What is the big difference between Digital and film??

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers)' started by Nismo1223, May 12, 2002.

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  1. Nismo1223 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 2
    I am going to see AOTC on a regular screen but what i dont get is what the big difference is. Everyone is making a huge fuss about Digital...celluloid looks perfectly fine...i dont get how people can complain..?
  2. KNIMBLEKNIGHT Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2002
    star 1
    At this stage, most of us aren't experts. I have never seen a movie with a digital projector, and I have never seen a movie that was shot entirely with digital cameras. The big deal is that AOTC is the first major movie shot entirely on digital, and thus, it is supposed to look much better with digital projectors - more crisp - kind of like a computer monitor. Ebert claims that the process of taking the digital shots and transferring them on film has sacrificed quality, but Lucasfilm claims there shouldn't be a discernable difference when watching AOTC on film. Nevertheless, watching it digitally should be amazing.
  3. Nismo1223 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2002
    star 2
    meh...idk...its prolly more expensive...egh i dont really care..it looks fine on film..w/e
  4. Jedi knight Pozzi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2000
    star 6
    Film is fine, but as I understand it it deteriorates quickly (in it's way).

    Digital - it allows no scratches, no dust and no wearing out. The image is more pristine.

    The normal screens are fine, but you should catch the very first screening of a film to try to get an idea of how good digital can be. I hope Australia gets them one day.
  5. KaaShamau Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2000
    star 4
  6. JediTidus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2002
    star 1
    I watched Final Fantasy: TSW in digital and regular and I saw no difference.....
  7. KNIMBLEKNIGHT Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2002
    star 1
    I didn't say it was the first movie to be shot entirely digital - I said it was the first MAJOR movie.
  8. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    There are two different issues: Shooting digitally and Projecting digitally.

    The main reason Lucas went to shooting digitally is because almost every shot in a Star Wars movie has some kind of digital effect. If they shot with normal 35mm film, then they still have to digitize almost everything anyway, in order to do all the fx - including putting the not cgi fx together to make a finished movie. Shooting with digital cameras to begin with skips a few steps on the filmmaking process.

    Also, when filming you don't really know what the shots look like until they are developed and you see the daillies. With digital eveyone: actors, directors, set& lighting people can all see exactly what the shots look like. For years they've filmed with video cameras along side film for checking purposes. Now everyone can see the actual shots immediately.

    When filming on location this it makes things even more efficient becuase they don't have to ship the film out and wait a day or two get it back. So re-shoots can be done immediately instead of days or even weeks later.

    Now supposedly stuff shot with new hi-def digital cameras and lenses looks as good or BETTER than stuff done on film - I haven't got a clue as to whether or not this is actually true - it's probably the area open to debate among the experts.

    --------

    With digtal projection is - the main issue for the general public is that every showing will look as crisp as the first. Film wears out and fades - even the prints that are shown at premieres are transfers of the originals - and according to the digital proponents - they already aren't as crisp, clear and vibrant as the original. So if everyone could see a digital screening, they'd see movies 'the way they were intented'.

    Another issue with digital projection is that studios don't have to pay the millions of dollars to make, replace and ship prints of the movie. They use encrypted satellite connections to download the movies to the theater directly.


    -------

    Movies can be shot of film and shown digitally, and movies can be shot digitally and shown on film - both sides are independant of each other.


    Check out the first Making Of Episode 2 segment t the Official site for more digital info.


    For some SERIOUSLY technical conversations, check out the interview with Rick mcCallum and other at the Cinematographer.com website.

    (and you guys thought Rick was just some Smarmy Hollywood yes-man) ;)
  9. Jabachile Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2001
    star 4
    Edit: Wow, Darth23, we had the same thing in our minds! The first "Making of" is what I was exactly thinking of.

    I think there's a difference between being shot digitally and being projected digitally.

    When being shot digitally, I think there's a difference with the amount of frames per a second. Regular film is 24 frames a second, when I think digital is half or something? I donno, it's just a different kind of look than regular film.

    I think that when a picture is projected digitally, it just shows the film how it would look as a first generation print every screening, which is awesome. I'm sure that if the movie was shot digitally as well, that would compliment its quality.
  10. Darth23 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 4
    They said in the Making of pice that Sony's new digital cameras shoot at 24 frames per second - just like film.

  11. Rizz0 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2002
    The problem with digital filming comes with resolution.

    When filmed on classic film the resolution is, in theory, infinate. Whereas, when you film digitally it is not - there is a fixed resolution. Although modern digital cameras have a high enough resolution that it doesn't look different, people will always say they can see the 'grains'

    If you take it down to the underlying physics it is all about photons hitting the detector (film or CCD). In film, it can hit anywhere, in CCD the photons have to hit certain points to register. Although the difference is so little at the moment the advantages of digital cameras (easy of use, easy transfer for editing etc) make digital filming a reality.
  12. Darth_Xero Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 1
    Nismo, you really shouldn't talk about digital if you've never seen it before. If you want to understand the difference think of Film like it's a video cassette and Digital like DVD. also, when you watch AotC on film you will notice scratches because it was transfer to film after it was shot with digital. It's the same when you buy a DVD of a movie that was shot years ago on film and transfered. But when a movie is shot totally in digital you will never see this because it is not stored in tape or film, it's is stored as digital memory in a disk. Digital is better. ;)
  13. Arkalius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Digital Video cameras generally record 60 interlaced fields per second (NTSC) which is 30 FPS (it's actually 29.97 but that's basically 30). The cameras used in Episode 2 were specially manufactured to record at 24 progressive scanned frames per second. Otherwise they'd have to interpret the 30FPS footage down to 24 FPS for transposing onto film.

