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Rodriguez uses Linux to Edge out ILM 192

An anonymous reader writes "A Linux device helped legendary independent filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Desperado, Spy Kids, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and others) win the race with ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) to create the first movie ever to use a digital format supporting full-bandwidth RGB. Rodriguez's Sin City, which opens April 1, was shot in Dual Link, or "4:4:4" format, and transferred between tapes and hard drives using SpectSoft's Linux-based RaveHD DDR (digital disk recorder)."
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Rodriguez uses Linux to Edge out ILM

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  • by stefanmi ( 699755 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:12PM (#12054293)
    I would bet that a lot of the digital effects used in this film were rendered and perhaps even designed with Linux. If they were done with Windows they would have used a blue screen.
    • Re:Wonder if... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This was the first interesting Linux-article in like 2 years.
    • In all seriousness, it depends on which company you are talking about. I know someone who worked on small parts of the film in IRIX.
  • Huh? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by gumpish ( 682245 )
    was shot in Dual Link, or "4:4:4" format

    Uhm... what?
    • From TFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by jm92956n ( 758515 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:19PM (#12054330) Journal
      Consumer DV (digital video) cameras typically use a 4:1:1 Y'CbCr format, in which luminance is sampled for each pixel, while Cb and Cr are sampled at every fourth pixel. SD (standard definition) cameras use a 4:2:2 format. HD cameras can use 4:2:2, or a 4:2:0 format based on "spatial" samples of 2x2-pixel squares. Dual Link, however, uses a 4:4:4 technique.

      "It's really the same as 1:1:1," explains Howard. "It just means 'take RGB, break it up, send part of it down one wire, and part down the other wire.'"

      The compromises in traditional Y'CbCr formats were designed to minimize perceptual loss, keying on the human eye's varying sensitivity to luminescence at various color frequencies. We are most sensitive to brightness in green light, less so in reds, and least with blue. This explains why studios often shoot against a "greenscreen" -- Y'CbCr has most information about green, so it's the easiest color for a software program to identify and replace.

      • Re:From TFA (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jpatters ( 883 )
        Congratulations, you have mastered copy and paste! You win!
      • Re:From TFA (Score:3, Informative)

        by NightHwk1 ( 172799 )

        That is true for video, but most studios use film for greenscreening work. The resolution is going to be much higher, and the colors will not have any compression artifacts (which is why filters like this [highend2d.com], or this [highend2d.com] are used. 4:4:4 stores more color information, minimizing those artifacts.

        Also, the color of the screen really doesn't have to be green. Depending on the subject in front of the screen, it can be blue, red, or even black.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by alarch ( 830794 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:24PM (#12054356) Homepage
      have you read the article?

      "But what about "4:4:4 Y'CbCr"?!

      Y'CbCr, also known as YUV, is the color space used by film editing equipment. Y represents luminance, while Cb and Cr are color difference signals.

      Consumer DV (digital video) cameras typically use a 4:1:1 Y'CbCr format, in which luminance is sampled for each pixel, while Cb and Cr are sampled at every fourth pixel. SD (standard definition) cameras use a 4:2:2 format. HD cameras can use 4:2:2, or a 4:2:0 format based on "spatial" samples of 2x2-pixel squares. Dual Link, however, uses a 4:4:4 technique."
      • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Informative)

        by jovlinger ( 55075 )
        JPG uses the YCrCb color space as well, by default at 4:2:2, which is also the resolution you get out of a bayer pattern in a digicam.

        (or was it 4:2:0 you get out of a camera?)

    • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @01:40PM (#12054680) Homepage
      See: chroma subsampling [wikipedia.org]. It's even got diagrams. Though it could use a bit of cleanup.

      Wikipedia to the rescue again!

      --grendel drago
  • Windows.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:15PM (#12054314)
    Linux was vital to this project. As we all know, if it were Windows-based, the RGB mode would be 0:0:4, more commonly known to the industry as "blue screen".
    • "Linux was vital to this project. As we all know, if it were Windows-based, the RGB mode would be 0:0:4, more commonly known to the industry as "blue screen"."

      Gee, a second incarnation of the same tired BSOD joke. Let's all start slappin our knees!

