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Bad Telecine?


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#1 claire_griffiths

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 04:53 AM

I've just had my first ever telecine service done, it was super-8 film three vision 2 films and one ektachrome, the first tape I got back from them (mini-dv) looked awful, it seemed as if it was all soft focus (perhaps because of the camera I captured with?) but the image really looked just like bad video! Like I had gone back and used some 80's home video camera to shoot with!

I told them I was not happy with the condition of the image, and they sent another lot of telecined footage, this time as files on a dvd, I'm still not happy with the images, although the soft focus issue has gone there is still much aliasing and movement and funny coloured pixels in the darker areas of footage (not just the blacks) but nothing in the whites and again it looks allot like bad video.

I have a friend who's telecined super-8 footage from the same place looked good to me.

Whats going on? Do I have too high expectations of telecined super-8? is there anything I can do to make it look better (in final cut pro)?

I'm not sure whether to ask for another one as I feel it could just be my expectations of telecine that are wrong!

Any help/suggestions would be appreciated,

Thanks,

Claire x

-cross posted to telecine section of this forum
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#2 Tankerplot

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 04:56 AM

Who did the Telecine, and what machine did the use?
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#3 claire_griffiths

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 05:07 AM

Who did the Telecine, and what machine did the use?



This is the blurb from their site, does this tell you what machine they used? (sorry first-timer, don't know much about the machines) I don't feel comfortable giving out the name of the place yet as I don't want to bad-mouth them if it is my fault (from my expectations being wrong).


******** has a remarkable proprietary Regular and Super 8mm 'WetSystem' telecine process which assures stunning results.

******** is proud to be the premiere Super 8mm Telecine transfer facility in the United States. Our outstanding results via DaVinci, Rank Turbo, and Wetgate are recognized by customers and labs throughout the world. We thank the Internet and our fellow Super 8mm users for making CinePost a Super8 Telecine transfer facility to the world.


is that ANY HElp?
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#4 Chris Gravat

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 05:50 AM

This is the blurb from their site, does this tell you what machine they used? (sorry first-timer, don't know much about the machines) I don't feel comfortable giving out the name of the place yet as I don't want to bad-mouth them if it is my fault (from my expectations being wrong).
******** has a remarkable proprietary Regular and Super 8mm 'WetSystem' telecine process which assures stunning results.

******** is proud to be the premiere Super 8mm Telecine transfer facility in the United States. Our outstanding results via DaVinci, Rank Turbo, and Wetgate are recognized by customers and labs throughout the world. We thank the Internet and our fellow Super 8mm users for making CinePost a Super8 Telecine transfer facility to the world.
is that ANY HElp?


I think the problem might be with your camera. That's just judging from what you said about your friend's footage coming back clean.

What kind of camera is it? And also how long has it been since you had the body and lens serviced?

- Chris Gravat
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 06:57 AM

If you are not in a hurry you might want to ask an entirely different facility to redo the transfer and that will give you a terrific opportunity to compare results. Maybe the new lab is willing to give you a decent price since it is ultimately a test comparison and you've already spent significant money on the transfer. If you don't rush them, than perhaps they give you a good deal on the price.

If you transferred to mini-dv, make a fire-wire dub, and send that with the film just in case they want to see what was done the first time.
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#6 claire_griffiths

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 07:11 AM

I think the problem might be with your camera. That's just judging from what you said about your friend's footage coming back clean.

What kind of camera is it? And also how long has it been since you had the body and lens serviced?

- Chris Gravat


Personally I do not think it is either camera but:

My super-8 camera is a Nikon R10- but footage shot with it looks fine projected, it is new (to me) and was serviced just before bought and is guarenteed for 6 months.

The camera I used to capture the mini-dv of telecined footage is a canon xm2-this hasn't been serviced since bouught years ago, but the dvd of files sent from the same company also has the aliasing/movement problem.

