Agfacolor Screen Plate

Additive 3 color: Mosaic screen, still photography
“During the war, an important new screen plate appeared, based on patents taken out by J. H. Christensen in 1908. He proposed to make a concentrated solution of gum in alcohol. Divided into three parts, the gum solutions were dyed red, green ...

11 Images

Handschiegl / DeMille-Wyckoff / Wyckoff Process

Applied color: Imbibition
Similar to stenciling, the Handschiegl process was applied mechanically to manually defined image parts. Therefore it is an applied color process. After the film was shot and edited, for each color applied a separate print was made. In contrast to ...

141 Images in 8 Galleries

Douglass Color No. 1

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“This two-color additive system for color cinematography was invented in 1916 by Leon Forrest Douglass of San Rafael, California. A special beam splitter camera would advance each roll of film two frames per exposure with its double frame pull down ...

3 Images

Technicolor No. I

Additive 2 color: Beam-splitter

During the capturing of the film a beam-splitter in combination with filters in the camera divided the incoming light into a red and a green separation negative on black-and-white stock. When projected in the cinema the two images were combined simultaneously by additive mixture through corresponding red and green filters into one picture consisting of red and green colored light. The reduction of the whole color range to two colors (and their additive combinations) was necessary because of the complex optical arrangement.

6 Images in 1 Gallery

Prizma I

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“The color experiments were conducted in the basement of a house at 1586 E. Seventeenth St., Brooklyn, N. Y. During this time a double-coated stock and a bleach formula which had much to do with the success of the later Prizma process were ...

Urban-Joy Process, improvement of Kinemacolor, later called Kinekrom

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“In the design of apparatus Urban was assisted after 1905 by Henry W. Joy. The Urban-Joy perforator appeared in 1906. The Urban-Joy anti-firing device, a shutter to prevent the firing of inflammable film when projectors broke down, was another ...

Brewster

Subtractive 2 color: Perforated mirror as beam-splitter, duplitized film
“Following the premises of one of William Friese-Greene’s systems, this two-colour subtractive process required that two reels of film be printed in parallel through a lens fitted with a prism that split light in two directions, through red ...

Kodachrome Two-color 1915, after 1930 renamed Fox Nature Color

Subtractive 2 color process: Beam-splitter, double-coated film

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.

350 Images in 12 Galleries

Cinechrome

Additive 2 color: Prism, rotary filter, double-sized film
“[…] pictures were taken side by side, full-size, on double-width film, the film not only being perforated on the edges but also down the centre between the pairs of images.” (Klein, Adrian Bernhard = Cornwell-Clyne (1940): Colour ...

3 Images

Chromal Paper

Subtractive 3 color: dye coupling or chromogenic process, still photography
“A few years later, in 1912, two chemists at N.P.G. in Berlin, Rudolf Fischer (1881-1957) and Hans Siegrist (1885-1959), introduced the notion of color couplers and patented the application of Homolkas discovery. Their patent described the ...

Biochrom

Additive 3 color: Double-sized film, rotary filter

Procédé Tetrachrome

Additive four-color process: rotating filters
Based on four primary colors, the process successively recorded two simultaneous images for two primary colors each. In projection, the four images were combined on screen, supposedly via a regular projector.

Colcin

Additive 2 color: Simultaneous 1 strip
“The first two-colour additive method in which the two components were taken and projected simultaneously was the Colcin process, in 1913. The result of a Franco-Japanese collaboration, it was demonstrated at the International Kinematographic ...

1 Image

Donisthorpe

Additive two color process: rotating filters and toning
The film is recorded through alternating red and green filters, creating two color separations. After development, the print is placed in two alternating dye-baths, toning the blacks green and the whites red. Additionally, a black-and-white copy is ...

Gaumont Chronochrome

Additive 3 color: Sawn-off lenses and filters, simultaneous taking and projection
“The competition between Kinemacolor and other rival systems was partially stimulated by a Utopian faith in the potential of film technology to achieve ‘natural colour’, reality ‘as it is’ being the goal of the cinematic ...

