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What is the workflow between camera negative and relese print?


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#1 Jana Slamova

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 04:39 PM

I know that after developing the camera negative, workprint is created and on this copy is made all the editing, but here my knowledge ends. What is the exact workflow from camera negative to distribution copy, and what kinds of film stock is made during this (I mean Rush print, Answer print, Showprint etc.)? Someone tells me that in the cinema is 3rd or even 4th generation copy of original camera negative...


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 05:51 PM

You're probably asking about pre-digital editing days and pre-D.I. days...

 

First of all, there is the issue as to whether you shoot in a format that allows contact printing through every generation, which means shooting in 4-perf 35mm using one of the sound aperture formats: standard 1.85 : 1 (for matted widescreen projection, aka "flat" prints) using spherical camera lenses or 2.40 : 1 (for anamorphic widescreen projection, aka "scope" prints) using anamorphic camera lenses.

 

And flat prints don't necessarily have to be projected with a 1.85 mask but that is the most common.

 

So assuming a complete photochemical post and contact printing through all generations, you'd shoot in 4-perf 35mm in a sound aperture (i.e. not Super, not Silent, not Full Aperture, or at least, not composed to use those formats).  Sound aperture formats like standard 1.85 and 2.40 anamorphic have the center of the image offset to the right to make room for an optical soundtrack later on the left side of the image when printed.

 

You'd make a contact print onto standard print stock for dailies and for workprint editing.  In 35mm often only circled takes are printed, so the negative after processing has the takes circled on the camera report cut out of the camera rolls and spliced onto a printing roll so that you don't have to print everything.

 

After the workprint is finished and transition shots are marked (fades and dissolves), the negative is sent to a negative cutter who finds all the shots used in the workprint by referring to the keycode / edgecode information and splices together a cut negative.  Fades and dissolves can be done in contact printing using A-B rolls, meaning that the shot to be faded or the B-side of a dissolve is on a second roll.  You should just look up what an A-B roll edited negative looks like because it would take too long here to describe.

 

Or fades and dissolves can be made in an optical printer using dupe elements -- the original negative is copied onto an interpositive (using intermediate duplication stock) and that is loaded in the projector side of the optical printer and then the image is rephotographed through a lens onto a new negative (dupe negative, again using intermediate duplication stock) frame by frame with fades and dissolves added (the dissolve would involve rephotographing one image that is faded out and then rephotographing a second image over that that is faded in). The end result is a dupe negative that is two generations removed from the original negative with the fade or dissolve built into it, which is then cut into the original negative as if it were an original shot.

 

So now you have a cut negative. The color timer runs that through a Hazeltine to determine a set of RGB or YCM printer light values:

http://videofilmsolutions.com/analyzer

http://www.chrischom...ionPictures.pdf

 

And you make a print off of the negative using those printer lights, which is called the First Answer Print

You screen that answer print and the timer makes notes based on the comments of the cinematographer, director, etc. to adjust the three printer lights to make the print darker or lighter, or shift the overall colors in a certain direction (warmer, colder, more magenta, etc.)

 

The timer keeps making answer prints (Second Answer Print, Third Answer Print) until the color and density (brightness) is correct.  Since the negative has been cut onto roughly 1000' rolls (around 10 minutes long) at some point most of these reels will look correctly printed so you may be only reprinting one or two of the reels by the end of color timing.

 

At some point, these prints may also get the optical soundtrack added to them (called then a composite print as well as being an answer print, but the early answer prints are usually silent.)

 

It's certainly possible that the workprint and answer prints and final release prints will all use the same print stock, let's say, Kodak Vision 2383 for example.

 

So the answer print has been approved (I won't go into what is required to make a soundtrack negative) and you have a set of printer lights that will give you a color-timed print that looks the way everyone wants it to look.

 

You could strike prints right off of the negative with a soundtrack on the prints and show that -- often those are called "show prints".  But it is dangerous to make too many prints off of the original negative before any protection copies have been made in case you damage the negative.

