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4K restoration on Star Wars — Page 316

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I do think it’s pretty easy for people in the video-enthusiast camp (i.e. you care a lot about compression artifacts) to overestimate how much bigger the average consumer market (people who care a lot more about ease of access) is. Why would Disney continue to release physical media?

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Well either there is a profit in collectors items and the ‘limited’ style of release they often do… or they are testing the waters to see if demand is low enough to stop. In some ways it might just be a way of keeping the public eye on certain brands. But one thing is certain; that poster art shows they think that the consumer doesn’t remember what the art is actually for, and that the legal release of OOT is likely doomed.

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Yeah, the average consumer doesn’t really care much about the SE vs OOT, or if a poster year matches the year the version they’re watching was made. Why would they? Obi Wan fights Darth Vader and Luke blows up the Death Star - it’s the same movie in most people’s minds.

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timdiggerm said:

Yeah, the average consumer doesn’t really care much about the SE vs OOT, or if a poster year matches the year the version they’re watching was made. Why would they? Obi Wan fights Darth Vader and Luke blows up the Death Star - it’s the same movie in most people’s minds.

A lawyer representing an angry fan might? 😉

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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timdiggerm said:

I do think it’s pretty easy for people in the video-enthusiast camp (i.e. you care a lot about compression artifacts) to overestimate how much bigger the average consumer market (people who care a lot more about ease of access) is. Why would Disney continue to release physical media?

Perhaps they’ll care when people start hitting their friendly local neighborhood data caps. Not everybody in the country has fiber optic lines. A Frontier technician once told me it would take an act of congress to get the copper lines replaced in my old neighborhood. Internet speeds were abysmal for streaming there.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Broom Kid said:

This probably isn’t a great sign when it comes to any future physical releases of Star Wars

https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/080720-1600

The article makes room for possible Star Wars releases still, but it really sounds like Disney’s about done with physical media, period. No catalog releases going forward. No promotion for the catalog releases they’ve already got.

If you were waiting for a 50th/60th anniversary box-set, you might never stop waiting.

Maybe, maybe not.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnarcher/2020/08/12/disney-formally-denies-that-its-ditching-4k-blu-ray-catalog-releases/amp/

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SilverWook said:

I could see Disney doing a massive set of their animated films, which would then be the only way to get The Black Cauldron, just to tick me off. 😉

Don’t give them any ideas… Having just gotten some Pixar and Star Wars 4Ks with my 60% VIP deal, I’m just hanging on to a Disney Movie Club membership (which I singed up for for The Love Bug, 20,000 Leagues, and Black Hole) so that I don’t have to go through the whole song and dance again to pick up the Black Cauldron if it’s ever released as an exclusive.

I’ll take 4K or Blu-Ray at this point. Just give me a gd >480i disc with The Black Cauldron on it.

TV’s Frink said:

I would put this in my sig if I weren’t so lazy.

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I was listened to an episode of the Film Formally podcast where they had Drew Stewart on to talk about all the various changes made to Star Wars.

Drew mentioned that when the 97 SE version was created, Lucasfilm did a 1080p scan of the original negative. The scan was then digitally cleaned up, revised with new cgi effects and deleted scenes, and then printed back onto film for a new “original negative.”

For the 4K release, did they just take the 97 SE and upscale it to 4K, as well as upscaling all the other scenes that have been altered since (Hayden in ROTJ, new versions of Jabba, Ian McDiarmid in empire)? Wouldn’t that mean it’s not a true 4K restoration since the only film print that exists in lucasfilm’s archives is the 97 SE, which is locked at 1080p?

Sorry in advance if this has already been addressed.

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I don’t know if that’s entirely accurate. From what I understand, the CGI is 1080p, but the live-action/model parts are in the full quality of the negative. So most of it is in native 4K, just not the added Special Edition effects.

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But weren’t the compositing of SFX shots redone digitally? That is every original SFX shots made of multiple layers would have each of these layers scanned (at which resolution?) before being assembled in a computer. To the effect of a better image quality (no generational degradation) and no matte lines.

So even when there’s no CGI, the digitally recomposited shots would be stuck at whichever resolution they were scanned.

Han: Hey Lando! You kept your promise, right? Not a scratch?
Lando: Well, what’s left of her isn’t scratched. All the scratched parts got knocked off along the way.
Han (exasperated): Knocked off?!

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Z6PO said:

But weren’t the compositing of SFX shots redone digitally? That is every original SFX shots made of multiple layers would have each of these layers scanned (at which resolution?) before being assembled in a computer. To the effect of a better image quality (no generational degradation) and no matte lines.

So even when there’s no CGI, the digitally recomposited shots would be stuck at whichever resolution they were scanned.

