Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

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chrisgavin
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Real name: Chris Gavin
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Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by chrisgavin » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:23 pm

Hello filmshooting forum mates.

I've had about a four year gap from posting anything here; there's been just too much else going on in life and work and I've just not been able to move on with my cine film activities at all!

But around a week ago i dug out my old DIY cine film scanning project, dusted it down and decided to get it running again. I did blog about this previously over at chrisgavin.com back in the day (around 2013)
http://www.chrisgavin.com/2013/10/anoth ... anner.html

But I never did take the time to show the project in action to the world...

UNTIL NOW!

Well here's a very short video I've just put together today to do just that,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tlME2GGbko

In the past few days I've even made a few minor improvements to it. I've got the system working with the Lumix GH4 mirrorless camera now rather than the Canon 600D DSLR I was using before. The GH4 has a smaller sensor so less macro tube enlargement is needed. Also I think the GH4's 'electronic shutter' mode should be more durable than the mechanical shutter of the older Canon DSLR.

I used the earlier version of this device to digitize my B/W super8 fils CABLE CAR and SECRET NUCLEAR BUNKER, you can watch these on my youtube channel, they're all there!
https://www.youtube.com/chrisgavin

I'm hoping to show some results from the GH4 capturing soon, and will follow up if there's interest in it.

Hope this is of interest to someone out there. Best wishes ot you all after such a long time away!

Chris
Films made for you... www.chrisgavin.com

aj
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Re: Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by aj » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:28 pm

What software do you use to cut the frames from the exposed image and how do you bring these into one playable file?
Kind regards,

André

Pj
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Re: Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by Pj » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:05 pm

How do you get the Panasonic camera trigger when the film stops? In my set up I use a small Samsung camera and it's remote is linked via a micro switch to the machine so it triggers whenever the frame stops. Since the camera automatically saves each picture by numbering, it is easy to use Virtual Dub or Adobe Premiere to animate the individual pictures at any desired frame rate.

Thanks

Pav

chrisgavin
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Re: Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by chrisgavin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:01 pm

Hi aj.

Many thanks for your interest in this.

The optics I'm using means the camera captures quite a big border around the super 8 frame. I've also got a gate on my scanner device that shows about 3 frames of Super8. (i.e. the frame before and after the target frame.) So you're right, I need to crop out the surrounding border to isolate the area of one super 8 frame.

With the GH4 camera I'm using now, I can set the image aspect ratio to square format and this means there is not quite so much of this 'wasteful' border captured with each frame; but the images do still need to be cropped down quite a lot.

I use Adobe After Effects for the post production, because it's what I have to hand and I already know it well. I've got a really old version AE (CS6) which I've been using for years now on lots of my commercial work projects. So it makes sense for me to use this on my own cine projects as well.

With After Effects, it's easy to bring in the frames as an image sequence. I can pick the 'comp size' and scale the frames to choose the cropping I want. There are also plenty of tools for drawing vector masks to isolate parts of the frame.

Once the footage is in After Effects I usuall split it into separate cuts, then apply stabilization and grading to each shot. Sometimes I put more than one shot on the screen at a time to make split-screen compositions. It's quite nice to have the extra overscan areas available and I sometime choose to use these creatively in my compositions.

So I'm using After Effects to edit, choose the framing of the footage and also to apply quite a lot of post production effects too.

From After Effects I render the timeline out with all these edits and effects. After Effects allows one to ouput the project in pretty much any format or resolution one might require.

Both the scanning and post production are pretty long and slow processes.

Hope this helps, Best Wishes, Chris
Films made for you... www.chrisgavin.com

chrisgavin
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Re: Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by chrisgavin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:38 pm

Hi PJ,

In my device, the stepper motors and the camera triggering are under control of an Arduino Uno card. So the Arduino program I wrote just moves the stepper motors on a fixed number of steps, waits a little moment, then triggers the camera, then waits a little more before repeating the cycle.

I designed the two drive sprocket wheels with 20 teeth and chose the circumferance of these sprockets, knowing already the stepping angle of the motors. I think it was something like 9 steps of the motor to move the film on the correct distance for one super8 frame. So the Arduino programme always drives the motors this number of steps to advace the frame during the capturing cycle.

I've got a couple of extra manual switches in my circuit that are kind of 'fine controls' which just nudge the motor one step forward or backwards. I use these when first setting up the capture to line up the image as centrally as it can be. Then I focus and set the exposure on the camera.

Once this first frame is ready and in position, I press another button on the circuit and the Arduino program goes into the capturing cycle (described above). i.e. Move film x steps, wait, trigger camera, wait .... repeat.

Amazingly the stepper motors seem to be pretty consistent over hundreds to thousands of captures and the film pretty much stops each time in near enough the right place for the next capture. It's not perfect registration by any means, but it is pretty consistent. I am using After Effects to stabilize in post production.

The process repeats until I press the button again to stop it.

Hope this explains it well enough!
Chris
Films made for you... www.chrisgavin.com

chrisgavin
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Re: Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by chrisgavin » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:33 am

To show some output from the DIY cine film scanner project, I've now re-scanned a roll of Super8 I shot on holiday 10 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CVJRhf5jrk

In this version of the 'California 08' edit I show some multiple frames of the cine film and some close-ups where the S8 image is displayed full frame. All of these frames were captured frame by frame on the GH4 camera. The '3 frame' images were shot with the Lumix 25mm lens (with several macro rings), the close-ups were captured with the Olympus 60mm macro lens (with a few macro rings).

I have used After Effects a lot to edit, grade and stabilize the footage.
Films made for you... www.chrisgavin.com

camera8mm
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Re: Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by camera8mm » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:03 am

There is this one too, based off a raspberry pi


https://github.com/etiennecollomb/Super ... berry-Scan

Tofek
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Re: Yet another DIY film scanner project (again.)

Post by Tofek » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:17 pm

Hi Chris,
I am very interested by your project. Please let us know about the updates of the project here :)

Cheers

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