If you are not in a hurry you might want to ask an entirely different facility to redo the transfer and that will give you a terrific opportunity to compare results. Maybe the new lab is willing to give you a decent price since it is ultimately a test comparison and you've already spent significant money on the transfer. If you don't rush them, than perhaps they give you a good deal on the price.

If you transferred to mini-dv, make a fire-wire dub, and send that with the film just in case they want to see what was done the first time.


Im afraid I don't have any time or the money to do this, have just finished uni!
The films deadline is next friday!
but thankyou for the advice
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 09:17 AM

Im afraid I don't have any time or the money to do this, have just finished uni!


I didn't understand that sentence.
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#8 claire_griffiths

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 10:06 AM

I didn't understand that sentence.


Sorry I meant I have just finished University, my student loan has ran out and I don't have a job, I used what little I had left to get this stuff telecined and now I have nothing! (need a job!)
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#9 Robert Hughes

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 11:04 AM

I have just finished University, my student loan has ran out and I don't have a job


The films deadline is next friday!


I don't have any time or the money to do this


Any help/suggestions would be appreciated


Use the Source, Luke!
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#10 NathanCoombs

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:52 AM

Hi Claire,

It would help if you could post some frame grabs of the most offensive images.

Don't worry too much about the deadline, although I understand that you are going to Spain so need to haver it done pretty snappy.
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#11 Dan Horstman

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 11:23 AM

What kind of editing sysetem are you using. I've had several clients say their transfer had artifacts etc...but it turned out that it wasn't on the tape, but that their computer couldn't properly handle editing video.

Dan@Colorlab
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#12 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 11:39 AM

Sorry I meant I have just finished University, my student loan has ran out and I don't have a job, I used what little I had left to get this stuff telecined and now I have nothing! (need a job!)


ah, uni means university. I get it now.

Since you apparently are moving soon, why not spill the beans and say what state or city you are in, why you have a Friday deadline, etc. Maybe someone knows of a place near that they could recommend.

In the meantime, edit your film anyways. Films that work tend to work even if they appear a bit too grainy. If you ever retransfer the footage, try and use a similar time code starting point on the video transfer tape and you will be able to replace your already edited images with a better transfer by using your edit decision list.
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#13 claire_griffiths

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 12:17 PM

Hi Claire,

It would help if you could post some frame grabs of the most offensive images.

Don't worry too much about the deadline, although I understand that you are going to Spain so need to haver it done pretty snappy.


Hi Nathan,
Im afraid I can't do that as it is only visible really in moving images, you can't make it out from a still.

We will finish by friday, it will just be not great quality images in the film, perhaps we can sort it out after spain properlly, I don't know! in answer to ur question b4-we are away from 5th aug-5th sep.

Hope you are well.

C x

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To all,

Have decided to edit anyway and hand the film in with the artifacts/aliasing, if its just shown on a tv it could be ok, no time to sort this out as I am away for one month after friday and a month is too long an extention of the deadline!

Personally I feel it is because it was a mini-dv transfer, it seems it is never as good as a digi-beta one. I have tried to do something in final cut about it, it has improved a little.


Thanks for everyones comments that were helpful.

C xx

What kind of editing sysetem are you using. I've had several clients say their transfer had artifacts etc...but it turned out that it wasn't on the tape, but that their computer couldn't properly handle editing video.

Dan@Colorlab


I am using a G4 with dual drive thingy (mirror doors version)! with final cut pro 5 to edit with, I feel it should be adiquate? i've never had this problem before when editing much larger amounts of footage together.

ah, uni means university. I get it now.

Since you apparently are moving soon, why not spill the beans and say what state or city you are in, why you have a Friday deadline, etc. Maybe someone knows of a place near that they could recommend.

In the meantime, edit your film anyways. Films that work tend to work even if they appear a bit too grainy. If you ever retransfer the footage, try and use a similar time code starting point on the video transfer tape and you will be able to replace your already edited images with a better transfer by using your edit decision list.


