These are the steps we take, from the initial capture of your film transfer, all the way through to the last step of making your output file.
This outline is intended for individuals who want to know exactly what is done to their transfer, when they have chosen all of our "image enhancement" options. It also shows how (and why) we need to take these steps, in a particular order. Note: If you do not choose all 3 of the "image enhancement" options, the work-flow steps will differ somewhat.
The first three steps are accomplished with a 10 bit file, because this superior and larger file has finer color gradation (aka color depth) available from which to perform further "image enhancement options." Even though in most cases you'll receive an 8 bit file, the bulk of the extra work happens with a 10 bit file.
DigitizingDigitizing happens in Full-HD (10 bit) and includes some adjustments to light-exposure and color. The output files in steps 1 through 4 result in files that contain no duplicate frames -- vital for accomplishing steps 3 and 4. Playing any of the files in steps 1 - 4 will appear as if it's in fast motion. It's not until step 5 that the final playback speed is corrected.
Secondary Color CorrectionHaving the finer 10 bit color gradation available tremendously benefits the task of secondary color correction. (This task can still be done with an 8 bit file, but is less ideal because gradation banding art-effects start to show.) This task is then followed by "cleaning up" any bad camera pixels -- most cameras have this challenge.
(10 bit) Vertical mirroring (ie. flipping) of the image and the centering of image happens during this step. Sharpening of the image also takes place to compensate for the slight softness the image stabilization brings.
The output file at this step will either be in 10 bit or 8 bit, depending on the file type our customer requested.
The grain reduction process relies heavily on the information of neighboring frames (the most recent frame and the next frame) to improve the look of the current processed frame. That is why it is best to do this step after the image stabilization and before speed correction. During speed correction is where duplicate frames are introduced.
It is best to start off doing secondary color correction before grain reduction. This is because the grain reduction process is an 8bit process. In other words, the process of grain reduction will convert our 10 bit file into an 8 bit file. So please note that if one decides to hold off on doing the "secondary color correction", performing it instead after the file's "grain reduction", it results in a more limiting starting point. This is why it's best to follow the steps in the above ascending order.
Speed correctionThis final step corrects for proper playback speed and final cropping or masking (if any) of the image to obtain clean side edges. Note: The playback speed of all previous files is in fast motion. It is only after this final step that the playback speed is correct.
final output file in
ProRes or AVI file
final output file in
MP4, Blu-ray, DVD
We do not transfer film by shooting its image reflected off a surface, but instead we project its image straight onto a video chip! This is an important difference which makes our transfer process unique. The process of shooting the image from a reflected surface, such as over a matt glass or a silver screen, will not produce a 1:1 capture of the image. But our process does. We project the picture directly onto a 3CCD video chip. This gives us a 1:1 recording of the picture! The recording is therefore sharp and is a light-true representation of what's on the film.
We use a 3CCD video camera for our transfers. This is a broadcast quality camera -- the same technology used in TV studios. It gives us an uncompromising quality recording of your film.
The years have proved to us that all films need to be cleaned! We use professional film cleaners to carefully hand-clean your film. This process consists of feeding the film through special soft cloths moistened by the cleaning solutions. The film gets cleaned once - more if needed. The cleaning process traps most dust and unwanted dirt particles.
We recommend special treatment with a solution called “Film Renew” if the film has mold build-up or if it has become brittle. "FilmRenew" is rarely needed.
We use professional “Film Renew - Urbanski Film” to clean the film if it has mold buildup or has become overly brittle. Depending upon the condition of the film, we either soak the film in a bath of FilmRenew or carefully treat it with cloths soaked by FilmRenew solution. The excess solution is later removed.
Renewing splices is very time-consuming and must be done with great care. We use professional film cement glue to complete the splice. A splice renewal happens when we find a broken splice, a missing leader, or a splice which needs replacing.