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44rh1n's "The Fellowship of the Ring" Extended Edition Color Restoration — Page 5

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TK-423 said:

Is the bluray source still the latest version, was there ever an update made with the Netflix WEB-DL?

There is no decent Netflix WEB-DL yet as far as I’m aware. If you can find one, let me know. But right now the only ones available are way too low bitrate.

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Hey! Joined the site primarily due to the excellent work done here. The LotR trilogy is one of my favourites by far and it honestly saddens me that there wasn’t a guaranteed ‘best’ way to watch the extended editions of these. This definitely looks to be the answer to that, and I hope that they take some cues from it for the eventual (maybe) 4K releases.

I was wondering, are there any differences between the Extended Blu-Rays and the copies found for purchase digitally via sites like Amazon and iTunes? I’ve done a fair amount of searching for an answer yet I’ve not really found one, so this seems like a decent place to ask 😃

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Plum said:

Hey! Joined the site primarily due to the excellent work done here. The LotR trilogy is one of my favourites by far and it honestly saddens me that there wasn’t a guaranteed ‘best’ way to watch the extended editions of these. This definitely looks to be the answer to that, and I hope that they take some cues from it for the eventual (maybe) 4K releases.

I was wondering, are there any differences between the Extended Blu-Rays and the copies found for purchase digitally via sites like Amazon and iTunes? I’ve done a fair amount of searching for an answer yet I’ve not really found one, so this seems like a decent place to ask 😃

Right now the versions on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Movies Anywhere, etc. are from the same master as the Blu-ray. So they all have the same color issues. Hopefully when the 4K version comes out later this year (fingers crossed it’s still happening this Summer!), they restore the colors to their proper hues. Hopefully. And if that’s the case, the Digital HD versions will likely get upgraded as well. But yeah, right now they all have the gross green color grade. The theatrical version has the original, beautiful color grade across all streaming services though, as does the extended edition on DVD.

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44rh1n said:
Right now the versions on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Movies Anywhere, etc. are from the same master as the Blu-ray. So they all have the same color issues. Hopefully when the 4K version comes out later this year (fingers crossed it’s still happening this Summer!), they restore the colors to their proper hues. Hopefully. And if that’s the case, the Digital HD versions will likely get upgraded as well. But yeah, right now they all have the gross green color grade. The theatrical version has the original, beautiful color grade across all streaming services though, as does the extended edition on DVD.

Thanks. Shame that there isn’t a official ‘definitive’ options for the Extended Editions right now. They’re classics and people deserve to be able to see them in their best light.

As for the 4K versions, we’ll have to see, but I’m looking forward to seeing them as well (the price, less so). It depends on so many factors that it’s really hard to predict whether it’ll fix anything or not. If the Star Wars 4K editions are anything to go by it could make things worse in some areas lol

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Plum said:

44rh1n said:
Right now the versions on Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Movies Anywhere, etc. are from the same master as the Blu-ray. So they all have the same color issues. Hopefully when the 4K version comes out later this year (fingers crossed it’s still happening this Summer!), they restore the colors to their proper hues. Hopefully. And if that’s the case, the Digital HD versions will likely get upgraded as well. But yeah, right now they all have the gross green color grade. The theatrical version has the original, beautiful color grade across all streaming services though, as does the extended edition on DVD.

Thanks. Shame that there isn’t a official ‘definitive’ options for the Extended Editions right now. They’re classics and people deserve to be able to see them in their best light.

Luckily The Two Towers and The Return of the King aren’t affected, and the official Blu-rays of those films both look amazing. So this restoration of Fellowship should more or less fill the gap.

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This makes me so happy - I was going to do this in the same way - use theatrical Blu-Ray and only fill in EE shots from the EE BD with EE DVD chroma overlayed - I even started working on it but never could find the time to finish it, so I’m really glad someone has done this and even went above and beyond.

The only thing I probably would have done differently would be to replace some of the worst looking scenes in the theatrical with CCd EE - the theatrical BD looks really nice 95% of the time but there are a couple of scenes where the DNR was applied much heavier than the rest (off the top of my head, it was the scenes where Gandalf talks to Bilbo and then Frodo inside Bag End and then Gandalf’s confrontation with Saruman). Since they are theatrical scenes, the theatrical BDs chroma could be overlayed for those instead of the DVD. Might be something to think about for the next version. But even as it is now, it’s far better than anything we have from official sources 😃

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Harmy said:

This makes me so happy - I was going to do this in the same way - use theatrical Blu-Ray and only fill in EE shots from the EE BD with EE DVD chroma overlayed - I even started working on it but never could find the time to finish it, so I’m really glad someone has done this and even went above and beyond.

