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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Did I see D-Cinema done wrong? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Did I see D-Cinema done wrong?
Michael Barry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 584
From: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 05-30-2004 12:20 PM      Profile for Michael Barry   Email Michael Barry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, today I finally got a chance to see first-hand what has been discussed on these forums for a while now...D-Cinema.

I saw a presentation of 'The Day After Tomorrow'.

It was depressing...and I'm talking purely about the picture quality!

What was wrong? Contrast was poor. Black levels were simply not there, peak whites were not bright enough to even be called peak whites, and there was no true highlight or shadow detail: dynamically, the image hit a brick wall of either grey (supposedly black) or dull off-white (supposedly white).

The focus and resolution were poor, especially in wide shots - they were actually soft and didn't have nearly enough detail. They reminded me of really bad release prints with a LOT of printer slippage.

As the movie progressed, I yearned for some brightness, sharpness, contrast, dynamic range...in other words, the very things that actually give LIFE to the visuals...but those qualities simply weren't there. The image was lifeless, dead.

I've read many, many opinions about D-Cinema on these forums and elsewhere, and either a) Others are being WAY too kind in their assessment, or b) I saw digital done wrong. Or maybe both. Or do I need to see a Pixar film or a Powerpoint presentation on one of these things in order to 'get it'?

The biggest challenge to getting this thing to look even remotely like film is to increase the contrast. There is a lot of talk about increasing resolution to match film, but will it be possible to reach film's formidable contrast and latitude?

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9460
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-30-2004 12:55 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Boy you must have seen one of the better ones [Big Grin]
How big was the image and how far back were you seated?

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Michael Barry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 584
From: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 05-30-2004 01:13 PM      Profile for Michael Barry   Email Michael Barry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The screen was approximately 40-45 feet wide (in scope). I was sitting near the back of the theatre, at least 3-4 screen heights away.

What is the maximum size screen that a DLP projector can still display 16 footlamberts of brightness with a 7K xenon, I wonder?

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Mattias Ohlson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 180
From: Falun, Sweden
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted 05-30-2004 03:15 PM      Profile for Mattias Ohlson   Email Mattias Ohlson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Michael B.
Can you provide what projector was used? Without knowing the projector it is hard to comment. The brightest dlp are up to cinema standards with as large screens as 70 feet. Which theater did you visit in Sydney?

Cr or black level of film are not normally better than digital cinema. What is more likely to be better is perhaps shadow detail.

If they have done a bad job with the digital copy then that is to blame. The range in picture quality from the best dvd to the worst is huge.

If they used digital intermediat in a bad way the film copy might be of poor quality too.

Without knowing how the movie was produced and what projected the picture any comment is speculation.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9460
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-30-2004 03:28 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"The brightest dlp are up to cinema standards with as large screens as 70 feet." Only in your dreams
7K is the norm for 40' images and they rarely hit the 12fl level

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Mattias Ohlson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 180
From: Falun, Sweden
Registered: Mar 2003


 - posted 05-30-2004 03:45 PM      Profile for Mattias Ohlson   Email Mattias Ohlson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mr McLeod
Are you saying that 7kW is the norm for 40 feet wide with a digital projector or are you commenting on what gives you acceptable brightness on screen with a film projector?

I guess that TI can overstat what dlp can do but only 40 compared with 70 wide?

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Paul Linfesty
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1381
From: Bakersfield, CA, USA
Registered: Nov 1999


 - posted 05-30-2004 03:53 PM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Gordon McLeod
they rarely hit the 12fl level
But when they do then 12fl is equivelent to 16fl from a film projector (open gate).

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9460
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-30-2004 04:05 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most of the DLP use a 7K lamp for screens in the 55' wide range ( and most still do not look all that bright) and yes 12fl dlp is considered the same as 16fl for film

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Steve Kraus
Film God

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From: Chicago, IL, USA
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 - posted 05-30-2004 06:05 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Since film projection screen illumination is measured without film in the gate it's likely (I've not measured it) that with clear film (positive stock, clear after processing, not just blank base stock) the whitest white might well be around 12 fL when open gate it's 16 fL. This difference owing to the absorption of the film base and the emulsion (which even when "clear" contains a tiny bit of fog). If that's correct then that would be the standard of comparison.

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Bruce Hansen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 847
From: Stone Mountain, GA, USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 05-30-2004 06:31 PM      Profile for Bruce Hansen   Email Bruce Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Could some pop-corn jockey have screwed around with the projector? Do the optics need to be cleaned, but no one knows how to do it? Or does DLP just suck?

I remember cleaning the lenses on a 3 tube projector in a bar (lots of smoking going on), and it produced a much better looking picture. The DLPs out there now, have been in service for some time now, and if they have not been maintained, it should be noticeable.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1425
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 05-30-2004 06:35 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The other thing you have to remember is that if the movie was not filmed with digital cameras - the quality will not get better when transferring to digital. It usually has the same quality. Like transferring a home movie from VHS to DVD.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-30-2004 06:58 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Uhhhh... that's insinuating that film is inferior in resolution and image quality to digital cameras. The statement "D-cinema is to DVD as Film is to VHS" is NOT true. There should be more than enough resolution in film to make a good copy, right? Going from Film to D-Cinema should be like going from DVD to SVCD (more or less).

The fact that D-Cinema projectors require larger bulbs for the same sized screen makes it extremely cost-inneffective. Only the studios save money. Until these problems are solved, D-Cinema is just gay (or "teh ghey" as a wise man once said).

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 05-30-2004 07:18 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just to throw in this one, any claims about doing movie presentations right with 70 foot wide screens really has to be called into question. I haven't seen giant screen stadium seated houses properly light such a screen with 35mm. Any claims about DLP doing the same is just silly.

The only way to correctly project a movie onto a 70 foot wide screen is by using a 5 perf 70mm print and a good 70mm projector.

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Steve Kraus
Film God

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From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 05-30-2004 08:43 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To answer the original question, yes, it does sound like you saw a bad presentation. True, digital (presuming 1.2K DLP) is lacking in resolution, contrast, color depth, etc. compared to film but a decent show still looks okay to the casual observer and what was described sounds pretty mediocre by anyone's standards.

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Dan Lyons
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 698
From: Seal Beach, CA
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 05-30-2004 09:03 PM      Profile for Dan Lyons   Email Dan Lyons   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Joe Redifer
Until these problems are solved, D-Cinema is just gay (or "teh ghey" as a wise man once said).
Joe,

Can't you come up with something more clever than such an idiotic phrase? [puke]

danny

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