The Cineon System was one of the first computer based digital film system created by Kodak in the early 1990s. It was an integrated suite of components consisting a Motion picture film scanner, a film recorder and workstation hardware with software (the Cineon Digital Film Workstation) for compositing, visual effects, image restoration and color management.[1][2][3]

The system was first released in September 1992 to Cinesite Hollywood. The workstations were initially built on Sun-Transputer based hardware. In July 1993 version 2.1.3 of the software was released for Silicon Graphics Inc, SGI Onyx hardware. The software was withdrawn from sale by 1997, although a number of customers continued to use it beyond that date. As an end-to-end solution for 4K resolution, 10 bit digital film production and Digital intermediate the system was one of the first. The three major components of the system (scanner, workstation software, and recorder) have all received separate AMPAS Scientific and Technical Awards.[4][5][6]

The Cineon project was also responsible for the creation of the Cineon ( .cin) 10 bit log file format, designed to handle digital film frames. Although the product is no longer for sale, Cineon file format that Kodak defined was for a long time commonly used in the film visual effects world, and formed the basis for the newer SMPTE-standardised Digital Picture Exchange (DPX) format.[7]

Cineon Image File Format
Logo of the Eastman Kodak Company (1987-2006)
Filename extension.cin
Developed byKodak
Type of formatImage file formats
Extended toDPX
StandardDraft 4.5

Cineon file format

The Cineon file format was designed specifically to represent scanned film images, and thus has some differences from other formats such as TIFF and JPEG:

  • The pixel data represents "printing density", the density that is seen by the print film. Thus, Cineon files are assumed to operate as part of a reproduction chain keeping whatever values are originally scanned from a negative or positive film. Any negative can be reproduced on the recorder retaining the original neg's characteristics (such as color component crosstalk and gamma correction) — and thereby retaining the negative's "look" if it were directly printed. The original Cineon color data metric printing densities were based upon 5244 intermediate film. Conversion of Cineon Printing Density (CPD) to Status-M can be estimated with a 3x3 matrix or by using tables contained in the Kodak "Digital LAD" document. This document shows a specific relation between Cineon Code values and Status-M densities.
  • The data is stored in log format, directly corresponding to density of the original negative. Since the scanned material is likely a negative, the data can be said to be "gamma with log encoding".
  • To evaluate original scene luminances from Cineon data, the camera negative characteristics must be known. (Such characterization is known as "unbuilding.") Such characterization is aided by exposing a sensitometric strip so that the actual developing gamma can be determined. The film can be unbuilt by using the unique per-layer contrasts of the color negative.
  • In a Cineon (.cin) file, each channel (R, G, B) is 10 bits, packed 3 per 32-bit word, with two bits unused.
  • Conversion to 8-bit integer format for display on computer monitors or transfer to video typically involves the notion of the "black point" and "white point" used for conversion to more limited range video signals. Conventionally, these points are 95 and 685 on the 0-1023 scale (but should be adjusted based upon actual negative content). Pixel values above 685 are "brighter than white", such as the sun, chrome highlights, etc. The concept of a "soft clip" was introduced to make the rolloff of whites appear more natural. Pixel values below 95 represent black values exposed on the negative (the clear base of the film). These values can descend in practice as low as pixel values 20 or 30.

Programs like FFmpeg and XnView report to support .cin and .dpx.[8]


Conversions to the Cineon format were defined in a Kodak document by Glenn Kennel.[9] The SMPTE standardized the format further into a related format called DPX which can store more varieties of image information as well as additional header information.