The only thing I probably would have done differently would be to replace some of the worst looking scenes in the theatrical with CCd EE - the theatrical BD looks really nice 95% of the time but there are a couple of scenes where the DNR was applied much heavier than the rest (off the top of my head, it was the scenes where Gandalf talks to Bilbo and then Frodo inside Bag End and then Gandalf’s confrontation with Saruman). Since they are theatrical scenes, the theatrical BDs chroma could be overlayed for those instead of the DVD. Might be something to think about for the next version. But even as it is now, it’s far better than anything we have from official sources 😃

Thanks for the kind words, Harmy! And I 100% agree about those scenes from the theatrical BD. Yes, you’re absolutely correct about Gandalf’s first discussion with Bilbo at the beginning of the film, as well as the fight with Saruman. Those are indeed some of the worst looking scenes in the theatrical BD. I had actually started working on the Sarumon scene for a bit, but got pretty burnt out because of how many cuts there are in that scene. So I decided to just go ahead and put out the v1.0 release with the theatrical footage. The framing of the theatrical BD is also quite different from the extended BD, so overlaying the chroma results in the shots needing a bit of cropping – so I was ultimately only satisfied with doing a full regrade on those scenes. So I decided it was too much work for the time being.

Maybe I’ll go revisit some select scenes for a newer release, but I’m holding out hope that the new official 4K version coming this June will finally be a good version. If it ends up sucking though, then I think I’ll for sure put out a v2.0 release polishing up some of those worst theatrical scenes, and adding some additional languages that some kind forum users have sent me. Oddly, the theatrical version of the film that’s on Netflix doesn’t suffer from DNR that’s on the BD release, and all those problem scenes actually look great; however, I’ve never been able to find a WEB-DL that’s high enough bitrate to be useful in my restoration. The version that streams at full quality on Netflix looks great, but all the WEB-DLs are too compressed. Any thoughts for how to source from a streaming site?

There are also a handful of other small problems I’d like to address eventually, such as the Elvish subtitles that are positioned slightly differently in the theatrical BD vs. the extended BD (now you’ll never unsee it). In this v1.0 release I figured those were non-issues, but I’d like them fixed eventually.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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I just checked out those scenes and what you’ve done certainly helps a lot. Whenever watching the trilogy on BD, I always opted for the theatrical version of FOTR, because I couldn’t stand the colors of the EE, and, like you, I found the sacrifice of slightly worse detail over-all and a couple of DNRed scenes preferable over that of the entire film looking like someone spilled dark-green all over it, so this is by far the best option for me at the moment, with those problematic scenes at least not obviously looking processed. Even if the lost detail isn’t there, it at least looks pretty natural and not distracting. I’m hoping to achieve the same with Star Wars UHD.
Could you tell me a bit more about the method you used to minimize the over-sharpening? The Star Wars UHD could certainly benefit from that too.

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Harmy said:

Could you tell me a bit more about the method you used to minimize the over-sharpening? The Star Wars UHD could certainly benefit from that too.

Yeah, sure thing! So in DaVinci Resolve, there’s an effect called “Mist,” which is available as part of the Blur/Sharpen palette. Essentially, what it does is blur the edges of a shot without blurring it globally. So if you dial in the right settings, it essentially can blur the areas of a shot that have been oversharpened / given the “edge enhancement” treatment. This video does a pretty good job overviewing the entire Blur/Sharpen palette, and she starts going over the “Mist” section at about 3:46 - https://youtu.be/YQTGk3K6pCM. And here’s another video that does a pretty good job explaining the Blur/Sharpen palette too. He goes over the “Mist” section at about 4:18 - https://youtu.be/MQN-yg7Qhdg. Hope that helps!

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Thanks. I’ll check it out!

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Harmy said:

Thanks. I’ll check it out!

