Blackmagic Scanner

Robert Houllahan Apr 7, 2014

  1. I'm not sure why they bothered. I doubt it's transport can handle fragile and distorted archival film. Can you be in the scan business these days without a lab? Maybe they are hoping existing labs will replace their remaining flying spots with these?
     
  2. I have a Lab....... Maybe Grant will let Cinelab beta test it.....;-)

    Allot of technical questions are unanswered about it, it is sprocket drive like the Cintel Ditto from where it was born.
     
  3. Used Cintel datamill II about a year, there was external box for grain reduction and image stabilization, seems that they have baked that in BMD Cintel Scanner.

    Let's see that if there will be both magnetic and optical audio pickups available.

    There is no information about the controller software, which is important part for the proper scanning.

    And what happened with BMD Revival? If they could really integrate controller software with (Revival for mac), that combo can bring many archival customers for them. Anyway in coming years these scanners will be only used for the archival purpose. For few movies shot on films nowadays.
     
  4. BMD told me at the booth that they are not sure what/if audio pickups will be part of it, or if that is a third party item. Honestly for our aging shadow this would be a huge boost and less then maintenance for a year just to buy the thing
     
  5. Here is one short video from NAB.


    Alex do you know that if you can control primary grade of the scanner software with any third party panel?
     
  6. I don't think it's intended as a real-time telecine. I think it's just a scanner, so you set it up to a piece of test film, make sure the film being scanned is focused and the RGB is at reasonable levels, and then you push the "go" button. Any primary grading would be done to the scanned files after the fact. The overall levels are set in a very, very primitive way and just have to be ballparked, not set precisely.
     
  7. Any idea what kind of files it makes?
     
  8. Not sure, a lot of information is missing. Hopefully it does 16 bit DPX or 16 TIFF to able to grade later.
     

  9. What I liked with Digital Vision Golden Eye Scanner was to able to video cache entire reel, split it in software, set base grade for each clip or adjust those clips you want to adjust and finish the high res scan while taking coffee. It do 15 fps in 2K and 4 fps in 4K.

    Interesting that BMD Cintel scanner is claiming to scan 30 fps in 4K. For archival footage I am not sure I really want to scan in 30 fps.
     
  10. Well I wouldn't hold up the Golden Eye as a standard, we recently had a client who scanned an entire 16mm surf film (newly shot) on a GE and all of the footage had vertical lines in it from dirt in the line scan camera and or gate. You could just as easily do a scene cut and base grade in Resolve or Baselight with DPX frames. Line scan scanners with hot lights should go away, the new Cintel machine is at least LED illuminated and an area sensor. How good a sensor the BMD scanner has is unknown and the "4K" is actually UHD and a Bayer mask sensor which is not as good as a monochrome area sensor and full resolution capture of each film layer.
     
  11. It's a constant motion gate. Not having the start and stop is certainly helpful, as would be having a non-contact gate. There is much to be seen about how good the scanner is and how well it works, we shall see.
     
    Robert Houllahan likes this.
  12. The other trick is how well it deals with damaged film, bad splices, and torn sprocket holes. Those are huge issues with pin-registered scanners, and they even bounced around quite a bit on Spirits. I agree, a non-contact gate would be fantastic if they could get that to work. This used to be a huge problem with 16mm, where emulsion dirt would sludge up the gate, both in Ranks and Spirits.
     
  13. If BMD could do some re-work with Revival, make it for mac in same way as Resolve, the combo of BMD Revival & Cintel scanner can be really market changer for film scanning, archival & restoration industry.
     
  14. Revival has been very quiet these days. In truth, I know two or three people in the restoration business, and they say things are very bad. Studios are loathe to spend any money restoring major films or TV shows that aren't already pretty much done. Home video departments have had massive layoffs due to lack of physical media sales, and the studio execs believe that 90% of most people only want to see films & TV shows made in the last 25 years. If a film is from the 1980s, it's considered old. Even worse for the 1960s and 1970s, let alone the films that need the most restoration: features from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

    Sony and Disney are rare exceptions, but in truth, most of the other studios and distributors are kind of turning a blind eye to their heritage. I don't think it's solely about money; I think they just don't care about the past very much.
     
  15. I think it's a simple cost/profit calculation. Cost of doing restoration vs increase in revenue from newly "restored" release. If the second doesn't pass the first in a resonable amount of time the project doesn't make much sense.

    If cost comes down that formula changes.
     
  16. Not with the studio execs I've met. I know of several very high-up studio restoration/asset management executives who've been laid-off or fired in the last couple of years. And Sony let go Chris Cookson back in January, and he was essentially the head of all post-production (President of Technology of Sony Pictures). The cost cutbacks are massive.

    If and when the economy suddenly improves, this could change. But I don't see them in a rush to suddenly start remastering hundreds of films & TV shows a year, regardless of the cost.
     

  17. The guy at the booth said it records CinemaDNG RAW, the same format as their cameras. He kind of mumbled that it would also do DPX... and whatever... This was in response to me asking about Cineon. It was a little hard to get solid info from him. He did say though that you can use it with Resolve, but he didn't recommend it. I have a project coming up that is adamant about shooting on a Panaflex, so I may have a chance to test this out. I'm interested to see how BM CinemaDNG RAW mixes with film capture.
     
  18. Has anyone managed to work on/see any scans from this yet? It still seems there's little information about if this is any good or not
     
  19. Total vaporware as far as I know, I would expect it to take a while for them to get it to a state where it's a machine that is ready to sell.
     

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