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Old January 6th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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how to make DV or HDV look like super 8mm film?

Hi. I'm going to be shooting a short movie with the sony z-1 HDV camera. Some parts of the movie are supposed to look as if they were shot on one of those super 8mm film cameras (like home movies in the 70's).

We actually have a fully functional Canon 514XL-S super8 in excellent condition, but then there's buying the film which isn't cheap, processing it which is costly as well, not to mention finally transferring the film to HDV of DV for editing, which is a killer.

So I'm thinking with all of todays digital technology, there's gotta be a way to make digital video look like footage shot on super 8mm.

I realize I'd actually be degrading the quality, but that's the point. It's gotta have that vintage 70's home movie look.

So I was hoping someone here might be able to explain or point me to an explanation exactly how to achieve this. I'm talking about the same coloring, same grain look, the slight film jitters and the way movement seems less slick (compared to video) because of the 24 fps, or even 18fps, which was a popular frame rate for these cameras.

I know there have been much discussion about making video look like film, but going over all the threads on the subject it was obvious that the look they were going for was the "good" 35mm look and not the "not so hot" 8mm look.

I did find one thread which mentioned an effect for old film, but it seemed to me that it was referring more to scratches, dust and jitters.

I will be editing on a PC, on either Vegas or Premiere. I'll have After Effects to my disposal, although my knowledge of AE is rather limited. If there is software out there that is very recommended for simulating super 8mm, we'd probably buy it. So.. open to suggestions.

Thanks.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 12:10 AM   #2
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I recommend watching this tutorial....

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials.html?id=57

and then use Magic Bullet to convert to 24p (or shoot in 24p) and apply color filters and all that jazz. The project file with that tutorial will give you a clip of dirt flicker that you can overlay on your footage. Then just adjust it if you only want to be able to notice 10% of it.....or whatever looks good.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 07:10 AM   #3
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Red Giant.... the program called " Looks "

Thats all you will need....
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Old January 7th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Powell View Post
I recommend watching this tutorial....

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials.html?id=57

and then use Magic Bullet to convert to 24p (or shoot in 24p) and apply color filters and all that jazz. The project file with that tutorial will give you a clip of dirt flicker that you can overlay on your footage. Then just adjust it if you only want to be able to notice 10% of it.....or whatever looks good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
Red Giant.... the program called " Looks "

Thats all you will need....
thanks guys! i checked it out. seems you are both referring to more or less the same software - magic bullet by red giant, right? i saw they have one product called LOOKS which well... i guess gives your material different looks. they have demo versions available for download on their website, so i think i'll play around with it a bit. as for the frame rate conversion product called FRAME, it's a very new addition to their catalog and from what i understood hasn't even started shipping out to people who have pre-ordered the product as part of the magic bullet suite bundle.

i will definitely check out FRAME when it is available.

i also saw the tutorial with the scratched old 8mm mask that you can just place on your material in a layer with a multiply blend. it's a bit exaggerated in my view. of course there is super 8mm footage which looks like that, but much of the footage i've seen looks much better. yes it's grainy and a bit scratched and blurred on the edges, but still not as roughed up as the one in the tutorial.

thanks all..... and still open to suggestions if you got any :-)
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Old January 7th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #5
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yeah looks is the color filter part of the Magic Bullet Suite....which i should have said. It has a frame rate converter already in the program if you which to use it.

I think that 8mm scratch clip is way exaggerated too but if you scale it up so the darkened/blurred edges are off the screen and you lower the opacity to like 10%, it might look good depending what the footage is of.

There is a program I have also called Cinelook but hardly use it over Magic Bullet. Its really good dont get me wrong but I just feel like its only good for that really scratched grainy look.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 06:58 AM   #6
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If your camcorder shoots interlace and not progressive, try setting your camcorder shutter to 1/25th second (50i) for PAL or 1/30th second for (60i). This may force the camcorder to run a lower frame rate.

To emulate grain, switch in neutral density and max the camcorder's gain to force gain noise, add neutral density gel in front of the camcorder lens if ambience lighting is too bright for these settings.

If you are using a PD150/VX2000/PD170/VX2100, selecting the "flash" effect and setting the repetition rate to fastest with the display bar furthest to the left will emulate the progressive look of film.

With these very light efficient cams you'll definitely need to add ND gels over the lens to make them open up.

If you are using a progressive video cam which has interlace as an optiobn, shoot your "video" vision interlaced and your "Super8" vision progressive. Maybe shoot your "video" vision at 1/100th second shutter and your "Super8" vision at 1/50th second shutter.

If this does not create a distinctive comparative look on its own, force the video gain to generate noise as described above.

Maybe also put a faint green or blue gel over the camcorder lens when doing the "Super8" vision to induce a slight colour cast then correct this back in post if need be. Early seventies Kodachrome reversal stocks sometimes had a slight greenish-yellow colour cast.

This may then introduce a colour shift into blacks if you bring them up by increasing brightness after correcting the colours in post, which might again serve to replicate the colour shift sometimes associated with ageing film.

Super8 became actually quite good and was sometimes used as an alternative news and documentary stock when video took over.

The native lens fields-of view of Super8 and the 1/3" CCD video cameras is near enough to the same. So for your "Super* footage" stick to what was then the film camera lens available focal lengths on your camcorder lens and you should be fairly safe.

If the Super8 camera you seek to emulate had a fixed focal length lens then set your zoom lens to that focal length and lock it off for all footage which emulates the film camera. Super8 cams I think fairly commonly had zoom lenses.

If you have a black stretch option on your video camera, use it for the "Super8" footage to emulate the greater dynamic range of film.

Older Standard8 and Super8 film when spliced sometimes showed a line across the top of one frame and across the bottom of the succeeding frame on cuts. 16mm news film heat spliced did this also. When CIR splicers and full frame clear tape came in then this artifact went away in 16mm film but the tape edges sometimes showed up on Super8.

Maybe use your cinegamma1 setting for the Super8, maybe the cineframe setting for it as well and use the camera without these enhancements for the "video" vision. Super8 film resolution was also fairly good towards the end of its popularity.

It might be worthwhile experimenting with shooting your Super8 film with 4:3 set on your camera in MiniDV mode, then rescaling in post in a HDV project or vice versa if you edit in SD so that the Super8 footage becomes cropped on the edges in the 16:9 frame. The proportional scale of gain noise in SD MiniDV will be greater therefore more apparent when rescaled in a HDV project.

Camera film projected without any splices in it often had a few lighter or overexposed frames at beginning of each new shot as the camera motor speed ramped up to normal from at rest. Sometimes this was seen also in the last frame or two of the previous shot but less commonly.

There you are. A lot of possibly useless experiments to give you a headache.

I am not an industry professional so do not regard these comments as having any authority.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 8th, 2008 at 07:20 AM. Reason: error
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:24 AM   #7
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8mm Distress Kit

Hi

Those looking at 8mm film effects might be interested in our 8mm Distress Kit:

8mmDistressKit_8mm Cine Film Effects

There is a demo, tutorial and 3 free samples

Thanks

Andy
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