DIASTOR (2013–2015) was an applied interdisciplinary project developed and managed by Barbara Flueckiger. It was one of DIASTOR’s main objectives to develop non-destructive, scalable solutions for a variety of film materials in different conditions and for diverse color processes, including a special focus on improving the scanning and rendition of film colors such as early applied colors, Technicolor, Dufaycolor, Agfacolor and additional chromogenic processes. This research is now taken up and extended in the current research project FilmColors, funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Council.
Based on insights gathered in the previous projects AFRESA and Film History Remastered, scanning was considered crucial for digitization workflows. Most scanners available are not designed for capturing historical materials but for more recent chromogenic negatives.
Therefore, the present scanner study was designed to deliver insights into the material–scanner interaction for a variety of color film stocks, from early tinted film to more recent chromogenic stocks including reversal film. We decided to collect a selection of reference materials, to investigate the technical details of scanners currently on the market and then to test a selection of the most widespread scanners in the high-end domain, currently in operation at archives and service providers for the digitization and restoration of archival films. Our goal was to provide a well-grounded framework for archives and film labs to select scanners according to their needs with a special focus on capturing certain film stocks.