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Star Wars Trilogy SE bluray color regrade

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I’ve been toying with this idea for a while now. While waiting for a good reference for my theatrical regrade of Raiders of the Lost Ark, I’ve upgraded the ColorCorrect tool I’ve developed, and ran some tests on the Star Wars bluray. I was pleased with the results, so I’m going to go ahead with regrading the entire Star Wars Trilogy shot by shot. My main inspiration was this shot posted by Mike Verta:

When I saw that image, I thought, that’s what I want this trilogy to look like.

I will be using print scans, mostly a color corrected LPP, also used as a basis for the Silver Screen Edition, and to a lesser degree Technicolor print scans for Star Wars, Mike Verta’s samples, production photos, and the Japanese Special Collection laserdiscs as color references.

When will this be finished? I will start with Tantive IV, and we’ll see where we end up from there.

After a long quiet period, here are a number of regraded shots with a technicolor print color timing, based on a large number of technicolor print frames I own:

More shots will follow soon…

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Looking forward to seeing how this develops DrDre. I like the shots you’ve posted.

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Looks very appealing. I’d love a color corrected BR transfer.

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Cool. So it’ll be essentially untouched 2011/2004 except for color?

I honestly think this could get me to sit down and watch the SE trilogy. I’ll still cringe at Jabba or fast forward through Jedi Rocks, but the bulk of the films will look fantastic, color wise, if you keep this up.

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DrDre said:

Yup, it will be untouched 2011/2004. I think I might actually use Schormann’s HDTV transfer, as I can’t stand Vader’s noooooo in ROTJ.

Yeah. It would get rid of R2’s rocks and some other things as well. Or you can drop in Schorman’s when needed, or just use his audio, since the BD picture quality is better. The 2004 ANH audio channels are a bit messed up, though, and fixed in 2011.

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Might be a good jumping-off point for Harmy-style reconstructions.

(Perhaps ideally, it could be in the form of the means to rebuild it out of the BD M2TS files, that way no Lucasfilm material changes hands. </DAFT>)

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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Molly said:

Might be a good jumping-off point for Harmy-style reconstructions.

(Perhaps ideally, it could be in the form of the means to rebuild it out of the BD M2TS files, that way no Lucasfilm material changes hands. </DAFT>)

Harmy discussed a similar idea for if Disney ever releases the OOT. Could have a NLE like Resolve, as it’s free now, with all of the LUTs applied across it as necessary. Just need the LUT batch and the m2ts files straight from the disc if doing this for something like Dre’s goal described here.

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DrDre said:

… I’ve upgraded the ColorCorrect tool I’ve developed, … so I’m going to go ahead with regrading the entire Star Wars Trilogy [blu-ray] shot by shot.

I haven’t examined the blu-ray, but all the Lucas, et al, tinkerings usually end with blown & crushed colors. You might want to pre-check your source. This resultant sceenshot doesn’t show any blow-out but it does show crush (hopefully not from your process) . .

R/G/B’s of “0” are increased to “255” to highlight the crush and the
remaining “1- 255” are reduced by 3/4’s (to “64” max) for ease of review


“Your love of the halflings’ leaf has clearly slowed your mind”

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Big fan of your work as you know DrDre, so I’m looking forward to seeing how you go with this.

Am I correct in my recollection that the 1997 SE was timed to George Lucas’ Tech IB print of the original '77 Star Wars? I know the Laserdisc and VHS releases of the '97 SE are in no way representative of the colours seen in the cinema, so I’m curious as to how similar the pre-2004 SE is to the original grading.

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STENDEC said:

Big fan of your work as you know DrDre, so I’m looking forward to seeing how you go with this.

Am I correct in my recollection that the 1997 SE was timed to George Lucas’ Tech IB print of the original '77 Star Wars? I know the Laserdisc and VHS releases of the '97 SE are in no way representative of the colours seen in the cinema, so I’m curious as to how similar the pre-2004 SE is to the original grading.

That’s what it was timed to, but that doesn’t mean it’s an exact replica of the colors. And yeah, the home video versions have a shit-ton of pink in them, through they’re still leaps and bounds better than the god-awful 2004/2011 colors.

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The comparison really highlights how absolutely absurd the BD grading is. There are plenty of films discussed around here where I think people are actually a bit sensitive about slightly incorrect color timing. But the blu-ray looks as if they were trying to make it look as wrong as possible short of actually inverting the image.

If my memory is correct, the color timing for V and VI, while still blue and dark, is no where near as bad.

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I actually don’t hate the color in the official release of Empire. Sure, Harmy’s 2.0 blows it out of the water, but it doesn’t scream “THIS IS POORLY DONE” like Star Wars. There are a few places where it even creates an interesting look, albeit one that isn’t accurate to any sort of reference.

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joefavs said:

I actually don’t hate the color in the official release of Empire. Sure, Harmy’s 2.0 blows it out of the water, but it doesn’t scream “THIS IS POORLY DONE” like Star Wars. There are a few places where it even creates an interesting look, albeit one that isn’t accurate to any sort of reference.

I agree. And RoTJ strayed blue a bit at times even in the 83 LPP and 97 SE. Some parts in the 04 master go too far for sure. Especially on Endor and for some reason the Death Star internals during the attack on the core. As you say with ESB, the 04 master isn’t true to anything, but it is not for the most part a completely unreasonable looking film. ANH on the other hand… I wonder if proper color correction was just so far out of reach in the limited time they had, that they cranked the settings up to 11 to try to mask all sorts of problems at once.

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This one (cropped to an affected area) has both blow-outs and crush (minimal) . .

[updated]
But this one looks good with no source blown/crushed showing (top/Blu-ray bottom/processed for each picture pair; 1st group = pictures, 2nd group = blown displayed, 3rd group = crushed displayed) . .

Keep in mind that “flattened” crushed/blown areas are still flat (no info therein) even though pushed into legal range. The crushed/blown areas would need to be reconstructed or otherwise fudged on a plane-by-plane basis to restore the appearance of intact information.

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“Your love of the halflings’ leaf has clearly slowed your mind”

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Actually, only the 0/0/0 and 255/255/255 have no information. The color matching algorithm should still be able to reconstruct the colors pretty well if only one of the channels is crushed, and to some extend if two are crushed, if that RGB combination can be uniquely matched to an RGB combination in the reference.

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I think this is my new most anticipated release right up there with Harmy’s 3.0

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I think this shot worked out pretty well. If it seems bright compared to the bluray, that’s just the way it looks on the Technicolor IB print scans. I love the contrast of the deep black of Vader’s cape, against the bright hall of the Tantive IV. Also, check out the lights on Vader’s belt…

Bluray:

Bluray regraded:

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