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Old 9th October 2018, 11:19 PM   #1
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Peter Jackson's WW1 film restoration

If this should go somewhere else feel free to move it mods.

Just couldn't think of a place that covered it

Long story short Peter Jackson is a full on buff of the world wars.

He took on the job of restoring all the WW1 film from the Imperial war museum, which has been painstakingly colourised, repaired etc, which he has turned into a documentary which will show from tomorrow and be gifted to every secondary school in the UK.

Pretty amazing clips of it

https://www.itv.com/news/2018-10-09/...w-documentary/




As an aside he and Richard Taylor through their Weta workshop built a free exhibition in our national Museum to honour the Gallipoli anniversary which I have been to and is also amazing.

http://gallipoli.tepapa.govt.nz/about
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:25 AM   #2
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Colourising them is not a part of the restoration.
Just to clarify that a bit.
They restored the film first (so I expect there's a nice restored version somewhere), then they colourised and sorted out the timing issues you get with those old cameras so it would look up to date (within reason).

It's impressive stuff.
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Colourising them is not a part of the restoration.
Just to clarify that a bit.
They restored the film first (so I expect there's a nice restored version somewhere), then they colourised and sorted out the timing issues you get with those old cameras so it would look up to date (within reason).

It's impressive stuff.
Cheers!

Yeah. I actually think the sorting out the jitteriness/speed changes you get with film that age is one of the most impressive bits.

Assume it started out by hand to get behaviors and then they maybe could semi automate it as they went along.
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Old 10th October 2018, 01:38 AM   #4
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Astonishing. There are some clips of the restored B&W footage and that is amazing on its own, added with the colouring and it almost to me makes them seem fake. But that's because I've been brought up with seeing bad quality conversion to video, with all the timing issues and so on. It's the same feeling when I first saw actual colour photographs and films (not colourised) from WW2 and then later on colour photos of WW1.

What a fantastic use of technology.
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Old 10th October 2018, 02:09 AM   #5
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Very impressive, and I had too had the same feeling when I first saw colour footage from WW2. It feels somehow odd - but stunning.
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Old 10th October 2018, 04:16 AM   #6
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Cleaning up and speed-correcting the footage is astonishing in itself. I normally take a very dim view of "colorization," as usually it's not very subtle, and often colour choices are random, but the care with which this has been researched for accuracy is more than commendable. Some of the clips I've seen could be modern re-enactments.
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Old 10th October 2018, 05:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Cleaning up and speed-correcting the footage is astonishing in itself. I normally take a very dim view of "colorization," as usually it's not very subtle, and often colour choices are random, but the care with which this has been researched for accuracy is more than commendable. Some of the clips I've seen could be modern re-enactments.
Don't forget that they had actual colour and texture references to use (from the uniforms that were worn and the equipment used, even down to say the colour of a cigarette box) and also colour photographs shot at the time. I suspect the colourisation is pretty much accurate.
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Old 10th October 2018, 05:26 AM   #8
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They can also get accurate colours from the panchromatic B&W film itself. Real colours mapped to shades of grey when they shot it originally. So reversing that process gives back the original colours. Of course, if the B&W film shifts its grey shades, as old film is wont to do, the colourisation suffers. It takes software to shift the colours to be accurate.

