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The Thing (1982) [spoRv] *BD-25 RELEASED*

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

The Thing (1982) [special preserved or Restored version]

LAST UPDATE: August 19, 2013; cover added on December 29, 2013.

Project mission: restore John Carpenter's The Thing video to be closest to the theatrical version as could be possible at the present day, using the best video sources chosen from all the various available versions; adding the best original and remastered audio soundtracks in different languages.

Video sources: luma from HD-DVD, chroma mainly from Laserdisc.

Audio sources: uncompressed PCM soundtracks captured directly from Laserdiscs; AC3 soundtracks from DVD; DTS soundtracks from BD.

Subtitles sources: from BD.

 

The Thing [spoRv]

 

Source Material

Video:

  • La Cosa (The Thing) - PAL IT DVD - for color timing reference

 

Audio:

  • The Thing (Signature Collection) - NTSC US laserdisc CLV/CAV - English soundtrack PCM 2.0 (original)
  • The Thing (letterbox edition) - NTSC US laserdisc CLV - English soundtrack PCM 2.0 (changed)
  • The Thing - PAL France laserdisc CLV - French soundtrack PCM 2.0
  • The Thing - 1998 US DVD - English commentary AC3 1.0
  • La Cosa (The Thing) - 1998 PAL IT DVD - Italian soundtrack AC3 2.0 (changed)
  • La Cosa (The Thing) - 1998 PAL IT DVD - Spanish soundtrack AC3 1.0 (changed)
  • The Thing - UK BD - English soundtrack DTS-HD MA (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - French soundtrack DTS 5.1 (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - Italian soundtrack DTS 5.1 (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - German soundtrack DTS 5.1 (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - Spanish soundtrack DTS 2.0 mono (new remix)

 

Subtitles:

english, italian, french, spanish, german from the BD.

 

Capture setup & processing info

Hardware:

  • Pioneer DVL-909 PAL/NTSC laserdisc/DVD player

 

  • Sony Vaio VGX-XL202 PC CPU Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz, 3GB RAM, 250GB+320GB HDDs, BD-RE
  • AverMedia BDA A16C internal video card (with Philips SAA713x chipset)
  • Western Digital Elements 1TB external USB HD
  • Microsoft XBOX360 HD-DVD player

 

  • Monster Cable S-Video 5pin cable (very high quality)
  • SONY optical S/PDIF cable (very high quality)
  • no-brand coaxial cable (very high quality)

 

Software:

  • VirtualDub as capture software
  • VirtualDub and AviSynth for video editing
  • AviSynth + SoundOut and Foobar2000 for audio conversions
  • tsMuxeR and AVIdemux for muxing/demuxing

 

Settings:

  • laserdisc video captured at card native resolution 720x576 @25fps (PAL), YUV Lagarith lossless compression
  • PCM digital audio from Laserdisc to PC via S/PDIF bit-perfect 16bit 44.1KHz stereo

 

Project status: RELEASED on August 19, 2013, on myspleen. 

Video sources and processing:

HD-DVD VC-1 and DVD MPEG2 are converted using the Lagarith lossless compression (YV12); laserdisc video is captured using the Lagarith lossless compression (YUY2).

HD-DVD is used as frame reference (so no frames are cut or duplicated); it's simply converted to lossless with not further processing.

PAL UK laserdisc is used as primary color reference: it's captured using AviSynth at its original resolution of 720x576@25fps; then frame rates is changed to 23.976; a rainbow remover is applied to the capture, along with mild noise reduction to get rid of eventual dropouts; at the end, video is upscaled to 1920x816 and frames are cut or duplicated to match the HD-DVD video.

PAL IT DVD is used as secondary color reference: it's converted to lossless; then frame rates is changed to 23.976; at the end, video is upscaled to 1920x816 and frames are cut or duplicated to match the HD-DVD video. 

 

After a lot (and when I mean a lot, I mean A LOT) of tests, the video will be treated as following:

  • opening credits (up to "Antarctica, winter 1982") is HD-DVD video "as is", because there is no need for color regrading, as the flying saucer and earth colors are almost the same of the laserdisc/DVD - the same for the end credits, from the last image of the movie.
  • the rest of the movie is made using the HD-DVD for the luma, and laserdisc for the chroma, and feeding them to the ColourMatchYUV avisynth script
  • except the laserdisc side 1 end / side 2 beginning scenes, as they have fade out / fade in, were not possible to be used, so I used the DVD there for color reference, tweaking a little bit to be as close as possible to the laserdisc
  • and except few other scenes that have some kind of artifacts (around 1000 frames in total) - there, the ColourMatch is used instead.

