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Tuesday, February 26 • 2:50pm - 3:35pm
The Many Faces of Lenticular Film Digitization

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During the first half of the twentieth century, besides multiple subtractive color film processes, several additive color techniques were developed for motion picture films. Kodak and Agfa implemented the principles of the lenticular screen process in 16 mm motion picture products (marketed as Kodacolor and Agfacolor respectively), which were used by amateur filmmakers mostly during the 1930s. In a lenticular film the plastic support is embossed with a vertical array of cylindrical lenses, and a black and white emulsion is applied on the other side. Images were captured adding a tripartite red-green-blue filter in front of the camera lens. During the exposure of the film, the colored filter in combination with the embossed lenticules created spatially-encoded color information, which was developed and fixed by reversal processing. In the original technique, the captured colors were displayed with a projector equipped with an equivalent red-green-blue filter. The resulting images were rather blurry, small and dim, so the movies could be only presented to a limited number of spectators.
Digital technologies provide new opportunities to screen these movies, including the possibility to present them to a larger audience. In the framework of the doLCE project at the Digital Humanities Lab - University of Basel, software was written to extract the encoded color from a high-resolution scan of the silver emulsion. The way the extracted information is translated into color and the rendition of the characteristic image structure can be accomplished following a variety of different approaches, which lead to very different visual results. The fundament laid by the doLCE project is now further elaborated at the University of Zurich under the auspices of the research project ERC Advanced Grant FilmColors.
In this presentation available options will be discussed and evaluated with the aim to define a clear and efficient digitization workflow to be offered to film archives.

avatar for David Pfluger

David Pfluger

Research Scientist, Scan2Screen project, University of Zurich
David Pfluger, born in 1971, made his PhD in physical chemistry at the University of Basel (PhD Thesis: Hochauflösende Absorptionsspektroskopie an Polyacetylen- und Cyanopolyacetylen Kationen, Universität Basel, 2001). After his graduation in 2002 he was working in cinema post production... Read More →
avatar for Giorgio Trumpy

Giorgio Trumpy

Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology / University of Zurich
Giorgio Trumpy has been an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology since 2021 and continues to be a leading member of the Bridge Discovery Scan2Screen at the University of Zurich. He studied Conservation Science in Florence, and received his PhD in... Read More →

Tuesday February 26, 2019 2:50pm - 3:35pm GMT
NFT3/ BFI Southbank