The Cineon 10 bits per pixel color space provides 1024 levels of color as opposed to 256 levels of color in 8 bits per pixel color space. 10 bit YUV and 10 bit RGB are the industry standard. The standard documented and recognized by the Society Of Motion Picture Television Engineers: SMPTE 259M, SMPTE 292M, SMPTE 296M, SMPTE 372M. A .fido file is a type of Cineon Graphics Data File format.[10][11]


From the late 1980s Glenn Kennel was the principal architect of the Cineon digital film system. Kennel led the development of the Cineon CCD film scanner and laser Film recorder (the Lightning film recorder) in Rochester NY. From February 1990, the Cineon workstation software was written by a team based at Kodak in Melbourne, Australia led by Lindsay Arnold. In early 1995, development moved to Kodak in Rochester, NY, where it was led by David Cok and Jim Minno. In about 1996, software development moved to Palo Alto, California[12] [13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

The initial developers of the system received a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in February 2012.[20] The system as commercially used contained the contributions of many additional scientists and engineers.[21]

Kennel helped launch Kodak's Cinesite Digital Film Center in September 1992, which became the premier test site for Cineon. In 1993 Cinesite used Cineon in the digital restoration of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which became the first film to be entirely scanned to digital files, manipulated, and recorded back to film. The restoration project was done entirely at 4K resolution and 10-bit color depth using the Cineon software to digitally remove dirt and scratches. After the end of Cineon, Glenn Kennel worked with Philips to extend the Spirit DataCine to Cineon-compatible digital file output, first applying it to the 1998 movie Pleasantville. Pleasantville was the first digital intermediate film scanned on a Spirit DataCine. This process produced the mix of B&W and color pictures. Philips licensed some of the technology from Kodak, mainly the front end (lens, optics and CCDs).[22][23][24][25][26]

Some books mentioning the role of Cineon in digital imaging history are:

  • Stephen Prince, Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality. p 73 notes the place of Cineon in file restoration history.
  • Mark Sawicki, Filming the Fantastic: A Guide to Visual Effects Cinematography. p. 113ff.

See also


  1. ^, Understanding Cineon, by Richard Patterson, First Draft 10/2/01
  2. ^, Kodak Brings Digital Art to Film, by Bruce N. Goren
  3. ^, Five Scientists Earn Kudos for Developing Kodak Hybrid Technology, by Tim Tyler, February 2005
  4. ^ Google Patents, Method and apparatus for calibrating a sensor for highlights and for processing highlights, US 7088388 B2, Eastman Kodak Company
  5. ^, Kodak unveils new array of Cineon film and video production products, April 15, 1996
  6. ^, Timeline
  7. ^, Cineon Image File Format Draft (not a Kodak Company.)
  8. ^ James D. Murray; William vanRyper (April 1996). "Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats" (Second ed.). O'Reilly. ISBN 1-56592-161-5. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  9. ^ Glenn Kennel (1995-07-26). "Conversion of 10-bit Log Film data to 8-bit Linear or Video Data for The Cineon Digital Film System Version 2.1" (PDF). Eastman Kodak. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  10. ^ The art of digital color, By Mike Seymour, August 23, 2011
  11. ^ Cineon Files: What They Are, and How To Work With Them
  12. ^ Prince, Stephen. Digital Visual Effects in Cinema
  13. ^ glenn kennel
  14. ^ Understanding Cineon, First Draft 10/2/01
  15. ^ Lindsay Arnold
  16. ^, Kodak Cineon Digital Film System, By Tim Tyler, Feb 12 2005
  17. ^ Popular Science March 2005
  18. ^, The 77th Scientific & Technical Awards 2004 | 2005, Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel, Saturday, February 12, 2005, Host: Scarlett Johansson
  19. ^, Jim Minno, bio, 2016
  20. ^ "Kodak Cineon Digital Film Receives Sci-Tech Award".
  21. ^ Understanding Digital Cinema: A Professional Handbook, by Charles S. Swartz
  22. ^ A brief history of scanning and recording by C Glenn Kennel, director of technology for Cinesite’s Film Scanning and Recording and Digital Mastering divisions.
  23. ^ Digital Alchemy: Matter And Metamorphosis In Contemporary Digital Animation And Interface Design, by Michelle Ramona Silva BA, Bridgewater State College, 1992 MA, University of Massachusetts, 1996
  24. ^ University of Sussex
  25. ^ Cinema Papers No.120 October 1997
  26. ^ Color and Mastering for Digital Cinema, by Glenn Kennel
Academy Color Encoding System

The Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) is a color image encoding system created by hundreds of industry professionals under the auspices of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. ACES allows for a fully encompassing color accurate workflow, with "seamless interchange of high quality motion picture images regardless of source".The system defines its own color primaries that completely encompass the visible spectral locus as defined by the CIE xyY specification. The white point is approximate to the CIE D60 standard illuminant, and ACES compliant files are encoded in 16-bit half-floats, thus allowing ACES OpenEXR files to encode 30 stops of scene information. ACES supports both high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG).The version 1.0 release occurred in December 2014, and has been implemented by multiple vendors, and used on multiple motion pictures and television shows. ACES received a Television Academy Emmy Engineering Award in 2012. The system is standardized in part by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standards body. Changes in the ACES specifications, announcements, news, discussion and other information is regularly updated at

Hundreds of productions, from Motion Pictures to Television to Commercials, and VR content has been produced using ACES including:

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

The Grand Tour (2016 TV Series)

Cafe Society (2016)

Bad Santa 2 (2016)

The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

Chef's Table (2016 TV Series)

Chappie (2015)

The Wedding Ringer (2015)

Baahubali: The Beginning (2015)

The Wave (2015)

For a more complete list, visit the IMDb link here:


Cin, CIn or CIN can mean:

Cincinnati, Ohio

The Cincinnati Reds, the city's Major League Baseball team

The Cincinnati Bengals, the city's National Football League team

The Amtrak code for Cincinnati Union Terminal

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

Chromosome instability

Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience

The ICAO-code of Constellation Airlines, a defunct Belgian airline

Corporação Industrial do Norte, Portuguese-owned company that is the Iberian market leader for paint & coating products

Convective inhibition

Contrast-induced nephropathy

An object of the C++ Iostream header file (C-In).

Card Identification Number

Chart Information Network, now known as the Official Charts Company

Children in Need, an annual UK Telethon Fundraiser shown on the BBC

Cineon file format (filename extension ".cin")

corporate identification number or corporate identity number – for corporations in India

Cosine integral (standard mathematical symbol "Cin")

The Crime & Investigation Network

The Caribbean International Network (CIN TV)

The Carmel Infortainment Network (CIN in a secondary school of Hong Kong)

Kadir Cin, Turkish volleyball player

Critical Information Needs, being information needs that people need to live safe and healthy lives.

Craft Identification Number, a fourteen-digit identifier used for European marine vessels


CinePaint is an open source computer program for painting and retouching bitmap frames of films. It is a fork of version 1.0.4 of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). It enjoyed some success as one of the earliest open source tools developed for feature motion picture visual effects and animation work.

The main reason for this adoption over mainline gimp was its support for high bit depths (greater than 8-bits per channel) which can be required for film work. The mainline GIMP project later added high bit depths in GIMP 2.9.2, released November 2015. It is free software under the GNU General Public License.

Color depth

Color depth or colour depth (see spelling differences), also known as bit depth, is either the number of bits used to indicate the color of a single pixel, in a bitmapped image or video framebuffer, or the number of bits used for each color component of a single pixel. For consumer video standards, such as High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265), the bit depth specifies the number of bits used for each color component. When referring to a pixel, the concept can be defined as bits per pixel (bpp), which specifies the number of bits used. When referring to a color component, the concept can be defined as bits per component, bits per channel, bits per color (all three abbreviated bpc), and also bits per pixel component, bits per color channel or bits per sample (bps). Color depth is only one aspect of color representation, expressing the precision with which colors can be expressed; the other aspect is how broad a range of colors can be expressed (the gamut). The definition of both color precision and gamut is accomplished with a color encoding specification which assigns a digital code value to a location in a color space.

Comparison of 3D computer graphics software

3D computer graphics software refers to programs used to create 3D computer-generated imagery.

