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Cineon Forum Index Discussions / Questions questions about Cineon...
Author questions about Cineon...
orbit5


Joined: Apr 06, 2004
Posts: 2
Posted: 2004-04-06 15:54   
Hello..

I have a few questions..

First,is there some small free downloadable
program or plugin that can convert log cineon files into normal contrast linear files?

Next i would like to know..
What is going on with these cineon scanners?
I hear some people on this forum saying that
it is dead and outdated. So then cineon
scanners are not used anymore? (i mean Kodak cineon lightning scanners)
And how come cinesite still uses them?

What are most common scanners today other
than the more and more popular northlight?

And finally..
I belive that there are a lot of people here
that worked with these scanners and printers.
Can these digital systems at 4K produce
negatives at output that are indistinguishable from the originals?

thank you,i would appretiate if any of my
questions gets answered.
And sorry about my spelling ,I'm not
English.

thanx


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Scott


Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 48
Posted: 2004-06-24 12:59   
I'm not personally familiar with a small free utility like the one you're asking about, though I'm sure it must exist. Other commercial image-processing applications like Cineon Storm/Tornado DO have tools to convert image data btwn lin and log space of course.

Cineon scanners (of which there were 3 main types: the big Lightning scanners used at Cinesite in LA and London and in a couple other places... followed by the smaller Genesis and then finally by the larger Genesis Plus) are hardly outdated or obselete. To the best of my knowledge, the only ones that have actually been retired are those that have been run for so many millions of frames that they're no longer cost-effective to maintain (as compared to buying a new, faster scanner... a financial decision that can make sense for high-throughput service bureaus).

4-6K scans from any properly working Cineon scanner compare VERY favorably with scans from brand-new scanners (such as Northlights, which can run over $400K complete, or Imagica offerings which cost about half that sum) in every respect related to image quality. The only place where Cineon scanners suffer in comparison to a $400K Northlight (for example) would be in throughput (new scanners are faster... requiring fewer seconds to scan a frame of a given format and resolution) and of course, new scanners are still supported by their original manufactuers.

It was determined (after lengthy testing by several independent entities) way back in the early 1990s that 4K Cineon scans, when returned unmolested (by intermediate processing) to 5244 negative using a Cineon laser recorder and then printed ARE indistinguishable from the original prints to the naked eye during projection. I and countless other folks (including compositors, supervisors, studio clients, image scientists, etc...) have witnessed multiple side-by-side/split screen tests to prove this during the first years that Cineon scanning and recording was available.

Hope this info helps. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me rather than post here (I don't check these forums often)... grodnerDELETEMEFIRST@lycos.com


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Scott


Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 48
Posted: 2004-07-14 12:34   
Just an addendum: though I haven't looked into it myself a buddy told me last week that a best-case-scenario scan time for a top-of-the-line brand new Northlight scanner ($420K incl. give or take a few bucks) is something like 2-3 seconds per each 2K Academy rez 10 bit log frame.

A Cineon Genesis Plus scanner takes about 13-17 seconds IME to scan the same kind of frame.

As mentioned, the quality of the two frames are about identical (I've actually heard a few knowledgable folks say they prefer the Cineon scans, but I believe the differences are so small as to be moot). Hope this info helps.


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floydboy


Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 22
Posted: 2004-11-26 12:03   
Actually, if you purchased the turbo option for the GenPlus, you could get 4K scans as a rate of 5 seconds per scan. This was due to the fact that we added an ultra-wide scsi out the back of the scanner. Before this, the scanner was limited in speed because the scsi speeds were holding back the scan rates.

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David Hodson


Joined: Nov 27, 2004
Posts: 15
Posted: 2004-11-27 23:44   
I've written a Cineon/DPX plugin for Gimp, if that's useful. It's on my website (Google for Gimp cineon plugin).

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Scott


Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 48
Posted: 2005-05-03 14:20   
Quote:

On 2004-11-26 12:03, floydboy wrote:
Actually, if you purchased the turbo option for the GenPlus, you could get 4K scans as a rate of 5 seconds per scan. This was due to the fact that we added an ultra-wide scsi out the back of the scanner. Before this, the scanner was limited in speed because the scsi speeds were holding back the scan rates.



Though I'd normally defer to you on this, based on my experience as a Gen+ owner (with the turbo license and the faster SCSI board in the card cage) I think those throughput estimates are optimistic. W/turbo, etc... maybe 12-13 sec/frame on 2K seems like top speed... obvioulsy 4K would take longer. Whether this limit is due to mechanical (film transport) or electronic (CCD data flow/processing) I don't know. Chatting with other Gen+ users (some considerably more experienced than I) would seem to confirm this... with NO disrespect intended, I don't think any Gen+ can capture any 4K Cin file (even Academy) at 4-5 sec/frame. However, if I'm mistaken, I'd CERTAINLY like to know more or speak with someone who's doing so now... several users I know would really appreciate faster throughput.


