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Two-Strip Technicolor, Gimp Tutorial

Two-Strip Technicolor is intended for simulate the colors of the old movies.

Italian Web master: Bad English, but good tutorials.

Technicolor was the most common color process used in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952. Gimp allows you to get the Two-Strip technicolor effect in two ways; Red/Cyan and Red/Green. The effect is more realistic with Red/Cyan tones.

before/after technicolor effect with Gimp

The result we want to get is a loss of most of the color tones of the image, something similar to the next screen capture of an original movie of 1933, called "The Mystery of the Wax Museum".

real technicolor year 1933

The user Patdavid has written a script based on my two strip technicolor tutorial, click here to see the page (open in new window).

The two-strip technicolor gives the best results if your photo looks old, so I decided to use a rock band picture taken from that is a website that no lenger exists.
As first thing, duplicate the background layer. Right Click on Background - Duplicate layer.
If you can't find the Layers Window try to press Ctrl+L.

copy the bg

Now you need to create a new Level. Right Click on Background copy Layer and them choose New Layer, leave default parameters and press OK. Left Click on the foreground color and select a pure red (ff0000), select the Bucket Fill Tool and click anywhere in the photo with left button. You will get a flat red level.

Create a red level, the first color of technicolor effect with Gimp

Select Multiply as blend mode, leave opacity to 100% and merge down (Right click on New layer - Merge Down).

creade red channel color

Hide the Background copy Layer (Click the eye icon on the left of the copied level).

Hide background copy

Now you need to create a new flat cyan layer, redo all the steps done before for the red channel.
Right Click on the Background and select New Layer, then fill it with a pure cyan (00ffff).

create the cyan layer

Merge down the level with Multiply mode and opacity to 100% as before.

technicolor cyan channel

Attention: Next step seems useless, but is fundamental to get the two-strip technicolor:
Desaturate the Background (Colors - Desaturate - Lightness - OK)

desaturate the cyan channel

Now choose Colors - Colorize and press OK (Ensure to have Hue set to 180)

recolor the cyan

The last step for this two color technicolor tutorial is to unhide the Background copy Layer, select Difference as Blend mode, leave 100% of opacity and merge down (Right Click on Background Copy layer- Merge Down).

last step of the two strip technicolor effect

Next you can see the result you should get, notice that the green tones are completely gone:

before/after technicolor effect with Gimp

The result could be even better if you enhance the saturation of the image.
If you appreciate this effect, you can also be interested in cross processing tutorial for Gimp.

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