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  • 35mm 2p (2-perf)

    Hello,

    I'm getting ready to edit a film shot on 35mm 2-perf stock. The film lab is transferring it to DVCPro HD 720p 23.98 and providing me with the digital footage on a hard drive, as well as an ALE file to import into Cinema Tools.

    I've never used Cinema Tools before... I got some advice from a friend and have been reading the manual, but I still have a few initial concerns.

    I know I'll need to use the "Import Telecine Log" command to import the ALE once I create the database, but I'm concerned about doing that step if the database isn't set up correctly initially...

    1. Upon creating a new database file, I'm not given the option to choose "35mm 2p," only 3p and 4p. Will this be a problem, and if not which should I choose?

    2. There is no Video TC rate option for 23.98 fps, even though the manual says there should be. The closest option is 24 fps.

    3. I understand once the database is created correctly I'll have to export it to an XML to open in Final Cut. I'm a little unclear abut which of the Export options to use. "Film Lists from XML," "XML Film Lists from XML," and "XML Batch List" all seem like viable options.

    Thanks a lot for any light you can shed.

    Joni

  • #2
    New info.

    I did find out that Cinema Tools doesn't support 2 perf at all, which brings up a whole new question of workflow. Hmm...

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    • #3
      I REALLY have no idea but would guess you use 3-perf so you don't lose any of the frame but REALLY don't know so I just put a shout out for you and hopefully someone will step up to the plate.
      sigpic
      Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
      Person in charge
      Content creation/Education
      http://www.ericnp.net

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      • #4
        Joni,

        I am not using the latest FCP, but I think Cinema Tools is similar between FCP HD and the latest Studio 2.

        If you have had your footage transferred to tape, you can visually edit with FCP no problems, just treat it like any other 23.95 footage, and reverse telecine in Cinema Tools will work fine.

        I don't believe you can edit the footage to the point of getting a cut list, EDL, at the end, because my understanding is that Cinema Tools does not support 2-perf. If you select 3-perf or 4-perf, your EDL and cut list will be way off.

        Sorry that's not what you probably wanted to hear.

        Best,
        -Tim
        http://viewfromhere.org
        a progressive photo blog

        Comment


        • #5
          Clarification

          Thanks a lot for that, Tim. I can handle hearing anything as long as it's the truth! I did find out that Cinema Tools doesn't support 2-perf, and the film lab is working on a solution. Hmm.

          So if they provide me with the 23.98 footage on a hard drive, what then would be my process before I start editing? How do I do the reverse telecine in Cinema Tools if I can't initially set up a 2-perf database? Or does the reverse telecine come once the edit is finished?

          Sorry if that's a basic question, I just want to make sure I don't do anything at the beginning of the process that will create disasters in the end.

          Thanks a lot for your help,
          Joni

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          • #6
            Joni,

            Can you tell me what your output format is going to be? Are you planning on finishing in HD, or trying to go back to film? And if you are going back to film, are you planning on doing a digital intermediate and printing from the digital file?

            Best,
            -Tim
            http://viewfromhere.org
            a progressive photo blog

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Tim.

              Odd that I had a dream about this last night, Even though I read a PDF document from Panavision called 2 Perf Expalined it didn't dawn on me until this dream what the real issue was, how the EDL would be effected by choosing a wrong perf area. Seems rather obvious now.

              I also noted now that document saying, "The downside of 2 perf at the time was the need for the optical lab process--as opposed to a contact print
              used in normal 1.85 or 2.40 anamorphic cinematography--to vertically enlarge the 2 perf frame to a 4 perf anamorphic release print..."

              So, isn't this what the lab should be doing? Excuse my ignorance, I've never really had the opportunity to work with somebody working with film, but I'm also trying to learn something here.
              sigpic
              Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
              Person in charge
              Content creation/Education
              http://www.ericnp.net

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              • #8
                Tim, we're doing an HD-DI finish to HDCAM SR. The film lab has been testing the Cinema Tools database using the 4-perf setting, but I voiced your concern about that and they're doing more research as well.

