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The Matrix [spoRv] *BD-25 RELEASED*

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_,,,^..^,,,_ presents The Matrix [spoRv] project

The Matrix [special preserved or Restored version]

Project mission: restore The Matrix color grading using PAL DVD as color reference.

Video sources: luma from BD, chroma from PAL DVD.

Audio sources: from BD, plus the Cinema DTS soundtrack.

Subtitles sources: from BD.

 

The Matrix [spoRv]

 

Source Material

Video:

  • The Matrix (BD) - from Ultimate Matrix collection
  • The Matrix (PAL DVD) - first release

 

Audio:

  • The Matrix (BD) - from Ultimate Matrix collection
  • The Matrix - Cinema DTS soundtrack

 

Subtitles:

  • The Matrix (BD) - from Ultimate Matrix collection


Processing setup & info

Hardware:

  • Sony Vaio VGX-XL202 PC - CPU Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz, 3GB RAM, 250GB+320GB HDDs, BD-RE 
  • Western Digital Elements 1TB - external USB HD


Software:

  • VirtualDub and AviSynth for video editing
  • Foobar2000 for audio conversions
  • AVIdemux and tsMuxeR for demuxing/muxing


Project status: RELEASED - Final format: BD-25 


 

Video treatment:

BD VC-1 and DVD MPEG2 are converted using the Lagarith lossless compression (YV12); BD is used as frame reference; PAL DVD has the same frame numbers. ColourMatch avisynth script is used to match the DVD colors; where there are compression artefacts, or the cropping are different for the two sources, the upscaled and enhanced DVD will be used for those shots.

BD-25 video track:

  • the original video format is 1920x796@23.976 2.40:1, average bitrate around 17mbps, video codec VC-1; the final video will have the same features, as it's useless (IMHO) to use an higher bitrate; of course, I will use X.264 because it's the best AVC encoder around, and should compress better than the old VC-1 encoder used years ago for the original video.

 

Audio treatment:

All the BD soundtracks will be left untouched; I will use all of them, except the TrueHD english soundtrack, and the AC3 japanese one, which was hidden. Instead, I'll add the Cinema DTS soundtrack, taken from the original theatrical CDs, converted to 48KHz, 23.976fps.

BD-25 audio tracks:

  • English DTS Cinema, DTS 5.1 1510kbps, 48KHz, 24bit
  • English AC3 5.1 640kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • French AC3 5.1 640kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • Italian AC3 5.1 640kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • Spanish AC3 2.0 192kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • Portuguese AC3 2.0 192kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • English commentary (track 1) AC3 2.0 192kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • English commentary (track 2) AC3 2.0 192kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • English commentary (track 3) AC3 2.0 192kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • English commentary (track 4) AC3 2.0 192kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
  • English commentary (track 5) AC3 2.0 192kbps, 48KHz, 16bit
 

 

Subtitles treatment:

the BD subtitles will be left untouched; will be used all the ones that reflects the soundtracks, plus the japanese and the dutch ones.

BD-25 subtitle tracks:

  • english
  • french
  • italian
  • spanish
  • portoguese
  • dutch
  • japanese
  • english for commentary track 1
  • french for commentary track 1
  • italian for commentary track 1
  • spanish for commentary track 1
  • portoguese for commentary track 1
  • dutch for commentary track 1

 

Special thanks to:

nirbateman for invaluable help to find out shots to fix, and further help. Without you, this project could not be the same! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Credits:

  • Jetrell Fo and DoomBot for the Cinema DTS soundtrack
  • all the forum members supporting this project from this and from the other thread


Self comment (originally posted on July 20, 2013):

It's time to save "The Matrix"... sadly, the Wachowski brothers (ehr... brother and sister now?) decided that their masterpiece should be *corrected* to be more in line with their sequels, so they were *forced* to color-grading the first episode "greener than green", to match the sequels... who likes the whole trilogy think that it's a good thing, while the rest of us that think that there is only one MATRIX (the others are simply *extras*) want its original colors back!

