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October 1997, Week 1


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 7 Oct 1997 09:17:02 -0500
text/plain (70 lines)
On Fri, 3 Oct 1997 21:24:44 +0100 Leo Enticknap
[log in to unmask]> said:
>On Fri, 3 Oct 1997 10:10:47 -0500 Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> But, if you decide to use a computer, then what you want to do is a "video
>> capture."  The images you nab can then be displayed on your computer and
>> tweaked to look just right.  Later, you send the image files directly to
>> the printer of the book/journal article--just as you do the word processed
>> files.  The resulting images look just as good as, say, frame enlargements
>> from 16/35mm film (cf. FILM ART's images).
>I once tried using a laserdisc player linked via an S-video wire (and
>then I swapped it for a Euroconnector, to little effect) to a video card
>(origin unknown: the computer was one from the University IT department) and
>Microsoft Video for Windows in order to get stills off a PAL CAV disc.  Even
>after trying to enhance the frames with Paint Shop Pro, the result was still
>unacceptable compared with a 10 x 8 reversal printed from a 35mm positive
>release print and scanned at 300dpi.  Scanning lines fragmented the picture,
>the colour bled all over the place, contrast and definition was lousy.
Yeah, you're absolutely right, Leo.  Images captured from video (to
digital) are unacceptable compared to those taken from a 35mm film print.
What I should have said is that *digitally* captured images from
*video-originating* material are superior to analog
photographs-of-the-monitor images of the same.  What Chuck Derry and I have
been trying to figure out is a good way to get video images (not film
images) into print.
My experience has been that digitally captured images more closely approach
the quality of film-based frame enlargements (e.g., those in FILM ART) than
photographs of the monitor do.  But I'm certainly open to suggestions for
better methods of nabbing material from video.
>If the
>plates in Bordwell & Thompson's "Film Art" (I have the 4th edition) came from
>domestic videotapes then clearly I was doing something very wrong.
Interestingly, the FILM ART Instructor's Manual (at least for the 5th
edition) details the method Kristin Thompson uses to "Make Slides from Film
and Video Images."  She uses a Canon Duplicator 35 and 35mm prints for most
of the stills.
As she explains, the Duplicator is a macro lens with a device for holding a
35mm film strip close to the camera body.  This allows you to photograph a
single frame and get strikingly good results--as FILM ART illustrates.
However, I don't think that the few video-based images in FILM ART look as
good as they could.  E.g., the frames from the video version of ADVISE AND
CONSENT (fig. 6.69-70 in the 4th edition; 7.68-69 in the 5th) are basically
okay, but you can see a diagonal scanning aberration in 6.70/7.69.  In the
Instructor's Manual, she explains that one may nab video frames by
photographing a monitor.  I suspect that she could get better results by
digitally capturing the image.
Jeremy Butler
Associate Professor
[log in to unmask]
Telecommunication & Film/University of Alabama/Tuscaloosa
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