[tig] DI workflow/Camera test at Plus 8

Steve Shaw digital.praxis
Mon May 3 08:09:00 BST 2004

For those of you not on the CML the following is a brief overview of a demo performed at Plus 8 Digital, LA. The wording is from a CML posting so is a bit focused on their requirements rather than the TIG's.

The setup was a bit of a combination of DI workflow theory using Quantel's iQ as well as reviewing the possibilities available through the use of the Viper and F950 as digital cinema cameras.

The workflow part was fairly straight forward as I obviously have a lot of experience using iQ for DI work, working with MotionFX in the UK who have iQ and Viper and AHC who have iQ and an F900. And that's in addition to the 2K film work I do.

In general, I don't care what capture medium/device is used, F950, Viper or film. What I want is the equivalent to a 'fat negative' with no data clipping or crushing, with as much of the available data range filled up as possible. This gives me full flexibility in post to generate exactly what the production team want. Be that DoP, Director or Producer.

The Viper and the F950 proved to both be very good cameras but both also proved to be flawed in different ways. If Sony and Thomson read this please have a look at the following issues as if fixed both cameras will be near perfect.

The Sony showed serious banding on vertical edges, spreading out to the right of the edge in question. All detail enhancement was either off or set as low as possible. This is a serious flaw to my mind, especially for vfx work.

The Viper showed 'noise' that is very hard to explain. It looked to be occuring at colour transitions and varied frame to frame. It also had inaccurate registration of the RGB signals, off by a pixel or so.

If these issues can be addressed these will be very good cameras for DI work.

If I have a preferance it's for the Viper as is harder to mess up the image when in Filmstream mode, but I would rather see the image optically filtered to remove the green bias. If using the F950 I want the camera to be set to capture a 'light linear' image. That's to say low contrast to provide maximum flexibility in DI post. The problem is its all to easy to attempt to grade in-camera with the F950, being a linear camera.

Both cameras proved to be very similar when graded to match each other suggesting no serious difference beyond the lin/log approach and the flaws listed above.

Got to go. I hear a beer calling. If anyone want more info from the weeks demo let me know. I hope to have some images available on the Digital Praxis website when I get back to the UK. There is also a 'Scene-to-Screen' guide on the website, as part of the DI guide. It's not fully finished but outlines my preferred approach to DI.


Steve Shaw
Digital Praxis Ltd.
+44(0)7765 400 908
steve at digitalpraxis.net

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