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Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas

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Bruce Richard
Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Jun 9, 2015 at 5:24:44 am

I think I have found a vendor to transfer over our old (like 50's, 60's and 70's) 8mm films to digital, and the formats that they have sent me sample files in so far (to see if I can work with them with my editing programs) are the following:

Motionjpeg1080i
DV
DVCPRO50
DVCPROHD
ProResHD

They use a Rank Cintel scanner.

The DVCPROHD I couldn't even open (I'm on a Windows machine) and the DVCPRO50 stretched to 16x9, when it should have stayed 4x3, like the source. The others played fine.

The advice I'm looking for here is which format to pick that will give me the best quality while still being friendly with Vegas. Some of these formats may offer quality above and beyond what the source material may require, remember, it is old school 8mm. Not even Super 8.

I understand there is a "Raylight decoder" which is required for viewing/decoding DVCPROHD, which runs now I think $45. I'm leaning towards not going that route, not just because of the $, but also because I have heard/read a few things about how trying to use apple formats on windows is often times squirelly.

So, once again, any thoughts on which format to pick that will give me the best quality while still being friendly with Vegas?

John Rofrano?


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Dave Haynie
Re: Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Jun 9, 2015 at 1:48:51 pm

[Bruce Richard] "They use a Rank Cintel scanner.

The DVCPROHD I couldn't even open (I'm on a Windows machine) and the DVCPRO50 stretched to 16x9, when it should have stayed 4x3, like the source. The others played fine."


You're going to need a separate CODEC for the DVCPROHD scan. And it's not full HD... the maximum DVCPROHD resolution is 1440x1080 interlaced. I'm not sure how much that matters on 8mm film, but there's no sense in getting a delivery format that might be losing some detail. I would imagine a well shot film on Kodachrome 25 would have greater-than-SD resolution with a good scanner like the Rank Cintel.

It would be easy enough to adjust the DVCPRO50 video to 4:3 in Vegas, but that's an SD format, just sampled at twice the DV rate.

[Bruce Richard] "I understand there is a "Raylight decoder" which is required for viewing/decoding DVCPROHD, which runs now I think $45. I'm leaning towards not going that route, not just because of the $, but also because I have heard/read a few things about how trying to use apple formats on windows is often times squirelly.

Correct about the Raylight decoder. But DVCPROHD is a Panasonic format, not an Apple format. ProResHD is the Apple proprietary format, but unfortunately, also the best format on their list. At least in theory, it's 4:2:2 subsampled and 10-bit, though I'd ask for more details. If you can read this via QuickTime in Vegas, you're ok.

The only other option I'd consider is MJPEG 1080i... I assume they're delivering interlaced on these due to their telecining -- they have to convert the 16fps (probably) of your 8mm film into something video compatible, and going interlace matches more video formats (Blu-ray, etc) and delivers a smoother result than progressive at half the frame rate (telecining 16fps into 30fps is the issue... it don't quite fit).

If I didn't have trouble with the samples, I'd probably go for the ProResHD format, much as I dislike proprietary formats. But I'd double-check the actual ProResHD details; if it's not much different than MJPEG (ProResHD is kind of similar to Motion JPEG), maybe I'd go with the MJPEG. I would not bother with the SD or Panasonic proprietary formats.

-Dave


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Aaron Star
Re: Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Jun 9, 2015 at 3:12:17 pm

8mm film is 4x3 aspect ratio, so the idea of DVCPRO was not a bad one. 1440x1080 is basically 4x3 HD, vs 1920x1080 16x9 HD. However, at 1080 DVCPRO is interlaced, and I would only scan film to a progressive codec.

If you want the original aspect of the film to protect framing, have them pillarbox the footage inside the 1920x1080 resolution. If you want full frame, then you will need to have them crop the top and or bottom of the footage to full frame 16x9.

I would have them do ProRES, then convert in Vegas to something like XDCAM422, HDCAM-SR-Lite, or XAVC for editing.

You should be able to open DVCPRO in VLC player. If the DVCPRO footage is stretched in Vegas, you might not have the correct pixel ratio selected.


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John Rofrano
Re: Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Jun 11, 2015 at 2:01:52 am

I would get ProRes 422 as the first choice and MJPEG 1080 as the second.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bruce Richard
Re: Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Jun 11, 2015 at 3:18:26 am

Thank you for your input everybody, I'm really leaning towards using ProRes now. I have samples of both ProRes and motionJPEG, although they are of different clips. I'd like to get them of the same scene though to truly compare. I'll contact the vendor again to see if that's possible. Thank you again.


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Bruce Richard
Re: Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Aug 27, 2015 at 1:49:02 pm

Hello all, been awhile, have an update.

I settled on a format, ProRes, and recieved back a file of 100' of 8mm film that I sent them.

I did notice the grain.

Now a few reasons. One, my other versions of my movies are like 3rd gen copies, the first gen being VHS, so the old image was pretty smoothed out, with a lot of the detail missing of course. But what I recieved seems excessive, even on the outdoor scenes. Another reason might be the operator error factor when the film was taken, the film itself may have been high ISO, or maybe the lenses weren't the best, could be anything in that area.

Any tips on cleaning it up in Vegas? I saw this last night and just about drooled. Now, it is shot on high end film, with high end cameras and processing, but looking at the results and comparing with what he started with (link to original included in his post, under the scrteen capture), will I be able to do anything even close to that with Vegas, not the end product mind you, but the degree of improvement?

Here's the link: http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=2083&p=334763

Lastly, being ProRes, my sample came in quicktime .mov format. When I render in Vegas, it takes a verrrry long time. (9 minute file took 45 minutes) I never have been able to pick out the optimal option in rendering formats, any thoughts on those? (I know "smart rendering" won't be an option)

Thank you for any input you all may have


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Wayne Waag
Re: Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Aug 27, 2015 at 2:52:54 pm

[Bruce Richard]

Any tips on cleaning it up in Vegas?

Vegas will be of limited value except for the final render. The primary tool used by most individuals who are serious about 8mm restoration is avisynth (referenced in your link). The set of scripts by Video Fred is probably the most well known and certainly a good starting point. http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=144271 Within that thread, there are also scripts by John Meyer which are highly recommended. A lot of his work on filters for video noise reduction can be found on the Vegas Pro forum. A good source of help for restoration is the Restoration subforum on Videohelp. http://forum.videohelp.com/forums/41-Restoration. Use of Avisynth requires frameserving from Vegas using the Debugmode Frameserver and Virtualdub for executing the avisynth scripts and render of an intermediate for import back into Vegas. If you're not familiar with Avisynth and Virtuldub, they can be a bit daunting at first, but executing the scripts referenced in these threads is pretty straightforward and can yield very good results, as shown by your link. In any case, good luck on your journey.

wwaag


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Wayne Waag
Re: Want to transfer over old 8mm to a digital format, looking for best option that will work well in Vegas
on Aug 30, 2015 at 2:38:56 pm

[Bruce Richard]

Here's an example of work by John Meyer that I referenced in my previous reply.







Brilliant!

wwaag


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