Common Questions

 

Please look through our frequently asked questions to find the answer to your question. If you do not find what you are looking for, feel free to contact our Customer Service department.


 

General

Why should I choose Plastic Trees Studio?

Plastic Trees Studio is a dedicated to providing the highest quality preservation services possible. We place a special emphasis on customer service, by always allowing the customers to be able to talk with the person that is working on their projects.  We guarantee quality, and satisfaction with a custom made project for each customer.

Is it safe to ship my originals?

We use UPS to ship your project to and from our studio.  UPS offers a very reliable tracking service so that you will always know where your project is.  We purchase a minimum of $500 insurance for every order.

What if I have requests that are not listed as services on your website?

Many of our customers have custom requests that are not always listed on our website.  If you have an idea for a custom project you are working on or if you just need advice on something don’t be afraid to call or email us.

Why do I have to pay 50% up front?

In order for us to begin the project we require an estimated 50% down payment.  This allows us to generate a UPS shipping label and also to help us track projects as they are submitted.  If you have a special circumstance please call or email us, and we would be happy to discuss alternatives.

Where do you perform the scans and transfers?

All work is completed in house at our studio in Orem Utah.  We never ship out your orders to be outsourced by anyone.  Your project is guaranteed safe and private.

Can I bring in my project to your studio?

Absolutely, if you live in close proximity to our studio, we would be glad to see you in person.  Also, if you are unable to come to our studio and have reservations about shipping your order, we would be more than happy to have one of our employees come to your home to discuss your order in person.

My order is too large to fit in one box. Can I send it in two or more boxes?

Yes, if you need more than one shipping label you may make two or more orders from our web page or if you would rather simply contact us, and we will generate an additional UPS label for you.  Please do not print multiple copies of the same UPS label, as UPS will not accept multiple boxes with the same label.

How long does it take to get my order completed?

We typically try to complete orders within a two week time period.  However this depends on the type and size of the order.  If you have a dead line that you are trying to meet, and need your order completed for a special occasion. Simply let us know and we will be more than happy to expedite your order at no additional charge.

 

Audio

What is loudness maximizing/mastering?

Tapes and recordings are often not recorded as loudly as they could have been.  By maximizing the loudness of the recording we make the volume as loud as possible without distorting.

What is noise removal?

Audio tape has a hiss that is often quite noticeable.  We use digital noise removal software that removes the hiss from tapes without compromising the sound quality of the recording.  Records also have a scratchy background noise with noticeable clicks and pops that we can also remove digitally.

Can I combine more than one tape onto a CD?

Yes, you can fit a maximum of 80 min onto a CD. You may combine as many recording as you can that add up to 80 min and incur only the one charge.

What if my tape is longer than 80 min?

If your recording is longer than 80 min you will incur an additional charge for each CD required to complete the project.  You will be contacted before we finalize your project to let you know many CDs will be required.

What if I am having my recording transferred to MP3? How will I know how much it will cost?

You will incur a charge for every 80 minutes of audio that is transferred.  The current charge is $10.00 per every 80 minutes.

Why can’t I transfer my own tapes?

We use high end analogue to digital converters that capture every detail of your recording at a quality that is much higher than that of a standard CD.  Once your audio is captured we use high end Mastering software to maximize loudness, remove noise and perform any editing that is necessary, resulting in a transfer that is of a professional studio quality grade.

Can I have my tapes separated into different tracks?

Yes, let us know if you have any special requests to have your audio broken up into multiple CD tracks.  There is no additional charge for this service.

Can I have my tapes transferred into MP3?

Yes, we can encode your audio into MP3, MP4, WMA, or Wave. If you have requests for other formats let us know and we will let you know if we can accommodate you.

 

Can I make copies of my project?

Yes, you have full copyright control over your recordings.  You may make as many copies of your transferred project as you like.

 

Film Scanning

Why can’t I scan my film myself?

Plastic Trees Studio uses dedicated high end scanners for film.  Our scanners remove dust, finger prints, water spots and scratches from the scanned images.  They also restore and fix color/contrast automatically.  What doesn’t get fixed by our scanners, our trained personnel manually repair using high end photo editing software.  The process we use to achieve such high quality scans is exhaustive and time consuming.  Having Plastic Trees Studio scan your slides and film saves you time, money and gives you piece of mind knowing that you are getting the highest quality scans available.

Should I choose CDs or DVDs for my scanning project?

We recommend using DVDs for your project because DVDs can hold almost 7 times as many photos as a CD.  There is no difference in quality between the two. 

Will the DVDs for my scanning project play on my TV?

The DVDs will not play directly in your DVD player like a movie will.  You will need a DVD player that is capable of playing a slide show from JPEGs that are stored on the disc.

How many scans will fit on a CD or DVD?

We save your image as three different files, a high quality TIFF image, a high quality JPEG and a email quality JPEG.  These three combined are about 22MB.  On a DVD you can fit about 200 images.  On a CD it’s about 31.

 

Can you scan a single negative cut from a strip?

Yes, we can scan a single negative cut from a strip.

What is DPI and resolution?

