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Old 03-15-2018, 03:41 AM   #1
steady_eddy91 steady_eddy91 is offline
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Sep 2010
Australia Meaning of "rescan from original negative" for modern productions

Hi,

With UHD Blu-Ray increasing in full swing, 4K restorations/re-scans are happening frequently. I was wondering what the process of 'rescanning from original negative' for a modern production entails, seeing as virtually all modern editing, regardless of capture format, is done digitally?

I understand pre-2000s, because the editing was done photo-chemically. A rescan of an older film is essentially getting hold of the edited film negative, and scanning it again at a higher resolution.

I am confused when this terminology i used for a modern production. For example, Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad was shot on film, but I assumed scanned in and edited with a digital intermediate, like essentially all modern productions shooting on celluloid (with exemption of maybe Nolan and PTA). Does this mean they're scanning in the footage from film negatives at the higher resolution, and re-editing from scratch?? Editing, adding visual effects etc? Because unless they thought to scan those negatives in the first time around at 4K instead of 2K, I can't think of any other way a 4K finish to Breaking Bad (or any other modern film/TV show originally mastered in 2K) would be achieved.

Interested to hear your answers.

Thanks,

Ed
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:51 AM   #2
tjritter79 tjritter79 is offline
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I'm not sure if this is the answer you are looking for but generally:

When you scan directly from a PRINT, You are scanning and enhancing the existing colors, grain, etc including the existing FINISHING techniques to complete the print.

When you scan from a NEGATIVE, it is a scan of the original, and NOT a "generated copy". When scanning a negative for the most part, you have freedom to adjust colors, contrast, brightness, etc within the range of equipment...you are not limited by the source except of course the condition of the negative.

Generally, scanning from a negative is a better quality....a digital copy of the original....just as pristine. When scanning a print, is a copy of a copy.
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Old 03-16-2018, 03:14 AM   #3
steady_eddy91 steady_eddy91 is offline
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Hi,

It doesn't quite answer my question.

Back to the example of Breaking Bad. the process, I assume went as such back in 2008:

Shot on film. Raw footage scanned in from negative in 2K resolution. Now digital footage is edited/colour graded/special FX performed in software. Digital master produced and sent for broadcast.

In this case, to achieve a true 4K presentation, unless done from the very beginning, they would have to start the whole editing process from scratch, wouldn't they? If so, that is a lot of work just for an uptick in resolution.


For film-originated content such as Funny Girl and Breaking Bad, the process involves scanning the original camera negative in 4K and doing all of the work including image clean up (for restoration projects) and color grading in 4K resolution.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...g-bad-a-416830
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:44 PM   #4
chip75 chip75 is online now
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With Breaking Bad they created a 2K Digital Intermediate from the negatives. Later on they went back to the negatives and created a 4K DI. I'm not sure what they did with any digital effects, they would have been probably upscaled from 2K.

When modern productions are re-scanned they usually become hybrids, they'll mix 4K scans with 2K digital effects (4K SFX work is still quite uncommon). Something like The Martian had 6K live-action mixed with 2K effects. Originally I think it had a 2K DI, but they went back and made a hybrid with the higher-resolution live action footage and 2K effects for the UHD BD.
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:34 PM   #5
singhcr singhcr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steady_eddy91 View Post
Hi,

It doesn't quite answer my question.

Back to the example of Breaking Bad. the process, I assume went as such back in 2008:

Shot on film. Raw footage scanned in from negative in 2K resolution. Now digital footage is edited/colour graded/special FX performed in software. Digital master produced and sent for broadcast.

In this case, to achieve a true 4K presentation, unless done from the very beginning, they would have to start the whole editing process from scratch, wouldn't they? If so, that is a lot of work just for an uptick in resolution.


For film-originated content such as Funny Girl and Breaking Bad, the process involves scanning the original camera negative in 4K and doing all of the work including image clean up (for restoration projects) and color grading in 4K resolution.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...g-bad-a-416830

It depends on the individual production but your statement is essentially correct for the vast majority of productions that used film but didn't master on it. For BB, I imagine the negatives were just unedited and it would have to be edited again. Same with the many shows that were shot on film but presented on videotape like Star Trek TNG, etc. But thankfully there are many programs out there like iConform that automatically compare raw scanned footage to a conformed edit and generate an EDL (edit decision list) to help match the two together.

For such a recent production color grading wouldn't be too difficult to do again as they have an LUT from the first time they scanned it, and any FX work would most likely be reused from the 2K source or whatever was done originally.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:35 PM   #6
David M David M is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steady_eddy91 View Post
Hi,

It doesn't quite answer my question.

Back to the example of Breaking Bad. the process, I assume went as such back in 2008:

Shot on film. Raw footage scanned in from negative in 2K resolution. Now digital footage is edited/colour graded/special FX performed in software. Digital master produced and sent for broadcast.

In this case, to achieve a true 4K presentation, unless done from the very beginning, they would have to start the whole editing process from scratch, wouldn't they? If so, that is a lot of work just for an uptick in resolution.


For film-originated content such as Funny Girl and Breaking Bad, the process involves scanning the original camera negative in 4K and doing all of the work including image clean up (for restoration projects) and color grading in 4K resolution.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...g-bad-a-416830

Not familiar with Breaking Bad in particular, but no, they wouldn't have to re-edit. Film footage is coded so, unless they lost their edit files, it would largely be a case of pointing their editing tool towards the new 4K scanned files. The same goes for color correction.
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Old 03-28-2018, 12:25 AM   #7
steady_eddy91 steady_eddy91 is offline
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Sep 2010
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Thanks for all your replies. I have a better understanding now. Seems like a lot of effort for what few would appreciate, however I am glad they're putting in the efforts!
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