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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » Narnia 2K DLP Comments and Questions

   
Author Topic: Narnia 2K DLP Comments and Questions
Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1379
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 12-17-2005 09:34 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Today I saw Narnia in 2K DLP (Auditorium 17, AMC Pleasure Island). Screen was roughly 32 feet wide (scope) and I was roughly 30 feet back). Here are my comments and I have a question.

The last thing I saw in DLP was Star Wars: EP II in 1.3K DLP. The improvement in picture quality from 1.3K to 2K was unbelievable. 1.3K DLP looked OK but I could easily see the pixel grid and the image wasn't very sharp (obviously the source had a little to do with this but the trailers were the same at the time). Average 35mm projection was clearly better than 1.3K DLP.

2K DLP looked 100 times better than 1.3K. Most of the time it looked much better than average multiplex 35mm. The contrast and colors looked great. Picture detail was very good (much sharper than 1.3K). There were a few "jaggies" on certain size and font text but it was much less noticeable than it was on 1.3K. The only time I noticed any type of grid effect was either on a bright background made of mostly one color or sometimes when a bright object would move around in a dark scene, I could see a "screen" on the bright object. When I did see a screen effect, it was different than the 1.3K. On 1.3K it looked like a pixel grid. Here it looked more like a piece of very thin scrim in front of the image.

Strangely the biggest "artifact" was due to the curved screen. Since there is no aperture plate to cut, the image did not go all the way to the masking as you got towards the edge of the screen.

After seeing the latest generation 2K DLP, I am of the opinion that if TI did release 4K DLP it would be clearly superior to any 35mm projection (no matter how well it is done).

My question is about this particular installation. Since this feature was "scope," does anybody know if this installation uses an anamorphic lens for scope?

Also, was the image delivered per DCI specs, i.e. not using the whole available resolution for the "scope" format or was it delivered anamorpically squeezed?

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Paul Konen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 981
From: Frisco, TX. (North of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-19-2005 04:43 PM      Profile for Paul Konen   Email Paul Konen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Narnia is using approx 818 horizontal lines for the scope image.

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3055
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 12-19-2005 05:06 PM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very close to the French television standard of many years ago.

I haven't seen 2k yet, but hope to soon. What's the aspect ratio of the imageing chips in them? I'd like to see something that shows the system at it's best.

Have they improved the blacks since the first generation machines?

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David Graham Rose
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 187
From: Cambridge, UK
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 12-20-2005 06:06 AM      Profile for David Graham Rose   Email David Graham Rose   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Greetings Dear Stephen Furley of Coulsden

I say, why not trip along merrily to the Empire Leicester Square, where you may view Narnia from a 2K projector. I had the good fortune to attend the Royal Premiere in the Albert Hall this year, and that was indeed run on a couple of 2K projectors overlaid.

The aspect ratio of the 'chips' as you call them is 1.9:1 (or 2048x1080)
Very impressive picture. Better than 70mm!

From Cambridge

David

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Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1379
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 12-21-2005 01:19 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Very impressive picture. Better than 70mm!

Impressive? yes. Especially when compared to first generation DLP. Better than 70mm? I think not! I've never seen jagged edges on text of a 70mm print.

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David Graham Rose
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 187
From: Cambridge, UK
Registered: Sep 2002


 - posted 12-21-2005 04:24 AM      Profile for David Graham Rose   Email David Graham Rose   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Greetings

You should see the 70mm of Where Eagles Dare. The main title is really jagged.

From Cambridge

David

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 12-21-2005 05:19 AM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My 2 (euro) cents worth...

The 2K version of Narnia does indeed look sensational...BUT it didn't look natural to me. I watched the film version and it felt a lot more comfortable. With DLP for this kind of work (and I'm not knocking DLP per se - I think it's great) I'm constantly feeling there's something missing or not quite right.

There have been technical papers on how the interruptive nature of film projection and the slight movement of the film image relaxes the brain, and these phenomena should not be ignored.

That said, you have the audiophile arguments about the superiority of analogue tape and vinyl, yet that didn't stop the virtual takeover of the recorded music market by CDs and latterly, by MP3.

There's also a certain amount of subjectivity. Clearly, there is a diverse range of opinions on how DLP compares to film, and with the latest systems you can't be dogmatic and say one is conclusively better than the other.

2K is way ahead of 1.3K, and the contrast ratio and resolution are certainly there.

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Pete Naples
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1543
From: Dunfermline, Scotland
Registered: Feb 2001


 - posted 12-21-2005 07:00 AM      Profile for Pete Naples   Email Pete Naples   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw some 2k the other day, a step forward yec, but 'there'? No. the resolution is but what I saw (which was purpose shot demo material) had no detail in the murky blacks.

better than a faded, scratched and dirty 70mm? Hell yes! Better than 70mm or even 35mm how it should be, close but no cigar, yet.

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 12-21-2005 05:54 PM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Was the demo you saw shot on film Pete?

One thing that seems to be critical is the source material and the way in which it is mastered. I have to say the Narnia material I saw had the blacks, but it was shot on film, and it was mastered to the highest standards.

It highlights the need for consistency. At least with 35mm release prints you can be sure of consistency, all things being equal.

With 2K, you can potentially have material from all kinds of native sources. It may be that what you saw was actually shot on a digital format?

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Patrick de Groot
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 161
From: Sprang-Capelle, Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-24-2005 05:33 PM      Profile for Patrick de Groot   Email Patrick de Groot   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw the Narnia digital version at Metropolis Antwerpen (Belgium). Nice auditorium and large screen. I think they have a Barco 2K digital projector.
My opinion: It was ok. Nothing spectacular, but I didn't find a reason to bring it down either.

The blacks looked like greys. Some bright scenes also didn't look right. I think projected video will replace film at some time, but we need higher resolution and better colours.

One thing I noticed was that the screen was equally focussed. Something that irritates me with 35mm presentations (or better said: any presentation) when not done equally. But that situation does not occure when good equipment is used and proper film handling and projector maintenance is applied...

What is the native resolution of 2K? And what is the actual resolution of Narnia digital? Do they use a anamorphic attachment and if not, why not?

Merry Christmas!

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9443
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-24-2005 06:08 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
David said "run on a couple of 2K projectors overlaid."
a couple projectors overlaid to do the job almost as good as a single 70mm print progress [Eek!]

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 12-31-2005 06:36 AM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Patrick, the resolution of 2K is:

1080 x 2048

giving a native aspect ratio of approx. 1:1.90.

In the 2K install in our cinema, the Narnia material I saw was projected letterboxed with no anamorphic attachment; the precise pixel count escapes me but I can look it up.

The lack of an anamorphic attachment seems to be because of cost (as John Pytlak has pointed out). But I also wonder if it is because electronic squeezing of images possibly introduces artefacts?

BTW no way did the blacks look like greys in our setup. Could the images you saw Patrick have been overlit? You say the bright scenes didn't look right, which suggests the projector may have possibly been driven too hard.

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