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Perry Paolantonio

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    Boston, MA
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    Lasergraphics ScanStation 6.5k, 70mm 14k Sasquatch Archival scanner, Eclair ACL II, Pro8mm modded Max8 Beaulieu 4008
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    14k/70mm, 6.5k, 4k, UHD, 2k 8mm-35mm Film Scanning, Film Restoration

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  1. My point is that you shouldn't do this in the scanner. It's not saving you any time. If you're only scanning 1/3 of the frames in a film in order to make thumbnails, you still need to move from the beginning of the film to the end. That is, all frames have to pass through the scanner even if all frames aren't being scanned. The time it takes to shuttle from frame one to frame 5 on a scanner like the scanstation is longer than the time it takes to simply scan frames 1-5, because the scanner has to stop, switch to shuttle mode, shuttle, take an image to make sure it's in the right place, adjust if not, then take the image. rinse. repeat. All that takes more time -by a lot- than just scanning straight through. You can do what you want (grab every X frames) in software on the resulting scan of every frame. then you have both things.
  2. I haven't used velvet on film since I was in college - we were told to run all film through some (dry) before projecting - and I never liked that process. It always felt wrong to me, for some reason. Pec Pads aren't too expensive. We get them from Amazon, and I think the last time we bought a 4-pack of 100 of them was over year ago. You can get a fair bit of film through different parts of one pad if you're careful about how you fold it. Though I've never tried them, pec pads really aren't much different than medical-grade lint free wipes. Might be worth experimenting with them on some test film, because you can probably get those cheaper in bulk.
  3. The ScanStation does. The majority of the scans we do include a second MP4 access copy in HD with a one-light grade. The file h is more or less blu-ray spec and will just play on most televisions off a USB thumb drive, at its native frame rate (much nicer than making optical discs and having to do frc and all that). We would never scan to MP4 only unless the purpose of the project was to create a digital reference library of a film collection. It'd be a waste of the client's money to pay us to do a scan to such a lousy format. But it's great for just seeing what you have. I get your point, but as Dan Baxter said, it's kind of weird when the scanner has to go past every frame anyway. Why not just capture them all and make a low res access copy you can watch, which will tell you far more about the film than a page of thumbnail images? That is kind of what he Filmic is made for. About 6-7 years ago at NAB, MWA partnered with a company that used a modified version of the MWA Spinner to output essentially what you're showing - it was designed to evaluate the film: it looked for defects, it generated thumbnail images, it figured out shrinkage percentages, etc. I forget what the software was called but it was basically an add-on to the MWA Spinner and I think the company that made it (the software) was also German. The result was a PDF report, I think. Of course, one could generate similar reports from other software working on full scans of the film. That's something that could be done in software.
  4. Super 8 needs to be horizontally stabilized using the film edge, to simulate the spring loaded edge guide in the camera. The perf isn't really good for much with S8 for either Vertical or Horizontal. For Vertical, the pulldown claw is on the frame or two *below* the taking frame in the camera. That means if you're using the perf next to the frame you're going to see some light vertical jitter. Nothing you can really do about this unless the gate in the scanner is long enough to see two perfs away and use that as a reference for the gate in the frame. No scanner I'm aware of does this, as there would be major compromises on image resolution in order to pull this off. We recommend people get a slight overscan of Super 8 because you can use stabilization software to lock onto the frame lines that way, which will get it pretty solid if you do it right. For Horizontal you *can* get it very stable, simply by using the edge of the film to compensate for weave caused by the weird sawtooth perf positioning in Super 8.
  5. It was Rob and it was in reference to the Xena scanner, not the Lasergraphics scanners.
  6. that wasn't me. There is no manual for the ScanStation unless that's a new thing. Maybe they made one for the Archivist. There are a few outdated HTML pages you can get to from the application, but they haven't changed much if at all since we bought our scanner 10 years ago. Their step-by-step installation instructions have always been very good, and very specific. But in terms of usage, they're like most other modern tech companies and don't bother making a good manual.
