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Digital remastering cine film


Digital Remastering For FilmRemastered example


Digital Remastering (DRM) is the process of taking an analogue image, in this case cine film, and attempting to correct the colour problems that can arise with age, poor processing, poor storage, poor camera setup etc to gain the best possible image.

Cine films especially are vulnerable to colour changes with age. The emulsion (the bit of the film that actually has the picture) is made up of different types of dyes. These dyes can fade at different rates over time. On some film such as Kodak Kodachrome this is less likely to happen but in most cases there will be some benefit from a DRM pass. Some other types of film can suffer significantly more than Kodachrome, films such as Ilford and some foreign makes are particularly susceptible. In addition the incorrect use of filters or the incorrect selection of film type when originally shot can make a huge difference. Take a look at our FAQ on cine problems to learn more:

Issues with cine film

At Timeless Moments we have always digitally remastered film to DVD as part of our standard service, we never charge more for this if you are ordering a ďcine to DVDĒ or ďcine to Blu-rayĒ service. We also offer it on our cine to digital file service at an additional cost. The reason we donít offer it as standard on the digital file service is that most good NLEs (Non Linear Editor or film editing software) have colour correction plugins built in and as the files will be edited anyway we leave that to the customer to make the adjustments they so desire to their own film.

This is an example of how DRM can improve typical 8mm transfers.



Some films have so little colour left in them that there really is very little that can be done to improve them. In other cases, for example where the film has been loaded the wrong way around (standard 8) and the image is entirely orange then the only solution is to convert the film to black and white, a colour range we are all used to.

VHS and Camcorder Tapes

The exact same processes can be applied to any film, cine is the most commonly improved example, however VHS may also be improved to some small extent. However much of the VHS and camcorder footage is corrected in the professional decks we use, for VHS tapes this is done during the transfer process by our SVO-5800OP deck. This amazing piece of technology includes the following features:

  • Built-in Time Base Corrector
  • Chroma Process Improvement
  • Digital 3-line Comb Filter
  • Four Channel Audio Recording SystemPDF02
  • Dolby Noise Reduction

For more details you can check out the pdf operation manual here:
In addition we will check through the films and make any further adjustments that may be necessary on the computers.



This is part of the reason our tape transfers are £15 per hour to DVD and not a fiver a tape, the £5 a tape people use a mass produced VHS/DVD recorder which adds a standard menu and has none of the sophisticated electronics that a professional machine has, they certainly will not take time to correct the image post transfer!

Our miniDV tape deck is a Sony DSR-11 with similar features to the SVO unit above but is more modern for the newer miniDV tapes.

For V8 and Hi8 we use a Sony EV-S9000 deck, a state of the art deck for these types of tapes, almost impossible to acquire nowadays. Again the cheap companies use their own camcorders, if youíre going to pay someone to use a camcorder you may as well do it yourself.



Additional Options

Many NLEs feature some amazing colour effects for your films as well as extremely powerful plugins. If you have professional equipment you may be able to get hold of a free copy of Da Vinci Resolve, but if your budget is more suited to home film making then check out the plugin from Red Giant, Magic Bullet Looks. This program allows you to preview a vast array of different looks for your movie as well as subtly tailor each one to your wishes. The plugin is available for all popular NLEs, the screenshot below is from Pinnacle Studio but it looks and works the same on all of them.


Audio Remastering

Finally there is also the issue of sound to consider. This is mostly applicable for Super 8 and 16mm cine. These sound tracks are almost always mono and may be lacking in volume and richness, there may be a lot of hiss or machine rumbling. There are many plugins that allow you to improve the sound captured from the cine film.

Any sound we transfer is precisely synchronised in the actual telecine machine, guaranteed frame to frame lip synchronisation. Next we make the sound dual channel, itís impossible to make it stereo (although a fake stereo effect is available we do not like the result) but with dual channel at least it will exit both channels of your TV or cinema system rather than just coming in from the left or right channel.

We then use an equalizer to adjust the tonal and frequency responses within the sound. The difference from standard is quite remarkable. Here is an example of a cine sound track adjustment.


So there you have it, Digital Remastering from Timeless Moments with a few tips on how to do it yourself. There are plenty of other examples, for example on underexposed film itís often possible to bring out objects or people that were totally invisible before, of course the quality is poor and often to do this you lose most of the colour so itís a balance between what you want to see and whatís possible. We will always try to get the best out of your films and will be looking at new software and hardware advances as they become available.



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Timeless Moments Ltd is a private limited company with company number 5851279


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