Colour Science for Digital Cinema:
From Acquisition to DI

1-day seminar

Date: Monday, Nov. 26, 2007
Time: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Venue: Rainmaker, 52 West 2nd Ave., Vancouver (Please use Film Lab entrance)

Presenter: Charles Poynton

A publication-qualility flyer is available in Acrobat PDF format. It's intended for printing onto 2 sides of a US Letter sheet, in color. Print it and tack it up on your bulletin board; or, print page 1 (the front side) at 140% onto 11x17 paper and it's a poster!


Digital technology is now the preferred alternative to film for the capture, post-production, and exhibition of motion pictures. Integration of digital imagery with film leads to hybrid film-digital workflows; however, film and electronic media capture and reproduce images in fundamentally different ways. Film uses subtractive colourants (CMY), but digital cinema uses additive primaries (RGB). Film is characterized using logarithms, but digital video, HDTV, and computer graphics are typically characterized using power functions; computer-generated imagery (CGI) uses linear-light representations. Film and digital cinema have different colour gamuts, and are optimized for different contrast ratios.

In this 1-day seminar, portions of which were presented recently at Panavision in Los Angeles and at the Digital Cinema Testbed in London, Charles Poynton will detail the colour science that underlies image acquisition and reproduction in digital cinema. He will explain how colour is captured in digital cinema and HDTV cameras and presented to the digital intermediate (DI) process. He will discuss practical details of maintaining colour quality through the imaging pipeline, paying particular attention to the digital intermediate. Participants will gain an understanding of the factors that need to be addressed to achieve accurate colour, and learn practical techniques that can be used to successfully implement digital cinema. A detailed Syllabus is available.

Who Should Attend

The attendee should be quite familiar with cinema film, CGI, and/or HDTV, and should anticipate many equations and graphs. The seminar will be suitable for people in positions such as these:

Registration: CAD $550, payable by cheque. Lunch is included; detailed colour handout notes will be provided. To enroll, send e-mail to or telephone Charles at +1 416 535 7187. Seating is limited; please register early.

Charles Poynton specializes in the physics, mathematics, and engineering of digital colour imaging systems, including digital video, HDTV, and D-cinema. He is the author of Digital Video and HDTV Algorithms and Interfaces, and a Fellow of both the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the BKSTS.

Charles Poynton - Courses & seminars