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yochua
02-08-2007, 05:31 PM
Here are some screengrabs from our feature film “Delusions of Grandeur.” We are shooting it on the SI-2K mini.

http://bdfilms.biz/bdfilms/screengrabs.htm

Enjoy
Josh

Erik Olson
02-08-2007, 05:33 PM
That's a man-man baby! Great looking stills there. Very nice color rendition and clear as all get out. How would you rate Iridas on a scale of one to ten for on-set practicality?

Keep us posted!

e

yochua
02-08-2007, 06:03 PM
Well, we had already been shooting and had our work flow going for about a week before SI anounced their deal with Iradis, so we are not using it. However, the files are raw so I haven’t been too fussy about having the exact color correction.
I work with some great artist who are less technical and don’t understand the, lets do it in post mentality. So we light it to the look that we want, I get the color correction close and shoot. The camera has really been great, recreating exactly what we wanted, instead of some mediocre rendition that you expect from video.
The footage posted is exactly what came out of the camera, no color correction or anything. I just compressed the bitmap that PPro spit out to a jpeg and made a small version for preview.
Josh

strancali
02-08-2007, 07:26 PM
vochua, very nice grabs. Do you have a clip you can share? Also, what was your purchased price for the SI-mini? I am seriously considering holding off on the HVX and just invest in this instead. Please let me know.

thanks

Jason Rodriguez
02-08-2007, 09:22 PM
WOW!!!!

Josh, I've been looking at images from this camera day after day for the past couple years (it's been two years since we started Development), and I must say, you're images are simply amazing . . . thank you so much for posting them. Not that I'm surprised in the capabilities of the camera, but your awesome artistic abilities to take a tool and create such eye-popping results. Kudos!

BTW, I'm looking at the images, and they look like they are rendered with bilinear (very simple demosaic) . . . I can send you our advanced adaptive debayer algorithm for your high-end output (too slow for interactive editing). I will PM you the link.

ropbo
02-08-2007, 11:00 PM
I'm surprised by the quality of these grabs. Didn't imagine the cheap Schneider 16mm lenses could produce such beautiful images. Great job Josh (and SI guys).

yochua
02-08-2007, 11:49 PM
vochua, very nice grabs. Do you have a clip you can share? Also, what was your purchased price for the SI-mini? I am seriously considering holding off on the HVX and just invest in this instead. Please let me know.

thanks


Hi strancali, as one of the pre-production run SI-2K Mini users, my price situation was a little bit complicated including the fact that I had to buy the DVR or pay $1500 for a final upgrade to the production camera. However, if you are looking to find out what is the least expensive amount you can get this thing up and running for, I am the person to talk to.
For those considering the Mini option, make sure that you realize that it is for a more controlled setting. And when you take it out on the road like we did, you need a crew. It’s not a one man camera. With the DVR, I think you can do the more one man and a camera documentary thing if you want, but not with the Mini.
The shopping list for a basic setup will include:
Mini $12500.
Laptop $2000-$2500.
Cineform Prospect HD for editing the footage $1500.
Touch screen monitor 7”, you can probably get for about $450 on eBay.
Plus the arm will probably be another $150-$250 from Silicon Imaging, don’t know of any other source and I wouldn’t seriously consider not having either monitor or mount (and I seriously consider every cost cutting idea).
VGA Ethernet extender by Gefen $200.
USB extender. Two options. 3 x 16’USB extension cords from Fry’s electronics for 17 bucks each to make 48’ for about $50 bucks (perfect for a 50’ set of cables). Each extension cord has a little box that powers the extension by the USB, it worked well for me, I used my handy dandy electrical tape and taped them together. Option 2 is to buy a Gefen USB extender for around $180 plus whatever Cat-5/6 cable you want. Don’t try using a different brand, it didn’t work, that’s why I found a solution from Fry’s.
For cables, I would recommend getting at least one that is shielded from Fry’s (it seems that no one else sells them) to protect the signal. Plus I think it helps ground the camera. I would make one set 50’ long for the majority of your use. The idea of having a 100’ or 150’ cable is great until you try wrapping and unwrapping 3 cat-5/6’s that long for every setup.
For those that are confused, you need 3 data cables gong to the Mini, the signal cable for your data capture (preferably shielded), the VGA cable to the monitor and a USB for the touch screen. That will be 3 cat-5/6 or 2 cat-5/6 and a set USB extensions cords strung together for the touch screen. (Just a note, Fry’s always has these extension cords and their employees always insist that they do not. The last time I sent someone to Fry’s to buy one, they spent 3 hours going back and forth between two different departments, both of which had it, before I was called and I got the Fry’s guy on the phone and insisted that he look it up on the computer.)
You will need a base plate. If you don’t have one, you can buy one for about $130, or you can do what I did and drill some holes in a piece of ¼ inch aluminum about 3’X8’, then tap a ¼ 20 hole for the monitor mount. Shooting without a base plate is not a viable option, but it doesn’t necessarily have to cost more the $10.
I spent about $600-700 for old school 16mm Schneider lenses on eBay. You can buy the Fujinon CCTV lenses for around $250 each from B and H, but you have to back order them.
I bought a battery to run the Mini and monitor so I didn’t have to add and extension cord and to the cables that I was running to the Mini and monitor. I got a 180watt-hour battery pack made for biking at night on-line for about $160 and rig it up. It powered the Mini and monitor for the entire day without me worrying much about it running out of electricity in the middle of a shoot.
You will need some storage options for you files.
You will need some way to record audio. I used my old DVX and sinked in post. It took about a week to for me to sink 20 hours of footage.
That is all I can think of right now, I will let someone else do that math.
Josh

