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After having 8mm film reels digitally archived, film looks very grainy/ filled with static. Is this digital-looking noise normal? + more 8mm film questions

 
 
Phil Edry
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Posts: n/a

 
      10-04-2004, 05:56 AM
Observe these one-second clips of uncompressed .avi files.

http://www.destructoray.com/example.avi
http://www.destructoray.com/example2.avi

I hired Digital Transfer Systems (
http://www.digitaltransfersystems.net/ ) to archive a number of 8mm
film reels Frame-By-Frame (process described in detail here:
http://www.digitaltransfersystems.ne...ameByFrame.asp
) for a client of mine. I asked DTS to clean the film by hand, and
then to burn raw, uncompressed .avi files onto DVDs to make sure I
wasn't losing any quality to MPEG-2 compression. That meant that only
15 minutes or so of footage could fit on an entire DVD. After going
to these great lengths, I was disappointed to find my video to be very
grainy. (If the clips are too short, go walk through the clips frame
by frame and you'll get the idea.)

To my untrained eye, it looked grainy in a digital way -- as if the
grainy noise was generated digitally during the transfer rather than
actually appearing that way on the film (the film is 60-80 years old.)
I've only sent 12 of 30 reels to DTS and I am trying to determine if
I should send the rest of the reels to them or not. Did they screw
up? My questions are as follows:


Questions related to graininess:

- Is the graininess digital in nature or does the film actually look
like this?

- If the graininess is digital, is it because my archivists screwed up
or were using poor equipment?

- If they didn't screw up and this graininess is something I just have
to deal with, are there any good filters that could take care of the
noise? Should I look into plugin filters for After Effects or some
other sort of software?


General 8mm questions:

- 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I recieved
play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem to have an
fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's the best way to
make the footage play at the proper speed without losing too much
quality to frames not lining up?

- Any good books on the subject?





I appologize for the long-windedness,
Phil Edry - Aspiring Archivist
 
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Frank ess
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Posts: n/a

 
      10-04-2004, 06:35 AM
Phil Edry wrote:
> Observe these one-second clips of uncompressed .avi files.
>
> http://www.destructoray.com/example.avi
> http://www.destructoray.com/example2.avi
>


<snip>

>
> - 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I recieved
> play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem to have an
> fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's the best way to
> make the footage play at the proper speed without losing too much
> quality to frames not lining up?
>
> - Any good books on the subject?
>
>
>
>
>
> I appologize for the long-windedness,
> Phil Edry - Aspiring Archivist


Seems to me your fps info is not correct, at least for 8mm I was
familiar with in the mid-60s.

The clips look very good to me; I think your service did a good job.

--
Frank ess


 
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usenet@imagenoir.com
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      10-04-2004, 07:12 AM
Kibo informs me that (E-Mail Removed) (Phil Edry) stated that:

>To my untrained eye, it looked grainy in a digital way -- as if the
>grainy noise was generated digitally during the transfer rather than
>actually appearing that way on the film (the film is 60-80 years old.)


Super-8 is a very, very low-quality film format. Even 16mm looks pretty
rough when it's digitised, much less 8mm.

--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
\|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
 
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david.mccall
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Posts: n/a

 
      10-04-2004, 12:40 PM

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Kibo informs me that (E-Mail Removed) (Phil Edry) stated that:
>
>>To my untrained eye, it looked grainy in a digital way -- as if the
>>grainy noise was generated digitally during the transfer rather than
>>actually appearing that way on the film (the film is 60-80 years old.)

>
> Super-8 is a very, very low-quality film format. Even 16mm looks pretty
> rough when it's digitised, much less 8mm.
>

What he said. It looks just like 8mm home movies to me.

David


 
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Mark Weaver
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      10-04-2004, 04:39 PM
For digitizing 8mm home movies, I pointed the video camera at the screen
while everyone watched. The result is kind of cool--I got the movie
watching experience on tape -- projector clickety-click sound and running
commentary by assembled family members. Not just a transfer, but a new,
mystery-science-theater style 'work of art' Video quality wasn't bad
considering the source -- in some ways better than the original film, since
the AWB on the camera took care of some yellowing with age.

Mark


"Phil Edry" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> Observe these one-second clips of uncompressed .avi files.
>
> http://www.destructoray.com/example.avi
> http://www.destructoray.com/example2.avi
>
> I hired Digital Transfer Systems (
> http://www.digitaltransfersystems.net/ ) to archive a number of 8mm
> film reels Frame-By-Frame (process described in detail here:
>

