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Old 30th March 2004, 14:18   #1  |  Link
gvm
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Capturing Super 8 film

Do any forum members have experience of doing this adequately?

I know there is sophisticated telecine equipment that does this (million dollar class) and some providers perform the service by scanning every frame individually to achieve excellent results.

The more common approach is to use a video camera to record the images from a screen projected by a Super 8 projector. The result apparently is certainly not excellent but adequate.

But when I try using an 18fps projector and a 25fps PAL video camera the result is far from adequate. What I get is a flaring in brightness across approx 5 PAL frames, ie brightness builds up over about 3 frames and then reverts to normal across the next two or so before repeating the cycle.

Interestingly, the camera never captures an all black frame which might have been expected if the camera were to have scanned the screen at the time the blade passed across the projector globe.

Does anyone have any tips for improving this outcome please?

If it is not approapriate to ask this on this forum I apologise and ask if anyone can refer me to a good forum elsewhere for this purpose.
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Old 30th March 2004, 15:00   #2  |  Link
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Re: Capturing Super 8 film

Quote:
Originally posted by gvm
But when I try using an 18fps projector and a 25fps PAL video camera the result is far from adequate. What I get is a flaring in brightness across approx 5 PAL frames, ie brightness builds up over about 3 frames and then reverts to normal across the next two or so before repeating the cycle....
First you need to know that PAL records 50 half-frames per sec, so it's highly probable that in some frames only half of lines will be black. Also your "blade" speed is probably not 18 fps but multiple, that further complicates the timing calculation. Maybe even this "flickering" confuses your camcorder's auto-shutter speed circuitry. Try to disable any automatic functions of your camcorder.

I would try to capture the test result with capture card on a PC and try to detect any regular pattern. Perhaps fine tuning of projection frame rate could solve the problem. Perhaps you can even record at drastically decreased speed and then using decimate technique get rid of redundant frames. I haven't tried this, these things just came to mind. I have recorded 8 mm films with plain old VHS camcorder without a problem.
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Old 30th March 2004, 15:02   #3  |  Link
jggimi
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The only 8mm film I've captured was transferred to NTSC VHS by a commercial film transfer company. For NTSC, the 18fps film was sped up 11% to 19.98 fps. At that speed, each frame of film fits neatly into 3 NTSC fields.
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Old 30th March 2004, 15:07   #4  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by jggimi
...the 18fps film was sped up 11% to 19.98 fps...
If we could only have such precise frame rate control in our home projectors...
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Old 7th April 2004, 09:41   #5  |  Link
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Re: Re: Capturing Super 8 film

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Originally posted by violao
Perhaps fine tuning of projection frame rate could solve the problem...
To confirm this I tried to test capture with 8mm projector and camcorder and found that indeed there was a noticeable flickering in recorded video at speeds around 18 fps and 24 fps (these are fps limits in my projector). When I put fps slider somewhere inbetween (20-21 fps, I guess) flickering was virtually eliminated.
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Old 7th April 2004, 19:06   #6  |  Link
rfmmars
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I do this for a living. I compare my work to what is shown on the BIO Channel. Most of the home movies of the stars is shot on 8mm or Super8 film. I produce much better transfer than what is shown on the air.

While the printed specs. of Super 8mm is better, in practice it in not.

Regular 8mm Kodachrome ASA 10 Fime grain fine.
Super 8mm Kodachrome ASA 25 Medium grain.
Super 8mm Etachrome ASA 64 Medium to high grain

Regular 8mm Kodachrome Dynamic range high
Super 8mm Danamic range medium
Super 8mm Etachrome Dynamic range low to medium.

When Super 8mm came out, people stopped using flood lights, cameras went total automatic (right that works), and many developers did poor processing.

You can never telecine correctly with a camcorder, but with a high quality CCTV camera such as Mintron $390.00 with lens, you can equal or beat any other commerical transfer services if you are will to take the time and do filtering.

All cameras auto functions must be turned OFF!!

Visit my website www.photorecall.net (parts under construction) for more information or e-mail me at rfmmars@cox.net

richard
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Old 9th April 2004, 15:25   #7  |  Link
violao
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Quote:
Originally posted by rfmmars
You can never telecine correctly with a camcorder, but with a high quality CCTV camera such as Mintron $390.00 with lens, you can equal or beat any other commerical transfer services if you are will to take the time and do filtering.
@richard - Why do you think this Minitron is superior to a camcorder? Do you always capture at the same "the best" frame rate regardless of the original?

