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A few words about...™ 2001: A Space Odyssey -- in BD & HD

A Few Words About

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#41 of 254 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted November 05 2007 - 10:23 AM

I saw 2001 in a historic theater in San Francisco that specializes in older films, film festivals, and events about 4 or 5 years ago, maybe it was even 2001. What struck me more was how bright the image was. The rear projection in the Dawn of Man scenes are almost washed out. I had never known that was rear projection till I saw the HD-DVD! The 2001 Hd-DVD was a real eye opener to me. The Dawn of Man scenes was terrific. The shots of the shuttle coming up to the Moon looked razor sharp to me. The contrast of the crater highlights and shadows was really nice! And I have been observing the moon recently a lot with a telescope. I am viewing on a 50" plasma.

#42 of 254 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 05 2007 - 11:19 AM

[quote]

I am viewing on a 50" plasma.

[quote]


Thanks for sharing your screen-size. We should all (the whole HD forum) establish some basics for comparing our viewing experiences to help keep discussion meaningful (ie, so our various impressions can actually be understood in a context along side each other).



When we watch films in a theater, we very often view the screen from between 1.25 and 1.75 screen-widths distance. The middle, at around 1.5 screen-widths, gets you close to that "30 degree viewing angle" where your peripheral vision starts to get stimulated and you go from "TV" to "Movie".



Front projection systems in the home can duplicate this same type of viewing angle, which I'll call "wide angle". Naturally, since HD media should have reasonable transparency to the 35 mm film originals, when we talk about reviewing and critically evaluating the image quality of an HD transfer, it needs to be in the context of a wide-angle viewing system. Anything else will appear too small relative to the seating position which is fine for personal choice, but won't in any way reveal the level of detail you'd see if you went to the theater.



If a 50" plasma is about 40" wide, then that means you'd need to sit around 60" away (about five feet) from the screen to get the "wide angle" effect. Now, there's nothing wrong with viewing a 50" plasma comfortably from your sofa that's 8-10 feet away from your screen. However, such a narrow viewing angle can't reveal the level of detail to be able to compare against a projected-film-experience (the context in which we should be evaluating HD transfers).
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#43 of 254 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 05 2007 - 02:26 PM

I did not report the negative being in "pretty bad shape." It was used to produce the entire run of original 70mm prints, but was in far better condition that some other titles. Some dupes and tape repairs aside, the OCN was quite representative of a film of it's type when I saw it.

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#44 of 254 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 05 2007 - 02:49 PM

Hey RAH,



given your familiarity with the look of the projected film, in particular, do you feel that this new HD image reproduces the same sharpness/level of detail you've seen in projected 35mm and/or 70mm prints (or at least a reasonable sharpness/detail given the obvious resolution increase of 70mm)? I understand the positive accolades in general, but I'm curious about this one specific aspect of the image (sharpness/detail). You're watching on your Ruby?



dave Posted Image
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#45 of 254 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted November 05 2007 - 05:39 PM

Doug, I am not so sure what elements they used to arrive at that transfer, but it seems we don't get the same level of detail as in the best films available on HDM and of course this is a bit of a mockery given the fact that 2001 could rival the best of the best in terms of detail if state of the art technology was used. Regarding 35 vs 65mm I think you got my argument the other way around. I do not think that for HDM 35mm sourced movies have to look less detailed than those shot on large format. I wanted to make a point that they don't have to look WORSE than stuff shot on 35mm which is what they do at the moment. Oliver
I'm sorry Oliver I wasn't actually talking about HDM with regard to that but rather David's impression that the 35mm print of 2001 looked very sharp to him. I was suggesting that the reason it appeared so sharp to him was the same reason that 35mm prints from VistaVision was an improvement on standard 35mm/35mm prints. Being a reduction printing from 65mm the 35mm print is likely to show less grain and be somewhat sharper than a 35mm print that is 4 or 5 generations away from the ON. As to HDM again I'm not sure that a film such as Grand Prix, or 2001 would look any sharper coming from the 65mm ON that it they do now from a 35mm intermediary, even under the best of conditions. HD just doesn't have the resolution to be able to show the difference between 35mm and 65mm. Frankly I think Grand Prix is one of the sharpest and most detailed High Def movie I own. Doug
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#46 of 254 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted November 05 2007 - 05:44 PM