 

So after answer printing is done, you'd use those printer light values to create a color-timed copy onto intermediate duplication stock.  Printing a negative onto that stock creates a positive, so this is called the interpositive (I.P.) and it has the orange mask color even through the image is positive, not negative.  That interpositive serves as a protection copy of the negative and it can be used for the final transfer to video for broadcast TV and home video -- being low-contrast like the original negative, the interpositive contains all the information of the negative but has the advantage of being color-timed (so is faster to color-correct for video) and is single-strand (if the original negative was edited into A-B rolls).  It also doesn't have splices that could come apart in a telecine machine.

 

This interpositive is then contact printed (everything I've mention involves contact printing except for any effects created in an optical printer) onto the same intermediate duplication stock, but now this creates a negative copy called the dupe negative. It's sometimes also called an internegative (I.N.) though I think technically that term is meant to describe a negative copy made from a reversal original.

 

From that dupe negative you can make a lot of release prints without risking damage to the original negative.  You can also make multiple dupe negatives and send them to multiple labs if you are ordering thousands of release prints worldwide.  

 

This means that the original negative image went through a number of generations: o-neg --> I.P. --> I.N. --> release print

 

But keep in mind that any optical effects done in an optical printer to create fades, dissolves, freeze-frames, blow-ups, or visual effects that required composite work, etc. already went through multiple generations to create a dupe negative that was then cut into the original negative.  So those effect shots went: o-neg --> I.P. --> I.N. (now cut into the o-neg of the rest of the movie) and then --> I.P. --> I.N. --> release print.

 

I recommend you buy Dominic Case's book:

http://www.amazon.co...ds=dominic case


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#3 Jana Slamova

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:09 AM

Oh my god. This is awesome! Just awesome reply full of interesting informations. I've learned a lot reading this. Thank you so much David, your answers is absolutelly great!! Words cant express how grateful I am :)

 

One last question: Does interpositive, internegative and dupe contain sound? And if yes, does it contain just analogue sound, or also Dolby Digital/SDDS? And what about answer prints/workprints, does them contain DD/SDDS or analogue audio?

 

Thanks again for your reply!!


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:35 AM

Interpositives, internegatives are all silent I believe, but I could be wrong.  An answer print can be silent or have a soundtrack added, whether they'd just add the optical track or also a digital track, I don't know.

 

All this to say that it is a good question -- I believe that sound is printed into each print separately from picture by use of an soundtrack printing negative, even for the new cyan dye soundtracks -- I think a different filter is needed on the printing light for these soundtracks compared to printing the image.  I don't think dupe negatives are shipped to labs with a soundtrack already on them. And I don't know if Dolby Digital is on the same sound negative as the optical soundtrack.  This is where a lab person would have to step in.

 

For example, this is from the Kodak data sheet on 2383 Vision print stock:

 

http://motion.kodak....bition/2383.htm

 

 

2383/3383 Film is also designed for a variable area positive sound track of silver plus magenta dye only, printed from a negative sound track on EASTMAN EXR Sound Recording Film 2378/3378/5378/7378 and KODAK Panchromatic Sound Recording Film 2374. Expose only the top emulsion layer by using a filter pack in the light beam comprised of KODAK WRATTEN Gelatin Filter No.12 plus KODAK Color Compensating Filter 110 Cyan, or by using a filter pack in the light beam comprised of a green dichroic filter (500 nm to 600 nm). The optimum variable area sound track density for the print lies between 0.8 and 1.1 (read at 800 nm). This print density will provide a good compromise between signal-to-noise ratio and frequency response. Determine the density of the sound track negative required to produce optimum print density by using recognized cross-modulation test procedures. This silver plus magenta dye only sound track can be read by both an infrared reader, and a red LED reader, with about the same cross-modulation distortion. Digital sound-on-film soundtracks (e.g. Dolby Digital and SONY SDDS) usually are dye only. Each system vendor provides exposure recommendations and control procedures for optimum performance.
 
