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Star Wars color grading - thoughts

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Theatrical cut:
EP1: 2000 JP LD, 2000 VCD, 2000(?) DVB (TB)
EP2: none
EP3: should be the same as "BD" SE
EP4: LD, VHS, 1993 THX VHS, 1993 THX LD, 2006 DVD ("GOUT")
EP5: LD, VHS, 1993 THX VHS, 1993 THX LD, 2006 DVD ("GOUT")
EP6: LD, VHS, 1993 THX VHS, 1993 THX LD, 2006 DVD ("GOUT")
EP7: 2016 DVD, 2016 BD, 2016 web download, 2016 WOWOW

1997 SE:
EP4: 1997 VHS, 1997 LD, 2000 VCD, 1999 DVB (G'kar, TB, RaiTre, Reivax, Flunk)
EP5: 1997 VHS, 1997 LD, 2000 VCD, 1999 DVB (G'kar, TB, RaiTre)
EP6: 1997 VHS, 1997 LD, 2000 VCD, 1999 DVB (G'kar, TB, RaiTre)

"DVD" SE:
EP1: 2001 VHS, 2001 DVD, 2006(?) HDTV
EP2: 2003 VHS, 2003 DVD, 2006(?) HDTV
EP3: 2005 VHS, 2005 DVD, 2006(?) HDTV
EP4: 2004 DVD, 2006(?) HDTV
EP5: 2004 DVD, 2006(?) HDTV
EP6: 2004 DVD, 2006(?) HDTV

"BD" SE:
EP1: 2011 BD, 2015 web download, 2016 WOWOW
EP2: 2011 BD, 2015 web download, 2016 WOWOW
EP3: 2011 BD, 2015 web download, 2016 WOWOW
EP4: 2011 BD, 2015 web download, 2016 WOWOW
EP5: 2011 BD, 2015 web download, 2016 WOWOW
EP6: 2011 BD, 2015 web download, 2016 WOWOW

Some thoughts:

  • PAL/DC THX LD and GOUT should have the same colors
  • 1997 SE G’kar and TB have the same grading
  • 1997 SE Flunk has essentially the same grading of G’kar and TB
  • 1997 SE Reivax should have the same grading of G’kar, TB and Flunk
  • 1997 SE RaiTre has different grading of other DVB versions; no pink or blue blankets, but duller colors and lower brightness
  • EP1 TB and DVD/HDTV has similar grading, the same in many shots but not in every one
  • VCD and DVD should have same grading
  • DVD and HDTV have the same grading
  • PAL and NTSC DVD have the same grading
  • WOWOW has slight different grading from BD (except EP7 which is the same)
  • VHS and LD colors are variable, and they depends on editions, hardware player, capture card and settings

At the end, I think the main color grading versions to take in account, for project purposes, are:

  • EP 1 = TB DVB, DVD/HDTV, BD
  • EP 2, 3 = DVD/HDTV, BD
  • EP 4, 5, 6 = GOUT, 1997 DVB, DVD/HDTV, BD
  • EP 7 = BD

Plus, there are a lot of “official” partial sources, like trailers, teasers, documentaries, and even DVD menus.

Now, I’d like to know the general consensus of what is could be considered the * right * (or the best among the previous, or the less wrong…) color grading for each episode (from 1 to 6), or part of them, and the avisynth settings (or scripts) to apply to correct or improve the quality of a given version - GOUT, DVD and BD in particular, for example, to get rid of the pinkish tone, or achieve the correct levels.

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Will this thread take into account 35mm film scan sources as well?

If Funimation responded to critics of the Orange Bricks…

“We are always impressed with how closely fans watch the many different versions we have made for the Dragon Ball series over the years. It is flattering to know that, indeed, the audience is watching. Consequently, each version comes out differently and any changes that you see on the all-new 1080p high-definition transfer of the original Japanese masters on the Dragon Ball Z Season Set One DVD are deliberate creative decisions. We can confirm that there are no technical glitches as has been reported.”

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clutchins said:

Will this thread take into account 35mm film scan sources as well?

At the moment the scans are as variable, if not more so, than the VHS/LD captures. The others are consistent sources. We would have to take each film scan project as a separate resource.

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My take on the colors is that the GOUT and 97 SE broadcasts all seem to be taken from interprositive prints. They all share an redish-orange tinting that doesn’t seem to be completely compensated for. In my experience compensating for the natural tint of the interpositive is something that falls inside an acceptable spectrum or outside. Compared to other movies that have fallen outside, these are definitely inside, though the SE segments for ANH seem to be scanned with different settings and fall outside or the color balance wasn’t done well when making the interprositive. We’d need to archive a 35mm print of that one to tell for sure.

Many of the same problems plague TPM. The scans of the original theatrical cut are all redish-orange and over cropped.

ATOC was shot digitally and the effects were done digitally. And it looks like the color choices have remained consistent.

