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1997 Star Wars Special Edition 35mm Project (a WIP) — Page 4

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Beautiful!

Preferred Saga:
PT: Hal9000
4/5: Adywan
6: NSP
7/8: Hal9000

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Reel One is 70% scanned, the reel will go back on the machine tonight and hopefully we will have reel one done by the end of tomorrow.

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poita said:

Reel One is 70% scanned, the reel will go back on the machine tonight and hopefully we will have reel one done by the end of tomorrow.

Question: Are you releasing the base reels or are you planning on cleaning them up?

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poita said:

No, you can see the ribbing quite clearly when projected, unless the projector had very sloppy registration.

But Mike also completely de-grained the image first, and that made fine details more apparent. Perhaps we could see what this looks like before any degraining was applied?

Anyway, I disagree with Steve, he is a capable guy, but he is a DP, and has only really been once since 2002, his experience with actual film is very little.

Yep, I just clicked-through his 1hr second video and he never compares how they look in motion, all he compares is how they look zoomed in on a screenshot. But in-motion is way more important. For example, audiences and critics reacted badly to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’s 48fps cinema presentation, even though that should 2x technically superior to 24fps.

Steve never mentions the problems of aliasing or other strobing artefacts caused by lower digital resolutions, for example stripy or patterned shirts. Set and costume designers even took these considerations into account at the time of 35mm filming, for example on the commentary for Scream (or one of its sequels) the late Wes Craven notices the artefact on the DVD version and says something about it noting that the costume was not right, and that the strobing was still a problem at DVD resolution. He also doesn’t specify what film stocks he used, or for that matter how he scanned them (did he do them with a bayer sensor, or with a mono sensor), there are certainly modern stocks he could have used with a very fine grain and razor-sharp image, and I’m not sure that’s what he did for his comparison. Especially given that he had 4 different types of digital sensor, but only one type of 35mm film.

__Valeyard.net

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[RU.08 said:]

Yep, I just clicked-through his 1hr second video and he never compares how they look in motion, all he compares is how they look zoomed in on a screenshot.

??? He was arguing against the merits of a specific trend in the industry… basically the spin by equipment manufacturers that higher pixel-count pipelines equates to a clearer picture in a way that is noticeable to an audience. Motion resolution is a completely different subject.

[RU.08 said:]

Steve never mentions the problems of aliasing or other strobing artefacts caused by lower digital resolutions,

Why should he? He isn’t arguing for SD capture/presentation or any nonsense like that.

[RU.08 said:]
He also doesn’t specify what film stocks he used… Especially given that he had 4 different types of digital sensor, but only one type of 35mm film.

He mentioned the IMAX and 35MM being the same stock. In any case, I’m quite content to trust that this guy, who…

-has shot 13 features on film,
-is been somewhat nerdy about his tools,
-is part of the AMPAS Science and Technology Council,
-had their conclusions endorsed by the president of the ASC,
-is lensing the new SW film,

… probably knows enough about what he’s doing such that the question of “if he used the right film stock/scanned it correctly” isn’t one worth asking.

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Synnöve said:

Why should he? He isn’t arguing for SD capture/presentation or any nonsense like that.

Well the artefacts are certainly still present in HD resolution as well.

He mentioned the IMAX and 35MM being the same stock. In any case, I’m quite content to trust that this guy, who…

-has shot 13 features on film,
-is been somewhat nerdy about his tools,
-is part of the AMPAS Science and Technology Council,
-had their conclusions endorsed by the president of the ASC,
-is lensing the new SW film,

… probably knows enough about what he’s doing such that the question of “if he used the right film stock/scanned it correctly” isn’t one worth asking.

It doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t tell us what film stock he used, he just said 4-perf and 15-perf negative, he never specified what stock it was. There may just be one standard Kodak colour negative used at the moment, I don’t know, but we don’t know what he used.

__Valeyard.net

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How about you guys start a film resolution thread in the technical section.
Ask an archivist, and you will get the answer that film can definitely out-resolve 4K, because we see it do so. We handle hundreds, if not thousands of films in our careers and spend our lives looking at them at the grain level.

Ask a cameraman, director or DoP or researcher and you will get different answers from each and every one, depending on the few stocks they used, the few tests they may have done and their mindset and motivation/bias (which we all have). They tend to look at film in motion, on a projection screen or moviola, but rarely up close, and even a prolific director, not all that much film, it will be in the tens, bit the hundreds or more. Often the tests don’t say which MFTs used etc. The stocks used, the lighting setups etc etc.

Anyway, I can’t tell you the absolute maximum resolution film can reach, it is as much lens, light and processing dependent as it is on the stock, but in our experience we see it outresolving 4K, not in theory, but in our actual work. I can’t however say exactly how high it might go.

So let’s start a new thread if we want to get into the nitty-gritty, I’m happy to contribute and learn from it, but I’ll try and stay on topic here.

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I actually have a question. Since the SE was created by going back to the original negative, the interpositive and derived prints for the SE should contain other information and details, than the technicolor prints, am I right? If so, combining details from an SE print and technicolor print should get you closer to the original negative.