I saw 2001 in a historic theater in San Francisco that specializes in older films, film festivals, and events about 4 or 5 years ago, maybe it was even 2001. What struck me more was how bright the image was. The rear projection in the Dawn of Man scenes are almost washed out. I had never known that was rear projection till I saw the HD-DVD! The 2001 Hd-DVD was a real eye opener to me. The Dawn of Man scenes was terrific. The shots of the shuttle coming up to the Moon looked razor sharp to me. The contrast of the crater highlights and shadows was really nice! And I have been observing the moon recently a lot with a telescope. I am viewing on a 50" plasma.
It wasn't rear projection, it was front projection. Its a somewhat different system that give very different results on screen. Front projection uses a two way mirror in front of the camera lens, and a projector off to the side of the camera that projects the image off of the mirror and on to a screen behind the actors and settings. The screen is coated with a highly reflective 3M material. The same stuff used on road signs. Because the actors, props and sets aren't as highly reflective as the screen, the projected image doesn't show up on them, even though it is hitting them. Doug
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#47 of 254 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted November 05 2007 - 06:06 PM

I did not report the negative being in "pretty bad shape." It was used to produced the entire run of original 70mm prints, but was in far better condition that some other titles. Some dupes and tape repairs aside, the OCN was quite representative of a film of it's type when I saw it.
Sorry Robert, I misinterpreted your comments about the condition of the OCN. Doug
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#48 of 254 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted November 05 2007 - 06:46 PM

Thanks for sharing your screen-size. We should all (the whole HD forum) establish some basics for comparing our viewing experiences to help keep discussion meaningful (ie, so our various impressions can actually be understood in a context along side each other).

When we watch films in a theater, we very often view the screen from between 1.25 and 1.75 screen-widths distance. The middle, at around 1.5 screen-widths, gets you close to that "30 degree viewing angle" where your peripheral vision starts to get stimulated and you go from "TV" to "Movie".

Front projection systems in the home can duplicate this same type of viewing angle, which I'll call "wide angle". Naturally, since HD media should have reasonable transparency to the 35 mm film originals, when we talk about reviewing and critically evaluating the image quality of an HD transfer, it needs to be in the context of a wide-angle viewing system. Anything else will appear too small relative to the seating position which is fine for personal choice, but won't in any way reveal the level of detail you'd see if you went to the theater.

If a 50" plasma is about 40" wide, then that means you'd need to sit around 60" away (about five feet) from the screen to get the "wide angle" effect. Now, there's nothing wrong with viewing a 50" plasma comfortably from your sofa that's 8-10 feet away from your screen. However, such a narrow viewing angle can't reveal the level of detail to be able to compare against a projected-film-experience (the context in which we should be evaluating HD transfers).

I agree with your thoughts 100% David on all these points. As a matter of fact i am about 5 to 6 feet away from my 50" plasma! Sometimes i feel like i am in a movie theater, even if the size to distance ratio puts me at the back of a theater by comparison! Posted Image

#49 of 254 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted November 05 2007 - 11:28 PM

I'm sorry Oliver I wasn't actually talking about HDM with regard to that but rather David's impression that the 35mm print of 2001 looked very sharp to him. I was suggesting that the reason it appeared so sharp to him was the same reason that 35mm prints from VistaVision was an improvement on standard 35mm/35mm prints. Being a reduction printing from 65mm the 35mm print is likely to show less grain and be somewhat sharper than a 35mm print that is 4 or 5 generations away from the ON. As to HDM again I'm not sure that a film such as Grand Prix, or 2001 would look any sharper coming from the 65mm ON that it they do now from a 35mm intermediary, even under the best of conditions. HD just doesn't have the resolution to be able to show the difference between 35mm and 65mm. Frankly I think Grand Prix is one of the sharpest and most detailed High Def movie I own. Doug
Doug, completely agree on the 35mm reduction print - it SHOULD indeed look better than a "normal" 35mm print. Regarding the detail of Grand Prix on HDM. While Grand Prix is nicely detailed IMO it does not come close to the level of detail that can be seen in the best scenes of movies like Casino Royale and MI III. So where did the resolution go ? I don't know and I certainly would not want to imply that one has to use the original negative to arrive at a master to be used for HDM. It would however be the preferred way to go if only to get the most of what is available in resolution from the best material available. There will probably be 4k HDM in the future and for those it will not hurt to have very good masters. Oliver

#50 of 254 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted November 06 2007 - 12:39 AM

