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A niece of mine showed me a roll of film negative with various snap shots of rectangles. She said that there is hidden information or a message in that film which could be seen if it is developed with special liquid but also said that I can figure them out anyway. What could it be?

  • $\begingroup$ ugh I should've read the actual problem before starting, I assumed this was going to be data hidden in the binary $\endgroup$ – Allison Jun 12 '17 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I guess you need that special liquid then... $\endgroup$ – Gintas K Jun 13 '17 at 8:06

From other answers and from OP's comments, we know:

  • that the rectangles represent the 26 letters of the alphabet;
  • that there is a "segment word";
  • that the marks show where there are corners in the letter and
  • that curves were not shaded.

The rectangles are ...

... the top, bottom and side views of the letters as they might appear in a technical drawing. Hidden edges are not shown. Curves are not treated specially, so that the side view of an H and an O look the same. However, there is a hard edge where a straight edge meets a curve, Which normally wouldn't be the case, but which lets us distinguish a D from an O, for example.

To illustrate:

part of the film revealed

The letters on the film are:


(In the current representation, U and J are the same, as are H and N.)

There is a single word hidden in the letters:


  • $\begingroup$ Is there anything to the "liquid" in the clue? A red herring? $\endgroup$ – Forklift Jul 6 '17 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Forklift-The liquid would turn some area to green as guessed by M Oehm $\endgroup$ – TSLF Jul 6 '17 at 17:39

Word Answer:


Within Image:


A Google search of 'fixage photographie' (french), returns the following Wiki: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixateur

"a chemical solution used at the end of the development and which completely desensitizes a photographic film or paper"

  • $\begingroup$ How did you get that? Also, why only that part of the film and not another part? $\endgroup$ – boboquack Jul 6 '17 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ @boboquack OP had mentioned in a comment on Techidiot's answer, that there was a 'segment word'. I had many different edits of the original image, where I was trying to figure the letters out. In the end, FIX or FIXAGE was the only word that really stood out $\endgroup$ – MalvEarp Jul 6 '17 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ @MalvEarp- X side views has horizontal line at middle . M doesn't have $\endgroup$ – TSLF Jul 7 '17 at 13:28

Partial answer:

I'm hoping I'm on the right track, I wish I had time to sit and go through each frame.

It looks like the lines on the cells are where lines could be made to form letters, some really stand out like that.

Here are a couple of examples:

Maybe this is just from editing:

The guide holes in the film aren't all in line, could this be a clue or just a case of misalignment when making the image?

If no one makes progress on this I'll be back for a deeper look tomorrow! (EDIT: I've added a few examples above)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I had come to this same conclusion shortly after having been posted, but couldn't fully decode them, so I've just left the PSD sitting open for the last week. XD $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety Jun 29 '17 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @TSLF I had also wondered about the misaligned holes. Relevant? $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety Jun 30 '17 at 16:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ BreakingMyself -almost ..but that is not M on last film segment you posted..find the word $\endgroup$ – TSLF Jun 30 '17 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ curves were not shaded and shall be seen like flat.. $\endgroup$ – TSLF Jul 2 '17 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose M could be an A. If I get chance I'll go through it frame by frame still and see what could be missing. $\endgroup$ – BreakingMyself Jul 2 '17 at 9:01

Not sure if it's right but worth a try -

Is the message hidden -

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog and the word is Pangram


There are exactly 26 blocks in there. Each of them is a unique one. Which makes me think of alphabets Now, the most common message formed using all 26 alphabets is -

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

This could be the possible message which is nothing but Pangram

  • $\begingroup$ On the right track..but word tag dot not allow phrase or sentence/s $\endgroup$ – TSLF Jun 13 '17 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ I think the colored lines on the film canister indicates that we should put these colors in the spaces according to the size. $\endgroup$ – Mordechai Jun 13 '17 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Mordechai-no nothing about that, just random alphabet that has a segment word $\endgroup$ – TSLF Jun 14 '17 at 19:20

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