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Lesson 7. Special Effects for Film > Understanding the Cineon file format

Understanding the Cineon file format

The standard professional picture file format for working in digital film is the Cineon format. Originally developed by the Eastman Kodak Company, the Cineon format is designed to contain all the picture information present in a frame of motion picture negative film, so that the artist has the maximum possible color correction range available. High-resolution motion picture scans can be very expensive, so one naturally wants to avoid rescanning footage because of wrong color correction choices. With the Cineon format, no choices need be made at the scanner, other than basic calibration to your film type.

Unlike most picture file formats, the Cineon format samples the image at 10 bits per channel, and encodes the data in a logarithmic scale which looks extremely low-contrast and washed out, as opposed to the normal-contrast linear scale images you're used to seeing.


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