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Encyclopedia > Film colorization
A colorized image of Laurel and Hardy, from March of the Wooden Soldiers (formally Babes in Toyland).

Film colorization, film colourisation, film colourization or film colorisation is any process that involves adding color to black and white, sepia or monochrome moving-picture images. The earliest examples date back to the early 20th century, but it has become more practical and more common since the development of digital image processing. Image File history File links Laurel_&_Hardy_Babes_in_Toyland. ... Image File history File links Laurel_&_Hardy_Babes_in_Toyland. ... Laurel and Hardy, in a promotional still from their 1937 feature film Way Out West. ... Babes in Toyland is a 1934 musical comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy. ... Color is an important part of the visual arts. ... Black-and-white is a broad adjectival term used to describe a number of monochrome forms of visual arts. ... Sepia tone is a type of digital photo in which the picture appears similar to a traditional black-and-white print toned with sepia. ...


It has been done with different effects for various reasons, including as a special effect or as a form of restoration for color films. The process has also garnered controversy because of its use to reissue black and white films and television shows in color. Some have claimed that this use of the process is a form of "cultural vandalism".[1]

Contents

Techniques

During the late 1950s and the 1960s, black and white cartoons were redistributed in color—the colorization process was done by tracing the original black and white frames onto new animation cels, and then adding color to the new cels.[2] With computer technology, studios were able to add color to black and white films by digitally tinting single objects in each frame of the film until it was fully colorized. The initial process was invented by Canadians Wilson Markle and Brian Hunt[3] and was first used in 1970 to add color to monochrome footage of the moon from the Apollo mission. An animated cartoon is a short, hand-drawn (or made with computers to look similar to something hand-drawn) film for the cinema, television or computer screen, featuring some kind of story or plot (even if it is a very short one). ... A colorized image of Laurel and Hardy, from March of the Wooden Soldiers (formally Babes in Toyland). ... A colorized image of Laurel and Hardy, from March of the Wooden Soldiers (formally Babes in Toyland). ... Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America (NASA) using the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle, conducted during the years 1961 – 1975. ...


Colorization typically begins with a monochrome film print. From the film print, a high quality videotape copy is made. Technicians, aided by a computer, identify the grey level of every object in every shot and note any movement of objects within shots. A computer adds color to each object, while keeping grey levels the same as in the monochrome original.[4] This technique was patented in 1991.[5] A photograph of a sign in grayscale The same photograph in black and white Monochrome comes from the two Greek words mono (μωνο, meaning one), and chroma (χρωμα, meaning surface or the color of the skin). A monochromatic object has a single color. ...


Movies colorized using early techniques have softer contrast and fairly pale, flat, washed out color. However, the technology has improved since the 1980s, and several black and white TV shows and films have been given what some viewers find to be a completely lifelike colorization.

Sample of a frame colorized using the Timebrush process, from the film Psycho.
Sample of a frame colorized using the Timebrush process, from the film Psycho.

A major difficulty with colorization has been its labor-intensiveness. For example, in order to colorize a still image an artist typically begins by dividing the image into regions, and then proceeds to assign a color to each region. This approach, also known as the segmentation method, is time consuming and requires a great deal of painstaking work on dividing the picture into correct segments. This problem occurs mainly since there have historically been no fully automatic algorithms that always identify correctly fuzzy or complex region boundaries, such as between a subject’s hair and face. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 360 × 222 pixelsFull resolution (360 × 222 pixel, file size: 87 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) It is believed that this image, timebrushed_sample_psycho. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 360 × 222 pixelsFull resolution (360 × 222 pixel, file size: 87 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) It is believed that this image, timebrushed_sample_psycho. ... Psycho is a 1960 suspense/horror film directed by auteur Alfred Hitchcock from the screenplay by Joseph Stefano about a psychotic killer. ...


Colorization of moving images also requires tracking regions as movement occurs across the frames of a particular scene. There are several companies that claim automatic region-tracking algorithms.


