127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

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EddieLarkin
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am

Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#51 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:12 pm

Does anyone know what speed the MoC and Kino discs run at? I believe either 15 or 16fps is correct for Birth (to achieve a 190 minute length), and was curious to know how the progressive transfer was achieved? Presumably the same way Potemkin was, with repeated frames? For 16fps within 24p, it would require a repeat of every even numbered frame. Does the MoC booklet go into this at all?
Last edited by EddieLarkin on Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

David M.
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#52 Post by David M. » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:37 pm

16fps with repeated frames to meet the closest frame rate which is part of the BD spec. I can't remember off hand what the exact pulldown cadence is.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#53 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:42 pm

Thank's David. Did you work on the encode? It looks a lot better than the Kino disc going off the caps, with some minor dirt and damage clean up to boot.

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MichaelB
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#54 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:06 am

EddieLarkin wrote:Does anyone know what speed the MoC and Kino discs run at? I believe either 15 or 16fps is correct for Birth (to achieve a 190 minute length), and was curious to know how the progressive transfer was achieved? Presumably the same way Potemkin was, with repeated frames? For 16fps within 24p, it would require a repeat of every even numbered frame. Does the MoC booklet go into this at all?
I went through a few sample shots of the MoC disc frame by frame, and it's clearly 16fps with repeated frames along exactly the lines you describe.

A single second looks like this (where 'O' is an original frame and 'X' is a duplicate):

O.O.X.O.O.X.O.O.X.O.O.X.O.O.X.O.O.X.O.O.X.O.O.X.

So essentially, it's a similar approach to the BFI's Battleship Potemkin, only the repeating frame pattern is different (unavoidably, more frames need to be repeated with Birth of a Nation). But, like Potemkin, it's also a genuinely progressive transfer - so given the limitations of the Blu-ray format it's clearly the "least worst" option given that true 16fps playback isn't technically possible. In motion it looks fine.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#55 Post by EddieLarkin » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:53 am

So it looks like it's been done in the best way possible. Great news.

Has anyone examined Cohen's Thief of Bagdad? I believe it runs at 22fps within 24p. The only way I can think of that would be achievable is 11 unique, 1 repeat, 11 unique, 1 repeat. There's been some interesting complaints about this general method of silent film presentation on HTF (originally from Nitrateville).

I've never had problems with judder on any BFI or MoC disc, but did seem to notice something on Thief of Bagdad. Interestingly, Criterion went with interlaced for both of their 22fps silents, People on Sunday and Safety Last!

Michael, in your article (posted in the HTF thread) on the Potemkin release, you say that this method only works if the optimum projection speed is a multiple of three or four. Does this then explain the issue over 22fps films? Why wouldn't 11 unique, 1 repeat, 11 unique, 1 repeat work? The repeats are as regularly as any other method, no?

peerpee
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#56 Post by peerpee » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:21 am

As few as 2 duplicate frames a second is simply more noticeable (and problematic). If they happen more, they're less noticeable.

If Criterion ever do a 20fps silent, I do hope they'd do them progressive 1080p. Great examples = MoC COUER FIDELE, MoC PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, BFI THE GREAT WHITE SILENCE, and BFI POTEMKIN Blus. All 20fps, all rendered progressively, using optimal frame duplication patterns, in 1080p.

Nitrateville's ire should be directed at the umbrella Blu-ray Forum group for not providing multiple framerate options in the Blu-ray spec.

The interlacing 'fix' is not filmic or rooted in film history (like the duplicate frame is). Interlacing is an 'optical illusion' that noticeably hinders resolution, especially during movement and has more in common with TV and DVD (big step back, aarrgh). Having said that, it's probably the best way to deal with a 22fps silent film on Blu-ray, as Cohen's THIEF OF BAGDAD appears to sadly illustrate.

It's hard trying to get a good paused still on the Criterion Blu of SAFETY LAST. Every other frame is a messy blur, but they likely had no better technical solution, so it's the Blu-ray Forum's fault.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#57 Post by EddieLarkin » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:27 am

peerpee wrote:As few as 2 duplicate frames a second is simply more noticeable (and problematic). If they happen more, they're less noticeable.
I see. Were you around at the time to know what the solution was for Die Nibelungen? If the post here is accurate, then Kriemhilds Rache was 22fps too. It's progressive, but I don't notice the same slight stutter I do on Thief of Bagdad.

