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4k77 - shot by shot color grading — Page 13

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It seems to me that a lot of these color ‘correction’(more like reinterpretation) samples fall victim to a lot of basic photography post processing mistakes (speaking as a professional photographer if that carries any weight (honestly it shouldn’t these days 😛)).

-The fixation on neutral whites and grays.
I remember a few years ago on this site when everyones color corrections included completely monochrome death star interiors and monochrome tie-fighters. And i knew for a fact that the models for the tie-fighters had a blue tint since i had seen them at the ‘art of star wars’ exhibition in Helsinki in 2000.

While this might seem like it makes sense in a still picture intended for display as is we have to remember that even though an object is painted white or gray it will not appear as such in almost anything except open daylight lighting conditions in outer space. Light is reflected off of every surface in the scene and tint white and gray objects.
If they used cool fluorescent lights on set or depending on what color balance film they used etc gray won’t look grey and white shouldn’t look perfectly white in almost any context which brings me to nr2.

-Maximizing the dynamic range of the shot.
There’s often a strive to maximize the utilization of the available dynamic range in every shot or scene in order to give more punch or life-like contrast to a scene. Which means people want to push the brightest pixels in the scene to close to pure white and the darkest pixels to close to pure black. And while it can mostly look good it can cause problems and inconsistency between shots of the same scene. There might not be anything close to resembling pure white light in the scene, so pushing to contrast to maximize the dynamic range will overexpose the next best thing. A lot of the white hallway shots the walls appear way way too bright. It’s also important to realize the relationship between contrast and saturation. A lot of the reason why something might appear too warm or cool can be explained by too much contrast. I often find it’s advantageous to alter luminance curves separately from saturation in order to not over-saturate (blow out) colored highlights which seems to be a constant problem in the blu-ray. I think this is the reason the desert shots of 4k83 look severely overexposed in the teaser trailer i saw.

Digitizing film is a minefield, i know since I’ve done it plenty, thankfully the restoration projects aren’t actually scanning negatives since you wouldn’t see one frame of accurate color if that was the case. Which i also think is one of the reason the older scans used for the blu-rays look so bad, especially when it comes to color accuracy, especially the magenta. Getting good digital color of a negative is very hard. Firstly you need to get rid of the extreme orange tint, and this should be done optically with colored filters since otherwise you’re just sacrificing color depth to do it digitally. And even so it’s completely open to interpretation what shade of red something was supposed to be, especially hard since if you couldn’t eliminate to orange mask optically then when inverted all your red tones will have a strong over-saturated magenta cast. Transparency film is easier somewhat since the color is mostly correct (unless it’s old and faded) but it has less captured dynamic range than negative film, so you get crushed blacks definitely and blown out highlights if you’re not careful. The contrast of the picture on the film is a lot higher on transparency film than negative, so there might be problems while digitizing unless your digitizing sensor is up to snuff.

I think most of drdre’s colors look good, but i’m mostly concerned that they are too contrasty, and could actually benefit from being a bit more darker and dull.

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Are these color corrections close to Harmy’s Despecialized Editions? Or are they greater than Harmy’s Color Corrections?

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Jokke_r said:

It seems to me that a lot of these color ‘correction’(more like reinterpretation) samples fall victim to a lot of basic photography post processing mistakes (speaking as a professional photographer if that carries any weight (honestly it shouldn’t these days 😛)).

-The fixation on neutral whites and grays.
I remember a few years ago on this site when everyones color corrections included completely monochrome death star interiors and monochrome tie-fighters. And i knew for a fact that the models for the tie-fighters had a blue tint since i had seen them at the ‘art of star wars’ exhibition in Helsinki in 2000.

While this might seem like it makes sense in a still picture intended for display as is we have to remember that even though an object is painted white or gray it will not appear as such in almost anything except open daylight lighting conditions in outer space. Light is reflected off of every surface in the scene and tint white and gray objects.
If they used cool fluorescent lights on set or depending on what color balance film they used etc gray won’t look grey and white shouldn’t look perfectly white in almost any context which brings me to nr2.

-Maximizing the dynamic range of the shot.
There’s often a strive to maximize the utilization of the available dynamic range in every shot or scene in order to give more punch or life-like contrast to a scene. Which means people want to push the brightest pixels in the scene to close to pure white and the darkest pixels to close to pure black. And while it can mostly look good it can cause problems and inconsistency between shots of the same scene. There might not be anything close to resembling pure white light in the scene, so pushing to contrast to maximize the dynamic range will overexpose the next best thing. A lot of the white hallway shots the walls appear way way too bright. It’s also important to realize the relationship between contrast and saturation. A lot of the reason why something might appear too warm or cool can be explained by too much contrast. I often find it’s advantageous to alter luminance curves separately from saturation in order to not over-saturate (blow out) colored highlights which seems to be a constant problem in the blu-ray. I think this is the reason the desert shots of 4k83 look severely overexposed in the teaser trailer i saw.