                Thanks for that PDF doc, Zwick, it helped me understand a bit more about what's going on. This is basically my first time workign with actual film too, so the tech dreams are in full-force. Great how our brains try to help us figure things out even when we're trying to rest, hey?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zwick View Post
                  Thanks Tim.

                  Odd that I had a dream about this last night, Even though I read a PDF document from Panavision called 2 Perf Expalined it didn't dawn on me until this dream what the real issue was, how the EDL would be effected by choosing a wrong perf area. Seems rather obvious now.
                  The way that Cinema Tools works, and the reason it is such a great program for editing film, is that once you shoot your whole film, what do you have? Thousands upon thousands of feet of tiny images. Here's what Cinema Tools (CT) does for you.

                  First you have all your film telecined to a lower res, non-color corrected (read less expensive telecine process, sometimes called digital dailies) format with what we used to call a flex file. That takes all the film, and transfers it to video, while recording all the little keycode numbers on the edge of the film. This is important because it lets you find each piece of footage you end up using in your final edit.

                  You load the video files and all this keycode (edgecode) information into CT and CT will keep track of it all throughout your whole editing process. Provided you shoot in one of the supported formats (which unfortunately 2-Perf is not).

                  Once you have the video files and keycode loaded into CT, when you reverse telecine the 29.97 interlace video (USA) to 23.98 progressive, CT figures out the keycode during this reverse-pulldown. So the 23.98 progressive footage is now a one-to-one (frame-to-frame) match to your original film you shot, and CT keeps track of where each frame of the progressive video is located on the thousands of feet of film.

                  Why is this important? Well, once you finish your edit, you can then export an EDL and a "cut list" which will tell you where each piece of film (you used in your final edit) is located on the thousands of feet of film you shot for the project. If you are finishing on HD, then it allows you to only have high end color corrected scans made of the actual footage you use in final edit, which save thousands of dollars (high end color corrected scans are very expensive). If you are finishing on film, it allows you to give your negative cutter a "cut list" so he/she can find each piece of film used in your final edit.

                  That's a really brief description of how CT works for you, and why it is such a valuable program for filmmakers.

                  But unfortunately for Joni, for it to work that way, you need to shoot 16mm, or 35mm 4-perf or 35mm 3-perf. The number of perfs is used by Cinema Tools in the reverse pulldown process to calculate and keep track of keycode. If you put in the wrong information on how many perfs you are using, Cinema Tools will lose all the information on keycode, which kind of defeats the purpose of the program.

                  You can use Cinema Tools to reverse telecine any footage that was shot at 24 fps, scanned at 29.97 interlaced with 3:2 pulldown. It will give you 23.98 progressive frame footage where each frame is a one to one match with each frame of your film, there just won't be a way to find those frames on your original film using CT.

                  Best,
                  -Tim
                  http://viewfromhere.org
                  a progressive photo blog

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                  • #10
                    Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to explain all of that, Tim... it's a lot more clear now.

                    I'll be sure to post whatever we end up figuring out regarding the 2-perf. If anybody else ever runs into this situation this will be a really informative thread.

                    Thanks again!
                    Joni

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                    • #11
                      The biggest thing I don't understand at this point and it may not get answered here (but certainly not if I don't put it out there) is why doesn't CT have a 2-perf option? Especially considering the advantages laid out in the Panavision document linked above which are:

                      Advantages to shooting 2 perf:
                      - 50% savings on film stock vs. 4 perf
                      - 30% savings vs. 3 perf
                      - Longer run time per magazine [45 ft/min vs. 90 in 4 perf or 67.5 in 3 perf]
                      - Spherical lenses with faster T-stops, wider lens selection
                      - 35mm depth of field
                      sigpic
                      Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
                      Person in charge
                      Content creation/Education
                      http://www.ericnp.net