Legend Films describes their core technology as pattern recognition and background compositing which moves and morphs foreground and background masks from frame to frame. In the process, backgrounds are colorized separately in a single composite frame that functions as a visual database of a cut that includes all offset data on all camera movement. Once the foregrounds are colorized the background masks are applied frame to frame in a utility process.


Timebrush describes their process as based on Neural Net technology that produces saturated and crisp colors with clear lines and no apparent spill overs. The process is claimed to be cost effective and equally suitable for low budget colorization, as well as for prime time broadcast quality or theatrical projection.


A Team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering describe their method as an interactive process that does not require precise, manual, region detection, nor accurate tracking and is based on the simple premise that nearby pixels in space and time that have similar gray levels should also have similar colors [1]. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is one of Israels oldest, largest, and most important institutes of higher learning and research. ...


Partial colorization

Digital recreation of the Handschiegel process.

The earliest form of colorization introduced limited color into a black and white film using dyes, as a visual effect. The earliest Edison films, most notably the Anabelle Butterfly Dance series were also the earliest examples of colorization, done by painting aniline dyes onto the emulsion. Image File history File links Handschiegel. ... Image File history File links Handschiegel. ... Aniline, phenylamine or aminobenzene (C6H5NH2) is an organic chemical compound which is a primary aromatic amine consisting of a benzene ring and an amino group. ...


By around 1905, Pathé introduced Pathéchome, a stencil process that involved cutting glass stencils for each frame with a pantograph. Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various businesses founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France. ... This page is about the duplication instrument. ...


In 1916, the Handschiegl Color Process was invented for the film, Joan the Woman (1917). Another early example of the Handschiegl process can be found in Phantom of the Opera (1925), in which Lon Chaney's character can be seen wearing a bright-red cape while the rest of the scene remained monochrome. The scene was toned sepia, and then the cape was painted red, either by stencil or by matrix. Then, a sufur solution was applied to everything but the dyed parts, turning the sepia into blue tone. The process was named after its inventor, Max Handschiegl. This effect, as well as a missing color sequence, were recreated in 1996 for a Photoplay Productions restoration by computer colorization (see below). The Handschiegl color process was a stencil color technique used on motion picture film to give the effect of real color. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lon Chaney (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930), nicknamed The Man of a Thousand Faces, was an American actor during the age of silent films. ...


Partial colorization has also been utilized on footage shot in color to enhance commercials and broadcast television to further facilitate the directors artistic vision. As an example, Cerulean Fx provided partial colorization for Dave Matthews Band's music video The Space Between. Dave Matthews Band (also known by the initialism DMB) is a United States rock band, originally formed in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1991 by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dave Matthews. ... Debut novel of author Ronald Damien Malfi, concerning a black hole that has opened on the ocean floor off the coast of Africa, and a scientist who must confront his personal demons in order to set things right. ...


Restoration

A number of British television shows which were made in color in the early 1970s were wiped for economic reasons, but in some cases black and white telerecordings were made for export to countries that did not yet have color television. A notable example is the BBC's 5-part Doctor Who story The Dæmons. Only one episode survived in color; the rest existed only as black and white film recordings. The only known color recording was a poor quality off-air recording of an abridged American broadcast. In the 1990s the BBC colorized the black and white copies by adding the color signal from the off-air recordings. The result was judged a success by both technicians and fans and it is widely rumoured that more sophisticated colorization technology will be used to restore other Doctor Who episodes as well as shows like Steptoe and Son where some episodes only exist in black and white. However, there are no plans to use colorization on BBC programs originally made in black and white.[6] Wiping or junking is an economic move by radio and television companies in which old audiotapes, videotapes and telerecordings are wiped (deleted) and reused or destroyed. ... Telerecording (known as kinescoping in the USA) is the British name for a process pioneered during the 1940s for the storing of electronically-shot television programmes on film, which was used for the preservation, re-broadcasting and sale of television programmes before the use of commercial broadcast-quality videotape became... The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television programme (and a 1996 television movie) produced by the BBC. The programme shows the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as the Doctor, who explores time and space in his TARDIS time ship with his companions, solving problems and... The Dæmons is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in five weekly parts from May 22 to June 19, 1971. ... Steptoe and Son is a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about two rag and bone men living in Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherds Bush, London. ...