12 Images in 2 Galleries

Colorgraph / Cinecolorgraph

Subtractive 2 color: Beam-splitter, double-coated film
“The principle of the subtractive colour process was described first by Louis Ducos du Hauron in 1868. Although eminently suitable for colour motion pictures, the principle could not be applied until means were found of producing several colour ...

1 Image

Biocolour

Additive 2 color: Alternately stained images
“Inevitably, the success of Kinemacolor led to the appearance of imitations. One company, Friese Greene Patents Ltd had been formed in 1908 to exploit several patents, mostly impractical, filed by Friese Greene. From this came a new company, ...

39 Images in 3 Galleries

Audibert

Additive 3 color: Prism
“R. Berthon and M. Audibert patented a method of obtaining a virtual image by means of an anterior lens and prisms or mirrors. This idea was further improved upon in E.P. 17,023, 1913. In F.P. 458,040 Audibert proposed to use a negative front lens ...

2 Images

Chromogenic film stock

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Bassani

Additive 3 color: Successive exposure, 72 fps
“Camera.—An interesting camera has been made by the Société Chromofilm, Paris. An astonishing mechanism moves the entire gate, and film within it, at each exposure, with reference to the normal fixed objective. Three miniature negatives are ...

3 Images in 1 Gallery

Dufay / Dioptichrome-B

Additive 3 color: regular mosaic screen, combined system, still photography
“In 1907 the French lawyer Louis Dufay (1874-1936) patented a system whose screen pattern was obtained by the combined use of dichromated colloids, greasy printing inks, and imbibition.16 To take a photograph, the screen was mounted in a ...

1 Image

Mordant toning / dye toning

Applied colors: Silver replacement by mordanting
Mordant toning or dye toning is a special case of toning whereby the silver image is replaced by colored compounds. Soluble dyes attach to a colorless (silver ferrocyanide) or nearly colorless (silver iodide) silver salt obtained by bleaching. Dye ...

171 Images in 7 Galleries

Dufay / Dioptichrome

Additive 3 color: regular mosaic screen, separate system, still photography
“In 1907 the French lawyer Louis Dufay (1874-1936) patented a system whose screen pattern was obtained by the combined use of dichromated colloids, greasy printing inks, and imbibition.16 To take a photograph, the screen was mounted in a ...

Ulysse

Two, three or four color color additive process: multiple lenses
The process relied on two-, three- or even four-color selections being superimposed on the screen. On the positive, two, three or four images of reduced dimensions were printed on a single frame with a longitudinal and lateral distance corresponding ...

Procédé Colombier

Subtractive 3 color: Tri-pack
“M. F. de Colombier appears to have been the first to suggest the application of this system to cinematography, and like so many French patents it is a little indefinite in phraseology. Three films were employed representing the same view and ...

Kinemacolor

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter

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.

13 Images in 3 Galleries

Dufay / Dioptichrome Plate (sometimes incorrectly referenced as Dioptochrome)

Additive 2-4 color: Line screen plate (réseau), still photography and early experiments with film
(see detail page on Dufaycolor)

10 Images

Berthon

Additive 3 color: Lenticular screen
“R. Berthon patented the use of a lens diaphragm with three apertures, covered respectively with red, green and blue-violet filters, and a sensitive surface on a support, the other side of which was impressed with hemi-spherical, transparent, ...

4 Images

Dye coupling

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack
“One of the most elegant solutions to the problem of forming a colored image, lies in the utilization of the products formed by the action of the developer upon the latent image. By this means there is formed a dye image whose intensity follows ...

1 Image

Autochrome

Additive 3 color: Mosaic screen, still photography
“The Autochrome process was the first fully practical single-plate colour process to reach the photographic public. It was easy to use. The plate was loaded into a conventional holder, glass to the front. The exposure was made through a yellow ...

16 Images

Caille

Additive three-color: line screen, still photography
Process for still photography in which light is filtered through a screen or transparent plate covered in lines or dots in the primary colors orange, green and violet. For the positive, the process relies on a support material which includes an ...

Predecessor of Kinemacolor

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“Then we come upon the name of George Albert Smith, F.R.A.S., of Laboratory Lodge, Roman Crescent, Southwick, Brighton, who in E.P. 26,671, of 1906, patented the method which eventually was commercialized as Kinemacolor. In this patent he ...