There was a leak of ROTS just before the movie hit theaters. It is low resolution, but the colors match the DVD and BR, so this film, done entirely digital, is true to the original, though it shows a yellow tint throughout that I think was present in the original film, but it means the blockade runner scenes don’t match ANH.

TFA was shot on film, edited digitally. The blue-ray is over saturated and the reds are too intense compared to the digital download of the trailers from YouTube. It kind of matches the blue-ray of ANH, the most messed up of the trilogy on blue-ray.

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yotsuya, thanks for the info!

EP1: * should * need minimal tweaks to be corrected; BD has less cropping in comparison to DVD/HDTV.

EP2: * seems * to be correct, right?

EP3: I must add that I have the workprint, good quality (apart obvious timecodes and other writings), and the color grading is the same of the DVD, so we * could * assume it is right.

EP4, 5, 6: I agree that GOUT, when slightly corrected to get rid of the pinkish tone, * seems * to be the “less wrong”, followed by 1997 DVB; but the latter is often similar to DVD and BD - for example, blue snow on Hoth; I’m pretty sure there was an avisynth script with settings to correct GOUT colors, but can’t find it at the moment; there was also curve settings for BD, but files are not available anymore…

EP7: I’m pretty sure BD is plagued by teal&orange and could be eventually corrected to resemble the trailers grading; at least, the DVD/BD/3D BD/web download * should * share the same color grading.

[spoRv] projects: released | in progress | future | homepage: blog.spoRv.com| fan preservation forum: fanres.com|

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The TPM BD was zoomed out during the conversion to 3D, which is why it seems less cropped. It’s technically not cropped enough compared to prior releases.

If Funimation responded to critics of the Orange Bricks…

“We are always impressed with how closely fans watch the many different versions we have made for the Dragon Ball series over the years. It is flattering to know that, indeed, the audience is watching. Consequently, each version comes out differently and any changes that you see on the all-new 1080p high-definition transfer of the original Japanese masters on the Dragon Ball Z Season Set One DVD are deliberate creative decisions. We can confirm that there are no technical glitches as has been reported.”

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clutchins said:

The TPM BD was zoomed out during the conversion to 3D, which is why it seems less cropped. It’s technically not cropped enough compared to prior releases.

The DVD was zoomed in deliberately and the Blu-ray isn’t. Thus, it is much closer to the theatrical framing.

“That said, there is nothing wrong with mocking prequel lovers and belittling their bad taste.” - Alderaan, 2017

MGGA (Make GOUT Great Again):
http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Return-of-the-GOUT-Preservation-and-Restoration

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I compared RaiTre Vs Flunk (but G’kar and TB could be used instead); even if RaiTre has lower saturation and brightness, it is not plagued by the pink blanket (and also blue blanket found on some scenes) present in Flunk (and other DVB as well).

Just few examples (top Flunk, bottom RaiTre):





Is RaiTre grading “right”? Don’t know - probably not - but it’s surely different from the other DVBs! I recall also that the italian VHS I captured for my old SET project have similar grading; not 100% sure, I should find the file and make a direct comparison.

(Please, focus just on the color grading; I know RaiTre quality is bad, as it’s recorded from a DVB decoder connected via Scart cable to a DVD recorder, and its aspect ratio is wrong.)

[spoRv] projects: released | in progress | future | homepage: blog.spoRv.com| fan preservation forum: fanres.com|

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I just realized that WOWOW version of EP 5 and 6 (probably also for the other episodes) used not the 2011 BD master, but the 2015 digital download; as far as I can tell, differences are only in missing Fox logo and new fanfare; color grading of EP 5 and 6 (and 7, too) is the same of the Blu-ray - I checked a lot of frames to confirm that. BUT…

EP 4 (still unsure if the master used is 2015 digital download, but it’s really plausible), at the contrary, DO HAVE a different color grading… not so drastic like the one between previous versions, but it’s there; don’t know if the difference just lie only in brightness and/or contrast and/or gamma; to me, colors also are affected - seems WOWOW has not that pink blanket found on BD.

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/193837

I would like to make a comparison of the Mos Eisley added shots, like the last one in the previous post, but I have not found them.

BD screenshots taken here: http://www.darkrealmfox.com/film_reviews/blu-ray-screencaps-star-wars-episode-4-a-new-hope
WOWOW screenshots taken directly from the broadcast .ts file

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I remember this discussion about DVD menus, and how it resemble (to the poster) Mike Verta’s version: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Star-Wars-2004-DVD-Interactive-Menus-vs-Movie/id/15265

Don’t know if all (or some) DVD menus have the “right” color grading; what I know is that RaiTre is really close: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/193879 - and actually the only two versions with the yellow lower sun… my PAL VHS capture is close, but the lower sun is orange.

If someone is interested, I could post a complete comparison of the binary sunset.

[spoRv] projects: released | in progress | future | homepage: blog.spoRv.com| fan preservation forum: fanres.com|

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