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The Terminator - Color Regrade

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This is a single pass color/contrast correction project that aims to recreate the closest approximation yet (within reason) of the original theatrical color timing of The Terminator (1984). This started as a personal project that didn’t have any aim other than making the film look good, and I posted it here for feedback/interest. After having some more faith in the 35mm reference photos available and extra tweaking, I ended up deciding to try and go all the way.

Special thanks to kaosjm for info on a 35mm screening.

UPDATE: 20 JULY 2017

I tweaked a few things from the previous update. I think the majority of the film looks slightly better now, though I still can’t figure out how to get the skin tones perfect without flames becoming just slightly too yellow. It’s not too bad, but it still bothers me just a little. Anyway, check out this version if you’d like.

The current LUT for the BD can be found here.

A gallery with 41 frames with the current regrade applied can be found here.


UPDATE: 14 JULY 2017

After a couple months of trying to figure out a good way to improve upon this regrade, I’ve finally gotten to a point I’m happy with, though there will always be room for improvement as long as we don’t have a 35mm print scan available to watch. Again, I now think this is may be even closer to the theatrical look, though I really can’t be certain if/how much it’s more accurate than my previous attempt.

For anyone who is still interested in this regrade project, especially anyone who has already used the previous version, please check out this updated version and see if you like it. Feedback is always appreciated!

The current LUT for the BD can be found here.

A gallery of 41 frames with the current regrade applied can be found here.


UPDATE: 2 MAY 2017

The LUT for the BD is here.

At this point I consider the project complete until new info or sources appear, and I believe it to be the closest we have ever gotten to the theatrical color timing. It will be uploaded for release within the next week (hopefully).

Special thanks to kaosjm for info on a 35mm screening.

Gallery of 40 frames with the current regrade applied:
https://goo.gl/photos/3tCn8MqNob9kFDiR7


Original First Post

I’ve been working on a personal single pass color and contrast correction of The Terminator, and I think I’ve just about finalized it. I thought I’d like some feedback from people on here and maybe even share my LUTs with the community if people like it, so I decided to make a thread.

I used the screenshots off of blu-ray.com and kk650’s release for my tests:

BD compared to My Regrade:
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/203346
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/203347
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/203349
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/203350
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/203351

Now, this isn’t meant to be theatrically accurate, but it should have contrast somewhat accurate to a film print scan (I used the available releases of Raiders and Jurassic Park prints as contrast references). Regarding color, I just went off of what I thought looked right for the most part, but I did use some references to determine some things that could be true about the original color timing.




I believe these images show a good approximation of what the original colors consisted of. Skin tones are generally more golden hued or naturally neutral, rather than the nearly sunburnt-red skin tones found in many home video releases of films. Cyan and blue is very abundant.

In my correction, you may notice that most blues are more blue than in the 35mm frames, where most blues are very cyan, pushing on teal. I just liked having more full blues, not to mention that everything still looks rather cyan all around with mostly less teal push. I may have done this originally just because I wanted to try and eliminate the overall yellow/teal push on the BD, because I’m almost certain that it wouldn’t have existed to that extent in the original timing. I do think I might re-adjust it to bring back a little more cyan into the blues.

EDIT: I updated the screenshot comparison links.

This post has been edited.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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That daytime shot is rather weird and I don’t know why. It’s weird on the BD as it is even, but it’s less noticeable with the lower contrast. I think it’ll look better in motion anyway, but I’m still curious what’s up with the shot.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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I notice that the phonebooth shot has more natural lighting in the 35mm frame from what I can tell. Arnold’s face is quite red in the shadows, his jacket is more uniformly gray, and the trees appear more green, at least from what I can tell.

Your examples don’t include any shots with a lot of red, such as Sarah’s reaction to the explosion or the time-traveling photo. Including these shots (or shots with flames) would be helpful in determining if the red/orange side of the spectrum is where it should be.

DuracellEnergizer: "^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts."
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Starlight Fanedit

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^Thanks for the input! I didn’t include any shots with flames or red/orange hues because none were included on blu-ray.com and I was using those screenshots for my tests. I have collected several more shots to upload, including shots with flames, and I’ll put those up later (I’m not on the computer with my stuff on it right now).

I can say that flames are very much yellow, which I was a little worried about, but I can’t seem to figure out a good way to bring back some natural reds without making the skin tones sun-burnt again.

Also, the currently uploaded screenshot comparisons are now outdated, as I have reduced the magenta in the blues and cyans to account for the overly full blues that it had, and also the general blue feel that everything had. It looks closer to the 35mm now.

I think a great way to figure some things out would be to color match to the low resolution 35mm frames with Dre’s tool, and then turn the contrast back to the way it was so that I can edit the contrast properly myself, but I’m not sure how to do that.

This post has been edited.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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The Terminator is gonna be playing in 35mm at a theater here in New York next month. I’ll take notes and get back to ya on the original color timing and audio 😉

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Is it an original print or a later reissue?

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

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Handman said:

Is it an original print or a later reissue?

It doesn’t say. I just figured if it’s a 35mm, then it has to be original. I don’t think there’s a re-issue for Terminator, but this is the first I’ve heard of the term, actually.

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I’ve been doing some tweaking, and I think it’s looking a lot better. The flames and such look more natural. The phone booth shot is also looking much nicer I think, though I might just be used to it because I’ve been staring at it so much 😛.

