Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Super8 Frame Sumix Capture

Another early 90s Super8 cine frame. I've got a stepper motor advancing the film under the camera now, but the drive is uneven, so not much use yet for any automated capturing. Making a film advance mechanism is proving to be a VERY demanding task indeed!

This image is captured at 1280x1024 using Sumix 150M monochrome camera with macro lens tubes, Super8 film backlit by lightbox. Some DeNoise and Levels applied in After Effects.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Super8 Frame Sumix Capture

Above is one of the Super8 frames (seen in previous post) imaged by the monochrome Sumix 150M camera. The 35mm lens with 60mm worth of extension tubes lets the image fill the frame. The end of lens is about 30mm away from the subject; again this is shot on lightbox. Some Photoshop de-noise and levels applied.

Until I try combining three RGB filtered images or buy a colour USB camera like this one here... maybe I'll just have to colour these in by hand :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Macro Super8 Rephotography

I'm back scratching the 8mm itch again... This still taken with canon350d, standard 18-55mm kit lens and Raynox macro adaptor attached. Super8 film strip is backlit by lightbox and held flat with edge of plastic ruler (note the millimetre markings).

These frames happen to be some peacenik badges on a stall at the Beverley Rainbow festival, Humberside circa 1990.

Friday, March 27, 2009

TXT ISLAND is almost here

The picture is almost ready for my new short film 'TXT Island'. I'm hoping to finish this in time for the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival deadline, but that's the 23rd April, only about three weeks from now! It'd be nice to make it; I recall using the deadline for the 1996 Soho Shorts festival as a self-imposed target to finish work on 'Evo'... was that really 3 years ago?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cardboard Engineering

Messing about with bits of card to make some kind of geodesic structure...

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Just seen this music promo for Röyksopp's 'Happy Up Here'. The director is Reuben Sutherland; I've been watching anything he does for a while now, somewhat in awe...

Happy Up Here from Röyksopp on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Move Along, There's Nothing To See

Did anyone spot this little change to the UK law introduced earlier this week? Seems like it's just become that bit more illegal for citizens to take photos in public places. If the photos include pictures of the police, the photographer can be arrested under anti-terror laws!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Two-Faced Turnaround

I know, I know... after several years of derision I really did join FaceBook this weekend...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coming Soon?

I'm working on a new short animation film,
maybe this is its title...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

We sent out family xmas cards with 2 designs this year...

Finn's 'Still Life With Tree and Presents'
2008 felt-tip pen and rubber stamp on paper.

Freya's 'Abstract Study in Shiny Thread.'
2008 perforated paper woven with shiny thread.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oliver Postgate R.I.P.

Shame to hear the news that animation pioneer and storyteller Oliver Postgate died this week aged 83. Last July I heard him on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs and was prompted to check out his website. I read his essay Does Children's Television Matter? and then felt the urge to email him with my supporting views. I'm not in the habit of sending out unsolicited fan mail, but to my surprise I got a brief but encouraging reply from the man himself.
The worlds he created were as original as they were charming and will be fondly remembered by many.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting Closer With Tubes

Using extension tubes of various lengths with the Sumix camera and f=35mm lens to get macro close-ups of familiar desktop objects. The last shot of a ruler shows a subject 5mm wide can be captured; this is about the same width as a Super 8 frame.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Teeny Weeny Camera

First pics. from the Sumix 150M camera I'm playing about with now. Though it's strictly black and white only, this little industrial CMOS camera makes 1280x1024 images, has a 2/3" sensor and can be triggered from an external source. My hope is that this can be integrated into my cine projector for frame by frame super8 film capture. The lens I've got with this c-mount camera has a focal length of 35mm; I've ordered some extension tubes to see if this might go macro enough to capture the movie frames straight from the film.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The DIY TK Set-up

Here's the set-up used to digitize the 'California 08' super8 film.

1: Modified Chinon 2000GL projector. Adapted to run slow (around 3 fps with pulsed motor control circuit) also with low voltage cooler-running light source to prevent film burning. A magnet attached to the rotating shutter disc triggers a reed switch every time a frame is stationary in the gate. A hacked mouse circuit provides a USB click to the host PC to trigger capture of each frame.
2: 120mm diameter plano-convex condenser lens to capture aerial image thrown by projector. Lens held in place by home-made foam board mounting.
3: Borrowed Canon XM2 3CCD mini DV camcorder captures images at PAL resolution, connects to host PC via IEEE1394 (Firewire).
4: Host PC (Windows XP) runs Cinecap software. Incoming mouse clicks from projector ensure frame by frame capture to hard disc.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Well the Kodak 64T film I shot in California has come back from the lab in Germany. The first cine film I've shot for a very long time. Mixed-results with the 'new' Nizo S800 camera though; there's just too much jitter in the footage and a big fat hair in the gate. Still it's an early '70s era camera and probably hasn't had a service in a while (if ever.) The old footage I've been looking at from my student days is way steadier than this, so stumping up for a camera servicing is probably the next step.

On a plus note, these stills show some results from my DIY telecine set-up. (modified Chinon 2000GL projector, Condenser Lens, Canon XM2 DV camera, Cinecap software). I'll probably show some detail on this system soon, but meantime, enjoy the holiday snaps.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Further Adventures in Telecine

After around three months research at the extreme edges of DIY film-making, technologists in Enfield have today switched on a machine that captures some of the tiniest and most elusive sub-atomic images known to man ; the so-called 'Super 8 frames'...

Following in the esteemed footsteps of of Roger Evans, Fred's Telecine and with guidance from the extensive notes published at diy super8 telecine the UK based team have extensively modified a Chinon movie projector to create a home-telecine unit for 8mm film.

Jeff on Bridlington beach 1992

We can reveal that the initial tests have been quite promising. A single 50ft reel of super 8 film was digitized frame by frame at PAL resolution at around 3 images per second. Slightly higher speeds may be obtainable soon, and upgrades to the camera and optical elements will surely follow...