The only way you're going to get 8K out of IMAX, is from FILM that has not gone through their DMR process.
DMR is a digital process and would not be used for 8K 70mm film projected prints.
For 8K resolution films, it basically gets printed from NEGATIVE FILM to a 70mm print stock like in the recently release portions of MI4, and Dark Knight, or SCANNED at 8K from 65mm neg stock on one of the few 65mm scanners in the world, manipulated in post for FX and DI work, then shot out digitally at 8K to 65mm film stock which is then printed to 70mm.
Otherwise, all RED shot movies that have been DI'ed at 2K or 4K have gone through their DMR.
So yes, RED certainly has been used for many many IMAX studio releases (Pirates, Contagion, Underworld, etc.) but the 8K 70mm films originate from film shoots. That is why MI4, Dark Knight, the upcoming Dark Knight Rises are special events. Because they feature 8K 65mm original photography in their 70mm prints! That is why you should see some of these movies in 70mm IMAX theatres.
If an 8K digital camera does get released, then the immediate distribution venue is with prints in IMAX 70mm film theatres, since there are no commercially available 8K digital theatrical projection systems that I know of.
But by the time RED or other companies release a true 8K capable cameras, 70mm film distribution, nay even 35mm distribution, will likely be a fading memory. Unless Jim hurries up and releases an 8K camera NEXT YEAR! Right Jim?? ;)
Last edited by Jason Rudd; 02-09-2012 at 12:23 AM.
Avatar was shot at 1080p, it was the sharpest imax film ive ever seen.
People get confused because film has been scanned at 8k.. but that is so it can be reprinted back onto 70mm film, which can resolve 8k.. it has nothing to do with projection resolution, and everything to do with making the best master you can
don't want to burst your bubble though..
James Neihouse posted that he was over at red studios today learning about the EPIC, so i am very curious to see what he will say about the epics use in IMAX
BTW: IMAX is a horizontal 70mm film format with a frame size of 70.41mm x 52.63mm in a 1.43:1 aspect ratio. Basically an IMAX frame is almost 3x2 inches square with 15 perfs. To put this in perspective you could fit almost 10 EPIC sensors on one frame of IMAX. Remember that resolution (2K, 4K, 8K) is independent of frame size/sensor size and perceived (or measurable) resolution is dependent on viewing distance. Traditional IMAX film theaters are built with HUGE square screens and almost vertical stadium seating that puts the audience as close as possible to the action. Anything can be shot, blown up, and printed on 70mm IMAX projection film. What it will actually look like is another thing. And as I said, I thought the Digital IMAX projection of SKYFALL was on par with the film projections I've seen of The Master, Dark Night Rises, Hubble, etc. (though I still think the 70mm IMAX films are still superior).
Tech Specs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAX
70 mm still has more res, obviously, but according to the tests 5K doesn't look so bad projected there via 4K digital (If i remember reading about it correctly, they used Barco's prototype laser projectors) and after DMR blowup process with tad bit of sharpening before the filmout to 15/70mil. Personally, anything better than current 2K digital projection on those big screens is a good thing. Then again, getting a digital replacement for IMAX film camera is just a matter of time. 8K+ full-frame sensors, then 15/70mm-sized sensors and 8K+ laser projection. I bet the camera itself will be smaller than the analog precursor, too ;)
Looking back, way back in early 2008 we took some of my Red One 4k nature footage, had it processed through Lowry in L.A. then output to 70mm for an IMAX projection demonstration for some studio executives in L.A. Their responses went like - "that looks fantastic! - what camera and lens?" When told that it was shot with a Red One in 4k raw using a 20 year old Canon 150-600 f5.6L zoom, then processed and output to 70mm, their jaws really dropped.
I'm not free to give any details whatsoever (please don't ask), but I'm personally aware of at least one currently in production IMAX 3D film which has been using Epic 3D rigs shooting 5k for a significant percentage of their footage acquisition.
From the items of info above anyone can see what my answer is to the thread opening question "Has a Red ever been used for IMAX?" The answer is "yes", and looking forward to the even larger Red sensors on the horizon, in my opinion Red cameras will definitely continue to make serious inroads into giant screen productions.
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