Sure, but the resolution wasn’t there in the first place, because the optical compositing severely degrades the image quality. In any case for the 4K release the effects shots were rendered at 4K resolution.

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A lot of the CG done for the 1997 SE wasn’t even rendered in HD. Many of the elements were rendered in 480p due to budget and time. Nothing was rendered higher than 1080p. The negative was restored along with many of the original separate elements. The problem is that every re-composited shot in all 3 films were only done in 1080p. The elements were scanned @1080p, digitally re-composited into the computer, sharpening filters applied and then laser printed back onto film. The resolution of those shots is stuck @1080p.

DrDre said:

Sure, but the resolution wasn’t there in the first place, because the optical compositing severely degrades the image quality. In any case for the 4K release the effects shots were rendered at 4K resolution.

Only the added stuff done for the 2004/11 versions were redone (most but not all) for the 2019/20 Disney+/UHD releases . All of the original 1997 additions remain the same. There is a reason why ROTJ looks much better than the other two films. That’s the one that was the least tampered with digitally. 4K Star Wars looks like crap in many addition or digitally re-composited shots when compared to shots that haven’t been tampered with.

With the effects shot using the vistavision camera, even after optical compositing, the resolution doesn’t suffer too badly. It was the constant handling and dupe grain that caused most of the degradation. And, if these same restored elements were digitally scanned and re-composited today, they would look amazing. better than any shot redone for the SE

ANH:REVISITED
ESB:REVISITED

DONATIONS TOWARDS MATERIALS FOR THE REVISITED SAGA

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adywan said:

A lot of the CG done for the 1997 SE wasn’t even rendered in HD. Many of the elements were rendered in 480p due to budget and time. Nothing was rendered higher than 1080p. The negative was restored along with many of the original separate elements. The problem is that every re-composited shot in all 3 films were only done in 1080p. The elements were scanned @1080p, digitally re-composited into the computer, sharpening filters applied and then laser printed back onto film. The resolution of those shots is stuck @1080p.

DrDre said:

Sure, but the resolution wasn’t there in the first place, because the optical compositing severely degrades the image quality. In any case for the 4K release the effects shots were rendered at 4K resolution.

Only the added stuff done for the 2004/11 versions were redone (most but not all) for the 2019/20 Disney+/UHD releases . All of the original 1997 additions remain the same. There is a reason why ROTJ looks much better than the other two films. That’s the one that was the least tampered with digitally. 4K Star Wars looks like crap in many addition or digitally re-composited shots when compared to shots that haven’t been tampered with.

With the effects shot using the vistavision camera, even after optical compositing, the resolution doesn’t suffer too badly. It was the constrant handling and dupe grain that caused most of the degredation. And, if these same restored elements were digitally scanned and re-composited today, they would look amazing. better than any shot redone for the SE

Sure, and if the tons of films that were mastered at 2K resolution over the past decades were redone at 4K, they would look amazing too. Many movies are stuck at 2K resolution or below, or in the case of effects driven films contain elements at different resolutions. Star Wars is not exceptional in that sense.

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There was speculation on these boards as to whether or not the ‘97 cg shots were transferred directly from the digital filmout tapes for the 2019 4k version à la the 2011 rebuild of TPM or if they were simply scanned back in from the negative just like any other shot in the movie.

There was also speculation somewhere (maybe it wasn’t here) that the ‘97 re-comps were re-done from scratch yet again to take advantage of the higher resolution.

Has any evidence emerged to support either of these theories?

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Okay, so if I’m understanding this right, all of the cgi additions and digital re-composites are stuck at 1080p and had to be upscaled to 4K. Everything else is native 4K…right?

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Fang Zei said:

There was speculation on these boards as to whether or not the ‘97 cg shots were transferred directly from the digital filmout tapes for the 2019 4k version à la the 2011 rebuild of TPM or if they were simply scanned back in from the negative just like any other shot in the movie.

There was also speculation somewhere (maybe it wasn’t here) that the ‘97 re-comps were re-done from scratch yet again to take advantage of the higher resolution.

Has any evidence emerged to support either of these theories?

Can modern computers/software even read 90s digital rendering files natively? Do they (Star Wars or in general) keep old machines stocked for such purposes?

Edit: oh I see you said filmout flies, not the digital renders themselves. Still curious re my question, though.

TV’s Frink said:

I would put this in my sig if I weren’t so lazy.

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Sorry, another question. So, the secret history of Star Wars link says the negative was printed onto film that was fading, and it had endured wear and tear from all the copies made throughout the 80s. Hence, the whole motivation to clean up and restore the film. So they chemically cleaned it, then the alterations were rendered in the computer and printed to film and then edited back into the negative. What prevents the negative from fading further over time? Did they have to chemically treat the negative with some kind of coating or something to prevent further damage over time?