Not sure if you’ve seen the SE projected poita, but even so do you have an idea if the color timing for the SE is very different from the technicolor prints you’ve seen?

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Did you clean those frames or is the print really that clean!?

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There has been no digital cleanup done on the files. This is why we spend a lot of money physically cleaning the prints.

There is still some dirt and debris on there that will require digital cleanup though.

Dre, I watched reel1 and Reel6 projected last night, from a different SE print that I have here, the grade is all over the place, but not very different to the technicolor prints.
The greys of the Death Star and X-Wing interiors are greenish-grey like on the IB, the overall colouring is similar, but man some shots are graded poorly on the SE. Star field backgrounds very green or blue for instance. It is very inconsistent shot to shot.

As to more detail or being closer to the negative, I guess we will see.
Some of the shots I’ve looked at so far have less resolvable detail than the IB prints, I think it will vary shot to shot.

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Can I ask, I think this might be an acetate print rather than polyester, someone was of the opinion that late 90’s acetate prints retain more details in the dark areas/shadows, could you let me know your opinion on that?

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 (Edited)

poita said:

There has been no digital cleanup done on the files. This is why we spend a lot of money physically cleaning the prints.

There is still some dirt and debris on there that will require digital cleanup though.

Dre, I watched reel1 and Reel6 projected last night, from a different SE print that I have here, the grade is all over the place, but not very different to the technicolor prints.
The greys of the Death Star and X-Wing interiors are greenish-grey like on the IB, the overall colouring is similar, but man some shots are graded poorly on the SE. Star field backgrounds very green or blue for instance. It is very inconsistent shot to shot.

As to more detail or being closer to the negative, I guess we will see.
Some of the shots I’ve looked at so far have less resolvable detail than the IB prints, I think it will vary shot to shot.

Thanks for the info! I noted the technicolor prints also have quite a bit of shot to shot variation, but it seems you’re saying the SE print is even worse. From this standpoint I can understand why Lucas wanted to redo the color grading digitally for the DVD release, even if the DVD color grading could have been done more in the spirit of the color grading of the theatrical releases.

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Yes, the SE print is worse shot to shot than the IB prints.
It is clear that they were on a tight time and money budget with the SE, and spent more time on new shots than on colour timing and fixing issues.
The grade certainly wouldn’t have been accepted for a home video release.

As for polyester vs acetate, projectionists when poly films started appearing complained that the image was not as good, but I generally find the colour is better on poly than acetate.

As for dynamic range, it varies so much from print to print that I honestly couldn’t say one is better than the other. I’ve had poly prints with beautiful shadow detail and muddy acetate prints and vice-versa.
Poly tends to be more ‘clear’ vs the slight yellowing that many acetate films show.
As for this print, there seems to be plenty of detail in the shadows in some shots, and not in others, I think the limiting factor is the masters used, rather than the film stock of the print itself.

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Reel one is done, it is going slowly as I have to refocus every 60 frames, an issue I’m hoping to solve.

Reel two is being loaded up now.

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poita said:

Yes, the SE print is worse shot to shot than the IB prints.

That’s very interesting. It’s not a complete surprise though given they were working from brand new freshly shot camera negatives in 1977, and in 1995 (or whenever work started on the SE) they were working with o-negs that were not in great shape, and other lab elements that were problematic as well. I had the impression that they didn’t replace the entire o-neg, but rather they cut out all the scenes/shots they thought had problems and then struck new o-neg by doing new composites or working from the master positives. It’s funny actually that they wasted time on doing re-composites for the space shots that probably benefited the least from it!

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The print really does look to be in excellent condition, and despite the variation between shots the colors look very appealing. 😃

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oojason said:

Very cool - and cheers for the scanning set-up window pic too - always wondered just what controls, options and layout etc there was 😃

Yeah, me too.
Love the full cell view 😃

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 (Edited)

poita said:

Had a problem with the scanner losing focus, here are the same two frames in 4K full aperture for anyone that wants a look.

https://wetransfer.com/downloads/8bad18e09779095debf89911357095d820171103234102/730b533d782543071a2b68c76aa0af2d20171103234102/2d68a2
Thanks!

The focus problem has been fixed before this frames, right? Because I can’t see any focus problem on these two. Even the dolby digital data looked well defined/usable…

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Yes, those two were re-do’s after I noticed the problem.

Dre, those colours in the samples I just posted are my own quick and dirty colour balance, they aren’t what it looks like on the print.
However the colour is good on the prints, you could correct it any way you want, there is plenty of colour information in there. One of the advantages of triple flashing and using a mono sensor instead of a bayer one… lots of colour information to work with.

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poita said:

The print should be arriving this week, and scanning will commence shortly after.

Any extra help really appreciated, check my sig for donations, it is an expensive exercise, and I’m hoping to do Jedi once ANH is done.

Just sent a second donation to help this project out.

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Adjusting the focus:

Smug as:

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Those two frames…

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