View Full Version : (digital) film lab work-flow

01 January 2005, 09:12 AM
Does someone of you know the entire process - based on some experience - from filming something with a film camera, making intermediates, scanning, color correction and burning back to film? could you describe it?

What kind of machines are used for (chemical)processing the negative films?

Wich kind of machine would give better results in scanning, in a quality sense of meaning, a telecine or a film-scanner and how big is the difference?

02 February 2005, 05:22 AM
I have no experience, but I have read a few things on this.

I image the process would be maybe as follows.

1. Develop the negative.
2. Depending on what you want, you would either get a daily print for review or if it's possible a digital scan of it.
3. Then you would most likely just get the film scanned for editing, then you could post it, color match it, add your effects, titles, and edit it, say on an Avid.
4. Then laser it it back out to film.

here is a big producer of film scanners

here is a quick example of a company that process film and gives you a daily video or DVD

I would image, I don't know, that a film scanner would be better and or faster than telecine machine.

but all this is WAY out of my budget, so I have no first hand experience. look into

try looking into back issues of American Cinematographer

there is a lot info on processes of film making including lab information like you want to know about.

mJR (

02 February 2005, 10:54 PM
OK here goes:

1. film on negative / record sound on DAT
2. get film processed
3. transfer film to tape usually with TC and keycode visible in the picture. This would be a one-light transfer ie. no major colour grading. Sound from DAT get layed down on the same tape in synch.
4. edit film in edit suite on video
5. export EDL / play out version for sound studio
6. scan film in high res - usually 2k / sound edit and mix
7. 2k data is conformed and graded in a 2k finnishing system such as Nucoda or Discreets Lustre - conforming is simmilar to onlining where the highres files are automatically put in the right sequence acording to the EDL
8. 2k data gets rendered and printed to film.
9. resulting negative gets colour timed
10. sound negative gets printed
11.picture negative and sound negative get printed on positive film.
12. projection time

A telecine is a film scanner - both scan or transfer film.

The machines used for processing are quite a bit larger than the ones you would find at you photo lab. they handle a few thousand feet an hour.

Regards, Peter

02 February 2005, 01:34 AM
Thanks for that! I didn't know what a telecine was! And I'll probably need to work with them sooner or later. And thanks for the neat explanation.


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