    • Yeah yeah yeah, Windows sux0rs and all, but nowadays the screen is lime green and is common known to the industry as "green screen".
  • Frank Miller (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AAeyers ( 857625 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:17PM (#12054319) Journal
    Rodriguez's Sin City,

    Actually, its Frank Miller's Sin City. IMHO the writer is more important than the director.
    • Re:Frank Miller (Score:4, Informative)

      by Wakkow ( 52585 ) * on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:25PM (#12054364) Homepage
      Also true considering he is co-directing it as well.
      • Re:Frank Miller (Score:3, Informative)

        by mmkkbb ( 816035 )
        Quentin Tarantino is listed as "special guest director" whatever that means.

        If the guy who wrote the comic books also wrote the screenplay AND is co-directing, then anyone whining about canon should be put to sleep.
        • Re:Frank Miller (Score:3, Informative)

          by Wakkow ( 52585 ) *
          Here's what IMDB says about Tarantino and Sin City:

          "Robert Rodriguez scored Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) for $1. Quentin Tarantino said he would repay him by directing a segment of this movie for $1. Tarantino, a vocal proponent of film-over-digital, has said that he was curious to get hands-on experience with the HD cameras which Rodriguez lauds. When asked about his experience, Tarantino merely replied, "Mission Accomplished.""
    • True, but the story is about using Linux in the film, which is credited to Rodriguez. I think saying "Rodriguez's Sin City" in this context is perfectly fine.
    • by mz001b ( 122709 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:37PM (#12054426)
      actually, I think the correct title is GNU/Sin City.
    • Re:Frank Miller (Score:4, Informative)

      by jest3r ( 458429 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:49PM (#12054472)
      Although Rodriguez is technically the director, he quit the Directors Guild so that 'Sin City' creator Frank Miller could be credited as director (The Directors Guild only allows for 1 director per movie).

      As a result of leaving the Guild (or being forced out) Rodriguez lost his contract with Paramount to direct the big budget John Carter of Mars (Princess of Mars). Thats got ot hurt.

      Lucas had a dispute with the Guild back in the day and dropped out as well .... This months Wired has a good article on the subject.

      • Still that article does have a few errors. It fails to mention that Lucas rejoined the Guild so he could direct Episode 1. Also The Letterman Digital Arts Center is not being built atop a garage. They built it where a the old Presidio military hospital was and is quite big.
      • Re:Frank Miller (Score:3, Informative)

        by malducin ( 114457 )

        (The Directors Guild only allows for 1 director per movie).

        Are you sure about that? So what do they do in movies that are anthologies, say like the Twilight Zone movie or the upcoming Eros? There are also many movies that have two directors, like He Said, She Said or movies by the Farrelly brothers? No I think it's because the DGA may demand that directors be members of a Guild but I couldbe wrong.

        • Quoted from Variety Magazine:

          Days before beginning production on the Dimension drama "Sin City," Rodriguez resigned his DGA membership so that he could co-direct with Frank Miller, a film neophyte who created, wrote and illustrated the three-book graphic novel series on which the movie is based.

          DGA rules dictate that there be only one director assigned to direct a motion picture at any given time, although the guild occasionally grants a waiver to that policy. On Thursday, a DGA spokesman said, "The guild
      • F*ck the DG. F*ck them right up their bureacratic asses. INDIE 4 EVER!!!
    • Re:Frank Miller (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sgant ( 178166 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @01:25PM (#12054615) Homepage Journal
      Though it must be said that Rodriguez resigned from the Directors Guild because he felt that Frank Miller should be given co-director credit.

      Rodriguez is a fanatic of Frank Millers work and he would certainly be the first to jump up and correct someone if they said "Rodriguez's Sin City".
  • RGB-B&W (Score:5, Funny)

    by STrinity ( 723872 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:18PM (#12054324) Homepage
    Wow, that explains how vibrant the reds, greens, and blues look in black and white!
    • Even if it were in black and white, a lot can be done with the color channels, especially if the film has visual effects (which this one has many of..)

      Most obviously, color keying.

      But also, having three color channels effectively gives you three different black and white versions of the same image.
  • by anandpur ( 303114 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:23PM (#12054346)
    I've had unreasonably high hopes for "Sin City" ever since I watched that fabulous trailer [apple.com]. But it's not like graphic novels-turned-movies have impeccable track records on the big screen, so imagine my concern going into this.

    For lack of a more eloquent explanation, "Sin City" freaking rules.

