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Scanning Film to Digital

Pro8mm scans Super 8, Regular 8, Max 8, 16mm and Super 16mm, and 35mm production and archival film using the same technology and equipment used by the major post houses for the mainstream entertainment industry.

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 four distinct workflows: Basic, Production, Advanced or Color Corrected.

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 four unique scanning workflows 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.

Shop Packages

Basic: Least Expensive Way to See the Footage

Pro8mm’s Basic scans are perfect for film where best quality isn’t required. We encode at a lower resolution (980 x 480) as .mp4, universal quicktime or windows media files, ideal for internet viewing or DVD burning. All Pro8mm Basic scans to digital come with best-light color settings, 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 or experimental filmmaking where best quality isn’t required

Specifications:

  • Scan on our data scanner
  • Progressive 720p HD formats in 980x720
  • Best-light basic color setting. (Film will not be scene-to-scene color corrected)
  • 18p or 24p frame rates
  • Basic 4x3 standard framing
  • Output to .mp4, a universal quicktime or windows media file ideal for internet viewing

Production: 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 you want a Production data scan. Data scanning is designed to capture the maximum information from the film to digital. This is done in P formatting in HD or 2K resolution and typically done as Log files. 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.

Specifications:

  • Scan on our data scanner
  • Any scan dimension up to 2K (for example 2048 x 1556 Full Aperture 2K 4x3, 2048 x 1080 Cinema 2K, 1920 X 1080 data HD or create your own).
  • Log (Flat Scan) or Best Light color timing scan 
  • 18p, 24p, 25p or 18 in 24p frame rates
  • Overscan, Full Format, Framed or Matted framing options
  • Output to a variety of ProRes codecs (including 422 or 4444)
  • 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

    Advanced: When advanced tools are required for archival or theatrical film projects

    The Advanced scan is very similar to Production scans, but we offer even more options that may be required if you are doing an archival or theatrical film project. Data scanning is designed to capture the maximum information from the film to digital. This is done in P formatting, and in Advanced you can get 2K, 4K or 5K resolution as Log files. To use these scans you must have post production tools for framing, color & exposure correction and output formatting.

    Specifications:

    • Scan on our data scanner
    • Any frame size up to 5K (5120 x 3840) (i.e: U-HD 3840 x 2160 , 4K Full Aperture 4096 x 3112) or create your own
    • Log (Flat) or Best Light color timing options
    • 16p, 18p, 24p, 25p, or 18 in 24p frame rates
    • Overscan, Full Format, Framed or Matted framing options
    • Output to a variety of ProRes codecs or DPX (up to 2K)

    Color Corrected: Best Quality for a Professional Look

    If you want to see your images looking their best with the flexibility of using the images in a professional production, you want a color corrected scan. Professional scans are encoded at a 1920 x 1080 high definition and are formatted 23.98fps which is a professional film standard to ProRes files. In this scan images are color and exposure corrected scene to scene off the scanner, framing is applied, dirt & scratch concealment & often image stabilization 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 or Professional filmmaking where best looking images at broadcast quality are required.

    Specifications:

    • We use a state-of-the-art Millennium II Scanner, modified with custom-fitted parts for scanning (all formats except 35mm)
    • Scans beautiful High Definition images (native 1920 x 1080)
    • Scans and encoded frame for frame (no interlacing) in PSF formatting
    • 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
    • Optional Steady ImageMill Stabilization scanning power which can remove the “jitter,” apparent when film is shot on stabilizing equipment, such as a tripod
    • 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
    • Output to a variety of ProRes codecs
    • Optional client attended transfers where you can watch your film transferred

    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 you're working with Final Cut Pro7 or X, ProRes is the clear choice. Its scalable from basic 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 (Advanced only) 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.

    Home Movies Legacy

    Any of the 4 workflows can be used for home movies and archival materials. When you re-master your home movies or legacy material at Pro8mm, we apply the same workflow, quality, and integrity to your films as we do for when we archive for the entertainment industry. Pro8mm is proud to offer a 20% discount on all film transfers that are done unscheduled. Unscheduled transfers may take up to 6 weeks.

    For more information about scanning home movies at Pro8mm, please read Why Pro8mm for Transferring Home Movies.

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