Traube / Diachromie

Subtractive 3 color: Mordant toning, still photography
“In the imbibition process, a dye image is transferred from a gelatin relief image to a receiving layer made either of paper or film. Charles Cros described this method of “hydrotypie” transfer printing in 1880 and suggested it ...

Prism

Additive 3 color: Prism

1 Image

Katachromie

Subtractive 3 color: Monopack silver dye-bleach, still photography
Karl Schinzel proposed a multi-layered monopack for still photography, based on the principle of the dye-bleach process which was later elaborated to a practical application with Gasparcolor.

Tinting by application of varnish

Applied colors: Tinting
Very little information is available on this very rare process. Instead of immersion into a dye-bath the positive print was coated uniformly with a varnish. This technique can be identified by the lack on dyes in the perforation area and by the ...

1 Image

Monopack stripping

Subtractive 3 color: Monopack, stripping, still photography
“To offset the possible effects of poor contact between the various members of the tripack, J. H. Smith coated the emulsions directly one on top of the other, but with an insulating layer of collodion between them. In this manner there was ...

1 Image

Pathécolor / Pathéchrome / stencil coloring

Applied colors: Stencil, dyed gelatin
Stencil coloring required the manual cutting, frame by frame, of the area which was to be tinted onto another identical print, one for each color. Usually the number of colors applied ranged from 3 to 6. The process was highly improved by the ...

2265 Images in 73 Galleries

Pinatype / Pinatypie

Subtractive 3 color: Dye transfer, still photography
“In the imbibition process, a dye image is transferred from a gelatin relief image to a receiving layer made either of paper or film. Charles Cros described this method of “hydrotypie” transfer printing in 1880 and suggested it ...

4 Images

Jumeaux/Davidson

Additive 3 color: Prism

2 Images

Krayn

Additive 3 color: Line screen and mosaic, still photography
“Another method of producing a line screen was patented in 1904 by the German Robert Krayn, and was demonstrated by him in November 1907. Krayn stained very thin celluloid sheets red, green and blue, and cemented them interleaved to form a thick ...

7 Images

Bi-pack

Subtractive 2 color: Bi-pack, still photography
A. Gurtner (Eng. P. 7924/03; U.S.P. 730454), used a front element that was sensitive only to the blue, and a rear element that was sensitive up to but not including the red. He was the first person to suggest that the two films or plates be placed ...

1 Image

Unidentified Processes

Various

Photographs of unidentified color film technologies. Several different principles and times. Feel free to contact us if you can help identifying them!

298 Images in 5 Galleries

Lee and Turner

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“Frederick Marshall Lee, of Walton, and Edward Raymond Turner, of Hounslow, to whom is usually accorded the credit of achieving the first practical results in additive projection. Their experimental work was financed by Charles Urban, a ...

16 Images in 1 Gallery

Lascelles Davidson

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“Apparently, associated with W. Friese-Greene, in the same year, Captain William Norman Lascelles-Davidson, also of Brighton, patented a triple lens motion picture camera (E.P. 23,863, 1898). The colour filters revolved either behind the lenses, ...

1 Image

Chromolithography

Applied colors: printing
Widely used in print media around 1900, the chromolithographic printing process was first adapted for the Laterna Magica and then utilized to produce early animated films primarily aimed at children. These films were usually very short ...

119 Images in 3 Galleries

Friese-Greene

Additive 2 or 3 color: Alternately stained

“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.”

112 Images in 2 Galleries

Isensee

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“The first patent that has been found was granted to H. Isensee and he placed in front of the lens, both in taking and projection, a rotary shutter with three 120 degrees sectors in the usual colors.” (Wall, E.J. (1925): The History of ...

2 Images

Theory of three-color photography

Theory

11 Images

Joly

Additive 3 color: Line screen process, still photography
“In 1894 Professor John Joly of Dublin patented a process for producing a screen of red, green and blue-violet lines by ruling them on a gelatin-coated glass plate. Joly used ruling machines of great accuracy, with drawing pens trailed across ...

7 Images