As you start to investigate the possibilities of having your cine film transferred you will find a maze of companies claiming various different methods of transfer in order to offer that BROADCAST quality result... Please BEWARE as the truth of the matter is that most companies run some form of converted film projector and a DV based camera in order to capture the images. Although this does work the results are far from what is technically possible.
The cost of the transfer equipment is a good indication of the quality of the equipment and more importantly how gentle the equipment is on your precious film not forgetting the final image quality. Projector based transfer units cost anywhere from £50 to £2000, some companies make their own equipment from old cine projectors and give it a fancy name, details on how to do this can be found on the web. But remember whatever the company calls the system its still an aging old mechanical projector.
At Images4life Ltd we have now upgraded all our professional telecine products to the latest range of Digital Data Scanners which provide far superior results than traditional systems. Our current film scanners represents over £100,000 of scanning technology and this is the technology that we use on all film transfers. ( Domestic or Commercial ).
Our new scanners contain laser tracking technology to provide both a very stable image and also to detect any film shrinkage which would normally cause cheaper systems to jam/damage the film or produce unstable output.
The film path is completely sprocketless. The film is transported using a soft rubber capstan and the scanner also contains a total of 4 particle transfer rollers which clean the film in a gentle way prior to scanning.
Offering scanning resolutions way above HD our current range of scanners and software control systems provide the ultimate in high quality film transfer.
Also why pay more for HD transfer ?? At Images4life Ltd we always scan at the highest possible resolution, its your choice if you want the footage back on DVD, Blu-Ray, Tape or File. Whatever you choose the film scanning cost remains the same.
If your film contains an embedded soundtrack in either magnetic or optical format then we transfer this as no additional cost.
At Images4life we would love to hear from you, we are more than happy to explain in very simple terms how we transfer the cine film or if you are after a more technical discussion again we are happy to go over the very technical aspects of the transfer process such as colour balancing, 10Bit Uncompressed Video Transfer and/or DPX File Sequences
For more technical information on our service please click HERE
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Film Inspection & Repair
Before we process any of your film on our data scanners we manually check the film for defects that could cause problems during the transfer, these defects can include
a) Poor Quality Joints
b) Damaged Film Pin Holes
c) Poor Emulsion Bonding.
All defects are repaired manually by our in-house technicians using professional CIR film splicers which produce accurate and long lasting repairs to your precious film stock.
Once all the repairs have been carried out and we have checked the entire film reel to ensure all defects have been identified and repaired we then approve the film for transfer on the Flashscan Telecine.
Prior to loading the cine film into the data scanners we perform a series of cleaning inspections on your film, based on our finding we will perform one of the following actions.
a) Level 1 - By default allow the data scanner to use its partcle transfer rollers (PTR) to gently clean the film and remove loose dust and hairs.
b) Level 2 - Cleaning with commercial grade film treatment called "FilmGuard" which removes unwanted particles from the film and also adds a protection layer to the film.
The above steps ensure a clean transfer of your film footage ( less years of dirt and grime ). Also the cleaning of the film helps the natural flow of the film as it passes the digital scanning head thus leading to a crystal clear image
Data Scanner Magic
The cine film is now loaded into our digital data scanner ready for transfer, this is where the magic really starts..... The Data Scanner transports the film silently and smoothly though the mechanics, the Scanner does NOT incorporate any "PULL-DOWN CLAW" as used in projector systems so the film is NOT damaged due to the intermittent start/stop as used on cheaper systems. The film keeps moving gently from start to finish and all the images are captured into a high resolution sequenced images. ( 2K+ resolution by Default )
During the film transfer the scanner tracks the film using pinpoint accurate lasers and then any variation in position is compensated for, this whole process leads to a very stable final image.
The Digital Data Scanner has now captured a single high resolution image of each frame ( called a DPX Sequence ). Approx 36,000 images per 400 foot reel and each image is approx 12MB in size.
The Digital Data Scanner is computer controlled and as a result performs level 1 and level 2 colour calibrations automatically using frame accurate exposure and colour sensors which monitor each film frame prior to scanning, we call it FILM PRE-FLIGHT and it provides frame accurate compensation for colour shift and exposure levels.
The DPX Sequence is then loaded into our MAC-PRO based editor and we start to perform the third and final level of colour correction, for this we use a calibrated external vector scope to ensure the white balance and video signals are within legal limits which is a requirement prior to transfer to DVD, Blu-Ray, Tape or File.
Export to disk, tape or file is the next step of the process. Here we create the final product which can be either DVD, Blu-Ray, Tape, File or any combination.
If as part of the project you requested an enhanced transfer service then at this stage the DVD editors will set to work on creating a stunning interactive DVD presentation which will contain a fully personalized introduction menu and each cine reel will then become an independent chapter on your DVD. This enhancement adds character and flare to final product and also provides an easy navigation tool to help users gets to the section of the final presentation that they require.
If you have selected DVD or Blu-Ray as an output format then your will also receive your disk professionally printed using our in-house Everest II thermal disk printers. These printers use thermal technology to apply the photographic quality images to the disk and as a result the disks are fully light stable and waterproof.
Quality Assurance & Packaging
The final stage of the process is the packaging and quality assurance stage.
At this stage we double check the completed project against your project notes to ensure that the final project meets your requirements. As part of this process we will check,
a) All films processed in correct order.
b) Spelling and Punctuation.
c) On Screen Captions are correct
d) Disk Printing meets our high standards.
Once we are happy with the finished product we then ( for DVD ) professionally over wrap the case using a retail grade packaging machine to produce that retail DVD look and feel, this is ideal for customers giving the DVD away as a present.
At this stage we will then contact you via e-mail or telephone to inform you that your project is completed and make final arrangement for delivery.