DPI means dots per inch, and is typically used when describing the quality of what can be achieved when printing photos.  Resolution is a count of how many digital pixels are in an image, such as 1920x1080. The DPI count or resolution number will determine the quality of an image.  A higher number will allow the image to be printed larger or to be viewed on large televisions without losing quality. 

 

What is the difference between archival CDs and DVDs and Standard CDs and DVDs?

Standard DVDs and CDs have a listed lifespan of 100 years before they start to degrade. Archival DVDs and CDs have a gold dye layer that degrades much slower, giving them a lifespan of around 300 years.

 

VHS, VHS-C, HI-8, Mini-DV Transfer

What formats of DVD do you use for video transfers?

We use DVD-R for film and video transfers.  We have found that this format is the most compatible with home DVD players.  If you prefer DVD+R let us know when you are ordering, and we will gladly use this format for your project at no extra charge.

Why can’t I import my own video tapes?

Importing video into a computer requires a video capture card, video editing and DVD authoring software, a DVD burner and a lot of hard disk space.  Importing video can be one of the most difficult things to do on a computer, from getting the right equipment to knowing how to use all the software that is required.  Plastic Trees Studio makes transferring your videos easy. We handle all of the technical problems while giving you the highest quality transfer available.

What tape formats can you transfer?

We can transfer NTSC in the following formats: VHS, VHS-C, HI-8, Digital HI-8, and Mini DV.

 

How many tapes will fit on a DVD?

You can fit up to 120 minutes of video on each DVD.  If you may combine multiple tapes that add up to 120 min and incur only one video transfer charge.

What if my tapes are longer than 120 min?

If your video is longer than 80 min you will incur an additional charge for each DVD required to complete the project.  You will be contacted before we finalize your project to let you know many DVDs will be required.

 

Photo Restoration

Should I send the original or a scan?

The scan is the most important part of the restoration, if we don’t have a quality scan to work with we will not be able to perform a quality restoration.  If you have questions about scanning your restoration yourself please call or email us.

What if my photo only has minor damage?

If you only need minor touch ups for a photo and not a restoration, you will be billed a studio rate of $30.00 per hour.  Contact us for a quote on your photo.

 

Photo Scanning

Why shouldn’t I scan my photos myself?

Plastic Trees Studio uses high end scanners that remove dust and scratches from the scanned image, while also restoring and enhancing color and contrast. We use high end photo editing software to crop and enhance each image individually. The process we use to achieve such high quality scans is exhaustive and time consuming.  Having Plastic Trees Studio scan your photos saves you time, money and gives you piece of mind knowing that you are getting the highest quality scans available.

If I have the negative and the print, which one should I have scanned?

If your negative is in good condition we usually can get better results from a negative.

 

Should I choose CDs or DVDs for my scanning project?

We recommend using DVDs for your project because DVDs can hold almost 7 times as many photos as a CD.  There is no difference in quality between the two.

Will the DVDs for my scanning project play on my TV?

The DVDs will not play directly in your DVD player like a movie will.  You will need a DVD player that is capable of playing a slide show from JPEGs that are stored on the disc.

How many scans will fit on a CD or DVD?

We save your image as three different files, a high quality TIFF image, a high quality JPEG and a email quality JPEG.  These three combined are about 22MB.  On a DVD you can fit about 200 images.  On a CD it’s about 31.

What is DPI and resolution?

DPI means dots per inch, and is typically used when describing the quality of what can be achieved when printing photos.  Resolution is a count of how many digital pixels are in an image, such as 1920x1080. The DPI count or resolution number will determine the quality of an image.  A higher number will allow the image to be printed larger or to be viewed on large televisions without losing quality.

What is the difference between archival CDs and DVDs and Standard CDs and DVDs?

Standard DVDs and CDs have a listed lifespan of 100 years before they start to degrade. Archival DVDs and CDs have a gold dye layer that degrades much slower, giving them a lifespan of around 300 years.

 

8mm & 16mm Film Transfer

 

How can I tell how long my reels are?


8mm film is typically on 50ft reels.  They are often combined onto larger reels usually 200ft or 400ft.  To see an example of the different size reels, click here.

What is film flicker?


8mm and Super 8mm film plays at a frame rate of 15fps and 18 fps respectively.  Film flicker happens when 8mm film is recorded using a modern 30 fps video camera.  The higher fps of modern cameras actually records the black frames between video frames on the film, resulting in a noticeable flicker.

How do you capture each frame separately?


We use a computer controlled film capturing system that takes a snapshot of each individual frame.  Once all the frames have been captured the computer combines them all together in once seamless flicker free movie.

Can I have my film transferred to AVI or MPEG so I can edit them myself?


Yes, we save films as AVIs and MPEGS.  These are typically large in file size and may require several data DVDs depending on how many reels you have.  The price for each data DVD is $5.00.

Do I need to combine my reels onto larger reels?


It is not necessary to combine small reels onto larger reels for transfer.  Your reels will be returned to you in the exact condition that they were sent in.

What if my film is broken?


If your films are broken it is not necessary to repair your films before you send them in.  We will splice, clean, and add leaders to your film prior to importing them at no extra charge.