Phone, meet film.
A smartphone app for analog film.
Hi! My name is Abe Fettig, and I'm building FilmLab, a mobile app that lets you use your smartphone to work with analog film. All you need to use it is your smartphone, some film, and a light source such as a light box.
During May and June 2,059 people backed FilmLab on Kickstarter! The Kickstarter campaign is complete, and I'm now hard at work on the first beta release. FilmLab 1.0 will be released for iOS and Android this fall.
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For the past few weeks I’ve been working on the 0.3 beta version of FilmLab. I just released version 0.3.2 for iOS, and version 0.3 for Android should be ready for testing soon.
The biggest change in this release is a completely new image processing engine built from the ground up for working with negatives. I’m overdue to write a full-length post about it, but in short, the code in FilmLab is now simulating an entire color (and soon, black and white) darkroom. Instead of just working with the digital RGB channels, it models the full spectrum of light coming from an enlarger bulb, going through filters and the film negative, and shining onto photo paper. Then it models the response of photo paper to that light, and the formation of CMY dyes in developing. And then it shows you what the resulting photo print would look like under typical lighting.
I’m still working on tweaking various parts of this process, but you can already see that the results have improved noticeably from previous builds of FilmLab. Here are a few examples, taken with the same phone and the same light source: