"Yes, what you hear in the video is the projector noise... in slow speed..."
PAY ATTENTION: The potentiometer used in this test is not recommended alone, it needs to be combined with a powerful electronic component called RESISTANCE to allow a safe operation. It got very hot due to be just 5 Watts power, and the Gaf projector motor is 17 Watts power. There is no potentiometer capable of handling this amount of power when used alone. To make this modification in a safe way you need a DIMMER. A dimmer is an electronic circuit developed to handle more power when doing this kind of job. The dimmer must be built by an ELECTRONIC EXPERT taking into account the projector motor specifications. The motor Volts, Amperes and Watts. The GAF 2000S projetor is 24 volts, 0,7 amperes, 17 watts. Each projector motor is different, so this specifications are valid just for this model. Also, for this projector tested, the dimmer needs to adjust a resistance from 0 (zero) to 50 OHM. This is the resistance range for doing the speed control in the GAF 2000S projector motor. For other models it may be different.
This method is under development...
What I am saying here is: it is possible to do. But the way to do you must find with an ELECTRONIC EXPERT HELP.
In this video, the contrast is a little high and blacks a little crushed, you can improve it doing:
1 - use camcorder Cine Gamma, it will improve Dynamic Range
2 - do a better manual exposure setting in camcorder
3 - use a white or less grey screen, the screen used in this telecine was a 18% grey, probably too dark for the job.
4 - Do a better post production correction
This method consists in installing a dimmer in the Super 8 or 16mm projector motor / engine to allow speed control and get a flicker free telecine using a full hd camcorder to shoot the projected image. This method allows 1:1 perfect 24fps cadence telecine when using projector at slow motion speed.
After installing the dimmer you can:
A - Telecine realtime in near normal speed and avoid flickering, adjusting the speed to sync projector to the 24p camcorder
B - Telecine with projector in synced slow motion speed, and rebuild the footage in video editing software, to get the perfect 1:1 24fps cadence, the beauty of motion cinema.
Observation: I did no tests with 60i NTSC or 50i PAL camcorders, you must try it yourself. My goal here is the 24p.
Advice: it is not guaranted this method works with all projectors, but, in theory, there will be a slow speed capable of syncing the projector shutter with the camcorder shutter.
01 - inexpensive, if you have the camcorder, the projector and a trusted electronic expert to do the mod
02 - the modification does not destroy the projector keeping it's original purpose
03 - Very fast method, can do a real time telecine for who just want to remove the flickering and does not care about perfect 24p cadence
04 - can extract 24fps 1:1 from film to video to get the perfect 24p frame cadence if done in slow motion projection
05 - high resolution output using a 1080p Full HD camcorder, just a frame by frame dslr or a DataCine can do better
06 - can keep the beauty of film grain
07 - The camcorder white balance can helps a lot correcting colors from old films
08 - telecine workflow with a projector is pleasant
09 - does not add lenses / mirrors / optical components so there will be no chromatic aberration or distortion in the image
Main Disadvantages (commented):
You need to build a dimmer with the correct electronic components to make the modification into a safe operation and it will need a professional paid service.
It might happen to the projector does not synchronize in real time when decreasing speed. If this happens, instead of the projector need a speed reduction he might need a speed boost, a increase in the engine power instead of energy reduction, if this happens the dimmer does not solve the problem and probably the projector will sync just at slow motion speed.
Slowing the projector speed can damage the film due to sometimes the film lump together. So it is recommended to do a normal speed telecine before doing the slow motion telecine for safety reasons.
You need to be careful to film do not stop moving, because if it stops the lamp will burn it.
If you want the perfect 24fps cadence you need to telecine with projector in synced slow motion, import the footage to video editing software and "cut and keep" each best different frame and delete the repeated bad frames. It is time consuming.
I did a try increasing the footage speed to see if it could delete the repeated frames automatic, but I could not find the exact speed increase amount to type in the speed settings. Even with the best approach, typing 266,66% speed for a 9fps slow motion projector, from time to time the playback showed a double image in some frames. I did a carefull look at the footage frame by frame and I found the good frames are not in a constant interval, So to get the perfect 24p cadence a manual frame extraction must be done. Maybe I got this issue due to be using a 9fps slow motion.
To make things faster, you can use the speed increase in all captured footage to do the editing, and after finding the usefull scenes you remove the speed increase, putting it back in slow motion, and do the "cut and keep" frames in just them.
I did a google search about "repeated frames removal" / "duplicate frames delete" and I found some DIY softwares to do it but I did not try them. The problem here is the repeated frames are not equal, they are slightly different in sharpness and the software must find the best one from the repeated ones.
If you have the practice in video editing software using the correct keyboard shortcuts, you can extract the good frames from one Super 8 50 feet cartridge or a 16mm 100 feet reel in about 2 (two) to 3 (three) hours work.
