Subtractive 2 color: Line screen filter, duplitized film stock
”The process as illustrated in USP 1431309 was a two-color additive process, but it is stated that it could be a three- or four-color process. For the original photography, the negative was exposed through a line screen composed of alternate bands ...
  • Ryan_Kesdacolor_fig11

1 Image

Prizma I

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“The color experiments were conducted in the basement of a house at 1586 E. Seventeenth St., Brooklyn, N. Y. During this time a double-coated stock and a bleach formula which had much to do with the success of the later Prizma process were ...

Prizma II

Subtractive 2 color: Toning on double coated film
  • Prizma_burroughs_02_GEH

195 Images in 12 Galleries


Additive 4 color: Rotary filter
”Kelley’s first color process was a four-color additive system introduced in 1913. Called Panchromotion, Kelley formed a company which would exploit the process commercially and, he hoped, provide strong competition for Kinemacolor. He apparently ...
  • Steinbacher (2013)

2 Images


Subtractive 2 color: Dye transfer
“In 1919 Kelley produced a series of coloured cartoons which were drawn by Pinto Colvig. In 1924 he introduced “Kelleycolor,” which was an imbibition process. Two colours were imbibed on a black-and-white key image. In 1926 he ...
  • GEH_OldFamilyToothbrush_2.jpg

1 Image

Cinecolor subtractive 2 color

Subtractive 2 color: Bi-pack, duplitized film
  • Prehistoric Women (1951)

60 Images in 7 Galleries

Lascelles Davidson

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“Apparently, associated with W. Friese-Greene, in the same year, Captain William Norman Lascelles-Davidson, also of Brighton, patented a triple lens motion picture camera (E.P. 23,863, 1898). The colour filters revolved either behind the lenses, ...
  • LascellesDavidson_EP13468

1 Image


Additive 2 color: Alternately stained images
“Inevitably, the success of Kinemacolor led to the appearance of imitations. One company, Friese Greene Patents Ltd had been formed in 1908 to exploit several patents, mostly impractical, filed by Friese Greene. From this came a new company, ...
  • Coe (1981)

18 Images in 1 Gallery


Additive 3 color: Alternately stained
“In 1898 William Friese-Greene, a professional portrait photographer by trade, demonstrated in London “the first process of true natural-color cinematography.” His program consisted of “a series of animated natural-color pictures,” and ...
  • Friese-Greene Reflection

112 Images in 2 Galleries

Agfacolor Neu / Agfacolor

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack, reversal (from 1936), negative/positive process (from 1939)
“The New Agfacolor Process; Agfa Ansco Corp., Binghamton, N. Y. A survey of the history of monopack or multilayer photographic color processes is given, including the coloring methods of greatest importance at the present time. These are: (a) ...
  • Opfergang (1944) Magnification

226 Images in 9 Galleries


Subtractive 3 color: Color separation, multicolor dye images
  • Pénichon (2013)

6 Images

Agfacolor Positiv Typ 5

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack
  • BruneAbb2_S.356

1 Image

Trichromatic vision

Theory: Color vision
Theory of trichromatic vision proposed by Thomas Young.

Technicolor No. VI: Dye-transfer prints from enhanced process

Subtractive 3 color: dye transfer
In 1994, Technicolor announced the development of an enhanced dye-transfer process. This process became effective in  June 1997. There was no official denomination, so “Technicolor No. VI” is not to be confused with statements from the mid ...


Subtractive 3 color: Multi-layer printing
  • Mannoni_zoechrome_1930.jpg

16 Images in 1 Gallery


Additive 3 color: Double-sized film, rotary filter

Chromogenic film stock

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack


Additive 2 color: Bi-pack, half-size


Additive 3 color: Beam-splitter, substandard
  • Cornwell_Clyne_CP1951_Dugromacolorfig1.jpg

1 Image


Additive 3 color: Prism
“R. Berthon and M. Audibert patented a method of obtaining a virtual image by means of an anterior lens and prisms or mirrors. This idea was further improved upon in E.P. 17,023, 1913. In F.P. 458,040 Audibert proposed to use a negative front lens ...
  • Mannoni_Audibert_film_lumière_trichrome_1911

2 Images

Berthon-Siemens / Siemens-Berthon / Siemens-Perutz-Verfahren / Opticolor

Additive 3 color: Lenticular screen
  • Steinbacher (2013)

