Previously seen as a tech demo at IBC 2017, the new Arriscan XT film scanner was officially introduced last month at NAB 2018.
The new Arriscan XT incorporates a Alexa XT 35mm-format CMOS monochrome sensor with IR masking, improving image quality with higher dynamic range and sensitivity and lower noise, Arri said. Scanning speed is also said to have increased as much as 65%, the company said, to a maximum of 8fps at 2K resolution. (The sensor’s maximum native resolution is 6K, or 6144 x 4320, using a high-speed microscan system for sensor positioning. The maximum output resolution is 5460×4148) The frame-by-frame transport system can be manually triggered, allowing special care to be given to very badly damaged material, and pinless scanning modes are available with all gates.
Illumination by an array of high-powered, temperature-controlled RGB and IR LEDs with diffusion helps make scratches less visible without producing heat that could ignite flammable film stocks. (If desired, Arri’s wet-gate options for 16mm and 35mm can further reduce the visibility of dust and scratches.)
An infrared scan can also generate an alpha-channel identifying the location of blemishes on the element that can be used for post-scan dust and scratch repair with Diamant-Film IR Cleaner software.
Variable optical magnification developed cooperatively with Zeiss reduces the need to digitally resize scans, even when scanning at non-standard film dimensions or physically shrunken frames. A sprocketless transport system is available as an option.
A new optical sound digitization system can extract a film’s optical soundtrack and convert it to digital audio, enabling real-time audio playback. Tools are included to help improve the audio quality from scans that are generally tweaked for picture, not sound.
Last but not least, the Arriscan XT is fully compatible with existing Arriscan models, meaning existing users can opt to have their software and hardware upgraded on site.