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Star Trek: TMP Edit Not Dead yet!

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See my latest posts for the latest updates on this evolving project

I find my self in a position with spare time, a powerful PC, visual & auditory monitoring equipment, appropriate software, and plenty of motivation to compile a new edition of one of my favorite Star Trek films: The Motion Picture.

I saw this film when I was very young, and all I knew of Star Trek was some very faded memories of the beginning of Generations and TNG. I knew Trek was fun in space, but not much beyond. One season in my youth, my family spent some time at a bed and breakfast on the Pacific coast. This residence had a large CRT projector in its basement, and copies of all the Star Trek films. I started with the first film of course, and was completely mesmerized by the sights I saw, the places that film took me. It left a mark that’s never lessened its impression.

The flames of intrigue only grew when I heard about the director’s edition. I recall watching it so many times so as to ruin the DVD. Watching it now, I find it very satisfying, yet lacking in some ways; many small oddities went unfixed or unfinished, some sections of the film remained way too bloated, characters lacking enough character while others had ridiculous elements.

Basically here is what I wish to do for one of my favorite films:

-Color Correction

Lord knows the Blu-Ray needs this sorely given how over boosted in levels it is relative to the previous versions we’ve had available (The amount of detail clipped out in certain shots is amazing). It also has major problems in terms of frozen or missing grain fields (a result of too much grain removal processing) which suck out the detail in several scenes. To address this issues I’d like to use the DE DVD, set photos, and personal judgment to correct the color and add grain back in to the picture.

-More Color Correction!

Due to the nature of the effects work and schedules involved, many scenes featuring what is supposed to be the same elements in the same environments feature a lack of continuity in many regards; a good example of this is the Spock walk scene, which shows the inside of V’Ger as many shades of blue, with exterior shots that show with great detail the interior, and others that drown out all detail with nothing but blue! To help fix this scene, and others like it, I’ll be color correcting the elements or simply (mostly in the case of back grounds) replacing them all together. I’ve already completed a large amount of work when it comes to the Spock walk scene, having rotoscoped Spock out of many completely washed out blue back grounds, and replacing them with a V’Ger interior I assembled from other scenes, and also correcting Kirk’s color changing space suit.

-Trimming the Fat

The Cloud and V’Ger flyover sequences are some of my most favorite put to film simply due to the incredible effects work, the score, the fact that the tone is so different from the first part of the movie… but they do bog down the flow, in addition to many many other sequences. The Klingon battle, the spacedock, the wormhole, the V’ger scenes all posses a large amount of redundant scenes and filler that I’ve been trimming out. I have a rough draft of the film edited, with character building scenes from the SLV and DE reinserted.

Also involved with trimming flat is reflowing what is there for maximum effectiveness: I’m working on reordering certain scenes so they are more efficient and impactful in their message (the Klingon Battle is an example of this).

-Special Effects

What was accomplished was stunning and amazing given the constraints involved. That doesn’t change the fact there were many corners cut, from backgrounds not filled, blue screen bleeding, huge matte lines, etc. I’m not a fan of scrubbing every spot and flaw off the picture, as it adds character to be able to see the seems in a piece, reminds that it came from a physical process that took time and patience and skill. I would like to fix some of the easier things though by removing lingering dirt on the print in some shots, blue screen bleed, and several other surprises.

I’m also considering adding to what is there in subtle yet affective ways; many shots of the E are beautifully lit against the back ground, some others it sticks like a sore thumb, some environmental lighting would help in this matter. In other ways, I’d like to add some overt aspects, from showing the final destruction of EP9, to adding Klingons to the Spock walk (the concept art boggles the imagination to what could be added to what’s already there), to creating entirely new shots for situations where existing shots do not satisfy the demands of the scene or the effects work is too far beyond repair.

-Sound Mix

I have a very nice pair of headphones designed by a mastering engineer. While they shall help me greatly, I do not have a 5.1 monitoring setup, and I’m greatly considering constructing a stereo or three channel mix, as it’d be more in keeping with the tone of this film being from 79 (little in the way of surround sound).

That should cover the main points. While I know there are those who find the theatrical cut on the blu-ray to be perfect for their needs, I also know there are those who feel there is more potential in this film. So, if any one has some feed back or interest in assisting with the project, feel free to discuss it here. I’ll keep this thread updated as best I can, and post my video updates in the post below.

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This is my post where I'll put video updates, from effects work, to scene drafts, to color corrections. My first treat to share is a color correction of the Enterprise reveal. It's a shot in the Blu-Ray that looks absolutely horrendous given the way it looks like a cartoon.

I've taken some time in my NLEs to bring in more in line with the DE, as well as the HDTV broadcasts (also added some film grain for good measure). Obviously I'm not entirely finished, but it's a good start. Be sure to watch in HD

http://youtu.be/TjRe7fIBWh0

For comparison shots, check here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1146477/st...on-pix-reviews

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Here is an updated version of one of the last segments of the Spock Walk, showing the original footage and my revised version after. I think I might have to add a little more blue haze to match some of the other V'Ger interior shots, but it's a good start.

http://youtu.be/JU0PcuGzFhM

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Yep, that looks ace! Although I've never seen the original; I've never had the time to..

