Cine Film Scanning
Our Muller HDS+ scanner offers exceptional quality transfers and is fully equipped to scan Standard 8, Super 8 and 16mm film up to 4K. We offer 2K, 3K and 4K scans at very competitive rates.
Our scanner detects the films sprocket holes with a laser for optimal flash and scan timing, creating a digital image for every frame of film with amazing accuracy and stability. Our scanner is perfect for scanning old fragile and shrunken film because it is designed without claws or grabbers. It's incredibly gentle on film and wont damage your precious emulsion.
Furthermore each and every film is cleaned twice before scanning. We clean all film on our re-wind bench with Solvon film cleaner and conditioner. Solvon cleans and lubricates your film effectively and has anti-static qualities making it ideal for repelling troublesome dust particles during and after digital transfers. Our scanner also has sticky PTR rollers which removes any dust right before the capture is made. We also replace any bad splices or disheveled leader.
Colour grading is a very subjective area and we like to give our customer the option to have total creative control over their images. The log over scanned image allows you to take full advantage of the extra vertical resolution offered at 2K, 3K and 4K. You just need to up/downscale the 4:3 image to work in your HD or UHD timeline. The extra vertical resolution lets you cram more pixels into your edit. You quite literally have to shrink the 2K and 4K image down into a HD or UHD timeline. The 3K scan scales up nicely into a UHD timeline but at half the cost of the 4K scan! The files have plenty of leeway to push/ pull the luma and RGB channels for flexible colour correction. Please let us know what time base you're working with inside your editor and what format you require. If you don't send us this information along with your film we'll just provide you with a 25fps (PAL) ProRes file. Please note 18fps is not a recognised frame rate in digital editing. To obtain correct playback speed for footage shot at 18fps you would need to slow the clip down. For example a 72% speed change in a 25fps timeline would result in normal playback speed.
The log over scan image gives you the whole film frame and then some. This gives you maximum flexibility when it comes to being creative in post with your film. You get to decide what happens with the framing, aspect ratio and the sprocket.
We offer a wide range of log output options for your editing needs. You can choose the original uncompressed AVI files that come straight out of the scanner or you can go with a compressed option like ProRes. We can supply any format you require. In our experience the AVI files are a little bulky for most computer systems so we'd recommend selecting a compressed format if you haven't got a purpose built editing system.
The corrected scans are perfect for customers with limited digital editing experience. We do all the necessary post production work and give you the best possible image we can. We initially scan your film as a log image at max resolution for 2K, 3K and 4K options and then do an up/down scale to either a HD or UHD timeline to fill the 16:9 frame with the image. This make the video compatible with electronic devices and platforms like YouTube. We carry out speed adjustments when required to insure the film is playing in real time. We add a tiny bit of sharpening in post to make the details pop. We crop out the sprocket holes with black bars (but let us know if you don't want the crop). Lastly we colour correct scene by scene to even out the exposure over the entire roll. We get quite a lot of film with extreme over/under exposure issues and we always try our best to save the film digitally if we can. We're very flexible so if you have any special requirements in regards to framing or aspect ratio just let us know.
We do the heavy lifting with the corrected scans so this allows you to go home with a manageable file. The most popular format for finishing is by far the H.264 codec. It's very versatile and can easily be viewed on both PC and Mac. It can also be directly uploaded to platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo without additional work. If you want to finesse your film further with some simple cuts you can also bring the H.264 files into your editor of choice. If you're inclined to experiment with colour after our edit then we'd recommend going with ProRes as they retain more information and will let you manipulate the RGB channels further.
Currently we do not have the audio unit for the Muller HDS+ Scanner. We have encountered so few films with audio strips over the last decade that it's quite difficult to justify the expensive upgrade. So for now we can only capture images and not sound.
When you send us your films we kindly ask you to send us a blank hard drive formatted to exFAT. This can be a USB stick, an SD card or a larger SSD or HDD. Just make sure the drive is large enough to support the files you require. Sometimes it is necessary to format drives so please make sure no important information is on your drive before sending. Please attach the drive to your note or order confirmation sent with the film. Do not put it on or inside film boxes or hide it inside wrapping as it increases the likelihood of it being discarded upon arrival. By supplying us with an appropriate drive you make our workflow faster and we can get films back to you quickly. We can also do transfers via Google Drive but please note that there is a 5GB cap per file and upload speeds can be slow because we have hundreds of files syncing to the cloud each week. Due to high volume these files can only be stored on the cloud for three weeks.
8mm film is charged per 50ft of film and 16mm is charged per 100ft of film. If you are sending under 400ft of 8mm or 16mm film you can use the regular 8mm/16mm listings. If you are sending 400ft or over you can use the 400ft + listings which are discounted.