Helmut is a photographic film scanner on your phone.
* NEW: capture frame using phone's camera, or use an image from Gallery (e.g. taken with your DSLR).
* Digitize your (old) negatives.
* Share your (lomo) shots easily without format or film type restrictions.
* Fast contact sheet tool.
Features & Instructions
1. Place and press a negative uniformly on whatever you like (see section Lighting the Film below).
2. Launch Helmut and capture the frame, or choose already captured image from Gallery.
3. Crop the frame.
4. Tweak the scan with tools you're used to work with while scanning:
* Levels (General, and all 3 RGB).
* Color Balance.
* Unsharp Mask.
5. Flip, rotate, and share! So far we've implemented 3 services to work directly from the app: Dropbox, Facebook and EyeEm. You can always open the resulting scan in a native Gallery and share elsewhere from there.
6. See our set on Flickr for visual inspiration: http://www.flickr.com/photos/88137108@N06/sets/72157633282298542/.
(7. Spread the word about the app, share your successful scans!)
* Make sure you light the film frame uniformly. If part of it is lit more than the remaining area -- you'll get a poor scan.
* Don't use flash or any color effects while capturing the frame with the camera. Yeah, right. Common sense. Just sayin'..
* Crop the frame accurately, leave out the film perforations. The colors will be more accurate then. Everyone knows it's a film anyway.
* Be nice and report (see email below) if something doesn't work instead of exploding here. We know it's not perfect. You know that technically it's very challenging. This is an open-source initiative, so participate. If you know a way to improve Helmut, please tell us. We will implement all the valuable ideas.
* If possible, be sure to press the frame against the light source. Poor man's solution -- simple glass. Anti-Newton-Ring typish is, of course, more suitable.
* Also, try eliminating other sources of light. Put your main light source (see next section) into a box with a single hole for a phone lens on top of it. This fixes the excessive contrast or color cast in the resulting scan.
Lighting the Film
Again, no matter what you use, make sure it's lit uniformly.
Here a list our ideas for a light source:
* Your laptop screen with an empty Notepad window (and turn on max brightness of the screen).
* iPad, Tab, any tablet with some lightbox app open. Or just plain white screen.
* Your window pointing to the sky.
* Google "DIY film lightbox". Add "lomo" to the query.
* We are working on creating several budget open-source lightbox versions. Something you could build easily on your own; or send to some 3D/laser printing service to cut the pieces which you could assemble manually. We will publish the sketches as soon as they're ready. Any creative suggestions are highly appreciated.
* Use some commercial solutions, e.g. a recently release black box by the well-known producer.
* If the app is crashing after you capture the frame -- try lowering the 'Scan Quality' in the app Preferences. Our aim was to make as large resulting scan as possible. We therefore push the memory limits and for some phones that's simply too much.
* Currently app only works in portrait orientation.
* Camera: for capturing the frame.
* Storage: for saving the scans and intermediary files.
* Network: for sharing the scans.
All in all, stay tuned. This is just the beginning. We have a lot more to offer in the project. Be sure to check http://HelmutApp.com for updates.
Have fun, boys and girls! Let's keep the film alive.
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