Several members of the research team, including our partner SRF, gathered for a third ‘Digital Desmet’ workshop at project partner Cinegrell in Zurich. Paulo Fonseca (colorist, Beeld en Geluid) joined us for both days in order to research different routes of establishing a ‘trustworthy’ analogue colour reference for digital grading, which included side-by-side projection of analogue and digital elements with the help of an ARRI LocPro35 portable projector (kindly made available by Richard Grell). In addition, a work-in-progress presentation by Simone Croci (Disney Research Zurich) led to a productive discussion on how to further refine and define the translation of the Desmet method into digital imaging tools. There will be two more sessions before the final results will be presented at The Colour Fantastic conference at EYE Film Institute at the end of March 2015.
Initial tests have been performed with a film title of the EYE Film Institute at Haghefilm in Amsterdam late September 2014 and a second test trajectory has been scheduled for November 2014 on a film title of the Deutsche Kinemathek at Cinegrell Postproduction in Zurich. Tests include scanning on various machines, such as Oxberry, ARRI and Northlight in order to optimise settings for the film material with applied colours, as well as addressing the question of how colour references are established in colour grading. Results will be presented in March 2015 at The Colour Fantastic conference at EYE in Amsterdam.
Several soundtracks were scanned at project partner sondor on the Resonances system that scans positive and negative optical soundtracks in real-time. An area of interest is determined (see red lines) and the track is cleaned up during transfer with a dedicated dust-busting plug-in. Particularly challenging in this instance was the Dufaycolor soundtrack, an additive colour filmstock with a red, green and blue reseau (for more information click here), which produces its own high pitch. The output files in these cases will form the basis for sound negatives for preservation purposes and future DCPs.
We’re in the middle of testing and scanning some exciting film titles: Dufaycolor title PARURES (Switzerland, 1939) in collaboration with project partner Cinémathèque suisse; Technicolor title SWITZERLAND SPORTLAND (USA, 1952) in collaboration with Harvard Film Archive (both scanned at project partner Cinegrell Postproduction) and various early colour systems with Deutsche Kinemathek (scanned at project partner AV Preservation by reto.ch).
Please note that these scans are the raw images before any correction has taken place. Come see the results at our conference in June and in the meantime watch this space for regular updates.
Initial scanning tests have been conducted at EgliFilm in Zurich to ascertain the film material’s status of the 1st episode (of 26 in total) of the immensely popular Swiss TV-series HEIDI (1978). 3K scanning tests on the Northlight scanner, from both an interpositive made in 2003 as well as from the original 16mm camera negative (1978), edited in A & B rolls, have brought some of the material’s problems to the fore. In collaboration with the advanced video technology group at Disney Research Zurich some of these issues will be adressed in the near future. Watch this space!
Mid-July 2013, the Sondor Resonances scanner was put to the test at the Sondor facilities in Zollikon with various film sound materials originating from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. Tonnie van Els and Paulo Fonseca (both of the Institute) were quickly instructed how to operate the scanner and tangible results from such sources as variable density and variable area material were obtained soon thereafter. In the picture on the far right, an Area of Interest can be seen, which can be selected to make sure that certain faulty areas are obstructed from the scan in order to obtain a better end result.