Tag Archives: post-production

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Art of Mixing Motion Pictures

‘Our primary rerecording format remains 5.1-channel soundtracks,’ considers ‘Doc’ Goldstein, VP of post-production engineering at Universal Studios Sound. ‘But we can accommodate other multichannel formats and always have our eye on the future requirements of filmmakers.’ The ubiquitous 5.1-channel format involves three screen channels (left, centre, right) plus separate surround channels beside and behind the audience (labelled left-surround and right-surround) in addition to a low-frequency extension/LFE channel that carries reduced-bandwidth material (hence the ‘0.1’ label).

Read the rest of this fine Mel Lambert/ProAudio Asia article at:
The art of mixing motion pictures – Pro Audio Central

Part 2 of article, speaks about the Iosono Sound Audio System: 
Iosono Surround Sound – a perfect companion to 3D releases?

Such material is carried to audiences on analogue film using one of three data-compressed formats: Dolby Digital, which optically prints the digitised audio between the sprocket holes; DTS, which uses a time code track on the film to synchronise a companion CD-ROM that carries the multichannel audio; and SDDS – Sony Dynamic Digital Sound – which uses a similar technique to Dolby but, as we shall see, can accommodate additional screen channels.

Dolby Digital premiered in 1992 with Batman Returns, while DTS launched a year later with Jurassic Park

Meanwhile, reacting to a need for a more immersive soundtrack experience and to provide additional panning options …

The first Digital Surround EX release, in May 1999, was for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Earlier this year Dolby unveiled …

There is however another 7.1-channel format that offers extra behind-the-screen loudspeakers. …

According to Gary Johns, SVP of Sony’s Digital Cinema Solutions, there are roughly 7,000 screens worldwide equipped for SDDS 5.1 playback, with fewer than 1,000 screens outfitted for SDDS 7.1. ‘…

‘Of the formats beyond 5.1, we have seen some 7.1-channel mixes,’ Universal’s Mr Goldstein offers. …

All current analogue film releases also carry a two-channel optical Dolby Pro Logic soundtrack that contains…

In addition to the IMAX presentation format that uses a 70mm film or digital file…

Tomlinson Holman, formerly with Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch and now president of TMH Corporation, has been advocating several playback formats, including a 10.2 configuration. Co-developed with Chris Kyriakakis of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and first demonstrated …

‘The difference is not the placement of the speakers,’ Mr Holman stresses, ‘but rather the type of speakers and the information sent to them. 12.2 would use both surround-diffuse and surround-direct channels.’ …

Multichannel Mixes for digital cinema

The advent of digital projection with playback from hard-disk servers rather than analogue film …

‘Beginning in April 2011,’ points out Charles Flynn from the DCinemaCompliance Group, …

The ability to carry uncompressed audio to audiences at enhanced bit rates and sample rates will extend filmmakers’ creative options, …

Sony Pictures Studios’ postproduction complex features five state-of-the art dubbing stages that are ‘capable …

LTO-5 Basics


LTO 5 Evolution Chart

Questions remain about usability for small and medium sized businesses who wish to maintain their own back-up systems. Maintaining a library of tapes doesn’t have the same drag and drop ease as hard-disks. It is absolutely mandatory, for example, that the tapes must not be allowed to just sit on the shelf for long lengths of time, but rather must be run through the hardware on a regular basis (which also has the advantage of finding repairable errors.) On the other hand, 1 x 1017 error rates are enticing.

Researchers are developing systems to assist with making tape an easy part of the workflow: The Linear Tape File System (LTFS). LTFS is available to LTO-5 because if its new method of streaming data to the tape in a manner that allows partitioning. This is an evolving issue that should be monitored, or better yet, brought up in industry association meetings to share experiences and problems. See: LTO-5 and LTFS: Shaking the Pillars of Heaven

This is a good place to also mention the Pergamum project, which attempts to build an archive system from low-cost drives. They have exhibited at the last 2 NAB conventions. UCSC computer scientists develop solutions for long-term storage of digital data – UC Santa Cruz

Previous articles on the subject of Archiving:

IEEE (MSST2010) Symposium on Massive Storage Systems Papers Available

IVC/Point.360 Archive Development

Editshare Storage At IBC

Attached are some basic white papers and datasheets.

Question 0: What is the exact definition of DCinema

[The question is being answered by David Reisner of D-Cinema Consulting. David is a board member of several organizations such as the ASC and ISDCF, co-author of several books on many fields of the cinema process and specializes in design and implementation of digital cinema infrastructure projects.]

For nearly 100 years, motion pictures have been delivered to theaters on 35mm film and have been shown with film projectors.

Digital Cinema, officially called D-Cinema in the technical community, delivers movies to theaters as digital files – most often on harddisk, sometimes via satellite, probably in future also by network/internet.  The movies are then shown using digital cinema servers (special purpose computer systems) and theater-grade digital projectors.  D-Cinema also includes/requires a number of digital and physical security mechanisms, to keep content (movies) safe.  The key documents are the DCI “Specification” (actually a requirements document) and a number of SMPTE standards.

