Mechanics & Film Deck. The mechanics used to transport your film are brand new and developed in Germany using German engineering standards. The scanner utilises a high-precision laser to constantly track the film motion and compensate for any damaged splices, pinholes or film shrinkage that on other systems would cause the film to jam or produce an unstable picture. No Pull-Down Claw Capstan Driven, our Data Scanner is extremely gentle on your film. Unlike most projector-based transfer systems the new scanner does NOT use a PULL-DOWN CLAW to move the film through the mechanics. Instead, the scanner utilises a high-precision servo system that glides the film through the mechanics in a fluid way. The scanner uses a soft rubber capstan to drive the film through the mechanics of the scanner so does not require the film pinholes. A film with damaged pinholes will go through the scanner with no problem as the laser tracking will compensate for the damage. Cool Bright White RGB LED Matrix Light Source The system incorporates a cool bright white LED light source to illuminate the film during the scanning process. The light source is actually made up of high-energy RED, GREEN and BLUE LED lights which when used together create a high-intensity white light that is completely cool and totally safe for use on photographic film. During the scanning process, the LEDs are fired at the required frame rate in order to record the high-resolution image from the film.
Film Protection The scanner incorporates multiple sensors throughout the system to constantly monitor the film tension. These sensors include input and output optical sensors for maintaining the correct film tension and also servo current sensors which detect any increase or decrease in drive current. All the sensors are there to protect the film from damage and also to protect the scanner from poor quality film. The scanner operates a closed servo loop meaning that if any tension is lost the system stops immediately. Film tension throughout the scanner is maintained at 100g but configurable through software if less/more tension is required. Large Capacity Reel Support Most transfer systems will only support reel sizes up to 400 feet, this is fine for most applications but causes problems for customers who have larger 600-foot or greater reel sizes. The only way other transfer units can handle this reel size is to cut the reel in half and feed the film through in 2 parts. Our scanner can easily handle films up to 2200 feet or more. Negative Film Stock The scanner is so advanced that it has the ability to not only scan positive film but if required the scanner can handle negative film stock. Internal calibrations have been performed on the unit to ensure that the output image is a faithful reproduction of the original. The system applies a true orange mask during scanning.
The cine transfer process comprises of 3 levels of colour calibration to ensure the video footage is reproduced as accurately as possible.
Level 1 This level of calibration takes place within the data scanner. The scanner is calibrated against a true white reference chart and is then re-calibrated again in order to have the ability to scan negative film stock. This level of calibration is critical in the workflow
Level 2 This level of calibration is done by adjusting the primary light source. The system uses high-energy LEDs to create a bright white light for illuminating the film, however, due to film ageing it could be better to illuminate the film with a colour that is NOT 100% white, so we have the ability to control the colour light source and create a more blue or more red light which can compensate for ageing film. Cheaper transfer units do NOT have this ability and in fact, many cheaper systems just use a domestic light bulb to create the light source.
Level 3 This is the final level of colour calibration and is done on the computer workstation. Using a Vector Scope we check all the colour channels and ensure that the colour, gamma and luminance levels are within legal limits. This is a requirement that sometimes gets forgotten about by other companies and is critical in ensuring a quality transfer
As standard, our scanner can detect and read any magnetic or optical sound stripe located on the film. The audio electronics within the scanner are newly developed and provide the ability to capture audio in full stereo as it was originally recorded. The audio track is then multiplexed with the picture to provide a perfectly synchronised picture and sound video file. Due to the scanner's ability to capture both picture and sound at the same time, there is no requirement for us to perform any synchronisation on the picture and sound, as a result, Images4life DO NOT charge extra to perform this task unlike many other companies advertising on the web. The reason other companies charge extra for sound is that they have to run your film through twice in order to capture the picture and sound separately and then try and align afterwards. If the audio requires any work to clean it up or rebalance the levels then we will do this as part of our enhanced service using specialised software to remove unwanted noise such as main voltage hum, pops or clicks.