Five Scientists Earn Kudos for Developing Kodak Hybrid Technology
Lindsay Arnold, Guy Griffiths, David
Hodson, Charlie Lawrence and David Mann will receive a Scientific and
Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences here on
February 12 for their role in developing the KODAK Cineon Digital Film
The workstation and integrated software were key components of the Cineon
Digital Film System that Kodak introduced in 1992. The system included a
high-resolution film scanner and recorder. The scanner converted analog
images recorded on film into digital files that could be manipulated at
workstations. The recorder was used to transfer the digital picture files
back onto film without compromising image quality.
"It was a revolutionary concept that drew on decades of proprietary KODAK
Color Science, film and hybrid imaging technologies," says Richard Sehlin,
chief technology officer for Kodak's Entertainment Imaging Division. "The
success of this ambitious endeavor required ingenuity, teamwork and the total
dedication of these five outstanding scientists."
Sehlin notes that Kodak announced in 1989 that the company was developing
a digital film system for the motion picture industry. Over the next several
years, many cinematographers, visual effects artists and other professionals
in the postproduction industry participated in focus groups, workshops and
other discussions that helped to define parameters for designing the Cineon
workstation and digital film system. Key features included resolution-independent digital film scanning and recording technologies,
scaleable workstations designed for use in a collaborative environment, and
open systems software that enabled third parties to develop specialized
Kodak opened a digital film center to test the new technology in Burbank,
California, in September 1992. One of the first major applications was the
restoration of the 1937 Walt Disney animated feature SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN
DWARFS. Visual effects practitioners quickly embraced the hybrid technology
because it made it practical and possible for them to create illusions that
were previously beyond their grasp.
These former Kodak scientists accurately predicted that the hybrid system
would also become a commonplace tool for film restoration, and that in the
foreseeable future, digital intermediate technology would be used to produce
entire motion pictures.
"Looking back, that seemed like an impossible dream to many people,"
Sehlin comments. "However, this team of scientists had a clear vision of the
future. They envisioned how the convergence of advances in emulsion and
hybrid technologies would expand the vocabulary of filmmakers. They deserve
this recognition because their work made a profound impact on the art and
craft of filmmaking. Kodak remains dedicated to our commitment to exploring
Although Kodak exited the Cineon hardware/software business in 1997, the
technology remains the foundation for many digital image processing systems in
the motion picture industry today. Additionally, the fundamental imaging
science architecture created by this team of scientists is still the
foundation in many of Kodak's current hybrid products.
Kodak Cineon Digital Film System
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