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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2012
    Location: Budapest
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    Hello!

    HOW is it possible to make color film from a B & W silent movie? (like BBC)

    What is the name of their software?


    Thank you for your reply!
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2001
    Location: Yank in Europe
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    Go away.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: Freedonia
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    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/357009-Present-state-of-play-with-B-W-conversion-to...t=colorization

    http://www.orsonwelles.co.uk/colorization.htm (also linked to late in the thread above)

    Maybe Cornucopia knows the name of the software used and perhaps he will post in this thread.
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  4. Originally Posted by Stears555 View Post
    HOW is it possible to make color film from a B & W silent movie? (like BBC)
    They paint the by hand. And use motion tracking software so they don't have to paint every frame. There's no magic "convert this B/W video to color" software.
    Last edited by jagabo; 20th Dec 2013 at 10:48.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2004
    Location: UK
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    Originally Posted by Stears555 View Post
    HOW is it possible to make color film from a B & W silent movie? (like BBC)

    What is the name of their software?

    http://babelcolour.com/
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Dec 2007
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by Stears555 View Post
    HOW is it possible to make color film from a B & W silent movie? (like BBC)
    They paint the by hand. And use motion tracking software so they don't have to paint every frame. There's no magic "convert this B/W video to color" software.
    Since the OP said "like BBC", I wonder if he/she is referring to Chroma Dot Recovery? If so, then this person has a few things wrong:

    Chroma Dot Recovery is a tool they use to recover colour information in telerecordings/kinescopes of shows that were produced on videotape (not film) and which were originally made (and broadcast) in colour, so this piece of software cannot be used "make" colour on a "B/W silent films".

    This process does not "invent" colour that was never in the footage in the first place. Rather, it reads the chroma dots in the telerecording (which were supposed to have been filtered-out back in they day, but more often that not weren't, because the technician forgot to flip the switch) so it can "read" the value of those dots and estimate what colours they represented.

    Even if a show was originally broadcast in colour, if the technician properly filtered-out those chroma dots during the telercording process (as was done with episode 1 of Doctor Who: Mind of Evil), then this process can't work. It can only work if there are chroma dots crawling around the picture.

    The results of this process aren't 100% perfect, and they're very dependent on how good the telerecording was. The pilot episode of Are You Being Served, for instance, was "colour-recovered" in this manner, and didn't have much else in the way of colour restoration work done to it. In contrast, the B/W episode 1 of Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs also used this colourisation method exclusively, and the results were considered a bit below par (the B/W version was made the default on the DVD) due to the film print not being as good.

    The B/W episode 3 of Doctor Who: Planet of the Daleks, however, combined this method with old-fashioned colourisation. For some scenes, the chroma dot recovery was used. For others, the hand-colourisation was used instead and I think they might have even combined methods for some scenes.

    So, long story short, there is something that can "restore" colour (but is not in the hands of consumers) to certain B/W telerecordings/kinescopes of shows originally made in colour, but none that can automatically add colour to something that wasn't colour to start with.

    I don't know if the US process of making kinescopes was the same as the UK's telerecording process (i.e. if chroma dots would exist in those kinescopes), but if they did, there would be some instances were there'd be a good commercial use for such a tool Stateside (MPI would probably be interested in restoring the colour to the several B/W kinescopes of Dark Shadows, for instance, along with LiveFeed to restore the shot-on-tape look).
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  7. Ask Segundo de Chomón, he is quite good at this.
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