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Shooting a feature with GH2 + Helios 44-2 + Kowa Prominar 2x 16-D. Questions.

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Hello everyone,

 

We are planning to shoot a very low budget feature film this summer and I have some questions on the camera set we will use and I hope you can help me on some of the following:

 

1.  The 16:9 sensor on the GH2 + a 2x anamorphic adapter produces a final stretched anamorphic aspect of 3.55. Which would result in (1920x1080)*(2)= 3840x1080. Instead of doing the decompression from 2x, I want to interpret the shot as if pixels would be 1.333 or 1.4587. I know it keeps the image still a little deform but I think I like the look. Whats your technical and/or creative take on it?         (SEE IMAGES BELOW)

 

2. We would project it on standard 2k (2048×1080) DCP cinemas and the final cut would fit into it with a 2048x858 (2.39:1) size movie. Am I right? or does it work in another way?

 

3. I am currently using Sedna AQ1 for max detail against anamorphic softening against big screen projection. Do you think it will hold enough? Would you sharpen in post? Whats you recommend any other hack?

 

Given this 3 points which would be your opinion on this process? Have any of you seen any gh2 anamorphic content projected in 2k dcp? How does it stand?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

P.D. Anyone selling a Kowa 16-h (8z) In order not to be so limited with the 16D in lens minimum mm´s?

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If you want your final image to be 2.35:1, (810x1920),  you should horizontal scale the image from the camera by 150% and reduce vertically by 75% and then crop to 1920 wide from the resultant  image. This means you are discarding 33% of the image width

 

(you have to sacrifice something for your art)

 

PS you can use a 33% wider focal length if the crop is in the center because you will be discarding any vignetted parts.

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Instead of doing the decompression from 2x, I want to interpret the shot as if pixels would be 1.333 or 1.4587. I know it keeps the image still a little deform but I think I like the look. Whats your technical and/or creative take on it?         (SEE IMAGES BELOW)

 

Please don't. I really dislike watching anything that is out of aspect ratio. It just looks wrong. I can't stand it, just like watching 4:3 stretched to 16:9...

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i'd try de-squeezing a little more if i were you. the samples you show are still a little too squeezed. make your frame 1080tall x 2580wide (2.39:1), import your footage and stretch to fill the frame, stretch out as much as you can, adjust the L/R position to best make use of your frame (you have a few hundred pixels which will be out of frame on each side so you can play with horizontal framing to get the most out of each shot. certain shots will allow you to de squeeze more and others less. a landscape or woodland setting which requires more detail can be less stretched out while a close up of a face or a side on view of a car will need to be more accurately de squeezed (closer to the 2x) so they look right.

Based on your DCP suggestion, I would assume it would be best to now export the entire project out as a 4:3 format squeezed export, ready to be de-squeezed by the picture house (who will be using a 2x anamorphic projector lens for anamorphic stuff).

Get everything arranged and nest it all together in your current 2.39:1 frame but now apply a 2x squeeze to the nested project. This will result in a 4:3 image area which is 1080x1440. once put through the picture houses projector your film will take up the full height of the screen but will stretch out to the correct 2.39:1 and fill the width too. if you just make your frame 800 or so pixels tall it will letter box and you will lose 1/3 of your screen area and projector brightness when projected.

Hope this makes sense. I have never done this, but it makes sense from what I have seen in smaller picture houses. i think the loss of pixels on the width is worth it when you consider your picture will properly fill the entire 2.39:1 screen in the cinema, instead of just filling a letterboxed portion of the 1.85:1(or 16:9) part of their screen.

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i'd try de-squeezing a little more if i were you. the samples you show are still a little too squeezed. make your frame 1080tall x 2580wide (2.39:1), import your footage and scale to fill the frame, adjust the L/R position to best make use of your frame (you have a few hundred pixels which will be out of frame on each side so you can play with framing to get the most out of each shot. certain shots will allow you to de squeeze more and others less. a landscape or woodland setting which requires more detail can be less stretched out while a close up of a face or a side on view of a car will need to be more accurately de squeezed (closer to the 2x) so they look right.

Based on your DCP suggestion, I would assume it would be best to now export the entire project out as a 4:3 format squeezed export, ready to be de-squeezed by the picture house (who will be using a 2x anamorphic projector lens for anamorphic stuff).

