Scanning


SD, HD & 2K / 4K - Filmscanning

We digitize your films in SD (standard definition, PAL), full HD and full 2K / 4K - resolution. To define the perfect scanning format please talk to us regarding the requested final use of the programs.
Telecine for TV-broadcasting: ALPHA-OMEGA has scanned and restored a large amount of programs for TV-broadcasting. In every case the quality was the main focus of the work and therefore we have achieved a very good reputation with TV-Broadcasters.

film material

The maximum quality source for digitization is the original negative of the film. The photographic clarity and definition of the original negative are by far better then any lab copy could be. Mechanical defects such as scratches are never 'printed' into the material but ‚physically present' and therefore can be taken care of by using wetGate technology or other manual optimization. We have specialized to deal with these mechanical problems that appear especially with older negatives, rather then relying on digital solutions that can usually not eliminate an image defect without to a degree causing so-called 'digital artefacts' along the way.
Torn or broken perforation, torn images or opening splices are prepared prior to scanning so that they can be digitized in a perfect way without causing any further damage to the material. If needed we write down a film report informing about these existing material problems and give you an evaluation of the materials quality. If the original negative is not available or don't exist any longer, the first choice of material would be an early print or Intermediate of the original.
We also scan nitrate-based films, which were the standard emulsions up to the 1950s. These jobs have to be planned carefully, because we can only store limited amounts of nitrate films here.

wet-gate technology

Mechanical defects of the film material such as vertical lines, emulsion defects and scratches are completely eliminated by the use of wetGate at the moment of scanning the image and therefore the resulting digital image would not have these defets visible from the start. The wetGate is the only perfect and artefact-free solution for such physical defects.
wet-gate-process in detail | © ALPHA-OMEGA, 2009


For our URSA DIAMOND we supplied a Super35mm-wetGate built by Fa. Schmitzer that has been altered severely and modified to be the so-called „ALPHA-GATE“. Using this even color-negatives with thick splices and carves on both edges can be transferred smoothly and without transfer deformations of the images.
For our HD/2K/4K-filmscanner C-REALITY we have decided to purchase a wetGate from RTI / Peterson, and so ALPHA-OMEGA owned the very first 35mm wetGate ever made for the C-REALITY. With Peterson we engaged in applying changes and adaptions to the wetGate during the manufactoring process to fit for fragile and difficult film materials. Inbetween we´ve upgraded the installment with a 16mm WetGate too.
The effect of using wetGate is displayed in the images below..
comparison dry- vs. wet-scan | © ALPHA-OMEGA, 2001, image used with permission of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung

scanning speed in restoration of film

When scanning a film to high-resolution data there is a number of options in scanning speed available. The fastest speed for scanning in 2K is 6frm per sec., the slowest is the so-called ASYNC-Mode, a frame-by-frame transfer taking about 3sec per frame. When scanning very old films with many repairs on the perfs and thick splices every continuous scanning speed will cause some unwanted warping in the digital result, simply by the irregular condition of the film. This transfer effect is called the watering effect, because the images resulting have an unstable performance like reflected from water surface. These effects are not ever a problem the film itself would have, but is due to the mechanical irregularities being scanned on Equipment that is made for 'standard films'. The only way to scan materials with many mechanical irregularities perfectly is the slowest of modes, the frame-by-frame process, that 'parks' every frame for the moment of scanning, so there is no movement of the material when the image is digitized.
As a matter of course this requires a larger amount of scanning time and therefore also will express in the pricing of such scans.
Here is an example for calculation:

1 reel with 240m or 12600 frames
6frm/sec = 2.100 sec = 35 min
2frm/sec = 6.300 sec = 105 min = 1 Std 45 min
ASYNC-Mode = 37.800 sec = 630 min = 10 Std 30 min
Certainly the industry and computing technology is improving fastly and soon there will be scanning speeds faster then 6frm/sec for 2K-scans, but mechanically difficult and irregular material won't ever be scanned without 'transfer-deformations' at higher scanning speeds.