 

 


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#5 Thomas Aschenbach

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 07:51 AM

Dupe negatives & IPs do not have a soundtrack. Soundtracks are recorded on a separate B&W soundtrack negative stock. http://motion.kodak...._Films/2378.htm This stock is very high contrast. The soundtrack negative roll has the analog optical track and the digital tracks. The film printers have a separate sound exposure head. For a 35mm print the picture negative roll and soundtrack negative roll are threaded on the printer along with the print stock. The picture, analog optical track, and dolby digital track are exposed separately from each other all in one pass. Even though the analog optical and dolby digital are on the same piece of film they require a different exposure and color balance.


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#6 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 08:49 AM

Whilst this is true of colour negs and interpos, black and white dupe negs and duplicating positives were quite often printed as combined picture and sound.  If the duplicates were for foreign versions to be printed abroad, they were often printed in level sync so that the duplicates could be edited. 

Brian


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#7 Jana Slamova

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 06:19 AM

Very interesting informations and nice reading, many thanks for all contributors! Now I think I completelly understand this!


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#8 Mathew Collins

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 06:22 AM

You're probably asking about pre-digital editing days and pre-D.I. days...

 

First of all, there is the issue as to whether you shoot in a format that allows contact printing through every generation, which means shooting in 4-perf 35mm using one of the sound aperture formats: standard 1.85 : 1 (for matted widescreen projection, aka "flat" prints) using spherical camera lenses or 2.40 : 1 (for anamorphic widescreen projection, aka "scope" prints) using anamorphic camera lenses.

 

And flat prints don't necessarily have to be projected with a 1.85 mask but that is the most common.

 

So assuming a complete photochemical post and contact printing through all generations, you'd shoot in 4-perf 35mm in a sound aperture (i.e. not Super, not Silent, not Full Aperture, or at least, not composed to use those formats).  Sound aperture formats like standard 1.85 and 2.40 anamorphic have the center of the image offset to the right to make room for an optical soundtrack later on the left side of the image when printed.

 

You'd make a contact print onto standard print stock for dailies and for workprint editing.  In 35mm often only circled takes are printed, so the negative after processing has the takes circled on the camera report cut out of the camera rolls and spliced onto a printing roll so that you don't have to print everything.

 

After the workprint is finished and transition shots are marked (fades and dissolves), the negative is sent to a negative cutter who finds all the shots used in the workprint by referring to the keycode / edgecode information and splices together a cut negative.  Fades and dissolves can be done in contact printing using A-B rolls, meaning that the shot to be faded or the B-side of a dissolve is on a second roll.  You should just look up what an A-B roll edited negative looks like because it would take too long here to describe.

 

Or fades and dissolves can be made in an optical printer using dupe elements -- the original negative is copied onto an interpositive (using intermediate duplication stock) and that is loaded in the projector side of the optical printer and then the image is rephotographed through a lens onto a new negative (dupe negative, again using intermediate duplication stock) frame by frame with fades and dissolves added (the dissolve would involve rephotographing one image that is faded out and then rephotographing a second image over that that is faded in). The end result is a dupe negative that is two generations removed from the original negative with the fade or dissolve built into it, which is then cut into the original negative as if it were an original shot.

 

So now you have a cut negative. The color timer runs that through a Hazeltine to determine a set of RGB or YCM printer light values:

http://videofilmsolutions.com/analyzer

http://www.chrischom...ionPictures.pdf

 

And you make a print off of the negative using those printer lights, which is called the First Answer Print

You screen that answer print and the timer makes notes based on the comments of the cinematographer, director, etc. to adjust the three printer lights to make the print darker or lighter, or shift the overall colors in a certain direction (warmer, colder, more magenta, etc.)

 

The timer keeps making answer prints (Second Answer Print, Third Answer Print) until the color and density (brightness) is correct.  Since the negative has been cut onto roughly 1000' rolls (around 10 minutes long) at some point most of these reels will look correctly printed so you may be only reprinting one or two of the reels by the end of color timing.