 

Then, the result video is saved as lossless, to be converted to lossy AVC for the final Blu-Ray.

 

Audio sources and processing:

PAL FR LD is captured (thanks to ilovewaterslides); then converted to 48KHz; as LD video frames are cut or duplicated to match the HD-DVD video, audio is adjusted accordingly to be in sync with the HD-DVD video.

NTSC US LDs are captured and processed to be in sync with the HD-DVD video (thanks to Jonno); the letterbox LD is converted to AC3.

PAL IT DVD italian, spanish and english commentary AC3 soundtracks are demuxed, then converted to PCM to be processed; as DVD video frames are cut or duplicated to match the HD-DVD video, all the soundtracks are adjusted accordingly to be in sync with the HD-DVD video; the resulted tracks are then reconverted to AC3 to be BD compliant.

UK BD english DTS-HD MA, french, italian, german DTS 5.1 and spanish DTS 2.0 (mono) are used as they are (thanks to Jonno)

Final format: BD-25

Video:

  • letterbox 2.35:1 1920x816 pixel inside the 16:9 1920x1080 pixel FHD frame, AVC (x264) 23.976fps, average bitrate 18500kbps

 

Audio:

  • english PCM 2.0 16bit 1536kbps - from NTSC Signature Collection LD
  • english AC3 2.0 16bit 384kbps - from NTSC letterbox LD
  • english DTS-HD MA 5.1 24bit 3900kbps (1536kbps core DTS) - from UK BD
  • french PCM 2.0 16bit 1536kbps - from PAL french LD
  • french DTS 5.1 24bit 768kbps - from UK BD
  • italian AC3 2.0 16bit 192kbps - from PAL IT DVD
  • italian DTS 5.1 24bit 768kbps - from UK BD
  • spanish DTS 2.0 24bit 384kbps (mono) - from UK BD
  • spanish AC3 1.0 16bit 96kbps - from PAL IT DVD
  • german DTS 5.1 24bit 768kbps - from UK BD
  • commentary AC3 16bit 1.0 96kbps - from PAL IT DVD

 

Subtitles:

english (full and SDH); french, italian, spanish, german (full and forced) from UK BD

 

Special thanks to:

Jonno, for english laserdisc, all BD soundtracks, missing frames, and A LOT OF HELP!!! Without you, this project could not be the same! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

 

Other credits:

  • The Aluminum Falcon for the HD-DVD video
  • zeropc for DVD english soundtrack and commentary
  • ilovewaterslides for the PCM french soundtrack
  • Namtar for the isolated score
  • Jetrell Fo for general supporting and encouragement
  • everyone who showed interest and appreciation

 

Self comment (posted on July 18, 2013):

OK, before you throw me out of the window, please keep reading...

I don't wanted to derail Jonno's thread more, so I decided to start my own project. His idea (Jonno's) to use the HD-DVD video, along with laserdisc soundtrack(s) is good; I asked in his thread if the HD-DVD video is the best video released until now, and, after I have made some homeworks, I discovered that it is, but... it's not the "perfect" one!

I mean, it's better than the BD; the latter has a DNR that cancelled some film drop outs, along with a lot of grain and resolution... so, what is the problem? Is the frame too cropped? I think not - comparing it to my PAL LD (which seems to be one of the finest PAL laserdisc ever produced, a very good Pioneer Cinema edtion) the HD-DVD has often some lines of resolution more on all the four sides, while few times the contrary it's true, but the difference is negligible.

So, where lies the problem? Well, to my eyes (yes, it's a personal point of view) the color timing is not good... maybe it's due to the light in the scanner used for capturing the film (poita will know surely more about it), but the picture seems to have that "pinkish" tone, often seen on some HD releases...