http://www.digitaltransfersystems.ne...ameByFrame.asp
> ) for a client of mine. I asked DTS to clean the film by hand, and
> then to burn raw, uncompressed .avi files onto DVDs to make sure I
> wasn't losing any quality to MPEG-2 compression. That meant that only
> 15 minutes or so of footage could fit on an entire DVD. After going
> to these great lengths, I was disappointed to find my video to be very
> grainy. (If the clips are too short, go walk through the clips frame
> by frame and you'll get the idea.)
>
> To my untrained eye, it looked grainy in a digital way -- as if the
> grainy noise was generated digitally during the transfer rather than
> actually appearing that way on the film (the film is 60-80 years old.)
> I've only sent 12 of 30 reels to DTS and I am trying to determine if
> I should send the rest of the reels to them or not. Did they screw
> up? My questions are as follows:
>
>
> Questions related to graininess:
>
> - Is the graininess digital in nature or does the film actually look
> like this?
>
> - If the graininess is digital, is it because my archivists screwed up
> or were using poor equipment?
>
> - If they didn't screw up and this graininess is something I just have
> to deal with, are there any good filters that could take care of the
> noise? Should I look into plugin filters for After Effects or some
> other sort of software?
>
>
> General 8mm questions:
>
> - 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I recieved
> play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem to have an
> fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's the best way to
> make the footage play at the proper speed without losing too much
> quality to frames not lining up?
>
> - Any good books on the subject?
>
>
>
>
>
> I appologize for the long-windedness,
> Phil Edry - Aspiring Archivist



 
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Tom
Guest
Posts: n/a

 
      10-04-2004, 04:40 PM

"Frank ess" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:l-mdncs6-KYuc_3cRVn-(E-Mail Removed)...
> Phil Edry wrote:
> > Observe these one-second clips of uncompressed .avi files.
> >
> > http://www.destructoray.com/example.avi
> > http://www.destructoray.com/example2.avi
> >

>
> <snip>
>
> >
> > - 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I recieved
> > play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem to have an
> > fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's the best way to
> > make the footage play at the proper speed without losing too much
> > quality to frames not lining up?
> >
> > >Your files for viewing on a monitor or tv screen have to be at about 30

frames per second because that is the scan rate of a crt. If they played
at 16 (or 18,which I believe is the 8mm rate) you would have black bars
running down the screen as you viewed it because of the out of sync. A film
transferred correctly however, will use equipment that repeats a frame every
so often to add the necessary frames to give you the 30 fps. If they
simply sped up the projector, the action would appear jumpy and speeded up
like the old silent films.
> >
> >

>
> --
>
>



 
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Gordon Moat
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Posts: n/a

 
      10-04-2004, 06:12 PM
Phil Edry wrote:

> Observe these one-second clips of uncompressed .avi files.
>
> http://www.destructoray.com/example.avi
> http://www.destructoray.com/example2.avi
>
> I hired Digital Transfer Systems (
> http://www.digitaltransfersystems.net/ ) to archive a number of 8mm
> film reels Frame-By-Frame (process described in detail here:
> http://www.digitaltransfersystems.ne...ameByFrame.asp
> ) for a client of mine. I asked DTS to clean the film by hand, and
> then to burn raw, uncompressed .avi files onto DVDs to make sure I
> wasn't losing any quality to MPEG-2 compression. That meant that only
> 15 minutes or so of footage could fit on an entire DVD. After going
> to these great lengths, I was disappointed to find my video to be very
> grainy. (If the clips are too short, go walk through the clips frame
> by frame and you'll get the idea.)
>
> To my untrained eye, it looked grainy in a digital way -- as if the
> grainy noise was generated digitally during the transfer rather than
> actually appearing that way on the film (the film is 60-80 years old.)
> I've only sent 12 of 30 reels to DTS and I am trying to determine if
> I should send the rest of the reels to them or not. Did they screw
> up? My questions are as follows:
>
> Questions related to graininess:
>
> - Is the graininess digital in nature or does the film actually look
> like this?


While 8 mm is not much for quality, and enlarging could show more apparent
grain, it appears that your problem may have more to do with the use of AVI
files, and compression issues.

>
>
> - If the graininess is digital, is it because my archivists screwed up
> or were using poor equipment?


You might ask them to try a different compression algorithm, but you really are
limited to what will work with AVI files. The newer MPEG-4 codec is much better,
and provides some nicer options. Other options are things like QuickTime and the
Sorenson codecs, or various other codecs like CinePak.

>
>
> - If they didn't screw up and this graininess is something I just have
> to deal with, are there any good filters that could take care of the
> noise? Should I look into plugin filters for After Effects or some
> other sort of software?


There is Media Cleaner Pro, from Terran Interactive. You need to be careful
using software on low quality video files, since you can lose a great deal of
detail in the process, even if you are a bit careful.

>
>
> General 8mm questions:
>
> - 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I recieved
> play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem to have an
> fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's the best way to
> make the footage play at the proper speed without losing too much
> quality to frames not lining up?


If you are looking to play these back on a computer, then you could use 16 fps.
The same would be true for a digital projector run off a computer or laptop. The
29.97 fps is an NTSC standard for television playback. Obviously, there is some
conversion involved to go from 16 fps to 29.97 fps.

