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ANH 1997 Inspired Regrade with SE Soundmix (Version 2 Released, Version 3 W.I.P.)

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 (Edited)

Howdy everybody. For those of you who have been following this project, you won’t need to wait much longer for version 3. For those of you just tuning in, let me give you the run down.

This, ladies and gentleman, is a (somewhat) shot by shot regrade of the 2020 bluray of A New Hope with the goal to be as close in spirit as the 1997 Special Edition Theatrical Cut. Sources for accomplishing the accuracy of this cut are minimal and unreliable at best. While this project may not be the definitive project (that will likely be 4K97IV or 4K77 v2), it’s a pretty close approximation of what it could have looked like for a home release on DVD or Blu Ray. How close you may ask? Here’s how.

Based on word of mouth from audiences and George Lucas himself, the theatrical cut of A New Hope Special Edition had a color timing that used an old Technicolor film print as a color reference. While enthusiasts have stated the 97 cut has it’s differences from the old print, such as being slightly cooler in color temperature, the similarities outweigh them.

With that information in mind, I decided to scrap what I made up until version two of my regrade and color match the blu ray to the most accurate source currently available, 4K77. Specifically, Sanjuro’s color grade of 4K77. I went with his grade as the main source for two reason. One was because his color grade is noticeably colder than the main color grade done by Williarob, a detail that is relevant to the 97 cut. The other reason is because Williarob’s grade is meant to resemble what the film looked like in theaters, whereas Sanjuro’s grade is a retooled “what if” color grade of the Technicolor print if it was set for home release. In other words, it doesn’t have the super high contrast look most 35mm scans tend to have and the colors are more neutral.

I’m also treating this regrade as a semi reconstruction/full reconstruction of the special edition alterations exclusive to the 97 cut. Because certain alterations did NOT look to good for 1997 cgi, I have used updated versions of them, such as the updated Jabba from the 2004/2011 cut. Of course, not all of the alterations bug me so small things like the extended detention block hallway are still in. For those who perhaps like seeing the changes exclusive to the 97 cut, I am offering an alternate version that accommodates them. Here’s a list of what each version has:

Semi-Authentic:
-Updated Jabba
-Extended Detention Block Hallway
-Updated Lightsabers

Full-Authentic:
-Film grain is applied to 2020 blu ray footage
-Original 97 Jabba
-Detention Block hallway is restored to original length
-Original Lightsaber effects during Obi Wan vs Vader duel

On the audio side of things, I’ll be including all kinds of goodies.

Audio Tracks (Semi Authentic):
-My Dolby TrueHD mixdown of the 1997 Cinema DTS Audio
-Schorman’s synced 2011 DTS track
-Schorman’s synced 2020 7.1 track

Audio Tracks (Full Authentic):
-My Dolby TrueHD mixdown of the 1997 Cinema DTS Audio
-1997 Laserdisc AC3 5.1 track
-1997 Laserdisc Stereo PCM track

More info will be updated as time goes on. Listed below are some samples.

Section of the Death Star Attack: https://youtu.be/5Wnvj2kCZjg

Death Star Meeting Room: https://youtu.be/KnOhJHBC2jI

Jabba Conversation: https://youtu.be/a4dJL7it0MI

Original Post as of Version 2:
Howdy. This is the first big project I’ve contributed here, so patience is appreciated.
This is a 1997 Special Edition Regrade of A New Hope. I debated calling it a recreation, but I can’t in good confidence say it’s 100% accurate. However, I can say it’s an “approximate” recreation of what it looked like going off scans that are available of the 1997 version. I say this because I mainly used footage from the 2020 Disney 1080p Blu Ray bundled in the UHD release, which from what I understand has a color timing very similar to the 1997 release.

By default, the 2020 Blu ray is too de-saturated and the overall picture is too dim. Certainly a better effort than the 2004/2011 releases, but it’s strange how a dim picture is a reoccurring problem. In terms of the alterations I made, I gave the footage a 20-30% saturation boost and increased the exposure. To capture even more of the 1997 spirit, I included the 1997 DTS Soundmix.

