Talk:List of color film systems

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Other color processes[edit]

Here is a list of color processes that I don't have enough information about to put on this chart but that I know exist. If someone out there perhaps has some more info on each, it would be appreciated here:

  • Hillman Process: An additive process that "drew mild interest from Sir Alexander Korda in London in 1933 until Technicolor came along"
  • Herault Trichrome: Additive system (early '30s) that used alternating red/green/blue frames.
  • Bassani Process: Introducd by the Societe Chromofilm of France, additive process that "produced 96 movements of the film gate per second"
  • Pinchart System: Additive. Used a complex series of lenses.
  • Gilmore Color: Two-color additive. Two records side-by-side on each frame. C. 1918
  • Bertrand Color: Circa 1947. Prints off of 16mm Kodachrome to 35mm.
  • Kalichrome: 2 color or 3 color available. Duplex stock.
  • Thomson-Color: Lenticular color
  • Diacolor: First used in 1953. No info about the mechanics.
  • Illford Color: 1948, UK. Similar to Kodachrome 16mm.
  • Dufaychrome: Based on the Tricolor process
  • Alfacolor: Gaevert film.

-The Photoplayer 19:35, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Google Patents[edit]

Google Patents now offers an excellent resource to search U.S. patents by keywords and years of filing or issue. I just made some changes to the inventors of the various Technicolor processes, using this database. Search with keyword "Technicolor" and choose your year range (the earliest patent assigned to Technicolor is from 1917). — Walloon 20:18, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

1902 colour film recently discovered[edit]

A BBC article discusses it here: [1]. (talk) 18:32, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Already on the list as "Lee-Turner colour 1899". The process itself is not news. AVarchaeologist (talk) 07:54, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Updated process info at Edward_Raymond_Turner#Lee-Turner_Colour , could do with more work though if anybody is interested? Da5nsy (talk) 16:42, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Ringers and fuzzy boundary lines[edit]

The source(s) used for founding this article managed to scoop up a number of early processes used only for still photography, and I have just deleted several of them, namely, Joly, Utocolor, Kromoscope [sic] and Finlay. Specifics can be found in the edit summaries.

The Warner-Powrie process was similar to Joly, but with a much finer screen, so it just conceivably might have been used for some experimental (perhaps large-format?) cinematography. Because a mysterious Untitled Film (1928) is listed for it, I have left it alone pending further research... (Instant update #1: Powrie did, indeed, patent a line screen motion picture product in 1926 and demonstrate it in 1928, but it had an extremely fine line structure and lumping it together with the Warner-Powrie still photography product of 1906 seems very indiscriminate. Barbara Flueckiger's splendid and amply-illustrated Timeline of Historical Film Colors, which also incautiously tosses in still-only processes—the uninitiated would be well-advised to read very carefully and be on the lookout for the magic words "still photography"—dates Powrie's motion picture process to 1924 for reasons which are far from clear.)

Likewise, Polychromide, as I recall, was strictly a two-color photographic paper print process, but I will double-check for any motion picture system by that name before deleting. (Instant update #2: sure enough, the name was later used for a subtractive two-color motion picture print process, which Flueckiger dates to 1918.)

The entry for Keller-Dorian is more problematic. It was most certainly used for motion pictures, but nowhere near as early as 1908. Unhelpfully, the "year of completion" specification does not make clear what constitutes "completion". In this case, does the description of a complete system in print or in patents, or its practical use for still photography, lock in a much earlier date even if its first use for motion pictures was in the 1920s?

Frankly, the open door provided by the overall soft definition of this list as of processes "known to have been developed" lays it open to vast expansion by the addition of every half-baked or unworkable new process, or alleged improvement of an old one, that was ever touted in print or trotted by the patent office. Perhaps it would be more useful to confine the list to processes that were actually used in a public presentation of some kind, even if only for a single screening in one theater? That would, however, exclude the Lee-Turner three-color additive system, impractical in its time but recently in the news thanks to digital restorations of some test films. AVarchaeologist (talk) 12:33, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Is there a version of this page that encompasses film for stills photography? Currently colour photography links to this page as it is the best resource(??) for such a list... Da5nsy (talk) 16:47, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Sequential, bi-packs, no. of colors[edit]

