WorkPrinter-XP HD Set Up

For use with a PC or Mac using the SyncMouse

You will need a Mac or PC with three internal drives. One drive should be your system drive and the other two should be set up in a Raid-0 drive array. Failure to use an internal Raid-0 array can result in a loss of sync on the captured file. Drives should be ATA or Ultra-ATA for your Raid. SATA drives do not work well for rapid stop motion capture due to mechanical differences in how serial drives cycle compared to parallel drives.

For the Mac, you will need the CaptureMate software. For the PC, you will need CineCap software.

Both are available only to MovieStuff customers that have received their WorkPrinter units shipped directly from MovieStuff. Please email us with the name and email address that was on the order form used to purchase the WorkPrinter unit and we will email you the private purchase link for either the CineCap or CaptureMate software. To maintain your warranty and customer support, we ask that you please do not publically post this purchase link on the web. Thanks.

This unit does NOT require a transformer for international use on 50 cycles.
Just use an adaptor and plug directly into your 220VAC mains.

General Set Up

Unpack the unit and attach the lens support board as shown.

Attach the condenser lens using the provide screws.

With the computer off, plug the mouse into your computer and the sync
cable into the RCA jack on the back of the WorkPrinter control box. Make sure the
selector switch on the WorkPrinter is in the middle (off) position.

Make sure that the sync mouse is the only mouse plugged into your computer. Then turn on your computer. Make sure the camera is mounted on a tripod (column type is best) and is level and centered in approximate height with the condenser lens. Also, make sure that you can see the resulting, live image on a large monitor. Using the tiny LCD monitor on the camera will make critical adjustments tough. Use of a broadcast underscan monitor is ideal because it will let you see the edges of the video frame for proper cropping of the image. Consumer TV monitors do not let you see the entire video frame, which can result in improper cropping and unlevel images. As a substitute for an underscan monitor, you can use the capture window of your favorite video editing program, which usually shows about 99% of the video image.

Make sure your camera is not set to any "auto shutter" or “steady shot” positions.  At a minimum, 60th of a second speed should be used for NTSC or 50th of a second for PAL. Higher shutter speeds will make setting the timing on this unit easier.

NOTE: If using an HD camera in the SD mode, you will need to set your shutter speed to 1/500th of a second or higher
to overcome the latency inherent in CMOS imaging chips.

Avoid using progressive scan or "frame mode". Just the normal interlaced video mode is needed. Best results and best registration is achieved if your film has been freshly cleaned and lubed with good splices and no torn sprocket holes. Always use the take up reel provided as the unit has been tension calibrated  or use with that reel. Supply reels should be inspected for warpage or anything that will impede the even feed of film from the reel. Feed reels that bind or grab the edges of the film may cause registration problems or even film damage. Head leader should be fairly straight without a lot of "curl memory" that will impede proper loading.

Turn on power to the unit.

Install reel, making sure that the fin on the spindle aligns with one of the slots in the reel.

Cut the tip of the film as shown to prevent jamming during the loading process.

Remove the side panel by squeezing the tabs on the top and bottom of the cover.

Blow with air and/or dust with brush.

Also clean the gate using air and/or brush.

Replace the side panel.

NOTE: There is a super 8 adaptor on the feed spindle.

If using regular 8 reels, remove the spindle adaptor by grabbing
the black plastic (do not press the silver metal clip) and firmly but gently pull.

Put the reel of film on the feed spindle
Using your left hand, push the film into the projector.
(I know this is odd but we have found it easier to load with your left hand, even if you are right handed.)
NOTE: There is no "auto feed" on these units.
Make sure the control knob is in the off position when loading.
If the film catches in the first inch or so, the advance claw
may be engaged. Bump the motor switch on and off to retract the advance claw.
If the film catches at the bottom, turn the control knob to rewind temporarily.
This will retract the pressure plate more and make loading easier.
After clearing the first turn, put the control knob back to stop.

Push the film until it appears at the back of the projector.

Pull the film to achieve some slack in the leader.

Lay the film onto the reel.

Manually turn the reel to take up slack while keeping tension on the film.

Close the gate by turning the knob clockwise to project/play.

Seat the film by turning the motor on and off briefly.

