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Return of the Pug (ROTP) - webpage and screenshots

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Just when you thought you were finally free of mouse droppings, this thread appears!  Yep, the discussion of my telecine transfer of a 16mm widescreen ("scope") print of the RETURN OF THE JEDI.  Unless someone comes up with a better name, I plan to call this edition "Return of the Pug", or "ROTP" for short.

I have actually already been secretly working on this, to the point where I have completed the raw captures of the audio and video from the film.  As was the case for the Puggo Grande and for Puggo Strikes Back, I expect this to take a while to finish -- at least a few months.  But I will post regular updates and screencaps here and on my website as work proceeds.

I have added an ROTP page to my website (see link in my .sig) containing an initial set of raw (unprocessed, uncorrected) screen grabs.

The print was again provided by Jaxxon, the same individual who provided the prints used for the Puggo Grande and for Puggo Strikes Back.  I'll leave it up to him if he still wishes to remain anonymous.

The quality of this print is excellent - similar to the print being used for PSB. Color on all three reels is superb.  There is a fairly deep scratch on the left side through much of the movie, but it is not overly bothersome, in my opinion.  It may even be possible to repair.  Other than that, there is very little patching that will be required.

As was the case for the PG and PSB, I am using a WorkPrinter-16 to transfer the video.  For those of you unfamiliar with the PG or the Workprinter, it is a very clever machine manufactured by Roger Evans of MovieStuff (www.moviestuff.tv), that enables frame-by-frame capture. It isn't scope, however, so I cheat on that, adjusting the aspect ratio in post and then setting the anamorphic flag to fake scope projection (same as I did for the PG).  I also will use the pulldown flag rather than doing pulldown in post. The capture is SD, and I am still using the Sony TRV900 camera that I used for the PG.  Yes it's old, but it has very good low light performance which is helpful for this sort of application.

No I can't afford to do an HD capture.  And no, pointing an HD camera at the WorkPrinter doesn't work.  There are more expensive products that can do that, this SD capture is all I can do and all I am going to do.

I am also still using the ELMO 16CL for capturing the audio.  Synching the sound with the workprinter capture is painstaking, as the slightest variations in speed on the elmo make it lose sync quickly. It has to be stretched and shrunk by hand scene by scene.  I haven't done that yet, but the audio is strong and will sound great, albeit in mono.  The audio will require a few very brief and minor patches.

Here is what I have done so far:

    - transferred the raw audio from each reel into .wav files.
    - transferred the raw video from each reel into .avi files.

I made one capture each of reels 2 and 3, but I made THREE captures of reel 1, since that reel includes both the Jabba scenes and the Sarlac scenes, with radically different brightness levels.  There will be a lot of cutting between captures to get a decent, moderately-even watchable brightness level throughout.

As always, I will warn everyone that captures like this will be loaded with scratches, grunge, mud, dropouts, hangnails, shakes, dead flies, fuzz, crinkles, holes, HEAVY grain, lousy cropping, and as promised... assorted mouse droppings.  It cannot compete even with a stabilized GOUT, much less a despecialized HD multi-layer Harmy-ized blu-ray.  However, much to my surprise, some of you honestly seemed to not only tolerate but actually enjoy watching the Puggo Grande, and I think those folks who still have functioning vision after watching that may enjoy this one too.  Or at least it will finish off what few diopters you have left, and keep your optometrist in business!

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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I was holding out for "Blue Puggo" or "Puggo Harvest", but those would fly over the heads of the younger crowd. ;)


Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

I was holding out for "Blue Puggo" or "Puggo Harvest", but those would fly over the heads of the younger crowd. ;)

I know what it means...

<span style=“font-weight: bold;”>The Most Handsomest Guy on OT.com</span>

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Excellent!

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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greenpenguino said:

I know what it means...

 Yeah, we've all seen Family Guy ;)

Awesome news, BTW. Awesome frame grabs, too.

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BTW Puggo, I might've asked this before, but are there any plans to do an ANH '81 preservation? You said those were on low-fade, right?

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Yes I still plan a "faux-HD" upscale, probably for all three.  I'll probably finish the DVD5 first, so that I can include the explanatory doc, menu, etc.  Then the upscale should be easy for those who want to examine the mouse droppings more closely.

As to an ANH'81 capture, I hadn't thought of it before. I can't remember anyone offering to loan me a print. If one turns up, sure I'd consider it.  It would have to be an excellent print in excellent condition.  Those aren't cheap when they turn up on eBay.

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"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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Regarding colors on ROTP... I'm curious as to people's initial thoughts on the colors of the screen grabs.  I found it MUCH easier to set white balance on ROTP than it was on PSB.  That's because there weren't any scenes in ESB that had a good balance of natural color, and because most scenes were shot under unusual lighting conditions. ROTP, on the other hand, had lots of great outdoor shots with R2 and Leia, where there were plenty of naturally-lit reds/greens/blues to key off of.  As most of you know, Adywan is finishing the color correction of PSB.