I based my suppositions after I've seen screenshot comparison of HD-DVD Vs BD; as I have not (yet) the HD-DVD video, I downloaded a couple youtube HD clips (almost surely taken from the BD) to make some comparisons with my PAL LD captures; altough these HD clips are only at 720p, and heavily compressed, the colors are retained... and, as I wrote before, they are... well, wrong? The LD colors, at the contrary, seems more real to me, even if not perfect - again, a personal thought: so I had the idea to use the HD luma and the LD chroma to obtain the best resolution with right colors, and it seems to work!

Here you are some comparison screenshots; top, laserdisc captures (1-5 denoised, 6-8 raw); middle, youtube HD clips; bottom, HD luma + LD chroma (click image for larger version):

I don't like pinkish snow and clouds, and you?

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Another case of the infamous pinkish snow...

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This time is less pink than the previous two...

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This time snow is blue, but... wait a moment...

are these two different dog breeds, or only two dog color varieties?

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This time snow is white, but sky is yellowish...

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I don't remember their skirts were blueish...

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...or their faces so pinkish!

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Maybe flames are not so yellow, but neither pink!

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Because the old adage "A picture worth a thousand words" is ever valid, I carefully choose some extreme screenshots to showcase the problem, but obviosly there are some scenes where the HD colors are better than LD; n those cases, the original chroma will be left untouched or mixed (depending on the scene) to obtain the best colors. I know this is not the best practice, but until there is a valid reference for colors, it's the best I can do!

Or. better, I could release a pre-version, with both original and laserdisc chroma, and let the users (who want to help) decide which is better, with the best chroma amount (e.g. "scene 12 could be better with 20% HD chroma and 80% LD chroma, while scene 13 should have 100% LD chroma and scene 14 is better 50/50")

Test clips - test clip 1 - test clip 2 

last comparison clip - final result clip (dog)

Let the debate begins!

Covers:

Blu-ray custom cover (click for larger version, or follow the link):

This post has been edited.

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

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I said for years that UK laser was stunning, one of the best pictures out there 

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The first thing that struck me as looking wrong with the LD color timing is that the shot of the dog makes its eyes appear grey and colorless whereas you can see clearly in this shot that the dog's eyes are, in fact, brown as in the YouTube HD capture.

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews41/the%20thing%20blu-ray/large/large%20the%20thing%20blu-rayx3.jpg

This post has been edited.

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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Great project. Looking forward to the results!

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That nice, can you explain how you combine the luma and chroma? Cos I want to do the same for Mad Max 2, the Blu-ray have color problems.

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Those color differences are very interesting. I think for most shots, maybe a mix of both chromas would look best?

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this looks like a good project. I'm helping Jonno with his one but this will be an interesting watch as well

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For the last example, the color pictures of the movie (the one that were outside the theaters were closer to the middle version.

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@everyone:

thanks for the interest, I hope to receive soon the HD-DVD rip - I also just bought the XBOX360 HD-DVD player just for this project!

Turisu said:

The first thing that struck me as looking wrong with the LD color timing is that the shot of the dog makes its eyes appear grey and colorless whereas you can see clearly in this shot that the dog's eyes are, in fact, brown as in the YouTube HD capture.

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews41/the%20thing%20blu-ray/large/large%20the%20thing%20blu-rayx3.jpg

Sorry, link doesn't work... but I have once a Siberian Husky and, apart the fact that she had one blue eye and one brown, she was almost exactly as the laserdisc's dog - black and white - and not like HD'd dog - fawn and cream... about the eyes: I have seven thai cats (as you could see one in my avatar) and sometimes (it depend from the color of the sky) their eyes seems grey, aquamarine, or almost transparent... so, if I should decide which color timing is right based on the dog's color, I'll go with laserdisc!

You_Too said:

Those color differences are very interesting. I think for most shots, maybe a mix of both chromas would look best?

Did you download the clips? You are right, most of the time a careful mix of them should be the way to go... I think I'll release a pre-version as I wrote in the first post, and start a contest "decide which color this Thing should be"! (^^,)

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

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I admire your ambition, Andrea! I can't say which I prefer without a better reference, so I have no dog in this fight (Siberian Husky or otherwise).

Getting access to a film print may be a stretch, but what other release formats could we cross-check? VHS? Was there a Beta tape?