@gvm - Have you managed to capture without flicker? Just curious.
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Old 9th April 2004, 16:15   #8  |  Link
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iirc, there's a filter to eliminate exactly this kind of flicker. i don't remember who wrote it (either donald graft, or a guy who also wrote some scratch removal filter).

i think that if you'll search these forums good enough for a good amount of time, you might come up with better references. i think the thread you're looking for should be quite old (more than a year nearly for sure)
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Old 9th April 2004, 20:48   #9  |  Link
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Hi there, I started out like most using a camcorder. The problem is that most camcorders you can not turn off the auto-exposure or white balance. Most will allow you to go to manual focus.

The problem if this was a good way to go, you will have to setup the camcoder each time you use it.

Because you can't turn off the autoexposeure, the bright areas will always burn out. When doing home movies, many times the point of interest is close up of family members. You want to have nice peeache skin tones, and not a white out.

Some auto exposeure systems track too fast, and you see breathing (plusing picture), some what like flicker. It's a funny thing about projected film, what looks great to you may not what the camera puts out, and vica vers. You need to turn off the white balance. Most camcorders can not.

With the Mintron hi dynamic range camera, you will also turn off the autoexeposure (AGC), white balance, set back light area, and use a fixed focus lens (12 to 17 mm) This way there is never any foucing required after the fixed installation of the camera and focus setup.

The flicker problem..... The need is to get the projector speed down to produce though the camera no flicker. You will want a sound model that will go to 24fps. Most will have a speed control, and the problem solved.

Some, like my 16mm world War II Bell & Howell, have just two speed settings 16 & 24 fps. Solution is to modify the projector by putting a wall dimmer is series with the moter and slowing down from 24 fps.

All my 8 & super 8 projectors are Sanyko. These are super units no film jamming, and can be bought on E-Bay from $75.00 to $300.00 US
I pay $1.00 to $10.00 for them at yard sales and thrift stores.

You could use a auto setp up transform to make the fix 16 fps run faster, but you would have to run the projection bulb on a separate transformer. This what I do in one of my projectors.

Ok what to we do about exposure? I have mounted a long control rod, counter balanced, so I can change the iris setting. This works great except your arm can get tired after projecting a 7" reel.

Solution...... The Mintron camera takes c & cs screw in lens. The very first RCA two piece camcorder model 007, has a lens that justs unscrews. Now you can make a little control box to adjust it's motorized zoom and iris.

Another approch is to adjust the brightness of the bulb. The new 50 watt halagon bulbs $5.00 at home depot, when running less than 12 volts, go slighty to the green side. This is good because cameras tend to not have good green content with projected film.

Flicker.... VD plug-in. When doing my first 16mm job, I had not modified the projector, resulting in heavy flicker. There are two plug ins and I don't see much difference in them.

Do they work? They will take the heavy flicker out, but the white areas, like a wedding dress or a man's white shirt, will have light plusing. Maybe ok of some film content.

The mirical filter......(Auto Levels) The only thing thats automatic that worth a damm, double damm!!!. You have to A-B it in VD to believe it.

This is the basics of a telecine setup. With it you can go head to head with the Pro boys and win every time because you have control over everything.

richard
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Old 9th April 2004, 22:32   #10  |  Link
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Hey guys, I think Richard deserves a big for such informative posts. Thanks Richard!
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Old 10th April 2004, 03:18   #11  |  Link
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Richard, I agree with Violao, that's very helpful information, thank you.

@violao, I do not have a lot of progress to report yet. However, after reading your post about using a plain old VHS camcorder I dusted off my old JVC VHSC rig and did some initial testing. My initial impressions are that it avoids the 5 frame pulsing and I think the level of flicker might be acceptable. I won't know for sure until tonight (hopefully) when I attempt a quality transfer.

My old VHSC camcorder has manual focus, manual white balance. It has two exposure settings (normal and sensitive). My hopes are running high that it will do a good job.

I had previously used a Sony Video 8 camcorder. Although you can manually adjust the exposure, I presume the camera still automatically adjusts exposure around the manual setting. Can you confirm this?
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Old 10th April 2004, 16:57   #12  |  Link
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I take it that the Sony 8 is not Hi-8. I can't tell you that when you set it for manual preset exposure, that it still has some auto adjustment.

My Canon Hi-8 has five presets and what I did was to spray paint a smooth piece of masomite for a screen with a flat greenist gray paint so I would not have a burn out with bright subjects.

Then I brought out from inside the camera a thin flat wire bundle so I could turn the setting on and off. This gave a somewhat manual control over exposure. I use this compermise for a long time.

A single frame of Kodachrome 8mm has a resolution higher than a 8mm camera can resolve, a Hi-8 using s-video out will exceed the resolution of a single frame. A 35mm slide even exceeds the best HD cameras with a top resolution of 8000 line per inch.

