Professionalism meets passion
We bring your analogue treasures into the digital world
Digitalisation of all sorts of different formats is a fundamental core element of what we do. Converting analogue and digital content to current technical standards is both exciting and challenging, making continual interaction with the client essential. Whether it be historical film gems, analogue video or audio tapes with unique recordings, all formats are entitled to be backed up or published. The focus here is on preservation of the audio-visual heritage, which can subsequently be refined through post-processing.
The enormous variety of formats as well as the increasing demands in respect, for instance, of high levels of resolution, picture stability and optical quality call for excellent film scanners. The film material is a valuable asset that experiences a best possible level of protection as it is being digitalised by our scanners. It is certainly possible here to optimise the desired result through the purposeful additional use of a wet gate.
In the shape of the OXScan, the company has a state of the art scanner for 35mm and wide-gauge (65mm, 70mm, IMAX) films. It has a native 14K surface sensor and genuine 16-bit RGB depth of colour. Depending on film material, transport can be sprocketless or pin registered.
For 8mm, S16mm and 35mm films we have for many years put our trust in the Scanity, which was developed specifically for the needs of archives. This high-quality film scanner fulfils a multitude of requirements that can come along with the ageing of historic celluloid. For the digitalisation process it is possible to use a wet gate or, in the case of particularly dense black and white films, HDR technology.
Specially developed for small-gauge formats, the Filmfabriek HDS+ scanner digitalises 16mm, S16, 8mm, S8 and 9.5 Pathé up to a resolution of 4K. It also has a simple wet gate for use in the case of bad scratching. Even film material that has shrivelled by up to 10% can be scanned without any problem.
In the course of a film's life, especially in the case of high wear and heavy use, damage may occur to the analogue material. A process of ‘wet scanning’ makes scratches or other marks on the shiny side almost invisible, without the creation of any unwanted artefacts. This procedure is available on the Scanity for 16mm and 35mm films and on the Eco Scan for small-gauge films.
Careful mechanical preparation of the film material is a demanding process and can sometimes take a very long time. Regardless of any digitalisation, the aim is to preserve the material for as long as possible. To this end replacing film canisters can also be necessary. We record all materials in a storeroom database.
Appraisal and selection
Frequently, what exists of a film are multiple pieces of video and audio material, which differ in condition, type and completeness. Through a detailed appraisal it is possible to select the most suitable materials. This process always happens in collaboration with our clients.
The general principle that applies is: the cleaner the film material is before being digitalised, the less time and effort is involved in any digital post-processing. Fragile material and small-gauge films are exclusively cleaned by hand.
Depending on the condition of the material, there are almost no limits to what is possible when it comes to digital restoration. How to proceed in terms of technical, scientific and economic possibilities is therefore weighed up in advance with the client in order to achieve the greatest possible authenticity. Regardless of resolution, the implementation is done on the most suitable system for the requirements, e.g. HS-Art’s Diamant or Digital Vision’s Phoenix Finish.
Our grading suites are equipped with Nucoda and DaVinci colour correctors. The extensive technical equipment naturally also includes 4K HDR reference monitors and, for cinema productions, a 4K laser phosphor projection system. Our colourists have expertise in both fields gained over many years. The spectrum here extends from historical productions, via fiction, documentaries and TV series, all the way to concerts for VOD.
For our colourists, professional monitors are the absolute reference tool for their work. It is for that reason that we use various different calibrated monitors, which with OLED and LCD panels are capable of 4K and HDR.
The grading process in our cinema suite is a very special experience. Take a seat on the sofa and enjoy the unique projection. Guaranteeing this is the 4K laser phosphor projector, which even shows colour corrections in the P3 colour space.
A.D.A.M. high-volume digitalisation
Sometimes it simply has to be done quickly. For this we make use in Leipzig of a robot-assisted development that has been customised and adapted to our needs. In a defined workflow that includes cleaning, digitalisation and technical quality control, the A.D.A.M. system takes care 24/7, 365 days a year of processing a multitude of analogue or digital video tapes and transferring them over as a digital product.
Preserving the content of audio-visual storage devices is an important task. Play-out systems are no longer being made, replacement parts are in the main scarce. In the case of older analogue video and audio tapes especially a transfer to digital target formats is urgently needed if the danger of losing the content is to be avoided. We take on this responsibility and keep a multitude of devices of various different video and audio formats in stock for digitalisation.
Digitalisation of analogue media
Backing up analogue tapes presents clients such as service providers with increasingly big challenges. 1 inch, U-Matic, Betacam SP, VHS, 1/4 inch and Super 8 tapes, music cassettes and vinyl records are just a selection of critical formats that, thanks not least to our employees’ expertise, can be professionally digitalised.
File conversion and transfer
Due to the diversity that exists, transcoding into a huge range of different file formats is very complex. The infrastructure that we have available for transferring files to clients includes not only high-performance data lines, but also various different servers, e.g. MediaShuttle, Aspera, MFT and ARD HYBNET. Transferring onto hard drive or LTO tape is also a popular standard.
As a service provider we support our clients not only with the digitalisation and editing of productions. Some requirements also lead to temporary or relatively long-term storage of the physical source material or the digital target media. For this purpose we have available on our premises not only storage capability within the building, but multiple special containers outside as well.
There is ample capacity at OMNIMAGO for storing media storage devices. On our site in Ingelheim, for example, we have at our disposal multiple climate-controlled, lockable containers - plus authorisation to store nitrate film material. All stored media is documented in a dedicated storage database.
The backing up of digital data is no less demanding than the storing of, for example, celluloid. Data is not ‘tangible’, but nevertheless requires appropriate care and reliable storage systems. In addition to production storage devices for ongoing jobs, data can also be stored and played out again on LTO tapes in a tape library, all using automated procedures.