Here are 30 frames of my regrade in its current state:

http://imgur.com/a/0kDl3

This post has been edited.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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Oh I’m watching your thread as well, Rollins. I’ll definitely check it out when it’s finished, as I like how the overdone blue color makes it look more T2. Dark Jedi’s regrade is my go-to (kk650’s is about the same IMO), but weirdly enough, what you’re doing is how my memories of the film as a little boy play out in my head. Like for whatever reason, the color blue is what I think of for T1. Yet DJ and KK’s regrades are obviously much more neutral.

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^Thanks for the feedback. Do you like my latest? Like, do any of the shots seem off to you? I was actually really relieved when I finished my last attempt because I think it’s looking really good now, and best of all, it’s looking very similar to the 35mm references in those photos.

And speaking of T2, I think I’ll eventually get around to regrading that as well, because the BD colors are way too neutral IMO on that one. T2 wasn’t '80s, and as far as I know it had a lot more blue than cyan, where T1 had more cyan blues.

Also, I’m not sure if I’ll end up releasing this regrade as the actual film (though I might), but rather just upload the LUTs and allow people to add it to the BD themselves. Again though, I may very well end up deciding to upload it to MEGA or something.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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Time

Dek Rollins said:

^Thanks for the feedback. Do you like my latest? Like, do any of the shots seem off to you? I was actually really relieved when I finished my last attempt because I think it’s looking really good now, and best of all, it’s looking very similar to the 35mm references in those photos.

And speaking of T2, I think I’ll eventually get around to regrading that as well, because the BD colors are way too neutral IMO on that one. T2 wasn’t '80s, and as far as I know it had a lot more blue than cyan, where T1 had more cyan blues.

Also, I’m not sure if I’ll end up releasing this regrade as the actual film (though I might), but rather just upload the LUTs and allow people to add it to the BD themselves. Again though, I may very well end up deciding to upload it to MEGA or something.

Is this going to have the original mono track?

This post has been edited.

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If I release it, it will have a 2.1 mono track along with the 5.1 remix from the BD.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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Time

Dek Rollins said:

Also, I’m not sure if I’ll end up releasing this regrade as the actual film (though I might), but rather just upload the LUTs and allow people to add it to the BD themselves. Again though, I may very well end up deciding to upload it to MEGA or something.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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Time

Rollins, I’m not sure what you mean when you ask me if the shots look “off”. If you mean in relation to the 35mm images, it’s hard to say from those pics, as the frames are so small, lol.

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I was just asking if you noticed anything that looked weird color-wise. It was a vague question just regarding if my latest grade looks good to you, that’s all. 😄

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

Author
Time

I’m going to be seeing a rare 35mm print of this tomorrow. Is there anything anyone wants me to take note of during the movie?

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^That sounds awesome, good for you!

It would be cool if you could keep in mind how the skin tones look, general color balances in the image (bright cyans/deep blues, red/yellow of flames, etc.), and especially the contrast/darkness of the image (one shot I’m curious about specifically is “I’ll be back,” concerning how visible Arnold’s eyes are through the glasses).

Any input from what you see would be great to hear, as I’m still trying to figure out some things about how it should all look. Thanks in advance for helping out! 😄

EDIT: I suppose this is a public screening, but if at all possible, photographs of the print would be helpfull as well. 😃

This post has been edited.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

Author
Time

Lucky you!! I was supposed to see a 35mmm print a few weeks ago, and they changed it to a DCP at the last minute. I got my money back, but lost out on Sunday pay at work (called out). Aside from what Dek mentioned, pay close attention to the sound of the door hitting the wall when Arnold swings it open after he says “Ill be back” (It’s right before he comes back and kills the guy with his car). There are 2 mono mixes of the film, and both have a different sound effect for when the door slams open.

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TylerDurden389 said:

There are 2 mono mixes of the film, and both have a different sound effect for when the door slams open.

What are the differences between the mixes on that sound effect? What am I looking for here?

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TylerDurden389 said:

There are 2 mono mixes of the film, and both have a different sound effect for when the door slams open.

This is the first I have heard of this. Are there more differences?

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^I’m not sure what that’s all about, but in the first video you posted, there is no loud sound. It’s very quiet, and sounds like the same thump that occurs in the BD 5.1 mix. The second video sounds almost identical to the first, only it’s very slightly louder and more clangy.

Neither of the sounds presented in those videos are the same sound effect that is present in the original mono presented on LaserDisc (the 2.1 mono source that kk650 included with his release). That mix has a loud clang that is a little more obvious that it’s a dubbed sound effect. It sounds nothing like those videos.

EDIT: Here, I found a youtube clip with that mix:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXf7wj0RiLM&t=46s

EDIT 2: Did you by any chance post the wrong link by mistake? Because the link I just posted matches the description you made of your first link, so maybe you were referring to this video?

This post has been edited.

Army of Darkness: The Medieval Deadit / The Terminator - Color Regrade
SONIC RACES THROUGH THE GREEN FIELDS.
THE SUN RACES THROUGH A BLUE SKY FILLED WITH WHITE CLOUDS.
THE WAYS OF HIS HEART ARE MUCH LIKE THE SUN. SONIC RUNS AND RESTS; THE SUN RISES AND SETS.
DON’T GIVE UP ON THE SUN. DON’T MAKE THE SUN LAUGH AT YOU.

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