    -Arkalius
  14. opinion Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 4
    ...all i know is i saw spiderman opening weekend on film and there were so many of those spots and little grains and stuff i was amazed...a film shot digitally wont have that...you can easily tell the difference between shooting/creating digitally and filming by plunking in "shrek"...there are absolutely no glitches...none...it looks perfect...
  15. Darth Kimball Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2000
    star 2
    Well that also depends on the quality of the print, if it's celluloid projection either way.

    The most major difference in shooting lies in the cinematographic process afterwards. If it's shot on film, then the film is shot with the appropriate lighting and filters and later developed to match the desired tonality.

    Shot digitally, there can be instant manipulation of colour balance, saturation and even artificial lighting. Also remember that AOTC was primarily shot in a bluescreen environment. Shooting digitally allows for on-set digital matting, from which both the set and the effects typically added in post-production can be manipulated accordingly. This cuts down on the necessity of reshoots.

    The thing is, nowadays, even DVD restorations of old films are digitally processed for colour correction, since they're going on a new digital master anyhow. See The Godfather and Spartacus, among examples. Then you have films like O Brother, Where Art Thou? where all work done on the film to give it a distinctive Depression-era look heavy on yellows was achieved via computer.
  16. KNIMBLEKNIGHT Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2002
    star 1
    opinion - those little spots are caused by the projection, not because it was shot using film. You even have those spots watching Shrek at the theatre - of course, they are gone now with the DVD. Even though AOTC was shot digitally, if you don't see it at a DLP theatre, you're still going to get those scratches and spots, especially if you see it a few weeks or more after the release.

    Again, we're losing the important distinction here between digital filming and digital projecting - completely different issues.
  17. JediTidus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2002
    star 1
    Good thing I'm watching it opening night
  18. pennywise Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2002
    star 1
    Here's a general (but rough) guide of comparison for the padawan learners: its like putting a brand-new VHS movie alongside a DVD movie.

    Brand new VHS looks pretty clear and good on the first few viewings - but after sometime the quality degrades, as dirt accumulates and the tape's magnetic properties are being affected by the environments where its being kept in.

    Well most people knows what a DVD movie looks like... crispier frame movement, enhanced clarity and color quality that does not degrade over time.

    So the question whether to see it on digital theatres or not, its entirely up you.
  19. lono Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 1
    Technically, digital is superior... but betamax was superior to VHS and we know how that turned out...

    Bottom line for me: film looks better. It has a warmth and doesn't require as much light as most video needs. It has a certain richness, tone, character, and depth that you just can't add in on a computer.

    Lono
  20. Darth Kimball Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2000
    star 2
    As far as presentation goes, this isn't the difference between Betamax and VHS. This is the difference between DVD and VHS. But it's only really noticeable if it's digitally shot AND projected, not just one or the other.

    I've already mentioned O Brother, Where Art Thou? - lauded for its cinematography, which was just digital editing, not film development. And I just saw the digitally-shot Atanarjuat: the Fast Runner about two weeks ago. Even though it was projected on film in a pretty run-down cinema, the photography was still gorgeous and vibrant.
  21. lono Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 1
    "As far as presentation goes, this isn't the difference between Betamax and VHS. This is the difference between DVD and VHS."

    Point taken. However, my point wasn't about the size of the leap forward, my point is that just because a format is technically superior doesn't guarantee that it will catch on. Most towns don't even have an IMAX theater.

    Historically, this has often been the case: Tucker cars, Beta.. Space pens.. The most recent case is HDTV. Look at software: Windows really the best operating system on the planet? What percentage of computer users use it?

    Lono
  22. QuiGonJinn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 1998
    star 2
    film looks better. It has a warmth and doesn't require as much light as most video needs

    Film requires less light? You got it backwards.
  23. Lakota Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2002
    I think digital will look much better. Besides it will not degrade like like film. Anyhow, my friend went to the recent Starwars Celebration where some of AOTC was shown digitaly. He also found out that there will be 5 more minuets of addional footage on the digital screens.
  24. buckner1986 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    traditionally the biggest problem with trying to photograph moving images with video, when compared to film, is a simple factor of luminance depth.

    an image is captured on film or video and the relative sensitivity to colors, lights, darks, has been measured and they (film + video) have been drastically different.

    when video technology got increasingly better on colors, it still lagged far behind in luminance, which is the level of options available to the image ranging from whites to greys to blacks. on the best video available just 5 years or so ago, I believe the number of levels available was around 100. With film, the number is in the thousands. I may be getting the exact numbers wrong but the key point here is that film photography has always been able to catch a richer image with a more realistic portrayal of the infinite range of light to dark, by at least an order of magnitude.

    apparently the new 24P cameras have bridged this gap; i believe that experts say that film still has the upper hand, but isn't noticeable to nonprofessionals like myself.

    the trailers did seem sparklingly clear, but also, of a different feel; the image seemed foreign to me, unlike any 35mm, 16mm, super16, DV, 8, or any other format I've seen. I can't put my finger on where this difference comes from - in the end, it may just be my imagination or a side effect of seeing a movie with so many blues & bluesceen shots.

    as for digital projection, i'm looking forward to an opportunity to see a movie in that format in a few weeks. if the image qulality is relatively comparable to 35mm, then, i would probably prefer it, especially because it allows the 999th viewing to be as crisp as the 1st. But I'm waiting until I get to see it in the flesh.
  25. Arkalius Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    The reason behind the luminance difference between film and digital (my guess anyway) is the fact that film basically captures all of the color on the film frame. DV is represented by a limited number of colors, which means it has a limited color gamut.

    -Arkalius
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