Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Digital Cinema Forum   » My Digital Cinema Thoughts (A little belated) (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: My Digital Cinema Thoughts (A little belated)
Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1393
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-05-2002 12:21 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I meant to write this after seeing Episode II in DLP but didn't have time:

I saw Episode II in DLP at the Century Orleans 18 in Las Vegas. The screen was ~54 feet wide (based on ceiling tiles) and I sat about 1 screen height back (which was the first row of true stadium seating) like I normally do. I'll start with the good.

The Good:
-Very sharp focus
-No Dirt (obviously)
-No Jump and Weave (obviously)
-The sound was great (although the THX "storm" trailer sounds better on my T2 DVD at home but this could be due to the mix or theatre volume setting)

The Bad:
-Color seems a little off
-The screen was way underlit to the point that it was almost created eye strain to watch some of the darker scenes.
-Hello pixels. The stair-stepping on titles (including the DLP logo) was a little annoying). Also, during certain scenes I could clearly see verticle lines between each pixel. This was evident from the very beginning when the starwars logo disappeared into the distance, it seemed to have flickering verticle black lines in it.

Overall, it looked better than I thought, was grossly underlit and the lack of resolution in the photography was very evident at some points (the grass when Anakin and Padme were in the field stands out in my memory). I'd like to see the Kodak Digital Cinema system in action to compare and see if these problems still exist. I would say that if the quality bar is raised and the industry doesn't just settle for "this is good enough" then digital cinema should be able to surpass the quality of 35mm within a few years. I'm very afraid that the industry will settle on current technology which is not as good as properly projected 35mm (although, it's a lot closer than I thought it would be).

 |  IP: Logged

Paul Linfesty
Phenomenal Film Handler

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


 - posted 08-05-2002 01:14 AM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Your experience is a perfect example as to why quality control for DLP will be as much all over the map as film projection. The ZIEGFELD theatre in NYC ran rolling stock ads on 35mm film, and previews and STAR WARS: AOTC in DLP (Technicolor) and both were extremely bright showing on the full-width Ziegfeld screen. Of course, the DLP projection had the problem with crushed blacks (dark grey, actually), but the brightness was there.

 |  IP: Logged

William Hooper
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1879
From: Mobile, AL USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-05-2002 01:23 AM      Profile for William Hooper   Author's Homepage   Email William Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Of course, the DLP projection had the problem with crushed blacks (dark grey, actually)

That was one of the things which made the DLP show I saw so irritating: the masking at the sides was so much darker than the adjacent picture when it was supposed to be black.

quote:
, but the brightness was there.

This was not the case in the show I caught. Low screen illumination, exacerbating the poor contrast, but probably helping to hide the resolution problems & some coarse CGI stuff.

I'm trying hard to think of something comparable. Even the worst educational & industrial 16mm shows I've seen were better - even when the brightness was down, they were usually sharper black & white prints which are more easily "read". The only thing that comes close would be some showings of 8mm movies I've seen. I'm not joking. That thing gave me a headache.

 |  IP: Logged

Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3059
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-05-2002 02:12 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I'm trying hard to think of something comparable. Even the worst educational & industrial 16mm shows I've seen were better - even when the brightness was down, they were usually sharper black & white prints which are more easily "read". The only thing that comes close would be some showings of 8mm movies I've seen. I'm not joking. That thing gave me a headache.

You *are* joking, or at least exaggerating, aren't you? If not, then there was something seriously wrong with what you saw. 16mm, at its best, can look pretty god, but at its worst, can be really dire; surely the digital presentation you saw wasn't this bad, was it. From what I've seen, I would say that it's at least equal to a *good* 16mm presentation; but very much more expensive. It is not equal to 35mm, and nowhere near good 70mm.

