[tig] stability of scanning-telecine

Marc Wielage mfw
Mon Aug 30 08:44:05 BST 2004

On 8/29/04 5:22 PM, "Rob Lingelbach" <rob at calarts.edu> asked on the TIG

> Are there any pin registration systems for 16mm that output a more stable
> image than the best edge-guided gates?  I tend to think that the decision-
> makers in pre-production won't select a 16mm format if image stability
> is a high priority.

Since there's only one perf per frame in Super 16mm, I don't think there's
an easy way to pin-register 16mm per se during transfer.  In theory, if you
used double-perf standard 16mm, there might be a way to do it, but it'd be
very dodgy.

The reality is that I think 16mm is steady enough on a Spirit or C-Reality
that I've never heard any complaints about image steadiness on these
machines.  In fact, I once had an Emmy award-winning DP ask me if a picture
I was transferring was 35mm, and he was stunned when I told him it was 16mm.
(The show in question was an episode of the now-defunct GROWNUPS for UPN.)
And this was a DP with at least 25 years' experience as a cinematographer,
working on a bigger-budgeted 35mm show in another bay across the hall.

If you need rock-solid 16mm for titling or composition, it's not a big deal
to just run those sections through an Inferno (or similar device) and
electronically pin them after the fact.  I'm not sure if there's really a
market for pin-registered 16mm given this ability.

That having been said, I've worked on at least three Super 16mm shows where
the producers chose not to pin-register the opening title sequences.  The
only time we did wind up pinning footage in an Inferno was for blue-screen
composites, like "driving" scenes.

I do agree with Christopher Noellert elsewhere that the Northlight (or other
dedicated pin-registered scanners) are the best way to go, when time and
money aren't as big a consideration as image quality.  But more and more,
time _is_ a major consideration in post-production, and I think the Spirit
4K is going to make big inroads in that area, particularly doing real-time
high-quality 2K scans.

--Marc Wielage
  LA colorist-at-large

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