No problem! It seems a little strange at first because you actually add sharpening before you’re able to soften those edges. But once you play around with it a bit I think you’ll understand it. It takes a bit of dialing in. And it’s really easy to take things too far, so just be careful and be sure to use it tastefully. I’ve found that if I bring the Blur Radius all the way down to 0 (basically sharpening it 100%), and then adjusting the Mix to bout 44-45, then that’s where it starts to clean up those oversharpened edges really nicely.

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This sounds amazing. I always knew the color grade on FotR was compromised but never knew someone had fixed it. If anyone can send me a link, I’d be very grateful 😃

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44rh1n said:

Maybe I’ll go revisit some select scenes for a newer release, but I’m holding out hope that the new official 4K version coming this June will finally be a good version.

Are you sure about this? I think this was just a rumour, and that we’d have heard something by now if this was coming next month. My guess is that they’ll wait until the 20th anniversary of FOTR next year to put this out.

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Nick66 said:

44rh1n said:

Maybe I’ll go revisit some select scenes for a newer release, but I’m holding out hope that the new official 4K version coming this June will finally be a good version.

Are you sure about this? I think this was just a rumour, and that we’d have heard something by now if this was coming next month. My guess is that they’ll wait until the 20th anniversary of FOTR next year to put this out.

It has not been confirmed by Warner Bros. yet, so yes, it’s still a rumor. But the site that first reported about it has been reliable with their information in the past. Although, the world is kind of shut down, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets delayed. Fingers crossed though! Hoping it comes out soon.

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I’m wondering what the UHD LOTR will be sourced from. While it was shot on 35mm,it was finished digitally as a 2K DI,so going back to film would mean redoing the entire post production and believe me, it would not be as simple as rerendering CGI in 4K - even if they still had all the assets and project files, which is ridiculously unlikely, CGI is rendered in layers, so the compositing would have to be redone as well - basically it would take pretty much the full cost of doing post production on a very high budget movie,so more than likely, they will go to the original 2K DIs, upscale them and give them an HDR grade.

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Harmy said:

I’m wondering what the UHD LOTR will be sourced from. While it was shot on 35mm,it was finished digitally as a 2K DI,so going back to film would mean redoing the entire post production and believe me, it would not be as simple as rerendering CGI in 4K - even if they still had all the assets and project files, which is ridiculously unlikely, CGI is rendered in layers, so the compositing would have to be redone as well - basically it would take pretty much the full cost of doing post production on a very high budget movie,so more than likely, they will go to the original 2K DIs, upscale them and give them an HDR grade.

I’ve been wondering about this myself. Since LOTR is so VFX heavy, redoing visual effects in 4K is probably out of the realm of possibility. Honestly, I just hope it’s sourced from the original 2K DI, and upscaled. No monkey business, no green tint, no DNR, no artificial sharpening, no scanning of a print — just the original file that got rendered out as the master, before it got printed back onto film. That would be the best source IMO.

Then again, Warner may be trying to capitalize off of the new Amazon series, so maybe they will release it later and do a full 4K remaster. It’s hard to say. That would be a very Peter Jackson-y thing to do.

All I want is for the film to look exactly like it looks on the EE DVD, but at the highest resolution and bitrate available.

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FOTR wasn’t a complete DI, which is part of why the EE BR is so different compared to TTT and ROTK (which were complete DI’s). So at least some film would need to be scanned again for FOTR.

As for the other two, I’d assume it would be a 2K upscale with an HDR grade, just like the vast majority of modern CGI-heavy films already are on UHD BR.

a trolling bantha

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May I ask from where the information comes (it was finished digitally as a 2K DI)?
By the way: Thanks for your work, 44rh1n!

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44rh1n said:
I’ve been wondering about this myself. Since LOTR is so VFX heavy, redoing visual effects in 4K is probably out of the realm of possibility. Honestly, I just hope it’s sourced from the original 2K DI, and upscaled. No monkey business, no green tint, no DNR, no artificial sharpening, no scanning of a print — just the original file that got rendered out as the master, before it got printed back onto film. That would be the best source IMO.

It’s funny to me that this conversation only ever comes up when discussing Lord of the Rings and Eps II and III. But never for any of the multitude of 2K rendered VFX heavy films that have been released on UHD bluray.

But yeah its practically impossible for this to happen. Consider the hardware and software the vfx pipeline was built on is long decommissioned. An enormous amount of effort for a very minimal upgrade in fidelity.