The place i'm in: England, Brighton. The nearest places to use would be in London, I can't afford London prices, hence why I sent the film to america for telecine. The film is still there!

Friday deadline because I am away visiting boyfriends family for one month in spain starting saturday, the original deadline was august 1st, The project the film is for will probablly all be completed by the time I get back so not really any chance of finishing it then.

Good advice about the time code thingy, will do that thanks!

Edited by yellowbear, 31 July 2006 - 12:05 PM.

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#14 NathanCoombs

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 12:57 PM

miniDV is not perfect (especially in the blacks) but I very much doubt the format is causing soft focus or aliasing or any of the other problems you have encountered. After all, interlaced DV from a Canon XL2 is DV, but is still super-sharp and detailed.

More likely the problem is with the original footage (i.e. camera or use) or from the telecine setup (wrong exposure, soft lens etc.)

I think miniDV is the least likely culprit for bad images.

Now I am reticent to send my footage to cinelab for transfer.
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#15 Robert Hughes

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 03:41 PM

Now I am reticent to send my footage to cinelab for transfer.

Nathan, the telecine shop mentioned has probably been in business for years - have you any background on the shop or are you going to base your opinions of their product on the complaints of an inexperienced and underprepared student?

The camera I used to capture the mini-dv of telecined footage is a canon xm2 .... I am using a G4 with dual drive thingy

Claire, I've read this thread several times and still can't figure out what you've done. What is this camera you used to capture mini-dv footage? Where was it in the chain? Were you using a real telecine, or videotaping the film footage off the wall, or videotaping off a television set?

And "dual drive thingy" is not in the least bit helpful or descriptive of anything other than your level of technical knowledge. Face it, filmmaking is a technical art, you can't get around the complexities of machines and workflows without understanding what they do and why they exist. As they say in the Marine Corps, "you've got to know!"

Edited by Robert Hughes, 31 July 2006 - 03:42 PM.

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#16 Dan Horstman

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 02:03 PM

Did you have the film Transferred at a North American Lab? Is the transfer in PAL? If so it sounds to me like they did the telecine to NTSC and then ran it through a crappy standards converter.

How full is your hard drive? A G4 really isn't fast enough to handle a lot of video, so you might need to free up some hard drive space to improve your data rate from the Hard Drive. Also are you using a separate program drive and a separate media drive? If your program and media are on the same drive (especially on an older computer like a G4) then that can affect your data rate and your apparent picture quality. Also are you monitoring your preview only on the computer monitor or do you have an external broadcast monitor that you are watching the output on?

Have you output the caputred footage to a minidv and watched it on a TV? With Uncompressed video files I have seen the preview window look horrible, but the actual output look great...again on a slow G4.

Edited by Dan Horstman, 01 August 2006 - 02:05 PM.

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#17 Matt Pacini

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 06:33 PM

I can't tell you for sure what's wrong, but this I will tell you:
Ektachrome looks like crap.
If you're looking at multi-colored grain the size of hubcaps, then it's the ektachrome.
The 200T in Super 8 also looks bad, if you ask me. It's just too damn grainy in S8.

Perhaps the other S8 footage you mentioned having seen was Kodachrome?
It's about 300% better looking.

MP
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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:25 PM

Did you have the film Transferred at a North American Lab? Is the transfer in PAL? If so it sounds to me like they did the telecine to NTSC and then ran it through a crappy standards converter.


Excellent point.

If this is the case, the time code idea I previously mentioned won't work.
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#19 nathan coombs

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 05:22 AM

Did you have the film Transferred at a North American Lab? Is the transfer in PAL? If so it sounds to me like they did the telecine to NTSC and then ran it through a crappy standards converter.


This is something I recently considered. Perhaps they scan in NTSC and blow it up to PAL explaining softness and aliasing.

I'll give them a call and report back.
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