    Remember the first time you saw "Pulp Fiction"? You were unnerved and at times downright repelled, but you admitted that it was the freshest, most original thing to be put into a theater since... ever, and you couldn't wait to talk about how amazing it was with everyone you knew? "Sin City" is kind of like that.

    http://sarahlane.typepad.com/sarahword/2005/03/cel luloid_lane_.html [typepad.com]

    1. Is "Sin City" a family movie?
    - Heavens no. It's incredibly graphic and gruesome. I know YOU'RE into that, but don't bring the kids.

    6. Does the all-star cast detract from the story at all?
    - Refreshingly, no. No one character is the main star, it's more like a bunch of supporting roles. Great supporting roles. These actors are stoked.

    8. Are we talking CG animation or live action?
    - Almost all the live action was done with green screens and props, then the magic was painted in later. It's amazing.

    10. I was pleased to see lots of hot chicks in the trailer. Can I expect more of that?
    - You sure can, my friend! But they'll also chop your head off. Literally.
    • What you quoted mentions that no one character is the star, but the first sin city Marv was the central character and it was a great story. I was a comic nut back then and collected all the dark horse presents issues to get the complete sin city story and enjoyed every page of it, and later repurchased it in the reprinted graphic novel. Whereas the followup sin city stories didn't grab me nearly as much as the first.

      So even though the trailer looks amazing and I am really excited to see it, I'm kinda dis
    • I found this trivia [imdb.com] from IMDB quite refreshing:

      # After a poor Hollywood experience in the early-'90s, Frank Miller refused to relinquish the movie rights to any of his comic works, "Sin City" in particular. Robert Rodriguez, a longtime fan of the comic, filmed his own "audition" for the director's spot in secret. The footage, shot in early 2004, featured Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton acting out the "Sin City" short-story "The Customer is Always Right". He presented the finished footage to Miller with
      • by eddy ( 18759 )

        >The footage, shot in early 2004, featured Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton acting out the "Sin City" short-story "The Customer is Always Right"

        It is said that you can actually watch three minutes of that footage here [thepiratebay.org]:

        This are NOT the Sin City trailer from Apple and various other pages, its a trailer that got shown at Comiccon last year, and got pulled from all webpages VERY fast after. Its 3 min of "The Customer is always Right", the short movie Rodriguez made to convince Miller to let him make th

  • Slightly Offtopic (Score:5, Informative)

    by darkitecture ( 627408 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:27PM (#12054376)

    Incidentally, another distinction earned by Rodriguez during the making of Sin City, is that he joined George Lucas and others who have been kicked out of the Director's Guild. Rodriguez's offense, Howard says, was working with a co-director -- Sin City comic book creator Frank Miller -- who doesn't belong to the Guild.

    I know it's slightly offtopic, but Robert Rodriguez wasn't kicked out of the DGA. He quit because they wouldn't allow him to credit Frank Miller as a co-director.

    Kudos to him, I say.
  • Seem a bit odd... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Nimloth ( 704789 )
    That the first movie filmed using a full-bandwidth RGB system is mostly black and white (with bits of yellow and red once in a while)...

    Seems they could've chosen a more impressive set to show off their technology :/

  • by StateOfTheUnion ( 762194 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:33PM (#12054409) Homepage
    In practical terms, Howard says the greater color depth afforded by the Dual Link format gives filmmakers more freedom during "chroma-keying" -- the stage at which solid-color filmstudio backdrops are replaced with imagery. "With Sin City, the entire movie was shot on greenscreen. Robert Rodriguez did some work initially in single-link HD, and he had a heck of a time keying that footage."

    With all due respect to the writer of the article, in practical terms, I'm not sure what this means to the viewer of the film . . . Does this mean that the colors/details look better, or that there are less losses in color/detail during the application of digital effects, or is this fairly immaterial to the end viewer and will the end product look pretty much the same as 4:2:2 work?

    And to extend the question beyond the big screen, will this make a difference in the DVD transfer of this film, or will any benefit be negated by losses during DVD transfer?

    • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @12:57PM (#12054496) Homepage Journal
      It doesn't mean you get better color, but it does mean you get a better movie. The guys who digitally drop the characters into the backgrounds have more freedom to create what they want, since they can more easily make distinctions between foreground and background based on color.

      Which means that they spend less time chroma-keying (picking out the background colors) and more time making movies. As with any big project, the finished product is filled with flaws that only the actual creator can put his finger on, but the overall sense of polish makes a big difference to the feeling you get when you watch the movie.

      You get the same effect writing software: all those little hacks you had to do to get it out the door aren't immediately visible to the user, but they'll piss you off every time you look at them.