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floydboy


Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 22
Posted: 2005-05-03 17:57   
Scott, did you have a fiber board hooked up to the scanner host for frame transmission? If you are using an Ultra SCSI connection, I wrote a throttle function in the code that will hold back the scanner due to filling the scanner drive with frames. Essentially the scanner holds back on it's speed so that an equilibrium can be reached by the number of frames scanning against the number being trasmitted. Granted, it has only been almost 8 years since I last looked at the code.

[ This Message was edited by: floydboy on 2005-05-04 13:19 ]


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Scott


Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 48
Posted: 2005-05-15 16:41   
Hi Floyd, it's moot as I've just sold my scanner, but I'm still interested in what you're saying. May I ask why Kodak felt it necessary to 'throttle' back the max scan speed simply to allow for time for the scanner host to offload the frames via network? Wouldn't simply add'l drive storage on the host make this unnecessary? I'd have thought that the minor cost of additional drives (even SCSI drives in the mid-90s) would be more than offset by improved throughput from the scanner (especially as per-frame rate card prices for scanning steadily decreased throughout the 90s).

Just curious. TIA.


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floydboy


Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 22
Posted: 2005-05-18 10:55   
Quote:

On 2005-05-15 16:41, Scott wrote:
Hi Floyd, it's moot as I've just sold my scanner, but I'm still interested in what you're saying. May I ask why Kodak felt it necessary to 'throttle' back the max scan speed simply to allow for time for the scanner host to offload the frames via network? Wouldn't simply add'l drive storage on the host make this unnecessary? I'd have thought that the minor cost of additional drives (even SCSI drives in the mid-90s) would be more than offset by improved throughput from the scanner (especially as per-frame rate card prices for scanning steadily decreased throughout the 90s).

Just curious. TIA.



Scott, the platform that ran the original Genesis scanner (not the Gen+) was a Sun Microsystems box. This machine had only one SCSI port which was used to drive the scanner. So, because of initial hardware limitations the software was designed this way. I know, I could have changed it once we moved to the Gen+ and SGI platform, but unfortunately the project was cancelled before this could happen.


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Scott


Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 48
Posted: 2005-06-15 11:36   
Thanks for the clarification Floyd... I still have a (slightly morbid) fascination for all things Cineon, including those bits of the project history that preceeded the start of my own Cineon career in '92.

For whatever it's worth, I generally scanned directly to local SCSI disks on the scanner host Indigo2 rather than send them over a network during scanning (I also eventually replaced my Prisa cards with Phobos cards incidentally). As reading/writing a 2K file to/from local SCSI disk takes only a fraction of the time that it normally took to scan a 2K file, I didn't consider the writing of the 2K scan to local disk to be a bottleneck.



[ This Message was edited by: Scott on 2011-07-14 15:33 ]


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floydboy


Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 22
Posted: 2005-06-17 10:58   
Scott, I too still have a fascination about Cineon. I actually think that all of the Cineon engineers do. A lot of us still keep in touch even though we are now spead out throughout most of the world.

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Scott


Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 48
Posted: 2005-07-14 09:26   
Hi Floyd,

Yes, I've spoken to a few Cineon (Fido) vets over the years SINCE Kodak put the kaibosh on the program... I've gotten good advice from fellas on scanner stuff and other matters (and from you as well of course). It's all appreciated and even though I sold my Gen Plus, I still own what's probably one of the larger remaining collections of Cineon licenses (most uninstalled at the moment)... I was (I think) maybe the first solo owner-operator when I got my first one from Kodak in late '94 (I resigned from Cinesite London and returned to the states to start Digital Nation the following summer).

I still use and like Cineon for film-rez work as have yet to come across a project of the sorts I like to do that would require me to replace my Cineons with some other app... why buy new boxes/licenses when what I've got works just as well and is long since paid for?


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Beak


Joined: Sep 02, 2005
Posts: 10
From: Beak
Posted: 2005-09-02 04:51   
Keep in mind people, that nobody is going to start scanning in linear space anytime soon, and the difference between Cineon and DPX is basically the header. Flaoting point scans were the wave of the future, but somehow everyone still scans/records in log. Because negs think in log, could be the reason.

Log is good. We like log.

---------Beak
Inferno Artist (Lead)/ Digital Colorist
http://www.beakfx.com
Beak f(x) Inc. - VFX | Design | Color


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zuohuijuan


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 1
Posted: 2010-11-02 18:11   
It's all appreciated and even though I sold my Gen Plus, I still own what's probably one of the larger remaining collections of Cineon licenses ... I was maybe the first solo owner-operator when I got my first one from Kodak in late '94 .

[ This Message was edited by: cineon on 2010-12-13 22:20 ]


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