The dimmer will give you a perfect sync, flicker free telecine, but sometimes the sync will be a little lost and you need to do a careful small adjust in the speed to get sync again. It is easy to do, but you will need to telecine again to get that scene where you losed sync. You can stop projector, play backwards, stop, play forward again, adjust speed, and conitnue. Or you can telecine all the reel, rewind and start again from the begining. Your choice.
Finding sync when adjusting speed manually is a work for careful people, you must trust your fingers and your eyes, the diference from a perfect synced image from a out-of-sync is very subtle... but do not feel yourself insecure, you will get your eyes trained after some mistakes. The dimmer button must be well fixed for you slightly adjust it.
Probably removing the shutter from the projector is a easier way to get hid of flicker and avoid the losing sync problem, but I am not sure about that, and it is not easy to do and it will destroy the projector original purpose.
The projectors cannot do Max 8 (Super Duper 8), Ultra 16 and Super 16 telecine. The projector's gate are designed for the default 4:3 aspect ratios found in Regular 8, Super 8 and Standard 16mm. It is possible to modify the projectors to do these widescreen aspect ratios but it is not an easy and inexpensive job. Some projectors can be modified just opening the gate, other projectors need lens changing also, due to the default lens can vignette when you increase the frame size. Another point in the modification is: will the lamp (light source) cover the opened gate? I do not know. So I consider this method to be used with default aspect ratios.
The projector gate crops some amount of the image, the projector gate aperture is smaller than the cinema camera aperture.
This method does not do HDR telecine / filmscan. But you can find a good balanced camcorder exposure in telecine and use two layers from the same footage in video editing software, calibrate them with different light settings and mix them with luminance key. Also a light grey screen can helps in better blacks and dynamic range. Also a little Shadow/HighLight filter helps increasing dynamic range.
You need to add some amount of film to the reel begining to do the speed adjust when you start the projector. If you start projection with the desired film you will lose some scenes due to be adjusting the projector speed.
What you need:
A 24p HD camcorder or dslr, not just 24p frame rate, it also needs to have the 24 shutter speed. (some camcorders and dslr have 24p frame rate, but the minimum shutter is 25 or 30, so pay attention to this). In this test I used a NTSC HV20 camcorder.
A super 8 or 16mm projector with AC or DC motor. the motor cannot be Step motor (stepper motor) because this kind of motor does not allow inexpensive and easy speed control. To know wich kind of motor your projector have you can count how many wires are plugged to it. A general rule is: 2 power feeding wires are for AC or DC motors, 3 or more power feeding wires are for stepper motors. When examining the motor, do not confuse a ground wire with a power feeding wire. Again I say, ASK FOR ELECTRONIC EXPERT HELP.
A specific DIMMER must be built. Measure the followings informations from the motor: if it is AC or DC, Volts, Amperes and Watts, to build the correct dimmer circuit. Get these informations from your projector using a multimeter. Remember, to build a dimmer is a task for professionals.
I developed an idea of combining a resistance with the potentiometer. a 20 WATTS 20 OHM RESISTANCE would remove some amount of power and a 5 WATTS 30 OHM POTENTIOMETER would do the fine adjust, but I am not sure it would be safe, and this would work just for slow motion, not for realtime telecine. Again I say: ASK ELECTRONIC EXPERT HELP
You can also use a 18% grey screen to project into, to get better blacks and better dynamic range. I did my grey screen with an A4 Matte Photo Paper 108 gramas, printed by a high resolution inkjet printer with pigment ink. I think pigment ink is better because dye ink can have some kind of reflections. My grey settings was 203 for R G B channels. If you feel the contrast in this video is high, you can use a white screen or a less grey screen.
Remember this: when working in slow motion, if you stop the projector, sometimes it does not run when you turn it on again. So you need to rotate the dimmer knob increasing the speed to make it run, and decrease the speed again to find sync.
Just the simple basic way to telecine:
01 - point projector to screen
02 - point camcorder to screen
03 - set camcorder to 24p frame rate and 24 shuttter speed
04- start projection
05 - focus the projection
06 - frame the projected image with the camcorder
07 - adjust camcorder focus, I recommend manual focus
08 - adjust exposure, I recommend manual exposure, (set it to auto, wait it find autoexposure in a bright scene, turn to manual exposure, and decrease it until you find the highlights are preserved, but be carefull to not crush the shadows)
09 - set camcorder white balance in a projected scene with more white color, or balanced colors, do this many times until you get good colors in camcorder
10 - rewind film in projector
11 - start recording in camcorder
12 - start projector again
13 - adjust the dimmer to find the normal speed sync or the slow motion speed sync
14 - pay attention to sync everytime, if you lose it, adjust the dimmer again
capture footage to computer and tweak it in video editing software as you like, adjusting levels, color, sharpness, chroma noise removing, framing, etc...
