About Digital ICE processing


Digital ICE is an award-winning technology developed by Applied Science Fiction that automatically removes surface defects, such as dust, scratches, and fingerprints, from a scanned image. ICE stands for Image Correction and Enhancement; this technology works from within the scanner, during the scanning process. It is able to remove surface defects but does not remove the detail content of the image.

The scanning process typically picks up red, green, and blue image information using RGB channels. Scanning with Digital ICE uses an additional channel to pick up defect information, the defect or "D" channel. To collect the defect information the scanner must do an additional pass.

How ICE Works

Once the four-channel RGBD information has been collected complex algorithms are used to eliminate the defects without degrading the image. The result is a normal RGB image file free of defects.

Film scans are highly magnified images and reveal what the human eye cannot. Even if you view your film on a light table with magnification you will not see everything the scanner does. Film is easily scratched and even very slight scratches may show up once scanned. Also, film attracts dust; almost all the film we have seen has had dust on it. We carefully clean film before scanning with an anti-static cloth or blower, however defects still show up. You really have to get lucky to get a scan where dust, scratches, or other surface defects do not show up. This percentage is very low and we conservatively estimate that less than 10% of all images do not need Digital ICE. The bottom line is that most images significantly benefit from this technology, and since this technology does not degrade images (with the exception of some KodaChrome films) it makes sense to use it.

★ We highly recommend ICE processing for all scans ★


The examples speak for themselves

Examples on ASF website

Our examples


Digital ICE Processing FAQ

Q1: Will ICE processing work on my film?

Q2: Does ICE processing work with KodaChrome film?

Q3: Why do ICE scans cost more?

Q4: Can ICE be used on an image after it has been scanned?

Q5: Can dust and other surface defects be removed another way?


Q1: Will ICE processing work with my film?
ICE processing works with all color film and with most KodaChrome slides. It also works with black & white (C-41 process) chromogenic film, such as Kodak Advantix 400, Illford XP2 Super, Konica Monochrome VX400, Kodak Select B&W+400, and Kodak T400 CN. It does not work with traditional silver-halide black & white film.

Q2: Does ICE processing work on KodaChrome film?
ICE processing works with KodaChrome film in general. What usually happens when KodaChrome slides are scanned using ICE is that it doesn't work as well compared to non-KodaChrome slides. So it removes surface defects, but not necessarily all of them. Depending upon the specific type of KodaChrome film, exposure levels, and image content some scans may lose some image detail when ICE is used. KodaChrome slide film is a unique film type and ICE can sometimes misinterpret certain image details as defects. Using ICE on KodaChrome film will not destroy your image, but some of the finer details may be removed as well.

Q3: Why do ICE scans cost more?
ICE is included free of charge on all scans with the exception of 4x5 inch film and prints.

Q4: Can ICE be used on an image after it has been scanned?
No. ICE works in the scanner during the scan; it is a hardware and software combination. The scanner does an extra pass looking for surface defects, the "D" channel. Only select scanners have ICE capability, so without the proper scanner ICE cannot be used.

Q5: Can dust and other surface defects be removed another way?
Yes. Defects can be removed in programs such as Adobe Photoshop, but it takes time. In some cases, it can take a lot of time. Digital ICE is the only technology available that removes surface defects automatically without altering the underlying image. Software only solutions will alter the image.


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Last revised: Tuesday, 12-Jul-2011 09:35:01 CDT