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When you have a digital image you want made into a slide, photographic transparency, or negative film, you need access to a film recorder, sometimes called a film printer. Older film recorders used a monitor for their scans, but modern ones use a much better process, and suffer no distortions due to monitor geometry, like the older recorders did.

The Kodak LVT (Light Valve Technology), is a state-of-the-art digital film recorder which uses proprietary electro-optic modulators (known as "light valves") to accurately control the amount of red, green, and blue light exposed for each pixel. It is the highest quality, highest resolution output device for recording digital data onto continuous tone professional color film. The resulting images retain all of the quality of the scanned, or digital originals. Images are exposed one pixel at a time, ensuring exact sharpness. It resolves more lines per mm than film can render--resolutions of 8,000 lines or higher for imaging on any size film. It goes up to 120 pixels per mm, which is 3024 pixels per inch over an 8x10 area.

A digital file at that resolution is more than 2 Gigabytes of storage--half a DVD, for one image.

Digital files must be in RGB, but there are separation-quality Kodak transforms to convert CMYK files before they are imaged. QuarkXpress, Freehand, Illustrator, and Photoshop can all output to a LVT. The resulting film, color or B&W, can be developed and used for traditional photographic printing.

Professional level recorders, like the LVT, are very expensive, and the price for their use is correspondingly steep.

LVT film output is most commonly used for large display prints for trade shows and high-end portfolio and stock images.

More details are in this PDF from Proulx: »www.proulx.ca/resources/downloads/Lvt.pdf

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last modified: 2004-02-08 02:18:50