While I'm not totally sure that the DVD colors are the most close to the theatrical version, this is the best color reference available at the moment. And, because it's nearly impossible that "The Matrix" will be re-released without its new "green tint", I thought to take the BD luma, the DVD chroma, a kitchen mixer and... wait, no, actually the method I used is *a bit* different... (^^,)

First tests: just overlay the BD luma to the (upscaled) DVD chroma. It worked... well, sort of, because the upscaled DVD cannot match perfectly the BD, even when the cropping are the same, and worse, the cropping are often NOT the same... so, I decided to give it a try with the avisynth plugin ColourLike. It worked... well, sort of, because yes, resulting colors are better than BD, but not so close to the DVD... then, AntcuFaalb posted a modified version, called ColourLikeFBF (where FBF stands for Frame by Frame), so I tested it, and... yes, you know, it worked (sort of), as colors are more closer than the classic ColourLike, but still not there...

At the end, I tested my ColourMatch script (the version I have NOT used on "The Thing"), and... BINGO! It worked... almost perfectly!

But let's see the usual comparison shots, in order of appearance (reduced 50%) - ColourLikeFBF made a good job, but ColourMatch made it better!

The latest ColourMatch version produces very good results, but because the BD has clipping whites, it produces some artefacts too (but way less than the first version)... so, the shots with artefacts will be replaced with... (horror!) upscaled DVD! Well, the final result is not that bad, check the test clip!

TEST CLIP (78MB, 4000kbps, no audio: sendspace)

Comments are welcome, as usual!

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

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Looking at the last shot with the agents on the roof, Is there a way to avoid the noise or "artifacts" in the sky and in the shot with Tank in the lights above him that your getting in the colourmatch?  Only other thing is the dvd seems a bit brighter. As far as color goes, it's looking great.

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Thanks for the hints.

I solved problems like Tank scene, but the sky artifacts in the last scene is present also in ColourLikeFBF... if you watch carefully, the DVD is the cause - I'll try to solve it too.

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

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I am really looking forward to this project, i love The Matrix, the sequels not so much, i try to pretend they never existed XD

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Nice, definitely looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I love The Matrix also and just wasn't as impressed when watching my Blu-ray set recently.

“There is no peace, peace is a lie” -Start of the Sith Code

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This is awesome news! Long have we waited for someone to finally do a project like this!

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ColourMatch lossless version is ready; it will be used to spot the scenes with artifacts and replace them using other kind of color match scripts.

But I could not work on it now, as it's late, and I should work tomorrow all day, then I'll go out for vacation for a week, so hold on! until I'll be back in the first days of September; then, I'll be back to "The Matrix" project (and not only on this one...)

Good night to everyone!

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

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+1

Enjoy your vacation Andrea and have a great time!

Looking forward to your future projects!

 

 

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If someone was worried about this project, I'm here to say that is still alive, just... spleeping a bit... (^^,) vacation went quite OK, not perfect, but at least I had some rest... it's a pity I was 1000 miles away from home, and I spent no time on my beloved projects...

Well, today I've checked the scenes with artifacts, and, as the BD has (a lot of) blooming whites, whenever there is a light in the scene, there is at least a frame with artifacts... this means that I should use another kind of technique not only for the frame, but for the whole scene...

For now, I'm only checking the scenes, and I'm slowly progressing - I'm around 20%, I know, I'm slow, but I'm working on other projects too, I have a life, a family, a job, and a lot of cats to cuddle and care all the time (think of them like a feline version of "The Wild Bunch" and you got the idea...)

Probably I'll finish the job next week, but please don't rely on this at 100%... really probably, not sure... stay tuned nevertheless!

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

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Can not wait, Thanks for your work on this.

Loved your Thing BD, seeding at the moment.

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Thanks look awesome! How about doing Mad Max 2 next?

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Thanks for the encouragement - MM2 should wait, but not too long... (^^,)

Instead of checking the ColourMatch artifacts (shame on me), I continued to test the new script, to replace the scenes with artifacts... well, here you are the screenshots:

An example of mild artifacts on lights - on DVD, you could see the bulb, on CM the white light is, ehr, not white and full of strange speckles? At least on CMnew speckles are gone, and is whiter than CM...

***   ***   ***

Here the artifacts on light are really noticeable on CM, while CMnew are "bearable" (at least, seen in motion are not evident), but colors are not perfect as CM.

***   ***   ***

This is one of the few scenes where CM is really ugly; CMnew is bad, but still watchable. I think this could be fixed only using the DVD "as is", or simply using the BD luma and DVD chroma - further tests are needed...

***   ***   ***

"The Matrix" is really HARD to regrading... there will be hundred scenes to check, and I spent (and I should spend more in the near future) hours testing to find the best solutions to fix the scenes with artifacts...

