Technicolor

With the development of motion pictures [V] and their popularity during the 1910s and 1920s, many experimenters sought to improve the medium with the development of color photography. From 1926 to 1933, three researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—D. F. Comstock, H. T. Kalmus, and W. B. Westcott—worked on perfecting a system that was finally marketed as Technicolor. The first Technicolor motion picture was a Walt Disney cartoon, Flowers and Trees, released in 1933. Over the next decade, Technicolor became more and more widely adopted, and during World War II some Technicolor newsreels of naval engagements in the Pacific were released.

The Technicolor system uses a special camera in which the light beam is split into three beams, each filmed separately. The red, green, and blue films are each developed separately, along with a fourth, blackand-white film. The four films are then printed into a single film for projection.

Other processes that were less complex than the Technicolor process were introduced in the 1930s. One, developed by Leo Godowsky and Leopold Mannes, two inventive music students in New York, was first developed in 1923 and marketed by Kodak as Kodachrome in 1935. The German Agfa company developed Agfacolor in 1936. Both of these systems were monopack systems in which a single film contained four color-sensitive layers. The negative records the colors in the complementary color—that is, blue is recorded as orange, green is recorded as

purple, and red is recorded as green. The positive prints are made through the use of color filters. In the United States, the MIT-developed Technicolor, despite its complexity, remained the dominant form of color motion pictures.

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