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discussion minutes

--- Forwarded mail from Joe Moore <joem at davsys.com>

da Vinci recently held a user group meeting in Munich over the weekend
of November 8-10.  On Sunday, the 10th, we sponsored a panel
discussion with over 40 colorists, engineers and interested parties
attending.  In addition to da Vinci, representatives from Cintel and
Philips were present.  The topic was: The Future Of Color Correction
In The Resolution Independent World.  The panel of experts consisted
of: Kevin Shaw, Freelance Colorist, Consultant, UK Paul Grace,
Technical Director, Rushes, London Gerald von Velasco, Senior
Colorist, Bavaria Kopierwerk, Munich, Germany Willi Willinger, Senior
Colorist, Listo, Vienna, Austria

Questions were submitted by David Catt, Product Manager for da Vinci.
Here is a summary of the comments.

How is CCD technology fitting into HiRes world?
PG: CCD used to be consider less quality in film transfer than Flying
Spot.  Technology has improved greatly.  Now there=92s higher bandwidth.=20
CCD is proving valuable in HiRes world.  It is very stable and offers
long term precision.  The biggest variable though, is the guy driving
the machine, not the machine itself.
KS: In past, color correction was done internally in the telecine.  Now,
color correction is mostly external.  With CCD, all the color
information is there=97no loss, which is prerequisite for HiRes.  CCD is
perfect for resolution independent world.

How many are doing resolution independent work now?
PG: Doing HiRes work now at Rushes.
GV: Using Cineon with Kodak scanner in Hamburg now.

How is the film world changing?
PG: Seeing a lot more tape-to-tape color correction.  HiRes cameras may
be a factor.  Top-end jobs will always be shot on film.  Industry is in
a growing stage.  Customers want value for their large investments.=20
We=92ll have hybrid (standard res/data scanners) around for quite a
while.  There=92s still a lot of uncertainty about formats and standards.
Audience comment: Data is proving to be a valuable transfer medium=97in
the future scanners will be the norm.

Is Resolution Independence suitable for commercials?
PG: The cost equation is a factor=97big budget films can afford it but
most commercial budgets cannot.  Keying is superior in HiRes but again,
budget limitations are the major holdback.  Data takes up huge amounts
of storage space.  Costs are equally huge.  D1 is the norm for cinema
work now, but may change as data catches on.  Rushes is presently doing
3-4 HiRes commercials a week that are going back to film.  One major
problem with HiRes: the project can totally overwhelm a facility
overshadowing other services and projects.  It is imperative that the
facility=92s infrastructure and network be in place before taking on HiRe=
s work.

KS: Huge untapped market.  Many commercials wind up in cinema.  Data
will be an intermediate solution.  We=92ve all grown to expect a real-tim=e
interface and it must be in place in the data world.  It=92s very
expensive to make a radical change in image after-the-fact.  Planning
ahead is essential.

Will customer be willing to work on their HiRes project in standard
PG: Depends on job.  You can=92t cut a good key in standard res like you
can in HiRes.  Edit decisions are OK but you can=92t do grain management
in standard res.  4K projects are not in demand yet.  2K seems to be the
limit of expenditure.

What problems are there with data monitors versus video monitors?
PG: Major problem.  You cannot make final judgment decisions on data
monitors.  Flame suites have no calibrated monitors.  The final judgment
is when the film is projected.
WW: Flame operators do not like dark rooms.  Most Flame suites are
brightly lit environments.  Can=92t make color decisions in a Flame suite.
GV: Waiting to see projected film might be too late.

Will color correction practices in HiRes be same as standard resolution?
Audience comments:  Everything is trial and error right now.  Not an
exact science by any means.  Operator=92s skill and experience are very
important at this stage.
KS: Must do a best light and transfer only selects in data.
WW: Flame operators don=92t like to make color judgments but clients forc=
them to because the colorist is tied up in a session and is not
PG: Special effects and digital shots in movies are increasing rapidly.

Is real-time important in HiRes work.
Audience comments:  Absolutely!
WW: Does not feel comfortable with "Photo Shop" click and wait
approach.  Will never work in real color correction environment.  Client
has to compromise in non-real-time world.
KS: Waiting for the image to change and the corrections to take effect
can greatly influence judgment.
The job of the colorist had changed.  Before it was more of a technical
role of color balancing.  Now it=92s much more creative=97texturing,
creating interesting looks, being experimental, re-lighting.

Is there a need for a "compressionist" in color correction?
KS: Yes.  But you must know the end result of the images after
compression.  There should be no compromising because an image is going
to be compressed.  A future color corrector needs many different kinds
of outputs like MPEG.
WW:  We have to teach clients all about the different tools available to
them.  Education is the key.
PG:  Right now, there is no cost-effective way to transport or send
data.  We should never be swept away with technology for technology=92s
sake only.  It should benefit all concerned in a realistic, economical

--- End of forwarded message from joem at davsys.com

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