Reclaim Time While Maintaining Content Integrity with Fausto Sanchez
Published: October 24th 2018
Effectively retiming media requires precision and balance. Precision comes from an understanding of the fundamental science of picture, sound, and data. Balance allows the machines we build to decode, encode, and intertwine these elements into working material. Together, these principles support and enable businesses to deliver media that tells a story without distraction. Without this formula, shortcuts and oversimplified science lead to artifacts, and artifacts lead to the dark side.
Please enjoy this excellent explanation of the principals of retiming from our friend, Fausto Sanchez at Performance Post, as he discusses what differentiates the Cinnafilm Wormhole product from the rest of the pack.
I’d like to talk about who the players are in the retiming world the very first, probably, person to mention is going to be Prime Image. They were the first ones that really kind of got things going in the electronic realm. Prime has their Time Taylor, very successful product, very much needed, and very well used. Secondly, we have to mention Adobe with their Time Tuner product. Time Tuner was something very, very important because it was bundled in with a whole package of the Creative Suite that Adobe uses. Thirdly, we have Telestream with their Vantage product, Tempo, and it’s an add-on to their whole encoding process. That’s a product to mention because it is something that’s available on the encoding side, and I think it’s a viable product. And lastly I’d like to mention Cinnafilm.
Cinnafilm is probably, for us, has been the most important product. This is something that was brought into the marketplace in its infancy, maybe about 7 or 8 years ago, and it really came into a real area where it became really viable and very well received probably about 3 or 4 years ago. In speaking about Cinnafilm and Lance, I’d like to specifically mention one of their key products that’s very important for us and for our workflows, Wormhole.
Wormhole is an application that Cinnafilm has created to facilitate the retiming: speeding up, slowing down of product. The wonderful thing about it is that it works across all frame rates and it works across all resolutions, so it’s a wonderful product because it’s allowed us to bring to the marketplace a technology that in most cases provides almost a perfect product.
[Music playing over Audi commercial ]
So this is an Audi commercial PAL HD 25 frames progressive, the agency and the creative type found the commercial itself was just a little longer than the timeslot they had. So, it needed to be shrunk down just a little bit. They could’ve gone back and re-edited it, and I suspect that they actually tried that, but I think the question was can we actually bring this down a different way, and not lose the content. So, then the possibility and the thought came, “how about speeding up the content? Can we actually effectively do this, and not destroy what we have creatively done?” Wormhole plays a key part in this commercial, because it allowed us to retime this commercial without any kind of visual artifacts or sound artifacts. It’s very important to talk about what it is that produces these issues, and why they’re unacceptable.
The higher the percentage that we have to retime, in other words, the more time that I need to shorten up, or the more time that I need to lengthen, will dictate whether or not we drop more frames, or have to duplicate and add more frames. This becomes something that works against us visually, as you can tell. You’re seeing these frames being dropped, it is something that’s not something that we’re going to want. Just as picture frames are dropped, sound samples are also dropped, and so this creates all kinds of issues with sound. We now have sound that is skipping, just like the example we gave in pictures. Or all of a sudden you get these really annoying clicks that will happen, so take a listen to this:
[music clicking in Audi commercial]
Blending you’ll see a lot, and blending tends to be a little more forgiving than dropped frames, because the brain tends to push that back, and it doesn’t bother us as much. But, if you’ve ever had your product have to be QC’d and someone stops on a blended frame, it will get rejected by a QC engineer. It’s not appropriate for us to have, and it’s not necessary with a technology that’s now available with the Wormhole product.
Lastly, I’d like to talk about the last of visual artifact that comes up: solarization and posterization. This is a fault of the technology falling apart. The technology doesn’t know how to deal with the motion, with relationship to the contrast the lightness, the darks, in the image itself. Wormhole doesn’t have any of these artifacts, it produces clean frames, to the point that even our QC operators when they stop on every individual frame, the frames are complete. They don’t have solarization, the motion is smooth, it is clean, the sound is perfectly smooth.
[Audi commercial retimed by Wormhole]
It works just perfect and it ultimately, at the end of the day, it created a very pleasing result for the end client.