Posts Tagged ‘ 4k ’

Future Developments of Digital Cinema

February 11, 2013
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Future Developments of Digital Cinema

Preamble I’d watched a DVD screener of Skyfall, and this highly compressed facsimile was a mere 1/10th of the resolution of the 2k original. My wife wanted to see it in the theater, so after I’d already watched it on my computer I enjoyed it in the theater as well. But in the theater, I really started to notice things like the sets, the makeup, how craggy Daniel Craig is getting, and (uh-oh) chromatic aberration from the Master Primes the film was lensed with (citation needed). I almost enjoyed it more on my computer screen, because I was watching a story, whereas in the theater I became more conscious of the craft. Perhaps the lack of visual detail in the DVD screener forced my brain to actively fill in the gaps, engaging my subconscious in an exercise in imagination, whereas the 2k projection made everything very literal. Then, the other night, I was watching (and thoroughly enjoying) an episode of Strikeback from Cinemax, and realized that just about everything I...

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4k vs. 2k vs. HD (part 3 of 3)

April 3, 2012
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2K-vs-HD-vs-Super35-sm

More Art than Science There is more to watching a movie than being presented with a clear picture of fully-lit objects and people in perfect focus. The audience’s involvement in the story has to be more important than any of these technical considerations. I think there’s an audience psychology to consider. The film plays, and the story lives in the audience’s consciousness, sub-conscious and imagination. The audience participates in the film when they are left guessing. The audience is doing the “mental math” to connect the pieces together. For example: We see a shot of a man at his desk. We hear a noise of a glass breaking. The man looks up. Next shot: a closeup of a woman at the door, horrified. She looks down at something on the ground. Next shot:  the man gets up from his desk and approaches the camera. Next shot: a wider shot of the woman and someone walks into frame…but it is not the man we have seen at the desk, it...

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4k vs. 2k vs. HD (part 2 of 3)

April 3, 2012
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Is 2k Enough? Our eye is not the resolution king in the world of nature. Eagles have a much higher density of rods and cones in their eyes and can see details that are invisible to us. For an eagle, 2k looks like SD does to us; blurry. But our eye is very good with extremes of light and dark. Sensitive enough to read a book by moonlight, but hardy enough to pick out details in the edge of a cloud backlit by the sun. Our eye can see a contrast range of something like 20 photographic “stops.” That’s 20 doublings of light intensity, or a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. To our eye, contrast is more important than detail. I remember the first time I saw an image out of a RED ONE (pre-MX). I was stunned. It was displayed on two side-by-side 20″ Apple Cinema displays and the image went right off the edges of the screen. But what’s funny is that I’ve been in a lot of...

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4k vs. 2k vs. HD (part 1 of 3)

April 3, 2012
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4k vs. 2k vs. HD (part 1 of 3)

“Immersive” vs. “Involving” experiences. The 2k spec, for all intents and purposes, is 2048 x 1152, for a total of 2.36 million pixels. HD is 1920 x 1080, for a total of 2.07 million pixels. In other words, HD has 88% of the area (total pixels) that the 2k spec has. On a linear measurement, the difference is only 128 pixels…which only as big as that checkerboard over there. That edge-to-edge resolution difference between HD and 2k is only 6%, which most mortals can’t really see. The 2k spec comes from the digital scanners that scan a film negative from edge to edge. The reality is that Super 35 is, for example, “over-scanned” and the 2048-pixel width of the scan includes some material out of frame, like edge numbers and so on. The total image area of a 1.85:1  aspect ratio is closer to 1850 x 1000 pixels…or 1.85 million pixels total. So film scanned at 2k for digital intermediate results in an image somewhat less than HD, but...

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