Digitizing film is a minefield, i know since I’ve done it plenty, thankfully the restoration projects aren’t actually scanning negatives since you wouldn’t see one frame of accurate color if that was the case. Which i also think is one of the reason the older scans used for the blu-rays look so bad, especially when it comes to color accuracy, especially the magenta. Getting good digital color of a negative is very hard. Firstly you need to get rid of the extreme orange tint, and this should be done optically with colored filters since otherwise you’re just sacrificing color depth to do it digitally. And even so it’s completely open to interpretation what shade of red something was supposed to be, especially hard since if you couldn’t eliminate to orange mask optically then when inverted all your red tones will have a strong over-saturated magenta cast. Transparency film is easier somewhat since the color is mostly correct (unless it’s old and faded) but it has less captured dynamic range than negative film, so you get crushed blacks definitely and blown out highlights if you’re not careful. The contrast of the picture on the film is a lot higher on transparency film than negative, so there might be problems while digitizing unless your digitizing sensor is up to snuff.

I think most of drdre’s colors look good, but i’m mostly concerned that they are too contrasty, and could actually benefit from being a bit more darker and dull.

this is a very good post.

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LexX said:

screams in the void said:

I have always wondered why people do not use the photos in the 1978 Star Wars Storybook for reference when doing color corrections . https://www.starwars.com/news/parenting-padawans-5-reasons-vintage-star-wars-storybooks-stand-the-test-of-time

Because those are production photos, not film stills.

^ really , they look like photos from the film , it even says full color photos from the film . although there is one in there that has Vader without his cape while " sensing a presence " that was probably a still . These pictures are very much the way I remember the film looking in the theater . I think some may be production photos but not all , but I have no proof , do you ?

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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screams in the void said:

LexX said:

screams in the void said:

I have always wondered why people do not use the photos in the 1978 Star Wars Storybook for reference when doing color corrections . https://www.starwars.com/news/parenting-padawans-5-reasons-vintage-star-wars-storybooks-stand-the-test-of-time

Because those are production photos, not film stills.

^ really , they look like photos from the film , it even says full color photos from the film . although there is one in there that has Vader without his cape while " sensing a presence " that was probably a still . These pictures are very much the way I remember the film looking in the theater . I think some may be production photos but not all , but I have no proof , do you ?

Some of them certainly are photos from the film, maybe someone could order copies of the books in the best condition possible and scan certain pages, then use DrDres color tool to match them.

Prequel Fan-Edit thread: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Yet-another-series-of-prequel-edits/id/17329

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screams in the void said:

LexX said:

screams in the void said:

I have always wondered why people do not use the photos in the 1978 Star Wars Storybook for reference when doing color corrections . https://www.starwars.com/news/parenting-padawans-5-reasons-vintage-star-wars-storybooks-stand-the-test-of-time

Because those are production photos, not film stills.

^ really , they look like photos from the film , it even says full color photos from the film . although there is one in there that has Vader without his cape while " sensing a presence " that was probably a still . These pictures are very much the way I remember the film looking in the theater . I think some may be production photos but not all , but I have no proof , do you ?

From the film means from the movie, not the actual film print itself. Very few images before the 90s were actual screenshots because you couldn’t make a “screenshot” before computers. This applies to all movies, pretty much none of the images are film stills but production photos. Only some effect shots were used as promotional material, like DS trench. I have the production photo catalogues and they are all from them.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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That’s not quite accurate. There was a trend for a certain period of the 70s (and early 80s) for ‘Fotonovels’ - books retelling films via a series of stills. These were achieved via photographically enlarging actual film frames (probably an interneg?) and gave a visual summation of the film in the days before home video.

Many were small paperbacks, though some were larger format books - I have Psycho and (probably the best example made) Alien. The Star Warses never received this treatment, for some reason, but I imagine it was discussed.

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Smithers said:

I could very well be wrong but a handful of the photos on some of those pages look strikingly similar to the actual movies, I’m quite convinced that the shot of luke looking through his binoculars is from the original film.

Nope, it’s a production photo number 5.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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^ I still do not buy your argument , care to share ? I could be off base but I feel you are implying that there was a still photographer present on set for every picture depicted in the storybook .I am more inclined to go with what Jonno said , I remember seeing some of those photo novels he talked about …they even did one for Battlestar Galactica . Here is a link to some info on that one …and a really cool website to boot …http://space1970.blogspot.com/2012/11/battlestar-galactica-1978-photostory.html and now that I think of it , how were the lobby cards made for the movies ? and ultimately , can’t the storybook photos still be used as a reference either way for colors ? They look great and could be a great guide for things like hue , value ,saturation and color temperature .But that may just be the artist in me talking …

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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screams in the void said:

^ I still do not buy your argument , care to share ? I could be off base but I feel you are implying that there was a still photographer present on set for every picture depicted in the storybook .I am more inclined to go with what Jonno said , I remember seeing some of those photo novels he talked about …they even did one for Battlestar Galactica . Here is a link to some info on that one …and a really cool website to boot …http://space1970.blogspot.com/2012/11/battlestar-galactica-1978-photostory.html and now that I think of it , how were the lobby cards made for the movies ? and ultimately , can’t the storybook photos still be used as a reference either way for colors ? They look great and could be a great guide for things like hue , value ,saturation and color temperature .But that may just be the artist in me talking …

Well, that’s how it was done, doesn’t matter to me if you believe it or not. 😃 They literally took thousands of production photos and many of them look like they were from the film, but they are not. All SW lobby cards used production photos.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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Two things - the photos in the story books are a mix of production photos and film elements plus there is little control over the printing and for the film elements we have no idea of the color timing used. Such print photos are unreliable.

