13 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2011 1:05 PM by Stephen_Spider

    How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?

    h2ofun Level 1

      Okay, my Dad and I are trying to get the family 8mm films transfered.  So, we now have a projector with a camera, lens and s/w that is probably capturing about 8 fps progressive.  So, at this point, I am lost.  When I go to make a project with CS4, what setting do I use, and how does this impact my original file?  No matter what settings I use, it is always telling me I have a file at 15 fps.  Now, before I keep asking what might be dumb questions, let me just stop and ask, am I trying to put a square peg in a round hole?

       

      Dave

        • 1. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
          Curt Wrigley Level 4

          Is the film already transfered to digital or are you planning to do it?

           

          If its already done; make a project setting tha matches the source (15fps)

           

          If its not already done; send it to moviestuf.com and have it transfered properly.

          Curt

          • 2. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
            h2ofun Level 1

            We are making our own setup to do it correctly, cheaper, and no risk on losing our film.  Plus, as an engineer, I love learning new stuff.

             

            So we bought the camera and software from the imaging source.  http://www.theimagingsource.com/en_US/products/

             

            We used their IC capture s/w to grab images into an AVI progressive file.  It is running about 4.33 fps input.

             

            I guess what I am not understanding, is what and where at the extra frames coming from?

             

            Looks like the least FPS on a sequence I can find is 10 fps.

             

            Dave

            • 3. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
              Curt Wrigley Level 4

              8mm film goes by at 16, 18 or 24 fps depending on what type of 8mm it is.

               

              I dont know what type of capture gear you have.  There are two types generally; real time "video the film" and the better method of capturing each film frame to its own frame.  For the later you then have to use a utilty ti assemble the frames to a video standard.   In the 1st method; there may be some pull down going on to try to match the frame rate difference between 30fps and 16, 18 or 24.

               

              Since you are performing the xfer; can you explain how you are doing it?  Are you just pointing a camera at the film or screen and video taping it?

              • 4. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                h2ofun Level 1

                Okay, after doing more looking, need to do more looking at the capture s/w, so wil close this until I get some other things figured out.

                 

                Thanks

                 

                Dave

                • 6. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                  geobrick Level 1

                  I used mymovietransfer.com (Debenham) and the results were great.

                   

                  What I was looking for is a non-interlaced scan. With digital TV and computers, why must we conform to the old NTSC standard.

                   

                  I have 8mm film that was shot at 16 fps. The film image is obviously progressive. Why deal with the methods designed to take the 16 fps progressive film and put it in the NTSC format of 29.97 interlaced format. I want a file that is 16 fps progressive.

                   

                  I asked the guys at Debenham to scan the film at one frame per video frame. I'm not exactly sure how their scanner works. Did they need to scan each frame twice (2 fields) to create the single frame? I'm not sure. My goal was to have the final file (4:2:2: uncompressed .mov file - I had some 16mm too) as one frame video per one frame film.

                   

                  The resulting file, by default, is interpreted as a 30 fps video and as expected plays back at a faster rate. BUT, in premiere, there's the "Interpret footage as" feature. When I set this to 16 fps, the film is now interpreted correctly.

                   

                  Now for the distribution format. With digital TV and other digital playback devices, can I create a distribution MPG for HDTVs with 16 fps progressive and have a digital TV or computer's media player reproduce the file without having to manipulate the frame rate. Can it just know that it's a 16 fps file and play it that way. I believe there's a QuickTime setting for 15 fps. Why can't I just choose 16 fps instead?

                   

                  Do modern digital TVs and DVD players have the ability to interpret a file set for 16fps? Does my goal make sense to anyone but me?

                  • 7. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    "With digital TV and other digital playback devices, can I create a distribution MPG for HDTVs with 16 fps progressive"

                    I'm not aware of any way to do this.  There is no 16 fps playback video standard.  The normal method for this process is to add the necessary "extra frames" (called pulldown) to get the unusual frame rate up to a standard frame rate.  This is best done during the transfer process so that you end up with a standard 30i (SD) or 1080i (HD) video file.