      The changes aren't even necessarily subtle: they may have to substantially alter a shot if they can't get the background to drop out properly. You wouldn't notice without being in the editing booth, but you'll probably like the movie that much more for getting more of the director's vision onto the screen.

      I'm a director [for the stage] myself, and though it's very different from film, we're constantly asking "how much can I get away with?" rather than "what can I create?" You tell yourself that the audience won't notice that you couldn't find the right prop, or that you didn't have time to get rid of the dim spot in the lights, but it pisses you the hell off and looks unprofessional even if the audience couldn't elucidate the difference.

      It would be interesting to have a director go into detail on a commentary track to say, "Well, we would have done X, Y, and Z, but we couldn't because the technology was too limited." The closest you get is the re-released Star Wars movies. Well, maybe it's not such a good idea after all.
    • With all due respect to the writer of the article, in practical terms, I'm not sure what this means to the viewer of the film . . .

      Not much, it just means a less cost to create the same end result. Some details of the end result may not have been fiscally possible otherwise, but only the film freaks would really notice them.

      For the most part, it just means more profit for the MPAA-members distributing the film and Rodriguez himself.

      However, I have to admire Rodriguez for his "guerilla" approach to film
      • However, I have to admire Rodriguez for his "guerilla" approach to film-making, he's an indie director that, for the most part, still runs his productions as if they were independent productions (i.e. very frugally, pushing the edges of best-bang-for-the-buck), just with larger budgets.

        Yes. I seriously recommend watching the making-of documentary on the Once Upon A Time In Mexico DVD. It is absolutely awesome how he was able to produce a theatrical film essentially in his garage. There are also a large nu
    • Does this mean that the colors/details look better, or that there are less losses in color/detail during the application of digital effects, or is this fairly immaterial to the end viewer and will the end product look pretty much the same as 4:2:2 work?

      It doesn't mean ANYTHING to the viewer... Just like breaking the world speed record doesn't mean anything to the average car buyer.

      It's a milestone. It means a few things to the makers of the film, but nothing groundbreaking. They mention color-keying, s

      • It's not possible for you to view 4:4:4 video at home, and will be at least a decade before that might change.

        What? No. You're wrong. Many formats use color subsampling, true, but many still formats don't. JPEG defaults to 4:2:2 subsampling in all of the implementations I've seen, but I think it supports 4:4:4. And lossless formats, like PNG or TGA or (shudder) TIFF, clearly support full color inclusion.

        A thought experiment: render some CGI scene, or do time-lapse photography with a still digital camera
        • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @02:39PM (#12054932) Homepage
          "It's unlikely you would be able to see any difference between a 4:2:2 video, and a 4:4:4 video."

          And there is a difference, at least when you're picking out stills and doing CMYK separations on them. Look how blocky and crapulent the yellow channel looks when you separate out an MPEG still or a JPEG image, and how sharp the black channel looks.

          The real question is "Is size a consideration?". If it is not, do an uncompressed 4:4:4 AVI. I believe it will take around 100GB/hr in SDTV, and something like 600GB/hr in full HDTV. Don't quote me on those, but something like that. You can do lossless compression, but it will still be *huge* videos.

          Now, if we assume that it is, the real question is, are the bits better put to use compressing the vid, or improving the color depth? Personally, I'd rather take two separate 4:2:2 pixels than two 4:4:4 pixels mixed up to save space (a gross oversimplification, but you get the idea).

          Depending on what we want, it might be more effective to increase resolution, decrease compression or increase the frame rate than it is to improve the color clarity.

          Resolution: SDTV is enough if you are more than 10x the screen size away. HDTV is enoug hif you are more than 3x the screen size away. In front of my PC, or if I could get a video wall, I'd be maybe 1x away. You'd need a super-HDTV that is to HDTV that which HDTV is to SDTV.

          Compression: Difficult to say. Trained eyes can spot artifacts (blocking, shearing etc.) in almost any vid. Lossless vids would mean much bigger vids.

          Framerate: We can easily move to 60p. That should put us near the "flicker rate" of the eye at 72Hz, perhaps even 90p for perfection.

          So yes... the colors aren't perfect. But nothing else is either.

        • Now, 4:4:4 video production may be a ways off. But it's certainly possible to view the resulting video, though I don't know how many popular codecs support it.

          You simply misunderstood my point. Sure, there are formats that support 4:4:4, but consumer equipment doesn't support 4:4:4, and surely won't for many years.

