Information about the New Online Sensitometry
U.S.Patent No, 6,849,366 granted on 1st Feb.2005.
U.S.Patent No, 7,254,324 granted on 7th Aug. 2007.
Mr.Ujwal Narayan Nirgudkar, Technical Director, Patel India Distributors Pvt.Ltd., Mumbai (All India Distributors for FUJIFILM Motion Picture & Data Media Products) was granted a U.S.Patents (Patent No. 6,849,366 issued on 1st Feb.2005 & Patent No. 7,254,324 issued on 7th Aug.2007) for his innovative technology about Online Quality Control of Motion Picture Film Processing.
For the first time a U.S.Patent about Motion Picture Technology is granted to a resident of India. This new technology will bring down the cost of quality control & will be very much helpful for the Cinematographers, Motion Picture Laboratories, Image calibrations, Film to Digital & Digital to Film transfers, throughout the world.
Mr. Nirgudkar first presented this technology at the annual International technical conference of S.M.P.T.E. (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers) held at Pasadena in Oct.2002.
He has incorporated his own company “Alfa Imaging Systems Pvt. Ltd.” to promote this technology
Benefits to the Cinematographers
1) The current process of quality control of Motion Picture Film Processing uses separate control strips of films (sometimes referred to as gammas) and is offline. It tells you the condition of film processing for a particular control strip when that particular control strip is getting processed.
It does not tell you the actual condition of film processing when the camera negatives are getting processed. This can lead to dispute between the Cinematographer & the Laboratory about who went wrong when problems are reported after the negative processing.
It is difficult to find out what was the actual condition of Negative processing & a proof of processing conditions is not available on the processed negatives.
With this new system Sensitometric wedge will be made available between the perforations (An area which does not get exposed in the camera). When this wedge gets processed it can compare the processing of particular Negatives with standard processing condition. This comparison is always available on the Negatives opposite the bar code.
If the problem has occurred in camera exposure the New Sensitometric wedge will show standard conditions.
If problem has occurred in the Negative processing BOTH New Sensitometric wedge & Camera exposure values will change to higher or lower than the standard depending on processing conditions.
The main aim of this New Sensitometric system is not to accuse anybody for mistakes but to correct them at the earliest to save further damages to the processed Negatives.
Since the new Sensitometry data will be available Online as the negatives come out of the Dry box, corrective action can be taken automatically & much faster than the existing system.
2) Whenever Cinematographers instruct the Labs to do PUSH or PULL Processing, the current method does not tell you whether the instructions were actually followed by the Lab or not. The New Sensitometric wedge will tell you exactly - quantitatively- how many stops the Negative was Pushed or Pulled during the processing.
Benefits for the Laboratories.
- Quality control of Processed negative & Positive will be available Online thereby increasing Sample Frequencies & Accuracy.
- The Quality control of Film Processing will be a by default & NOT by the choice of Lab. Chemist.
- Whenever copies of One Particular movie are made at Different locations Worldwide &also on Different Processing Machine at one Particular Location, availability of Online Sensitometric data will ensure that exactly the same grade of Processing is being done thought the world.
- This online Sensitometric data can be brought to one particular location in the world (e.g. Hollywood) using networks. This data can be in the form of graphs, telling you at what conditions he positive film processing is being done. This is very useful for big worldwide labs like TECHNICOLOR & DELUXE.
Benefits for the Film Archives.
This new Sensitometry will also tell you about losses in different color layers over a period of time, as we can measure the new Sensitometric wedge immediately after processing & compare the readings taken over a period of time with this. Hence accurate color corrections can be made while making prints from old Negatives also for transferring them to Digital Media.
Benefits for the Digital Intermediate Process .
Calibration Procedure between Laser Recorders & Laboratory processing is made much simpler.
Color corrections can automatically take care of the processing variations .No need to record the D.I. again for processing changes.
This technology was presented at the Hollywood Post Alliance Conference in Feb-2009 & was appreciated.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who will put the New Sensitometric data on the film?
- For Original Picture Negatives, the Film Manufacture will put the data on the film.
- For Positive Film, the Film Laboratories are capable of putting the data on the film.
- For Digital Intermediates, the data can be put while recording the film using a laser recorder in the DI facility OR by the Film Manufacturer.
- Who will benefit the most?
- The Cinematographers
- The Film Laboratories.
- The Film Producers.
- The New Scanner manufacturer.
- Who will invest in the Technology
- Film Manufacturer
- Film Processing Laboratory
- The New Scanner Manufacturer.
4) xxWhat is the current status of the Technology
The prototype is ready, a leading software supplier is ready to modify their software to support this technology.
The technology was selected for presentation at the Hollywood Post Alliance conference in Feb-2009 & was well received.
5)xx Why they should invest & how will they get return on investment.
- Film Manufacturer is adding value to his product, he can charge fraction of a cent per foot for this added value, & he can get his profits from the same.
- Film processing Laboratory will have a Unique Selling Point because of the added technology.
The Laboratory will also save the cost of separate control strips, which will be a huge saving.
Because of perfect calibration there will also be saving in the positive raw stock.
Online worldwide quality control for Positive Film Processing will be possible for the first time thereby saving labor cost & time & also wastage of Positive raw stock.
The Digital Intermediate quality will be good for the Laboratories because of perfect calibration between the Lab & the DI facility,
- The New scanner manufacturer will sell more scanners worldwide & make
6) Are you ready to work with ONLY One Company on exclusive basis?
Yes. Provided they are ready to pay for the exclusive use of technology.
7) What are your expectations?
- To work on the Technology with the Lab who is signing the contract.
- To get some fixed initial compensation for licensing the technology.
- To get royalty on the basis of footage processed.
8) More & More Films will be recorded & distributed Digitally in Future, How does this Technology helps Digital Imaging?
Film is still the cheapest & best media for archival purposes.
A Color Negative film with polyester base has an expected life span of 100 years.
A Black & White Negative film with polyester base has an expected life span of 500 years.
The technology will help Film to Digital & Digital to Film transfers, which is a growing business, as it can streamline the calibration procedures.
This technology has the potential to become an Industry Standard for the entire world.
This technology has been selected by IIM Ahmedabad & Government of India, Dept.of Science & Technology as one of the Top 3 technologies from India & will also get funds for further development.