SWISS EFFECTS guarantees that its printing system will transfer all relevant material with high quality 2K and 4K resolution. Considering these guidelines during all production stages will substantially improve the quality of the transfer.
  • Keep the film format in mind:

    The video format 4:3 can be reproduced on film without image loss as the full format 1:1,33 (less common) or in an aspect ratio of 1:1,66 with black borders left and right.
    This video format can also be projected in the two cinema formats 1:1,66 or 1:1,85, but there will be some image loss at the top and the bottom of the frame.

    The video format 16:9, which corresponds with an aspect ratio of 1:1,77, can be projected in the cinema only in the formats 1:1,66 or 1:1,85, with a slight loss of image at the top and bottom or at the sides of the frame (see:
    Picture Formats)
  • For the formats 1:1,66 and 1:1,85 using the anamorphic video format 16:9 will result in a substantial increase in image quality.
  • Keep in mind that the image will be cut by about 2.5% on all sides by the film projector (the so-called "projection cache”). This is especially important for the positioning of titles and subtitles.
  • Choose the video format that best meets your needs. We have ranked them in 3 levels of quality. Within these categories, the differences are minimal and depend on your subjective judgment.
  • What you see in the viewfinder of you camera can be quite different from the whole video picture. We strongly recommend to check your camera viewfinder with a professional Monitor (Underscan-Monitor).
1. Good 2. Better 3. Best   HD
SVHS Beta SP D1, D5, DCT   HD Cam
HI-8 M II Digi Beta   DVC Pro HD
DVC-Pro 25 DVC-Pro 50    
DV-Cam Digital S    
DV Beta SX    
Digital 8 IMX
Not taken into consideration in this ranking are the respective camera types, which can substantially affect the picture quality. For example, the older Beta SP cameras deliver a less satisfactory result than some of the new DV cameras.
Camera Adjustment:
  • Lower the detail setting
  • Switch on the DCC (dynamic contrast control)
  • The shutter speed should not be faster than 1/50, as differences in field sharpness affect the quality of the field interpolation during transfer
  • Switch off the digital zoom whenever possible
  • Try not to use electronic picture stabilizers, only optical ones.
  • Avoid rapid camera movements with stationary objects. As with film cameras, this can cause a shutter or smearing effect visible only after the transfer to film.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice or possible tests, in order to choose the best set-up for shooting and avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • For post-production, choose an uncompressed component system (Beta-SP, M II), in the digital range if possible (Digi-Beta, D1, D5, DCT). The D2 system is not suitable for the transfer process.
  • Old analogue and amateur formats (VHS, HI-8, Beta-Max, Umatic) should be transferred in Y-C format with TBC’s and Noise Reduction onto a digital component format. The "Prisma" from Snell & Wilcox is particularly good at converting this signal.
  • Animation and speed changes (slow and fast motion), as well as moving titles, must be produced in frame mode (frame integrity).
  • During colour grading watch out that you don’t crush the levels (in black and white). For changes in contrast, we recommend working with the gamma value.
  • To achieve a saturated and "film-like" black we recommend to NOT crush the blacks in production or post but to keep the contrast in the shadow areas soft in order to adjust the blacks during color correcting at the negative to print stage. In general this gives better results while keeping the most information possible on your video material.
  • Please note: because images are greatly enlarged during cinema projection, all effects are much more visible on the cinema screen than on the monitor.
Even with carefully colour-graded video masters, futher colour-timing of the film negative is necessary. In some cases, a second corrected print will be necessary.

We recommend doing a test, so that changes occurring during post-production can be examined on the cinema screen and the necessary changes made in time.

Clients have the option of downloading a special EDL program (EXEL-Macro) which makes it possible to generate a sample frame version of your original edit wich contains 2 - 10 frames of each shot. This can help simplify colour timing in the film lab. Some knowledge of computers is required for using this program.

Download EDL (Instructions available with integrated "Help” function)

  • Put sync marks for image and sound tracks ("start” frame and sound beeps) on each reel, and preferably at the end of the reel as well.

Example for reel start:

    • sync mark at TC 00:00:58:02
    • program start at TC 00:00:01:00

  • The maximum usable length of a film reel is 590m, which corresponds to a program length of 20 minutes on 35mm and 52 minutes on 16mm.
The standard running speed for film projection (24 fps) extends the length of a transferred video by 4%. This does not effect the pitch of tone.