          On a PC, you can do anything, but you aren't going to be able to go out and by a 4:4:4 version of a movie any time soon.

          DVDs are limited to 4:2:2. HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are going to be limited t

  • The big race... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by papastout ( 774254 )
    Think of all those endeavours ILM has going on...They're about to move to the SF Presidio into a giant new facility where the game company and the film company are going to be rooming in together; Episode III is about to be released (oooh, maybe a PG13 Star Wars flick!) and all those digital film techniques (i.e.: Camera GUI) they have invented. It's a wonder that ILM is no match for a guy that just wants to make a good movie about human depravity.
    I wonder how George will take the news? I predict he'll sp
    • That depends on release dates, not the actual facility per se and happens all the time. When subsurface scattering was shown at SIGGRAPH 2001, VFX and animation houses started working on it. PDI came with an improvement a year later and incorporated it, using it on Shrek 2 which didn't come out till 2004. ILM's Christophe Hery worked on the implementation (mentioned it at SIGGRAPH 2002) but they couldn't apply it on Ep. 2. Some ILM guys left (Joe Letteri and Ken McGaugh) and joined Weta Digital. In the end
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Trying to read that article made me feel like I had ADD again. All of its skipping around on various topics wasn't neccesary. The stupid part of the article is its arrogant attack on ILM when the article later admits ILM has been using this same technology for some time. The only thing is Sin City came out a couple months before Episode 3. Kudos to both studios and I'm not trying to say the Sin City technology isn't an accomplishment, but I wish the author of the article would have focused on their achievem
  • DDR (Score:5, Funny)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @01:11PM (#12054552) Homepage
    I didn't know I could get DDR for linux. Is there a USB Dance Pad I can get? Oh, wait, this must be some othe kind of DDR.
  • *sigh* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kurt Gray ( 935 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @01:22PM (#12054595) Homepage Journal
    I just want to point out that during my tenure at a certain Linux company, the name of which rhymes with "VA Linux".... OK it was VA Linux, back in the heady days of year 2000 I was telling certain key members of upper management there that if VA is going to sell high proced Linux boxen then they ought to consider building and selling boxen specifically for FILM PRODUCTION. I repeated myself more than once. I was told by certain key players in upper management who no longer work there that "We're not interested in going after niche markets."

    VA no longer sells heavy Linux boxes but obviously someone is, and they're selling them to Hollywood.

    • Re:*sigh* (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bernz ( 181095 )
      hey kurt. long time no whatever....

      anyhow, yes. There were companies who competed with VA after I left (angstrom microsystems), that i helped start (angstrom microsystems) that i eventually left (angstrom microsystem). They made rackmounts (and still do i think) specifically for rendering and we put them all over the place (rhythm and hues, pixar, dreamworks).

      but it is a niche market and competitive as hell.

    • To be fair, it is an extremely competitive niche market, but you're right about there being some serious money in it (otherwise it wouldn't be so competitive).

      The particular Linux boxen mentioned here aren't a render farm, but rather a video server (think of it as a very expensive Tivo).

      This particular box has a list price of $25k, and seems to be a strong competitor for other digital video tape recorder replacements, such as the Grass Valley M-Series (which IIRC starts at about $30k), and various other o
  • Sigh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by As Seen On TV ( 857673 ) <asseen@gmail.com> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @01:40PM (#12054674)
    I know you guys have to frame everything in terms of "LINUX WINS!" but you know what? It's not a race. Nobody was sitting around a table going, "I wanna be the first to make a feature with 4:4:4 dual-link RGB!" In fact, just the opposite: Everybody was sitting around going, "Let somebody else try 4:4:4 HD video. I don't want to take a chance on it with millions of dollars of somebody else's money."

    Besides that, this whole thing is completely wrong. We've been using 4:4:4 for years in film production with a device called a "datacine." Go out and shoot 35mm film, which by the way has more color sensitivity than any video camera on the market, then run it through a device that scans each frame at high bit depth and high resolution in (you guessed it) 4:4:4 RGB.

