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An Outline of Cinematography 896

film, images, movement, drawings, animated, mm and perforations

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AN OUTLINE OF CINEMATOGRAPHY 896. The Origins of Cinematography. The first attempts to show animated images made use of drawings representing the various phases of a simple movement presented successively to the eye, each during a very short moment of time, in the phenakistiscope of Plateau (1829-1833), and in its numerous variants, including the zoetrope, still manufactured as a toy, and the praxinoscope (E. Reynaud, 1877). In this latter, viewing at separate instants with comparatively long intervals is replaced by continuous viewing of the virtual images (which are relatively fixed) of the drawings placed inside a cylinder in rapid rotation. This is an optical method, the prin ciple of which may be found in various modern cinematograph apparatus in which the film travels with a continuous movement.

A physiological process, which has not been explained, and in which the persistence of luminous sensations on the retina is partly involved, results in the spectator feeling the sensation of a continuous displacement of the moving parts of the image if the images follow each other at the rate of at least 16 per second.

As soon as photography permitted subjects in movement to be recorded, numerous investi gators endeavoured to replace the diagrammatic drawings of the phenakistiscope by photographs, and to project these photographs, still limited to a very few phases of one given movement, on a screen.

For his studies of the physiology of movement, J. Marcy was led, about 1887, to record a very large number of images on paper film, and, later, on film in Jong strips. His attempts to project the images thus obtained were fruitless, because of the unequal spacing of the pictures in the strip. In 1891 Edison produced his kinetoscope, which enabled a single spectator to see an animated picture lasting about 30 seconds, and recorded on an endless band of film provided with marginal perforations through the medium of which it was moved by toothed wheels. It was, however, impossible to project these images, each appearing only during a very short fraction of the interval of the time between the viewing of two images.

In the meantime animated projections of scenes lasting about 15 minutes had been shown to the public (Theatre optiquc, 1889-1900) by E. Reynaud, but the strips used, while provided with perforations for travel and register, were coloured drawings on transparent films— fore runners of the animated drawings often seen in cinema shows.

It may be said that from 1892 the question of the projection of animated photographs was already " in the air." Attempts were made in England by Friese-Greene, in the tInited States by Jenkins, and very numerous patents were taken out at that period for apparatus which was never manufactured. It was given to MM. A. and L. Lumiere to produce in 1895 the first cincniatographe " with periodic stoppage of the permitting alternately the taking of the views, the printing of the positives, and their projection. It is also to them that the first public cinematograph performances are due. They succeeded in obtaining perfection at the very outset, as has been shown (luring recent years on occasions when their first films have been projected.

897. Cinematographic Film. The standard cinematographic film, the only one in general use for commercial and scientific work, carries pictures (or " frames ") each measuring 18 X 24 mm. (approximately in.), of which the short side is placed vertically, parallel to the edges of the strip, with spaces of about mm. (1/25th in.) between successive frames. The width of the film strip is 35 mm. in.), the excess over the width of the frames being equally apportioned on either side and used for the perforations by which the film is moved. There are four perforations in each of the margins of each frame. The standard-size negative film is always made with a celluloid base. The standard-size positive film is made either with a celluloid base or with a base of cellulose acetate which is practically uninflammable, the use of the latter is to be compulsory in France for public entertainments. Standard-size film is usually supplied in lengths of 200 and 400 ft.

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