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Over the past couple of years at AbelCine, we’ve grown increasingly aware of the shortcomings of the charts used in many rental checkout bays throughout the industry, including our own. Lenses being prepped by camera assistants were regularly being returned to the service department to check back focus, only to discover that the lens was fine. In many cases, it was just too hard for camera assistants to consistently see focus accurately with the star pattern on the chart we provided.

When we planned the redesign of our Burbank facility, we set out to upgrade our rental department with the most state-of-the-art and efficient rental bays we could imagine. A large part of this was introducing a completely redesigned resolution chart specifically designed to meet the more stringent demands of today’s 4K digital cinema cameras and lenses. 

Jesse Rosen, AbelCine’s Director of Technical Development, designed the charts, beginning with extensive research on what to measure, the many patterns and designs to consider, and evaluating what worked and what didn’t. 

You can download the white paper here or read the entire white paper below.

…continue reading AbelCine Resolution Analysis Charts White Paper

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Wireless camera and lens control devices have many advantages. However, interference from other radio and microwave signals can cause problems. In these two white papers from Preston Cinema Systems, methods for detecting and avoiding this interference are discussed.

The Wireless Jungle – This brief tutorial is intended to provide insight into the causes of interference in the 2.4 GHz band and describe steps that can be taken to avoid communication disruption. A basic overview of the technology used to send data over wireless channels is outlined. Methods to choose clear channels are also discussed.

How to Avoid the Wireless Interference – The best way to avoid interference is to determine which other devices are using the 2.4 GHz band, and choose a clear channel for the FI+Z. A spectrum analyzer provides a graphical display of radio signals, showing the strength of the signals versus their frequency or channel. Inexpensive analyzers and software have recently become available which allow any camera assistant to survey a site for 2.4 GHz activity. The operation of these devices is outlined in this white paper.

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Having a well organized, long-term solution for archiving acquisition media is an essential consideration for any production. AbelCine offers a number of solutions and can help you find the system that works best for your needs. 

On this page, we have collected white papers on this subject. Check back from time to time, as we will be adding more.

Protecting Digital Assets for the Long Term – This paper discusses the various aspects of archive operations and risks to data stored in the digital domain. The most probable technologies for long-term archive reliability based on modern technology will be discussed.

LTO – Big, Fast and Cheap – This white paper from BRU discusses the average media costs of LTO tapes and their backwards and forwards compatibility. LTO as a long-term storage media (25-50 years in the future) is also discussed.

Deliver a Superior Digital Archive Solution for the Media and Entertainment Industry – This white paper introduces the Cache-A archive appliance, which integrates HP LTO-5 tape drives with Linear Tape File System (LTFS) technology and Cache-A archiving solutions (hardware and software) to deliver long-term archival stability, ease of deployment and use.

Tape: Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile – In this BRU white paper, the effectiveness of LTO tape as both a near-line backup and long-term archival storage medium is discussed.

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Many productions today consider the archiving of acquisition media something to be dealt with after completion of the work. Other projects consider the backing up of original data onto additional hard drives as their archive. These, however, do not utilize the organizational and long-term advantages of a proper archival system.

Backing up data means making safety copies, usually on set. In actuality, this is a safety measure, designed to insure that there is a duplicate of the camera original should something happen to the original files. As such, this type of backup is not organized in any fashion other than the extemporaneous way in which it happened to be captured while shooting. A backup is really just a spare copy of the original.

By contrast, an archive is an organized library of content, stored on stable, long-term media. Spinning hard drives, sensitive to eventual physical decay and damage, are not suitable long-term storage media. Material must be organized with a searchable structure. There should be a searchable system of added commentary data, informational tagging, logging, metadata, and color correction handles if the footage has traveled through a post process.

An archive should not merely be considered storage of media after a production is completed. The use of a proper library storage system for an on-going production increases efficiency and protects the media assets.

…continue reading Data Back Up and Archiving: Understanding the Differences

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Topics Arri

Here, we have collected ARRI’s white papers on the ALEXA camera line. This page will be updated as new white papers are released.

ALEXA XR Module Workflows - July 3, 2013

Most of the big Hollywood features that were shot in ARRIRAW were recorded on Codex recorders. The technology used by Codex, its reliability, smooth workflow and their reputation led us to engage in a close partnership, to create a more powerful integrated recording module for the ALEXA. The fruit of this collaboration is the ALEXA XR Module which, for the first time, allows uncompressed in-camera ARRIRAW recording. This not only makes for a smaller and lighter ARRIRAW camera package, it also simplifies setup and operation and enables a faster, more reliable and more versatile workflow on set.

This document provides an introduction to the workflows related to the ALEXA XR Module. 

ALEXA Metadata White Paper – May 16, 2013

The ARRI ALEXA provides metadata with its images. This additional information makes documentation easier as the metadata is stored within the image files so it cannot get lost.

This document reflects the support of metadata for all ALEXA cameras running SUP 8.0 or later. 

…continue reading ARRI ALEXA White Papers

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Our eyes perceive brightness differently than an electronic sensor does. Video monitors are locked into a standard for color and contrast, but now Digital Cinema camera systems are being used to capture images that are used and displayed in media that can see well beyond those limitations.

Brightness is captured on a Linear scale (LIN), and usually stored with video gamma (REC709) or with a more film-like Logarithmic encoding (LOG). What does this mean, how does one use it, and what capabilities does it represent?

If you’ve ever taken light readings with a light meter set to foot candles, you’re familiar with film’s non-linear response to light. In order to increase exposure by one stop, the amount of light hitting the film needs to be doubled. The fact that we perceive a one stop increase in exposure as a linear increase, whether it is a gain over something relatively dark or relatively bright, indicates that our own perception also operates in a non-linear way, similar to film. This response can be closely approximated by a logarithmic function (LOG).

…continue reading An Introduction to LOG and Its Uses

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This has been out for a while, but it doesn’t seem to have been widely circulated. Sony has a white paper on S-Log which describes the intended use of S-Log gamma, from production to post. Of particular interest to compositors and colorists are the formulas for translating between S-Log and Linear Light.

Download the S-Log White Paper here.

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