Workshop: A Digital Facelift for Your Analog Movies

HDD Standard Not Important

One hour of high-quality DV footage takes up some 12.7 GB of hard drive space (3.6 MB/s). So you'll have to have a lot of room on your hard drive if you want to capture analog video.

Exactly what kind of hard drive you use, whether IDE or SCSI, is of no consequence. A few years ago, SCSI drives were hailed as must-haves in the video editing world because IDE drives were too slow for video editing. Now that IDE performance has improved so much, there's no reason to prefer a SCSI drive to an IDE model. On the contrary, by offering a more cost-effective price-per-megaByte ratio, IDE drives are usually better buys than their SCSI counterparts. You'll have to activate DMA mode (direct memory access) and install a suitable chipset driver in order to keep your performance from lagging, though.

For storing and processing the video streams, NFTS is generally better than the FAT-32 file system. The former offers better data integrity than FAT-32. Also, the data on an NFTS partition is organized is such a fashion that access times are shorter than on a FAT-32 system. Since you're generally dealing with enormous files in video editing, NTFS is probably going to be your best bet. The NTFS file system is only compatible with Windows NT, 2000 and XP; Windows 95, 98 and ME only work with FAT-16/ FAT-32, unless you've installed an extra commercial tool in order to access your NFTS partitions.

Digitizing Super-8 Movies

You'll need a DV camcorder to transfer Super-8 movies to your PC. Specially prepared screens are available to enhance video quality beyond what the Super-8 film offers.

Super-8 movies can also be transferred easily to your PC. Unlike pure video recordings, you'll have to go to greater lengths to get them on your drive, though. The best method involves recording the video with a DV camcorder as it is projected onto a screen by a Super-8 projector. If you do it right and your projector and camera are mostly free of parallaxes (basically directly opposite one another), your recorded video will not be distorted at all. In order to get the best possible recording, deactivate the autofocus on the DV camcorder so that it doesn't refocus constantly as the image and brightness change ("pump effect"). You should also set the white balance manually - not automatically - and set the shutter speed of the camcorder to somewhere between 1/50 and 1/60. The closer the DV camcorder is to the screen, the better your recording will be. The only way to find the ideal distance between the projector and the screen is by trial and error. The video should be projected onto a movie screen. To record the soundtrack, you'll have to connect the DIN jack on the projector to the line-in port on the DV camcorder with a cable.