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Re: Re: kscope in xfer

Hi Rob

The Kscope look has been very popular here for a good few years now,
initially in music promos but increasingly now in commercial spots.

Pete Makorz & Tom Russell were pioneers of the technique of using a soft
"blown" key on the highlights and it became so popular that we managed
to have one channel of the device dedicated to the two telecines and two
of the smaller panels installed to drive it. We can swap allocations on a 
simple T switch and the routing of the background and key signals to the 
channel combiner has been very well designed by the Engineering team
to become a matrix function. Therefore we do not have to go through the 
hell of trying to install the set up on a "as booked" basis because it is not
the easiest thing to do.

By using the device at telecine rather than in the conform you gain an 
enormous of control and can play off the Kscope settings against the 
Ursa / DCP settings. The images coming from the Ursa / DCP are very
different to a "normal " grade and there is no way you would produce them
and tell the client it will be fine once it's conformed and Kscoped. Likewise
to add the effect to "normal" pictures, even using the devices own contrasting,
produces a generally flatter and more timid image.

The Kscope is not an easy box to drive, there are a lot of sub menus
and the location of some of the functions are hard to find, but once you
find a pleasing look it is an easy matter to store it in a memory register.
These registers can be backed up to floppy , a highly recommended
precaution, and during a session particular variations of an initial effect,
in response to changing telecine output, can be further snap shot as 
key frames. As there is no link to the Ursa programmer these key frames
are invaluable in any pre-graded transfers such as commercials.

This lack of integration needs to be explained to clients and is perhaps
the biggest drawback to the whole thing. Other problems lie in the extra
frame delay which effects edit timings especially if you mix non Kscoped
material on the same film roll. As the device is 4:2:2 it must lie downstream
of the Pogle / DCP legalizer and it is capable of producing illegal values so
care is required.
The range of the Kscope is impressive and it can be used to complement
all of the Ursa scan effects as well. The use of defocus , ripples, splits and 
mirror images etc are difficult to evaluate, some footage will really benefit
from this excitement others will be hindered. In some cases an aware 
director will compose a setup especially for them, in others they just work. 

There are a lot of not so hot looking Rock Stars out there, men included,
who have looked 10 years younger after grading via Kscope and it is
interesting to see it now move more into commercials.

Seamus O'Kane
VTR Ltd. London.