5 Images


Additive 3 color: Lenticular screen
“R. Berthon patented the use of a lens diaphragm with three apertures, covered respectively with red, green and blue-violet filters, and a sensitive surface on a support, the other side of which was impressed with hemi-spherical, transparent, ...
  • Steinbacher (2013)

4 Images

Mordant toning / dye toning

Applied colors: Silver replacement by mordanting
Mordant toning or dye toning is a special case of toning whereby the silver image is replaced by colored compounds. Soluble dyes attach to a colorless (silver ferrocyanide) or nearly colorless (silver iodide) silver salt obtained by bleaching. Dye ...
  • Pathé Manual (1926)

132 Images in 5 Galleries


Additive 3 color: Line screen and mosaic, still photography
“Another method of producing a line screen was patented in 1904 by the German Robert Krayn, and was demonstrated by him in November 1907. Krayn stained very thin celluloid sheets red, green and blue, and cemented them interleaved to form a thick ...
  • Coe (1981)

7 Images


Additive 3 color: 4 images on 65 mm
  • Steinbacher (2013)

2 Images

Lenticular Screen

Additive 3 color: Lenticular screen
“Every element of a cross-lined screen acts as a pinhole camera, and reproduces an image of the aperture of the objective in whose rear focal plane it is placed. Thus, when using a square stop, the dots in the halftone produced will be square ...
  • Steinbacher Ede Lenticular Scheme

4 Images

Chromogenic development

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic development

Silver dye-bleach

Subtractive 3 color: Dye-bleach
“Probably the first use of the catalytic property of silver was in 1889, when E. Howard Farmer disclosed the action of a silver image upon strong dichromate solutions (Eng. P. 17773/89). When a plate or film, containing a silver image, is immersed ...


Subtractive 3 color: Beam-splitter, double-coated film, mordant toning
  • Cornwell_Clyne_CP1951_Chimicolorfig226.jpg

2 Images


Additive 2 color: Alternately stained
“Talkicolor (1929-37) Two-colour additive process Talkicolor was developed by Percy James Pearce along with Dr Anthony Bernardi who was also involved in the development of Raycol. The process was funded mainly by the author Elinor ...
  • Knowing Men (1930)

3 Images in 1 Gallery


Subtractive 2 or 3 color: Perforated mirror as beam-splitter, duplitized film
“The Brewster Process. (U.S.P. 1,752,477. 1930-) Camera. – P. D. Brewster, an American inventor, who was one of the first to apply the bipack system to colour cinematography, has a number of patents to his credit covering various cameras and ...
  • Pritchard_BrewsterColordyes

15 Images in 1 Gallery


Subtractive 2 color: Perforated mirror as beam-splitter, duplitized film
“Following the premises of one of William Friese-Greene’s systems, this two-colour subtractive process required that two reels of film be printed in parallel through a lens fitted with a prism that split light in two directions, through red ...

Russian three-color process

Subtractive three color
  • Soviet3_testament1

6 Images


Additive 3 color: Prism
  • Pfenninger_1905_Wall_1925_fig159

1 Image


Additive 2 color: Beam-splitter, sub-standard vertical
  • Steinbacher (2013)

2 Images


Additive 2 color: Beam-splitter, double-coated
  • Steinbacher (2013)

2 Images

Tinting by application of varnish

Applied colors: Tinting
Very little information is available on this very rare process. Instead of immersion into a dye-bath the positive print was coated uniformly with a varnish. This technique can be identified by the lack on dyes in the perforation area and by the ...
  • CherchiUsai_TintingVarnished_1905.jpg

1 Image

Russian two-color system

Subtractive two color
  • Russian_TwoColor_Mayorov

1 Image


Subtractive 3 color: Color separation, multilayer print
  • Koshofer

2 Images

Handschiegl / DeMille-Wyckoff / Wyckoff Process

Applied color: Imbibition
Similar to stenciling, the Handschiegl process was applied mechanically to manually defined image parts. Therefore it is an applied color process. After the film was shot and edited, for each color applied a separate print was made. In contrast to ...
  • Lights of Old Broadway

28 Images in 3 Galleries


Subtractive 2 color: Bi-pack, double-coated
“Harmonicoior was developed by French chemist Maurice Combes. It was first formally demonstrated in London by Harmonicoior Films Ltd, of 4 Great Winchester Street, on the 23 March 1936 at the Curzon Soho with the film Talking Hands, produced at ...