Emanuel
02-09-2007, 02:54 AM
This camera rocks! Congrats to all: SI team (especially to Ari, Jason and David) and to the movie crew, as well. Without the artists...

Ralph Oshiro
02-09-2007, 03:06 AM
Holy crap those look good!

Mars United
02-09-2007, 09:41 AM
Thanks for sharing, yochua! I'm intrigued by how you got so much color to pop through. My experience is that without a .look file loaded, the image is very flat. Is this because of the ammount of light (and technique) and filters/gels etc?

Be great to see the finished product (or some clips in the meantime). Congrats!!

Jason Rodriguez
02-09-2007, 10:40 AM
Hi Chris,

Josh might be using a version previous to the .look file integration where we had a lot of the color, white-balance and gamma information "baked" into the file format so files looked more "normal" straight out of the camera but at the cost of not being able to adjust these parameters later on . . . the latest versions have these parameters all as metadata with a .look file and some other adjustable headers in the AVI/QT file so that all parameters are adjustable in post. But if you turn off the metadata rendering, you get that "flat" file you're speaking of which is the RAW 10-bit log format.

Mars United
02-09-2007, 10:47 AM
OK, thanks, Jason, that makes sense. Cheers.

yochua
02-09-2007, 11:25 AM
Thanks for sharing, yochua! I'm intrigued by how you got so much color to pop through. My experience is that without a .look file loaded, the image is very flat. Is this because of the ammount of light (and technique) and filters/gels etc?

Be great to see the finished product (or some clips in the meantime). Congrats!!


I will be back in LA next week shooting and will have access to my server then. I will try to get some footage uploaded.
Jason, what is the best render procedure to put a clip on the web so that it is small as possible, yet full quality? Cineform Raw will give me only seconds for 20Megs or so. Non of the compression schemes I can think of will give the quality for a good demonstration.
As for the color, I just used the color correction presets that I want, which is a form of “look” file and let the artist do their thing. The rest will be fixed in post. The only filter we used was a polarizer for exterior shots. The polarizer was a must for exterior shots to get rid of glare. Glare was a constant problem with exterior shots, much more that I remember having with the DVX. I think my problem was a combination of old school lenses that don’t have the proper coating, doing things I would not have done with the DVX because of the dynamic range options, not having a matte box, and a certain amount of anal retention.

I work with artist that are big on creating a feel, look and a lot of color. If you click on the buttons at the top of the page where the pictures are posted, you can go to “trailers”, all the color trailers were done on our DVX-PAL. It is some of the most colorful DVX footage that I have seen. This has a lot to do with the art and lighting; even though we have a PAL DVX that records color better then the NTSC version.


If you care to listen to my two cents. A camera is always going to compromise what is on set in real life, the question is how much and in what way. What you end up with is dependant as much on the art that created your “look” as the medium your “look” it is captured on. This camera has enough resolution, dynamic range, color, flexibility etc. to make these issues non-issues for an independent filmmaker. In my opinion, this camera produces better quality pictures than any 16mm camera. It is as good a camera as an independent filmmaker will ever need. If you cannot make the movie that you are envisioning with this camera, maybe the issue isn’t with the camera.
I don’t really plan on upgrading. This camera is it. You will not ever need anything more until you are singed on to make a multi-million dollar action movie. If it is a multi-million dollar drama, I would still use this camera. Why not? Drama doesn’t need all the 3D Imax look that newer cameras will eventually have. You don’t really ever want to see every pore and every wrinkle of the actor in a drama.
Josh

yochua
02-09-2007, 11:30 AM
WOW!!!!

