Wow! What an honor! Memories Renewed was chosen by The Wirecutter as the best option for most people looking to get their collection scanned. It truly is an honor because there is a sea of options available when choosing a service.
Your photos and videos are important! We strive to do our best to provide you with an affordable yet personalized service. We’ve found that a one size fits all package deal does not jive with the variety of projects and does not meet the specific needs for most people. We don’t require payment upfront; every project is different! We will give you an initial quote, digitize your materials and charge you for only the work done. Simple!
Thanks again to The Wirecutter and to all our customers over the years!
Scrapbooks are One of a Kind
If you have ever created a scrapbook on your own or looked through one made by someone else, you can appreciate the amount of love and effort that goes into making one. The unique nature of such an album makes it one of a kind and irreplaceable if lost or destroyed by natural disaster.
Digitally Preserve for the Future
The best way to ensure a scrapbook is around for the future is by digitally scanning all the pages. Not only is the scrapbook backed up, but also available to view with a computer and magnified on a screen to easily read and view photos.
Family Members Each Have a Copy
The problem with a scrapbook is there is only one copy that one person is in possession of. Once digital, the images can be easily shared with family members so everyone has their own copy. We can create multiple data discs or can load the images on a USB flash drive to be copied. We can also compile the pages into a PDF document for easy viewing.
The most common size of scrapbook pages are 12″ x 12″. We have the equipment to large enough to scan each page as one image at high resolution for archival quality digital images.
Memories Renewed is happy to announce that we now offer 16mm film transfer services!
We have recently acquired the professional 16mm version of equipment that we currently use for our 8mm and Super 8 film transfer service. The equipment was originally designed for the Academy of Motion Picture Film Archives in Hollywood. It is very gentle on your film and does not use sprockets or claws to advance the film during transfer. Each frame of film is scanned using a high bit sensor to capture each image with accurate color and no vignetting on the edges of the frame.
With this new state of the art equipment, we can now digitize a wide variety of new formats of film, including regular 16mm, super 16mm, double or single perforation 16mm film with optical sound. Current pricing and more information can be found here.
Digital Image Megapixels
We are all familiar with the term ‘megapixels’ in describing the image size and clarity of pictures taken with digital cameras and smartphones. A large megapixel image contains a high density of image pixels that make up the image. This is great for enlargement and cropping with maximum detail.
Scanning print photos and film to digital uses the same concept as a digital camera, only the image is produced during the scanning process. The term scanning resolution refers to the size of the digital image produced from scanning. A higher resolution allows for flexibility of enlargement for cropping or printing. It is important to understand this concept before pursuing any scanning project.
Choosing a Resolution Setting
The scanning resolution to choose is first determined by the size of the original media. The smaller the original, the higher the resolution setting needs to be to produce a large scan. The output digital image can be calculated by multiplying the dimensions of the original source by the resolution setting, giving you the image pixel size.
Here is an example illustration based on scanning a 4×6 photo to digital.
Scan a 4×6 photo at 96dpi = 384×576
Scan a 4×6 photo at 300dpi = 1200×1800
Scan a 4×6 photo at 600dpi = 2400×3600
You can then calculate the image dimensions for the megapixel size in relation to digital camera photos.
96dpi = 384×576 = 0.22 Megapixels
300dpi = 1200×1800 = 2.16 Megapixels
600dpi = 2400×3600 = 8.64 Megapixels
As a general rule it is best to scan at high resolution for increased flexibility for cropping, enlarging, or printing. A high resolution image can always be downsized for multimedia uses like email and slide shows, but a low resolution cannot be enlarged to produce a quality image due to lack of image pixels. If a low resolution photo is enlarged, this results in a pixelated image lacking in detail.
Now that you’ve converted your old media to digital format and are enjoying all the new benefits that it provides, what should you do with your old media? For most people, the first instinct is to throw it all in the trash. Stop! Here are a few ideas for ways to reuse or recycling your old media.
Our first advice to our clients is to hang on to their old media and store it in a safe, cool, dry place. You never know what the future holds. Technology is forever improving and in the future there may be solutions that can do an even better job of digitizing your old media. For example, years ago people paid to have their old 8mm film transferred to VHS and threw away the original film. Since then, telecine processes have improved dramatically which results in a much better transfer of the old film (not to mention optical discs and High Definition resolutions).