But I, too, am surprised at the result Weta have achieved. Suddenly these boys come back to life...many of them would have died shortly after being filmed...
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Old 10th October 2018, 05:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
They can also get accurate colours from the panchromatic B&W film itself. Real colours mapped to shades of grey when they shot it originally...
I don't understand how that would work. I could see how you would get an indication of colour from comparing pan and non-pan photos of the same scene but I don't see what you can infer from a single picture.
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Old 10th October 2018, 05:52 AM   #10
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As a bit of a WW1 buff (grandfather in it and survived, great uncle killed) I say wow! Very cool and I want to see this.
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Old 10th October 2018, 08:06 AM   #11
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Yeah colorizing always disappointed me when it was first done in the 80’s and when he History Channel did it’s War in Color series, but this seems to have been given some greater effort.
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Old 10th October 2018, 08:18 AM   #12
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Anyway one can watch the documentary in the states?
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Old 10th October 2018, 08:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Don't forget that they had actual colour and texture references to use (from the uniforms that were worn and the equipment used, even down to say the colour of a cigarette box) and also colour photographs shot at the time. I suspect the colourisation is pretty much accurate.
I know the saturation is very low, but it still seems odd, like there's a color strip missing. As long as they used original reference I'm ok with it, rather than have them assigning any old color to each item.
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Old 10th October 2018, 08:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Don't forget that they had actual colour and texture references to use (from the uniforms that were worn and the equipment used, even down to say the colour of a cigarette box) and also colour photographs shot at the time. I suspect the colourisation is pretty much accurate.
Yes, that's what I meant by "research for accuracy." It contrasts with most narrative colourisations where it just seems to be down to the personal choice of whoever is doing the work.
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Old 10th October 2018, 09:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
They can also get accurate colours from the panchromatic B&W film itself. Real colours mapped to shades of grey when they shot it originally. So reversing that process gives back the original colours.
No, I don’t believe that is possible. Information is lost, it’s a one way translation; the monochrome film only records the brightness of the light, the colour information is lost, you cannot go back without extra information.
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But I, too, am surprised at the result Weta have achieved. Suddenly these boys come back to life...many of them would have died shortly after being filmed...
It is indeed remarkable what they’ve done.
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Old 10th October 2018, 12:00 PM   #16
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There is a bit more in the trailer

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


Looks like is only scheduled for release in the UK at the mo'

https://www.theyshallnotgrowold.film/
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Old 10th October 2018, 04:44 PM   #17
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Booked for Tuesday, which includes the Q&A session with Peter Jackson.

I'll let you know what I think.
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Old 10th October 2018, 05:04 PM   #18
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Wow fantastic. I presume that technology can also be used on the silent era films/and every other piece of old movie film to make them less 'jittery' also.
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Old 10th October 2018, 09:59 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Booked for Tuesday, which includes the Q&A session with Peter Jackson.

I'll let you know what I think.
Cool!

Look forward to it

Ask him why he has turned all wimpy and started wearing shoes!
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Old 11th October 2018, 02:00 AM   #20
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Haha. He's being interviewed live by a film critic (Mark Kermode) so we don't get to actually talk. Being streamed to all the cinemas. But if it comes up I'll let you know.
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Old 11th October 2018, 01:56 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Haha. He's being interviewed live by a film critic (Mark Kermode) so we don't get to actually talk. Being streamed to all the cinemas. But if it comes up I'll let you know.
If you do ask a question, I hope you say hello to Jason Isaacs.
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Old 12th October 2018, 10:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Wow fantastic. I presume that technology can also be used on the silent era films/and every other piece of old movie film to make them less 'jittery' also.
Yes it definitely can be using computerized frame interpolation techniques. The problem with those old films is actually two parts. First, most were shot at less than 24 frames per second, which became standardized right around the end of the silent era. 16fps was pretty popular but by no means universal. Displaying 24fps film electronically in a 50Hz country is pretty simple, speed the film up by 4% and then double each frame. In a 60Hz country, a pattern of 3 frames, then 2 is used, introducing some jitter, but its not bad. But, 16fps film will be a weird jittery pattern for either.

The second problem is most cameras were hand cranked. So 16fps is just an approximation by the cameraman, which can change from scene to scene, or even within a scene.
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Old 16th October 2018, 03:04 PM   #23
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Back from the premiere. I'm no film critic, so this is just my feelings.

Basically, the movie is a series of (mainly) bits and pieces of footage. Obviously from the early days of film making, with chunky hand cranked cameras. The improved footage is pretty amazing, without being 'hollywoodised'. It's clear, smooth, and well coloured, but not 'poppy'. Looks very natural, and hard to actually believe that it is old footage. The film begins and ends with some original footage, and the contrast is stunning.
The only dialogue is recorded excerpts from soldiers who were there, which works very well. A good mix of serious, sad and (often quite gallows) humour.

The realism of the footage really brings home the conditions they lived, and died under. Some shots are not for the squeamish.

At the time cameramen stayed behind lines, so there is no footage of actual fighting (just some of them going over the top), but he's used a montage of illustrations from contemporary magazines to go with the dialogue, almost comic strip like. It works, especially once he'd explained the what and why afterwards.

It's a very sobering film.

A highlight, if you can call it that, was seeing the interaction between the soldiers and captured prisoners. You could see very little antagonism, and neither side seemed to have any idea of why they were trying to kill each other, except that they had been ordered to. There is a lot of footage of field hospitals, with British and German medics working on British and German wounded indiscriminately. And the wounded sitting next to each other, no guns or guards. Brings home the pointlessness of war, and the real victims.