The other thing is that I feel the colors on the technicolor prints are not represenative of the colors on the rest of the prints. So I don’t think matching the technicolor colors is the right approach. I think they are a good guide, but they need to be corrected to better match the regular release prints so I don’t think the warm tones of the technicolor prints are accurate to the general release. From things Mike Verta said in his videos and the way he processed the images, I think his final colors (which he has not released except for some tantalizing samples) are likely to be far more accurate. I think the colors on the Technicolor print are flawed and in need of color correction. They certainly don’t look like a typical technicolor print colors.

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Luke from the deleted scene:

Luke from the story book:

The two are clearly different. The latter probably having been taken just off-camera while filming. Not sure what more evidence you need to convince you that some of these are production photos.

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I find your argument vague and unconvincing .And I actually said that I believe that SOME are production photos but not all . Again , where is the PROOF ? all I have been presented with is conjecture and opinion so far .And regardless , the colors in the bottom image look great , why not use the storybook photos for color reference ? The picture on the bottom looks far clearer to me and has a lot of natural dusky sunlight showing on Luke .I have heard film makers refer to sunset shots like this as " magic hour " and I see it far more clearly on the storybook photo than the grainy , uncleaned deleted footage which is just one screenshot you posted among dozens which make up the scene on film .If I wanted to make a painting , or even re create a cleaned up or restoration of that deleted scene , I would definitely refer to the storybook photo for things like color temperature , saturation , hue , value etc .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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screams in the void said:

I find your argument vague and unconvincing .And I actually said that I believe that SOME are production photos but not all . Again , where is the PROOF ? all I have been presented with is conjecture and opinion so far .And regardless , the colors in the bottom image look great , why not use the storybook photos for color reference ? The picture on the bottom looks far clearer to me and has a lot of natural dusky sunlight showing on Luke .I have heard film makers refer to sunset shots like this as " magic hour " and I see it far more clearly on the storybook photo than the grainy , uncleaned deleted footage which is just one screenshot you posted among dozens which make up the scene on film .If I wanted to make a painting , or even re create a cleaned up or restoration of that deleted scene , I would definitely refer to the storybook photo for things like color temperature , saturation , hue , value etc .

Sorry, I thought you were convinced that ALL the photos were still frames from the movie. But the above example is definite proof that there are some (at least one) production photos used in the story book. I agree that the story book photo is much more pleasing color and contrast-wise than the screen grab I provided.

Forgive me for assuming your obstinacy.

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I think it’s safe to trust things like this but not safe to trust images of skin if that makes any sense.

This would be say an example where I would say correct in the book but wrong on film but when it comes to normal footage it has a different problem.

I optioned to hue shift to get to a similar result… But that was met with anger and also ridicule that it should have shifted in hue in either some natural chemical form or deliberate but quite frankly it is plain to see.

I opted for trusting printed materials over film for Star Wars in general and the Laserdisc TV versions being better representations of what it should look like but the hang up is between the Print and the Blu Ray and not any tele-cine… Seriously no fucks given anymore from me.

Generally what I tended to find was that the normal footage was hue shifted to positive meaning that a shift negative to correct was needed for standard film. But effects shots were generally shifted in a negative fashion you needed to shift positive a certain % to correct for those.

All in all you can only blame this on Lucusfilm ltd and nobody else because films from the same era and even prior other 20th Century fox titles do not suffer like star wars does. So it is a Lucusfilm issue and you cannot put the blame elsewhere it lives and dies with their tech and their stuff not being as good as 20th Century Fox capable Kit. Or possibly Director Arrogance that it has an issue that it looks bad compared to other films.

It’s more towards the end actually where the Negative shift and correcting with positive shift happens but like I said it seems the film got improved for TV Versions and so on then they sort of started again in 2004 and using the crappy print look will always look bad as it did when first released.

But I should Add that I don’t think what Dre does is bad… It is a film still up for grabs and good luck to him.

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You need to properly calibrate your story book.

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:

You need to properly calibrate your story book.

Seriously I still find it amusing if the picture of the back Special edition Laserdisc of Mos Eisley Special Edition added shots looks nothing like the film but if you shift it hey it looks like the picture…

Something wrong is a dead cert with Lucus film kit perhaps more the profit from the preparation for them but the film looks like… ok I will not say it but…Not like Still images it looks hue shifted compared to many still images.