I have a lot of (for me) valuable "dubble-8" films. Just got myself a simple filmscanner (Reflecta). The original film was captured in 16 f/s but the scanner outputs it in 30 f/s (Mp4). After editing I still want it to be played in 16f/s. I am also unsure about the correct frame aspect ratio. So what would be the best settings for these sequences?
Does anyone know?
Import clips into Project Bin. Multi-select them, then right-click and select Modify > Interpret Footage, then you can manually change frame rate of clip from 30fps to 16fps there.
Next, right-click a modified clip and select New Sequence from Clip and that should get you a sequence to edit in with correct 16fps and right frame size to match clips.
At this point, I would try to just export a short segment right away in the desired format, in order to make sure the workflow provides the desired results. How/where will the final video be viewed or distributed? If on DVD or Blu-ray, then you can NOT export at 16fps and will have to figure out at which point to change that. I'm not sure really.
Meaning, you might still interpret as 16fps, but then edit in a 30p sequence to match delivery. Perhaps someone else has experience with this workflow, as I do not.
Thanks for your answer.
The first paragraph you wrote worked out just as you said it would.
Next part, though, caused me some confusion. I made a new sequence from that modyified clip but when I looked in the sequence settings, of that clip,it told me that the frame rate was not 16f/s as I had expected but 10f/s !?? Running the clip reveals motions (of people f.i.) that feels correct. Then the frame size was unaltered 16:9 when an 8mm film would be more like 4:3. Why in the world my scanner outputs the scanned film in 16:9 I don't know and there is no way of changing that. So I experimented with number of pixels in the sequence settings. I kept the hight 1080 as this is a number I'm familliar with and changed the width to 1200pixels which got me very near 4:3. This will proably affect the quality but I think that may be preferable to looking at people unnaturally short and fat.
Then when i comes to exporting I tried MPEG2-DVD ( 25f/s) as format wich worked just fine
I just did some research on the Reflecta scanner, and also the Wolverine (these may be the same machines, marketed under different names?). At this point, I honestly am somewhat confused with the frame rate business.
For example, perhaps the original film was shot at 18fps, but the device writes a video file at 30fps to the SD card, so...does each second of output video equal like 1.5 seconds of film then? I would assume that one scanned frame of film equals one frame of video, so that would imply a speed variance on playback unless the user would adjust that in Premiere by one method or another.
Also seems that the recorded resolution may be 1080p, which is 1920x1080. Yes, that is always 16:9 widescreen but of course 8mm film is more of a 4:3 frame size. What I might do is create a DV NTSC sequence (or PAL DV if in a PAL country) which is 4:3 standard definition, which will of course match DVD specs. Drop the HD clip into the SD sequence, then use the Motion > Scale setting to shrink the clip down to where it best fits the frame as a 4:3 image. Then export MPEG-2 DVD.
I think that would create a better result than modifying the HD frame sizing.
Back to frame rate...since you are going to DVD, that has a fixed frame rate, either 29.97 for NTSC or 25 for PAL. So in that case, the Premiere Sequence frame rate ought to match one of those, since we can't put a 16fps file to DVD. I just don't know how to tell you to best achieve a proper playback speed of the film scan clip within the 29.97 or 25fps sequence, would take some experimenting and I don't have a sample clip to play with.
I will say I am intrigued by the scanner as I have boxes of old family movies handed down to me from the 1940s through the 70s that I've wanted to convert forever! I had many years ago tried using the 8mm vintage projector and recording the result off the screen with a MiniDV camera and results were so-so at the time.
There was one company online that was modifying old projectors to make them record frame by frame and those units recorded directly to a PC. Each "scanner" was a one-off custom unit and cost about $1500 as I recall. Glad to see someone has addressed this need with an affordable, turnkey, modern solution though I wonder how the quality is compared to having a professional outfit do it?
If creating digital files for PC viewing, such as .mp4, then you could perhaps use 1440x1080 sequence which is 4:3 and drop the 1080p clip into it and it should fill the frame, automatically cutting off the unused sides. However, if you wish to upload to YouTube for instance, they might require a 16:9 source in which case just stick with the 1080p and add black bars to the sides?
