[Tig] types of film (technicolor)
Wed Mar 9 11:54:16 GMT 2005
"Before you digital people jump on the band wagon, I should point out that
no one knows the shelf life of data tapes yet...but if video tape is any
example, 20 years would be a problem."
Actually, digital archiving is almost exclusively the worst form of
long-term archiving. Regardless of the limited half-life of storage media
(some estimates say 5 years, and I myself have found that properly stored
CD-Rs that were recorded 5 years ago already show read errors), the real
issue is that the data will be unreadable because of changing formats in the
long-term. Targa images were all the rage ten years ago, but some modern
systems have a problem with them. Kodak's photopix, supposed to be the
ultimate, open-standard file format has long since died. It seems unlikely
that the current incarnation of cineon or DPX will be as popular ten years
from now, particularly as many are gearing towards new HDR image formats.
The problem is exacerbated by digital archiving systems themselves that are
also tied to specific hardware that may not exist (look at 5.25" floppy
discs), and the software used to encode them might change (I have tape
backups made on a windows 95 system that are unreadable because the encoding
has changed). Also, a single read error can wipe out the contents of an
entire tape, especially if compression is used, rather like a scratch on a
reel of film causing the whole reel to ignite.
And to really rub some salt in the wound, many facilities have a terrible
habit of not backing up the final, rendered material, but the source
material and the grading lists- presumably to allow for flexibility. And yet
most of those same facilities have problems with grading lists that were
created using previous versions of the same software.
What should probably happen, is that there is a universal standard laid out
for encoding image information in a simple, efficient way. Then the data
could be written onto lithographic film, sort of like lots of microscopic
barcodes- because properly stored film so far has the best proven chance of
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