Thursday, June 09, 2005

3D CineForm

Prospect 2K is CineForm's next big thing for film-makers, but it is still in the development stage. We are working with partners to beta test this on real film projects like Lbs (see my first post.) In addition to Lbs we have another project with a partner I can't yet name. This is a cool project working with elements from a 3D IMAX film. Each frame (and for each eye -- left and right images) is 2048x1501 -- although I recommended that they reduce the resolution to 2048x1500 (that odd number simply bothered me -- although I tested to confirm no technical limitations with such weird vertical sizes.) This is a computer generated project so the images are razor sharp.


This new partner was having issues trying to edit from a mixture of Targa files, SGI files and PNGs -- about 100,000 of them. Playback was very slow. So I helped out with a few scripts to batch convert these frames into CineForm Intermediate AVIs. These new files are about 8 to 10 times smaller even while using a quality setting above what was used on Dust To Glory -- computer graphics are easy to compress as there is no noise component. Originally, the frames required 700+ GBytes; now they could nearly fit on a 60GB iPod (my yardstick these days -- I believe I can fit the entire 12 minute 4096x1714 StEM project on an iPod without visual loss.) Now as C.I. AVIs the playback is real-time and with multiple streams. I even tried successfully (for fun) playback of left and right channels as two picture in pictures so I could "cross-them-in" to view the 3D.

I'll tell more when I'm allowed.

2 comments:

Ideas in Blue said...

David,

This sounds like exciting news. I am in the pre-production process for an action adventure film to be shot in Turkey next year and we have decided to shoot in HD. I have followed the news about Prospect HD with great interest and was very much looking forward to the release of D2G, which was sort of a disappointment for me, specially after a 300-mile round trip, for the quality of the copy I got to see, running on its 6th week on a theather with very poor projection standards, and well, it was not really what I had so dearly hoped for. And though I know who the culprit is, worn out copy and old projector, I was left without really seeing what the Prospect HD can really do.

At any rate, my question is a bit off the 3D cineform path, but wanted to ask anyway. Are there any plans for Cineform, either by itself or in conjunction with other companies, to release a sort of Prospect based digital camera reel, a drive based solution that converts in real time to Prospect HD from the camera HD-SDI port? This would be, in my opinion, one of the most revolutionary paths for Cineform to travel, and surely something that would bring in a zillion film makers to the company, who like myself, refuse to settle for the somewhat inferior 3:1:1 quality of the on camera VTR on the Sony F900 camera and want to shoot and post on 4:2:2 at least, without having to affix the camera to a computer. Is there such thing on the pipelines?

Regards,

Rudi Castineyra
Miami, FL.
www.IdeasinBlue.com

David said...

Rudi,

Sorry you got to see a bad print -- I got to see the cast and crew screening, so the print was brand new and beautiful. We all need to move to digital projection.

As for you ideas on bypassing 3:1:1 aquistion -- we are right there with you. I can't give you details but we have many plans in this area. In the meantime several customers are using Prospect HD systems on-set, directly capturing to drives so that the tape remains just a backup.