the grain (or dye clouds), the more authentic the image gets, at least up to a point. Ideally you should not notice whether the image is projected or generated on a TV.

Well yes, you want your final re-framed scan to be higher resolution than your output. With that said, you can achieve this with a 5k scanner, where the frame nearly fills the imager. You may end up with a 4.2k file when it's all said and done being cropped/adjusted and you'll have a tiny bit of room for zooming as well. 

I was merely saying that 8k as an acquisition and delivery format is silly. I wasn't necessarily thinking about underscanning something by thousands of pixels, to me that seems silly. Good scanners have the optics so you don't need to underscan. If you're using a scanner like the blackmagic which does not have optical path adjustment, that to me doesn't even classify as usable product for anything else but it's native format. Obviously, with formats like super 8, you may not have a choice, but since super 8 is such a myopic part of the industry, it's pretty much irrelevant to discuss. Scanners need to natively work with Super 16mm, Super 35mm and 5 perf 65/70mm. The other formats (8mm, super 8, 9.5mm, etc) need to simply fit within the optical path of those main formats. 

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2 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

 

Wow, man. I really have a hard time understanding this way of thinking. Firstly, it's way better to downsample to 4K than to upsample to 4K. It has been pointed out many times that where film is concerned, the grain is the image, and the more you sample the grain (or dye clouds), the more authentic the image gets, at least up to a point. Ideally you should not notice whether the image is projected or generated on a TV.

5K (the effective area of a Super 8 frame after an 8K scan) lets you reframe a little bit before you downsample to either 4K or HD. Either that or you might need to do some colour correction or repairs. Do all that at a higher resolution, then downsample.

Film can not resolve infinite resolution. From what I've seen there is 0 way super 8 can resolve 8k. Its pushing it to say that super 16 can resolve 4k, and that assumes Ultra 16s or Master Primes are being used. This will almost certainly not be the case with a super 8 camera. So why throw away money on an 8k scan on a format that cant resolve it? 

I suspect if we all had that kind of money to blow, we'd all be shooting 65 lol

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Does anyone have any experience or an opinion on how the Director would handle a 65mm scan... or would Folkem still be the more viable route for higher resolution. 

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8 hours ago, Ted Keaton III said:

Does anyone have any experience or an opinion on how the Director would handle a 65mm scan... or would Folkem still be the more viable route for higher resolution. 

It doesn't. It's an 8/16/35mm scanner.

There is a 65mm Scanstation, though.

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On 4/20/2019 at 11:17 AM, Robin Phillips said:

Film can not resolve infinite resolution. From what I've seen there is 0 way super 8 can resolve 8k. Its pushing it to say that super 16 can resolve 4k, and that assumes Ultra 16s or Master Primes are being used. This will almost certainly not be the case with a super 8 camera. So why throw away money on an 8k scan on a format that cant resolve it? 

I suspect if we all had that kind of money to blow, we'd all be shooting 65 lol

I don't know anyone who thinks that film has infinite or indefinite resolution. Certainly not on these forums. And I don't know anyone who believes that 16mm resolves 4K.

The cost argument is valid, of course.

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18 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

I don't know anyone who thinks that film has infinite or indefinite resolution. Certainly not on these forums. And I don't know anyone who believes that 16mm resolves 4K.

The cost argument is valid, of course.

I mean I've done quite a bit of testing on 16mm resolution and machines. I don't have enough input to give a direct answer, but I'm starting to believe there is merit to scanning 16mm at 4k or above. Some of the tests I've done, really surprise me, though completely impossible to see through the internet, playing back the Pro Res XQ 12 bit 444 4k file on my 10 bit 444 4k monitor, the difference between the 2k and 4k scans right away. It's not just crispness in the image, but also there is more wiggle room for reformatting, which is nice. 

50 ISO super 16 resolves around 3k, but 500T is more like 2k or slightly above. So it's a real tossup, do you scan what the format can resolve only, or do you scan more than it can resolve? 

We've done some 4k super 8 scans too, they're quite interesting, really beautiful grain and detail that I've never seen from super 8 before. 

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My reasoning for 5k and above is I may want a finished 8k file once done. 5k on Super 8 looks quite good, if a bit soft because of the lens used, though with K40, I still don't see the grain in some shots. To me that means you can go higher even if the detail doesn't improve. I am currently using the 5k file cropped which ends up being 3.3k. For UHD that is still acceptable because once dropped into a 16:9 frame for UHD, you still have more dpi then needed since the image portion is almost square.

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1 hour ago, Scott Pickering said:

My reasoning for 5k and above is I may want a finished 8k file once done. 5k on Super 8 looks quite good, if a bit soft because of the lens used, though with K40, I still don't see the grain in some shots. To me that means you can go higher even if the detail doesn't improve. I am currently using the 5k file cropped which ends up being 3.3k. For UHD that is still acceptable because once dropped into a 16:9 frame for UHD, you still have more dpi then needed since the image portion is almost square.

Finish in 8k because.....

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