Or do what TV news and documentaries do - put clip on V1 and also same clip on V2 above itself. On V1, stretch the clip horizontally so image fills the entire screen, then add BLUR to it. On V2 clip, CROP the sides to reveal same image below that is blurred. MUCH less distracting that black bars. And in this case, you could then export as MPEG-2 DVD but use a widescreen preset.
You have me motivated now to revisit my own scanning project!
EDIT: if you can post a short sample .mp4 clip from Reflecta here or somewhere for download, that would be helpful in figuring out a workflow.
Thanks for your very informative answer!
I have enclosed a short filmclip in two versions. The one named 0012MP4 is the untouched scanned bit and the one named sequence 01 is the result after working on it in PP. With the aid of your advise I did the following:
First I created a PAL DV and dropped the original film in it. Then I modified it to 16 f/s and found it twise as long as the original. I put that bit into the editing window and added "effect" to get to the cropping funktion. That was made with unequal cropping so as to adjust it to the size of the frame in the sequence window. Thereafter I did some editing.
I started to work on the splices where the film once had been cut in two to get rid of unwanted parts and then joined back together with film cement. I worked on a frame to frame basis and then I noticed that every original film frame was duplicated. Now, as the original film was made with 16 f/s and the edited film was played back in 25 f/s with the dubble amount of frames it should be that it now played in 12,5 f/s which then is a little bit too slow. This I find acceptable, at least at the moment.
I was pleased to learn that you found this ability to scan old films interresting. Some years ago I had I film scanned by some pro i Stockholm where I live. I was not terribly impressed by the result and I think what I get out of this machine is equally good. The drawback of letting someone else do the scanning is that for practical reasons you have to let them scan the whole lot (and pay for that) whereas when you do it yourself you can choose exactly what you want. I think that in this way the breakeven when it comes to buying this machine and the money you save by doing it yourself will make it soon worth while. There is one issue that definitely playes a major role in the quality in the end and that is dust. I know that some pros do a so called "wet-scanning" to ensure the film is clean. What I tried right now is to gently wrap a cloth (for cleaning kamera lenses and such) around the film just before it enters the scanning window and it helps but it's not perfect. I may have to work on this.
Ps. Problem! Can't enclose film in this mail as intended. Se If I can make it through "Dropbox". I'll get back to you.
I do look forward to checking out your clips in Premiere so I can understand how the device is saving them (how frames are managed within the .mp4) and what can be done to get best frame rate for playback in Premiere.
I may understand why your frame rate is double, which at first didn't make sense to me if going from 16fps to 25fps. But the .mp4 is actually 30fps, so it is already faster than the 25fps you need, before you interpret as 16fps, so I think that may account for the variance. Will need to experiment when I get your download.
Many years ago, I transferred some films myself, putting a MiniDV camera right next to projector, with both units slightly angled towards one another so both lenses converged on same spot about 3-4 feet away. Rather than using a projector screen, which is grainy, it had been suggested to use the dull side of "poster board", the thin white card stock that kids use to make project displays at school and that provides an excellent image to then record.
By manually setting the camera (iris, shutter, etc.) I was able to capture a pretty nice image that way, except for the image flicker. And of course it was a PAIN to get it all the gear set up/aligned just right, and then it was capturing in "real time" so everything had to work right in one pass.
As for cleaning film, over the years I had collected various bits from second-hands stores - old projectors and accessories. One unit I got was for previewing film. Actually looked sort of like your unit, having a reel on each side and a screen in the center. Except it wasn't a video screen, rather light came up through the film into a mirror and was projected onto the front plastic "screen" which is maybe 4-5 inches across. The film is advanced with a hand crank. Bypassing the film gate, I could just run the film from one reel to another while pinching it in a cleaning cloth.
I've read reviews on the Reflecta and Wolverine units that say during the capture process, dust and debris from the film will fall onto the light and create specks in the image. Wondering if a person could get an air pump for a fish tank and mount the hose to provide a constant stream of gentle air across that surface perhaps??
I saw some sample videos on YouTube that were captured with these devices and one thing that concerns me is the vertical jitter - might not bother the average viewer, but being a videographer I see these things! Since the unit does not use sprockets, it seems that each time it advances the film to the next frame, there may be small room for error, so the framing of one frame is not identical to the next and when played back the image jumps up and down a small bit.