The unsharp mask filter settings for Super 8 was good at a slightly apply: 50 / 2,5 / 0 when telecine is done in pilarbox frame with HV20 camcorder. This is a small amount, and it proves this method really delivers good default HD resolution.
A tip: you can recover the square shape from the image using a image composition video software because when doing the telecine the camcorder will be at the projector side or under it making the image shape turn into a subtle parallelogram format.
About aspect ratio: PilarBox is a default option when doing Super 8 and 16mm telecine to Widescreen HD output. But if you want a 16:9 image you can zoom in the camcorder when doing telecine. I preffer the pilarbox because Super 8 and standard 16mm do not have too much image resolution to fill all the 1080p widescreen, and also it would remove the top and bottom parts of the original image from film.
About slow motion telecine: you must try all your projector frame rates associated with the dimmer adjust. In all my tests the GAF 2000S can get sync in slow motion at something about 9fps. The 9fps worked great for me to extract the sharpest frame in each group of repeated frames. I have all the film frames captured by camcorder with at least one frame in sharp condition among the repeated frames, to allow recover the 1:1 24p cadence from film. So I think the main rule is: the projector must sync slow motion in 9fps or less. The following fps are desirable: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 or 8 fps.
Maybe a default factory slow motion projector can give better results when adjusting the installed dimmer and would allow a steadier slow synced fps with less shutter interference. It deserves a try.
A short tutorial to extract the good frame using Premiere is: Put the telecined video footage in timeline in layer 1, press + to zoom in timeline until you can see the individual frames, position the red line in the begining, start pressing the right arrow key to do a frame by frame advance, when you see a good frame press CTRL+K shortcut and you will do a cut, go on pressing the right arrow key to find the next different good frame, press CTRL+K again to do the next cut, go on doing this until the end of footage. This way you will have the cutted IN POINT for all good frames. Press - key to zoom out the timeline to see all the cutted clips, click and drag the mouse to select them all, go to software menu and choose CLIP / SPEED DURATION, in the popup window type in the duration setting the value 1 (one), click ok, all the clips will be changed to 1 frame duration and all the repeated bad frames will be deleted. Create a black video, go to FILE / NEW / BLACK VIDEO, put this black video in the layer 2 with the duration of all good frames in timeline, click and drag the mouse to select all the good frames, click + to zoom in timeline to see a magnification that allows you to drag them, drag the good frames to layer 2 over the black video, drag the good frames back to layer 1 keeping the position in time, the black video will be cutted in many pieces, click - to zoom out timeline to see everything, click and drag the mouse over all black video pieces to select them all, right click the mouse over the black video and click in RIPPLE DELETE, all the black video pieces will be deleted and the good frames will join together creating the perfect 24p cadence, render it to a video file. Done. It will be a good idea to change the cut keyboard shortcut from CTRL+K to other letter to avoid you pressing two keys in every cut. Pressing just one key to do the cut is faster and easier to do.
Now the creative idea:
NEW SOFTWARE: SlowSyncTelecine
If there was a software capable of:
01 - open the telecined video file
02 - analises the video file to identify the groups of repeated frames
03 - compare the repeated frames inside a group to identify the sharpest one
04 - extract the sharpest frame from the group and save it to a still file
05 - go to next group doing the same task until the telecined video ends
This software would be the solution for slow motion sync DIY telecine, no more time consuming "cut and keep good frames" task.
When doing the analises to find the sharpest frame among the repeated frames, the software must take into account:
01 - the movement inside the image, because the repeated frames does not have movement inside the image.
02 - the film grain, because if cinema camera was on tripod and there is no movement inside the image, the software will get confused to find the repeated frames, so the film grain is the way to find repeated frames, because the grain does not change in repeated frames, the grain just changes from one different frame to other different frame.
03 - sometimes happens one recorded (telecined) frame to be a mix from two film frames, the software must know in wich group to put this kind of frame, or just ignore it when doing the analises.
04 - sometimes the repeated frames can be different in up/down and/or left/right position, due to projector shutter interference and the filmstrip movement in projector gate, so the software must consider this kind of misalignment in the repeated frames in order to not create a false new group of repeated frames.
the software can have a dialog box to user type an approach of how many times each film frame is repeated in the recorded video, or type the fps projector was running, because the projector speed is almost constant. In my tests I got each frame repeated about 2,66 times, in a 9 fps projection speed. 2,66 times means 3 times with the last frames in the group mixed with the first frame from next group. This value would be used as a reference by the software.
The software can use the audio from the telecined video to help finding the group of repeated frames because when projector changes the frame in the gate it makes a specific noise.
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