So using a regular 8 which is just about VHS resolution will yield a soft but good image. Don't use a high mega pixtal or a 3 chip camera for telecine. The have poor low light performance. As the pixtal count go up, the worst it gets.

The Mintron has 570 line enhanced with a 2x zoom. It also has a built in computer that remembers the setting, plus custom presets.

richard
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Old 11th April 2004, 00:34   #13  |  Link
BaronVlad
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Hi there,

I did some 8mm caps in the past. you can try the deflicker filter by Donald Graft.

There are some other hints how to do this. I am sorry this is German only, but maybe you will find a way to get some information out of it:

http://forum.gleitz.info/showthread.php?t=18#Frage31

Good luck !
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Old 12th April 2004, 03:58   #14  |  Link
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I'm delighted to say I'm making good progress, thanks so much to forum members for their support and especially Richard and violoa. The old VHSC camcorder delivered reasonable results the other night that I can now continue to improve in Avisynth and VD.

Some of the old films physically jittered badly as they fed thru the projector but they did not jitter when the film was played in reverse. I have now learnt how to use Avisynth to reverse the video and will now look to remove the hotspot and what's left of the flicker and restore colour.

I'll let you know how it goes...
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Old 12th April 2004, 05:48   #15  |  Link
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Going in reverse is ok!

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Old 13th April 2004, 09:32   #16  |  Link
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@gvm - glad to hear you're making progress

@Richard - I didn't get that about Sony Hi-8. I have Sony Hi-8 camcorder and it has both manual focus and manual shutter speed (exposure), or is it aperture - who knows. Probably both. It appears that exposure doesn't change automatically when I set it to manual and move the camera towards darker or brighter objects, at least that's what I can see in the viwefinder. I can also confirm that all auto-exposure programs (like those for daylight, spotlight, mountains, etc.) are turned off once I set manual exposure.

It's certain that camcorders are limited to minimum shutter speed not greater than the length of a single field (20 ms in PAL) - that corresponds to 1/50th of second in tradditional shutter speed scale. With that shutter speed it's almost certain that camcorder will occasionally get 2 consecutive film frames on a single field. I can confirm that this happens and it's very annoying. I still can't figure out the reliable way to get rid of such fields/frames.

EDIT: After reading through some other posts I realize that this is known as "blending fields effect". I played with Donald Graft's Decomb and MultiDecimate in order to get rid of this and find that there are some duplicates still left after decimation, as well as some of the frames are deinterlaced by Telecide, so that they clearly differ from the original. Have not tried restore24 script by Didée yet. @Richard, did you manage to get rid of blended fields with your method(s)?

As for deflicker, I don't believe this is a way to go. I believe the flicker may be caused by recording half black lines, therefore missing fields, or even missing complete frames. We should be able to record original projected frames as seen by our eyes, not fabricate them with software.

EDIT #2: I've done some searching on "blended fields" effect and it appears that the biggest problem is having 2 consecutive top or bottom field blended from 3 different frames, like:
Code:
A  AB BC C ...
a  b  c  d ...
In this example it is impossible to restore B field. Using some simple math it can be shown that there is a minimum frame rate for this effect to happen and that one is directly related to the duration of blanking interval in projector (when the frame advances) and video field length of course (20 ms for PAL). For example if blanking interval is 1/5th of complete frame interval then maximum frame rate for fail-safe capture is 20 fps. This assumes that camcorder is allowed to set maximum possible shutter speed (1/50 s per field for PAL). If shutter speed was larger then max frame rate would increase.

Last edited by violao; 14th April 2004 at 11:31.
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Old 15th April 2004, 19:20   #17  |  Link
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I said I have a Canon HI-8 or thats what I wanted you to know. I think that flicker in PAL has to be dealt with a little differently than in NTSC. I have no artifacts when doing telecine, but the frame frame speed is higher in NTSC.

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Old 28th April 2004, 13:21   #18  |  Link
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Well I have finally got round to burning the Super 8 content down on to DVDs. Overall I'm delighted with the quality achieved using Avisynth and VD when the reproductions are displayed via Media Player and when played back from a VHS tape.

But the situation with MPEG2/DVD is different. Having firstly created the disk image on hard drive, all of the content presented well using a software player like PowerDVD. But parts of the video (I emphasise only some sections of image), burned badly onto disk. The effect is serious frame jitter, it is like frames were duplicated with a slight horizontal shift between them.

I burned a couple of more disks to see if it was a one-off problem associated with the burn but all disks produce the same symptom.

I can't identify anything unique about those sections of video that were distorted although the most seriously effected one immediately followed the menu.

