XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : 4k cinematic advertisement

03-23-2004, 12:25 PM
hi there , we are currently informed to produce a cinematic advertisement for a beer company on a cinematic enviroment

i have to say
we have currently only expirience with pal resolution animations

and on this way
i ask out
for some serious tips on "yes" and "nos" and what to deal with
when it comes to cinema
what is the desired resolution ?
2k 4k ?

how about fields ?

some special tips on texture resolution ?

use maya render ? use mentalray ?(no gi for sure :))

mentalray stable on 4k resolution for example ?

any hint and tip very very welcome

thx ;)

03-23-2004, 02:50 PM
hi maurice,

as far i know.. ( and based on my experience )
for movie tehater resolution you would need :
without field

again .. that only based on my experience..the needed material could vary from country to country ..

good luck with your project :thumbsup:

03-23-2004, 02:50 PM
4k? Are you sure it's not 2k? Is it for IMAX? 2048x1556 is standard afaik.

First tip: don't render everything at 4k (or even at 2k if that's the required res).

Split everything down into as many layers as possible and render different bits seperately, then you can use more detail for the bits that need it.

i.e. for a beer commercial you may have the product centre-frame, that's probably going to need full res, but you might have loads of bubbles or backgrounds etc that only need to be rendered half res... get away with what you can.

You can still render GI approximations (e.g. occlusion) if you render them small then scale up in comp.

Textures are going to want to be big 4k for hero objects, 8k if you're going to get really close.

You'd probably be better off using mental ray. It's faster scanline and will definitely be better if you nmeed raytraced reflections or refractions.

03-23-2004, 04:39 PM
we rendered some stuff for IMAX and THAT one was 4k.
so since you (which i guess) are rendering for regular cinema i would recommend 2k as playme suggested.
of course: if you would render higher res, you would definitely get a crisper image when playing to film.
i was talking to an ex ILM guy some time and he was not allowed to tell me at what resolution they render their stuff (no idea why) but he told me it is a lot less than one would presume :)
so 2k should be very sufficient.

of course: no fields and 24 fps
i only rendered some parts from the imax stuff in house with the maya renderer but i have to say that it was very very fast.
it of course is a question how many licenses of mental ray you own before deciding which one to use.

one certain thing is that especially with reflections and refractions mental ray has a way better anti aliasing. maya could become a problem there - but that is no must.
i was quite pleased with the maya renderings. i would say for some helper render passes and stuff like that i would even go for it.

but one thing is very very very important when you render for cinema first time: the colors!
it is not just rendering in 16 bit and in the end convert your images from linear to log color space - it is really about testing.
a good idea would be to get a class a (or at least a good one) monitor color-calibrated to cinema. like that you can at least just a bit better about colors and contrasts. (of course this is just a helper and not what it will look in the end)
and then it is usually up to print out some tests and contrast rows to film and check that.. which i guess you dont have time or budget for.
i hope your customer is not tooo picky when it comes to the colors of his logo ;)

hope this helps



03-23-2004, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by alexx
i was talking to an ex ILM guy some time and he was not allowed to tell me at what resolution they render their stuff (no idea why) but he told me it is a lot less than one would presume :)

I think because clients would start getting jittery about how they "paid for all the pixels, not just half of them"...:)

03-23-2004, 06:10 PM

what a great idea.. i let myself get paid for pixel count ;)
that could really pay off!

03-24-2004, 04:44 AM
Use this chart for different film resolutions going to film:

For something like a commercial you can easily get away with using the 1-2k resolutions. You really should talk to the company who is doing the film out for you and find out what resolutions their film printers can output. It depends on how detailed the scene is and whether your going to capture all the infomation you need in 1k or 2k.

As for MR vs Maya for rendering, it really depends on your subject matter and whether you have the money to purchase the render licenses in order to use MR on your farm. I have used the Maya renderer on my last two films, plus multiple music videos and commercials and it worked just fine, but again, it depends the work your doing and how much your going to do in the compositor or if your going to do it all in camera.

Pretty much the answer to your question is "It depends". There are too many factors to give you one strait answer. You don't even have to work in 16 bit like alexx said, depending on the material your creating, 8 bit might work just fine.

03-24-2004, 07:52 AM
realy nice infos
thx for the fast response
i think we have to deal with MR for maya since we have some reflection /refraction and some close ups
also i think the fluid effects will take a part but i think we have to comoposit it afterwards since it cant be renderer by MR as fas as i know

also there are some really usefull shaders in MR which give superb results -> diffraction shader-dielectric shader gives really nice glass (we all know most beer is in a bottel :D)

so 2k should be our choice i think
hmm color in cinema , well this might be a fiddling thing where we got to tweak from our first preview impressions maybe
dunno :)

i think whe we start the dance i keep this thread maybe updated with some stilsl about the production of the spot if our customer doesnt complain

well thx again for all the info
and hey christoph maybe i call you again having some additional questions about this and taht *g*

P.S YEA 100 POSTS :thumbsup:

03-25-2004, 03:01 PM
I did something for cinema some time ago... and I rendered it at 1400 x something at 8 bit. I didn't convert to log and no additional color calibration was done. All we did was give them the PAL version on Digibeta (which was color corrected on a reference screen) and basically told them to do it the way it's on the tape :p

Very important.. you need a good Motion Blur!