Integration

Colorization is also sometimes used on historical stock footage in color movies. For instance, the film Thirteen Days uses colorized news footage from the time of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Stock footage, also termed archive footage, library pictures and file footage is film or video footage that is reused in a film. ... DVD cover Thirteen Days (2000) is a film is about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. ... President Kennedy in a crowded Cabinet Room during the Cuban Missile Crisis. ...


The full-color feature film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), which already made heavy use of digitally-generated sets and objects, integrated black and white 1940s footage of Sir Laurence Olivier into scenes by colorizing him. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a film released on September 17, 2004 in the United States. ... Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (22 May 1907–11 July 1989) was an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and four-time Emmy winning English actor, director, and producer. ...


In his feature film, The Aviator (2005), Martin Scorcese seamlessly blendeded colorized stock footage of the Hells Angels movie premiere with footage of the premiere reinactment. The colorization was designed to look like normal three-strip film but was then color corrected to match the two-strip look of the premiere reinactment. Also in The Aviator, Scorsese used colorized footage of Jane Russell from the original black and white film, The Outlaw and dog fight scenes from Hells Angels. The Aviator is an Academy Award-winning 2004 biographical drama film, directed by Martin Scorsese. ... Hells Angels New York City For other uses of Hells Angels see Hells Angels (disambiguation) The Hells Angels is a club formed in 1948 in Fontana, California, where the local chapter remains active. ... The Aviator is an Academy Award-winning 2004 biographical drama film, directed by Martin Scorsese. ... Jane Russell (born June 21, 1921) is an American actress and sex symbol. ... A colorized image of Jack Buetel as Billy the Kid. ... Hells Angels New York City For other uses of Hells Angels see Hells Angels (disambiguation) The Hells Angels is a club formed in 1948 in Fontana, California, where the local chapter remains active. ...


Entertainment make-overs

Colorization in 1986. From Night of the Living Dead.
 
Colorization in 2004. From the same film.

In the mid-1980s, the process drew considerable controversy when Topper became the first black and white film to be redistributed in color using the colorization process.[7] Defenders of the process noted that it would allow black and white films to have new audiences of people who were not used to the format. Detractors complained that the process was crude and claimed that even if it were refined, it would not take into account lighting compositions chosen for black and white photography which would not necessarily be as effective in color.[1] They also cited creative decisions that the original director might not approve of, such as the visual pun of the character Violet in It's a Wonderful Life wearing violet. Thus they argued, the original work of the artists involved is damaged. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 black-and-white independent horror film directed by George A. Romero. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Topper is a 1937 comedy film which tells the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving married couple. ... Lighting refers to either artificial light sources such as lamps or to natural illumination of interiors from daylight. ... Photography [fәtɑgrәfi:],[foʊtɑgrәfi:] is the process of recording pictures by means of capturing light on a light-sensitive medium, such as a film or sensor. ... Its a Wonderful Life is a 1946 film produced and directed by Frank Capra and based on the short story The Greatest Gift written by Philip Van Doren Stern. ...


