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16mm BW Film Processing Resolution

A Discussion of 16mm BW Film Processing Resolution – using a real movie

There are a whole host of factors affecting the image that end up on the viewed screen. Some things matter a lot. Some things matter only some of the time.

In these galleries are sets of comparative images from 14 frames of a student movie. The movie is entertaining and you may only guess at the plot from stills, as they are not in the correct order. The frames were chosen to illustrate various points.

The film being used was captured and then full resolution and ½ resolution images were generated. The ½ resolution images were used for the initial scaling to SD images and the full scans were using for the initial scaling to HD images.

You will note that the HD images are blacked filled at the sides to compensate for the differing aspect ratio.

Various processing of these images will be displayed in A-B test galleries to make comparisons easier.


Whether or not your images appear in the highest resolution a viewing system (optical projector, digital project, television set etc.) can deliver may be affected by:

O The resolution of your initial imaging lens (the lens on the camera or HD cam).

O Whether or not your subject is in focus. If the subject is not in the object focal plane it is the same as applying a big smoothing filter to a digital image. Trying to sharpen a sequence digitally later will not fully compensate for out of focus images.

O If you depth of field is shallow, then you will never see the tree branches in the background in high resolution. Of course you may not want the tree branches in sharp focus.

O If your subject is moving or your camera is moving the resulting motion blur will likely obscure a lot of fine detail. This is not a bad problem, as the human brain will do this anyways. Detail is ignored around motion.

O The resolution of an imaging system used to capture your film.

O Digital processing, such as re-scaling, sub-cropping, rotations etc. can generate image artifact larger than the resolution of your image.

O Coding images and sequences to lower bit rates usually wipe out detail, and detail around motion in order to conserve data.

O If you are shooting on film, there is an inherent resolution of the film. For instance, although we can scan 8mm film in high definition, the film grain size starts to get larger than the image pixel size. (Sometimes we do it anyways, just because we can).

If you want to make a detailed comparison of any of the images, then you can right-click and save them. You can then bring the up in
a jpeg view and switch between them faster or zoom-in etc.
:: sd_versus_hd_frames ::
:: HD_versus_SD_scaled_up_to_HD ::
:: SDversusSDSharp ::
:: SDShrpHd_versus_HDShrp ::