Computer Output Microfilm (COM)

Computer Output Microfilm is by far the most difficult 16mm roll film to digitize to images because the computer generated images do not have standard frame breaks most of the time. Unlike traditional 16mm roll film, Computer Output Microfilm has a super thin border (or no border!) or may have bits of data that is accidentally detected as a frame border. Most of the time, any roll film scanner (regardless if it saves one image at a time or saves the entire reel as a ribbon) will totally skip over Computer Output Microfilm sections or cut frames.

computer-output-microfilm to tiff

If the Computer Output Microfilm contains a 100% consistent, fixes, and thick frame order or blip marker, it is possible for a 16mm roll film scanner to detect images properly. In addition to having the correct micrographics equipment, it is very important to have experienced scanner operators. Let’s put it this way: if you have no experience with scanning Computer Output Microfilm, you will be totally lost and will need to pay the scanner manufacturer to come to your office and do it for you. They will only help you if you have a maintenance plan. In other words, you may be out of luck or it may cost you thousands of dollars to scan a few rolls of Computer Output Microfilm .

Generation Imaging has created a tried and true method to detect troublesome COM reels. Our scanner operators have been performing this method since the 1990s. It requires a knowledge of mathematics, detection algorithms, and attention to detail. It also requires post-processing: manually clipping strips. This method assures that all frames have been detected. CONTACT US