Media mogul Ted Turner was once a particularly aggressive proponent of this process. When he told members of the press that he was considering colorizing Citizen Kane, his comments led to an immediate public outcry. Welles had retained control over the film in his original contract, which would prevent any editing or other tampering with this film, without the express permission of Welles or his estate. Turner Pictures had never actually announced that this was an upcoming planned project. Turner later stated that this was a joke designed to needle colorization critics, and that he never had any intention of colorizing the film. Turner had awarded the digital colorization contract to a San Diego firm called American Film Technologies. This firm employed hundreds of production artists who worked round the clock to release newly colorized titles at a rapid pace. Partially due to this controversy, all films shown on American television or released to home video in an altered format (including pan and scan and "edited for television" versions), must now display a disclaimer indicating that the film "has been modified from its original version."[8] A media proprietor is a person who controls, either through personal ownership or a dominant position in a public company, a significant part of the mass media. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Citizen Kane is a 1941 mystery/drama film released by RKO Pictures and directed by Orson Welles, his first feature film. ... The home video business rents and sells videocassettes and DVDs to the public. ... A 2. ...


By the mid-1990s, the colorization controversy had died out. Because of the high cost of the process, Turner Entertainment stopped colorizing titles. With the coming of DVD technology, the notion of colorization was once again gaining press. Because the DVD format was more versatile, studios could offer viewers the option to choose between both versions without switching discs, and thus, the release of colorized titles once again seemed profitable. Some companies re-released the older colorized versions from the 1980s—an example of this is the Laurel and Hardy box set being released in the UK.[9] Other studios, such as Sony Entertainment, commissioned new color versions. A recent release that garnered much controversy was a set of Three Stooges DVDs featuring new colorized versions prepared by West Wing Studios. The studio was given access to the original props, sets, etc. in order to do research for the colorized versions.[10] DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... Laurel and Hardy, in a promotional still from their 1937 feature film Way Out West. ... Sony Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and one of the worlds largest media conglomerates with revenue of $68. ... The Three Stooges were an American vaudeville and comedy act of the mid 20th century best known for their numerous short films. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Film colorization is also done by the company Legend Films. Their patented automated process was used to colorize around 100 films between 2003 and 2007. Shirley Temple Black, Jane Russell, Terry Moore and Ray Harryhausen have worked with the company to colorize either their own films or their personal favorites. Two movies that Lengend Films are noted for is the colorization of the exploitation film Reefer Madness, for which certain color schemes were used to create a psychedelic effect in its viewers, and Plan 9 from Outer Space, widely known as "the worst movie ever made." Legend Films, a San Diego-based company, was founded in August 2001. ... Shirley Temple Black was a former child actress and United States diplomat. ... Jane Russell (born June 21, 1921) is an American actress and sex symbol. ... Terry Moore: (born 1929) a film actress Terry Moore: (1912-1995) a Major League Baseball player [1] Terry Moore: a comic books writer This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Ray Harryhausen (born June 29, 1920 in Los Angeles, California) is an American producer and, most notably, a special effects creator. ... Exploitation film is a type of film that eschews the expense of quality productions in favor of making films on-the-cheap, attracting the public by exciting their more prurient interests. ... Reefer Madness is a 1936 drama film revolving around the tragic events that follow when high school students are lured by pushers to try marihuana: a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, rape, and descent into madness all ensue. ... This article or section contains a plot summary that is overly long. ...


In 2005, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first season of Bewitched on DVD. Because the first season was produced in black and white, Sony released two versions of the set: one with the episodes as originally broadcast and a second with the episodes colorized. A year later, the second season of Bewitched and the first season of I Dream of Jeannie, another show owned by Sony, were released the same way. These releases were colorized by Dynacs Digital, a defunct colorization studio that was located in Patna, India. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the home video, DVD, and UMD distribution arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. ... This article is about an American television sitcom. ... For the Xbox Live pseudonym Major Nelson, see Larry Hryb. ... Patna is the capital of the state of Bihar, in north-eastern India. ...