The interview was almost a highlight as well. This was obviously a labour of love for Jackson. He explained his motivation (apart from being a history buff, kind of a tribute to his grandfather, injured in the war, and died before he was born.)
Good explanation of what they did, and in very simple terms, how.
The original idea and budget was for 30 minutes. Obviously, both seem to have overrun.
They also restored and respeeded (is that a word?) another 1,000 hours of footage for the IWM. For free.

Bottom line, if you get a chance, see it. And I'm guessing the interview will appear online sooner or later. Also well worth a watch.
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Old 16th October 2018, 04:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Back from the premiere. I'm no film critic, so this is just my feelings.

Basically, the movie is a series of (mainly) bits and pieces of footage. Obviously from the early days of film making, with chunky hand cranked cameras. The improved footage is pretty amazing, without being 'hollywoodised'. It's clear, smooth, and well coloured, but not 'poppy'. Looks very natural, and hard to actually believe that it is old footage. The film begins and ends with some original footage, and the contrast is stunning.
The only dialogue is recorded excerpts from soldiers who were there, which works very well. A good mix of serious, sad and (often quite gallows) humour.

The realism of the footage really brings home the conditions they lived, and died under. Some shots are not for the squeamish.

At the time cameramen stayed behind lines, so there is no footage of actual fighting (just some of them going over the top), but he's used a montage of illustrations from contemporary magazines to go with the dialogue, almost comic strip like. It works, especially once he'd explained the what and why afterwards.

It's a very sobering film.

A highlight, if you can call it that, was seeing the interaction between the soldiers and captured prisoners. You could see very little antagonism, and neither side seemed to have any idea of why they were trying to kill each other, except that they had been ordered to. There is a lot of footage of field hospitals, with British and German medics working on British and German wounded indiscriminately. And the wounded sitting next to each other, no guns or guards. Brings home the pointlessness of war, and the real victims.

The interview was almost a highlight as well. This was obviously a labour of love for Jackson. He explained his motivation (apart from being a history buff, kind of a tribute to his grandfather, injured in the war, and died before he was born.)
Good explanation of what they did, and in very simple terms, how.
The original idea and budget was for 30 minutes. Obviously, both seem to have overrun.
They also restored and respeeded (is that a word?) another 1,000 hours of footage for the IWM. For free.

Bottom line, if you get a chance, see it. And I'm guessing the interview will appear online sooner or later. Also well worth a watch.
Thanks for this! I can't wait.
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Old 16th October 2018, 04:42 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Back from the premiere. I'm no film critic, so this is just my feelings.

Basically, the movie is a series of (mainly) bits and pieces of footage. Obviously from the early days of film making, with chunky hand cranked cameras. The improved footage is pretty amazing, without being 'hollywoodised'. It's clear, smooth, and well coloured, but not 'poppy'. Looks very natural, and hard to actually believe that it is old footage. The film begins and ends with some original footage, and the contrast is stunning.
The only dialogue is recorded excerpts from soldiers who were there, which works very well. A good mix of serious, sad and (often quite gallows) humour.

The realism of the footage really brings home the conditions they lived, and died under. Some shots are not for the squeamish.

At the time cameramen stayed behind lines, so there is no footage of actual fighting (just some of them going over the top), but he's used a montage of illustrations from contemporary magazines to go with the dialogue, almost comic strip like. It works, especially once he'd explained the what and why afterwards.

It's a very sobering film.

A highlight, if you can call it that, was seeing the interaction between the soldiers and captured prisoners. You could see very little antagonism, and neither side seemed to have any idea of why they were trying to kill each other, except that they had been ordered to. There is a lot of footage of field hospitals, with British and German medics working on British and German wounded indiscriminately. And the wounded sitting next to each other, no guns or guards. Brings home the pointlessness of war, and the real victims.

The interview was almost a highlight as well. This was obviously a labour of love for Jackson. He explained his motivation (apart from being a history buff, kind of a tribute to his grandfather, injured in the war, and died before he was born.)
Good explanation of what they did, and in very simple terms, how.
The original idea and budget was for 30 minutes. Obviously, both seem to have overrun.
They also restored and respeeded (is that a word?) another 1,000 hours of footage for the IWM. For free.