Conclusion: I should make a decision, between these solutions;

Solution 1) Use ColourMatchNew for the whole movie - it *should* prevent any bad artifacts, leaving only some "minor" ones, but colors will not be so close to DVD, let's say it will have 80% of the scene with 90% color accuracy, and 20% from 95% to 99%.

Solution 2) Use ColourMatch for the whole movie (that leads color accuracy to 98%/99% for almost all the scenes) AND fix the scenes with artifacts using ColourMatchNew - or DVD (needed for at least a scene, two/three seconds long, maybe others), or using BD luma + DVD chroma (like in the last screenshot), or other method still not tested or discovered...

Obviously, solution 1 is the fastest - if I'll start the conversion right now, it will be ready in two/three days (just the time my poor old PC convert it); is the fastest dirty job, and will be more than good, in comparison with the BD.

...and the wrong one, to me... solution 2 IS the only acceptable one, if I want to reach the best result in reasonable time... I mean, the BEST solution is to take the BD and correct it frame by frame (or scene by scene) by hand, but it will take literally years, and I'm not sure if the final result will be better than solution 2...

So, where is the problem? Just check the whole movie treated with ColourMatch, spot the scenes where there are artifacts, test which technique is better to avoid them, then replace those scenes... well, the process is right, but I have few time now, and testing each scene with different techniques take a looong time... so, here I am to ask for your help!

I'm going to split the movie in four parts, and produce for each a split screen version (DVD with frame number and ColourMatch), compressed with X.264 to stay around 500MB for each part. I need a volunteer (or more than one) that will check the split version, and note the frame numbers of the first and last frame of the scene with artifacts. It will take few hours for each part, and those hours spared will help me to concentrate into testing the best technique to use.

OK, any volunteer that want to spend some hours playing a part of the split screen version of "The Matrix", pause it, go back for few (or many) frames until the beginning of a scene, note the frame number, press play again, and repeat this action a hundred (or more) times? Anyone? (^^,)

Obviously if nobody could help me, I understad, we all have a life anyway... nevertheless, I'll do it anyway by myself, but it will take some days (well, weeks) more... but I'm pretty sure someone will be helpful, so I'm going to upload part 1 right now - I trust the members of this forum!

Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

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

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Hi Andrea... thanks for your efforts on The Matrix.  It looks like you're doing a fine job and I would like to second Stamper's request for Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) as well, but I wanted to bring one last thing to your attention because it is just coming to light with a new release.  The film I speak of is the 1978 original Halloween from director John Carpenter.  I don't know if you've read any feedback regarding the new 35th anniversary Blu-ray disc that is already shipping but is officially being release next week.  Anyway, years ago cinematographer Dean Cundey approved a THX transfer of the film for the Limited Edition DVD 2-disc set.  It had color-timing supervised by Adam Adams and featured beautiful amber and blue hues that put new life into the film as we know it.  It was somewhat revisionist, but based on what the original intentions might have been with better technology at the time.  That THX DVD transfer has been celebrated by fans since its release in 1999.  In 2007, the first Blu-ray disc for Halloween 1978 was released to mixed reviews.  The clarity and detail were praised, but the colors were way different than the '99 THX DVD.  The strong blue cast of the night-time shots were washed away to a starry white and the amber/orange warmth of Autumn were nowhere to be found.  Not as much anyway.  Amber became more green and the glow lost its luster.  The creepy blue night vanished and it just wasn't the moody horror film we knew from the THX DVD version in '99.  I know you have projects piled up, but please consider one day taking a look at the process of creating a high definition version of Halloween with the THX '99 DVD colors restored.  That would be a miracle.  From what I've read, the new 35th anniversary Blu-ray has washed away even more color than the 2007 Blu-ray release.  Based on what you did with Carpenter's "The Thing" I know you're the man to see about this.  Thanks for thinkin' about it though.

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Andrea, I would find the best setting for the whole film, apply it, fall back on ColourLikeFBF() or RGBMatch (even though I know you don't like it much) for those scenes with noticeable artifacts, and just accept that they do not achieve results that are quite as good as one would like.  Some of the differences between your settings are so subtle that it is doubtful that anyone would notice in motion, so a few scenes in which the color correction is not quite perfect would not detract significantly from the overall experience. 

Anything else would take up too much time.  The results would never be absolutely perfect, even if you did take years.