I did once see super 8 projected on a screen of about thirty feet, using an Elmo GS1200 xenon projector. The picture was very dim, but in resolution terms, didn't look as bad as I exppected. It was a very good print, and the lack of brightness probably helped in this respect.

 |  IP: Logged

Paul Linfesty
Phenomenal Film Handler

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


 - posted 08-05-2002 10:23 AM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stephen Furley wrote:

You *are* joking, or at least exaggerating, aren't you? If not, then there was something seriously wrong with what you saw.

Exactly my point. If there is such a difference in screen illuminitation at this early point in the game, imagine the widespread quality differences if implemented on a nationwide basis. Digital is already proving itself to be lacking consistancy of presentation, especially when theatres shortchange on lamps and adjustments. Even in the same theatre, the first days showings may look quite different than the last day's.

 |  IP: Logged

William Hooper
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1879
From: Mobile, AL USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-06-2002 02:36 AM      Profile for William Hooper   Author's Homepage   Email William Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
You *are* joking, or at least exaggerating, aren't you?

No, that's what it was comparable to. I'm not saying that it looked like 8mm projected +/- 40 feet wide, but the low resolution, dim picture was like the mush I remember seeing when over at some other folks houses when they ran dark, poorly shot 8mm on cheap projectors.

And because Stephen was so impertinent & reckless to imply that I might be indulging in hyperbole, I will now torment him with this photograph from the first day on the archaeology site.


 |  IP: Logged

Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17723
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 08-06-2002 02:41 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Pictures need to be emailed in unless it is time sensitive. Also, crappy hosting services such as Angelfire will not permit you to link outside of their pages.

Please read the FAQ on submitting pictures.

 |  IP: Logged

Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3059
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-06-2002 03:39 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
William,

I have seen DLP twice, firstly at a normal screening at the Odeon Leicester Square, where the screen brightness seemed somewhat less than normal, and the definition was not as good as 35mm, and then, some time later, at a technical demonstration at the National Film Theatre, where various extracts were shown, on film and digital, derived from both digital and film original material. This time the brightness was better, the screen is considerably smaller, but the resolution was still not as good as film, though it did look better than I expected, from the published resolution of the system. During the NFT event the show was stopped for a couple of minutes for technicians from the suppliers of the system to tweak it, so I believe that what I was seeing that day was the best that the system is capable of.

My assessment of it at the end of the day is that all four possible combinations of film and digital origination and projection looked different, and I think I would be able to tell which I was looking at in each case. Of course, there are further complications when a film source is transferred to digital, and then back to film for presentation. Also, just about any manipulation of the image would be possible while it was in digital form.

I do not consider the digital projection system, as it existed at that time to be equal to good 35mm, and certainly nowhere near as good as 70mm. Some people point out that it is better than bad 35mm, which may be true, but I don't see the point in that argument; I don't choose to watch bad 35mm shows, only good ones, therefore, the compasison is irrelevant to me.

I have seen 16 mm shows from the very worst to the very best. At its best, a print direct from a 7245 camera neg run on a Kinoton projector with several kilowatts of lamp behind in on a good screen, and with stereo sep-mag sound it can look surprisingly good, not as good as 35mm, but certainly not bad, as long as the screen is not too large. I would say that you can get a reasonably bright image up to about 7 or 8 metres.

The DLP which I saw at the NFT was at least as good as the best 16mm which I have seen, and was brighter. It was certainly very far removed from being equal to the worst.

If you are being serious, and the picture you saw was as bad as you say, then something was wrong, and I find this worrying. As I said previously, I am pretty sure that what I saw is the best that the system is capable of, therefore, another show might not be as good, but, at the moment, the equipment is almost brand new and I would expect that the manufacturers, suppliers and promoters of this system would want it to be seen in the best possible light (pardon the pun) and that the equipment might therefore be maintained to a better standard than might be the case in a few years time. If things are as bad now as you say they are, then I can see no point at all in going to a cinema to see a film, you would be better off watching it at home. If that happens, then there won't be any cinemas.

 |  IP: Logged

David Rigby
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 134
From: Chorlton, Manchester, UK
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-06-2002 05:49 AM      Profile for David Rigby   Email David Rigby   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The show I saw was reasonably bright and pretty sharp. It also had obvious comrpession artifacts and looked lifeless like a giant TFT screen. 16mm doesn't have the resolution in terms of numbers when compared to cinema DLP, but I'd take it over that s*****y laptop image every time. DLP has got a VERY VERY long way to go in my book, and it doesn't simply come down to lumens or pixels.

