Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

And the Oscar goes to… European digital cinema

19.12.2007
Europe is the market leader when it comes to digital cinema. But only a small share of what is produced globally is not on film roll. Poor interoperability, lack of standardisation and high costs have, in the past, slowed down expansion. Researchers are now finding ways to make it easier and cheaper to produce digital film.

Some like it sweet. And some like it salty. The choice in popcorn is pretty simple. And so it is in world cinema formats. On one side, there is old-fashioned and standardised film roll. On the other, pioneering but sometimes fiddly digital data.

In fact, the dichotomy is not quite as evenly split. Big money Hollywood film still likes wheels of reels and digital only has a small share of the world market. But the format is on the up and has the capacity to change the way we make and enjoy film, whether for cinema or for TV.

European researchers are ensuring that the technology moves forward and digital film is already on the verge of entering the mass adoption phase. Global figures show that non-reel film represents about 3% of the market. This may seem somewhat insignificant, but only about three years ago the figures were closer to 0.3%.

And experts predict that the rise will be exponential, with around half of the market going digital by 2012. “There was a very similar evolution when we switched from vinyl to CD. Technologies developed now will eventually be mass-produced,” says Benoit Michel, IP-Racine project spokesperson.

IP-Racine is a consortium of some 20 partners from a variety of different countries. The project aims to develop and integrate technologies and workflows to allow the digital cinema industry to deliver a more complete production chain. The overall objective is to offer a more enhanced experience for cinema audiences and facilitate the use of digital cinema technology in other media.

“We want to create interoperable equipment along the chain with compatible metadata and significant cost reduction,” says Michel. IP-Racine is working towards its aim through contributions to standards, the development of procedural rulebooks and the creation of hardware and software products.

The EU-funded project is carrying out development in a variety of fields, from data handling, storage and processing, to camera, projection and 3D technology. IP-Racine adapted existing technologies and also carries out some more experimental work, such as in the audio field, where America is currently ahead of Europe.

Scene to screen
In one test bed, the project connected an image overlay system with a green screen directly to the camera and was able, only a few milliseconds behind real time, to create a composition of the virtual set and the real actors, clearly improving the way movies are shot, reducing the cost, making it faster and easier, says Michel.

“The difference between other projects and ours is that IP-Racine has been carried out with cost and interoperability in mind. We started at a time when standards were still not established and we were the only ones to look at the whole cinema chain, from scene to screen,” he tells ICT Results.

Another IP-Racine’s test bed in December uses a digital Viper camera, which is the result of previous project research, and a green-screen environment. “In only three days, we will have produced a short film, with the image shot, postproduction done, colour correction, cutting and compression done, with the whole chain fully tested,” says Michel, highlighting the cuts in time and costs when compared to classic film production.

The result of the test bed and the overall project will be on show in January 2008 at the International Digital Film Forum (IDIFF) in Paris.

Versatility first
IP-Racine is confident in the growth of digital cinema, which has progressed rapidly in Europe, despite certain obstacles. Upgrading, for one, is often a bit slow, due to having to approach hundreds of companies controlling relatively small numbers of theatres in dozens of countries.

Quality is a feature of digital, but it is not the greatest driver for producers and end users. The most important factor is definitely versatility, suggests Michel. “Take Titanic, for example, [where] you know it is likely to be a big movie, but you have no way of knowing if it will be a huge blockbuster. So let us say you print 200 35mm copies. The film then exceeds expectations and you want to display it in 1000 cinemas. It will take you two months to make the copies! By that time it is too late. In digital, it is as easy as pressing a button and you have as many new copies as you want,” he explains.

And the versatility of digital means that the format is much more democratic. “Let us say a small producer has three copies of classic film roll printed, which then circulate from city to city. By the time the film reaches smaller towns, the copy is completely worn. The whole film project has a limited shelf life. In digital, you can produce a small film and open with it in 100 cinemas on the same day and there are no extra costs,” says Michel.

The IP-Racine project, funded under the EU’s previous research framework programme (FP6), is due to end in March 2008 after running for close to four years. There are some plans for future commercialisation and many of the partners are already involved in FP7 digital cinema projects, which will certainly benefit from the standard-setting work of IP-Racine.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/89386

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New cruise ship “Mein Schiff 1” features Fraunhofer 3D sound on board
05.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht Small enclosure, big sound, clear speech
31.08.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>