Sources:
-2020 Disney 1080p Blu Ray
-Poita’s 1997 35MM Scans for color reference
-DrDre’s Technicolor Color References
-Harmy’s Respecialized 97 for audio source and shot replacement for the rocks in front of R2 and the 97 timing of the Han and Greedo shootout.

With version 2 finished, I’m going to be taking a break from ANH for awhile and move onto the other movies. I will likely make a version 3 with more adjustments if I spot something off or if enough people offer some constructive criticism. Same as always, PM me if you are interested in viewing it.

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Very interested in this. Will look forward to footage or screencaps. Thanks for sharing.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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 (Edited)

Here are two video samples of the regrade. They include the duel between Obi-Wan and Vader as well as the Death Star Attack. Aside from the saturation and exposure boost, I also changed the color temperature ever so slightly and gave the shadows a slight tint of Teal so that the mid-tones and highlights are preserved.

When it comes to the Death Star Attack…dear god. While I stated I wasn’t confident in calling this project a recreation, I knew without a shred of doubt the Death Star Attack wasn’t even close. For whatever reason the Death Star attack, which has always ranged between being mainly grey or blue depending on the release, was colored with an overwhelming amount of purple. Though it took me several tries, I was able to change the purple into more of a cyan shade using HSL secondary tools and slightly adding cyan into the highlights.

Obi-Wan vs Vader Duel: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-HlThUZmAgc5yXYsussrypC1yrczLtID/view?usp=sharing

Death Star Attack: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ls2VcJxeufTKTTCaflGErgC_AkIPYEaC/view?usp=sharing

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Those two look really good.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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I’m surprised, but it looks similar enough to the 2011 that I could potentially use this to upgrade my Custom SE project. Assuming you approve.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Sure. Be my guest. Also, in regards to the footage looking like it’s from the 2011 blu ray, was that in reference to the Death Star Attack or one of the other clips?

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All of them, and I say that only relatively. To rephrase: “Wow, it’s possible to get those two sources to not look prohibitively different!”

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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Ah okay. It is kinda impressive to have some kind of similarities. I’d say my regrade is definitely brighter than the 2011 version. I guess so long as I can avoid the glaring problems of the 2011 version, I’m satisfied.

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Oh, yes, of course. Wasn’t at all saying it looked that way!

I’m not confident in my eye for this, but the Death Star attack clip seems to have some green in the shadows and favor the orange of the visors. For all I know this is 100% faithful to the 97 version.

Well done. I will disengage self-destruct initiative.

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No worries.

Yeah, I can’t say how much of the green/teal shadows were in the original film, but from the various scans I’ve seen, they definitely show up. I was wondering if that was just from scanning problems, but I actually think they are part of the original grade, which I honestly kinda like. It has a neat look to it and helps break the image up from being entirely blue (or in the case of the default 2020 blu ray, purple for some reason).

Honestly, thanks for the feedback, my guy. Nice to know I have at least some interest in this project.

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Currently clearing space to render out Version 1. I’ll edit the original post on additional information.

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Version 1 is complete. I’ve edited the original post detail what I am going to improve and fix going forward with version 2. PM me if you are interested in viewing it.

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I need some second opinions. Same as before, I’m having trouble with coloring the Death Star Attack. Everything is color matched, but what I’m struggling with is the overall color pallet. Because there aren’t many scans of the Death Star Attack, this is a section I feel I might have to take some creative liberties with. Below is a link to some screenshots that show the different coloring approaches I’ve taken. I’ve included the unaltered footage from the 2020 blu ray but kept the increased exposure so you can see everything in similar detail. The other two approaches include one with cyan replacing the shades of purple and the other one has warmer midtones.

