Tag Archives: film

16mm vs Digital Comparisons

Film

Film

Digital

Digital

On The Magic of Film, Alex shot with his 16mm camera on black and white reversal, in addition to shooting on the Canon 5D Mk II. The film wasn’t developed in time for the bumper contest, but it came in recently and I decided to put together a cut using only the film footage.

The differences are pretty clear. This particular 16mm stock isn’t really supposed to be scanned at 1920×1080, so it’s a little soft, but it still holds up fairly well. The flashes of light from (what I assume are) exposure artifacts and spill, when they don’t ruin a shot, are quite charming.

Digital

Digital

Film

Film

Some of the film takes weren’t usable, and there was no way of knowing on set if the take worked – but on the 5D, because I was able to review the shots instantly, I found that I got more of what I needed. The film cut had to be fudged a bit in editing, and doesn’t work as well as the digital cut. The film cut does, however, feel more visually unified.

Flash Video

Watch the 16mm Cut

Unfortunately, in addition to not coming in on time, the lab that scanned the film telecine’d the output file, creating interlacing and pulldowns and a whole bunch of other garbage. They probably thought it was shot at 24fps, because telecine is a process used to convert 24fps to 30fps for television viewing. They told me to reverse-telecine the file, which would have removed a pulldown, except for the fact that the film was shot at 30fps to begin with, not 24, so now it’s completely mucked, plus the interlacing problems. It would really have been easier to just have gotten progressive tiff files for each frame, then I could have played it back at whatever speed I wanted without dealing with pulldowns. That’s just a whole lot of unnecessary steps. In the movie below, the interpolated frames are visible especially in the motion blur. I ran a deinterlacing process, the artifacts of which are visible on some of the edges. I may try to correct the whole thing eventually, but don’t have the time now.

In any case, the whole processes was quite an experience. It was really exciting to have my production shot on an older film camera side-by-side with the Canon 5D Mk II, very much the bleeding edge in digital video. What the original digital cut here! Don’t forget to VOTE for the bumper!

Rembrandstein

50's inspired Evil Machine

Metropolis inspired Evil Machine

A frustrated painter/evil-mastermind creates a dark machine to help with his painting. This is one of those films that characterizes “What if” scenarios that you may daydream about when you’re fed up with something, “If only I could…create an evil machine to do my bidding!”, which is exactly what real-life painter Kendric Tonn goes about doing. Rembrandstein was created as the final project for my Compositing class Sophomore year, and features a dozen effects shots that utilize a wide range of effects; digital sets, CG-brush object insertion, tracking, etc. The evil brush itself is a live action prop-on-a-stick in most scenes, but was recreated in Lightwave for the more complex shots.

The Evil Brush

The Evil Brush

Like most of the other short films done that year, Rembrandstein was created in about two weeks and represents many all-nighter’s at Montgomery Hall spent toiling away in Shake. There wasn’t much time to plan, but I knew “evil machine” meant Metropolis-like imagery, as well as the cliche art-deco designs of 50’s science fiction programs. I actually gathered most of my reference from Star Trek Voyager’s Captain Proton episodes, whose designers amalgamated everything I was looking for into their sets. It’s unfortunate that there weren’t more shots with the machine, but dealing with black drapes was easier than keying greenscreen.

Quicktime Video

Watch as Quicktime

Flash Video

Watch as Flash

This was also the first project shot on Oliver’s Canon XHA1, by today’s standards a mediocre device for a mediocre format (HDV) but at the time, and for someone used to keying ntsc footage, this was pretty awesome. Rembrandstein runs for three minutes and stars Kendric Tonn and Oliver Palmer as the Igor character. The effects were rendered in Lightwave and composited in Shake.

Note: It seems that the Flash version, although properly compressed, has trouble playing back unless it’s in full screen, however you can watch the quicktime or right click on either version and save the file to your disk.

Art School and You – Sophomore Film Flashback

Students Utilize the New Transportation System

My very first visual effects class at SCAD was perhaps my most industrious. I produced four films, each done in about two weeks. This film, Art School and You, was the final project for that quarter, over three years ago. It masquerades as ye olde educational filme from the 50’s or 60’s, using desaturated colors and an overlayed projector effect, courtesy of the SCAD film dept, and warns of the various perils of being an art school student.

Watch as Flash Video

Watch as Flash Video

Watch as Quicktime

Watch as Quicktime

The concept formed after I completed a single shot of a student riding on top of a bus for an earlier project – I thought I could make fun of a few more caveats of a certain art school in addition to the over-crowded transportation. Art School and You was shot on a Canon GL2, composited in Adobe After Effects with some 3D work in Lightwave. The visual effects can be classified as cheese-tastic, though to be fair, it was the beginning of sophomore year and the project was produced in two weeks. Oliver Palmer plays the unfortunate student, with Kendric Tonn lending his voice for the excellent educational film narration.