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Awakening Spirit


Just returned from a couple weeks off with fresh eyes and perspective in
the Spirit DataCine, and I thought I would share some immediate

I'm working on Spirit number 43. I have had no problems whatsoever with
the Spirit.

My praise for the machine starts with the installation support. Carl Van
Camp is a wonderfully patient guy with an infectious enthusiasm for the
Spirit. He was so jazzed to be turning on a fellow colorist to the
handles on the Spirit. The man sealed the deal in my book. He went way
beyond anything I have seen to make sure that engineer Randy Reck and
myself understood exactly what was delivered.
I hope he works on commission.

Scanning technique. Say what you want about the published vertical
resolution specs, the image in my opinion, is downright breakthrough.
With zero noise, use zero noise reduction.

Aliasing. You may remember my thoughts on this topic. Why bury the
picture aliasing in a loss of resolution when you can manage high
frequency response better with wider bandwidths.

Color separation. The xenon light source and the Kodak front end really
yields a wonderful full spectrum of balanced colors. It's nice to get to
know my friend cyan again.

Noise. The picture is noise free. Period. The results that I've seen in
blue and green screen work, speak for themselves. Honestly, not much
need for that pesky DVNR.

Scratch concealment. The characteristics of the scanning system really
cut down on light refraction of dirt and scratches. With the Spirit, I
never clean film more than once.

Transport. The transport is rock solid and produces steady pictures that
I'd compare to any mechanical pin registration system. The store
produces some funky horizontal artifacts if not stopped in a well
behaved fashion, but a simple frame forward updates the store with no

16 and S16mm. I had no idea how bad the Cintel optics are in 16 mm. What
a pleasant surprise to discover what a great picture you can achieve
with "small Gauge". I'm losing my 35 mm snobbery.

The sweet spot. Undefinable, but once you throw a select roll up on the
Spirit, you quickly discover that once you balance that first wide shot,
the remaining shots just fall right in. Some have chalked this up to the
lack of flare in the CCD's, but I think it has more to do with the way
all of the color grades interact with Kodak front end. This is without a
doubt the best feature I have discovered. This machine is so easy to
work with (don't tell my boss). I rarely use secondaries except when art
is involved, and sweet images just roll off of the machine. It really
has changed my life.

Stepping off now. Naturally, I am not a paid endorsee.

Bob Festa              festa at pacbell.net
Director of Telecine
Encore Santa Monica        310 656 7663

Thanks to Jan Janowski for support of the TIG in 1998
NO ADVERTISING allowed on the main TIG.  Contact rob at alegria.com
TIG subscriber count is 908 on Fri Jan  9 09:35:46 PST 1998
complete information on the TIG website http://www.alegria.com/tig3/