 

At some point, these prints may also get the optical soundtrack added to them (called then a composite print as well as being an answer print, but the early answer prints are usually silent.)

 

It's certainly possible that the workprint and answer prints and final release prints will all use the same print stock, let's say, Kodak Vision 2383 for example.

 

So the answer print has been approved (I won't go into what is required to make a soundtrack negative) and you have a set of printer lights that will give you a color-timed print that looks the way everyone wants it to look.

 

You could strike prints right off of the negative with a soundtrack on the prints and show that -- often those are called "show prints".  But it is dangerous to make too many prints off of the original negative before any protection copies have been made in case you damage the negative.

 

So after answer printing is done, you'd use those printer light values to create a color-timed copy onto intermediate duplication stock.  Printing a negative onto that stock creates a positive, so this is called the interpositive (I.P.) and it has the orange mask color even through the image is positive, not negative.  That interpositive serves as a protection copy of the negative and it can be used for the final transfer to video for broadcast TV and home video -- being low-contrast like the original negative, the interpositive contains all the information of the negative but has the advantage of being color-timed (so is faster to color-correct for video) and is single-strand (if the original negative was edited into A-B rolls).  It also doesn't have splices that could come apart in a telecine machine.

 

This interpositive is then contact printed (everything I've mention involves contact printing except for any effects created in an optical printer) onto the same intermediate duplication stock, but now this creates a negative copy called the dupe negative. It's sometimes also called an internegative (I.N.) though I think technically that term is meant to describe a negative copy made from a reversal original.

 

From that dupe negative you can make a lot of release prints without risking damage to the original negative.  You can also make multiple dupe negatives and send them to multiple labs if you are ordering thousands of release prints worldwide.  

 

This means that the original negative image went through a number of generations: o-neg --> I.P. --> I.N. --> release print

 

But keep in mind that any optical effects done in an optical printer to create fades, dissolves, freeze-frames, blow-ups, or visual effects that required composite work, etc. already went through multiple generations to create a dupe negative that was then cut into the original negative.  So those effect shots went: o-neg --> I.P. --> I.N. (now cut into the o-neg of the rest of the movie) and then --> I.P. --> I.N. --> release print.

 

I recommend you buy Dominic Case's book:

http://www.amazon.co...ds=dominic case

 

David,

 

Lot of doubts. Please have a look.

 

>so the negative after processing has the takes circled on the camera report cut out of the camera rolls and spliced onto a printing roll so that you don't have to print everything.

Which one 'cut out of the camera rolls'? Original Negative or the Newly-made-contact Print
Is Newly-made-contact Print a copy of Original Negative or a Positive Print(which can be projected as a movie)?


>the original negative is copied onto an interpositive (using intermediate duplication stock)

Is this Copy a duplicate of Original Negative? How this 'interpositive' is differ from IP which created in later stage?

>So now you have a cut negative.

Is this Original Negative cut and joined together with the OK takes?

>The color timer runs that through a Hazeltine to determine a set of RGB or YCM printer light values:

Which copy is used here?


>And you make a print off of the negative using those printer lights, which is called the First Answer Print

Is this a Print which can be projected and viewd(a positive image)?

>You could strike prints right off of the negative with a soundtrack on the prints and show that -- often those are called "show prints".

Is this a print which can be projected and viewd(a positive image)?

>So after answer printing is done, you'd use those printer light values to create a color-timed copy onto intermediate duplication stock.  Printing a negative onto that stock creates a positive, so this is called the interpositive (I.P.)

Is 'interpositive-IP' a duplucate copy of Original Negative?


>At some point, these prints may also get the optical soundtrack added to them (called then a composite print as well as being an answer print, but the early answer prints are usually silent.)

Is this composite print also called 'married print'?


>You could strike prints right off of the negative with a soundtrack on the prints and show that -- often those are called "show prints".
Is this a print which can be projected and viewd(a positive image)?


