You often find old films and slides covered in dust and riddled with scratch marks. They not only look bad but also dilute the essence of the photo. And old photographs are the only memories you have of a much simpler time, unlike the current digital era where you can take thousands of photos and store them very easily.
Digital Image Correction and Enhancement or Digital ICE is a group of technologies, developed by Kodak, used in picture restoration which detects dust, scratches, fingerprints, and any other defects in the photo. It does so with the help of infrared light. The technique uses a scanner and two light sources, an RGB lamp and an infrared lamp.
The photo is scanned twice, in turns with each lamp. The photo is first scanned with the RGB light which captures its color information and sends it to the scanner. Next, the infrared light is used to detect any defects on the photograph. The two images are put through a software program consisting of algorithms and in-painting techniques to produce a reconstructed and clean photograph.
Digital ICE is a highly advanced technique that can be used to restore your old photographs. It does have its restrictions, though.
- Digital ICE limits detection and scanning to transparent films and cannot be used for opaque documents.
- Similarly, films with metallic silver are not supported by Digital ICE. You can only use chromogenic black-and-white films.
- The infrared light used in the process can only detect defects. It cannot reproduce color information due to it being invisible.
- There is a chance you may lose detail in the photograph if you apply Digital ICE techniques for picture restoration.
Digital ICE techniques have been used by other major players like Nikon and Canon to produce high-quality scans of digital documents and Kodachrome slides. With a little polish and finesse, Digital ICE could be the next big thing in technological circles.