VideoStudio 9.0: [Tutorial Converting Super 8 Films]
I set up my projector and screen in the loft as this was the darkest place in the house. I mounted the projector on top of a couple of cabinets so that I had some height and stability. I then mounted my digital camcorder on a tripod as close as possible alongside the projector.
The screen was positioned approx 5 feet from the projector and the resulting picture occupied an area on screen about 2 feet square.
I turned off anything \"Automatic\" on the camcorder and set the various controls manually. It was then just a matter of filming whatever was on the screen.
Now this is where the fun starts.
After moving the captured footage into the computer the first step is to remove the sound. At the same time trim off the start and ending points and then use the crop tool to trim away the borders. Make sure that the tick box \"Fill colour\" is unchecked so that it stretches the cropped picture to the edges.
If necessary use the brightness and contrast filter to brighten up the picture. Now save this file. Don't try and do everything at once, you will find it quicker to break the project down into small manageable parts.
Now using this new trimmed video, you need to use the multi trim tool and go through the video splitting it up into the various scenes (ie places where the camera was turned on/off).
When splitting the video into these scenes you can also chop away a few frames where these scenes occur as they often have a tendency to have
a bright flash effect as a result of the camera being turned on/off.
Now to piece it all back together again.
A nice effect is to start off with the sample video \"V07.avi\" the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown. Do not place a transition between this and your first clip, a straight cut is ok here.
Due to the nature of Super 8 films being only 3 minute cassettes and at the time expensive, the tendency was for the camera operator to only take very short clips. If any of the multi trim clips are less than 7 seconds long I then used the Playback speed function to make the clip
exactly 7 seconds in length. The purpose of this is to allow a 1 second transition at either end, plus a minimum of 5 seconds on screen display - otherwise you end up with pictures that just flash on the screen without the audience being able to take the scene in. I found this to be very effective and greatly improved the new video.
Now add your clips one at a time to the time line with a 1 second transition of your choosing - checking the clip is at least 7 seconds long, plus checking if this clip needs any further adjustment to the crop area, brightness etc.
Finish off with a black colour clip so that your video \"fades out.\"
At this point DO NOT ADD SOUND. I found that it is quicker to create a new video file at this point, and then add your sound to that.
Now here is a nice fun part that really gives your video some polish and looks great.
Start a new project and place the sample clip \"Vo1\"on the timeline. At the end of that clip use the save as still image option. and then place that still image onto the timeline (with re-sampling option - fit to project size) Now use the sample clip \"vo1\"again but check the reverse video option - also remove the sound from that final clip.
Now use this as a template for your cleaned up super 8 films.
Using the overlay track you place your new super 8 film over the saved still image from above. You make the still image the same length as the super 8 video with the image duration option.
On the overlay track stretch your super 8 film to the \"safe area border\" that is displayed. Select the \"Mask and Chroma Key\" function and then select a border size of \"1\" in white.
The overall effect is
Some curtains open rather like in a cinema.
A Projection screen appears - as if you are at the cinema, followed by the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown. Then your new super 8 comes on with a nice soundtrack and transitions.
At the end of the \"film\" it fades out and then the curtains close.
To jazz it up a little more, where the 5-4-3-2-1 countdown appears, add a bit of sound from the projector and let it gradually fade out as your new soundtrack fades in.
It may take a lot longer than the good old 'ordinary' camcorder stuff but when completed the resultant DVD's make lovely stocking fillers for relatives at Christmas. In addition to the nostalgia effect, because they are so old there are not just childhood memories and clips of when you were the same age as your children/grandchildren, there are also those relatives who have long ago stopped walking this earth.
Another benefit I found of using my cinema style backdrop is that it made the whole thing appear much brighter than a simple full screen display of the super 8 film.
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