Get everything arranged and nest it all together in your current 2.39:1 frame but now apply a 2x squeeze to the nested project. This will result in a 4:3 image area which is 1080x1440. once put through the picture houses projector your film will take up the full height of the screen but will stretch out to the correct 2.39:1 and fill the width too. if you just make your frame 800 or so pixels tall it will letter box and you will lose 1/3 of your screen area and projector brightness when projected.

Hope this makes sense. I have never done this, but it makes sense from what I have seen in smaller picture houses. i think the loss of pixels on the width is worth it when you consider your picture will properly fill the entire 2.39:1 screen in the cinema, instead of just filling a letterboxed portion of the 1.85:1(or 16:9) part of their screen.

Great, thanks! The only thing is, from what I´ve read and been told there are no more anamorphic projections left so squeezing everything to a final 4:3 won´t work :S Check this links: 

http://www.antoniourquijo.com/en/blog/dcp-for-you-anamorphic-projection

http://www.arridigital.com/forum/index.php?topic=7495.0

 

 

 

The question is, what would be the balance to get the best out of the GH2 + the Kowa 2x anamorphic taking in consideration that the final file should fit the 2k dcp (2048x1080)? Taking in consideration that we prefer and want an anamorphic look.

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Great, thanks! The only thing is, from what I´ve read and been told there are no more anamorphic projections left so squeezing everything to a final 4:3 won´t work :S Check this links: 

http://www.antoniourquijo.com/en/blog/dcp-for-you-anamorphic-projection

http://www.arridigital.com/forum/index.php?topic=7495.0

 

 

 

The question is, what would be the balance to get the best out of the GH2 + the Kowa 2x anamorphic taking in consideration that the final file should fit the 2k dcp (2048x1080)? Taking in consideration that we prefer and want an anamorphic look.

 

Ignore my last comment:)  I guess they must scale the projected image to fill the full height of the screen.  this method removes all reasons for anamorphic in the first place.  losing 1/3 of the projector area and brightness too.  I guess when I have seen the 2x projection lenses in action it has been during film projection?

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Ignore my last comment:)  I guess they must scale the projected image to fill the full height of the screen.  this method removes all reasons for anamorphic in the first place.  losing 1/3 of the projector area and brightness too.  I guess when I have seen the 2x projection lenses in action it has been during film projection?

Yep, the reasons for anamorphic use is avoiding to upscale the height from 1920 to 2048 and because of esthetic anamorphic appeal.

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with the limitations of 2k projection I'd change my suggestion to not include the nesting and squeezing to 4:3. but the actual desqueeze and framing of the image I mention prior to that I still stand by. work in a timeline with your full height of 1080 (maybe even work in a 4k timeline and scale up. the gh2 is pretty detailed for 1080p, and with a bit of 4k grain overlay and delicate sharpening might pass for 4k capture, downscaled to 2k) and then export out at the desired frame height of around 800px.. what a shame!140px off the top and bottom from your original 1080p footage. that's a lot of waste!, especially since you'll have lost a fair bit of horizontal resolution during your de squeeze and cropping from 3.55 to 2.39.

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with the limitations of 2k projection I'd change my suggestion to not include the nesting and squeezing to 4:3. but the actual desqueeze and framing of the image I mention prior to that I still stand by. work in a timeline with your full height of 1080 (maybe even work in a 4k timeline and scale up. the gh2 is pretty detailed for 1080p, and with a bit of 4k grain overlay and delicate sharpening might pass for 4k capture, downscaled to 2k) and then export out at the desired frame height of around 800px.. what a shame!140px off the top and bottom from your original 1080p footage. that's a lot of waste!, especially since you'll have lost a fair bit of horizontal resolution during your de squeeze and cropping from 3.55 to 2.39.

Yep I guess thats it. The actual desqueeze and framing of the image you mentioned before are alright and I guess (correct me if I´m wrong) that if I don´t use the entire 3.55 than I can use a wider lens which vignettes less than 2.39. I say this because the minimum lens to use with the Kowa 16-D is a 50mm.