David

 |  IP: Logged

Paul Linfesty
Phenomenal Film Handler

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


 - posted 08-06-2002 10:13 AM      Profile for Paul Linfesty   Email Paul Linfesty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
DLP (or any potential digital projection system) is still in the infancy stage, but is rapidly improving. Within a couple of years the STATE-OF-THE-ART will surpass the standard 35mm release print that most theatres get. Now whether that pristine system will be translated into the AVERAGE theatre remains to be seen. Theatres who don't care about quality presentation today probably won't with digital projection, but that is a problem that has been around for years. Digital systems are not the cure all for what ails the theatre industry. Just look at digital sound. With digital soundtracks, all theatres have the potential to present sound as well as the best of the showcase theatres in L.A. and NYC. Yet we know they don't. They cut corners. But does this mean that we shouldn't then be using digital sound systems, because the lowest common denominator theatres have digital systems that are WORSE than what the best showcases theatres had with magnetic years ago?
Heck, with the financial boat that most companies find themselves in, it really may take years for widespread acceptance. Which will give the system a much better chance of being improved and perfected, while prices will fall dramatically.
And heralding film systems such as Maxifilm as being cheaper for the exhibitor completely overlooks the increased cost of the prints, not to mention production and post (rendering TWICE as many frames per second for CGI and compositing and/or finishing, etc). Remember the reason studios are driven to look at digital distribution in the first place.

 |  IP: Logged

Justin McLeod
Film Handler

Posts: 93
From: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 08-06-2002 04:04 PM      Profile for Justin McLeod   Email Justin McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

I saw Episode:2 at the Centry Orleans 18 back in june, it was the first time I had watched a movie in digital. It was different. Im not saying different as in better, it was just different. One thing I really noticed was no film grain and the second big difference were that some of the effects looked dramaticly better than from the 35mm version. The color (to me) looked better than the film version but I have still seen better presentations from 35mm.The screen illumination looked fine and the focus was always sharp. DLP is the way to see Episode:2 but i dont agree with using DLP from a 35mm source.

The flaws I noticed were from the DLP technology itself.Jagged edges were noticeable on some closeup scenes amd almost all title art had the jagged edges. I wonder if using 3 seperate lenses would make a difference instead of using one.


 |  IP: Logged

Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 08-06-2002 09:46 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
hmmmmm, three seperate lenses. Why don't we just add more cost to the damn thing.

 |  IP: Logged

William Hooper
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1879
From: Mobile, AL USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-07-2002 12:31 AM      Profile for William Hooper   Author's Homepage   Email William Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, it responds to editing the post only with a blank page.
Here's a link to the picture for Stephen:
http://www.geocities.com/rotoflex/misc/racks.htm

 |  IP: Logged

Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3059
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 08-07-2002 03:57 PM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
William, why do you seem to have a bench running across the sound rack? Why is there cross bracing also ruunning across the rack? Is this part af the bench which was put in after the rack was taken out of use? Has the rack indeed been taken out of use, or is some of this equipment still used? What is the light blue unit in the new rack on the right? If only the new rack is in use, why is there so little equipment in it? Is the box itself still in use? Where is this anyway? Has thiss installation been THX certified? Have you tried feeding digital cinema signals through this equipment on their way to the DLP projector? (This might explain the very poor picture quality you saw.

So many questions.

Is that an original Perspecta integrator I see before me, in the left hand rack, near the top, with its power supply in the same rack, just below the bench?


 |  IP: Logged

Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9504
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-07-2002 04:05 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That bench is a standard Kelmar rewind bench and the pale blue unit in that rack is part of a old Christie Sound A Around prewired rack

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.