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A New Hope DVD Color Correction (*unfinished project * - a mass of information)

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 (Edited)

Truncated Video Link: https://vimeo.com/73254016

Password: starwars

For latest version screenshots and settings, see page 3. Original post follows:

I used two screenshots from the Legacy project to guide the correction, and began with the final shot of the film. The Legacy screenshot had very different luminosity as well as color, so I corrected the DVD luminosity to match, and then used the channel mixer in Premiere Elements 3 to correct the color as much as possible (I know, old software etc). Using the luminosity correction resulted in blown out highlights for much of the film, so I abandoned most of these and used luminosity and gamma correction that I thought was appropriate for the entire film.

JEDIT: (See Photobucket for old screenshots)

You can see some more before and after screenshots (cropped slightly, I don’t know why) on Photobucket:

http://s649.photobucket.com/user/NeverarGreat/library/Star%20Wars%20Color%20Correction?sort=3&page=1

Folder is Star Wars Color Correction, password starwars.

As you can see, the image was very blue and dark before the correction. I’d say that the medal ceremony shot is about halfway to the Legacy version. I didn’t know how to correct it further without totally yellowing the entire image.I wanted just a fix that could be applied to the entire film, and not get bogged down in the scene by scene details. This is the special edition, after all, so I’m mainly concerned with a blanket correction to get it looking halfway respectable.

If anyone wants more info on what particular settings were used, or to offer suggestions, I’d like to hear them!

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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Looks pretty nice but that is my amateur opinion.

:)

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Thanks! This is my first attempt at any sort of color correction, so I'm mainly wondering if what I did is at all similar to what others have done with this type of correction.

For the record, the settings used were:

Image Control:

Brightness -8

Contrast 120

Hue 0

Saturation 100

Gamma Correction:

8

Channel Mixer:

Red-Red 100

Red-Green 10

Red-Blue -2

Red Const 0

Green Red -7

Green-Green 100

Green-Blue 10

Green Const 0

Blue-red -20

Blue-Green 16

Blue-Blue 100

Blue Const 0

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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Nice careful job. If you ever need any suggestions for more radical changes I've got plenty of ideas but very meagre know-how.
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NeverarGreat said:

What type of radical changes?

 

My understanding is pretty limited but my sense of the state of things is the original negative of by the time they did the special edition had lost lots of its colour and so when they printed it it looked darker/heavier and all the colours looked redder. So blues would come out more purple and stuff like this. It seems to me more than rearranging the information that is there around, additional colour information has to be programmed back in somehow, either through colour matching from other sources or adding fresh new layers on top of old. Or the spoiled/darkened colours that are there rolled back (reprogrammed) to their unspoilt state. These are just my crazy ideas though. I don't know how to do them practically

 

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@frank678: It has been stated before that when they made the 97 SE, Lucas specifically wanted ANH to be color timed with an original Technicolor IB print as reference. I didn't see the 97 SE in the cinema and the released versions sure don't show it, but in theory this would mean that they would've had a pretty good starting point when making the 2004 SE, yet that time Lucas ignored the look they created for the 97 SE, and instead he wanted to change the colors to what they look like now.

You can read everything about it here: http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/savingstarwars.html

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@You_Too, thanks for the link I will read this.

Before I got your post I was gonna post this>

I'm gonna try and put my fuzzy ideas into words when I look at Leias face in the senator screening and the colour of her make up on top of her skin tone and overall rosy glow. I think you must get that through very fine highlights/colour registers, to me these have been flattened through darkness and colour loss on the special edition so everything looks a bit flat and heavy

http://i48.tinypic.com/x4hjrn.jpg

Although these are probably off because theres a limit to what you can do with vhs because it bleeds - I would expect the flesh tones to be more colourful and fine in the highlights, so faces really 'sing' as real translucent flesh (I have seen this happen on other blu rays but not star wars the faces look like dead to me)

http://i46.tinypic.com/do524x.jpg

http://i45.tinypic.com/35brz1z.jpg

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I saw the 97 SE at the cinema and was really thrown by the heaviness of the colours. It felt like a much darker modern film. I loved the increased clarity in the print but it felt instinctively wrong but this could be down somewhat to differences in print technology. Anyway sorry Neverargreat to derail your thread, I think you have done a good job - its just I want what I can't have - the film looks so much lusher in my head/memory.
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It's all good.

The faces are the biggest problem with this project. In the reference material, they do look much brighter and more "alive", but it's a very tricky balance to get right. When Obi-wan says "The Force will be with you", his face looks splotchy and unwell, with pinks pushing out around his scalp. I've corrected that the best I could. If the skin tones are off, the whole movie looks dead, and if the background is only slightly tinted to the green/yellow/blue/red side, it looks like the movie is seriously ill. That's what happened with the 2004 DVD.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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NeverarGreat said:

It's all good.

The faces are the biggest problem with this project. In the reference material, they do look much brighter and more "alive", but it's a very tricky balance to get right. When Obi-wan says "The Force will be with you", his face looks splotchy and unwell, with pinks pushing out around his scalp. I've corrected that the best I could. If the skin tones are off, the whole movie looks dead, and if the background is only slightly tinted to the green/yellow/blue/red side, it looks like the movie is seriously ill. That's what happened with the 2004 DVD.

