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Frameline Generator

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#1 Nikk Hearn-Sutton SOC

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 07:01 AM

In the words of the great MORPHEUS "What is the Frameline Generator?" Depending on if I get approved for it I might get a pro vid HD and I'd like to know what a frameline genny is.

Nikk "Should I take the Red pill or the Blue pill" Sutton
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#2 Ben Fisher

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 10:14 AM

Hi Nikk,

A frameline generator puts an adjustable 'box' on the Steadicam monitor which indicates what your final output may look like (similar to the etched lines on a ground glass). For example, you might be shooting 16:9 but want to frame your shots so that they can safely be cropped to 4:3 or 14:9.

The frameline is often an alternating stripe so as to have the same visibility on dark and light images. The frameline generator often has crosshair generator (which is typically posistioned in the centre of shot), sometimes a dimmable mask outside the frameline (to simulate the all-to-common masking tape found on many production monitors) - it may also synthesize a 'bubble' on the screen to advise the operator of 'level'.

Examples of external frameline generators are Transvideo, Duo by XCS Inc and our own offering the FBX.

Some cine cameras (with video assist) have built in frameline generators, examples that spring to mind are made by Aaton and ARRI.

Kind regards,
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#3 thomas-english


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Posted 11 August 2004 - 08:21 AM

on video if there s something in shot... whithin or whithout the frames (lamp stand?) i call it -- for re-tweek.

on film... do u do the same... or if its at the very edge of frame (way without the markings but within the ground glass) do u call it?

a director was getting well pissed off with me because i kept noticing things on the very edge of frame on an sr2...... they were all easily removed but he just kept saying -- "just f***king shoot it " and getting irate.

it was his like 2nd time directing... whose the tosser me or him?
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#4 Steven Acton

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 09:47 AM

he is !!
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#5 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 11:51 AM


In 16mm the aspect ratio of the full frame is 1.66:1. You would typically shoot for a 1.77:1 (16x9) or 1.85:1 ratio within that 1.66 full frame, i.e a smaller area of the negative.
On a 16mm film groundglass you will always be able to see an area outside of the 1.66 aspect ratio. You do not need to keep this clear of booms, lightstands etc. Even if you are shooting for a 1.66 or 4x 3 project. This is a safe area which is not being committed to film. It allows you to spot a boom or other offending item before it becomes a problem. Coming from a film background this is the single hardest aspect of operating i find when working with HD or video formats, which lack this safe area. Hope this helps.
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#6 RobinThwaites


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Posted 11 August 2004 - 11:54 AM

Hi Nikk

As previously mentioned the frame line generator electronically generates marker lines of some type to show you a safe area for framing. This can be matched to the programme output area of a monitor for video as opposed to the underscan area or alternatively show safe area for transmission as opposed to the camera full scan. Typically TV compaies may transmit over here in 14x9 of 15x9 as opposed to 16x9.

It can also help you frame for 4x3 transmission when shooting widescreen although you will get dead (no action) areas at the sides when viewed in the original format. Many TV cameras generate these lines internally but they may not be adjustable and you will need to know your way around the camera menu to assign it to the monitoring output.

Most importantly it allows you to overlay the electronic lines on the ground glass markers of a film camera which can be impossible to see on the Steadicam monitor depending on the background (especially with a green screen monitor).

If you can afford it it is worth getting in my opinion.

Robin Thwaites
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#7 RobVanGelder


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Posted 11 August 2004 - 12:12 PM

About the angry director:

Don´t go into that discussion with him, but let the AD or setdresser or whoever responsible for the items in frame clear them, or it will be YOUR ASS when the discover in telecine that it wasn´t so safe after all!

Besides, you are doing steadicam, that means a free floating ( but hopefully controlled) frame. It also means you need some space left, right, up and down, or you might as well put the camera on sticks!

That said, one of the first things to check is what is really outside the negative and match that with your frame line generator..
Keep the safe area free of dirt or it will kick you back one time....

Been there, was hit and hurt!

Rob van Gelder, Bangkok, Thailand
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#8 Ben Fisher

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 02:00 PM

There is some great infomation about aspect ratios, safe areas etc... on the website of another UK based company; now don't get excited but BlueLucy

Enjoy :rolleyes:
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