>>> Marc Miller
>Now for a question - has anyone made custom freeze frames for custom
>packaging? I know that there is software that will transfer computer
>images into slides, but I'm not sure if this is something Kinko's might do
>or if its cheap enough to purchase. Any help would be appreciated.
I'll try to dig up my original post about constructing a FF. To cut to the chase, the machine you're looking for is simply call a Slidemaker. It photographs computer images onto slide film. Any photolab with E-6 processing should be able to develop and mount them for you. I don't think Kinko has one of these but many of the larger photolabs should. However, it is expensive and labs can charge anywhere from $5-10 per slide which includes developing and mounting. As for the machine, there are tons of models out there but I've only used the ones made by Lazergraphics. The bottom of the line models run about $3,000 - 5,000 ... choke, choke, choke ..... so your best bet is to go to a University or medical school where professors and students do a lot of presentation. Odds are there's a department that has one. If you're near a med school Pathology or Cardiology dept. are your best bet. If you can find one of these slidemaker, all it'll cost you is the price of the film (about $5) and development (about $3) but you be able to do 24 slides with 1 roll. That's about 33 cent per slide. The other thing I've seen people do is set up a tripod and photograph the picture off their monitor. You do have to tink around with the lighting and setting on your camera. It isn't the cleanest method, but it can work. Just remember to use E-6 slide film like Kodak Ektachrome or Fujichrome.
One of the things I love to do as a customizer is to explore new territories. So when Kenner switched over to the Freeze Frames, rather than fold up my chair, I decide to challenge myself and see if I could replicate their work.
Anyways, I'll try to diagram below how you too can make your own Freeze Frames. There are different routes you can take depending upon your available resources.
1) Snap it method - For this method, you need:
This is a simple method in which you place your desired picture flat on a surface. Use your camera and adjust the height to get the desired cropping with your camera. Shoot away and make sure you take extras in case the exposure wasn't adequate. Remember to use slide film. There's lots of brands to choose from but I prefer Kodak Ektachrome Elite II 100. Again, these film run anywhere from $5.99-7.99. Have your film developed by an E-6 process and mounted. At this point you can quite or go to the next level. For the next level, you need to add the SW Logo and words to the mounting brackets (the white plastic part that holds the film). This can be done scanning the entire Kenner slide and printing the image onto a transparent sticker paper. Trim accordingly and apply to the plastic mounting brackets. Now, if you have extra Kenner slides, you can always crack open the SW mounting bracket and insert your own slide film ... if you go with this route, you're stuck with the text they've printed. Personally, I modified mine using different logos and even adding the patented Kenner stripe diagonally across (don't worry Kenner, I don't plan to make anymore of them ..... I just did this one to prove to myself that I could do it :-). Again, let your imagination run wild. There's silver and gold foil printer paper available and you can even add "limited edition gold foil" on your slides :-)
2) The Scan it method - For this method, you need:
IMHO, this is the more professional and cleanner method. Obtain the desired picture and scan it in. If you have a digital or video capture cards, this will even work better. Import your picture(s) into your presentation software (I use Powerpoint because it's the universal monopolized program :-). Crop and adjust your slide accordingly. With Powerpoint, your file needs to be 8" x 12" for a portrait or 12" x 8" for Landscape. All the Kenner stuff I've seen to date are in landscape format but as a customizer, you have the freedom to use portrait or whatever tickles your fancy. If you have a slidemaker, image the stuff and have your film developed/mounted. I used a Lazergraphics Personal LFR Plus. These things cost about $5,000 so your best bet to to check with people who do alot of slide presentations. Also check your university photography department. If you don't have access to a slide maker, check at your local imaging labs/ devolpers. They can image your files, develop it and mount it for a fee. Again this isn't cheap and some places have been known to charge anywhere from $5-15 per slide .... OUCH, OUCH, OUCH. Again after your film is developed and mounted, add the trimmings as described above.
If you want to make a custom Freeze Frame, you can do it very easily if you have a decent Ink-Jet printer. Scan, use a digital camera, or take a photo and have it developed to disk. Using photoshop or your favorite photo editing tool and crop and scale your image to the desired size. Next, print it onto the transparency and cut it out. Simple and good quality! I will have an example possibly next week to show everyone.
Keith Harvey seems to have the best idea on this one. I have done a tiny bit of transparency work in the past and here's what it would entail for custom FF slides:
First you would need to build a single page with every picture that you can/want to fit onto it. Leave prolly about 1/2" spaces between individual pictures to give yourself enough extra to trap them in the slide frames. Make sure they are shrunk down to actual slide size! Print out your page(s) on a good color printer. You will need to do this on paper unless there's a printer that can actually print transparencies that I am unaware of. Take the printout to a place that has a transparency machine and a color copier. You MUST photocopy the computer printout in order for the transparency machine to work. Basically what happens is that they run the color copy with a blank transparency sheet through a special machine which heat transfers some of the copier ink to the transparency, but it won't work with printer ink, for some reason. Also, try to acquire an equal amount of blank trans. sheets as you have of slide fodder. (If you have only a half-full sheet, you don't have to worry about anything.)
Anyways, the next step is to SAFELY get the transparency back to wherever you plan on making the actual slides. (I believe that if you just leave the paper stuck to the trans. sheet until you get home that you should be okay except for bending.) NOTE: The ink on the back of the transparency will scrape right off if you aren't careful, so work in as clean of an environment as you can. You need to find out what dimensions the slides need to be cut to. The easiest way to do this is to take an existing FF slide and _carefully_ open one of the sides of the frame as they aren't sealed and then to work the slide out of the frame. Hopefully you won't have damaged either the slide or the frame in this process. Use the slide picture as a template to mark the sizes of your new slides. (If you use a grease pencil for this you can remove any accidental marks with a piece of tissue yet get better accuracy than a crayon.) Mark out an equal amount of blank "slides" of the same size.
Obviously the next step is to cut out all of your pictures and blanks and get a set of slide frames ready. I'm not sure how to deal with the mounting holes that would normally be on two sides of the slide except to suggest careful work with an X-Acto knife OR to use cardboard slide frames instead of plastic ones. When you assemble them, use one blank slide as a cover for the delicate inked side of the actual slides. It will make the plastic part thicker, but that's gotta be better than scraping half of the picture off. If you're just going to card them, this is prolly unnecessary as you will most likely have larger problems going on in a case where the ink manages to get damaged later on.
Lastly, if you want them to look authentic, do some standard custom-card work to get a slide frame template on your computer and start printing them out, cutting them to shape, and gluing them down.
Another thing that you could do to make them look more authentic (and hopefully you read all the way through this before trying starting work on this project.) would be to do the line of text describing the scene like the actual FF slides have, but that would have to be done when you first started assembling images on the computer and it should be done in white lettering on black background.