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If I remember correctly all film stock will degrade with time fading or turning pink, and it’s worse with movies from a certain era onwards, which is why movies are stored underground away from moisture or light. So they can be preserved for long time but not forever.

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Mocata said:

If I remember correctly all film stock will degrade with time fading or turning pink, and it’s worse with movies from a certain era onwards, which is why movies are stored underground away from moisture or light. So they can be preserved for long time but not forever.

True, but even though the negatives for the OT were stored properly , they still were in bad shape circa 1994, due to the fact that they were printed on quick fade film stock.

Secrethistoryofstarwars.com says these types of film negatives need to be corrected every 5 years to compensate for fading. I guess I don’t quite understand how you compensate for the fading. I don’t know enough about film preservation to fully understand how this works, it seems like people are saying sections of the negative are original, they’ve just been color corrected and cleaned up with chemicals. But the article also says some sections were so badly faded, they were unusable. When they were color corrected, does that somehow change the damaged film back to looking normal, and then it’s stable for another 5 years, or do you have to create a new piece of film?

Edit: I re-read the secret history article and got my answer. Some sections of the negative were unusable so they were replaced with copies of sections of the interpositives. From what I can tell, the faded sections were replaced with new interpositives color timed using the separation masters. So it sounds like large portions of the original negative are in fact lost and replaced with new interpositives, even the sections that have no cgi alterations.

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Can we say once and for all that what Reliance did was not a restoration but rather destruction by digital video noise reduction. I would not classify what they did as a restoration. They removed more than scratches or grain added in the process of print duplication. They went well beyond grain management and even further than Lowry. The rumor is the process was automated, the dnr pass. It was not reel by reel.

With Disney seeing these as archival i doubt they will ever do restorations worth a damn.

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JadedSkywalker said:

Can we say once and for all that what Reliance did was not a restoration but rather destruction by digital video noise reduction. I would not classify what they did as a restoration. They removed more than scratches or grain added in the process of print duplication. They went well beyond grain management and even further than Lowry. The rumor is the process was automated, the dnr pass. It was not reel by reel.

With Disney seeing these as archival i doubt they will ever do restorations worth a damn.

You can say that, but speak for yourself. While it is far from perfect, the new 4K master is miles ahead of the 2004/2011 master. I’m kind of fed up with the negativity, and the hyperboles. It would be great, if we can get a proper restoration of the OOT, but given the OT’s history, I will take what I can get.

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DrDre said:

JadedSkywalker said:

Can we say once and for all that what Reliance did was not a restoration but rather destruction by digital video noise reduction. I would not classify what they did as a restoration. They removed more than scratches or grain added in the process of print duplication. They went well beyond grain management and even further than Lowry. The rumor is the process was automated, the dnr pass. It was not reel by reel.

With Disney seeing these as archival i doubt they will ever do restorations worth a damn.

You can say that, but speak for yourself. While it is far from perfect, the new 4K master is miles ahead of the 2004/2011 master. I’m kind of fed up with the negativity, and the hyperboles. It would be great, if we can get a proper restoration of the OOT, but given the OT’s history, I will take what I can get.

Yeah, preach on. This new master is the best the OT has ever looked on home video, grain or no grain. The main reason why I like the D+XX versions, and why I’m looking forward to Despecialized 3.0, is because they combine the quality of the Reliance restoration with the highest quality 35mm sources available, and add visual enhancements to make it all look as good as possible. That’s what a perfect OOT preservation would look like in my opinion.

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I think constantly striving to improve on things is great for fans and everyone involved, but at some point you have to stop and smell the roses and recognize just how far watching Star Wars at home has come.

When I was a kid, I had an old 32" CRT connected via RCA plugs to an old boom box with detachable speakers with a VHS I recorded off HBO and in my mind I was ready for Robin Leach to feature me on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. I had it all.

I never dreamed what would be available in the future. Now I have a 65" with HDR and full-array dimming, a 4K player with Dolby Vision, and 5.1 surround sound (working toward Atmos).

To think back at what I used to watch and was so happy with puts it all in perspective. I have my Harmy 1080p discs for when I just don’t want to see the special edition changes, and the new 4K UHD discs for when I want to see the highest resolution and HDR.

Sure, the best would be 4K Harmy with HDR, and maybe we’ll get that next, but in my opinion we’ve come a long way, and things keep getting better. I don’t think the perfect release for all-time is achievable, so I’m just appreciating what I have now while anticipating what might be next.