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High-Resolution Digital Video Notes

David Burkhead

Video to film looks so bad because, in general, video has much lower resolution than film. However, we can use a custom video format, with extremely high resolution to get aroud this problem. To get an idea of what can be done with that now (let alone ten years from now) go to a theater showing of Jurassic Park and watch the T-rex sequences. The T-rex scenes are particularly illuminating since some are done with stop-action animation and some are done with computer graphics (which techniques we would use for video to film). Remember that I'm not talking about home camcorders, but high quality stuff, as good as or better than that used by Industrial Light and Magic.

If the resolution is high enough, then we can do a lot of the "camera work" in post processing. This would involve using a wide-angle lens on the camera and doing panning, zooms, and the like by selecting out portions of the frame to transfer. Zooming would be by selecting a portion of the frame around the section you are zooming on, then a smaller portion, then a still smaller portion, each time blowing up the image to fit the object frame. For panning, you would start with a subset of the frame at one side, then select a same-sized subset shifted just a bit, then another, and another until you've swept across the area you mean to portray.

Further post-processing effects (which are easier to do with a skilled cameraman working under a talented director so they wouldn't be used much in most moviemaking but may serve us well) could include using controlled distortion to simulate different perspective effects (and thus simulate different lens focal lengths), color and brightness adjustiments, the effects of filter and lens tricks (like multiple images, vignetting, etc.), and other things.

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