 

 

 

 (maybe even work in a 4k timeline and scale up. the gh2 is pretty detailed for 1080p, and with a bit of 4k grain overlay and delicate sharpening might pass for 4k capture, downscaled to 2k) 

 

Could you recommend me any workflow for this. Where do you get your 4k grain from?

 

I´ve read the gh2 hold good up to 2.5k. Has anyone dcp projected or seen dcp projected gh2 material?

 

Thanks richg101

 

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One way i've found is to use QT7, which has a function to crop the image without reducing the quality & export it into a new file size. Basically what it does is chop the sides of the clip off to make whatever size you want & then you can de-squeeze the footage to your preferred aspect ratio (so you can go from 1920x1080 to 1290x1080, which when you add a x2 de-squeeze makes 2581x1080 = 2.39).

This will entail a few tests & using some masking tape on the sides of your monitor when you are filming so that you don't chop off anything important. 

The only problem is the apple gamma shift, but you could combat this by grading once the whole thing is edited together & re-sized to your preferred aspect ratio.

 

Open in QT7

Export

Options (opens Movie Settings)

Size - Dimensions (choose custom & fill in the new size - basically alter 1920 to smaller)

Tick Preserve Aspect Ratio box & then in the pull down window choose Crop.

 

Its the only way i've found to crop without losing any resolution & getting a proper de-squeeze for a x2 anamorphic into 2.39 aspect ratio. 

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Could you recommend me any workflow for this. Where do you get your 4k grain from?

 

I´ve read the gh2 hold good up to 2.5k. Has anyone dcp projected or seen dcp projected gh2 material?

 

Thanks richg101

 

if gh2 holds up to 2.5k, I recon it'll be fine if you work in a 4k timeline with the intention of exporting out at a smaller frame (1080 tall).  

 

Simply open up your editor and create a working project with a timeline that is DCP 4k anamorphic 2.39:1 ( 4096x1716 frame size).  Now import in your footage and scale vertically and horizontally (with proportions unconstrained).  you'll need to scale height by about 150% (which isnt very much really) and then stretch horizontally to get the desired amount of de-sqeeze.  if you shoot with very sharp lenses you can then apply a tiny bit of gaussian blur (maybe 3 pixels wide) to soften up the harsher pixel steps due to the upscale.  then apply a slight sharpen to take it back.  then drop a true 4k film grain scan over the top (each pixel of the 4k scan will be 1/4 the size of the upscaled pixels from the gh2 you have underneath.  carefully adjusting contrast and sharpness of the 4k grain can make it add a perceived sharpness to the whole image.  

 

now when you export/downsize to 2k anamorphic you will be downscaling the image back to smaller than it was originally but with hyper small pixels over the top.  this process seems to give a nice impression that the film was shot on something higher end than the projector it is being played back on.  also the 4k grain adds some detail for the codec to bite into meaning it see's detail instead of just dark or light areas of block colour.  since in some situations you might need to mask noise by crushing backs it's nice to have the 4k grain there on top to disguise this and give the codec a bit of detail it thinks it needs to keep intact.

 

Just my opinions based on a bit of experimenting.  give it a go.  export a small portion of the uprezed footage with 4k grain overlay and look at it 100% pixel magnification and it certainly looks slightly more detailed and crisp, while not being too obvious if done right.      
 

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vimeo.com/56135073

 

this was the exact technique I used for this video.  4k uprez and blur/sharpen, 4k overlay export at 1080x1920.  this is with sony nex5n which is about 1/2 as sharp as the gh2.  it was a lot darker than it looks but i was shooting wide open at f1.8

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vimeo.com/56135073

 

this was the exact technique I used for this video.  4k uprez and blur/sharpen, 4k overlay export at 1080x1920.  this is with sony nex5n which is about 1/2 as sharp as the gh2.  it was a lot darker than it looks but i was shooting wide open at f1.8

Awesome! Any grain you could recommend me? Preferably cheap or free? or easy to get if you know what I mean.

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The grain tool in AfterEffects is quite good.  Loads of options so it can be intimidating if you're looking for something with just a dial or two but you have complete control.  It's worth finding a setting you like and running out an uncompressed clip of the grain applied to either a black or 50% gray solid though and mixing this over your footage (repeating the clip as needed) since it's on the slow side.

 

You might google for a grain clip someone else has made and posted somewhere.

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