[DEUTSCHE Projektbeschreibung]


The new beauty of old films

The FRAME digital film restoration system allows quick and cost- efficient restoration of damaged cinema and video films also capable of correcting shooting errors thus eliminating the high costs of reshooting. FRAME is the only existing system of this type.

Holzflösser auf der Mur, 1938Holzflösser auf der Mur, 1938

The Problem

There appears to be no end in sight to the sky-rocketing development in the communications and TV market.
The business potential yields an increased demand for old film material and makes archive material commercially very attractive. According to estimates by the UNESCO there are about 2,2 billion meters of nitro based film material stored world-wide in archives.

Chemical changes due to the film material's age as well as improper handling before archiving have caused the irretrievable damage of almost 90 percent of the silent movies and half of the films produced before the year 1950.

The solution

The conventional personnel intensive manual digital restoration method results in unacceptably high costs. The semi-automatic digital film restoration software LIMELIGHT developed by JOANNEUM RESEARCH has succeeded in reducing the efforts considerably, however, the process is still too slow for industrial use. The processing time on a single workstation was 10 minutes per frame - much too long.

Due to these reasons FRAME, a parallelised digital film restoration system with processing speed qualified for industrial use, was developed.

FRAME can perform the following restoration tasks:

The Digital Film Restoration Process

Film Restoration in General

The industrial factor

The main criterion for the product's commercial acceptance in industrial use is the speed of the restoration process. In this context there was a demand for FRAME to achieve a frame processing rate within maximal 72 seconds (15 seconds for video resolution).

This high standard could only be achieved by applying HPCN -technologies, which made it possible to beat the demanded time limit with the result of cutting the restoration costs to a minimum of 400 US$ per minute of film. The costs of digital film restoration are similar to those of analogue technologies but with the advantage that the capacities of FRAME far exceed the range of possibilities of analogue film restoration.

The Costs

Due to the parallelisation of the code, film restauration gets cheaper for the customer because the processing time could be reduced from 10 minutes per frame (LIMELIGHT) to 72 seconds per single frame (FRAME):

  LIMELIGHT semi-automatic digital restoration FRAME semi-automatic digital restauration
High resolution film scanning 30 000 EUR 30 000 EUR
Processing 150 000 EUR 30 000 EUR
Film recording 30 000 EUR 30 000 EUR
Total 210 000 EUR 30 000 EUR

The properties of the system

FRAME is a film restoration software offering the following advantages:

The project

The FRAME Software is based on a film restoration software named LIMELIGHT developed by JOANNEUM RESEARCH within the EUREKA program. The ESPRIT project no 24220 FRAME was initiated in July 97 by the following four partners:

VCPC VCPC, European Cetre for Parallel Computing at Vienna
QSW QSW, Quadrics Supercomputers World, Roma
LNF LNF, Laboratoire Neyrac Films, Paris

The main goals of the FRAME project:

GUI View

Examples of restored films

FRAME has been developed and tested by the restoration of numerous films, like:

The demand

The FRAME restoration software has already been installed for several customers, such as:

Please find more information at

hsart digital services JOANNEUM RESEARCH
Walter Plaschzug Peter Schallauer
Rechbauerstrasse 37, A-8010 Graz Steyrergasse 17, A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 316 822632 Tel.: +43 316 876 -1202
Fax: +43 316 826464 Fax: +43 316 876 -1191
e-mail: e-mail:

We express our courtesy to the following archives who furnished us with the pictures used as examples in this brochure: Filmarchiv Austria: Holzflö:sser auf der Mur, 1938. Pathe: Die Reise zum Mond (La voyage dans la lune), 1908. Taurus Film: Opernball, 1956.