  7. Line scan camera, roughly 80k lines (samples) per second. The system is pretty clever: it tracks the edge of the film to compensate for any weave, while compiling the image of the track. This keeps the track centered. If you have a track that's printed way out of alignment, there's a tool you can use to manually specify the center (though it automatically gets it right 99% of the time so I don't know that we've used this more than once or twice). It also does grain removal before the waveform is converted to sound. Since most of the noise in an optical track is the film grain on the print, this actually extends the dynamic range quite a bit. Most projectors and telecines used a low pass filter to lop off the high frequency sound, since it was primarily noise in the analog world. In fact, you can see in a spectrograph that even 16mm film, which is supposed to have a top end of about 6kHz, you'll have usable sound in the 12-16kHz range on some prints where a low pass wasn't applied in the mix. We have scanned films with the grain removal on and off, and the spectrograph is identical for both (you can see there's high frequency sound), but the one without the grain removal is obscured by all the noise. The one without is nice and clear. It's really pretty impressive. I haven't had any either and I certainly haven't had any issues with AEO outside of seriously warped film. That's why I'm completely confused and perplexed why Perry said he always has issues. No, I never said I "always have issues." What I did say is that we see this kind of wow and flutter a frequently because we scan a lot of these kinds of films, which were produced on a low budget and as Frank pointed out, the costs to do a remix were exorbitant. wow and flutter baked into prints of this kind of low-budget industrial/educational film is common. What Rob is saying here is that he's never had any pitch issues (not the same as warping), related to the scanner. I'm sure he's come across prints that sounded like the one above. A film such as this is going to sound that way on any soundtrack reader because the problem was in the soundtrack before the print was struck. It's not related to shrinkage or warping in the film, it has to do with the way the track was made.
  8. Pretty sure this has been discussed here but it's an odd duck. At least in the iteration I looked at a while back it did pretty low res scans. That may have changed, but there were some odd design decisions. Like its overscan is so bit they're leaving a ton of pixels on the table. I assume they're capturing 2 frames at once, splitting them up and then putting them in sequence (which is fine, but look how much excess nothingness is scanned in the examples they show on their site. I get wanting edge to edge scans, but this goes way beyond that and leaves a lot of wasted pixels behind. Also, this was designed for archives, to catalog/inspect large collections, not for new film - not sure where you're getting that since the first line of text on their web site references archival collections... The Kinetta is definitely a nicer machine, more mature, and appears to be much more solidly built than what I saw of the Filmic scanner at NAB last year.
  9. Frank is not some random guy with a garage full of Coronet films and a portable B&H projector. He was the chief color timer at the Library of Congress for a long time before retiring recently. (Please correct me if I got your title wrong, @Frank Wylie!). If there was anyone in this thread who people should pay attention to, it's him. Not you. Because it would be utterly irresponsible of me to project a shrunken print belonging to one of our clients. That's a terrible idea and we would never do that. If you're running your client's shrunken prints through a projector then you should really think twice. Projectors are unforgiving and shrunken film is often warped or cupped as well, so you run the risk of doing more than just sprocket damage - you could scratch it, or in extreme cases much worse. Also, we don't project film because it's unnecessary, due to the way our scanner captures sound. The problem exhibited in the film above is NOT in the scanner. I know this because I know how the optical sound reader in the scanner they used works. It is fundamentally different than the optical sound reader in the FilmFabriek scanner, which 100% can exhibit wow and flutter as it's an analog sound reproduction system. (correct me if I'm wrong - the HDS+ uses a light and a photosensor like in a projector, or a Steenbeck, or a Rank, or a Spirit, or a Shadow, or any of a number of other devices with analog optical sound readers, no?) No, actually, that's not what you're saying. It's certainly not what you posted. If you mean something different then say what you mean the first time, please. I just have to point out that this is a defense mechanism you have repeatedly used here on these forums and others when you're backed into a corner: denying you said something that is plainly available for anyone who cares to scroll through the thread to see, or slightly twisting what you say to make it seem like you never said it. That's fine but you did in fact say the problem is the scanner. Not that it might be the scanner as you imply in that quote, but that it is the scanner. Again, quoting the same line I already referenced in my last reply, you said... Ergo, you are saying I'm wrong when I (and others) say it's the film, not the scanner. That is a pretty definitive statement you're making, and if you didn't mean it that way you should think again before you say such things. Putting aside I've never said that about anyone, the reason you probably have that impression is because, again, someone needs to correct bad information when it's posted. If not, it lingers forever and becomes "common knowledge," even if it's wrong. So yeah, I'm doing this a lot. I don't like it. It's exhausting and frustrating. But the need for it is just going to get even greater as the generation of people who really lived and breathed analog film every day in labs and post facilities and archives, disappears. I've set aside time every morning to do this, while I have my coffee. I'd love it if others would join me because it makes me really tired and discouraged. This phenomenon isn't just about film, it happens with any area of interest where there's a closed feedback loop of people regurgitating bad information. It's just the way it is but the cycle has to be broken somehow. On a practical level, it costs us time and money and potentially lost business because these kinds of garbage clickbait threads eventually wind up high in google searches. I'm telling you this from experience. We get a lot of work from people who read stuff here, and a lot of people email for quotes, repeating bad information they read on this very forum. I spend a significant amount of my time responding to that and explaining to potential customers what's wrong with what they read and why. Too much time. Time I could be using to do more productive stuff. But it's a fact of life at this point and now just part of my day. I'm not so sure about that. Dan has been starting these provocative threads for several years now. I don't believe he has any plans to buy a "big boy" scanner (as he likes to call them), as many people have explained to him ways of making the ownership of one of these scanners possible (leasing, selling some services on the side to cover payments, etc). Honestly it feels it feels more like it's about getting post counts up, for whatever reason. Kind of like Tyler's 7400 posts here. Kind of amazing he has time to do any work with that kind of volume. Certainly helps the SEO of cinematography.com though! Anyway, coffee cup is empty. back to work.