I don't know if perhaps an Image Stabilization filter could help in post?
Will watch for your clips to be available!
First of all, here are the links to the short sequences:
Fingers crossed it works
The contraption you describe for cleaning film sounds very much like
what my father had back in the 1960's named "Moviescoop" (not sure
about the spelling here). I have read different opinions about weather
or not you should use som cleaning detergent. So far I have only used
i've made a bunch of tools for auto flicker, auto white balance, special film color correction(from mr. kennel). etc. they're all free. you've got some farely good contrast in there, so you can do a lot. that's pretty awesome. and yes, you'll need to stabilize. don't warp as its destructive or if you have to, do it after color correction. last question, are you going to convert to 24fps?
auto white and flicker AE CS3 template removes all flicker and changing white balance
premiere neutralize exposure preset mix 18% manual exposure control
dust and scratches
film color premiere preset restrict max chroma values to bypass garish colors.
I downloaded the file and used Interpret Footage to change the fps from 30 to 16 and did change the Pixel Aspect Ratio from 1.333 to 1.0. I then dropped the footage on a 1920x1080 24p timeline and the motion looks good, the image is not stretched, black bars on each side as expected since the footage itself is 4:3. It will look great on Blu-ray or DVD.
If the goal is DVD i would have used a 24p timeline instead of a 25p timeline to avoid re-interlacing that will occur when going to 25 fps for a DVD. For the moment i cannot remeber if Encore accepted 24 fps or if only 23.976 fps was the way to go. (Blu-ray accepts both.)
I updated my autograder out of alpha. bug fixes and works with log now. I tried it on images, animation, old movies and didn't have to change any settings. still not perfect, but pretty cool. once it gets professionally polished, I'll send it up to the library of congress.
Sounds great, only I don't know how to use it or the other files I downloaded from you (autowhite and flicker among others). I'd love some aid with these! The dust-and scratch remover is something I really need at the moment.
I've followed the advise from you and Jeff but bringing the film up to a TV-screen is far from acceptable though. The pixels are all over the place. Is there a remedy for this as well?
I don't understand the issue - "the film up to a TV-screen is far from acceptable though. The pixels are all over the place. Is there a remedy for this as well?"
Do you mean the DVD doesn't look good? If so, in what way?
Nice to know you still keep an eye on my thread.
Yes, I mean the DVD doesn't look good, or actually the edited film still in my project doesn't look good. You see I have my Premier Pro installed on a laptop, quite big to be a laptop, but still the images are quite small even if you enlarge one panel. So, initially I thought everything was nice but when I had made a DVD and put that in a recorder with a TV-sized screen I realized that the quality was far from my expectations. Then I took my laptop and connected it to a larger screen and I found that there was nothing wrong with the DVD-printing itself, but the result from my project was the problem. I think it is what you earlier called "extreme macroblocking compression". At the time I red it I didn't quite know what you ment but I think I do now. What I ment with "the pixels are all over the place" is the sens I get when looking particularily on a larger surface, like a grass lawn or a piece of concrete, and it looks grainy and the grains move about. I have just re-scanned another film that I had made from a professional lab a year or two ago and it is obvious that the problem lies within my scanner. Possibly the compression is too large. The "grains" are very sharp and maybe I could "unsharpen" them in one way or another. I've also noted that there is a white rim around figures especially if they are dark. I haven't done any after effects other than stabilize some slightly shaky scenes due to handheld camera and those scenes are no worse than the rest.
So it's a bit dissapointing but I want to try and do the best there is to do.
I have looked att Reflecta's homepage and I couldn't find anything about an upgrade of firmware for this scanner.
All the best
Yes, I think we are seeing the same thing, which is over-compression of the image. It was probably an online discussion about the Wolverine model of scanner where I saw the comment about changing the compression with a firmware update.
I did have a thought the other day about how to perhaps get around the over-compressed H.264 dilemma - these scanners output composite video during the capture, correct? I was thinking of connecting the LIVE analog video output to a video capture card on my PC. Then if there were some way to GRAB A STILL image at regular intervals to coincide with the timing of the scanner, maybe with a script of some sort? Although no guarantee that would be in sync with the images, might grab between frames...just thinking out loud here.
