Designing Scan-only Films for TV and DI
With the growing popularity of digital intermediate in the feature film market and the continuing development of improved telecine technologies for television, the notion of traditional camera origination film design optimized around optical printing is radically challenged. In scan-only film systems, a very different approach is taken to sensitometric curve design. Rather than focusing on tonal characteristics which yield acceptable and preferred results for overall contrast, grayscale neutrality, and shadow and highlight detail in an optical printing paradigm, the film curves must instead be drawn to optimize the quality of signal provided to the digitization step in the film scanner. Further, standard constructs of color reproduction are also open for modification as the film’s spectral sensitivity and color-enhancing chemistries are modified to better mesh with digital color processing capabilities.
Designing Scan-only Camera Origination Films
“Designing Camera Origination Films for Scan-Only Applications in Television and Digital Intermediate,” Motion Imaging Journal, April 2006
This is an excerpt from the document below published originally in SMPTE's Motion Imaging Journal - the figure illustrates traditional dynamic range limitations in film scanning systems