Bottom line, if you get a chance, see it. And I'm guessing the interview will appear online sooner or later. Also well worth a watch.
Thanks heaps for that fagin

For someone who confessed to not being a film critic, you should think about getting into it!

Will defo' keep an eye on NZ screenings. (None announced yet)
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Old 16th October 2018, 07:24 PM   #26
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Dang, PJ has put the weight back on and then a bit.
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Old 16th October 2018, 07:30 PM   #27
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It's screening just down the road from me. Sold out before I realised it was on
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Old 17th October 2018, 05:43 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
No, I don’t believe that is possible. Information is lost, it’s a one way translation; the monochrome film only records the brightness of the light, the colour information is lost, you cannot go back without extra information.
Not quite true. Panchromatic film used for B&W film records the differing wavelengths of light as shades of grey as well as intensity. Infra-red film does the same, with the wavelengths shifted down appropriately below the visible range. However not all colour information gets captured this way.

Perfect panchro images can have reasonably decent colour data inferred - not perfect, of course. But degraded images, or images where the tones of the image have shifted (fading, etc.) will indeed make it very hard to infer colours, and certainly with not much hope of accuracy.

Wartime movies from WW1 were only shot for newsreels and did not have a long expected lifetime. So they were not great quality to start with, and have degraded further over time. So really, the only reasonable solution has been to overlay - "paint" - blocks of the images with realistic colour and use only the shading values from the original film.
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Old 17th October 2018, 06:21 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Not quite true. Panchromatic film used for B&W film records the differing wavelengths of light as shades of grey as well as intensity.
"Panchromatic" just means that all wavelengths of visible light are recorded. It doesn't mean they are recorded as unique shades of grey. What distinction are you drawing between shades of grey and intensity? In digital images, greyscales are represented by a single value, giving the brightness; colour images are (usually) three values for red, green and blue.

Quote:
Infra-red film does the same, with the wavelengths shifted down appropriately below the visible range. However not all colour information gets captured this way.

Perfect panchro images can have reasonably decent colour data inferred - not perfect, of course.
That's not what you were claiming originally.
Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
They can also get accurate colours from the panchromatic B&W film itself. Real colours mapped to shades of grey when they shot it originally. So reversing that process gives back the original colours.
I'd like to see some support for this assertion, since I simply don't believe it is possible. Colour to B&W is a many to one mapping; you can't go back.

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Wartime movies from WW1 were only shot for newsreels and did not have a long expected lifetime. So they were not great quality to start with, and have degraded further over time. So really, the only reasonable solution has been to overlay - "paint" - blocks of the images with realistic colour and use only the shading values from the original film.
Unless I'm missing something, even without degraded film, all you have are the 'shading' values. The colour information is not present in the film.
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Old 17th October 2018, 06:42 AM   #30
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Regarding the colour - something I read about the making of the film (and no idea where) was that they found as many actual old things as possible - uniforms, packets, tins etc, and tried to match the colours as accurately as possible.
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Old 17th October 2018, 07:33 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
... Panchromatic film used for B&W film records the differing wavelengths of light as shades of grey as well as intensity...
As zooterkin already asked, what's the difference between "shades of grey" and "intensity"?

If an object registers as a mid-grey, how could you infer whether it was red or green or indeed grey to begin with?
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Old 17th October 2018, 08:48 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
Regarding the colour - something I read about the making of the film (and no idea where) was that they found as many actual old things as possible - uniforms, packets, tins etc, and tried to match the colours as accurately as possible.
They showed some of theat last night in an interview with PJ on the One Show. They had WW1 uniforms and kit etc for colour referencing.

They also did some audio work, including recording the noise a massive WW1 artillery piece made when being wheeled along. The sort of gun that (according to my son) looks like it has bricks attached to its wheels.
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Old 17th October 2018, 08:53 AM   #33
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Yep, he said all the explosions etc were recorded on a range with The NZDF. They put a lot of effort into the various details.

They also used lip readers to work out what soldiers in the footage were saying. Then rounded up some actors from all over the UK to get different dialects and dubbed in some bits of speech. For one part, a reading of some battle plans, they tracked down what they thought they might have been, and read different bits at different speeds until the lip reader was happy that it was the correct dialogue relating to the bit of paper in the film.
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Old 17th October 2018, 11:32 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
"Panchromatic" just means that all wavelengths of visible light are recorded. It doesn't mean they are recorded as unique shades of grey. What distinction are you drawing between shades of grey and intensity? In digital images, greyscales are represented by a single value, giving the brightness; colour images are (usually) three values for red, green and blue.



