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Spirit update!



        I find it rewarding Mr. Festa's recent comments with regard to the
Spirit and its ability to produce a clean and relatively artifact free
image. It's nice to know that a L.A. based commercial post facility is
finally giving this machine a decent viewing.
        I felt that early postings on the TIG with respect to this machine
were tilted either very pro or very con. I found it hard to believe that
most could, and would, make observations based upon what was probably
limited experience. You go to a showing, play around a little, or even
alot, and come away with a matter of fact belief. In reality I can
understand this. Also in reality it's important to spend time with any new
acquaintence to build a better and more harmonious relationship.
        With respect to this I thought I'd deliver a few interesting
observations that I've had in dealing with this machine over the last year.

       The transport is nearly flawless. Film is handled with VERY
impressive stability and I'll be damned if I've yet to spool a load of
film. No scratching, no wind up errors, no tension arms bouncing out of
control. Nearly flawless. The one flaw we've had is the capstan on our
machine may loose it's mind and freeze up. Don't shudder, this happens only
when jogging or at low speed and simply causes the tension arms to drop
into load mode. It's also a problem limited to very few machines and is
currently being rectified.
        Image processing is fantastic. I've spent considerable time in our
URSA Gold suite lately on a project that requires 90 degree rotation and
relative frame accurate inching (framing) of the image. The Spirit doesn't
handle framing the image as easily as the URSA with respect to speed. The
project invloves registering 359 stills shot in a circle for one of these
newly popular frozen moment spots (aka: Timex) and at 6 to 8 minutes of
hell per still I didn't want to loose time framing! Where the hell is the
Flame for this project!
I deter. After spending countless hours on the URSA I walk out with what I
describe to my GM as SCANeyes. The project itself certainly adds to this
but even in realtime it's difficult for me to spend time in this room
without feeling that everything I look at is flickering. I realize that
many of you will argue this point, however it's true. I work for hours in
the Spirit room amazed at the images. I spend 15 minutes setting up for a
session in the URSA room and I'm bitching about alaising. The point being
that after working on this machine for a year I've accoustomed myself to
the image clarity and the flaws in the other room are now MUCH more
apparent.
        Technical support is absolutely wonderful. All the people at
Phillips are indeed very proud of this machine and will address your issues
at ANY time immediately. This is not meant as disrespectful to Cintel. They
also take great pride in their gear and are extremely responsive. The
intent here is that being in Dallas (I am in the middle of nowhere) I was
worried about this foremost when coming here. I can state now that this is
no longer a fear.
        An example of the stability of this machine would be that I have
yet to make an adjustment to my color basemem. We had the machine upgraded
to a Step 2 machine in June which required the replacement of ALL the
boards in the machine. The only thing I had to do was rotate the image 180
degrees in the scan basemem. Color still matches a D1 recording I made when
launching the machine last January and I'm stiil using the same $500 lamp
with well over the alloted hours. Now that to me is impressive.
        Actually the only frustration I have with the room as a whole is
the controller. And I shall keep my comments brief.
        If daVinci were in the word processing business they would be out
of business! The masses would have long ago defected to a more precise and
certainly more powerful software. Bob Festa commented some time ago that
his clients can add effects on their laptops while we still struggle with
filters at the gate. He suggested that daVinci intigrate such into their
software. I shuddered!! With a system that gets more bugs at each software
update than are fixed I would prefer to challange someone, anyone, to build
a REAL, working, dependable color correction system. This said, remember
that I'm driving a Spirit with my controller and it blows! Sorry for being
so brash but I am truly fed up with my desk top.
        Comments from daVinci will be welcomed.
        All said I must admit that I am extremely excited about C-Reality.
It sounds as if the system as a whole is vastly superior to Cintel's
current telecine chains. With all that processing power and color
correction capabilities it sounds as if Phillips may want to start looking
over their shoulder. Hopefully they can manage the control of the system
with their own CONTROLLER and put it into a package that is both powerful
and simple to use.

        All my thoughts are my own. Nobody paid me to say any of this and
with any luck I'll be allowed software revisions without intentional bugs.

        As a personal note: I miss the heck out of all of you in the L.A.
area. My thoughts are constantly preoccupied with the how you are doing.
The closeness of this industry is certainly something to be rejoiced, and
thanks to Rob we have a way to communicate with each other across all the
miles that seperate us. Moving here was certainly a huge step for me
personally and professionally and it has served the purpose for which I
desired.

        God bless to everyone and may this holiday season provide you with
all the love and peace  that life can provide.

M. Drew Marsh
Senior Colorist, which in Dallas means I do hair.
The Filmworkers Club

" If you're not dangling a line, and wetting a hook.
        You're not going to catch a fish."



---
thanks to Andrew Lichstein for support of the TIG in 1998
TIG subscriber count is 910 on Sun Dec 21 18:39:12 PST 1997
complete information on the TIG website http://www.alegria.com/tig3/



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