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Stabilise your film scan
#1
I had a private question about this, so here's a quick guide on how to stabilise your film scans.

First go and grab Davinci Resolve and Blackmagic Fusion. Two terrific free products. You can load your clip in Fusion or use the Fusion tab in Resolve it's up to you, but I'll be using Fusion stand-alone.


Here is a video guide:



You can do it that way, but it is preferable to use the film perfs if available. For one thing the perfs always appear the same (except when damaged), whereas the image border might change or disappear throughout the film.

Here is an example with a generic 16mm source at 2K (2048x1556). Starting with the first frame we place two trackers at a curving point on the film perfs:

[Image: fusion1.png]

If this was 8mm we would simply place both trackers on the same perf one at the top and one at the bottom. As you see we have another curving point at the bottom of the top film perf where we could place a 3rd tracker, and in fact it wouldn't be a bad idea to do this. More trackers equals better result. Notice that the trackers are quite small - there's a reason for this. The image on the film appears very close to the edge, and I don't want the film image being considered as a part of the trackers so it is narrow enough that it won't happen. Also because this scan is already pretty steady the search area only needs to be quite small - but if you have a less steady scan you may need a wider search area.

As per the Youtube video we set up the Operation settings:

[Image: fusion2.png]

And then go back to the Trackers tab and click the "track forward from current frame" button:

[Image: fusion3.png]

And that's it. If your tracking points are good and the perfs aren't damaged etc your output should now be steady. If things go awry you may need to split the footage up into chunks and process different bits separately.
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Thanks given by: Feallan , Evit , Dr. Cooper , DoomBot , TomArrow , Atreyo , dbear , spoRv
#2
Thank you for the writedown. Interesting how similar the controls are to After Effects, except for a few different button names. You can almost adapt this guide 1:1. Smile
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#3
(2018-11-01, 04:56 PM)TomArrow Wrote: Thank you for the writedown. Interesting how similar the controls are to After Effects, except for a few different button names. You can almost adapt this guide 1:1. Smile

Ah yes no doubt and if people have guides with better software I'd certainly welcome them! After Effects I'm guessing would be about equal but by all means do your own tests and report back which software works better. I know poita has said SynthEyes is the best product available for this, but it's not exactly an economical solution.
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#4
The same guy who did the Fusion tutorial above also made one using Blender, which is also free:


I have tested them both on film scans that I wanted to stabilize using the film frame or sprocket holes, and I found the Fusion method to be both easier and more effective on the 2 or 3 samples I tested it on, and I have used it several times since then. I find Fusion usually works better than the trackers in After Effects when placed in the same locations - presumably because in fusion you can tell it to watch the background only, while if that option exists in AE I couldn't find it. If you're just trying to stabilize the image (or your scan doesn't even have sprocket holes or the full frame), Blender and AE both do a great job. (Fusion probably does too, but I haven't tested it).

Digital Vision's Phoenix software also has a couple of good stabilizers, DVO Stable II allows you to stabilize using the picture or the film frame.

Finally PF Clean has some excellent stabilization tools (as you'd expect since they also created PF Track). I'll put together a quick tutorial on how to use that to stabilize on the sprocket holes at some point.
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#5
One question. Don't you have to pay for the stabilization features in Fusion?
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#6
No, it's free - but limited to UHD in the free version.
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#7
Does that mean I can only stabilize at UHD, or up to UHD?
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#8
Any resolution up to UHD. Honestly just install it and you can see the "limitations" - they're not at all onerous for a free program.
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#9
I did install it. I'm still trying to get my head round it.
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#10
Been doing this for some 35 mm trailer-scans several times now and have to admit it works pretty well!

My suggestion to have less problems with the trackers being thrown off due to slightly damaged perfs etc. is to put an additional color correction node in front of the tracking and try to get the maximum contrast between the perfs and the rest. Doesn't matter if your film looks bad, that node can (and should) be deleted again after the film has been analyzed. But it definitely helps to get better results. Smile

And I mean really maximum contrast, so don't hesitate to drag those controls until the sprocket-holes look something like this:
[Image: Color-Corrector-Resolve.jpg]

And also if it doesn't work with a single round corner just use the full perf to be analyzed. I had this problem when the printed area was so huge that it ran into the perfs sometimes like in the example above. After selecting the whole perf it went fine.
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Thanks given by: TomArrow , dbear


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