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StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread

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This thread will serve as the central hub for info and feedback concerning the OT restoration effort underway at www.starwarslegacy.com. Technical questions, suggestions, etc, not covered in the site's FAQ are more than welcome!

Thanks,

_Mike Verta_
starwarslegacy.com

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I'm interested in what the plugins you have developed do?
(I have been using Eddie for roto and satabilising the footage, but am interested in what you are up to on the PC)
Are you going to try and stabilise all the footage, or just the horribly wobbly bits?
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"or just the horribly wobbly bits?"

Why does that sound like a Python line?
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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Originally posted by: Laserman
I'm interested in what the plugins you have developed do?
(I have been using Eddie for roto and satabilising the footage, but am interested in what you are up to on the PC)
Are you going to try and stabilise all the footage, or just the horribly wobbly bits?


We've developed a few plug-ins for this project. One is a de-noiser, as the laserdisc has surprisingly visible, ever-present video noise. Our de-noiser has successfully removed the video noise without softening the image.

We also developed a saturation plug-in. Simply boosting a saturation control doesn't work because it immediately introduces artifacts into the image as it tries to recruit colors from a palette that's already been truncated. Our saturation plug-in allows us to dial the color back in without this limitation. It also allows us to easily apply the color palette from one image to another, though there are a lot of ways to do that.

There's also a sharpening plug-in we wrote that works a billion times better than standard sharpening tools like unsharp mask, which usually adds edge artifacts and other anomalies.

Another plug-in was developed for things like lightsabers and lasers (I used it to restore the lasers in the opening scene), whereby there is nearly limitless control over the shape, softness, color gradients, etc.

For rotowork, we usually use Commotion 2.x (still the best), which we also use for paint work/clean up.

I'm cool with stabilizing footage where necessary, and for that I'll usually use boujou, or Commotion, or AE, whatever works, really.

_Mike

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Cool project Mike.

The only suggestion I would make is the use of a better LD player. Lesser models like the 91 can cause a lot of the video noise that you're seeing.

Consider using something like the CLD-97, which has excellent composite output. You could send that to a capture card with a top-of-the-line comb filter. I think that would provide the best results.

The component mod you've made to the 91 is intriguing though. What kind of comb filter/transcoding solution does that employ?

The things you pwn end up pwning you.

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Originally posted by: Jay
Cool project Mike.

The component mod you've made to the 91 is intriguing though. What kind of comb filter/transcoding solution does that employ?


I have absolutely no idea. I'm no engineer. I can ask the designer, though, if it's really important to ya...

Meantime, I'll look into that 97...

_Mike

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Mike, I'm impressed with your work on the opening crawl. I just started trying to take the DVD and do the same and it is becoming damn near impossible to get the 'horizon point' to line up.

Just alittle praise on something that may get overlooked.
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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Originally posted by: Hardcore Legend
Mike, I'm impressed with your work on the opening crawl. I just started trying to take the DVD and do the same and it is becoming damn near impossible to get the 'horizon point' to line up.

Just alittle praise on something that may get overlooked.



Thanks... yeah, there are a lot of things actually going on in there to get it perfect... I think it's 7 or 8 layers of elements.

_Mike

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"yeah, there are a lot of things actually going on in there to get it perfect... I think it's 7 or 8 layers of elements."

Having made a few runs at it myself, I can concur. Funny how something that was done so easily as a simple panning optical effect is a bitch to recreate digitally. LOL!
MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.


MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.


JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.
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I'll second the noise problem, most of it is being introduced by your player.
See if you can beg borrow or steal a Pioneer HLD-X9 or its cheaper cousin the Pioneer LD-S9. The pickup on these is far superior, they will play discs even with advanced rot with no sparklies and have by far the lowest noise floor of any LD player out there. The American CLD-99 is another good player, same pickup but not quite as good a comb filter.
But really any of these players will give an image that is so much better than the player you are using that there is just no comparison. Seriously.

If you sniff around a Laserdisc forums (Try AVS) you could probably convince an owner to lend it to you for the few days to get a super clean capture. You will be truly amazed at the difference in quality.

It would be a shame for you to expend so much effort on this only to have your source footage be a long way below par and make the final result that much less than it could be.

As my Ma used ta say - Ya can't polish a turd.
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Mike, are you sure the stars are supposed to be as bright as you are making them, especially the one used in your favorite frames section.
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Originally posted by: wadetv
Mike, are you sure the stars are supposed to be as bright as you are making them, especially the one used in your favorite frames section.


Yes.

