Re-animate digitized motion picture film

New Here ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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I digitized a strip of old Super 8 8mm home movie film and now I want to re-animate it at the right speed / FPS.  The camera might have done it at 18 FPS or 24 FPS, so I need to be able to control the speed as a variable.  I am not concerned about any enhancements, just the proper playback speed.  I have tried many different things after importing a sample of 120 individual sequenced frames.  I tried Speed/Duration as well as FPS and that does in fact alter the length of the video clip when exported, but the footage is always the same results: The same lag in motion, the choppiness, the lack of flow.  BTW, I am using the "export" function after attempting to adjust speed and/or FPS, as the sequence, when imported, defaulted to 29.97 FPS, and I prefer to save as an uncompressed AVI file (for archiving purposes).  I am certain that this is just the amateur in me, but I am going to be doing more of this film in the future and i would LOVE if someone could give a workflow in layman's terms so that I can follow it perfectly.  I really need help and would gladly share my created video files via a cloud share to better illustrate my results.  Help is appreciated, and THANK YOU for anyone who wants to try to help. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 12, 2021 Jun 12, 2021

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Are the stills imported as an image sequence? Ie. they appear as 1 clip in the Project panel?

If so, you can right-click on the clip and choose "Modify > Interpret footage". Then choose the frame rate you wish to interpret the clip at. Load the clip in the source monitor and check the playback speed - if it looks right then you can drag the clip to the timeline to create a new sequence based on that frame-rate. When you export, be sure to check the box next to "Frame Rate" in the "Export Settings" dialogue to export at the same frame as your sequence. You can also export the clip without putting it on a sequence if you don't intend to edit it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 12, 2021 Jun 12, 2021

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If by some chance it was originally recorded at 15 FPS it will always look choppy. If it was recorded at 120 FPS it will look silky smooth. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 12, 2021 Jun 12, 2021

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Super8 was generally shot at 24fps (with sound) or 18(without sound). Some (older) cameras may also have offered 16fps. Some Bolex cameras had other options - like 'slow-motion' at 48fps 🙂 ...

so it can be difficult to determine the original fps. 16 and 18fps are both below the threshold for creating the 'perception of motion'. So they are always going to, as you say 'lag in motion, the choppiness, the lack of flow' when compared to the standard frame rates of today. Additionally once you drop (say) 18fps material into a 29.97 sequence - that adds another level of issues.

Mike's suggestion of testing using "Modify > Interpret footage" is the best way to at least determine what speed 'looks' best to give you normal looking motion.

 

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Guide ,
Jun 12, 2021 Jun 12, 2021

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once you figure out the correct speed of objects with some trial and error(prolly 18fps with interpret footage, then you can export to a smoother 24fps look.

 time interpolation - optical flow.

When preparing to export media within the Export Settings dialog, “Time Interpolation” which offers the same three options you see you see within the Clip Menu > Time Interpolation flyout menu.

 

 

you can also try my prototype 18 to 24fps AE frame mixer than uses even frame mix over adobe's weighted frame mix. looks a lot smoother and better visual quality due to scene detection. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1T14mfifr-vvvbkoowgT01NR0Utr56xny/view?usp=sharing

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 12, 2021 Jun 12, 2021

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If you render 3D animation at five FPS and drop it into a 60 FPS timeline is not going to be smooth. There are still only five images every second. Optical flow and different interpolation methods can only do so much. 

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Guide ,
Jun 12, 2021 Jun 12, 2021

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I agree. 18 to 24fps is a lot more doable than 24 to 60. additionally, some people may not like optical flow compared to frame blending which is a little better than whole frame mix. You can also use AE's precomps to timestretch let's say, 50%, then pixelwarp 50%. (as long as you match the percentages, you can control how much warping per smoothness without changing the duration.)

 

as a side note: 

I made that frame blend AE template for a user who did not want pixel motion but adobe's frame blend inplementation was incorrect and did not evenly space out the blended frames, leaving too much blurryness and uneveness. additionally, adobe frame mixed over adjacent clips and caused errors, so I added a scene detection threshhold that paused the algorithm over scene cuts. you can do this manually in premiere if you enable frame blending per clip, but you have to manually click each and every clip in the timeline.

 

If the op wants perfect quality, they can try other optical flow tools,  or even hardware encoders like algolith, teranex, alchemist OD etc.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2021 Jun 13, 2021

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Optical flow can be great but in this instance may look terrible. Optical flow has issues with grain, particularly large grain. And the grain in Super8 is about as big as it gets. I've only ever attempted to use optical flow on 16mm and even then it looked weird - with optical flow attempting to 'flow' the grain.

 

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Guide ,
Jun 13, 2021 Jun 13, 2021

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i'm going to throw this out there. what if you de-grained before re-timing? they did some stuff like this for the james bond restorations.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 14, 2021 Jun 14, 2021

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Could help ... but the grain in 35mm James Bond films is going to be a lot, lot less than Super8.

However - going to try your suggestion on my 16mm stuff and see if it helps.

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