That's not what you were claiming originally.


I'd like to see some support for this assertion, since I simply don't believe it is possible. Colour to B&W is a many to one mapping; you can't go back.



Unless I'm missing something, even without degraded film, all you have are the 'shading' values. The colour information is not present in the film.

I think you can go back to a certain extent. If you know what the color is suppose to be then you can apply a reverse (of sorts) Bayer Filter to find all the other values of that specific color. This is probably more computer intensive and can only be done at this time because of the more powerful computers available (but I'm only guessing). The old way to colorize was to simply add color in (like placing a color filter over the image) to a B/W scene which resulted in heavy looking colors.
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Old 17th October 2018, 12:05 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
"Panchromatic" just means that all wavelengths of visible light are recorded. It doesn't mean they are recorded as unique shades of grey. What distinction are you drawing between shades of grey and intensity? In digital images, greyscales are represented by a single value, giving the brightness; colour images are (usually) three values for red, green and blue.



That's not what you were claiming originally.


I'd like to see some support for this assertion, since I simply don't believe it is possible. Colour to B&W is a many to one mapping; you can't go back.



Unless I'm missing something, even without degraded film, all you have are the 'shading' values. The colour information is not present in the film.
Was panchromatic film even used in WWI? I'm not real clear on the timing. However, I used to have an old "howto" photography book published by Kodak. As I recall, there were no copyright or publishing dates in it, but based on cameras and film mentioned in it, I'm pretty sure it was published in the 1930's and it talked about panchromatic film like it was a fairly new thing. Also, my understanding is that the innovation in panchromatic film was that it was more sensitive in the red end. Older films mostly registered blue and ultraviolet, so red objects would render black, or at least quite dark, whereas with panchromatic film they would register grey. I also, absent citation to the contrary, don't believe that panchromatic film retains enough information to reconstruct color. If anything, I would think older films might be a bit better in this regard, as you could infer that dark objects might have been red (though they could also have been dark shades of some other color).
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Old 17th October 2018, 12:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Was panchromatic film even used in WWI? I'm not real clear on the timing. However, I used to have an old "howto" photography book published by Kodak. As I recall, there were no copyright or publishing dates in it, but based on cameras and film mentioned in it, I'm pretty sure it was published in the 1930's and it talked about panchromatic film like it was a fairly new thing. Also, my understanding is that the innovation in panchromatic film was that it was more sensitive in the red end. Older films mostly registered blue and ultraviolet, so red objects would render black, or at least quite dark, whereas with panchromatic film they would register grey. I also, absent citation to the contrary, don't believe that panchromatic film retains enough information to reconstruct color. If anything, I would think older films might be a bit better in this regard, as you could infer that dark objects might have been red (though they could also have been dark shades of some other color).
I found this on wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchromatic_film
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Old 17th October 2018, 12:38 PM   #37
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For those in the UK, this is scheduled to be shown on BBC One on Armistice day. No idea if BBC America will show it too. Looking forward to seeing it.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...ed-cinema-run/
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Old 17th October 2018, 01:57 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
I think you can go back to a certain extent. If you know what the color is suppose to be then you can apply a reverse (of sorts)
Which is pretty much what Jackson is doing. But that was not what Norman Alexander is claiming; he's saying it's possible to get back to the original colour just from the B&W information.
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Old 18th October 2018, 07:41 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
That's interesting. So panchromatic film did exist in WW1 but it was a special order item and only started being used for movies in 1918. Clearly that suggests the newsreel stock used in the war would all have been orthochromatic film so everything toward red in colour would need to be lightened to appear in the correct shades.
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Old Yesterday, 01:39 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by The Sparrow View Post
As a bit of a WW1 buff (grandfather in it and survived, great uncle killed) I say wow! Very cool and I want to see this.
I had a great grandfather and his brother in the war...on different sides. My great grandfather came to the US (from Germany) before we entered into it and was told that if he wanted to stay he needed to enlist and go back to work in intelligence.

I thought I heard that they also had lip readers try to recreate what the men are saying in the films.
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