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Chromatic Callier Effect and its Repercussions on the Digitization of Early Film Colors

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The projection on screen has always been the supreme result of cinematography. Thus the digitization of a motion picture should seek to recreate the visual impression in the cinema. The image-forming particles contained in early color films can generate remarkable differences between a film directly observed with diffuse backlighting and its image projected on screen. In the recent decades this discrepancy has been largely overlooked by the film preservation community (film curators, scanner manufacturers, colorists, etc.). This paper re-establishes the importance of referring to the visual impression in the cinema, and describes the spectral variation of the Callier effect that can significantly alter early film colors when digitized. We have introduced the term “chromatic Callier effect” and described its repercussions on film digitization reporting case studies of tinted and toned film prints. The experimental results highlight that important changes are required in the optical design of film scanners to improve the digitization of motion pictures.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

This article was made available online on September 27, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Chromatic Callier Effect and its Repercussions on the Digitization of Early Film Colors".

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  • The Journal of Imaging Science and Technology (JIST) is dedicated to the advancement of imaging science knowledge, the practical applications of such knowledge, and how imaging science relates to other fields of study. The pages of this journal are open to reports of new theoretical or experimental results, and to comprehensive reviews. Only original manuscripts that have not been previously published, nor currently submitted for publication elsewhere, should be submitted.

    IS&T's JIST-first publication option allows authors wishing to present their work at conferences, but have a journal citation for their paper, to submit a paper to JIST that follows the same rigorous peer-review vetting and publication process as traditional JIST articles, but with the benefit of a condensed time-to-publication time frame and guaranteed conference presentation slot.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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