Pushing Boundaries

In Technicolor


Color films began appearing in the 1930s, shortly after the talkies. Technicolor created a process that could record “natural color” on the film. They did this by using a three-strip color process. Light entering the camera was split by a prism and recorded on separate film strips which had filters and emulsions sensitive to certain spectrums. Then, during processing, a cyan, magenta and yellow dye transfer process was used to produce a finished film with all colors. Appropriately, this technology was applied to the greatest film type of all — animation.

[Image Credit: Public Domain]

  • The Professor

    Man, you sure cut that short. I recently did some research on the Technicolor process, its offshoots and competitors (I can't remember why just now, but I'm sure I had a good reason. I always do), and you could have droned on for hours (or pages) on the subject. Good lord man, you just can't let opportunities like that go by. It's damned hard to work up a lecture that can suck the life out of your audience, one where you can actually see their souls escaping their bodies and the light in their eyes slowly fade. It's a wonderful sight to behold.

    /you know, it echoes in here when you're all alone….

    • Felis_Concolor

      Indeed. The history of animation is the history of film; no other use of the medium so closely reflects its capabilities and limitations. And as far as modern CGI SFX are concerned, you'd have a very difficult time listing the movies you've seen in the past decade which weren't animated. Good god, the very first movie which wasn't a documentary was a science fiction film with copious quantities of matte paintings, SFX and real time animation in the form of puppeteers.

  • Felis_Concolor

    Abridged Too Far: Operation Market Garden was a failure. The End.

    • texlenin

      rotflmao. Good sir, your puns are too strong for me!


  • CaptianNemo2001

    You forgot to mention the KEY thing with Technicolor. ALL three strips are bonded together at the end of the process to create "color" film. """One problem that has resulted from Technicolor negatives is the rate of shrinkage from one strip to another. Because three-Strip negatives are shot on three rolls, they are subject to different rates of shrinkage depending on storage conditions."" (wiki) There used to be a good image showing the effects but I cant locate it.

    Here is process No. 3. Some slight separation is seen but it looks like thats the best I can locate atm.
    <img src="http://www.zauberklang.ch/pics/big/CherchiUsai_SilentCinema_Technicolor3.jpg&quot; width="600">