[Tig] 4K digital intermediates using video technology

Izhak Hinitz izhak
Thu Jun 23 21:25:19 BST 2005

OK, I don't like to get in but, this is a great thing to talk about and,
I have some great people writing and reading so here goes.
We have been doing D.I work for 3 years now using HD.
Please give me your thoughts about using HD RGB ( No compression ) as the
way to offer good quality at low coast to our clients.
We have done this for many years now and are getting to the point of it
being a " no big deal " as we just treat it as video.
We do pay special attention to use of color and lookup tables but other then
that, what is the big difference in resolution. 
If the screen was 4X3 then I say we scan and deal with 2k files but, as I
the screens at our local theatres, they look far closer to 16X9 then the 2k

and, PS. I love your take on it Bob. 

Izhak Hinitz
Eyes Post Group

-----Original Message-----
From: Micheletti, Bob (NBC Universal) [mailto:Bob.Micheletti at nbcuni.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 2:59 PM
To: 'tig at tig.colorist.org'
Subject: RE: [Tig] 4K digital intermediates using video technology

Thanks to James Braid of Oktobor for supporting the TIG
>What is the general view among this group of what a "Digital Intermediate"
>really is?

I am new to "the group" this will be my first post.  I hope I don't come on
too strong and alienate myself.  I am not new to film.  I have worked in
film effects / post production for 20+ years.  In that time I have been told
several times "film is dead - video is taking over".  I am sure this is true
as is evident in the large number of video post houses entering the "digital
intermediate" market.  My interest is to preserve all of the information
available from the original camera negative.  Hopefully Kodak has not given
up on trying to improve the amount of scene information that can be captured
on the film.  The tools to view digital images (projectors and monitors)
will no doubt improve over the next 100 years as film has over the last
hundred.  The proposition of us going back to the original negative rolls
and rebuilding the picture in the new "best format" is slim to none.  Enough
ranting...here are my answers.

>Does it start and end with film?
Yes.  The term "digital intermediate" was coined by film people to describe
a process of digitally creating a printing negative.  In the good old days
(when the earth was flat) visual effects, titles and opticals went through a
long process of generation loss.  Orig. neg. > Inter-positive > effect/title
composited > dupe neg. > cut in with the rest of the orig. neg. >
inter-positive of the whole picture > printing negs. > print.  If I counted
right that's 5 generations!  The advantages for an effects film were
obvious.  As it became popular for visual effects to be done digitally the
natural progression was to process the whole film through the digital
pipeline.  We all know the advantages of the digital tools now available.
Now that said...does this mean you can't use a digital camera to capture
your images?  Of course you can and many have.  At this point I don't
consider it "digital intermediate" unless it goes to film in the end.  If it
starts as video and is processed as video and finishes as video I think it
should be called "video".

>Does it have to be at "film resolution" - whatever you accept that to be?
Guess you know my answer.  4K is better but for the guy paying for it 2k is
usually adequate.

>Is it only for longform projects?
Film trailers are being done as 3 ? minute DI's.

>Is it allowed to used compressed data anywhere along the path?
I'll stay out of that.

>Does it have to scan the full tonal depth available on the negative?
Yes!  Yes!   Yes!  This may be the only complete version of the film for
future display technologies.  If we throw away tonal depth at this point,

>Is it simply using data files not video?
Not that simple.

>Where would that leave the Sony presentation referred to at the start of
>this thread
That may be the future (film is dead) and I'm ok with that but you asked
what I think "digital intermediate" means to me today.  One thing I have
learned is "the customer is always right".  It is my job to provide the best
possible product in whatever format the filmmakers decide to use.

>Is the term generally used accurately?
"Generally" is a pretty general term ;)

Feel free to comment...I'm not easily offended.

Bob Micheletti
Universal Pictures
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