Just capture the entire transfer process as a video clip and pull the relevant stills from it to assemble proper motion video after the fact?
A Black Magic capture card for example uses M-JPEG compression with 4:2:2 color, much more robust than H.264 compression.
There's got to be a way, but of course would need to be automated in some fashion.
Hmm...Interesting thoughts. Sounds awfully complicated to me though. The output signal is indeed composite and you can send that through the TV-out on the scanner. What you see then is what you would see on the scanners "micro" monitor, that is, frame by frame.
Until quite recently I used Avid Liquid to edit film but the program couldn't manage full HD which led me to change to Adobe instead. I still have Avid Liquid on a stationary computer where I used to capture film and video through firewire, so if the Refleca scanner could send the film out by firewire then there would have been an easier way to accomplish what you suggest - but the scanner can't.
For now I think I'll concentrate on making this film better and I thought that making the pixels less sharp would give the impression of larger areas look more uniform. See if I can do that.
Another thing that could make the overall impression better is getting rid of all the unwanted spots and scratches and Chris kindly sent a link to two different programs that could take care of that (or at least some of that) but I honestly don't know how to use them, or the other programs he has made either for that matter. I adressed him in this thread recently but I haven't had an answer, yet.
All the best
I actually have a Canopus ADVC-300 that a friend was kind enough to give me. Out of production a few years now, but this unit converts analog video to Firewire and does hardware-based image cleanup, so I could try that for "capture" to the computer. Otherwise, I have access to a Black Magic card with analog capture, but not happy with the results from that lately, weird interlacing problems in captured SD video.
I bet it would be possible to write an AviSynth script that would pull frames from the captured video at certain intervals, to reassemble the individual film frames from the scanner capture into a new movie.
Of course, none of this matters until such time that I *might* get myself one of these scanners, right?!
I just found this link full of great information about film scanning hardware and software - Restoring 8mm Home Movies
"making the pixels less sharp would give the impression of larger areas look more uniform."
I have Neat Video DeNoiser software installed on PC at home, but not sure that would work or not - is really meant for noise from camera (low light shooting) versus compression artifact noise.
Certainly worth a try - maybe download the trial version and see what it might do for you?
The mere look of this machine makes me drool but the look on its prize tag makes me completely dry in my mouth!
I'll try to manage without it 🙂
another free option is effect find edges in AE as luma matte then smart blur. it removed edges and desharpens just hard edges.
or you could try the photoshop trick of linear color skin smoothing. it separates chroma and luma so you can play with them separately.
the repair DCT noise by algosoft is probably the best, but its not free.
Boy, did I underestimate the effectiveness of the Neat Video Denoiser plug-in for Premiere. I downloaded the free trial here on work computer and it cleans up the 8mm scan to immaculate condition, like a night and day difference!!
Download these before and after frames, and stack them on V1 and V2, then toggle the top layer on and off to compare before and after, back and forth, you will be impressed! Note that I got this result in Auto mode, but there are many advanced controls including Dust and Scratch removal as well so you can "dial in" the results to your taste, according to the footage being worked on.
I believe you just found me the right solution!!
I've downloaded the demo version and I agree - it does an amazing job. I couldn't find the demo clip to work with so I tried it on my current project. I have some questions about the workflow but what else would you expect whan I've tried it for only an hour or two?
I am so sure this is what I want so I'm about to get the full version at once!
Al the best
I'm embarrassed that I didn't think to try a denoiser right away...since I often use Neat on my own camera footage from low-light shoots where grain is an issue. Glad something good is coming of this lengthy conversation!
About the MovieStuff film scanner, the guy that makes that unit used to find old used projectors, then refurbished and modified them with upgrades to turn them into a film scanner with camera. But of course, each build was unique using different old projectors. I think they ran about $1500 and I'd always wanted to get one, never did of course. Now the $5k makes it completely out of reach to me, but if I were going to advertise to do transfers commercially, then I don't doubt that it would be a fine investment! It just looks beautifully engineered.
Have fun with Neat!
You feel embarrased that you didn't think of Neat Video denoiser earlier!? Why, if you had, I wouldn't have had all the other good advise I've got from this "lengthy conversation". I have learnt a lot, you know! Don't be surprized if you at some time in the future will find another topic from me that could start another lengthy conversation!
All the best!