How digital movies?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Varacin, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. Michael Varacin

    Michael Varacin Stunt Coordinator

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    Harry Potter and Star Wars were shown around here in digital. How do they produce the image on the screen? The resolution would have to be higher then HD to project an image that size and quality.

    How do they do it, and can we see that technology at home anytime soon?
     
  2. Wayne W

    Wayne W Stunt Coordinator

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    The theaters with digital screens that I've been to use DLP projectors with the movie on hard drives.
    DLP:
    http://www.plus-america.com/papers.html
    As far as the brand they don't say, but there are all kinds of DLP digital projectors out there:
    http://www.projectorcentral.com/projector_search.cfm
    Some of them are in the $250,000 range.
    You still need an image-processing solution and I think some of the theaters use QuBit by QuVIS:
    http://www.quvis.com/products/
    All of this hardware is very expensive and there is no way to get the movie in its full digital format...so I don't think we will see this in the home for a very long time, if ever. I'm sure whatever the next direction home video goes (hopefully the next generation of DVDs) will provide a better source for using the high end projectors.
    I hope this info is helpful for you...
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’m pretty sure that the projection equipment is Texas Instruments. At least (IIRC) when I went to see Star Wars in the Dallas area, the DLP-equipped theatre in Plano had TI ads all over. Makes sense, as there is a very big TI presence in the North Dallas burbs.

    In concept the projection equipment is no different than available DLP equipment used at home.

    I don’t know which equipment was used to record either picture.

    You can rent both Sony and Panasonic commercial cameras, though they are quite expensive.
     
  4. Wayne W

    Wayne W Stunt Coordinator

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    The DLP™ technology is from Texas Instruments. Many different companies have projectors using the TI technology/chipset.

    If you have the money to spend you could buy and setup everything they have in the theaters, but you still wouldn't have access to the movie. The only source you would have currently for the movie is what is available now (DVD and/or DVHS depending on the movie)

    The QuBit encodes the movie for playback probably from a master tape. It is then stored on hard drives at the theater and played back using the QuBit.


    Episode II was shot using Sony 24p digital HD cameras equipped with Panavision lenses and the Sony HD video recorders. Sony actually developed and produced a 24 frame HD recorder (Before this all the HD recorders would only record at 30 fps) for Lucas. The lenses were also made specifically for these cameras. The Episode II DVD has a couple of great documentaries that cover the background on the cameras used.
     
  5. Michael Varacin

    Michael Varacin Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, so if it is recorded in nothing better then standard HD resolution, then when HD DVD is available, I should be able to project it onto a 30 ft screen and still have the same image quality? That doesn't seem right. It seems to me, they would have needed a higher resolution master then even HD.
     
  6. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    You'd think. However, I imagine that higher color depth and less lossy compression in DLP theaters makes up for it.

    (Though not by much; my DLP experiences haven't been nearly as good as others', apparently)
     
  7. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Michael, when we do get HD-DVD, we'll likely have to deal with issues commercial theaters don't have to mess with: Compression artifacts and edge enhancement, for instance. But yes, the resolution will be the same. So if you can afford to build such a huge room (and a projector with enough light output), you can have a commercial-sized screen and the picture will look good. And if you can afford the room, then you can probably add a Teranex video processor to further improve the image. And if you can do all those things, PLEASE INVITE ME OVER! [​IMG]
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I am pretty sure that some of the HD cameras (at least the Sony), have slightly higher resolution than the standard broadcast HD of 1080i or 720p. Seems to me that its 1240 or somesuch. I am also reasonably sure that this camera is a 24 fps camera, which does not conform to broadcast standards, but rather to what we have come to expect from movies.

    I’m not at all sure of the resolution of the projectors.
     
  9. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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  10. Wayne W

    Wayne W Stunt Coordinator

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    For Star Wars Episode II:
    Quote from the principal engineer Fred Meyers:
    "We're using both the HDW-F900, and the newer HDC-950. The 900 is slightly bigger and has the internal camcorder. The 950 requires recording externally, but for studio applications that's not an issue. The fact that it's slightly smaller and has some fibre interfaces to it allows us to integrate it a little bit more easily into some of our elaborate camera rigs here at ILM."
    Full article:
    http://www.sonyusacinealta.com/artic...0827|1,00.html
    --------
    SONY HDC950 HD Color Camera:
    Multi-format, multi-frame rate portable studio/EFP camera. The HDC-950 is capable of capturing 1080 24/25/30 frame progressive or 50/60 interlace images, as well a 480 60 frame progressive. 720P captures requires the additional HDCU-903 line converter board that resides in the HDCU-900 Camera control unit. . The HDC-950 employs a 2.2 million "square" pixel CCD imager, 12-bit AD and a two million gate VLSI for up to 34 bits calculation. The HDC-900 requires either the HDVF-20A 2" viewfinder or the HDVF-C750W 6" LCD viewfinder. The HDCU-900 Camera Control Unit is optional.
    Incorporates three 2/3-inch type 16:9 FIT CCD imagers each with 2,200,000 pixels that conform to 1920(H) x 1080(V) CIF (Common Image Format)
    --------
    --------
    SONY HDWF900 HDCAM Multi Format Camcorder
    Multi-format, multi-frame rate High Definition camcorder designed for use for Digital Electronic Cinematography and HDTV / SDTV production. The HDW-F900 is capable of record/playback of 1080 line 24/25/30 frame progressive or 50/60 interlace images. Memory Stick setup sustem memorizes various parameter settings and provides install recall at any time.
    Equipped with the newly developed 2/3" type 2,200,00 sensor FIT imager, providing high resolution 16:9 images
    --------
    Here is another article on the cinematography for Episode II:
    http://www.theasc.com/magazine/sep02/brave/
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    OT:
    The title of this thread reminded me of the classic telegram exchange between Cary Grant and a publicist inquiring about Grant's age (telegrams charged by the word so you had to be economical):
    Publicist telegram: How old Cary Grant?
    Cary Grant telegram: Old Cary Grant fine. How you?
    [​IMG]
     

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