>
>
> - Any good books on the subject?
>
> I appologize for the long-windedness,
> Phil Edry - Aspiring Archivist


Similar to what another responder suggested, I have seen reasonably good results
from projecting 8 mm, and 16 mm, films and video taping the screen. While that
would not be a fast approach, you might have a better source to start with, or
just keep them on video tapes. You could still have the movies put onto DVDs.
Perhaps you might want to try one that way, or ask a bit more.

I hesitate to recommend any books, since video editing, film conversion, and
codecs, are all specialized knowledge. There are no books I know of that will
provide you with a do-it-yourself solution.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat
A G Studio
<http://www.allgstudio.com>



 
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Frank ess
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Posts: n/a

 
      10-04-2004, 08:10 PM
Tom wrote:
> "Frank ess" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:l-mdncs6-KYuc_3cRVn-(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Phil Edry wrote:
>>> Observe these one-second clips of uncompressed .avi files.
>>>
>>> http://www.destructoray.com/example.avi
>>> http://www.destructoray.com/example2.avi
>>>

>>
>> <snip>
>>
>>>
>>> - 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I
>>> recieved play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem
>>> to have an fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's
>>> the best way to make the footage play at the proper speed without
>>> losing too much quality to frames not lining up?
>>>
>>>> Your files for viewing on a monitor or tv screen have to be at
>>>> about 30

> frames per second because that is the scan rate of a crt. If they
> played at 16 (or 18,which I believe is the 8mm rate) you would have
> black bars running down the screen as you viewed it because of the
> out of sync. A film transferred correctly however, will use
> equipment that repeats a frame every so often to add the necessary
> frames to give you the 30 fps. If they simply sped up the
> projector, the action would appear jumpy and speeded up like the old
> silent films.
>>>
>>>

>>
>> --


Dear Tom.

Please be more careful about your snips and attributions. Not a single
word in this post can be attributed to me.

Thank you,

--
Frank ess


 
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Michael Weinstein
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      10-05-2004, 02:15 AM
On 2004-10-04 02:35:08 -0400, "Frank ess" <(E-Mail Removed)> said:

> Phil Edry wrote:
>> Observe these one-second clips of uncompressed .avi files.
>>
>> http://www.destructoray.com/example.avi
>> http://www.destructoray.com/example2.avi
>>

>
> <snip>
>
>>
>> - 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I recieved
>> play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem to have an
>> fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's the best way to
>> make the footage play at the proper speed without losing too much
>> quality to frames not lining up?
>>
>> - Any good books on the subject?
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> I appologize for the long-windedness,
>> Phil Edry - Aspiring Archivist

>
> Seems to me your fps info is not correct, at least for 8mm I was
> familiar with in the mid-60s.
>
> The clips look very good to me; I think your service did a good job.


8mm most certainly runs at 16 fps. Super-8 runs at 18 fps. Home silent
16mm runs at 16 fps and sound 16mm at 24 fps.
--
Michael Weinstein | "Those who cannot remember the
Nashua, NH | past are condemned to repeat it."
-George Santayana

 
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ClueMan
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      10-05-2004, 10:10 AM
On 3 Oct 2004 22:56:45 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Phil Edry)
wrote:

>- If they didn't screw up and this graininess is something I just have
>to deal with, are there any good filters that could take care of the
>noise? Should I look into plugin filters for After Effects or some
>other sort of software?
>
>
>General 8mm questions:
>
>- 8mm films tends to run at 16 fps, right? The .avi files I recieved
>play at 29.97 fps. Adobe Premiere and Vegas 5 don't seem to have an
>fps output at 16 fps or a multiple of 16 fps. What's the best way to
>make the footage play at the proper speed without losing too much
>quality to frames not lining up?


Go to www.virtualdub.org Get VirtualDub, one of the best video
editors out there, super-fast processing (way faster than
TMPGEnc), tons of options -- and it's free. Then check out all
the free plugin filters that people have written for it (spread
around at various sites online). You can clean up any noise to
any degree. One of my personal favorites is the free UnShake
filter that they have, an image stabilizer for those zoomed
handheld shots. But that's not related to your question, it's
just one of the many amazing things that this program does for
free. Software like that used to cost thousands of dollars -- and
still costs that much to those that don't know any better. They
love to think that you only get what you pay for. Cool, let them
think that. People like that only make me think that there's a
sap born every minute.

As to your other problem, you can also use VirtualDub to adjust
the frame-rate to anything you desire without changing the
playback rate. I believe there's even a plugin that will recreate
inter-frame images if you want to upsample to higher frame-rates
while producing smoother motion (temporal interpolation).

I didn't bother to check out your video clips. The above info
will solve any problems that that company created for you. You
should have just done it yourself. Isn't it fun trying to fix
problems that you willingly paid for? As they say, "You get what
you pay for!" :-)


 
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