HD And Beyond: The Beginner’s Guide

WolFangFilm Editing, High Definition

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Going 4K? The Red Epic from Red Digital Cinema. This package alone costs USD 58,000

Going 4K? The Red Epic from Red Digital Cinema. This package alone costs USD 58,000

Before the advent of High Definition (HD) there was Standard Definition (SD). Many countries still broadcast in SD, including ours. Plans are being drawn up to upgrade to HD but our film making industry, in this instance, has overtaken the broadcast industry by finishing both post and production in HD.

Full HD Film Making: The Canon 5D Mark II in the Cinema Bundle from RedRock Micro

Full HD Film Making: The Canon 5D Mark II in the Cinema Bundle from RedRock Micro

HD promises unrivaled image clarity, accurately rendered colours and a much larger playing field- see more of the action, be totally immersed in the movie.

High Definition comes in two flavours: standard HD with resolution of 1280 X 720 pixels (commonly referred to as 720p) and full HD at 1920 X 1080p (known as 1080p). Contrast this with SD, which is only 720 X 576 pixels and you’ll no longer wonder why so many film makers are tripping over each to upgrade their setups to HD.

The various resolutions available to the film maker. From the humbe DV to the decadent 4K

The various resolutions available to the film maker. From the humbe DV to the decadent 4K

Upgrading to HD is no small task. New cameras have to be purchased, new editing workstations, software and hard disks must be bought. A new digital workflow have to be mastered and the bugs eliminated.

The Red One. One of the most popular 4K camera models in use today. Body alone costs USD 25,000

The Red One. One of the most popular 4K camera models in use today. Body alone costs USD 25,000

Before the dust has settled, ‘beyond HD’ is announded. Once again, film makers were tripping over each other trying to acquire the latest technology to finish in 4K. This is now the ‘holy grail’ of cinematography, 4K.

From Munich, Germany comes the Arri Alexa digital camera system

From Munich, Germany comes the Arri Alexa digital camera system

The cameras with the ability to accomplish this wondrous task are only a handful. Most notable are the cameras from Red (Hollywood California) and the Arri Alexa (Munich, Germany). These cameras provide the best technology can offer at this point in time.

The Arri Alexa in action. Cameras like these record in RAW format. These are true motion picture cameras

The Arri Alexa in action. Cameras like these record in RAW format. These are true motion picture cameras

Keep in mind these are motion picture cameras, the real deal. They shoot in RAW format, giving the editors and colourists unparalleled latitude when crafting that distinct look of a film.

Shoot in 4K RAW format, edit 4K images in RAW format with the Red Rocket board USD 4,750

Shoot in 4K RAW format, edit 4K images in RAW format with the Red Rocket board USD 4,750

This is only half the story: being able to shoot in RAW format, you get to edit in RAW format. Editing RAW footage is another hurdle to overcome as much much more processing power is required.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- Directed by David Fincher. Shot on Red One MX & Epic. Coming 21-12-2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo- Directed by David Fincher. Shot on Red One MX & Epic. Coming 21-12-2011