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zwick View Post
                        The biggest thing I don't understand at this point and it may not get answered here (but certainly not if I don't put it out there) is why doesn't CT have a 2-perf option? Especially considering the advantages laid out in the Panavision document linked above which are:

                        Advantages to shooting 2 perf:
                        - 50% savings on film stock vs. 4 perf
                        - 30% savings vs. 3 perf
                        - Longer run time per magazine [45 ft/min vs. 90 in 4 perf or 67.5 in 3 perf]
                        - Spherical lenses with faster T-stops, wider lens selection
                        - 35mm depth of field
                        There are also some disadvantages, one being that the image on the negative is the same height as Super 16, just wider, which introduces all the issues of grain/etc. when going to a 35mm release print, and the images on the negative are packed very tightly together, one on top of each other with very little frame line between, so there is little room for pan & scan to hide things like a hair in the gate or other issues.

                        That being said, I think the reason Cinema Tools doesn't cover 2-perf is that when Digital Film Tree (I think that was the outfit) first developed Cinema Tools, before Apple bought it, 2-perf was completely out of favor. 2-Perf is the old techniscope from the late 1950's up through the 1960's and rarely in the 1970's (American Graffiti being one exception). It has had a resurgence in the last few years, but I don't think Cinema Tools has really gone through many revisions in that same time period.

                        That's my assumption at least, could be way off base.

                        Best,
                        -Tim
                        http://viewfromhere.org
                        a progressive photo blog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, the negatives are also in that document and the way that document appeared to me made it look as though 2-perf was not all that uncommon today. So thanks for clarifying that point.

                          I suspect you're right about Apple and I have seen other instances of where software that was acquired by them was slow to develop. I'm not a programmer but having been around a lot of programmers over the years and thinking empirically, it doesn't seem to me that adding a 2-perf option should be that big a project. The starting point would be showing demand and that is something I don't have a grasp on.

                          I wonder how this issue would be tackled in the Avid world.
                          sigpic
                          Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
                          Person in charge
                          Content creation/Education
                          http://www.ericnp.net

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                          • #14
                            I expect with the next release of Final Cut STudio, there will be a 2 perf option added to CT. But yeah, why not already. Most all films shot today are effectively 2 perf. Most all Hollywood films are shot Super 35, either 3 or 4 perf. When they do the 2.35 extraction, it is a slightly larger area than two perf. I don't see grain or a smaller image area as the con for this format at all. The height of the 2 perf frame is larger than S16, so it is really worth it to shoot this format.
                            Mac Pro 2.66, 5gigs RAM, OSX 10.6.2, FCP Studio 3

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zaefod View Post
                              Most all films shot today are effectively 2 perf. Most all Hollywood films are shot Super 35, either 3 or 4 perf. When they do the 2.35 extraction, it is a slightly larger area than two perf. I don't see grain or a smaller image area as the con for this format at all. The height of the 2 perf frame is larger than S16, so it is really worth it to shoot this format.
                              You're forgetting a few things here.

                              -Many of the 2.35 or 2.40 films are shot anamorphic.

                              -Super 35 and Full Aperture are actually wider image areas on the 35mm neg than 2-Perf (which uses the original Academy gate width), so even if they are doing a 2.35 extraction, they are still using more image area with Super 35 or Full Aperture than they do with 2-perf.

                              You are correct, the 2-perf neg is slightly taller than the Super 16 neg (9.47mm for 2-Perf and 7.49mm for Super 16) but that 26% increase in size is not going to make that much difference in grain, especially when you factor in the disadvantage of no frame line between images with 2-Perf, which will result in cropping 2-perf to deal with (hair in gate) and other issues that arrive in shooting.

                              Very few films are shot 2-Perf today. That may change now that the Penelope has been introduced. But I would not suspect an avalanche of 2-Perf features.

                              It will be nice if CT supports 2-Perf with its next release, we'll have to wait and see.

                              Best,
                              -Tim
                              http://viewfromhere.org
                              a progressive photo blog

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