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

Sorry, link doesn't work... but I have once a Siberian Husky and, apart the fact that she had one blue eye and one brown, she was almost exactly as the laserdisc's dog - black and white - and not like HD'd dog - fawn and cream... about the eyes: I have seven thai cats (as you could see one in my avatar) and sometimes (it depend from the color of the sky) their eyes seems grey, aquamarine, or almost transparent... so, if I should decide which color timing is right based on the dog's color, I'll go with laserdisc!

 

Apologies for the non-working link. Here's the page I got it from: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare6/thething.htm

If you scroll to the bottom you'll see the shot of the dog staring out the window in which it appears that this particular dog definitely has brown eyes. I'd be interested to see the LD color of this shot to see if it stays consistent with the one above.

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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Turisu said:

Apologies for the non-working link. Here’s the page I got it from: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare6/thething.htm

If you scroll to the bottom you’ll see the shot of the dog staring out the window in which it appears that this particular dog definitely has brown eyes. I’d be interested to see the LD color of this shot to see if it stays consistent with the one above.

Don’t worry, thank you for providing the new link.

Here you are a on-the-fly laserdisc capture: top taken from BD, bottom from LD (rough upscaling done with MSpaint):

As you can see, eyes are brown, and the LD colors seems better to me - no pinkish tint there. Still thinking that something went wrong when they scanned the film for high definition formats…

UPDATE:

Just finished to rip the italian PAL DVD - primarily to have the italian soundtrack; I was checking the video, and guess what? colors are really close to the ones of the laserdisc! I think to merge the PAL DVD and LD together, to achieve the “best of both (chroma) world”: even if this DVD is not anamorphic (sigh!) it has 360x194 chroma resolution, while the LD should have something that could stay from around 160x338 to 240x338 - more probably close to the second figure, if not even higher; while the HD-DVD should have 960x408 - but luckily human eye are less sensible to colors, so an high definition luma image with a lower defintion (than usual 4:1) chroma will be percieved as high definition image as well!!!

This post has been edited.

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

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Thanks for providing that shot. The LD colors do certainly seem consistent with the previous shot of the dog you posted. I think I'm going to agree with Jonno; none of the color schemes look bad to me, so I'd base my preference on whichever is more accurate to the original theatrical timing. Are there any references floating around by any chance??

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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Interesting... very very interesting. Not only the project itself but the technology potential. I didn't know you could effectively and cleanly combine the chroma and luma so as to transfer the color timing of one release to another. I really look forward to this release, especially since it's using the HD-DVD video.

Would love to see all the most screwed up color-timing restored with other releases. Suspiria, the James Bond films, Aliens, the Matrix, Blade Runner... All restored to their color-glory. (Sorry to get off-topic).

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Yeah could the Matrix be done the same way?

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DoomBot said:

Yeah could the Matrix be done the same way?

IF Matrix BD is better than Matrix HD-DVD

AND IF Matrix DVD has the "right" colors

THEN I can do it - I have the sources!

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

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DoomBot said:

Yeah they are the same but the colors on the first dvd release are of course right.

That  would be awesome if this could be done though!

+1

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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The italian PAL DVD seems a lot similar to the Signature Collection US LD: it has the original "Superstitious" cue heard in the original movie - as the french soundtrack, while the italian and german has "the other music" (frankly don't know the title...)

So, if someone with the US DVD would like to share his english DD 5.1 soundtrack, I could avoid to do the conversion from 25fps to 23.976fps - and avoid some kind of audio quality loss too!

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

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Do a search here, there's already a Matrix restoration done. BTW the LD colors of The Thing are all wrong. To achieve a better presentation, you should completely retime the whole movie, but you have no reference to what it actually looked like in theaters.

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Stamper said:

Do a search here, there's already a Matrix restoration done.

It's not a restoration, it's just a naturalization of the color timing which removes all tints, even those that were present theatrically. What people would like to see is a scene-by-scene regraded version that matches the colors of the original DVD release.

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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That would be the russian hdtv -- I also did remux my Pal DVD to 24fps with the correct audio synced, so it's like mini-hd (better res than the NTSC).

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

So, if someone with the US DVD would like to share his english DD 5.1 soundtrack, I could avoid to do the conversion from 25fps to 23.976fps - and avoid some kind of audio quality loss too!

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