Digital Creative Blog Articles

Next Level Movie Film Scans

Advent Digitizing announces up to "2K" Frame-By-Frame Home Movie Film Scans

By Steve Puffenberger on
Topics: Movie Film
Next Level Movie Film Scans

Advent Digitizing does not us a projector to transfer movie film anymore. The machine we use is a copystand for movie film.

Instead of a typical projector mechanism which stops a frame of film in front of the lens 16, 18 or 24 times a second, this machine features an optical sensor that triggers a high speed camera to take a full size photo of each frame of film as it smoothly passes by. Nothing drags on the surface area of the film. There are no sprockets or claws that pull the film through the gate. There’s no risk of jamming or breakage from torn sprocket holes, bad splices or damaged film. There is no film gate that can collect dust, and no sharp film paths that can scratch film. And there's no synchronization issues between the film frame rate and video.

In short, this machine is more gentle to your precioius film than any other film transfer device.

It shoots frame-by-frame, meaning there’s a digital photo made of each frame of film. Those frames are exported to a robust "source" video file, and then transcoded to a compressed "release" file delivered on a flash drive or portable hard drive. With some frame-by-frame systems you get faster-than-normal speed when it’s played back at video’s 30 frames per second. Not so here. We set the frame rate at the exact speed the camera shot it, so you get true motion, as it was filmed.

Because there is no gate, we can uniquely expand the field of view to capture ALL of the image on the film.  Most Regular 8 and Super 8 cameras recorded an image area beyond what you see when you project it with a standard projector, or when it’s captured in a 4:3 format. We can capture in 16:9 HD format and see a lot of picture that’s normally cropped off. Below is a raw frame from Regular 8mm footage in 16:9. The 4:3 crop is indicated by the yellow dashed line. When finished we'll apply a little crop to hide the sprocket hole, yielding a much more pleasant look on a widescreen TV.

And if your film has sound, no problem. We can transfer optical AND magnetic sound.  Optical sound is done optically by scanning the soundtrack alongside the picture. Magnetic sound requires a tpass through a projector to extract audio (after we transfer the picture). Either way, you get high quality HD or 2K footage along with synchronized sound.  The "Box" outfits can't do that. Learn more here.

As with all of Advent Digitizing transfers, you get an MP4 video file of each reel that can be played on your favorite media player or TV, which you can also upload to your favorite video sharing service. And we can provide you with the source files if you would like to edit in the future or be prepared for the next modern codec. The source files are HUGE, and now we have AVI, MOV or individual JPEG image options. The only extra cost for the source files is for the extra storage required.

When you’re ready for the next level of 8mm, Super 8 mm or 16mm home movie film transfers, Advent Digitizing is the place to go.

Get a free quote now!