Doug, completely agree on the 35mm reduction print - it SHOULD indeed look better than a "normal" 35mm print. Regarding the detail of Grand Prix on HDM. While Grand Prix is nicely detailed IMO it does not come close to the level of detail that can be seen in the best scenes of movies like Casino Royale and MI III. So where did the resolution go ? I don't know and I certainly would not want to imply that one has to use the original negative to arrive at a master to be used for HDM. It would however be the preferred way to go if only to get the most of what is available in resolution from the best material available. There will probably be 4k HDM in the future and for those it will not hurt to have very good masters. Oliver
I'm not seeing much more detail in Casino Royale or MI III than Grand Prix, but it is apples and oranges and you can't really tell a thing like that unless it is the same actual image, or you have a resolution chart so you can actually tell how much detail is really there. As for 4K HDM I have my doubts. Even at 2k you really have to have a fairly large screen to get the benefits of it. 4k seems a bit like over kill for home theater. I have no doubts that theatrical presentations will move higher, perhaps to 8k in the near future. There are already 8K digital cameras available for production. Doug
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#51 of 254 OFFLINE   Michel_Hafner

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Posted November 06 2007 - 01:34 AM

As to HDM again I'm not sure that a film such as Grand Prix, or 2001 would look any sharper coming from the 65mm ON that it they do now from a 35mm intermediary, even under the best of conditions. HD just doesn't have the resolution to be able to show the difference between 35mm and 65mm. Frankly I think Grand Prix is one of the sharpest and most detailed High Def movie I own. Doug
I think HD can easily show the difference between 35mm and 70mm. For sure for older 70mm titles. Maybe not when you shoot 70mm and 35mm with the latest stocks and sharpest lenses. But for cases like LOA etc. HD will show clear differences. Concerning Grand Prix on HD-DVD I have heard it's way too filtered and lacks the grain of the original film look (with the HF detail that comes with it). I have not seen it myself.

#52 of 254 OFFLINE   Michel_Hafner

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Posted November 06 2007 - 01:38 AM

I have no doubts that theatrical presentations will move higher, perhaps to 8k in the near future. There are already 8K digital cameras available for production. Doug
Theaters won't go to 8K for decades, if ever. 4K is difficult enough. There are no 8K cameras for production outside prototype experimental Super HD systems. We have barely started with the first digital 4K cameras (with actual resolution closer to 3K). 4K will be gold standard for very long for regular cinema. If IMAX is going beyond that for their screens remains to be seen.

#53 of 254 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted November 06 2007 - 02:55 AM

I'm not seeing much more detail in Casino Royale or MI III than Grand Prix, but it is apples and oranges and you can't really tell a thing like that unless it is the same actual image, or you have a resolution chart so you can actually tell how much detail is really there.


Doug,



I saw a 70mm release print of Grand Prix in a theater. It was at a festival and I said to myself that this was the most detailed film print I have ever seen, it almost looked too sharp at times.



This is definitely not what I see on the HD-DVD. It is still very good and the best rendition of a movie shot in 65 mm that is available on HDM but it certainly could have the sharp as a tack look that you have in many scenes in MI III and Casino Royale WITHOUT any enhancements.



BTW: I am sitting at about 1.1 to 1.2 screen widths away when I watch these movies and I think that sitting at such a distance helps tremendously to be immersed in the movie but also to see differences between transfers.



And 4k is nice if you want to sit about 1 screen width away in your home theater - I would like that very much Posted Image I can see how this will always be a fringe market as we approach the resolving limits of the human eye - therefore no need to go beyond 4k outside of commercial theaters where indeed 8k should be preferred for a smooth picture in the front rows.



Oliver

#54 of 254 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 06 2007 - 04:26 AM

To David Boulet: To my eye image resolution is screen size dependent. An HD image can look beautiful when properly projected on a screen of nominal size, certainly ten feet or so across, but will begin to fall apart at a certain size. I've never experimented to see what that size is. A 35mm image can be beautiful when properly projected on a screen up to forty or possibly fifty feet, but will then become problematic in both resolution as well as illumination at a greater size. 70mm really doesn't seem to look at that more impressive in comparison to 35 on a screen at twenty or thirty feet, but begins to shine after that as the image will refuse to break up and the added illumination will allow it go far larger than 35. A properly projected 70mm sourced image on a sixty foot screen can be magnificent. RAH

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#55 of 254 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted November 06 2007 - 07:08 AM

Still a bit too much edge enhancement, but not as ghastly as the HDNet airing. Overall it's very pleasing.