Totally agree. Its just so frustrating to me to see the Legacy stills, or the Senator screening media, or the 35mm project media, and then look at the Blu-Ray. As you said you've managed to get it half way to the Legacy stills and that is half the battle. I curse the day I ever saw that there was a technicolor print in the world and because of that I can't get to enjoy star wars fresh as a daisy :(

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 (Edited)

You_Too said:

@frank678: It has been stated before that when they made the 97 SE, Lucas specifically wanted ANH to be color timed with an original Technicolor IB print as reference. I didn't see the 97 SE in the cinema and the released versions sure don't show it, but in theory this would mean that they would've had a pretty good starting point when making the 2004 SE....

For what it's worth, I saw it opening day with some friends, including one who worked at a photolab. When it was finished he said "My God!  Way too much Cyan in that movie!".  I openly mocked him at the time, thinking his job had made him all "super-nerdy" about colour (even though I'm a graphic designer ;).  But when I saw it a second time a few days later, I realized he was right. So the theory may have been to colour-time to the Tech IB, but I definitely recall the Cyan was super heavy, especially in the Tantive corridors, where it was painfully obvious.  I realize what I'm saying is contrary to what is thought to have been "established", but unlike the "grappling hook miss/Biggs" scenes, I really did see this with my own eyes at the theatre, and remember it vividly because I was looking for it specifically on the second viewing (unless it's possible to botch up the colours during the projection, and the print was actually fine)

“Yes, it speaks of the trinity; casting light at the sun with its wandering eye”

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@FunkyDays: Thanks for telling us! I trust you 100% since you say your photolab-friend and you both saw it. This makes me wonder why they didn't make it look exactly like the Tech IB. Seems they made a sloppy job even in 1997. Not nearly as sloppy as in 2004 though.

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That's an interesting observation, Funky. In my last screenshot with Leia on the Tantive, I was originally going to use a Legacy screenshot of that moment as a reference, but it turned out to be too cyan to match with the rest of the movie. If that cyan cast was what was intended for the entire move, I may have to play around with the color mixer again.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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I still remember the theatrical SE looking different to any other version I have ever seen of the film. This may be why.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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I don't remember the colors too well form '97, but I do remember the added scene with the Jawas on the Ronto and the speederbike really looked like shit pink colorwise. Interesting that the broadcast version looks the same way to me.

-G

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BTW, NevararGreat, the colors are a big improvement, but I'd be concerned about crushing the black more than they already are.

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The original photography of the Tantive sequence had a lot of blue/cyan in the image, which was graded out later.  This dialing back of the cyan/blue in that sequence is why many of us remember the corridor as being sort of bright, almost yellow-ish, and the floor tan, and it's also why so many of the trooper's blue uniforms were reduced to a sort of gray.  

 

_Mike

View the Restoration and join the discussion at StarWarsLegacy.com!

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Re: the flatness of faces, i wonder if in part this has to do with the fact that they used gauze in front of the lens (which i read about in the making of star wars book) to give the film a soft retro look.
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mverta said:

The original photography of the Tantive sequence had a lot of blue/cyan in the image, which was graded out later.  This dialing back of the cyan/blue in that sequence is why many of us remember the corridor as being sort of bright, almost yellow-ish, and the floor tan, and it's also why so many of the trooper's blue uniforms were reduced to a sort of gray.  

 

_Mike

So the cyan cast in the SE actually better represents the original photography, than the '77 release prints?  My head hurts just thinking about that :-D

 

Thanks for the info, Mike

 

 

“Yes, it speaks of the trinity; casting light at the sun with its wandering eye”

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FunkyDays said:

mverta said:

The original photography of the Tantive sequence had a lot of blue/cyan in the image, which was graded out later.  This dialing back of the cyan/blue in that sequence is why many of us remember the corridor as being sort of bright, almost yellow-ish, and the floor tan, and it's also why so many of the trooper's blue uniforms were reduced to a sort of gray.  

 

_Mike

So the cyan cast in the SE actually better represents the original photography, than the '77 release prints?  My head hurts just thinking about that :-D

 

Thanks for the info, Mike

 

 

I'd say there's a big difference between the SE and the original photography from what I've seen. The DVD has a bluish cast, whereas cyan is more of a yellowish blue, which makes everything rather green. The DVD is also very dark.

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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 (Edited)

OK, round 2.

After looking at the Senator pictures a bit more, I decided to add more green and increase the saturation, though I ended up throwing out all the old settings and starting fresh:

JEDIT: See link for library, password starwars.

http://s649.photobucket.com/user/NeverarGreat/library/Star%20Wars%20Color%20Correction%20Technicolor%20Style?sort=3&page=1

You probably don’t recognize me because of the red arm.
Episode 9 Rewrite, The Starlight Project (Workprint V4 Released!) and ANH Technicolor Project (Released!)

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I love that youve really brought out the colour and are going for the Senator screening look. As you know tricky reverse engineering to try undo the previous colour cast and get it headed in a different direction. For me at the moment the yellow is dominating a bit too much, but from my experience it seems an impossible task to get a spot on match with the starting conditions, you may have to find the most pleasing compromise to your eyes.
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Why does all the before-pics have a black level of 15? Makes them look very grey. Either something is wrong with the source you're using or something is wrong with the way the screenshots have been captured.