I recently completed transferring my family's 8 and Super8 films to video file via a (Wolverine Moviemaker) telecine machine. It's output is limited to MP4 files. I've a couple of questions:
1. There are many scenes where there's 5-10 people walking towards the camera. Looking for advice on how best to "label" each person. Maybe do a screenshot with labels on each person and show that for 5seconds before the scene starts?? (per the attached example screen grab)? Or maybe some type of subtitles??
2. also, I'd like to mask off some of the overscan areas, like top and bottom and sides, where telecine machine was out of alignment. Is there any easy way to do that?
3. also, I'm aware that the more I "render" a video, the more quality issues it has. I suspect I can't avoid that if I want to mask off some areas. What's the best way to manage that?
4. I'm not able to purchase high end video editing software for this, nor can I master the skills required for it if I did, so I'd appreciate if you can suggest open-source or even software that already comes with either Windows or Mac.
Just curious to know what other people do.
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For the text, an external subtitle which you turn on and off throughout playback (see srt format) is the easiest option so then you are not re-encoding your video.
Now I am not familiar with the device you used but I do know how cine projectors work (done some transfers in the past) and the very least you should be able to do is centre the image with that gate adjustment knob since your result is pretty poor.
If you can not nor wish to re-do the transfers then I would use avidemux to crop both top and bottom and the right. If you want to retain a particular aspect ratio you can then add a border. But I can not help thinking that the people in the picture are a little shorter than they should be. Another sign of a poor transfer.
DB83, Thanks for the quick reply. I'm not familiar with SRT format. Is is a program or some type of add-on? Can you suggest where to find out more?
Re: the cine projector, this one only allows centering before you start. If (when) the film drifts, you have to stop and recenter. There is no on-the-fly centering, unfortunately.
this is not easy to achieve without some kind of post processing for the simple reason that it is highly likely the people are moving so a subtitle will last a second or two before the people have moved on, you have two choices I think.
A very quick flash of the name in subtitles, and hope it is on screen long enough while the people stand still for a second or two, or track the people in video edit, so the names, and even a date and location, move with them for the shot in question.
A subtitle is ok, but you won't get long to have the name on screen before the subject has moved on, the file also has to be played back in a software player capable of playing subtitle files or tv set capable of reading subs.
Also, the subtitle alignment on screen will/can prove very very tricky to get in exactly the right places, in the right sized font under the correct person.
Creating subtitle files is not the easiest thing to do in regards accurate timing, and as you mention, you're unable to master skills required.
As you rightly mention, further processing will degrade a wolverine scan, but there are ways of keeping it decent, I have 3 years experience with Wolverine scans
If this is a 50ft reel, I will do the labeling for you, for free, if you have the skill to upload to google drive or dropbox and email me the details, shots, names and name/location/dates that you want placed over the video.
You can find my email address on the 'about' tab of my you tube page, which you can then use to email me details, and a link to the uploaded video file.
I am happy to do this for one 50ft reel, no charge. anything larger, I would have to charge.
I can also sort out the crop and frame rate.
You would then download it from google drive once I am done.
Google drive is free, you just need a google log in
I rarely check messages on this website, so an email is better if you choose to accept my random act of kindness, I'd be happy to help out.
Find my you tube here, head for the 'about tab' to contact me if you would like to
Last edited by super8rescue; 22nd Dec 2020 at 11:29.
Over the past few weeks I've given this more consideration and I think that subtitles is not a good way to go as it distracts from the video, and some people will not know that they exist and know how to turn on. And so I think I would rather take a screen grab of a the upcoming scene, label the people on it, and then edit it into the video for 2-3 second duration before the scene starts. Therefore, a couple of questions:
1. I found this link for converting a JPG to MP4 with a specific duration, but wondering if anyone can suggest something simpler? (https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25891342/creating-a-video-from-a-single-image-for-...tion-in-ffmpeg)
2. I've read that ffmpeg can trim and join MP4 files without loss. ffmpeg is command line driven. That doesn't scare me, but it's not as convenient as a GUI. Can anyone suggest a (free) GUI version of ffmpeg that will explicitly not degrade/reprocess my MP4?
I've done this quite a bit for film transfers. I initially used on-screen subtitles, but they can be distracting, and you're stuck with them forever. These kind of subtitles are easy to do in your NLE.
The problem of tracking people as they move is usually not a big deal, and even when it is, you just put the subtitle where the person is located at the beginning of the scene, and most viewers can do their own tracking as they watch the action. Also, you will probably label another scene that has the same person so, for those looking at it twenty years from now, they can eventually figure out which one is Aunt Bertha.
A few years after doing on-screen subtitles I switched to subtitles that can be turned on or off. This approach is MUCH better. I did a DVD for a high school reunion and I handled the problem of people not knowing that the DVD contained subtitles by having a link on the main menu that said "Turn Subtitles ON." Once the subtitles were on, this main menu was replaced with an identical menu that said "Turn Subtitles OFF".
If you plan to author the result to BD or DVD, this approach should work. If you going to stream them, you can add a title card to inform people of the presence of subtitles. You can default to have them on, or default off.
If you plan to deliver on a thumb drive or disk drive, you can physically label the drive to let people know that subtitles exist. You can also add a video title to the beginning of each reel which tells the person to turn subtitles on if they want to see people's names.
Finally, timing the subtitles to appear and disappear at the right time and place requires an NLE. I use Vegas, and I can put a marker at the place where I want the subtitle to turn on, label that marker with the names of the people in left to right order, and then these markers and their contents can be transfered directly to my authoring software.
The only downside of subtitles that turn on and off is that if you have people in the background (top of the screen) that you want to label, since the subtitles usually appear at the bottom of the screen, your identification will not be as precise.
Last edited by johnmeyer; 4th Jan 2021 at 11:29. Reason: clarity
Johnmeyer has the best write up for your problem. I do not have the hang of Movie Studio Platinum yet so I free tools to display times during video where you wish to place subtitles.
[Attachment 56621 - Click to enlarge]
Aegisub is a great ASS subtitle creator utility but I find it easier to create a simple text SRT subtiles file with the placement noted as a separate line as I view the video. Converting SRT to ASS format is a VERY simple task with FFMpeg. I change the placements using the extra line and then delete them.
Now you have an external subtitle file playable in almost all players that does not alter your video quality.
[Attachment 56622 - Click to enlarge]