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@Flexicon9: I answered your question (quoted) in this other thread, that is more appropriated, to not derail too much this very thread - I saw you answered there, so I assume I made the right thing.

@Chewtobacca: I agree with you that results will never be absolutely perfect, even if I and/or many other people will take years and correct it by hand, scene by scene, frame by frame.

What I'd like to achieve is not perfection (well, at the end is what everyone would like, but know that often is not possible), but the best compromise that could be accomplished by a human being in a human time - some spare hours stolen from family/other hobbies/sleep/felines - so, as I declared and you agreeded, the best solution is number 2.

About the techniques to use, I am "agnostic"... RGBMatch could be a good color matching script, but even if it solves the light artifacts present in some scenes using CM, its color matching is far from perfection; ColourLikeFBF is a very good choice in a lot of instances, but has its own problems. too. A mix of them could indeed solve a lot (if not all) of those problems, but at the end the testing is consisting in how much (by eye) colors are closer or not to the DVD, as, in this project, the DVD is the color reference. I would add that "The Matrix" is really difficult to match not only because colors are totally different, but also contrast and brightness...

Yes, the difference from a setting and another (or a different technique) could seems subtle, but I assure you that this is not the case, at least in a lot of scenes, and people will note it - not all, but a good fraction here in this forum - look at what thay said about "The Thing", and I'm afraid they were right, so it is why I'm so *picky* with this project...

So, a little help from some users here will be very welcome, and speed up a lot this project; and think a lot more are waiting "in the closet" - indeed, they are waiting that I delete the temp files used by this project, because they need that HDD space... (^^,)

OK, time to sleep (a bit) now, it's 1:37 a.m. here and an oldie like me should have been in the bed three hours ago...

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

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The script  sure has a hard time with bright whites.

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UPDATES: my video card died last week, and just today I replaced it, with a more powerful and faster one, so I'm back to this project!

I want to say a big THANK YOU to nirbateman, who kindly offered his help checking the whole movie and spotting the shots with artifacts; without his help, this project will still be a lot behind its schedule!

Right now I'm processing the pre-final video; only few shots/scenes should be fixed after that, and the most time-consuming process will be to find out (again) the wrong ones, then choose the best method to fix them. Probably it will take few days this time - I strongly hope so...

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

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Hey Andrea! I definitely love this project. It may be useless but I can provide the original French stereo mix if you're interested. I've ordered a VHS which should be here really soon. You should also do that with the Italian audio it could be a good idea.

I would like to provide the LD analog and AC3 audio tracks from the Laserdisc but unfortunately, this particular LD is really hard to find and very expensive.

About those ugly artefacts issues, you can try to upscale the DVD and use it to replace the scenes with artefacts. Well, I'm pretty sure you already thought about that. I haven't read all the posts on both topics.

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“English, motherf***er! Do you speak it!?”

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Well, I thought too to use the Matrix laserdisc audio, but, as you wrote, it's terribly expensive so I'll leave its soundtrack out - unless someone who has it would like to capture it, preferably bit-perfect...

A french VHS Hi-Fi stereo track is not a bad idea; if only I have the italian VHS, I'll do it the same; but, as I have all the BD soundtracks, and it seems that audio was the same on DVD and BD, I could think the VHS should be the same, apart the fact that it is only stereo, Dolby Surround encoded, while the BD soundtracks are 5.1 discrete surround... so I think this time I'll use the untouched BD tracks.

Yes, upscaled DVD is one choice, the other is to use CM chroma over the BD luma (at correct levels).

Keep an eye on this thread for the next updates.

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

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_,,,^..^,,,_ said:

I have all the BD soundtracks, and it seems that audio was the same on DVD and BD, I could think the VHS should be the same, apart the fact that it is only stereo, Dolby Surround encoded, while the BD soundtracks are 5.1 discrete surround... so I think this time I'll use the untouched BD tracks.

Plus, the VHS audio is uncompressed which is important to preserve the French soundtrack since the 5.1 audio on the Blu-ray is not even DTS encoded. I don't know about the Italian audio though.

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“English, motherf***er! Do you speak it!?”

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Well, the BD has the french and italian soundtracks encoded in AC3 5.1 640kbps, that's not bad at all... I think it was released in french and italian theaters in Dolby 5.1, so the BD tracks should be the best versions to use for this movie...

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

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I guess you're right. I'm still gonna preserve this audio track anyway ;)

“English, motherf***er! Do you speak it!?”

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