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RE: Picture Distortion- can of worms

Dear Eddy at al,

You raise many interesting points, which may go to two or more threads
if anyone else is interested as well. Some of them, although critical to
this issue, tend to stray away from TIG core topics. I'll leave it to
others to let go, or Rob to use the guillotine.

It seems that the worms in this particular can are named
"communication", "standards & tolerances", and "splicing".

Communication: we are of course in a world-wide business where many
languages are used, and Europeans in general have embraced
multilingualism. This has been much less the case in the US and in
Australia. (Our regional trading partners speak Indonesian, Mandarin,
Cantonese, Japanese, Korean and American so the challenge is somewhat
greater!). My German is only enough to recognise (for example) that the
original German technical report received on one occasion had
considerably different information from the English "translation"
supplied by the non-technical distributor concerned.  Language is not
the only barrier.

Standards: Standards must be not only measurable but also attainable and
meaningful. Up to a point it is in a lab's hands (in this context) to
strive to improve their attainability.  Ultimately, mechanical
tolerances as well as financial limitations will limit the performance
in any operation, but a lab will want to set its QC limits as tightly as
possible so that an out-of-tolerance result is the exception and not a
regular occurence. If tolerances earlier in the process are wider, or
those later in the process are tighter, then there will frequently be
trouble. This seems to be the case here, where QC checks of a video
master are setting tolerances tightly, in anticipation of an equally
tight check in Germany, but these are tighter than those apparently
attainable in the lab. (From the evidence of this discussion, not just
one lab either).  Unfortunately, the check is usually made a long time
after the splices are a fait accompli, and little or nothing can be done
to rectify the situation (even if it could have been improved at the
time of negative cutting!).

Splicing: Yes of course there are the occasional careless splices.  I
believe the more usual problem is not with splices that are too thick or
lumpy (so that the "super duper skinny splicer" is not a relevant
solution) but those that are out of alignment, causing film to change
its position as the splice passes through the guiding point (either a
register pin or the rotating sprocket, depending on the type of
printer). This is not necessarily exacly at the point of exposure, so
there is a jump lasting exactly the distance between the two points.

Finally, let me reiterate that I am wholeheartedly a believer in setting
and maintaining standards, in striving for technical excellence, and in
free and full communication (or I wouldn't be on this list).  I
sincerely hope your defence of the German people was not prompted by any
comments of mine. Germans are rightly (but stereotypically) renowned for
their exacting standards, but there are many groups of people in this
industry who pursue different goals for different reasons whether
cultural or commercial.

Meanwhile, back to Spirit vs C-Reality :-)

  Dominic Case
  Atlab Australia

Thanks to SMA Video for supporting the TIG in 1998..
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