Sivaji undergoing digital post-production

Chennai, June 8 | Updated: Jun 9 2007, 07:29am hrs
The much-hyped Rajinikanth-starrer Sivaji The Boss, expected to be released on June 15, has one more specialty added to its credit - the movie's video quality. The Rs 60-crore project, claimed to be the biggest budget movie in India so far, is undergoing digital post-production now. It is said to be among the world's very few and India's first to undergo scanning at "4k resolution."

Mohan Krishnan, head, corporate communications, Prasad Group, said, as against the standard "2k resolution", 4k offers "a very high quality image," which would be closest to that of an original negative. However, this process takes more than four times the time, money and effort to grade the data, he added.

The process is tedious because 4k is stored on files that are four times bigger, which have to be worked on and recorded back at the same resolution, he said. Prasad EFX is doing digital post-production for Sivaji.

Under the standard process, colour grading alone, which is a part of the digital intermediate process, can cost Rs 15 lakh, Mohan said.

Once the film shoot is completed, the 35mm or 16mm original camera negative (OCN) has to be converted (scanned) to a digital format, called the digital negative. The negative is then graded as a digital intermediate for further processing.

The scanner or "datacine" captures each pixel in the film into a digital image, normally at a 2k resolution. 2k means each 35mm frame is 2048 pixels wide by 1556 pixels tall (2048 X 1556, approximately 2000, that is, 2k), which is 3 million pixels total. 4k is 4096 pixels wide by 3112 pixels tall (4096 X 3112), which is 12 million pixels total. Hence, the digital negative captured at 4k resolution is much more detailed and closest to the original negative, Mohan said.