My first impression of ROTP is that the colors are pretty darned close right out the gate.  I'm considering just reducing the purple a bit, tweaking the brightness/contrast, and otherwise leaving it as captured. What do y'all think?

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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Hey Puggo, awesome news! I wonder if this will be useful for a certain despecializied edition :) I always enjoy your making-of docs, so I look forward to seeing your latest one.

Have you happened to listen to the mono track for any dialog or effect differences?

Weren't you also working on capturing all of the the Kenner Movie Viewer reels (as shown in Rescuing Star Wars)? Or was it just that one?

You know of the rebellion against the Empire?

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I don't know nearly as much about the sound/dialog details of the movies as several other members here.  I didn't notice any differences, but I haven't been looking for them, and I doubt I'd notice one if it were there.  As far as dialog ... I'm just a capturer, and not very knowledgeable about such things :)

Yes, I still plan on capturing all of the Kenner reels.  I have them all, so it cerrtainly will get done.  It is slightly tedious because you have to carefully break open the cases, add leaders, and spool them by hand.  They also are curled backwards, so they want to unravel themselves, and they feed funny into the machine - you have to be careful with them.  That is going to be a really fun project, because I haven't even watched the other reels myself yet - I don't know what's on them other than the titles on the cases.

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"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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Bring it on! I prefer a physical experience instead of all this DVNR-ing around!

Cannot wait for this and PSB to complete the Puggo trilogy.

It's a good suggestion to try and find a 16mm '81 print because those would likely be in better shape and not be so battered.

And did 16mm prints always have a mono foldown? I thought later on they would at least be stereo for things done in Dolby stereo.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

"George didn't think there was any future in dead Han toys."-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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More good news... Adywan has expressed an interest in doing the color timing for this one as well.  Here too, even though the color tweaks are more minor, I think having him dial them in will be a nice improvement.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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Those of you who really want a '81 ANH print transferred, figure out how to overcome the 400ft reel limitation of Puggo's 8mm gear.

Would it be a Rube Goldberg contraption, or a custom made reel? There must be a way around this.

There are two Derann Super 8 prints in private hands ready and waiting...


Where were you in '77?

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And great news that Adywan is going to be working on ROTP. :)


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Puggo - Jar Jar's Yoda said:

My first impression of ROTP is that the colors are pretty darned close right out the gate.

I was thinking the same thing, it looks pretty good right out of the box.

But then again, I'm of the opinion that a lot of you guys fuss and fret about the colors far too much. Especially when we have so few original colors to compare to, you'd think something like low-fade film stock would be "the source", instead of trying to tweak everything to look like the blown-out VHS sets we grew up on.

Heck, I thought the Puggo Strikes Back colors were fine... ¬_¬ But maybe I've just been watching too many of the public domain shorts from Rifftrax lately.

SilverWook said:

Those of you who really want a '81 ANH print transferred, figure out how to overcome the 400ft reel limitation of Puggo's 8mm gear.

I thought the Super 8s were of the '77?

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It's the '81 crawl on the Derann prints all the way. ;)


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Asaki said:

But then again, I'm of the opinion that a lot of you guys fuss and fret about the colors far too much. Especially when we have so few original colors to compare to, you'd think something like low-fade film stock would be "the source", instead of trying to tweak everything to look like the blown-out VHS sets we grew up on.

 

 

If you are talking about watching a projection of a 16mm film, then I would agree that the colors would be "source".  However, if you're talking about capturing that digitally, it's a different ballgame.  A video camera doesn't always interpret the colors how our eyes see them.  You have to set the white balance, brightness, etc. during capture, and often what you get digitally comes out different, and you have to tweak it back to what your eyes saw. The camera is simply a different and much more limited device than our eyes and brain, and most people don't realize that until they start doing some serious photography or film digitization.

This is why I was careful to ask Adywan (and he luckily was eager to comply) to limit his adjustment to finding a single adjustment applied to an entire reel, so that the original balance of colors from scene to scene remains largely original.  But without tweaking, the white balance on PG and PSB would be way off, unecessarily.  In the case of ROTP, it was so easy to get a good white balance (compared to PSB), because of the nature of scenes available to work with, that the initial captured colors are surprisingly good.  The only one that appears noticeably off to my eyes is the one with Vader/father at the end.  A bit of purple reduction would help, and thus needs to be done evenly throughout that entire reel to ensure that all the scenes were colored as they originally exist.  I think Adywan would do a better job on that than I would.

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"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

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Looking forward to an eventual viewing. Thanks for all your hard work!

 

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