My Telecine – Film transfer and restoration

Film transfer.

For film transfer I use a Stop Motion Animator program. There are others, but this one worked for me. If the Telecine machine is connected you can start this program. In the monitor screen you can see the film frames from the projector. At this stage you should set the projector in normal play with tape and turn the motor off with the remote control box.

Telecine film transfer

Telecine film transfer

Now adjust the LED intensity, diaphragm, focus and if needed the camera lineup. The focus on the front of the projector does work too. It’s a whole lot of mixed settings, and there may also be settings in the driver software on your PC, but that depends on the camera software and drivers that you have installed on your computer.

When you are satisfied you can start the transfer, point your mouse pointer above the “grab” button. Make sure the projector is in “play” with “tape”. Then start the motor and the frames will be captured one by one. The internal projector mouse will push the “grab”button at the correct moment for you.

I make short movies split by scene, so that with the restoration phase each movie clip can have it’s best settings. Running long movies can crash this software too. It is an old program and it can only write files up to 2 Gigabyte. With a 640 x 480 size this is only about 200 frames you can capture in one run.


Film restoration.

The final part is film restoration. I use some scripts together with Avisynth. You can find the latest scripts on the Doom9 forum. This is a wonderful set of scripts. You should read the whole thread (over 500 messages) to see all the ideas and suggestions. But if you have a problem, it may already be there.

During the final processing I leave the clips at 18 fps. I let the video editor program that I use to reassemble the movie deal with the format conversion. The final result can be a DVD compatible file, or even a HD movie.



A small example of what the scripts can do. This example shows the basic cleanup, only a few parameters were changed.