Addtive 3 color: Beam-splitter, mosaic screen, 65 mm
  • Mannoni_Audibert_trichrome_63mm.jpg

3 Images


Additive 3 color: Beam-splitter, 65 mm negative
  • CoeMovie_Horst_121.jpg

4 Images in 1 Gallery


Subtractive 2 color: Beam-splitter, double-coated
“The Dutch Sirius Color process (1929) used a camera with a beamsplitting system behind the lens to expose a single film, the film passing through two gates at right angles to each other. The double-coated print film was dye-toned. The process ...
  • Photomicrograph

118 Images in 2 Galleries

Rouxcolor 2 color / Cineoptichrome

Additive 2 color: Beam-splitter
  • cornwell_clyne_cineoptichrome.jpg

2 Images


Additive 3 color: Line screen (réseau), 35 mm and 16 mm, reversal and negative-positive stock
Dufaycolor was a regular mosaic screen process whereby the incident light was filtered through a pattern of tiny color patches in red, green and blue, the so called réseau. When viewed from an appropriate distance, the pattern fused in the eye of ...
  • A Colour Box (1935)

175 Images in 6 Galleries


Additive 3 color: Line screen (réseau), 35 mm reversal
For a description of Spicer-Dufay see detail page on Dufaycolor)
  • Eggert (1932)

12 Images in 1 Gallery

Dufaycolor reversal

Additive 3 color: Line screen (réseau), 16 mm, reversal
(see detail page on Dufaycolor)


Additive 3 color: Line screen plate, still photography
“The most successful of all the screen processes was the one initiated by Louis Dufay. Today the product is known as Dufaycolor, but it was first introduced about 1910 as the Dioptichrome plate. The first Dufay patents were assigned to an ...

Dufay / Dioptichrome Plate (sometimes incorrectly referenced as Dioptochrome)

Additive 2-4 color: Line screen plate (réseau), still photography and early experiments with film
(see detail page on Dufaycolor)
  • Coote (1993)

10 Images

Proposal of a variety of processes of three-color photography

Theory: still photography
“Louis Ducos du Hauron is reported to have become interested in the reproduction of colors by photography in 1859, when he was twentyone years old (Potonniée, 1939). In 1862 he submitted to a friend of his family, M. Lelut, a paper embodying ...
  • Coote (1993)

2 Images

Kodachrome reversal

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack, reversal, 16 mm
“In the early 1920s two young Harvard graduates were experimenting with the preparation of colour plates. Both were accomplished professional musicians: Leopold Mannes, a pianist, and Leo Godowsky, Jr., a violinist. One of their early ...
  • Koshofer

30 Images in 1 Gallery

Telco Color, additive 2 color

Additive 2 color: Split optics, side by side

Telco color subtractive 2 color

Subtractive 2 color: Split optics, side by side, duplitized film
  • Ryan_TelcoColor_fig18.jpg

1 Image

Gaumont Chronochrome

Additive 3 color: Sawn-off lenses and filters, simultaneous taking and projection
“The competition between Kinemacolor and other rival systems was partially stimulated by a Utopian faith in the potential of film technology to achieve ‘natural colour’, reality ‘as it is’ being the goal of the cinematic ...
  • Mannoni_GaumontChronochrome_Gaumont_b.jpg

11 Images in 1 Gallery

Douglass Color No. 1

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“This two-color additive system for color cinematography was invented in 1916 by Leon Forrest Douglass of San Rafael, California. A special beam splitter camera would advance each roll of film two frames per exposure with its double frame pull down ...
  • Steinbacher (2013)

3 Images

Douglass Color No. 2

Subtractive 2 color: Separations, multi-layer prints
“Douglass Color No. 2 (1919). The two negatives of the Douglass Color system No. 1 were printed on a positive. In this updated version of the process, rather than projecting the frames through red and green filters, both latent images were ...

