Motion Picture Film?


Could anyone tell me if its possible to use Negative Lab Pro with motion picture film, I understand the plug-in analyses each frame individually, but is it possible to scan one frame, and then sync all of the additional frames accordingly so that there is a consistency across moving images?

Many thanks!

Welcome to the forum @VespertineD2K

You might want to check out the user guide (check out the link in the forum’s black top bar) in general as well as the following for your special need:

Please note that NLP is made for the conversion of (series of) single image files (preferably RAW or TIFF) and not for converting digital files like MOV, MP4 etc.

Thank you @Digitizer - I believe this answers my question

“If you want a faster workflow, one alternative is to convert only one image, and then use that conversion as the base for all other conversions via the “sync scene” option below. I do this a lot in my own workflow. It’s great because the other images don’t even need to be converted yet (or white balanced) for this to work - it will just take everything over.”

This would be to convert individually scanned image sequences yes, not digital files MOV, or MP4 - I’m using a converted projector to photograph individual frames.

Interesting subject area but what type of film is it - 8mm, 16mm, 35mm etc.? You’d be talking about a minimum of a 1000 frames per minute wouldn’t you? Do you mean positive movie film for direct projection?

At the moment 8mm, so 18fps - 1080 frames per minute, for approx 3mins of footage, although I intend to expand this to 16mm in the future. The idea is to create a very high quality ‘scan’ at low cost.

Thanks, that’s quite a project. I don’t do that myself but I can see that it creates its own unique problems quite apart from that of capturing the frames at the correct resolution. In particular I suppose the fact that you can’t have any variation in terms of colour, exposure and register between frames as it would show up all too readily on playback. I’ve certainly looked in awe and admiration at the professional equipment that the film industry use, they solved all the problems long before ‘DSLR scanning’ came along, but with a significantly higher budget!

If you are working with cinema footage with thousands of frames, I would recommend you use NLP to make a LUT of the conversion settings, and then apply the LUT in your video editor of choice.

So, for instance:

  1. Take a single frame which is representative of a particular scene (or you could take multiple frames from a given scene, and then run them with Roll Analysis).
  2. Edit to your liking in Negative Lab Pro (I’d recommend trying the “Cinestill” setting in v3, and then perhaps setting a negative number to the WhiteClip setting to give it a bit more space in the highlights).
  3. Using a program like to generate a LUT from those settings
  4. Apply the LUT over that particular footage in your video editor of choice

Does that make sense?


Many thanks Nate - that makes sense yes

Vespertine, in case you are not aware, I reccomend you head over to this forum:

They seem to have some issue with their SSL (https…) certificate at the minute which is why your browser will likely show an error, but it’s a treasure trove of information for DIY motion picture scanners. Scanning motion picture film is really quite a different disicipline with different challenges than photographic film.

Thank you - I already built my projector/scanner, but this looks great - and a good consideration for if I decide to make something for 16mm!