Josh, I've been looking at images from this camera day after day for the past couple years (it's been two years since we started Development), and I must say, you're images are simply amazing . . . thank you so much for posting them. Not that I'm surprised in the capabilities of the camera, but your awesome artistic abilities to take a tool and create such eye-popping results. Kudos!

BTW, I'm looking at the images, and they look like they are rendered with bilinear (very simple demosaic) . . . I can send you our advanced adaptive debayer algorithm for your high-end output (too slow for interactive editing). I will PM you the link.

Thanks Jayson,
I would apreciate the link very much.
Josh

Jason Rodriguez
02-09-2007, 11:43 AM
I PM'd it to you last night . . . should be in your private message in-box here on this forum (not personal email).

Jason Rodriguez
02-09-2007, 11:52 AM
Hey Josh,

Unfortunately the best presentation format I've seen for the web is either H.264 or WMV-HD at higher bit-rates, like 8-10Mb/s . . . anything else and the file will be much too large for download.

I think if you either did a QT using H.264 or WMV-HD movie at 1080/24P, did dual-pass recording, and set the bit-rate to around 10Mb/s (not megabytes per second, megabits), you'll get really good results that should look good on the web for an extended clip.

yochua
02-09-2007, 12:03 PM
Thanks Jayson,
I will try to have a clip up a couple of weeks from now.

Mars United
02-09-2007, 01:18 PM
Jason, I just sent you a PM. Thanks!

yochua
02-09-2007, 01:54 PM
I'm surprised by the quality of these grabs. Didn't imagine the cheap Schneider 16mm lenses could produce such beautiful images. Great job Josh (and SI guys).

I think the picture quality of the the schneider lenses are great. The old school coating on them is their main issue. Though I haven't ever shot with an $8000 lens, I would imaging that glare is no where near the head-ach that it is with these lenses.

hemophilia
02-09-2007, 06:52 PM
Excellent looking stuff, thanks for posting!

Were the candles gained-up? If so by how much?

yochua
02-09-2007, 07:09 PM
No, the candles were not gained up, I shot them as is. My intention was to use some fill, but when we were shooting the director liked the way it looked without any fill and so did I. I thought about gain, but I haven't used the gain much on this camera because I am not sure how much better it is than just boosting the picture in post. I was a bit too busy at the time to stop and find out. Any input Jason?

Jason Rodriguez
02-09-2007, 09:59 PM
Actually because the gain is analog, not digital, it will look better than gaining up in post . . . the only stipulation is that if you're going to hit the gain, I would advise that you re-set the black level for the given gain setting you're on, and when you gain back down, reset the black level.

Depending on how deep you want to dig into the blacks, you don't have to re-set the black level for +6db gain, but you will definitely for +12db. If you are going to dig into the blacks in post for whatever reason, then you will be required to reset the black even with a +6db gain, since the analog gain will cause further offset than what the black clamping is set for and you'll need to recalibrate for that new offset.

As noted though, if you're not digging into the blacks, or plan to crush the blacks, or just leave the picture as-is, then you typically don't need to reset the black levels on the sensor, at least not with the new production versions. The older sensor you have Josh might still need a recalibration since it is a bit noisier than then newer sensors.

Emanuel
09-04-2007, 04:19 AM
I'm surprised by the quality of these grabs. Didn't imagine the cheap Schneider 16mm lenses could produce such beautiful images. Great job Josh (and SI guys).Actually, I couldn't think...the same. :huh: :kiss:

BTW, I'd like to follow a comparative between SI vs. RED. Anyone there?

Andrew Brinkhaus
09-04-2007, 11:54 AM
Jason, or others, I'm looking for an Si-2K in or near Orlando for rental...ideas?

Mars United
09-04-2007, 12:06 PM
BTW, I'd like to follow a comparative between SI vs. RED. Anyone there?

I'd like that too. An unbiased comparison.

My first impressions: if you want something that looks like film, go with the SI-2K, if you want something that looks like super HD video, go with the Red One.