Pinatype / Pinatypie

Subtractive 3 color: Dye transfer, still photography
“In the imbibition process, a dye image is transferred from a gelatin relief image to a receiving layer made either of paper or film. Charles Cros described this method of “hydrotypie” transfer printing in 1880 and suggested it ...
  • Pinatypie_cyan-magenta.jpg

4 Images


Subtractive 2 colors: Bi-pack, duplitized film


Subtractive 2 color: Bi-pack, double-coated print
  • Dascolor Pritchard

1 Image


Subtractive 2 color: Bi-pack, mordant toning
  • Eggert (1932)

48 Images in 1 Gallery


Subtractive 3 color: Monopack silver dye-bleach, still photography
Karl Schinzel proposed a multi-layered monopack for still photography, based on the principle of the dye-bleach process which was later elaborated to a practical application with Gasparcolor.


Additive 3 color: Line screen process, still photography
“In 1894 Professor John Joly of Dublin patented a process for producing a screen of red, green and blue-violet lines by ruling them on a gelatin-coated glass plate. Joly used ruling machines of great accuracy, with drawing pens trailed across ...
  • Photomicrograph

7 Images

Monopack stripping

Subtractive 3 color: Monopack, stripping, still photography
“To offset the possible effects of poor contact between the various members of the tripack, J. H. Smith coated the emulsions directly one on top of the other, but with an insulating layer of collodion between them. In this manner there was ...
  • JohnHSmith_StrippingFilm.jpg

1 Image


Additive 3 color: Line screen
“The Warner-Powrie process patented in 1905 was the earliest commercial process using a screen made with bichromated colloid. A glass plate was thinly coated with bichromated gelatin or fish glue and exposed to light through a screen having ...

Kodachrome Two-color 1915, after 1930 renamed Fox Nature Color

Subtractive 2 color process: Beam-splitter, double-coated film
The Kodachrome process was invented in 1913 by John G. Capstaff for still photography and subsequently adapted to motion pictures. For the process two frames were advanced simultaneously, one located above the other. The light passed either through ...
  • Eggert (1932)

223 Images in 5 Galleries


Subtractive 3 color: Bi-pack and lenticular film recording, duplitized film with toning and silver dye-bleach
“In October, Eggert of the Agfa Research Department, read a paper at the Berlin meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für photographische Forschung, on the Pantochrom subtractive lenticular bipack tricolor process. (Fig. 1.) The green and blue ...
  • Veröffentlichungen des Wissenschaftlichen Zentral-Laboratorium (1939)

15 Images


Additive 3 color: Moving lenses
“The process of J. Szczepanik in 1925 was impracticable. He used a non-intermittent camera having a chain of eighteen lenses moving together with the film behind a collimating lens, three pictures being simultaneously exposed.” (Klein, ...

Color theory

Additive 3 color: Additive 3 color, still photography
“In a lecture on the theory of three primary colors, given at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on May 17, 1861, Maxwell presented the first demonstration of a photograph in color. According to the records of that meeting (Maxwell, 1890c, ...
  • CoePhotography_Maxwell.jpg

1 Image

British Tricolour / Dufaychrome

Subtractive 3 color: Beam-splitter, three-strip, multiple printing
  • Cornwell-Clyne_British Tricolour _ Dufaychrome_1951

19 Images in 3 Galleries


Subtractive 2 color: Beam-splitter, single-coated
“Harriscolor In this method as in other methods of color photography, independent color value negatives are first obtained. The Harriscolor process can employ one of the following two methods: Either a camera wherein the dividing light prisms ...
  • Technicolor Collection

3 Images

Orthochromatic stock

b/w photography: Orthochromatic b/w stock
“In 1873 Dr Vogel discovered that by adding dyes to the sensitive material, its sensitivity could be extended, so that it would record green as well as blue. The new ‘orthochromatic’ plates were available commercially from 1882. The ...
  • Pathé Manual (1926)

2 Images

Sensitizing theory

Color theory
“Dr. H. W. Vogel, the discoverer of colour sensitizers, made three-colour photography possible, and has been the first to recognise the relation between colour sensitiveness of plate and printing colour in the following principle made known in ...


Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“The first patent that has been found was granted to H. Isensee and he placed in front of the lens, both in taking and projection, a rotary shutter with three 120 degrees sectors in the usual colors.” (Wall, E.J. (1925): The History of ...
  • Isensee_Patent_illustration.jpg

2 Images

Technicolor No. I

Additive 2 color: Beam-splitter
During the capturing of the film a beam-splitter in combination with filters in the camera divided the incoming light into a red and a green separation negative on black-and-white stock. When projected in the cinema the two images were combined ...
  • Ruedel_technicolor1_fig1.jpg

3 Images

Urban-Joy Process, improvement of Kinemacolor, later called Kinekrom

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“In the design of apparatus Urban was assisted after 1905 by Henry W. Joy. The Urban-Joy perforator appeared in 1906. The Urban-Joy anti-firing device, a shutter to prevent the firing of inflammable film when projectors broke down, was another ...


Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“The Rotocolor process was an additive system for color cinematography. The process was announced in 1931 by H. Muller. According to an article in Film Daily, April 12, 1931, and The Motion Picture Herald, April 11, 1931, the process consisted of ...

Chromart Simplex

Subtractive 2 color: Chromogenic monopack

Chromart Tricolor

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Agfacolor lenticular / Agfacolor Linsenrasterfilm

Additive 3 color: Lenticular screen
The basic idea of the lenticular film was developed by the German Raphaël Liesegang in 1896 and applied to still photography by the French Rodolphe Berthon in 1908. The lenticular process applies tiny cylindrical lenses embossed on the film support ...
  • HarichHamburger_Lenticular_colored.jpg

14 Images


Subtractive 2 color: Bi-pack
  • Willeman_Hirlicolor_013.jpg

2 Images


Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
Kinemacolor was the most successful of the so called natural color processes in early cinema. It flourished between 1908 and 1913. However, the principle of recording color separations with revolving shutter filters was first proposed by the German ...
  • Kinemacolor_Pritchard.jpg

18 Images in 2 Galleries

Predecessor of Kinemacolor

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“Then we come upon the name of George Albert Smith, F.R.A.S., of Laboratory Lodge, Roman Crescent, Southwick, Brighton, who in E.P. 26,671, of 1906, patented the method which eventually was commercialized as Kinemacolor. In this patent he ...


Direct color photography: Interference, still photography
“In 1891, Professor Gabriel Lippmann demonstrated to the French Académie des Sciences interference colour photographs of the spectrum and of stained glass windows, taken by a modification of Wiener’s method. An exceedingly fine grained, ...
  • CoePhotography_Lippmann.jpg

5 Images

Crosene Process

Additive 4 color: Bi-pack, substandard

Lee and Turner

Additive 3 color: Rotary filter
“Frederick Marshall Lee, of Walton, and Edward Raymond Turner, of Hounslow, to whom is usually accorded the credit of achieving the first practical results in additive projection. Their experimental work was financed by Charles Urban, a ...
  • Coote (1993)

16 Images in 1 Gallery

Gilmore Color

Additive 2 color: Rotary filter
“Gilmore’s two-color additive process was based on a patent granted to F. E. Ives in 1918. A unique optical system exposed two images in pairs, and quarter-turned them lengthwise side by side on standard 35 mm film stock. One of the images was ...
  • GilmoreIves

1 Image


Subtractive 3 color: Beam-splitter camera, imbibition printing
Similar to Technicolor, the Iriscolor process needed a special beam-splitter camera for exposing three black-and-white negatives on Kodak film stock. These negatives were used for imbibition printing. Between 1940 and 1942, Tobis Tonbild-Syndikat AG ...

Procédé Colombier

Subtractive 3 color: Tri-pack
“M. F. de Colombier appears to have been the first to suggest the application of this system to cinematography, and like so many French patents it is a little indefinite in phraseology. Three films were employed representing the same view and ...
  • Pénichon (2013)

1 Image

Busch Process

Additive 2 color: Beam-splitter, red-green
  • cornwell_clyne_Busch.jpg

4 Images

Eastman Ektachrome 7251

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack, high speed, color reversal, 16mm, daylight

Eastman Color Print Film 5384 / 7384

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Eastman Color High Speed Negative Film 7292

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Eastman Color Print Film 5381 (1950)

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack
Not to be confused with the Eastman Color Print Film 5381 / 7381 from 1970.

Eastman Color Internegative Film 5243

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Eastman Color Internegative Film 5245

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Eastman Color Print Film 5382 / 7382

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Eastman Television Recording Film 5374 / 7374

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack

Eastman Reversal Color Print Film 5269

Subtractive 3 color: Chromogenic monopack, reversal