I think it'd be better to describe early color processes not (only) in terms of additive vs. subtractive, also because those terms clash with the physical concepts of additive and subtractive color which the respective WP articles are about and that have little to do with these early color film processes. What's referred to as "additive" here should be better described as sequential particularly with motion picture film, as the principle is basically identical to that of later field-sequential color system: You display frames or fields in alternating colors fast enough to make them fuse in the viewer's eye, without actually showing them a full color spectrum within the single frame. In order to translate the resulting, reconstructed color space from a sequential system's sequence for book prints or electronic monitors today, so-called composites are created where all frames from a sequence are merged into one. The only improvement that was made on sequential systems over time was that the rotating color wheel during projection was replaced by stamping each frame in its respective color, so that no special projectors were required anymore. The main downside to sequential systems was that the design resulted in nasty color fringes in moving areas, because the full color information had been taken at different moments in time.

I'm aware that the term "additive" got in here because the whole type of process originally derived from the Maxwell-Sutton process in still photography, invented in 1861, where three glass slides taken with red, green, and blue filters and tinted in the respective colors were projected on top of each other, i. e. "added" on top of each other. (Due to the later availability of panchromatic film, the Maxwell-Sutton process was not perfected until the turn of the century by Adolf Miethe and is known today especially for the many photographs by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky taken with one of Miethe's cameras.) But it's different in cinematography where the processes based on it that were historically used should rather be called sequential instead, because you never got to see all colors at the same time, differentiating it from the similar process in still photography.

Another significant aspect with early color is that two-color processes were popular up until the rise of Technicolor, Kodachrome, and Agfacolor in the mid-30s because Smith had found Turner's original sequential three-color system too complex and threw out one color, resulting in two-color systems such as Kinemacolor and, after that system ended in the open domain due to Friese-Greene's litigation, its many derivatives (such as Friese-Greene's Biocolour or the original Prizma Color). At first, these were all sequential systems.

But around 1913, Gaumont came up with Chronochrome which is listed here as additive, incorrectly so if that term is used for sequential systems such as Kinemacolor. What Gaumont did was have three synchronized cameras, each with a different color filter, film the same subject (and later have three synchronized projectors project their footage on top of each other), so that the notorious color fringes known from sequential systems were absent from his Chronochrome system because other than with sequential systems, the full color information for every frame was taken at the same time.

Gaumont was pretty much bankrupted by WWI, but his concept that went beyond sequential systems was to influence the later bipack color systems (two-color Kodachrome introduced in 1915, Prizma II in 1918, Technicolor process 2 in 1922, Magnacolor in 1928, Multicolor in 1929, Cinecolor in 1932, and many others). Rather than using several synchronized cameras, the bi-packs used a prism inside the camera to split the incoming light into two different colors (usually red and green, but could also be red and blue) to have each new beam expose one of two synchronized filmstrips within the same camera. After processing and dying in their respective color, the two positive strips were cemented to each other to make the combined two-color color space. Just like in Gaumont's three-color system, the bi-packs didn't show those color fringes anymore known from sequential systems. It seems that some of the bi-pack processes are listed as additive here because they were related to the older sequential systems, while others are listed as subtractive because beam-splitting prisms were used and you had each system's full color space within the single image, when in fact most of these systems were identical and neither additive nor subtractive is a good handle to call them. The same problem also goes for the older sequential systems which are called additive here because they were derived from the Maxwell-Sutton process in still photography.

Hence, I propose adding in the variables sequential, bi-pack, and number of colors to the table, and probably do away with the confusing terms additive and subtractive altogether for moving picture processes. And I think we should also have a new article on Sequential color systems. So far, there's only field-sequential color system for the 1951 CBS color TV system, whereas sequential color is a re-direct to Frame rate control, a feature for LCD screens. Due to their confusing nature, the terms additive and subtractive should be abolished here and replaced with sequential or bi-pack respectively, keeping in mind that all sequential systems are obviously labeled additive here, whereas bi-packs are inconsistently labeled additive or subtractive here when in fact they are all virtually identical in design. -- (talk) 02:22, 16 December 2014 (UTC)