03-25-2004, 03:08 PM
that sounds like next time you should send them the maya package, hand them some sketches and tell them to do it on their f* own ;)



03-26-2004, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by danylyon
I did something for cinema some time ago... and I rendered it at 1400 x something at 8 bit. I didn't convert to log and no additional color calibration was done. All we did was give them the PAL version on Digibeta (which was color corrected on a reference screen) and basically told them to do it the way it's on the tape :p

Very important.. you need a good Motion Blur!
Yea thats another way to do it, it's just a tape to film transfer. It costs more than giving them digital files. Also it doesn't always look good, especially full cgi material. You can get banding(because of the limited color in PAL/NTSC) and pixelation from blowing up 720x576 to 2k. Especially antialiasing if you have alot of strait or diagonal thin edges or lines.

03-29-2004, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by beaker
Yea thats another way to do it, it's just a tape to film transfer. .....

No, you missunderstood.. I gave them digital files (1400xSomething).. and a tape where they could look up the colors. That's why I didn't need to make much color calibration, they just adjusted them according to the tape.

If I'm not mistaken, you can even change the color AFTER it's been put on film. (On the first negativ copy I think).

03-30-2004, 07:34 AM
Hi All,

Just thought I'd chime in on this whole print to film thing. There are a couple of things that need to be made clear. When considering film output there is a much greater need to understand your pipeline than going to PAL/NTSC.

All of what I am going to say assumes that you are just putting CGI out to film and that any compositing etc will be made from the renders spat out form your renderer.

if I am telling folks stuff they already know then forgive me but I have noticed that there is a lot misinformation surrounging film work especially amoungst the 3d community.

For the most part film visual effects are done at 2k using cineon logrithmic 10bits per channel files. This means that it has a digital resolution of 2048x1556. This gives you an aspect ratio of 1:1.33 often reffered to as 'full gate'. Film is almost never projected at this aspect ration and usually it is a waste of time doing your renders at this res. You don't automatically have to do it the Kodak way. On top of all this there is the whole colour/monitor calibration thing but I'll get to that later.

Depending on the method you use to output from your Digital Master ie frames or video. You may not have to do ANY work at 2k.

Let me describe three ways to output cgi to film:

1. In Australia, where I am, it is very common to do a commercial at PAL16:9 mastering for both TV and cinemas. This video master is then transfered to film via a 'kine' which is an OPTICAL blowup. yes this is 8bit per channel and yes it does soften the image once projected. But it gets done and most of the time people eating there popcorn don't notice or care.
Pros: Easy to master to multiple formats. No really special tricks involved.
Cons: softens image, can band if not done right or if high contrast range is required. Colour can be unreliable.

2. I have recently worked with two guys outputing there cgi films, rendered in Maya Software renderer at 1k(1024x553ish) with an aspect ratio of 1:1.85 output through a Solitaire CRT recorder. They were rendering using 8bit files and then compositing and colour correcting on flame with a calibrated monitor using Cinespace (www.rsp.com). They got some nice results but it took ALOT of outputs. The files where delivered straight to a machine which converted them to .sgi files for the recording software and then applied a LUT (lookup table) at that point to compensate for the colour range of film
Pros: low res quick renders. No fiddling with log-linear process.
Cons: still well shy of 2k res and resulting sharpness. Took a lot of shoot outs to get the look right.

3. I VFX sup'ed a job last year at 2k 10bit log using combustion (ugh) and flame with cinespace to do out compositing. CGI was taken from maya rendered at 8bit a LUT was applied to convert it from 8bit video to log and then the whole shot was out put as a 2k 10bit log cineon via an Arri Laser recorder. The results were reasonably similar to what we saw on our calibrated monitors.
Pros: Got pretty similar results monitor to film. Looked crisp and clean when projected 40 feet high.
Cons: spent a lifetime getting the LUT's right. Huge storage and data transfer headaches. EXPENSIVE

in Summary.

There are lots of good ways to go from CGI to film. Working film res in art form in itself. The most important thing is to have a good rapport with your film lab. Also get someone on board, either from your end or in the lab, who has done this kind of thing before. It not just about rendering the frames. Thats the easy part. the hard part is ensuring colour and imagge qulaity acrros multiple formats and media.

If you want to ask some questions.... I'm no expert but I have done a bit of this stuff in the last two years !

Hope this helps a little.

03-30-2004, 07:41 AM
oops silly me the link to cinesapce is actually here :


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