  10. I'm sorry Tyler, if you can't be bothered to read what has already been explained here multiple times, I don't know what to say. Your FilmFabriek scanner is a prosumer-level scanner that works in a fundamentally different way than the Lasergraphics scanners do. You really can't compare them, and what I was saying about the speed at which we capture has nothing to do with your scanner. It was in reference to the ScanStation, which captures sound in a completely different way than your scanner does. Nah, it's just you. There are 4 people with many, many decades of experience in this thread telling you what the problem is but you don't seem to want to listen. And I'm not "defending" anyone. I'm correcting blatant bad information, which began with the clickbait-title of this thread, and is being spread by you. If you don't know how something works, please do yourself a favor and don't make wild guesses and assumptions about what's happening. I do this because I have to. Because people email me for quotes all the time and say "I saw this post on cinematography.com that said... (insert bad information here)." And I have to spend an hour or more of my time every morning explaining to customers what was incorrect about the post. I'd rather just nip it in the bud right here where it's happening. Please direct your attention to post #6 in this thread where you said: So no, I guess technically you didn't use the words "wow and flutter." But you described wow and flutter in the context of a discussion of wow and flutter, and you certainly implied that AEO-Light doesn't do this so that's why you use it. AEO-Light is working on a scanned frame and doesn't compensate for shrinkage, as far as I'm aware. Once more: The Lasergraphics optical reader is a SECOND CAMERA - a line array sensor that compiles the image as it passes. It is aware of the speed at which the drum that is in contact with the film is moving and the scanner knows the level of shrinkage of the film. The wow and flutter you're claiming is happening in the scanner simply isn't possible because of the way the scanner's optical reader works. But I'm sure this is falling on deaf ears.
  11. Please, Tyler. You have no idea what you're talking about here. If you took a moment to read what I'm saying instead of making assumptions about how a scanner you don't use every day works, you might understand what I'm saying. You claim that AEO Light doesn't introduce wow and flutter. I'm trying to explain to you that the method Lasergraphics uses is essentially the same as AEO Light. It's a digital image of the soundtrack that is converted to audio samples in basically the same way. It's not an analog reproduction system that works in real time and is susceptible to speed variations. That's just not how the Lasergraphics optical reader works. Trust me, I've been using it for 11 years and have talked extensively with Lasergraphics support about how it operates. The wow and flutter, as multiple people have pointed out, is baked into the film. It was mixed that way. This is incredibly common and we see it all the time. If you don't believe me, then listen to Frank Wylie, who I can guarantee knows more about this stuff and has probably handled more film than everyone else in this thread combined. Or maybe listen to more than just the beginning of the film, because there is no wow in the later portions of the film, indicating the problem is not with the scanner.
  12. I have not but I don't believe this would be a valid test. Wow and flutter are measurements of the speed at which the film is moving past the sound head at normal playback speed, and vary based on things like motor fluctuations, shrinkage, wobbly capstans, etc. It's about realtime analog sound reproduction. Those test films were meant to be run at 24fps in a projector. The ScanStation does not use a sound head like older telecines, or like the BMD Cintel, which are traditional photosensors that read the fluctuating light going through the film and turn it into a voltage. Those are absolutely susceptible to wow and flutter because they're captured in real time and they could have all the issues described above. The scanstation is essentially doing what AEO-Light is doing, except with a dedicated camera and at significantly higher sample rates than you can get with a scan. It's also running the film over a special drum that flattens it, and they're performing alignment and centering of the soundtrack on the fly as it's capturing, to make sure you're getting all of the track and not just some of it. I can capture optical audio on our scanstation at any speed I can run the scanner. The slower it's run, the more samples are taken of the audio, and the better the sound quality.
  13. The lasergraphics optical reader works at any speed. The slower the better. It's actually a line array camera that takes about 80k samples per second (lines), so the slower the film is moving the more samples it's getting. The lines of image of the track are directly correlated with the resulting audio samples. If you scan at 60fps you can hear that the sound is worse (not wow and flutter, never wow and flutter), but it sounds like a recording done at a low sample rate. Reduced dynamic range, and you get a lot more noise. Lasergraphics recommends scanning at 24fps or slower for best results. Most of our scanning is HDR at high resolutions which slows the scanner down to about 7.5fps, and the optical audio tracks sound great. That is, assuming they're not messed up in the mix like the one in this example.
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