Documentary make-overs

Colorization is sometimes used on documentary programmes. The Beatles Anthology TV show colorizes some footage of the band, most notably the performance of "All You Need Is Love" from the TV special Our World (1967). In the documentary this scene begins in its original black and white before dissolving into seemingly realistic, psychedelic color.[11] In this case the color design was based on stills taken at the same time, so in a sense the color is "real", yet the use of artificial color in a documentary could also be regarded as misleading or even fraudulent. Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to document reality. ... The Beatles Anthology is the name of a documentary series, a series of three albums and a book, all of which focus on the history of the popular rock band the Beatles. ... All You Need Is Love is a song written by John Lennon (with contributions from Paul McCartney) and first performed by The Beatles on Our World, the first ever live global television link. ... Our World was the first live international satellite television production, which was broadcast on 25 June 1967. ... In film editing, a dissolve is a gradual transition from one image to another. ... Psychedelia is a term describing a category of music, visual art, fashion, and culture that is associated originally with the high 1960s, hippies, and the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California. ...


The documentary series World War I in Color (2003) was broadcast on television and released on DVD in 2005. There had previously been full-color documentaries about World War II using genuine color footage, but since true color film was not practical for moving pictures at the time of World War I, the series consists of colorized contemporary footage (and photographs). World War 1 in Colour is a documentary narrated by Kenneth Branagh. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... “The Great War ” redirects here. ...


The 1960 Augusta Masters Tournament, originally broadcast in black and white and recorded on kinescope, was colorized for the documentary Jim Nantz Remembers. This was the first time a major sports event has been re-broadcast using colorization. This article is about the golf tournament. ... Kinescope (IPA: [], []) originally referred to the cathode ray tube used in television monitors. ...


See also

List of films that were shot in black and white, and later re-released in colorized versions. ...

References

  1. ^ a b Casablanca In Color? 3. Time (January 12, 1987). Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  2. ^ The colorized cartoon database. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  3. ^ The History of the Motion Picture. About.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  4. ^ COLORIZATION. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  5. ^ Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  6. ^ Doctor Who Restoration Team Official Site. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  7. ^ Trivia for Topper. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  8. ^ Trivia for Citizen Kane. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  9. ^ The Laurel and Hardy Collection. DVD Beaver. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  10. ^ Stooges DVD revives colorization debate. MSNBC. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  11. ^ Anthology Home Video. Beatles Reference Library. Retrieved on 2007-01-01.

Time (whose trademark is capitalized TIME) is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... MSNBC, a combination of MSN and NBC, is a 24-hour cable news channel in the United States and Canada, and a news website. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ...

Further reading

  • Anthony Slide, Nitrate Won't Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the United States (pg 9, August 1st, 2000), ISBN 0-7864-0836-7
  • A critical essay by Gary R. Edgerton, “The Germans Wore Gray, You Wore Blue,” for IEEE Spectrum (Winter 2000) (Gary R. Edgerton is a professor and chair of the Communication and Theatre Arts Department at Old Dominion University.)

External links

  • Colourisation.net - The Colourisation research project Research website for the Institute for Colourisation.
  • Timebrush Studios Official website for Timebrush, providing samples and description of the Timebrush colorization process.
  • New computer-assisted method for colorizing black and white images and movies has been developed by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem - A web article (including examples)
  • Cerulean Fx- The site features examples of Cerulean Fx's colorization and color correction work as well as an explanation of their process.
  • Legend Films - Official website features demonstration clips.
  • West Wing Studios- Features colorization examples and company information.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Film colorization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2281 words)
Film colorization is any process that involves adding color to fl and white, sepia or monochrome moving-picture images.
A number of British television shows which were made in color in the early 1970s were wiped for economic reasons, but in some cases fl and white telerecordings were made for export to countries that did not yet have color television.
Colorization is also sometimes used on historical stock footage in color movies.
Colorization (997 words)
Colorization became extremely controversial in the late 1980s, especially with regard to "classic" monochrome films such as Citizen Kane (which ultimately was not colorized), Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, and It's a Wonderful Life.
According to this reasoning, colorization violates the moral right of the film director to create a work of art that has a final, permanent form and that will not be subject to alteration years later by unauthorized parties.
The main legacy of colorization is the National Film Registry, established by Congress in 1988 in response to the colorization controversy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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