David M.
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#58 Post by David M. » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:41 am

Nitrateville's ire should be directed at the umbrella Blu-ray Forum group for not providing multiple framerate options in the Blu-ray spec.
Remember though that even if the BDA had gone out their way to add support for non-HDTV frame rates, it would still be almost meaningless since display device manufacturers probably wouldn't add support for them. So, it would just get converted to 24p (or hell, maybe even 60p) in the display anyway, with unpredictable results. Doing it in the studio at least gives some sort of control.

As for interlacing, that would be the best way to do things if the display device was interlaced, since you would then have 60 possibilities per second to space out the original lower frame rate. But it'd be a nightmare on progressive displays since you'd effectively discard half of the vertical resolution - unless you could convince player/display manufacturers to design a cadence detection algorithm specifically for silent films (not likely).

A bit of a way off, but Ultra HD offers hope for this sort of thing in that ITU rec.2020 (the associated spec document) specifies 60fps and even 120fps as valid frame rates (and they are real 120 frames, not fields, since interlacing has been killed off in UHD). The higher the output rate, the more room you have for spacing duplicates.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#59 Post by EddieLarkin » Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:58 am

Presumably the UHDTV spec is still just 24/50/60?

If the future 4K format supports 60p (rather than just 60i like Blu-ray), would that allow a greater scope for solving these fps problems?

woops, missed your edit. That's great to hear.

peerpee
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#60 Post by peerpee » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:53 pm

David M. wrote:Remember though that even if the BDA had gone out their way to add support for non-HDTV frame rates, it would still be almost meaningless since display device manufacturers probably wouldn't add support for them. So, it would just get converted to 24p (or hell, maybe even 60p) in the display anyway, with unpredictable results. Doing it in the studio at least gives some sort of control.
But what's to stop TVs suddenly becoming more like computer displays? They can play Quicktime footage at any framerate. Can't imagine it would be that difficult for them to coordinate and implement if they all put their heads together, seeing as most of the BDA members are also hardware manufacturers of displays.

It's TV broadcasts that seem to be stuck in a 50hz/60hz hell, resulting in 1080/50i HD broadcasts and TV companies demanding 50i HD masters, etc.

David M.
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#61 Post by David M. » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:18 pm

But what's to stop TVs suddenly becoming more like computer displays? They can play Quicktime footage at any framerate.
Actually, they can't - the software doesn't care about the frame rate, but the computer monitor and the output to it in almost all cases will be stuck at 60hz. They are even worse than TVs in this regard - even playing 24p BDs on a PC monitor results in judder for that reason.

For that reason you'll find that, if you have a 16fps/18fps Quicktime movie or similar, it'll might tear or stutter eventually. Or perhaps not - since the design is 60fps centric, the judder won't necessarily be hugely noticeable because there's a high level of redundancy on the output and there's room to space the real frames and the dupes. If Blu-ray had just had a 1080/60p mode, that could ahve been a good solution.

At some point, some part of the system has to have some sort of timing reference. And convincing them to add support for silent film frame rates would probably end up with blank stares, which is why UHDTV's 60p/120p modes with all the options for spacing they provide is the more likely solution.

peerpee
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#62 Post by peerpee » Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:49 pm

David M. wrote:For that reason you'll find that, if you have a 16fps/18fps Quicktime movie or similar, it'll might tear or stutter eventually. Or perhaps not - since the design is 60fps centric, the judder won't necessarily be hugely noticeable because there's a high level of redundancy on the output and there's room to space the real frames and the dupes. If Blu-ray had just had a 1080/60p mode, that could ahve been a good solution.
I've seen pure 16fps and 18fps Quicktime files play that look pretty darn good. Certainly better than an interlaced equivalent on the TV. Any hiccup I attributed to my slow processor, but this is actually just the result of a technical shoehorn/impossibility?
At some point, some part of the system has to have some sort of timing reference. And convincing them to add support for silent film frame rates would probably end up with blank stares, which is why UHDTV's 60p/120p modes with all the options for spacing they provide is the more likely solution.
Do you think it's technically possible for them to have variable hz at some point? They probably don't see a need for it, with 99% of films being 24fps. I can't understand whether these 100hz or 200hz TVs are truly that, or just some Motionflow-pumped-up-wishful-thinking-figures.

I'm dreading the next wave of 48fps, Motionflowed 4K TVs. It's probably going to become harder and harder to watch a pure 24fps film properly.