D-Cinema requires support for 2048 x 1080 or 4096 x 2160 images and 14 foot-lambert brightness (similar to film standard brightness, although theaters sometimes use lower light levels for cost).  Movies are distributed in 12-bit X’Y’Z’ color – much more color detail than HDTV’s Rec. 709.  X’Y’Z’ can represent all the colors that a human can see, but the real limitation is the projector (and, to be fair, the camera and post-production process).  All D-Cinema projectors show at least a minimum color gamut which is a significantly wider range of color than Rec. 709 – similar to the range supported by film.

For some markets or purposes (e.g. pre-show, advertising, maybe small markets), some people use things informally called electronic cinema, e-cinema.  There is no formal standard for e-cinema although there is some informal agreement in certain areas.  E-cinema will have lower resolution, narrower color, less brightness, and little or no security.

Major studio content will only be distributed to D-Cinema systems that meet the SMPTE and DCI specifications and requirements, and have passed the DCI Compliance Test.

David Reisner
D-Cinema Consulting
image quality, color, workflow, hybrid imaging
[email protected]

Purpose and Contact

There are many tangential groups who create and capture and manipulate the bits, from one lens at the capture point to the other at the exhibition point. There are a lot of specialty magazines and blogs and a lot of distractions in one’s own field to keep focused upon.

We feel that there is a blank spot for people who want to get the highlights of the many various and closely aligned segments that are just outside their daily purview.

Thus, Industry Online.

Our goal is to focus more on tech news and white papers than on commercial press and sales press releases. We won’t have advertising, but we will allow vendors to post special sales (when that directory and page is set up.)

The idea for this tool was formed when Marvin Hall gave a seminal SMPTE presentation at NAB 2007 which spoke to the issues that Modern Video/Film had to go through on each piece that they take in, massage and kick out. Clearly, among the pages of standards and constant deadlines, among the headlong-rush of technology in every particular sub-category, there seems to be a need for cross communication. 

Since we are all forced to be computer experts and help protect copyright interests, we’ll also attempt to keep an eye out for important security information.

And, of course, training—the field is not only fast moving, but we are requiring IT and digital expertise in places where mechanical skill was more important. The long hours of creating standards, and the benefits derived, will be for nought if they and best practices aren’t passed along.

So, we thank you for this opportunity. Your editor began in the pro-audio world in the 70’s. Since then he has sold, installed and trained people on entertainment technology equipment in film and TV studios around the world. He remembers how complicated and expensive motion tracking and 16 gig RAIDs were in the 90’s. In 2002 he was part of the installation groups who installed the first hundred digital cinema systems for the Star Wars II release. Since then, hundreds of HD-SDI cables and projectionist training hours later, he presents this journal.  


If you see something interesting, pass it along. If you want to cut out a space to broadcast a message, please feel free to use this forum. Also, we take advice well. Please make any comments, requests or complaints to:

Charles ‘C J’ Flynn

OpsCenter Technologies, Inc.  |  Cheyenne, WY
Internet Marine, SARL    |    Sophia Antipolis, FR

cjflynn @ ops center tech .com <remove spaces, of course>

This news magazine is part of the OpsCenterTechnologies online publishing empire (sic – in many ways).

DCinemaTools was introduced in June of 2009, but not live until mid-January 2010.

DCinemaTools Editorial

Welcome to the Industry Online news magazine for the Professional Digital Cinema Industry.

Defining DCinema is like defining the Cote d’Azur and the Riviera. Some people say one or the other goes from St. Tropez into parts of Italy, while some people limit them from Cannes to Monaco. 

Our definition of professional DCinema (in addition to David Reisner’s definition)  is whatever is involved in capturing, manipulating and exhibiting image and sound using high end, professional digital technology. Digital has been part of the post-production world for a long time, in the acquisition world on a more limited level and the exhibition side is just leaving its science phase.

Our goal is to bring together the tangential pieces of information from throughout the internet, so that people focused on one area can find nuance and trends from other areas of the community. But because the exhibition end is expecting to have a tech revolution without a lot of tech savvy people, our focus will tend to be at that group. We hope that we are not “All 3D, All the Time”, but we will cover 3D implications.

We will gather items from blogs and newsletters, but we don’t mean to replace them, just direct you to them as appropriate.

Please contact us whenever you have ideas that might help us help the community.

Finally, the disclosure bit: DCinemaTools is part of the DCinemaComplianceGroup, an organization set up to assist exhibitors in fulfilling their requirements of staying compliant with SMPTE and DCI requirements. It is a work in progress, hopefully available Q2 2011, when the SMPTE specs take over. Our project will include projectionist training in the basics as well as maintaining databases of the daily, weekly and monthly inspection reports.