                    Your special transfer request may have ended up interfering wiht your end goal.
                    • 8. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                      geobrick Level 1

                      But what is the point of the old standards when digital TVs and computers can just look at header info in a file and know how to treat the content.

                       

                      And, since there's plenty of actual film out in the real world shot at 12, 16, 18, and 24 fps, why the need to convert using pull down (which was never a perfect solution).  It made sense when we were all using tube TVs with an interlaced image that was fixed at the 29.97 NTSC standard. Some modern DVD players know how to treat a 24 fps progressive image.

                       

                      I have to assume that what I'm looking for will be available soon. Until then, I'll hold my edited projects at 16 fps until the appropriate distribution format exists. I've already created "compromised" versions for DVD and web distributions (actually formats for the web at 15fps are very close).

                       

                      One day my dream will come true and digital video player will be able to interpret any format.

                      • 9. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                        Jim_Simon Level 8

                        But what is the point of the old standards when digital TVs and computers can just look at header info in a file and know how to treat the content.

                         

                        Computer's can. (Or rather, computer programs can).

                         

                        TVs can't.  They're generally limited to standard video formats.

                         

                        since there's plenty of actual film out in the real world shot at 12, 16, 18, and 24 fps, why the need to convert using pull down

                         

                        Because video playback systems are much more limited in frame rates and resolution than is film.  Video systems have standards that must be adhered to.  And those standards were primarilly developed without regard to film.  Making film 'work' in the context of a video standard (using pulldown) was a solution that came later.

                         

                        Some modern DVD players know how to treat a 24 fps progressive image.


                        They all know how - by adding the required pulldown during output.  But the file on disk must still be at one of the accepted standards of 24 fps.  You can't just throw on any frame rate you like and have the DVD player work correctly.

                         

                        I have to assume that what I'm looking for will be available soon.

                         

                        Given the very recent official switch to HD, which has been coming for about a decade now, it is unlikely that another sea change such as you wish for will happen within the next several decades.  You are likely in for a loooooong wait.

                        • 10. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                          NY2LA Level 1

                          This web page features downloadable samples of video at a non-standard frame rate (10 frames per second) created by an MIT professor who didn't want to use a standard frame rate:

                           

                           

                          http://electron.mit.edu/~gsteele/ffmpeg/

                           

                           

                          Granted, this video is animation, and doesn't show us what live action on 8mm film would look like.  But that's really besides my point.  Neither is my point to use ffmpeg, necessarily.

                           

                           

                          I downloaded the files with the .mp4 extension on both my iMac and my Windows netbook.  (I didn't bother with the AVI files.)  They play nicely with Quicktime Player 10 on my Mac, and Windows Media Player on my Windows netbook.  Both programs show the frame rate as 10 frames per second.  So my point is, apparently there is support for non-standard frame rates in the computer world.

                           

                           

                          Looks like the professor used an old MPEG4 codec, perhaps because H.264 wasn't around at the time.  MediaInfo refers to it as being under the rubric of MPEG-4 Visual.  Looks to me it might be great for 8mm or Super8 film transfers with no sound, after transferring 1:1 and creating a still image sequence.

                          • 11. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                            Stephen_Spider Level 3

                            I've transferred a lot of film to  with this:

                            ELMO Super 8 Sound Movie Projector, Telecine Video 

                            One of Highest Quality Transfer System FocusScan SX-4          . . .On Ebay for about $1,500

                             

                            If you intent on going it alone, creating your own process, then you will need a good projection surface to project onto, then a nice camera with variable shutter speeds, manual focus and Iris.

                             

                            Your going to end up mastering to 30 frames per sec, if that is that you want to distribute playable DVD to the Fam.

                            • 12. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                              NY2LA Level 1

                              Stephen_Spider wrote:

                               

                               

                              Your going to end up mastering to 30 frames per sec, if that is that you want to distribute playable DVD to the Fam.

                               

                              I'm only referring to creating media files -- i.e., for uploading and downloading -- not DVD's.

                              • 13. Re: How to deal with an 8MM film transfer?
                                Stephen_Spider Level 3

                                Good luck. Let us know if you invent something cool.