Has anyone experienced similar problems?
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Old 28th April 2004, 19:19   #19  |  Link
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Could you post the AVISYNTH script and .VCF processing files used?

Here is the basic AVISYNTH script that I use.

loadplugin("c:\windows\system32\mpegdecoder.dll")
mpegsource("e:\KanasCity\xmas67.mpG")
#complementparity
separatefields
#bob
#SWAPFIELDS
doubleweave

In NTSC, this gives me 59.97 frames per second interlaced, from my interlaced camera capture.

Here's the .VCF script

VirtualDub.video.SetDepth(24,24);
VirtualDub.video.SetMode(3);
VirtualDub.video.SetFrameRate(0,1);
VirtualDub.video.SetIVTC(0,0,-1,0);
VirtualDub.video.SetCompression(0x6461656c,0,10000,0);
VirtualDub.video.SetCompData(16,"TEVBRAUAAAACAAAABAAAAA==");
VirtualDub.video.filters.Clear();
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("Auto-Levels");
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("brightness-contrast-gamma [1.0]");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[1].Config(0, -27, 65, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("Alparysoft Deinterlace"); # USE use a deinterlacing. I use simple mode
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("radial luminance [2.1]");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[3].Config(17, 17, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 255, 0, 0);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("RGB to YUV");
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("xsharpen (1.0 beta 2)");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[5].Config(255, 125);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("YUV to RGB");
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("shadow smoother (0.7)");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[7].Config(8,1,0,1,1,1);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("chroma noise reduction (1.1)");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[8].Config(1, 192, 35, 0, 256, 47, 0, 256, 47, 0);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("chroma smoother");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[9].Config(3);
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("general convolution 3d v1.1");

This script has been modified in Notepad so it can be loaded in VD or VDMOD 1.5.10 with or without the clip being loacded first.

To have a .VCF file that will work when loaded in VD, you will have to by trial and error delete some of the instands lines because it will load incorrect values for that filter or simply will not load the filter and stop at that point.

The problem lies I think in improper code of some filters, and the scripting language itself. It's sad that this problem is not addressed here or in the unoficall Virtualdub forum. It's always my fault, never the product, and since I posted this work around solution, not a reply from them.

I have seen this horzontal jitter before when using the above AVISYNTH script. I have now disabled the "complementparity" The jitter now only happens for the few seconds at the begining of the clip, so I now leave the film leader on the clip so it only happens there, no problem.

However It would always show in the rendered clip, but you are only seeing it in the burned DVD, nowhere else.

I think this leeds us to the final encoding for the DVD.

Using the AVISYNTH script, there are only two codecs that I have found that maintain the 59.97 frames per second interlaced, Divx 5.1 and the new MJPEG codec from Leadtools which is only $9.95 US.

You must use non or deinterlaced with your final DVD burning encode. This is a must! I do mine in Magix's MEP2004 NLE program which is called Video Deluxe Pro 2004-2005 in Europe.

This is a complete NLE package intergraed with a DVD buring program.

I have used Vegas4 and Adobe Premire 6.5, and this program is light years ahead for only $79.95 US. I have even edited HD TV clips and outputed them is NTSC or PAL.

Please post your scripts and I will review them to see if there is a solution.

richard
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Old 29th April 2004, 00:20   #20  |  Link
gvm
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Hi Richard,
I used Avisynth for only a couple of the clips where I wanted needed to reverse the video because I captured the film backwards. I did not use Avisynth for the most seriously affected clip I referred to earlier. Thus the script is:

avisource("C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\video 13.avi")
reverse()

The .vcf scripts follow:

VirtualDub.audio.SetSource(1);
VirtualDub.audio.SetMode(0);
VirtualDub.audio.SetInterleave(1,500,1,0,0);
VirtualDub.audio.SetClipMode(1,1);
VirtualDub.audio.SetConversion(0,0,0,0,0);
VirtualDub.audio.SetVolume();
VirtualDub.audio.SetCompression();
VirtualDub.audio.EnableFilterGraph(0);
VirtualDub.video.SetDepth(24,24);
VirtualDub.video.SetMode(3);
VirtualDub.video.SetFrameRate(0,1);
VirtualDub.video.SetIVTC(0,0,-1,0);
VirtualDub.video.SetCompression();
VirtualDub.video.filters.Clear();
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("hotspot (1.0)");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[0].Config(162, 0, "C:\\Documents and Settings\\User\\Desktop\\VirtualDub\\plugins\\Mask.bmp");
VirtualDub.video.filters.Add("brightness/contrast");
VirtualDub.video.filters.instance[1].Config(-17,17);
VirtualDub.audio.filters.Clear();

I'm Australian, so I am producing for PAL 25fps systems. Thankyou...
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