Comparison of graphics file formats

This is a comparison of image file formats.

Digital Picture Exchange

Digital Picture Exchange (DPX) is a common file format for digital intermediate and visual effects work and is a SMPTE standard (ST 268-1:2014). The file format is most commonly used to represent the density of each colour channel of a scanned negative film in an uncompressed "logarithmic" image where the gamma of the original camera negative is preserved as taken by a film scanner. For this reason, DPX is the worldwide-chosen format for still frames storage in most digital intermediate post-production facilities and film labs. Other common video formats are supported as well (see below), from video to purely digital ones, making DPX a file format suitable for almost any raster digital imaging applications. DPX provides, in fact, a great deal of flexibility in storing colour information, colour spaces and colour planes for exchange between production facilities. Multiple forms of packing and alignment are possible. The DPX specification allows for a wide variety of metadata to further clarify information stored (and storable) within each file.

The DPX file format was originally derived from the Kodak Cineon open file format (.cin file extension) used for digital images generated by Kodak's original film scanner. The original DPX (version 1.0) specifications are part of SMPTE 268M-1994. The specification was later improved and published by SMPTE as ANSI/SMPTE 268M-2003. Academy Density Exchange (ADX) support for the Academy Color Encoding System are added in the current version of the standard SMPTE ST 268-1:2014. Extensions for high-dynamic-range video and wide color gamut are standardized in SMPTE ST 268-2:2018.

Digital compositing

Digital compositing is the process of digitally assembling multiple images to make a final image, typically for print, motion pictures or screen display. It is the digital analogue of optical film compositing.

Digital intermediate

Digital intermediate (typically abbreviated to DI) is a motion picture finishing process which classically involves digitizing a motion picture and manipulating the color and other image characteristics.

Kodak DC Series

The Kodak DC series was Kodak's pioneering consumer-grade line of digital cameras; as distinct from their much more expensive professional Kodak DCS series. Cameras in the DC series were manufactured and sold during the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s. Some were branded as "Digital Science". Most of these early digital cameras supported RS-232 serial port connections because USB hardware was not widely available before 1998.

The DC series was superseded by the Kodak EasyShare camera line.

Motion picture film scanner

A motion picture film scanner is a device used in digital filmmaking to scan original film for storage as high-resolution digital intermediate files.A film scanner scans original film stock: negative or positive print or reversal/IP. Units may scan gauges from 8 mm to 70 mm (8 mm, Super 8, 9.5 mm, 16 mm, Super 16, 35 mm, Super 35, 65 mm and 70 mm) with very high resolution scanning of 2K, 4K, 8K Video Format, or 16K resolutions. (2K is approximately 2048×1080 pixels and 4K is approximately 4096×2160 pixels).Some models of film scanner are intermittent pull-down film scanners which scan each frame individually, locked down in a pin-registered film gate, taking roughly a second per frame. Continuous-scan film scanners, where the film frames are scanned as the film is continuously moved past the imaging pick up device, are typically evolved from earlier telecine mechanisms, and can act as such at lower resolutions.The scanner scans the film frames into a file sequence (using high-end data storage devices), whose single file contains a digital scan of each still frame; the preferred image file format used as output are usually Cineon, DPX or TIFF, because they can store color information as raw data, preserving the optical characteristics of the film stock. These systems take a lot of storage area network (SAN) disk space. The files can be played back one after each other on high-end workstation non-linear editing system (NLE) or a virtual telecine systems. The playback is at the normal rate of 24 frames per second (or original projection frame rate of: 25, 30 or other speeds). Each year hard disks get larger and are able to hold more hours of movies on SAN systems. The challenge is to archive this massive amount of data on to data storage devices.

The scanned footage is edited and composited on work stations then mastered back on film, see film out and digital intermediate. Scanned film frames may also be used in digital film restoration. The film may also be projected directly on a digital projector in the theater. The data film files may be converted to SDTV (NTSC or PAL) video TV systems.


