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Question re: combing black-and-white separation masters... (1 Viewer)


Senior HTF Member
Sep 13, 2003
- make that COMBINING black-and-white separation masters to create a new pre-print element (I wish you could edit topic headlines here)...

I'm not sure if this is feasible, but it's something I've been wondering. I know from reading a lot about color film restoration (mostly stuff regarding the work you've done and quotes from you) that it's the yellow layer that fades first on color negative, and when the yellow layer is gone, one has to go to the black-and-white separation masters and recombine them optically (or nowadays, digitally), which is what you of course did in order to restore SPARTACUS. My question is, if you have a set of black-and-white separation masters, and a negative with a faded yellow layer but largely intact cyan and magenta layers, could you combine just the yellow separation master with the faded negative and create a new, printable element with good color? I was wondering this because I figured it would be easier to match up two elements instead of three, plus I'd imagine you'd get better results if you were using the original negative as the cyan-and-magenta record over two black-and-white elements that are optically printed. Is it possible to do this- combine original negative with a faded yellow layer with the black-and-white yellow separation record- or do you have to use the three black-and-white seps?


Jack Theakston

Supporting Actor
Aug 3, 2003
New York
Real Name
Jack Theakston
Technically, the same could be said for a print, as what has faded is complementary to what has faded on the negative, theoretically.

However, the cyan and magenta layers also fade, albeit not at as rapid a rate as the yellow layer. In theory, if only the yellow layer fades, a hybrid that you're talking about would work, but that's not exactly what happens.

If you're in a dime, you're in a dollar for optical printing (which can be up to three times more expensive), and you might as well get the full use out of the seps if they are in printable condition.

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