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44rh1n said:

Harmy said:

I’m wondering what the UHD LOTR will be sourced from. While it was shot on 35mm,it was finished digitally as a 2K DI,so going back to film would mean redoing the entire post production and believe me, it would not be as simple as rerendering CGI in 4K - even if they still had all the assets and project files, which is ridiculously unlikely, CGI is rendered in layers, so the compositing would have to be redone as well - basically it would take pretty much the full cost of doing post production on a very high budget movie,so more than likely, they will go to the original 2K DIs, upscale them and give them an HDR grade.

I’ve been wondering about this myself. Since LOTR is so VFX heavy, redoing visual effects in 4K is probably out of the realm of possibility. Honestly, I just hope it’s sourced from the original 2K DI, and upscaled. No monkey business, no green tint, no DNR, no artificial sharpening, no scanning of a print — just the original file that got rendered out as the master, before it got printed back onto film. That would be the best source IMO.

Then again, Warner may be trying to capitalize off of the new Amazon series, so maybe they will release it later and do a full 4K remaster. It’s hard to say. That would be a very Peter Jackson-y thing to do.

All I want is for the film to look exactly like it looks on the EE DVD, but at the highest resolution and bitrate available.

This. Barring them redoing the SFX completely, which is not going to happen, this is exactly what I want as well.

My guess is that they’ll remove the green tint, but I’m not confident the colours with match the EE DVD’s for any of the films either.

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ChainsawAsh said:

FOTR wasn’t a complete DI, which is part of why the EE BR is so different compared to TTT and ROTK (which were complete DI’s). So at least some film would need to be scanned again for FOTR.

Shoot, you’re right. I had forgotten about that, but now that you mention it I’m recalling the color grading featurette from the Appendices, where I believe they said only about 70% went through digital intermediate. Well, however they source the inevitable 4K release, I just want it to look nice and be true to the original release’s grade.

Chewielewis said:

44rh1n said:
I’ve been wondering about this myself. Since LOTR is so VFX heavy, redoing visual effects in 4K is probably out of the realm of possibility. Honestly, I just hope it’s sourced from the original 2K DI, and upscaled. No monkey business, no green tint, no DNR, no artificial sharpening, no scanning of a print — just the original file that got rendered out as the master, before it got printed back onto film. That would be the best source IMO.

But yeah its practically impossible for this to happen. Consider the hardware and software the vfx pipeline was built on is long decommissioned. An enormous amount of effort for a very minimal upgrade in fidelity.

Yeah, I agree that there’s pretty much no chance they’ll remaster the VFX in 4K. It will almost certainly be an upscale. But I’m ok with that. A lot of people give the 4K UHD upscales of 2K films a lot of flak, but in my opinion (when done correctly) they are still a massive improvement over the 1080p Blu-rays. People fail to understand that, while 2K 2048x1152 seems like it’s not much higher of a resolution than 1920x1080, it’s actually about 300,000 more pixels. So I’d rather see those pixels preserved in an upscale than removed in a downsampled BD.

FrankB said:

May I ask from where the information comes (it was finished digitally as a 2K DI)?
By the way: Thanks for your work, 44rh1n!

Fellowship of the Ring was one of the first films to go through a DI (digital intermediate) process. And back then, pretty much all films were done in 2K. It wasn’t until 2004 with Spider-Man 2 that a film had a 4K DI – and even then, it was super rare to finish a film in 4K. Even nowadays, probably half the major films are still mastered in 2K. We have a ton more being delivered in 4K now, which is awesome, but there’s still quite a lot done in good’ol 2K.

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They do? How?

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Dwalin said:

44rh1n said:

Luckily The Two Towers and The Return of the King aren’t affected, and the official Blu-rays of those films both look amazing.

Yet the editions of The Two Towers differ.

My extended Blu-rays of The Two Towers and The Return of the King perfectly match the original extended DVD releases. Maybe there’s an issue with other regions? But my US copies of both those films are perfect.

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In the top post, in the “Future” section, 44rh1n said,

“I’d be happy to replace the shots from the theatrical Blu-ray with shots from the Netflix version if someone can get me a high bitrate 23.976fps capture! I’ve been trying to capture it myself but my hardware is only capable of 24fps, which is not the same as 23.976!”

Did you actually make a capture of the Netflix version at 24 fps? It shouldn’t be difficult to convert to 23.976 fps. Or did you obtain a capture somewhere?