Example 1:
-Unaltered https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QjUXYNDR0ocMfgovOrFRUU1CThljYeZA/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan only https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oL-mfT5Qx23i_CLFHl680qEvybAFAB-K/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan with Warmer Midtones https://drive.google.com/file/d/12GHPy2rsQ951dhIQF4l7jCNj643aupJa/view?usp=sharing

Example 2:
-Unaltered https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hZR5mrK0Z1QreWiyo2tr5olVMd__9XUo/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan only https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v3bvFSE7aqPaPvYTZj-LwdeAlKEnxOyd/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan with Warmer Midtones https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M1lAtrhsGWJ8-2-7gSG-vBxYlxCRXXeZ/view?usp=sharing

Example 3:
-Unaltered https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pfvXLhnLm7TD-bL8KKj9Z4Ym8NvmwTTq/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan only https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OS7e3saaAY0F6SnCn7H7YvdhKzGF-rH2/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan with Warmer Midtones https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sxVEIPw1LttGB6vAQatPNn1mw9pmzsw8/view?usp=sharing

Example 4:
-Unaltered https://drive.google.com/file/d/116ekRUDIEzDtGpzfT-rSLlqoAxxmLmEs/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan only https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XxXVhMcTEO3CUajtZ92TJvDJG9Ssngd2/view?usp=sharing
-Cyan with Warmer Midtones https://drive.google.com/file/d/17b_qIR6FJMR0C6tZ-q7iEDJ-8HKsqmLZ/view?usp=sharing

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Hey everyone. Version 2 is out! I have to say, I definitely like how this version turned out. I feel there may be something I’ll want to change for a version three, but for now I’m going to be taking a break from A New Hope. I’ve spent a lot of time on ANH and want to move onto the other films.

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Howdy. After taking some time away and recently having a look at 4K97IV and more Technicolor samples, I wanted to return to this regrade and bring even closer to how the theatrical 97 release of ANH looks. I’m currently loading the footage up and retouching it. The two big differences are going to be the Death Star Interior and Battle of Yavin. I’ve realized those two sections really need further touch ups.

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So things are coming together and I have to say, this may be a helluva lot more accurate to the theatrical 97 release than I anticipated. Obviously not one for one, but i am confident 90% of it will be. On a side note, I also am working on a Dolby TrueHD version of the 97 DTS audio reels so that it is practically lossless. I just need to work on syncing it.

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Nice one, PJ - am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

I never thought I’d be that interested in watching the 1997 SE’s again, though some of the work done around here… by yourself, trillary dump, and dark_jedi back in the day etc, have intrigued me once more - thank you.
 

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Sounds Awesome P.J, can’t wait!!! Did you get my message in regards to the Jabba Scene???

All my life as I looked away to the future, to the horizon. Never in my mind did I know where I was, what I was doing.

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ZaneFlare92 said:

Sounds Awesome P.J, can’t wait!!! Did you get my message in regards to the Jabba Scene???

Oh my bad. I’ll respond in a jiffy.

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Here’s a small glimpse at what version 3 of the death star attack is looking like right now. It’s still being worked on, but I’m close to locking this scene down.
https://youtu.be/5Wnvj2kCZjg

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Hey everybody. Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been busy lately. Long story short, aside from making fan edits, I also make my own short films, host a podcast and do all sorts of things involved with the industry. Since things are beginning to look up in terms of job opportunities in my profession, I’ve been putting most of my time into getting prepared for the summer. Naturally, working on this project has been booted to the very bottom of my priority list. Not because I don’t enjoy working on it, but simply because I have more important things to worry about. Thankfully, because I don’t wanna leave things unfinished, I’ve put together a schedule during the week to improve progress. Things may be subject to change, but I plan on getting it out within the year. For those who have followed the project, thank you for the patience and stay tuned.

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As a little update to where I’m at, I’ve color matched everything up until the beginning of the first cantina scene. Making some decent progress while staying accurate to the technicolor print. When I’m too burnt out on color matching, I’m fine tuning the Dolby TrueHD audio to make sure it’s perfectly synced.
While on the topic of audio, I’m going to including a lot more options this time around. Listed below are all the audio tracks I plan on including:

-My new 1997 Dolby TrueHD Track
-Shorman’s 1997 DTSHD MA track
-1997 5.1 AC3 Laserdisc Track
-1997 Matrixed Stereo PCM Track

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Making decent progress, but there is still the occasional difficult shot that refuses to look even remotely like the source images i have. I’m gonna try experimenting with similar shots from schorman’s 2004 HDTV rips to see if I can get a little closer to a perfect match. Unlike the 2011 Blu ray, it looks pretty clean in regards to grain, so it might blend in with the 2020 footage.