OpenImageIO is an open source library for reading and writing images. Support for different image formats is realised through plugins. The project is distributed with a modified BSD license.


Photogenics is raster graphic editing software produced by Idruna Software.

Shake (software)

Shake is a discontinued image compositing package used in the post-production industry developed by Nothing Real for Windows and later acquired by Apple Inc. Shake was widely used in visual effects and digital compositing for film, video and commercials. Shake exposed its node graph architecture graphically. It enabled complex image processing sequences to be designed through the connection of effects "nodes" in a graphical workflow interface. This type of compositing interface allowed great flexibility, including the ability to modify the parameters of an earlier image processing step "in context" (while viewing the final composite). Many other compositing packages, such as Blender, Blackmagic Fusion, Nuke and Cineon, also used a similar node-based approach.

Shake was available for Mac OS X and Linux. Support for Microsoft Windows and IRIX was discontinued in previous versions.On July 30, 2009, Apple discontinued Shake. No direct product replacement was announced by Apple, but some features are now available in Final Cut Studio and Motion, such as the SmoothCam filter.

The Advanced Visualizer

The Advanced Visualizer (TAV), a 3D graphics software package, was the flagship product of Wavefront Technologies from the 1980s until the 1990s.

The Brownies

The Brownies is a series of publications by Canadian illustrator and author Palmer Cox, based on names and elements from English traditional mythology and Scottish stories told to Cox by his grandmother. Illustrations with verse aimed at children, The Brownies was published in magazines and books during the late 19th century and early 20th century. The Brownie characters became famous in their day, and at the peak of their popularity were a pioneering name brand within merchandising.


Transcoding is the direct digital-to-digital conversion of one encoding to another, such as for movie data files, audio files (e.g., MP3, WAV), or character encoding (e.g., UTF-8, ISO/IEC 8859). This is usually done in cases where a target device (or workflow) does not support the format or has limited storage capacity that mandates a reduced file size, or to convert incompatible or obsolete data to a better-supported or modern format.

In the analog video world, transcoding can be performed just while files are being searched, as well as for presentation. For example, Cineon and DPX files have been widely used as a common format for digital cinema, but the data size of a two-hour movie is about 8 terabytes (TB). That large size can increase the cost and difficulty of handling movie files. However, transcoding into a JPEG2000 lossless format has better compression performance than other lossless coding technologies, and in many cases, JPEG2000 can compress images to half-size.Transcoding is commonly a lossy process, introducing generation loss; however, transcoding can be lossless if the output is either losslessly compressed or uncompressed. The process of transcoding into a lossy format introduces varying degrees of generation loss, while the transcoding from lossy to lossless or uncompressed is technically a lossless conversion because no information is lost; however, the process is irreversible and is more correctly known as destructive.

Virtual telecine

A virtual telecine is a piece of video equipment that can play back data files in real time. The colorist-video operator controls the virtual telecine like a normal telecine, although without controls like focus and framing. The data files can be from a Spirit DataCine, motion picture film scanner (like a Cineon), CGI animation computer, or an Acquisition professional video camera. The normal input data file standard is DPX. The output of data files are often used in digital intermediate post-production using a film recorder for film-out. The control room for the virtual telecine is called the color suite.

The 2000 movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? was scanned with Spirit DataCine, color corrected with a VDC-2000 and a Pandora Int. Pogle Color Corrector with MegaDEF. A Kodak Lightning II film recorder was used to output the data back on to film.

Virtual telecines are also used in film restoration.

Another advantage of a Virtual telecine is once the film is on the storage array the frames may be played over and over again without damage or dirt to the film. This would be the case for outputting to different TV standards (NTSC or PAL) or formats: (pan and scan, letterbox, or other aspect ratio. Restoration, special effect, color grading, and other changes can be applied to the data file frames before playout.Virtual telecine is like a "tape to tape" color correction process, but with the difference of: higher resolution (2k or 4k) and the use of film restoration tools with standards-aspect ratio tools.

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