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Re: Film as Data

Alan Lasky wrote:

> Hello all,
> Has anyone out there had experience utilizing the Spirit Datacine to
> pipe 35mm film directly to DATA rather than to D1/high-def/tape/etc.?
> We
> are shooting some new content for our compositing courses and we want
> to
> transfer our effects elements (blue/green screen, difference mattes,
> moco) directly to SMPTE .DPX files on hard disc in order to keep them
> as
> RGB data all the way through our graphics pipleline. It looks as if we
> (SGI) may have to provide an Onyx 2 or Origin server in order to keep
> up
> with the bandwidth demands of doing this at any reasonable speed. Is
> anyone doing this? Is this insane? Should we be beaten about the face
> and head until we come to our senses?
> thanks in advance for the info...
> and thanks for the great telecine page!
> Alan Lasky
> Digital Effects Specialist
> Silicon Studio Los Angeles
> California


In the past two months, we have tested data transfer out of out Spirit
Datacine via an Onyx2, using the Discreet Logic utility that comes with
Inferno with great success. The following is a brief description of our
experiments. The Onyx 2 configuration was 4 CPU - 1.5GIG RAM - 4 Ultra
SCSI Stone + Wire Arrays over I believe 4 MSCSI cards (I could be wrong
about this one), and a prototype of an analog HD output graciously lent
to us by John Spencer from SGI. The parallel HIPPI out of the Spirit
went into a parallel to serial converter then into the serial HIPPI of
the Onyx2. Images were then converted on the fly from log to linear and
written to the Arrays. Transfer speeds achieved after a couple of weeks
of optimizing reached 4.8 to 5 frames per second out of the Datacine
onto the Stone Array at 1920x1440 12 bit color depth RGB images files.
The inferno running on the system was able to obtain between 360 to 392
MB/sec. sustained rate from the Arrays, therefore allowing real time
playback of the full resolution images transferred from the spirit. We
anticipate investigating other solutions in the future. I can without
hesitation that the Inferno solution seems fairly solid and reliable,
however it is a rather expansive one.
If you need anymore information about our experience, please do not
hesitate to ask, I will try to answer any inquiries the best way I can.


Michel Suissa
Director of visual effects
Tape House Digital, New York
msthd at idt.net
michel at tapehouse.com

Thanks to Stephen Sutter for support of the TIG in 1997
HDTV discussion thread is at http://www.alegria.com/telecine/hdtv.txt
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