    Seriously, these machines have been around for more than a decade. RGB production is nothing new. You guys are making it sound like it's revolutionary, or worse, like it COULDN'T BE DONE WITHOUT LINUX. Inferno has done 4:4:4 since the mid-90s, and that runs on SGI gear.
    • I won't be the first time that a story has appeared here that made a false claim. Do you think the stories are researched first and verified?
  • filesystems (Score:4, Interesting)

    by noahm ( 4459 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @02:01PM (#12054777) Homepage Journal
    It's interesting that the article mentions the use of the JFS filesystem:

    During ingestion, the RaveHD wrote sequential DPX files for each shot to a standard Linux JFS filesystem on a fiber-channel disk array, Howard says. When all required shots had been ingested, the entire JFS filesystem was made available via Samba and gigabit Ethernet to the studio's production workers.

    JFS isn't one of the high profile filesystems on Linux; People usually talk about Reiser, EXT3, or XFS. I wonder what lead the developers to choose JFS.


  • Kind of ironic that the first movie to use accurate color capturing digital camera is going to be basically all in black and white, with most things done in CG anyway.
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @02:04PM (#12054793) Journal
    ...The Orphanage [theorphanage.com] who are a...dare I say it...Windows house.
  • by Nik Picker ( 40521 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @02:06PM (#12054799) Homepage
    For Spy Kids three that is !

    There is a extra on the dvd for the film where RR ( heavens forbid i even attempt to spell his name ! ) explains how to create some impressive visual and audio affects for your own home movies ( the family friendly ones people ! ) . He gives a very clear and engaging discussion with example film of how to include visual affects , editing and audio additions to make the films more interesting. Id say he understands how open source benefits every on e since he is so willing to share his expertise and experiences.

    As for Sin City ... well as others have commented few Graphic Novels progress well to film but that does not preclude the opportunity that it can occur !
    • He gives cooking tips in the extras on Once Upon a Time in Mexico. (and a bit more about making movies and such).

      He had a really good tip -- learn to cook your favorite food. Get really good at cooking it, then learn to cook your next favorite, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Rodriguez uses Linux to Edge out ILM"

    Should probably read:

    "Rodriguez beats ILM to use RaveHD DDR on a commercial film release"

    If you read the article, you'll see that ILM are using the same kit, so edging out has nothing to do with it - he's just completed the first film that uses one. That said, ILM did used to be first with everything new and shiny in film, so maybe it is a bit of a shock.

    Anyhows Sin City looks mainly black and white, so what's with the 4:4:4 format?
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @02:21PM (#12054851) Homepage
    There are animation systems (including Softimage 3D) which support three floats per pixel. This allows huge dynamic range, so you can have full sunlight and shadow in the same frame. The dynamic range is then flattened, logarithmically (like film) for output.

    Graphics cards will probably start doing this soon. It's a way out of the "shades of black" problem in games.

  • I do have a problem with the article in that it assumes that the color space between RGB and Y'CbCr formats are the same. I regularly use an editor that can work in both color spaces but if I work on a scene using tools based on RGB color space, I need to apply an effect over the rest of that shot (or scene) that limits the Y'CbCr to RGB color space.

    The difference is subtle but noticeable, especially in film (or "digital film").

    Additionally, the tools Rodriguez will use to edit his footage will run on Mic

  • Explain... (Score:2, Funny)

    by bayankaran ( 446245 )
    "legendary independent filmmaker"

    He is a filmmaker - but how is he legendary and how is he independent?
    • Legendary for squeezing the most out of a tight budget (El Mariachi
      probably cost less than the Columbia Lady intro animation ;).
      Independent for doing the editing by himself.
  • Not the first use (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shikari666 ( 770101 )
    While the subject is interesting, the claim about "first movie ever to use a digital format supporting full-bandwidth RGB" isn't quite correct.

    The Viper Filmstream camera has been used on at least two features prior to this and also uses Dual Link output to a RAID.

    http://www.thomson.net/EN/Home/Press/PressReleases /CorporatePress/PREN040209.htm [thomson.net]

    Just setting the facts straight.

  • Both CRTs and flat screen technology use RGB at their core. Light recording equipment (cameras) typically also use RGB. So the signal is still being converted from RGB to YUV and back again.

    YUV/Y Cr Cb is a hack. Originally defined as Y Crb it was a way of fitting colour on to a signal and retain compatibility with monochrome equiment. Because of the available bandwidth on the signal the colour differences had to have a lower resolution which was fine because there are less colour receptors in the eyes
  • ILM also uses *nix for all of their capturing... it was a win win for *nix. I'm still not sure exactly why most slashdotters would be interested in most of the digital cinema developments. But hey it had the word linux in it so it must be relevant to their needs.
  • now Linux will be associated with crappy movies like desperado and from dusk till dawn...

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson