Tag Archives: telecine interlacing garbage

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!