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Cine Transfer - Frequently Asked Questions
The following section covers the most common questions we get asked by our customers and it will also provide you with a great source of information prior to placing your order. Please take the time to go through the various topics and feel free to drop us an email, online chat or pick up the phone and call us with any other questions that you have.
CINE FAQ Questions:
How do I order your service ?
Simple - Just head back to the home page and then along the top navigation bar simply click on "prices" and follow the instructions for an immediate cost estimation. If you want to request a formal quotation at this time you can simply submit your request using the button on the cost estimator and we will come back to you with a formal quotation valid for 30 days. Or simply fill out the form, print it off and send in your films. We will contact you when they arrive to discuss your project in detail.
What size of cine films can you scan ?
We currently support all major film gauges including - Standard 8mm, Single 8mm, Super 8mm, Polavision 8mm Cartridge, 9.5mm Pathe , 16mm, Super 16mm and 17.5mm Pathe.
Are my original films returned to me ?
Absolutely Yes. All film stock is scanned and placed back on to the original film reel. All film is returned to the customer when the order is shipped back.
How safe is your scanning system on my films ?
Your films are completely safe on our system. Our scanner uses a cool LED matrix light source so there is no danger of burnt films. Our scanner is sprocket-less so does not require the use of the film perforations to drive the film through the scanner and also the scanner is computer controlled so the film tension is monitored at 200gram and any deviation with stop the scanner instantly. Before selecting a supplier to transfer your films make sure they provide a comprehensive data-sheet to demonstrate the safe handling of your film stock.
Do you scan frame by frame ?
Yes. In fact our scanner is a new breed of digital data scanners that do NOT output a video signal but instead output a series of high resolution images known as a DPX sequence. Scanners that output video signals are prone to the introduction of noise on the image so the scanning quality is reduced. Digital Data scanners offer the purest image available.
Can you offer a frame sequence format such DPX or Sequenced TIFF ?
Yes. Although the main scanner only outputs DPX images as discussed about the supporting software that drives the scanner can provide output in many native formats including DPX Sequence, TIFF Sequence, QuickTime ProRes422HQ, Motion JPEG, Uncompressed YUV 422 and many many more formats. When ordering a service just specify any special file type/codec and we will do our best to accommodate.
What scanning resolution can you provide ?
We can scan natively at Standard Definition SD ( 720x576 ), Standard Definition SD ( 720x480 ), High Definition 720p ( 1280x720p ), High Definition 1080p ( 1920x1080p ), Academy 2K ( 2048x1556p ) and finally Academy 2.3K ( 2336x1752p ). All scans are pure progressive and NOT interlaced.
Do you charge extra for HD scanning ?
Absolutely NOT - This is just a money making scheme by several other companies. Our commercial scanner is designed to scan at various levels of resolution, for us to switch from SD to HD scanning is a simple click of a button so we can see no valid reason why any company would charge more money for HD scanning. We live in a digital HD world and that should now be the standard. Normally companies charging more money for HD scanning or Sound transfer are doing so because they operate a projector based system that requires either multi-pass scanning 1 for picture, 1 for sound ) or that the HD files take a long time to process ?? Whatever the reason there is no justification for the extra cost.
Is your HD scanning true native or up-scaled ?
All of our published scan resolutions are pure native resolutions. Unlike some companies who take a standard definition file and then upscale the content we ONLY offer true resolution scanning. Also as we operate a digital data scanner the output is pure progressive and NOT interlaced so each frame is complete and true to the original.
Does your scanner use a pull down claw or sprocket system to drive the film ?
No this is really bad method. Our system utilises a high precision laser system that tracks the film motion. The film is transported gently using a soft rubber roller and NOT a pull-down claw or Sprockets. The system is completely silent unlike cheap projector systems that sound.. well like a projector. In general we need at least 1 film perforation hole every 25 in order to registrate the image to the top of the screen, so even if the film is severely damaged with missing perforations then it will still feed perfectly and provide a stable image.
Is the film cleaned as part of the transfer process ?