Worst May the 4th EVER.

Ol’ George has the GOUT, I see.

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FanFiltration started an edit a while back, but was unable to finish. I still have the complilation of suggestions here. I believe you're free to use whatever you'd like. I'd be very interested to see how my Green Klingon Cruisers would work in action (which was accomplished by white balancing to a window and black balancing to space).

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“Oh yeah. I’m a dummy.” - me

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Full res: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-KHw5BHDjfG0/UwyNPeK8EfI/AAAAAAAAACk/XfDz7qfpWzM/w1598-h899-no/Vulcan_Matte1b.png

First attempt at a new Vulcan matte. Inspired by the original production matte that was going to be used instead of the... unacceptable one in the theatrical cut.

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Haven't finished the other matte shot, and the close ups will need to be color corrected (and I believe a few will need new background mattes).

Here is my first draft for the first Vulcan establishing shot. 

http://youtu.be/BuXdWiPGbO0

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Does anyone have an idea where I could get a copy of the HDTV broadcast? I'm trying to restore the colors and brightness levels to what they were on the DVD, however a lot of color and brightness information has been clipped out of the blu-ray. I'd like to use the HDTV broadcast to fill in what's missing in certain shots.

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Synnöve said:

Haven't finished the other matte shot, and the close ups will need to be color corrected (and I believe a few will need new background mattes).

Here is my first draft for the first Vulcan establishing shot. 

http://youtu.be/BuXdWiPGbO0

 That looks incredible!!!

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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That looks great! I've never liked how crappy the Earth looks in that shot, but that would be a lot of roto work to cut out the drydock.

I've seen some CG projects of someone redoing that entire scene, I wonder if you'd be interested in talking to them?

“Oh yeah. I’m a dummy.” - me

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I'd love to see a high quality update of Fanfiltration's recreation of the Special Longer Version!

Time is the fire in which we burn

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Here is the actual version, the previous one didn't incorporate the new deflector dish work.

http://youtu.be/gas5BvfIg-w

https://app.box.com/s/ctyjey65v5ya82b8oxl5 -70MB MP4

doubleofive said:

That looks great! I've never liked how crappy the Earth looks in that shot, but that would be a lot of roto work to cut out the drydock.

I've seen some CG projects of someone redoing that entire scene, I wonder if you'd be interested in talking to them?

 

It it could possibly be keyed out along with a garbage matte to protect everything else. I agree it looks very dated, but my goal with this edit isn't to update the film's effects, but rather to fix odds and ends, assist with continuity between effect shots, and add replacements where the originals are unsuitable (the vulcan establishing shot). I will, however, be attempting to change out the background in some shots where the earth looks very desaturated and dark compared to shots like this.

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Glorious and loverly. Where shall this be uploaded for use?

Friends with no one and everyone. FUCK YO COUCH!

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I'm impressed! It's kind of hard to know what to focus on, the ship or the people, maybe making the reflections more transparent or more blurred would help? I like the idea of adding more reflections, I'm pretty sure I remember the FX guys saying they wanted to do more but ran out of time.

“Oh yeah. I’m a dummy.” - me

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The reflections start as crisp then get blurrier due to zooming on the window. I've already increased transparency to a high level, only the highlights are not transparent... might be able to increase the blur however.

The biggest impediment in this project is the lack of a properly calibrated monitor at my residence. I have a beautiful FW900 Trinitron that desperately needs some alignment to the sRGB standard, however I do not have a meter. I'll see about purchasing one but cash is rather tight at the moment!

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My Trinitron has fired it's last electron unfortunately and I no longer have a proper display, nor the thousand to put down on a display that I can color grade with/create effects with and I'm certainly not going to produce effects and grade the film on a display that won't accurately display colors as that would produce a rather mediocre result.

Does anyone aside from Adywan have any success with fundraisers to help with project costs? I really want to continue with this project however due to my lack of steady income at this time I'm precluded from doing so. A fund raiser would definitely help in the buying of a good grading display so that I may finish.

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Good news everyone! I've made arrangements to purchase high end plasma display to grade with. I assume that by the end of the month, I should be able to continue work on this project : ).

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Buuuump!

I've started dabbling with this project again, and have hit a snag: I'm trying to conform the geometry of the blu-ray scan with that of the scan used for the HDTV broadcast. Timing wise clips match up perfectly, however the geometry of the frame is somewhat different due to the different scans.

Does anyone have some advise on how I would be able to align the two video clips successfully using After Effects? This is important as a lot of the blu-ray footage is missing highlight and shadow information due to it being clipped out by the colorist.

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I think I've arrived at a process that achieves a good balance between alignment and time spent. Here is my first composite using the process, and while the clip hasn't been color timed, it's pretty close. It uses the shadows and highlights from the HDTV broadcast and the mid-tones from the blu-ray. The HDTV clip was put through a good amount of noise reduction, and a nice layer of film grain was added to the final result (can't really make it out in the youtube encode).

http://youtu.be/I64atQCpKYU

Thoughts?

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