“In 1898 William Friese-Greene, a professional portrait photographer by trade, demonstrated in London ‘the first process of true natural-color cinematography.’ His program consisted of ‘a series of animated natural-color pictures,’ and although this demonstration aroused considerable interest at the time, Friese-Greene was unable to exploit this system on a profitable basis. Undaunted, he eventually developed a total of four different color methods.”
Gasparcolor was the first three-color multi-layer monopack film available for practical use. It was a double-coated print film with a cyan layer on one side and two layers dyed magenta and yellow on the other side (see illustrations).
Coloring of individual frames by the use of very fine brushes. The process was previously applied to lantern slides. Any water based translucent dye was suited for the process, most often the coloring was done with acid dyes.
Kinemacolor was an additive process operated with alternating red and green filters that were applied to the shutter in front of the camera and in front of the projector. With at least 32 fps the frame rate was double the minimal frame rate of 16 fps. Time parallax with small differences between the red and green record resulted in color fringes that became visible when objects or scenes were moving.
“In 1930 Mannes and Godowsky were invited to join the staff of the Kodak Research Laboratory, where they concentrated on methods of processing multilayer films, while their colleagues worked out ways of manufacturing them. The result was the new Kodachrome film, launched in 1935. Three very thin emulsion layers were coated on film base, the emulsions being sensitised with non-wandering dyes to red, green and blue light, the red-sensitive layer being at the bottom.” (Coe, Brian (1978): Colour Photography. The First Hundred Years 1840-1940. London: Ash & Grant, pp. 121 ff.)
The Kodachrome process was invented in 1913 by John G. Capstaff for still photography and subsequently adapted to motion pictures. For the process two frames were advanced simultaneously, one located above the other. The light passed either through two lenses or through a beam-splitter, fitted with red and green filters. The release print was exposed through a beam-splitter whereby the alternate frames were projected onto either side of double-coated stock. After development by a usual b/w process, the film was tanned to harden the exposed areas. The soft areas were dyed red-orange and blue-green respectively.