It's strange to think that for 100 years, film projectors could be set to project at any framerate, yet in space year 2013 it's a technical impossibility for TVs/displays to do the same.

David M.
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 1:10 pm

Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#63 Post by David M. » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:03 pm

I've seen pure 16fps and 18fps Quicktime files play that look pretty darn good. Certainly better than an interlaced equivalent on the TV. Any hiccup I attributed to my slow processor, but this is actually just the result of a technical shoehorn/impossibility?
It could be. Your machine's video output will 99.9% certainly be 60hz.
Do you think it's technically possible for them to have variable hz at some point?
I'm sure that's possible, but like you say, won't be a priority.
I can't understand whether these 100hz or 200hz TVs are truly that, or just some Motionflow-pumped-up-wishful-thinking-figures.
They are 100hz/200hz/something hertz internally. But the highest input you can give it is 60hz, so those numbers are achieved with motion interpolation in the video processor.

On LCD and other motion-challenged systems there is also backlight blinking and scanning techniques, but those are rarer. Those are actually a good thing and don't mess with the content (actually they're quite like the shuttering we all miss so much in film projectors).
I'm dreading the next wave of 48fps, Motionflowed 4K TVs. It's probably going to become harder and harder to watch a pure 24fps film properly.
No, don't worry about that. I make the manufacturers very, very aware that this is not okay and there needs to be an opt-out. In fact I concocted a particularly sadistic test sequence that lets you instantly tell. I don't think there is a single major manufacturer left who enforces motion interpolation actually (one used to in their LCDs).

Incidentally one manufacturer who is backing 4K big-time at the moment has almost undefeatable in-TV DNR which is another battle, but there are plenty of manufacturers who understand the need for the Off switch.

peerpee
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#64 Post by peerpee » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:38 am

David M. wrote:No, don't worry about that. I make the manufacturers very, very aware that this is not okay and there needs to be an opt-out. In fact I concocted a particularly sadistic test sequence that lets you instantly tell.
Amazing video! Ace to see how you're keeping them on their toes.

videozor
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#65 Post by videozor » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:35 am

Is MoC planning to issue Intolerance as well?
Thanks! (Sorry if it was discussed somewhere else already)

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RobertB
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#66 Post by RobertB » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:29 pm

I just watched the David M. video on youtube from start to finish, hardly blinking or breathing. Fascinating, and I only understood a third of it.

David - if you have time - in your presentation you are saying plasma is better at making a moving image sharp than LED. I have a Philips 46PFL5537T 46" LED, and I'm really only interested in it for watching blu-ray. Videogames and other stuff is of much lesser importance. I have all the noise reduction set to off, and also the "HD natural motion" set to off. Would you say it should rather be set to the "minimum" mode? Will that actually be more cinema-like for the brain? I fully understand if you don't have the time or energy to answer.

David M.
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#67 Post by David M. » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:45 pm

I have all the noise reduction set to off, and also the "HD natural motion" set to off. Would you say it should rather be set to the "minimum" mode?
Hi Robert,

That depends. I've not seen a lot of Philips LCDs lately.

For film, I would say you're better just leaving it off. Some of the "Minimum" motion interpolation modes barely interpolate (so no "soap opera effect") but do increase the motion resolution, making them the best compromise. But, most of the discussion of motion there is for a worst case scenario - 60fps sports, for example. 24fps film does not really reveal the motion limitations of LCDs too much.

So, just leave it off. Glad you enjoyed the presentations - that's a fun event!

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RobertB
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#68 Post by RobertB » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:47 pm

OK. Thank you! :D

mattkc
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#69 Post by mattkc » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:18 pm

How accurate is the contrast on the MoC Birth? From those caps the blacks seem harsh (no pun intended). There would have been ink blacks like those on celluloid in 1915?

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#70 Post by HerrSchreck » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:25 pm

I can only really see a big difference on the top cap- there are some shots where the MoC looks a bit boosted or manipulated with a zillionth of a loss of detail in some shots (and causing the tints to fade?). Overall I can't pick a winner as they both look identical.

Orlac
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#71 Post by Orlac » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:01 pm

The booklet for this release is really interesting. Surprisingly, Dixon seems rather mellow, whilst Griffith comes off as a nasty prick really cheesed off that anyone should dare to suggest his film is offensive.

Orlac
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Re: 127 / BD 52 The Birth of a Nation

#72 Post by Orlac » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:30 pm


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