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Film transfer - removing flicker

Posted by CaseyPetersen 
Film transfer - removing flicker
August 17, 2009 12:21PM
I am currently working on a film transfer project. I have a Bell & Howell dual 8mm projector with variable speed control. It's been working fine until recently...regular 8 film looks great, but when I switch to Super 8, there's something wrong with the way the film advances and the image is kind of jumpy. I'm not sure how to fix that, I tried everything I knew how to do.

I have another projector that doesn't have the variable speed control, so when I shoot it with that projector, I would get a flicker on the video.

I'm wondering if there's any way to remove that flicker using some new, radical FCP filter or technique of some sort.

Thanks!
Casey Petersen
Re: Film transfer - removing flicker
August 17, 2009 10:31PM
not really.
there are some plugins for After Effects that can do this, or so i'm told.

this is just a guess,
but i reckon they'd cost about the same as (or more than) sending your film somewhere for a cheap telecine.

buying another projector on ebay would be the cheapest solution.


nick
Re: Film transfer - removing flicker
August 18, 2009 09:23PM
another option for you (courtesy of Ben King)

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The Foundry Furnace filters for FCP has DeFlicker that will work - they are expensive to buy but you can rent them very cheaply.

Very powerful Plugins but quite slow to render.

www.thefoundry.co.uk

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Re: Film transfer - removing flicker
August 20, 2009 10:25AM
Thanks Nick, I tried the demo of the Furnace filters, and yes, they were very slow to render...I have a quad-core Mac Pro and it took 20 minutes to render 3 seconds of footage in standard def. It didn't seem to take care of the flicker enough to make it usable...although, maybe if I played around with the settings more, I could get it better.

I went on ebay and bought another projector...identical model in mint condition and in original box for $150.

I also have a 16mm projector that doesn't have variable speed control. I've never needed it for an official transfer, but I was thinking that a possible software solution would help that as well.

I tried hooking a rheostat up to the 16mm projector to try to remove the flicker, but that only controls the power from 0% to 100%, and to remove the flicker, it would need more than 100% power, so that didn't work either.

Thanks!!!
Casey
Re: Film transfer - removing flicker
August 21, 2009 02:38AM
"I tried hooking a rheostat up to the 16mm projector to try to remove the flicker, but that only controls the power from 0% to 100%, and to remove the flicker, it would need more than 100% power, so that didn't work either. "

have you tried getting the projector to run at 15fps? (Half your video frame rate)
some 16mm projectors had a 16fps setting for silent films.
if you had that you would only need a small slow down.

either way, you might be able to go slow,
and get a flicker-free recording,
then you could speed that up to 200% in FCP.


"it's a crazy plan, but it just might work"
nick
Re: Film transfer - removing flicker
August 21, 2009 12:52PM
Actually, after I went below about 85-80%, the bulb shut off.

I'm not smart enough to know how to adapt the rheostat into the motor alone...nor do I have the time or motivation at this point...none of my 16mm films are critical.

Casey
Re: Film transfer - removing flicker
August 23, 2009 06:27AM
hey, Casey,

been doing a little super-8 web surfing of my own this weekend.
ran across this article you might find interesting

here's a quote:
"For NTSC users you could project at 20fps (60/3) for both 24fps or 18fps footage but the audio pitch difference might be very annoying, "

a bit of an understatement re the sound,
but interesting idea re a flicker free capture.
then you can deal with getting it back to a decent speed in post....


nick
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