_Mike

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Originally posted by: Laserman
As my Ma used ta say - Ya can't polish a turd.
Well you can, but it's still only a polished turd.
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The other thing to remember guys when looking at the original laserdiscs, screengrabs and so forth that most laserdiscs mastered to a black level of 7.5 IRE, whereas DVDs are at 0 IRE.
This means (in simple terms) that a nice prog scan DVD is darker on playback than laserdiscs.
If you have your telly setup for DVD and then watch a laserdisc at the same settings the picture will look overbright, (washed out) and flat, and will have poor black levels.

If you have a laserdisc player and like to watch movies on it, make sure you calibrate your TV for laserdisc playback and it will look a lot better.

(Now back to the topic at hand)

We are going to scan some of the film we have from the 78 ANH 35mm print. Does anyone have any particular frames they want to see for reference?
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There are some guys here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=6080c06a708c13755fb84c58e971fb71&threadid=383743
that may be willing to lend out a decent LD player for your project. It really would make a big difference.
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Originally posted by: Laserman
The other thing to remember guys when looking at the original laserdiscs, screengrabs and so forth that most laserdiscs mastered to a black level of 7.5 IRE, whereas DVDs are at 0 IRE.



To the best of my knowledge, all DVD players sold in America add setup to 7.5 IRE at the output stage, though some have a 0 IRE function cryptically called, "enhanced black".

hmm....

_Mike

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Mike I noticed on your site that you state you use Adobe After Effects software. Is this the only software you use? And are you able to take the straight raw files and edit them, or do you have to convert like the rest of us?

Also, I did an edit on some footage from the DVD the other night and when I went to burn it for a test it said that the audio and video bit stream would add together to be too much. I understand this concept, but don't understand how Lucasfilm was able to do it, and I'm not.
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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Originally posted by: Hardcore Legend
Mike I noticed on your site that you state you use Adobe After Effects software. Is this the only software you use? And are you able to take the straight raw files and edit them, or do you have to convert like the rest of us?

Also, I did an edit on some footage from the DVD the other night and when I went to burn it for a test it said that the audio and video bit stream would add together to be too much. I understand this concept, but don't understand how Lucasfilm was able to do it, and I'm not.


No, our software principals are After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop, Commotion, Shake, Maya, Rhino, boujou, Stitcher, Imagemodeler, and Pro Tools for audio. We have seats of 3D Studio Max and Lightwave around as well, and a seat of Houdini, but I think we've only used it for particle effects twice. After Effects, especially with some custom plug-ins, is a killer app no matter what anyone says, and TONS of feature shots are finished on it.

In this project, I've so far used Photoshop, Illustrator, Commotion, AE, boujou, and Maya.

As for your encoding issues, I'm not sure what the problem is. We are directly decrypting the .vob files as our DVD image source. Our encoder is Cinemacraft Encoder PRO. Our DVD authoring software is Scenarist, and we have an ac3 encoder which we use to encode the 5.1 448 streams from our master 48kHz AIFF files. We can also burn DVD-9's in house.

_Mike

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Well, I took the VOB file straight from the DVD and then seperated the audio and video, clipped a few frames from the video and then remux'd them back together. I used TMPGEnc DVD authoring program and it said the bitrate was outside the readible amount for standard DVD players.

But I thank you for all the information Mike. I think it is great that you bother to reply to all our questions about this.
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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Originally posted by: Hardcore Legend: I thank you for all the information Mike. I think it is great that you bother to reply to all our questions about this.


My generosity is legendary.

_Mike

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Just curious Mike, what % are you done? What's your time frame for this project?
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Originally posted by: yanksno1
Just curious Mike, what % are you done? What's your time frame for this project?


It's done when it's done... just so long as it's right, I don't care how long it takes. I'm only about 10 minutes into the film, but I've done spots of things in later sections, that I'll be posting sooner or later. There are sections that are more difficult, and less difficult... the opening 10 minutes were exceptionally dense with issues...

_Mike

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Just checked out the sight. I must say you are doing phenomenal work. The effort you are putting into that project is a testament to how much of a fan you are. And the respect you are giving Lucas, Fox, etc. is a testament to your ethical responsibility. I guess im just glad to see some people maintain that.
Uh...right on. Keep up the great work.
"You don't own space, so stop actin' like you do."
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Hey, Mike, just curious being a Maya guy and all...what have you used it for on the restoration? I'm at a bit of a loss to think of where you would have employed it.
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Originally posted by: INv8r_ZIM
Hey, Mike, just curious being a Maya guy and all...what have you used it for on the restoration? I'm at a bit of a loss to think of where you would have employed it.


The starfield pan-down was rendered with mental ray.

_Mike

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