#56 of 254 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted November 06 2007 - 09:34 AM

It wasn't rear projection, it was front projection. Its a somewhat different system that give very different results on screen.



Front projection uses a two way mirror in front of the camera lens, and a projector off to the side of the camera that projects the image off of the mirror and on to a screen behind the actors and settings. The screen is coated with a highly reflective 3M material. The same stuff used on road signs. Because the actors, props and sets are as highly reflective as the screen, the projected image doesn't show up on them, even though it is hitting them.



Doug


Thanks for that explanation. I didn't know about that. (I assume you meant to say that the actors, props, and sets aren't as reflective as the screen. Posted Image )



It's like getting an extra extra feature. Posted Image
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#57 of 254 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted November 06 2007 - 03:38 PM

Doug,

I saw a 70mm release print of Grand Prix in a theater. It was at a festival and I said to myself that this was the most detailed film print I have ever seen, it almost looked too sharp at times.

This is definitely not what I see on the HD-DVD. It is still very good and the best rendition of a movie shot in 65 mm that is available on HDM but it certainly could have the sharp as a tack look that you have in many scenes in MI III and Casino Royale WITHOUT any enhancements.

BTW: I am sitting at about 1.1 to 1.2 screen widths away when I watch these movies and I think that sitting at such a distance helps tremendously to be immersed in the movie but also to see differences between transfers.

And 4k is nice if you want to sit about 1 screen width away in your home theater - I would like that very much Posted Image I can see how this will always be a fringe market as we approach the resolving limits of the human eye - therefore no need to go beyond 4k outside of commercial theaters where indeed 8k should be preferred for a smooth picture in the front rows.

Oliver


Given that 35mm has the equivalent of more than 4k resolution, and 65mm vastly exceeds that, you aren't likely to be able to see the difference between 35mm and 65mm on a 2k HD system anymore than you can see the difference on a 480p system. The only differences you might see would be if the film elements are several generations away from the negative. Also dirt and dust specks will appear smaller coming from a 65mm element. However there just isn't enough resolution in HD to show the complete image detail in 35mm much less 65mm.

I'm not talking about 35mm release prints which probably have considerably less detail than 4k.

Doug
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#58 of 254 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted November 06 2007 - 03:41 PM

as reflective as the screen. Posted Image )



It's like getting an extra extra feature. Posted Image


Thats exactly what I meant to say, thanks. I'll correct the original post.



Doug
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#59 of 254 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted November 06 2007 - 04:00 PM

Theaters won't go to 8K for decades, if ever. 4K is difficult enough. There are no 8K cameras for production outside prototype experimental Super HD systems. We have barely started with the first digital 4K cameras (with actual resolution closer to 3K). 4K will be gold standard for very long for regular cinema. If IMAX is going beyond that for their screens remains to be seen.
Your absolutely right about the 8k production cameras. For some reason I had it in my head that the Red One production camera was 8k. I think I was reading somewhere that they are developing an 8k camera. Doug
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#60 of 254 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 06 2007 - 04:03 PM

[quote]

Given that 35mm has the equivalent of more than 4k resolution, and 65mm vastly exceeds that, you aren't likely to be able to see the difference between 35mm and 65mm on a 2k HD system anymore than you can see the difference on a 480p system. The only differences you might see would be if the film elements are several generations away from the negative. Also dirt and dust specks will appear smaller coming from a 65mm element. However there just isn't enough resolution in HD to show the complete image detail in 35mm much less 65mm.



I'm not talking about 35mm release prints which probably have considerably less detail than 4k.

[quote]


Hey Doug,



I think we all agree with that statement. The catch which I was discussing was that the scanning-equipment used, if inferior, can introduce problems such that a scan from a 65mm element looks softer/worse than that of a 35mm element (even through the lens of SD and HD resolution media). So far, this was the typical situation with SD DVD. Now it looks like the trend might continue with HD media until the studios start to invest in transfers using equipment properly optimized for large-format elements.



Hopefully by the time Ben-Hur rolls around on HD, Warner will have learned this lesson. There's just too much beauty and detail in those 65mm elements to toss away on a transfer that looks less-sharp than a conventional 35mm scan!
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