Yes. As standard our scanner incorporates PTR ( particle transfer rollers ), these rollers act as intermediate rollers and are manufactured from a special material that attracts dust and dirt from the film surface prior to scanning. Because the rollers move in conjunction with your film there is no possible chance that damage can occur.
Air-dusting is offered as a second level of cleaning and involves high pressure air jets used to remove stubborn dirt and grime from the film surface.
We also offer additional cleaning via a system called "FilmGuard", however this system is fluid based and we reserve its use only for the most severe film requiring cleaning.
Can I be provided with both DVD/Blu-Ray disks and also digital copies for editing on my computer ?
Yes. As a standard work-flow we always convert your films to a digital image sequence and then from that format we are able to create any combination of digital masters including DVD, Blu-Ray, Video File, DV Tape etc..
When ordering just specify what combination you require and we will do the rest.
How many cine films can I get on a single DVD Disk ?
The DVD limit is not down to the quantity of films but down to the overall run time. At Images4life we will put a maximum of 90 minutes of film on each DVD. Once you go above the 90 minute barrier the video needs to be compressed to a level that effects image quality so as a company we will NOT compromise on quality and will span the video onto a second and third DVD as required. This does NOT effect your final cost.
How many cine films can I get on a single Blu-Ray Disk ?
The Blu-Ray limit is not down to the quantity of films but down to the overall run time. At Images4life we will put a maximum of 120 minutes of HD video on each Blu-Ray. Once you go above the 120 minute barrier the video needs to be compressed to a level that effects image quality so as a company we will NOT compromise on quality and will span the video onto a second and third Blu-Ray as required. This does NOT effect your final cost.
What format of digital video files can you provide ?
We support all major video formats and codecs. Whilst we will always provide consultancy and recommendations on the most suitable format for your reeds we will also take instruction from you and prepare video files to your exact specification. We offer just to name a few
.MOV, .AVI, .MP4, .WMV, .WEBM, .OGG, .MPG, .MKV, .M4A, .SWF, .FLV and many many more......
How do you handle the different frame rate from film to DVD/Blu-Ray ?
This is a really complex topic and one we are happy to discuss over the phone in order to understand your exact expectation on film archiving. At a basic level the digital video files that we produce are coded in such a way that they tell your computer video player to playback the video at the exact frame rate of the original film, this can be 16, 18 or 24fps. So when you play back the digital files we produce on your computer the video file will look like a projected image with very smooth motion.
The complication comes when you want to transfer that footage to DVD or Blu-Ray. As a standard the European DVD format will only allow 25fps so in order to get a 16fps video to play at the right speed we have to inject the additional frames. For European Blu-Ray disks this will allow 24fps or 25fps so again we have to inject the additional frames.
The added frames are difficult to spot on a DVD or Blu-Ray playback, and in fact because they are typically PAL (Phase Alternate Line) encoded the added frames are even less visible and the motion very fluid. Right now this is a technical limitation of DVD and Blu-Ray standard.
Are you able to repair broken film ?
Yes all your film is inspected, repaired and cleaned prior to scanning. We only use the highest quality CIR film splicers which offer superior accuracy and durability of the splice. This is offered as a complimentary service and does NOT attract any additional cost.
What audio formats do you support ?
As standard we support Mono/Stereo magnetic soundtrack on 8mm film and both Magnetic and Optical sound for 16mm film. Audio capture is done in real time by the scanner to ensure perfect synchronisation between picture and sound.
Audio transfer is a complimentary service and not something that we charge extra for.
Do you support SEPMAG Audio ?
Unfortunately not at this time. Support for SEPMAG is coming in 2015. SEPMAG or Separate Magnetic is a separate 16mm audio ONLY reel which is synchronised with the film during TV broadcast. This required a sound follower system normally linked directly with picture telecine unit.
Do you adjust the colour and contrast levels during the transfer process ?
Yes - During the digital scanning process of the film we use products called vector-scopes to analyse the colour composition of the film. Our scanning system allows for 3 levels of colour correction starting with a base optical adjustment that provides immediate and breathtaking colour correction control. Afterwards we have a further 2 levels of correction if required,
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