DAVID BUSH - LONDON, UK   david.bush@me.com   Flat 21, 70 Tavistock Road, London W11 1AN, UK . +44 7447 575 512  davidbush.org

8K MOBILE DIGITAL LAB - LONDON, UK  is a division of WOTAN FILM Ltd., 542 Uxbridge Road, Pinner, Middlesex, HA5 3QA, UK  8kmobiledigitallab.com

MIKE CONNOR  - LONDON, UK  wotanfilm@btopenworld.com   +44 7802 255 620     mikeconnorcameras.com

ALBERTO PARODI - GENOA, ITALY  - MULINETTI STUDIOS  alberto@logicalbox.com via Antonio Gandin, 70-1, 16142 Genova GE, Italy.

   +39 347 255 4249,  +39 010 860 6220      logicalbox.com

PAOLO SAVIOLO - VALLETTA, MALTA - LUX MARIS ltd. director@luxmaris.eu   171 Old Bakery Street, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1455, Malta.

+356 7704 1824        luxmaris.eu


Left:  Peter Swinson in 2007 and right in Chicago when working for Bell & Howell, holding their Technical Oscar.

Early one afternoon some 30 years ago a young Peter Swinson, at the time part of the research department of telecine and scanner manufacturer Rank Cintel, explained to us the results of tests he had run with differing resolutions of the same image, so as to evaluate the amount of data each image contained. It took a little to understand but Peter had shown us that by scanning in ever higher resolutions, ever smaller file sizes resulted for equivalent picture quaity. In other words, using Peter's techniques we got smaller files with less data, and yet higher quality pictures. More bang for the buck, so to speak.

To give a pertinent example, compressing a 12k image by 5:1 gives excellent imagery with no visible difference to the uncompressed original. This is called lossless compression. To be honest there are some occasions where we will prefer the uncompressed image, for example, where there are many different and numerous objects changing positions or lighting, but these are fairly rare.

Over the years we have done numerous comparitive tests on the big screen of different resolutions and compression ratios. Making use of ever improved codecs (such as the new Blackmagic Raw), we've also come to the practical conclusion that small amounts of compression can be used for mastering, editing, grading etc. in a pro-active way to reduce costs, while also reducing storage requirements and processing power of equipment. This can be done with no degradation at all in the quality of the images, as long as lossless compression is used, because this is mathematically guaranteed to have exactly the same pixel values as the original.

12k Compression with high resolution images.


Another technique for getting more bang for your buck in terms of image quality is the practise of oversampling - or shooting digitally or scanning film, by using higher resolutions than the final deliverable format will be. This offers better image quality for the finished product, once down-rezzed to the deliverable format. With today's deliverables now usually 4k, what this means is to shoot at 6k -12k, and then down rez to 4 on the final timeline for deliverables. It is also worth noting that using oversampling and compression render remote working eminently more efficient as the resulting reduced data rates mean faster transfer times over the internet.  

Talking of this, it is often thought that remote work is only possible in large cities with fibre optic cables, but, as has already been experienced during the spring of 2020 in full lock down by partner Alessio Focardi of Florence based  Sartoria D'Immagine, for those with adequate software and hardware it is easily possible to receive directly from the set 8K Raw with a 4G + LTE connection, even when living in the countryside. Remote production has also been implemented by Resolve in the new v18 software version (April 2022).

In 2020, together with Mike Connor we founded and designed the innovative Mobile Digital Lab which we offer operationally to large and small documentary, film, streaming and television productions around the World. It is based on our experience and desire to improve a process we have witnessed daily for decades in our work. It turns the post production process upside down, saving money and time, while offering new creative opportunities and a faster time to market for projects that use it.