Scanning Film to Digital
Pro8mm offers many options for scanning Super 8, Regular 8, Max 8, 16mm, Super 16mm and 35mm film in the form of production work and legacy footage, allowing you to choose which digital workflow best suits your needs and budget.
Select from our three distinct systems Basic, Professional, or Data for frame sizes between SD, HD, 2K, 4K and 5K.
How to choose a scanning workflow
Choosing a scanning workflow is important because different workflows have different capabilities for how you want to see and use your film. Pro8mm offers 3 unique scanning systems so that clients can have the maximum flexibility in terms of budget, resolution and performance when using motion picture film. Choosing a workflow can be a challenge. Here are some rough guidelines to help you decide which method is best for you and your workflow.
BASIC: Least Expensive Way to See the Footage
Pro8mm’s Basic scan uses standard definition NTSC or PAL Broadcast resolution using interlaced formatting. Files are encoded at a lower resolution (720 x 480) as ProRes Files or to DVD. All Pro8mm Basic packages come with a one-light color timing, where the color is set based on the first few seconds of the film and transferred through without further correction. This is a faster way to scan, allowing you to save the most amount of money.
Basic Scans are perfect for:
- Home Movies on DVD
- File editing with intro software such as iMovie
- Uploading files to Social Media
- Experimental filmmaking where best quality isn’t required
- We use a Y-Front Ursa Diamond Standard Definition Scanner (it was the best scanner available in the early 80’s/90’s) with powerful Y-Front Dirt and Scratch Concealment technology
- Scanning formats include Super 8, Regular 8 and 16mm film
- Files are 720×480 resolution in the 4×3 aspect ratio
- Variable scan rates including 16, 18, 24 or 25 fps (interlaced)
- Framing options of 4×3 and overscan are available
- Scene-to-scene daVinci color and exposure correction capabilities are available as an upgrade by a performed an experienced film colorist
- Film Transfers with Audio such as Super 8 1 track, 2 track, 16mm optical, 16mm magnetic, Super 8/16mm Mag Fill Coat and Regular 8 film with sound
- Outputs to 422 ProRes Files, DVD or Global Access internet-based file sharing
PROFESSIONAL: For a finished product where pictures look their best
If you want to see your images looking their best with the flexibility of using the images in a professional production you want a Professional Scan. Professional scans are encoded at a much higher resolution (1920 x 1080 high definition) and are formatted 23.98fps which is a professional film standard to ProRes files. Upgrades are also available to 2K DPX files (2048 x 1556 resolution). In this scan images are color and exposure corrected scene to scene, framing is applied, dirt & scratch concealment & often image stabilizing is applied so that your film comes off the scanner as a finished product. These images are ready to used in professional projects or for individuals that want spectacular looking home movies. Client-attended (supervised) sessions are also available to help the client meet the needs of the end result they are looking for.
Professional Scans are perfect for:
- Home Movies best quality
- File editing with prosumer systems such as Final Cut or Premiere
- Professional filmmaking where best looking images at broadcast quality are required
- We use a state-of-the-art Millennium II 4K Scanner, modified with custom-fitted parts for scanning Super 8, Regular 8, Max 8, 16mm and Super 16mm formats
- Scans beautiful High Definition images (native 1920 x 1080) and native 2K images (2048 x 1556) in outstanding clarity and color quality
- Scans and encoded frame for frame (no interlacing) in PSF formating
- Powerful dirt and scratch concealment powered by Y-front scanning technology
- Scene-to-scene daVinci color and exposure correction capabilities performed by an experienced film colorist
- Steady ImageMill Stabilization scanning power which can remove the “jitter,” apparent when Super 8, regular 8, or 16mm film is shot on stabilizing equipment, such as a tripod
- Film Transfers with audio such as Super 8 1 track, 2 track, 16mm optical, 16magnetic, Super 8/16mm Mag Fill Coat and Regular 8 film with sound
- Outputs to a variety of different formats including: 444 RGB 10-bit uncompressed MOV / DPX, 422 10-bit uncompressed, 4444 RGB Apple ProRes,422 HQ Apple ProRes, 422 ProRes,-Ray (viewable only)
- Framing options 4×3 pilar box, 16×9, or overscan
DATA: When the most Raw Data is required for using your own Post Production Tools
If you have the tools and the desire to frame & color correct your own images and just want the maximum information that was on the film as a digital file your want a Data Scan. DATA Scanning is designed to capture the maximum information from the film to digital. This is done in P formatting in HD, 2K, 4K or 5K resolution and typically done as Log files. Master outputs include Prores, MOV, DPX or .AVI. To use these scans you must have post production tools for framing, color & exposure correction and output formatting. A Data scan is done without these labor intensive inclusions with the assumption that you will be doing this work yourself.
Data Scans are perfect for:
- Professionals with the tools to do all the post-production on their own
- We use a scan station 5K scanner
- Formats includes 8mm, Super 8, Single 8, Max 8, 16mm, Super 16 and Ultra 16mm and 35mm
- HD, 2K, 4K and 5K resolution
- Sync sound that is part of the film in either Optical and Magnetic configuration. Audio can be made part of the file or encoded as its own .Wav file
- Outputs to a variety of different formats including .mov and un-compressed DPX files
- Framing options in 4×3, 16×9, Overscan and Full Format Overscan
Recommendations for Encoding
Pro8mm offers many file choices so we can appreciate that it is often hard to pick which codec is the right one for your project. Here are some basic points to help you choose.
If your working with Final Cut Pro7 or X, ProRes is the clear choice. Its scalable from SD to 5K and you have some flexibility to work in 422 or 444. It provides maximum image resolution with the right amount of compression so your system does not bog down. DPX files we typically reserved for high-end post production workflows but in todays market more pro-consumer products like Davinci Resolve can used DPX files. Today most edit packages like Premier will work with Prores files and although Avid has their own file formats, anyone with one of these advanced systems should be able to integrate ProRes or DPX file formats.