>to create a dupe negative that was then cut into the original negative.  So those effect shots went: o-neg --> I.P. --> I.N. (now cut into the o-neg of the rest of the movie) and then --> I.P. --> I.N. --> release print.

Could explain this part 'to create a dupe negative that was then cut into the original negative'. So those effect shots went:...?


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:29 AM

This has been bugging me for some times... I've noticed that some film students, particularly from India, use the word "doubts" when they mean "questions".  "Doubts" implies you don't quite trust the answer you got the first time, as in "I doubt that is true."  It suggests uncertainty or suspicion about the fact you were presented. Saying you have "questions" is more neutral in tone.
 
---
 
 

>so the negative after processing has the takes circled on the camera report cut out of the camera rolls and spliced onto a printing roll so that you don't have to print everything.
 
Which one 'cut out of the camera rolls'? Original Negative or the Newly-made-contact Print
Is Newly-made-contact Print a copy of Original Negative or a Positive Print(which can be projected as a movie)?

 

The camera rolls are the original negative, so when I said "cut out of the camera rolls" I mean that the original negative was cut, and the circled take shots extracted are spliced together to create a printing roll, which is then printed.  As opposed to just printing the entire camera negative roll.  This is why you can't get circled takes printed separately if you shoot in 16mm, they don't want to cut up the negative yet.

 
 

 

  >the original negative is copied onto an interpositive (using intermediate duplication stock)
 
Is this Copy a duplicate of Original Negative? How this 'interpositive' is differ from IP which created in later stage?
 
No, when you copy (by which I mean expose onto the duplicating stock) the negative, you end up with an Interpositive (also called the I.P. for short).  Keep in mind that all films stocks, including print stocks, are "negative" stocks by which I mean they always produce a generation where all the densities are the opposite -- clearest areas become the denser areas, dense areas become clear, etc.  So the next generation copy after a negative is a positive and the next generation of that positive becomes a negative.  So the difference between a projection print off of a negative versus an interpositive (I.P.) off of a negative is that an I.P. has the same contrast as the negative (very flat) and has that same orange color mask as a negative.  
 
The only stocks where the next generation doesn't reverse the image in density are reversal stocks (i.e. slide film) because some point in the processing, the densities get reversed.
 
The stock used to make interpositives and dupe negatives is the same, the only thing that makes the image positive or negative just depends on the previous generation -- you copy a negative onto the stock and you get an interpositive; you copy an interpositive onto the same stock and you get a dupe negative.
 

 

  >So now you have a cut negative.
 
Is this Original Negative cut and joined together with the OK takes?
 
Yes, the cut negative is also called a conformed negative, meaning the cuts conform to the offline edit of the movie.
 

 

  >The color timer runs that through a Hazeltine to determine a set of RGB or YCM printer light values:
 
Which copy is used here?
 
I just said that the cut negative is used, that's what "that" refers to.
 

 

  >And you make a print off of the negative using those printer lights, which is called the First Answer Print
 
Is this a Print which can be projected and viewd(a positive image)?
 
Generally that's the definition of a print.  The only prints which aren't meant to be projected are "low-contrast" prints intended for video transfer, but Kodak doesn't make that stock anymore.
 

 

  >You could strike prints right off of the negative with a soundtrack on the prints and show that -- often those are called "show prints".
 
Is this a print which can be projected and viewd(a positive image)?
 
As I said, that's what a print is.
 

 

  >So after answer printing is done, you'd use those printer light values to create a color-timed copy onto intermediate duplication stock.  Printing a negative onto that stock creates a positive, so this is called the interpositive (I.P.)
 
Is 'interpositive-IP' a duplucate copy of Original Negative?
 
Yes, it is a copy of the negative that is positive but unlike a print, it is low-contrast with an orange color mask.
 

 

  >At some point, these prints may also get the optical soundtrack added to them (called then a composite print as well as being an answer print, but the early answer prints are usually silent.)
 
