Recovering Historical Film Footage by Processing Microtomographic Images

  • Chang Liu
  • Paul L. Rosin
  • Yu-Kun Lai
  • Graham R. Davis
  • David Mills
  • Charles Norton
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10058)


1960s film was typically printed on tri-acetate film base. If not preserved properly, such material breaks down at a chemical level, which is a non-stoppable process that permanently fuses the film so that it essentially becomes a lump of solid plastic. Recently, some precious films, such as the only known copy of the earliest surviving episode of ‘The Morecambe and Wise Show’ have been discovered, but they are in poor condition. They will eventually turn into a pool of sticky liquid and be gone forever. In this paper, as proof of concept, we use X-ray microtomography to provide 3D imaging of a test film of similar vintage, and propose an automatic method to extract footage from it.


Tri-acetate film X-ray microtomography 3D imaging 



We thank Paul Vanezis (BBC) and Ulrich Reudel (BFI).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chang Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul L. Rosin
    • 2
  • Yu-Kun Lai
    • 2
  • Graham R. Davis
    • 3
  • David Mills
    • 3
  • Charles Norton
    • 4
  1. 1.School of AstronauticsBeihang UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Computer Science & InformaticsCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  3. 3.Institute of DentistryQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.BBC Archive DevelopmentLondonUK

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