OZ Color restoration and colorization method

  • Film archive footage has an enormous historical value, not only it brings back great historical events, but the past in general.
  • Past represents memory, and memory helps us understand who we are today and what we are.
  • Shooting in black & white, especially for events, documentaries, or news, was the only cost-effective option, except in rare cases, as there was no color film stock available until the late 30s and, to the 60s the cost of color film and lab treatments were unapproachable.
  • Almost a century of black & white film footage around the world is waiting in vaults to be restored and brought back to life with colorization.
  • Documentaries, newsreels, war footage, sports and historical events are the ones that can greatly benefit from being colorized. Keeping the black & white footage accurately restored in its original form for future reference.
  • This also adds great value to archives.
  • No doubt there are black & white untouchable masterpieces, both in films or documentaries that were thought and created to be in black & white only.
  • State of conservation – perforation alteration, joints, frame skips, scratches, deposits, stains, tears, etc.
  • Type of support – original negative, copy, dupe negative, generation level of the print.
  • Shooting issues as: exposure errors, frame rates below 16 fps, critical shooting quality due to archaic cameras as used during WWI.

The HTM approach

  • We, at HTM, invest time and energy in colorization techniques, we improve day by day, along the continuous digital evolution and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • We develop new technologies and proprietary procedures, including our patent pending OZ Color system for innovative colorization and 4K quality restoration.
  • Our aim is having more and more restored and colorized footage inserted in motion pictures, commercials, television features, series and in schools and education initiatives.
  • Finally, we teach young people to the art of colorization and restoration with special trainings courses, to form new professionals for the industry.
  • HTM works in collaboration with Istituto Luce – Cinecittà which has new generation 2K/4K ARRI scanners. The scans are adjusted scene by scene according to the image characteristics.
  • The scene is then treated with our colorization system and restoration, to reach an acceptable first level colorization.
  • The scenes are stabilized and repaired from the most glaring problems.
  • They are also upgraded to 24/25 fps frame rates.
  • In this first level of restoration and colorization is basic, but already gives an idea of how the color is proceeding.
  • Our flagship system, OZ Color is for high level state-of-the-art restoration and colorization that covers the frame’s minor details. Furthermore, the customer, based on his or our minute historical research, can decide to insert specific colors within the scenes as military uniforms, flags, planes, dresses, medals, etc.
  • The process is an accurate restoration that retains the original characteristics of the film stock respecting the “grain”, that textured look of cinematic film grain that gives celluloid film personality, depth of field, and dynamics.
  • This processes, is all 16-bit and in 1: 1 format with respect to scanning 2K or 4K.

Why OZ Color?

  • OZ Color restoration and colorization method use is intended for modern motion pictures that need insert historical footage as an integral part of the feature to interact with the actors.
  • This also applies to famed documentaries restored and colorized to revamp cultural activities and not specifically intended for commercial use.
  • Among the standard processing and OZ Color there may be intermediate accuracy levels.
  • These quality levels can be agreed with the client to face his specific need appropriately. Even after the execution of a basic first level, an upgrade can be decided.
  • At times, this will not jeopardize the work done and can still be cost- effective for the client’s artistic or budget needs.

OZ Color – Data sheet

Image 1 - Standard level
  • Removal of large scratches
  • Framework stabilization
  • Heavily damaged frame reconstruction
  • Optimal removal of stains and spots
  • General colorization with stain elimination
Image 2 - Oz Color level
  • Total removal of stains and scratches
  • OZ Selective Colorization
  • Customized colors matching historical needs
  • Customized framerate interpolation
  • Work-in-progress review with client
  • Totally customized output format
Image 3 - Standard level
Image 4 - Oz Color level
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