With the focus lever of the projector in the middle, vertical position, watch the monitor and move the camera away from the condenser lens until you begin to see a white area in the center of the condenser lens. Some side to side movement will probably be necessary as well. (It is helpful to have a lamp shining on the outside of the condenser lens so you can see the placement of the image relative to the edges of the lens.) When you first align the camera you will probably see a round white circle of illumination. As you pull the camera back, that circle will get larger until it reveals the rectangular edges of the gate. Once you reach that point, stop and adjust the camera up and down and side to side to get the illumination even. To do this, use the adjustable column on the tripod for up and down movement (as opposed to tilting the camera) and slide the tripod side to side (as opposed to panning).

The camera should be about 36-42 inches (a little more than a meter)
from the condenser lens. Align the camera up and down,
left and right until you see the image clearly in the
condenser lens. You may need to move the camera
back or forward a bit for best results.

It is not unusual for the sprocket hole on the left to spill off the condenser lens.
Zoom your camera into the image.

It should be noted that the focus can be adjusted in two different ways: your camera and the projector. In fact, because there is no screen, the lens of the projector, the condenser lens and the camera lens are all working as one, big lens. Moving elements to different positions will create different results. If you zoom in and find that you can fill the frame but can not focus at all or evenly via the camera, set the camera focus as best you can and then adjust the focus of the projector. If the projector focus seems to be at its limit, remove the knob from the side of the projector by pulling on it and that will reveal a small philips screw. Remove that screw and that will let you remove the plastic bonnet covering the lens. This covering is not necessary for the projector to operate and removing it will allow greater freedom on the focus lever though, nominally, it should really be close to center.

Ultimately, there is little I can tell you here about how to set your focus as every camera is different. You will have to experiment with your set up until you get it right. I can tell you that you should be able to get it sharp edge to edge with no chromatic aberrations and no distortion or pin cushion. Just remember that you have several ways to attenuate the image by using the projector focus and camera focus in combination. Once you feel you have achieved the desired result, zoom your camera in to rid the image of the edges of the gate and refocus. The image should be sharp edge to edge and corner to corner with no hot spot nor any chromatic aberrations. If the edge of the frame goes dark when you zoom in, just adjust the placement of the camera side to side (not panning, but actually moving the camera) ever so slightly until you restore even illumination.

Do a test transfer. With the CineCap or CaptureMate software launched, click off the first frame of the stop motion sequence manually. After clicking off the first frame manually, leave the cursor of the mouse hovering over the capture button. Turn on the motor and then the mouse selector switch. The unit will start to advance the film. If all things are working normally, you will observe the on-screen capture button being depressed automatically for each frame that comes up in the gate of the projector. If your hard drive is set up correctly and has the proper speed for video, the numbers in the capture frame will advance evenly along with the projector. Again, the pulldown "streak" will be visible during capture but should not show up when you play back the footage as it is "skipped" by the discrete timing of the micro switch. If using Capturemate for the Mac, do not capture in the Quicktime mode. Use the DV stream mode and set the mouse/frame delay to "0". Use the timing disk inside the Workprinter if timing adjustments are required.

You are almost through but DO NOT SKIP THIS NEXT SECTION!

 Turn off the mouse switch, stop the projector and play back your footage and look for signs of visible pulldown blur. There should be zero artifacts. The image should be crystal clear and have no vertical blur. However, if a test reveals any vertical pulldown blur, the black timing disk can be adjusted with the use of an allen wrench (not included).

To adjust the timing disk. Remove the back cover (4 screws).

The timing disk is located inside the back and is positioned between the motor and the LED assembly. Using the wrench, loosen the set screw on the timing disk and, while holding the pulley behind it, gently but firmly turn the timing cam a bit one direction or the other.

I recommend moving it in about half inch increments until you see better results, then use smaller increments to fine tune the timing. Tighten the set screw snugly and do another transfer test. If the pulldown frames get worse, then rotate the timing cam the opposite direction. If they get better, then turn the cam the same original direction a bit more and do another test. NOTE: You will always see vertical blur during transfer. This is normal. However, no vertical blur or smearing should be present on playback.

All tests should be viewed on a normal, full size video monitor and not a computer monitor. Computer monitors can sometimes leave out fields during playback and will not give you a true indication of what your footage looks like. Use super 8 film to do your initial alignment and testing.

The LED light source can be preset to the desire intensity by adjusting the preset knob.
Loosen the set screw and turn the knob to the desire level.
The knob can also be used to adjust the exposure manually during transfer.

That covers the basic set up for the WorkPrinter-HD . Let me know how it works out and if you have any problems that need trouble shooting. If necessary, you can email me with questions or call me at 830-966-4664 and I will be glad to talk you through any difficulties.

Hope you have spectacular results!

Roger Evans