Film to DVD

Our Pro Hollywood Restoration provides the best automatic restoration available for 8mm, Super 8, 16mm and 35mm film. Our restoration will fix most of the surface defects (scratches, nicks, etc.) and does include automatic and manual color and exposure correction. Of course, there are some things that can't be fixed. For example, film that was original shot dark or over exposed, out of focus, double exposed, etc., cannot be fixed without extensive manual restoration which our service does not include. In addition, scratches, nicks or other physical damage that has affected the image layer cannot be fixed either without extensive manual restoration which again we do not provide.

The color and exposure restoration is first performed by the scanner at scan time. Since the film was originally taken, the colors have shifted and in most cases the exposure is darker. The scanner will detect the color balance and is mainly trying to shift the colors and exposure back where it was originally when the film was first taken. After the film is scanned a colorist will look at the video and will try to make further improvements. But again, we are limited by the film's current color and exposure issues like under or over exposed film, light leaks from the camera, etc.

There are many methods today for concealing surface defects like scratches, nicks, dirt and dust that has adhered itself to the film. Two of the most famous are wet gate and more recently infrared detection and replacement. Although these techniques have some advantages, they also have some limitations. We would like to describe a novel approach to restoration with all the advantages of earlier methods without the limitations. In addition, our restoration is done during scanning which will avoid most or all of the downstream restoration required today.


Dust Busting Basics

Let's start by understanding the defects themselves. Over 80% of the defects on film damage the emulsion or base and not the actual image itself. This means that to truly restore the image we need to be able to "see" past the damage to the emulsion or base and pick up the actual image beneath. There are several old methods that have had some success in repairing the image. Wet gate processes run fluid on the film during printing or during the telecine process to fill in the scratches. In general this works relatively well. There are some draw backs to this approach. First, although the scratches do generally disappear, the fluid on the entire film softens the overall image. In addition, the fluid does nothing for dust, dirt particles or other defects on the film. The Infrared detection method shines infrared light that will pass through color film but will be disturbed by scratches, dust and dirt. The system can then create a defect map with the locations of the defects so down stream tools can repair them automatically or manually. There are two problems with infrared detection and concealment. First, infrared only works on color film. Using it on Black/White film produces undesirable results. The silver grains in the black and white film almost totally blocks the infrared light. This causes significant distortion of the image. Secondly, infrared detection and concealment require a downstream process to fix the defects. Our novel restoration technology does not rely on infrared technology and it works on all film including negatives, master positives, intermediate negatives, or prints, and older reversal stocks. The technology finds all defects and in 80% of the cases can "look through" the defect to find the image details at that location. This restoration technology does require a longer scan time as the film is being scanned. Here are some examples.


2K Dust Busting Original

Typical Film Defects


  • Here's a typical film defect. The surface scratch on the center of the girls chest and nicks on the left side of the girls dress and boys face are only on the emulsion itself.
  • During scanning the machine detects the defects and is able to look beyond the emulsion to find the true image details as seen below.
2K Dust Busting Restored

Restored Image During Scanning


  • The scanner isn't taking information from surrounding areas or from a similar area on a previous frame.
  • The scanner increases the sensitivity at the site of the defect to recover the image under the emulsion.
  • In this case, over 90% of the defects were fixed.
2K Dust Busting Original

Man Made Deep Defects


  • In this example we have purposely made deep scratches to show an extreme example.
  • It's hard to image being able to recover much of this during scanning.
2K Dust Busting Defect Map

Defect Map With Restoration Off


  • Here is the defect map of the frame above with restoration off to show the full extent of the damage.
  • You can see that the extent of the damage is severe and not something you would typically find on film.
2K Dust Busting Original

Restored Image During Scanning


  • You can see that with restoration turned on it is actually able to remove even the majority of deep man made scratches during scanning.
  • In addition, it provides a defect map for further down stream restoration.
  • In this case, about 80% of the defects were fixed.
Valid Till
super 8 film to dvd video restoration