Is this composite print also called 'married print'?
 
I think so, I don't use that term but I don't work in a lab.
 

 

  >You could strike prints right off of the negative with a soundtrack on the prints and show that -- often those are called "show prints".
 
Is this a print which can be projected and viewd(a positive image)?
  
 
That's the third time you've asked what a print is.
 
[quote]>to create a dupe negative that was then cut into the original negative.  So those effect shots went: o-neg --> I.P. --> I.N. (now cut into the o-neg of the rest of the movie) and then --> I.P. --> I.N. --> release print.
 
Could explain this part 'to create a dupe negative that was then cut into the original negative'. So those effect shots went:...?
 
In the pre-D.I. days, any visual effects shot or transitional effect had to end up / be delivered as a negative element so that it can be cut into the original negative, so that it can all be printed together.
 
Generally the original footage used to create the visual effect is shot on camera negative film stock.  The extra elements meant to be composited over that image were also shot on camera negative stock.  So you have these separate pieces of film shot on camera negative stock that have to be composited over each other using hold-out mattes and whatnot, using an optical printer.  So you first make an interpositive off of these negatives, and that interpositive goes into the projector side of the optical printer and then is copied onto the camera side of the optical printer onto the same duplicating stock, now creating a negative image, hence "dupe negative".  You expose all the different elements onto this dupe negative and then get it processed so you end up with a finished effect that can then be cut into the non-effects negative rolls in the conformed or cut negative.
 
So in the cut negative, you have original camera negative (non-vfx) and dupe negatives (vfx, optical printer fades & dissolves too).
 
That cut negative gets an interpositive made from it, then a dupe negative made from that interpositive, and then release prints made from that dupe negative. So the vfx shots went through more generations than the non-vfx shots.

 


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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:36 AM

My quote formatting got off at some point and the editor doesn't seem like allow you do redo them, so I apologize.


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#11 Mathew Collins

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 09:33 AM

David,

 

There are no 'doubts' about the knowledge being shared here.

 

Here after no more doubts, instead questions.

 

Many thanks for the bunch of knowledge shared here.


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#12 Mathew Collins

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:38 AM

David,

 

One question I forgot to ask, When do the orange color mask is removed from the film?


Edited by Mathew Collins, 01 January 2016 - 06:39 AM.

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#13 Mark Dunn

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:59 AM

 

 

One question I forgot to ask, When do the orange color mask is removed from the film?

It isn't.
Just look at any strip of colour negative film.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 01 January 2016 - 07:00 AM.

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#14 Mathew Collins

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 07:47 AM

It isn't.
Just look at any strip of colour negative film.

 

Is Orange color mask not removed from positive print or negative copy during the work flow?

 

Not from the release print as well?


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#15 Jay Young

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 08:41 AM

Inter-generation stock (Inter Positive/ Inter Negative) is different from the print stock.

 

From the Kodak:

 

KODAK VISION Color Print Film / 2383/3383 raw stock has the familiar blue-purple emulsion color of print film, similar to EASTMAN EXR Color Print Film 2386, 3386

 


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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:16 AM

The orange color mask is in the camera negative, the interpositive, and the dupe negative -- it allows the colors in the print made from a negative or dupe negative to be more accurate.  So it is not "removed", it's just that the print stock is designed to compensate for the color mask in the negative or dupe negative.  I could say that the print stock "corrects out" the color mask in the negative but in truth the color mask helps get better color reproduction so I don't think the word "correct out" is correct.


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#17 Mathew Collins

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 10:00 PM

The orange color mask is in the camera negative, the interpositive, and the dupe negative -- it allows the colors in the print made from a negative or dupe negative to be more accurate.  So it is not "removed", it's just that the print stock is designed to compensate for the color mask in the negative or dupe negative.  I could say that the print stock "corrects out" the color mask in the negative but in truth the color mask helps get better color reproduction so I don't think the word "correct out" is correct.

 

Thank you David.


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