Another fear of only having a digital copy of your old memories and not a physical tangible copy can be the risk of bit decay or even the media you digitize to becoming obsolete. It’s possible that you digitize your photo collection and 50 to 100 years from now, that DVD isn’t readable, either because of a breakdown of the bits on the disc or computers at that time may not have the ability to read an old optical disc or USB drive anymore.
Another option is to recycle your old media. A lot of people don’t realize it, but their old VHS tapes and audio tapes are toxic. You shouldn’t just throw them in the trash. Check with your local community for recycle dropoff centers. One free local option in Minnesota is the Hennepin County dropoff centers. Some of the items they accept include computer disks, DVDs, CDs, Blu-ray discs, video cassettes, audio cassettes, game cartridges, Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, flash drives, plastic cases, jewel cases, ink jet & laser toner cartridges, and vinyl records.
Another option is to use your old media for decoration or other utilitarian purposes. There is a whole slew of craft projects online that you can do on your own to re-purpose your old media, anything from 35mm Slide Curtains to secret VHS tape storage boxes. Be creative!
Pass it on
A lot of people don’t want to burden others with their old stuff, but believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there that would love to have it. If you have old CDs or VHS movies that you think others could still get some use out of, donate them! Or if they are more personal like old family albums or home movies you don’t have room for, ask other family members if they would like to hang on to them for historical archival purposes. You’d be surprised at how willing people are to help preserve family history.
Again, our first advice to is hold on to those old photos/slides/films, but if you don’t have the space then consider passing them along. Otherwise be sure to dispose of them responsibly. If you have any other tips for ways to dispose of old media, please leave a comment below!
Transfer film to Digital
First, you need to get your 8mm film digitized frame by frame. Most equipment to do this yourself is expensive and still requires you to invest in other materials needed to clean and repair bad splices. We recommend hiring a professional that can do this task for you. Be sure to ask for an image of each frame on a hard drive or other media along with your video files. Not only does this allow for you to post a single frame to share and make GIFs with, but you can also import the sequence of images into an NLE video editing software package without worrying about video codecs in the future.
Image Editing Software
You’ll need some photo editing software to create your GIFs with. GIMP aka GNU Image Manipulation Program is a great program for this task. It’s open-source, free and available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Import a Sequence
Once you have GIMP downloaded and installed, you’ll want to open the series of frames, each as a separate layer. To do this, Choose ‘File->Open As Layers’ and highlight the sequence of images you’d like to create an animation from. 20-100 images will do. The images you have selected should be added to the layers window.
Create Animated GIF
Now you should crop the area of the frame that has the subject you wish to animate. Be sure to accommodate for any movement that happens during the full animation and include that in the area that you crop. Use the Rectangle Select Tool to select the area and choose ‘Image->Crop to Selection’.
Animated GIFs are basically a series of images, and you don’t want the file size to get too large, so you should now scale the image down by choosing ‘Image->Scale Image’. A good size for a GIF is about 200-300 pixels wide.
At this point you can preview your animation by choosing ‘Filters->Animation->Playback’. In the bottom left corner of the window you can change the preview FPS. I recommend using 15 FPS as the preview speed, it’s the closest option to either 16 FPS or 18 FPS.
Save the GIF
You’ve got a sequence of images cropped, scaled, and previewed and it all looks good but before exporting the GIF, you should optimize the animation for GIF. The helps keep the file size down even more. To do this, choose ‘Filters->Animation->Optimize (For GIF)’.
Next choose ‘File->Export’ and enter in the file name and location to save your GIF and click Export. Check the ‘As Animation’ option and you will be presented with the GIF Animation options.
You’ll need to enter in a delay between each frame. If you are working with Regular 8mm film, it was most likely shot at 16 FPS so the delay would be about 62.5 milliseconds. If you have Super 8mm film, it was most likely shot at 18 FPS so the delay would be about 55.5 milliseconds. 1000/16 = 62.5 or 1000/18 = 55.5. Check the ‘Use delay entered above for all frames’ option and then click on Export and your GIF animation will be saved. Hurray!
Share your GIF on Social Media
Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t support GIFs, but others such as Google+ does. One way to get around the limitation on Facebook is to place your GIF on a file sharing site, such as Google Drive. You can open up permissions to allow anyone with the link to view the GIF and then share that link on Facebook.
Good luck and Happy Throwback Thursday GIF-ing!