Frame capture basics

You will see a lot of hype about small format film transfer on the internet with claims that the capture is frame based or film to video and also film to DVD direct frame capture. Often they are not really anything like true Frame-By-Frame Super 8 – Standard 8mm Film Transfer.

You can also read claims that this system or that system is the best. All these claims amount to nothing more than film chain transfer which is just a nice way of saying the film is projected and not scanned one frame of film for one video frame. Frame-by-frame is a highly complex equipment system that is really simple in concept but difficult to execute correctly.

Each single frame of super 8 or standard 8 mm film is transported at a slow frame per second rate by a sophisticated film transport mechanism that advances each film frame long enough to be scanned and captured as a still image which is compiled into motion video in our high powered video editing workstations to make the DVD of your home movie film.

Let us get a few things straight right off the front foot.

There is NO projector based method that can actually give a true frame by frame transfer. There are only two known methods that actually exist and work.

Avid Tech is proud to introduce the latest addition to our telecine services.

The DV8 Sniper Pro unit, featuring a unique Pulse gate Technology was custom designed and fabricated by Moviestuff Texas USA to create super 8 and Standard 8mm transfers to DVD which offer the outstanding clarity that can only come from frame-by-frame scanning film transfers. Every super 8mm or standard 8mm frame of your film is individually captured directly to 550 + line, 800 line resolution broadcast or HD imaging scanner. The film gate on the Sniper Pro is enlarged to give access to 100% of the film frame and a unique, daylight balanced cool LED light provides rich, vibrant truer colours with no hot spot and no chance of burning your film.

Frame-by-frame telecine means your transfers are 100% flicker free guaranteed, crystal clear and razor sharp from edge to edge. The sprocketless drive system ensures no film damage to your precious home move films.

The Sniper Pro is deadly accurate, resulting in an image that can only be surpassed by top end Rank flying spot transfer services that cost many times more. So get ready for killer transfers from your super 8 and standard 8mm & 16mm films.

Facts, claims and Falsehoods

You cannot get the results of our system using re shoot projected films using Elmo, Goko, RCA TP66, aerial transfer, mutliplexing, telecine or projector based transfer systems no matter what name it is called it is a re shoot of the projected image in motion and since motion is involved there can be NO frame-by-frame capture, period.

Projection vs Frame-by-Frame

The reason none of the projected methods work as well as frame-by-frame has been explained above, no matter what film speed is shot you will not get a well synchronized seemingly flicker free result, how do we know this? Simple for years we at Avid Tech have been doing pretty well with aerial via the best projectors you can get and we have never been happy with the results. Our reputation grew on quality film transfer because we used the best techniques and developed some cutting edge ideas of our own.

The Real Deal

2006 saw Avid Tech continue it’s capital investment in the best technologies available. We commissioned engineers in the USA to build equipment that can and does capture one frame of film at a time.

Who Else wants the best super 8 DVD transfers?

We don’t blow our trumpet and we do not claim to be the best in the world as this is a patent nonsense, the best there is will always be limited by the next technological breakthrough or development.

What we will say is this, there are but a handful of companies in Australia, yes, you can count them with the fingers on one hand that can actually perform frame-by-frame capture, of course as you would expect Avid Tech is right in the top as a company that never rests and never compromises on the best available technology.

How it Works

Frame-by-frame Telecine

Is a system that transports film one frame at a time, long enough to digitize the image to hard drive as a single AVI image file, each frame is advanced and the image captured and rendered as a single frame of video data. When the many thousands of frames have been captured on hard drive a software package is used to assemble all those many thousands of video frames into a motion video you can watch on your TV.

Speed Accuracy

Because our system is so powerful we can assemble those thousands of single images on our multi cpu dedicated video editing workstations that use 10000 rpm RAID “0” arrays to handle absolutely any task with precision accuracy. Not even a single frame drop out which most ordinary PC’s just can not even hope to get close to – another reason why projected methods are cheap because you can use an ordinary PC to capture streaming motion but not thousands of individual frames.

Our system means we can alter the running speed of the finished video from as low as 5 frame per second through 18 fps and 24 fps or 25 fps with dead certain accuracy.

This means that your DVD video of the film will run smoothly and appear to run at the right speed, whereas, projection methods are forced to synchronize at a particular speed to reduce flicker and the result can look most unnatural, frame-by-frame is frame rate accurate and uses no tricks in editing to achieve greater sharpness and clarity than any projected method can possibly come close to. Due to frame discrimination of frame-by-frame telecine, there is no motion blur at all, no strobe affect or flicker guaranteed.

Image Frame Size

By the very nature of projectors film masks you will lose up to 25% of image size due to a mask of the film gate to cover the sprocket holes of the film and also the other edge of the film is covered to keep the film close as the claw that advances the film needs the film held very tightly in order to avoid tearing the sprocket holes.

Projectors also vary with halogen lamp strength from 50 watts to 250 watts and more, all of which are extremely hot and can actually cause bleaching and fading of your films. Films that jam up or stop in the film gate will burn.

You may have seen films with burn holes? Our system does not use halogen lights or hot globes, in fact our light source is very low energy and is no where near the film as there is a light path via indirect low intensity LED light source that can not harm the film or bleach it since it is not even near the film and produces less than 3 watts energy with virtually no heat radiation.

Since there is no film gate pressure plate as such the entire frame of film is visible including the sprocket hole so we can include the very edge of the film itself.

The finished product of course does not show the sprocket hole as you don’t want or need that in your DVD video.

100% Flicker Free Iron Clad Guarantee

Others claim it we guarantee ours is 100% flicker free, no if’s, but’s or maybe’s.

Since we have total control over the entire process we can tell you with certainty that our methods are exact and precise only because our method is 100% frame-by-frame and each frame of film has it’s own full frame of video data.

Make no mistake about this

We know there are very few providers in Australia that can offer this process, so be aware of what you are paying for and not getting.

Quality – Broadcast – DVD resolution

Only frame-by-frame can offer broadcast quality DVD resolution 720 x 576 full image of your film frame edge to edge, There is no major cropping and because we can capture the whole frame you get to see up to 25% more image and this is so important for Standard 8 mm film as the image is so tiny to begin with, lose 25% image surface area and you will have a very grainy and unsharp film transfer as evidenced by any projection method. Frame-by-Frame gives you more image than any projector based method.

Frame-by-frame Telecine Film Transfer

Why frame-by-frame costs more than projection methods

Why projection methods are so cheap

Many backyard operations and retail shops who do other things that are not multimedia are not really interested in your family memories and have only one motive and that is a easy fast dollar.

Avid Tech tells it like it is, we are multimedia, we do film video, audio and related media works. We don’t pretend to do just one thing, we are good at what we do and a lot of people say so too. We have been around long enough to know this industry and the shonks who operate in it. We urge you to choose carefully. lowest price is always a certain disappointment as the old adage applies, you get what you pay for.

Quality is not cheap, we use the best there is available and upgrade our equipment regularly. You want the best and we like to work with the best tools we can as well.

Frame-By-Frame Super 8 – Standard 8 mm & 16 mm Film Transfer Telecine Basics.


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