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Alien/Aliens Color Regrade (a WIP) — Page 5

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PDB your inbox is full and i can't pm you.  :)

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DoomBot said:

PDB your inbox is full and i can't pm you.  :)

 Sorry, Doombot, its clear. I have trouble keeping up with that sometimes.

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Hairy_hen's isolated score track will definitely sound better than the DVD tracks (there were two; one represented the score as written for the film — although as h_h points out, this wasn't always accurate — the other the rescored cues that appeared in the film, with the film's production audio filling in the blank spaces).

The Intrada set has much, much better sonics than the DVD, which was also presented as lossy Dolby Digital tracks (192 kb/s for the primary score track, 128 kb/s for the rescores and production audio track). So in addition to pinched and tinny sound, it was also compressed to hell. And I expect h_h will fix the mistakes made in the assembly of the score on the 1999 disc.

Don't get me wrong, the 1999 disc was a godsend when it first came out for several reasons, chief among them were the isolated score tracks (hearing “The Droid” in its proper context for the first time was really eye-opening in terms of the level of detail that Goldsmith would inject into his scoring; notice how he musically illustrates the beads of whatever sweating down Ash's face), but the Intrada set really set a bar in terms of presentation and annotation of that score.

“That’s impossible, even for a computer!”

“You don't do ‘Star Wars’ in Dobly.”

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Great write up Starthoughts. This sounds like a great addition. I went back to the 99 DVD to listen to the droid part. Very cool.

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This is very exciting! Thank you for your hard work!

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Small update. I gave up on using the Dolby Surround/Stereo from the Pan and Scan laserdisc I have. Beside being massively out of sync, the fox fanfare seemed like the wrong version. Jonno was nice enough to give me a copy of the soundtrack from the collector's edition laserdisc which is better in all respects.

Also someone was nice enough to post a rip of a Hong Kong laserdisc of Alien on the organ. The shuttlecraft scene has more or less the same orange/red tinting of the 95 laserdisc that is missing from the BD. More evidence that the tint was mostly likely on release prints but not the negative.

They also posted a rip of an old Blade Runner laserdisc. It has terrible video but looks like it was sourced from release print. It was nice to see the original golden hues/bright colors that the BDs have lost. And while I'm in a Ridley Scott mood, I tried placing that golden hue (based on that weak laserdisc) back into the BD:

BD/BD with LD colors

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Yet another Blade Runner version that I now want :/

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You can get Blade Runner with the original colours on blu-ray - just look for the "Blade Runner 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition". I have it and it's fantastic - has all the original cuts and even the workprint version. :-)

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Yet another necessary purchase then LOL!

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That Blade Runner collection is fantastic but sadly, neither the 30th Anniversary nor the 5 disc collection have the right color timing (the way I remember them) for the Theatrical/International Cut). Those top pics are from the 5 disc, which has the same video as the 30th. The theatrical had a golden hue on its release prints. Its the same as Alien, they went back to the negative and didn't color time to a release print. Instead everything was given a cool blue color timing (the Final Cut was given a green hue like Alien, which is Scott's prerogative since its his Final Cut.)

It might make a fun future project. Those pics were just a test to see what a re-timing might look like. Back to work on Alien...

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Those LD colors look fantastic it should definitely be a future project.

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WOW, those Blade Runner BD caps with LD colors are just amazing!

Imagine a fixed BD color timing with LD PCM audio! (Now I'm hooked for this to become a future project)

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Make a thread for blade runner project right now!!! Lol

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PDB said:

That Blade Runner collection is fantastic but sadly, neither the 30th Anniversary nor the 5 disc collection have the right color timing for the US theatrical (and the international cut). Those top pics are from the 5 disc which has the same video as the 30th. The theatrical had a golden hue on its release prints. Its the same as Alien, they went back to the negative and didn't color time to a release print. Instead everything was given a cool blue color timing (the Final Cut was given a green hue like Alien, which is Scott's prerogative since its his Final Cut.)

It might make a fun future project. Those pics were just a test to see what a re-timing might look like. Back to work on Alien...

 I was under the impression that the "legacy" cuts of blade runner were sourced from interpositives?

edit: Turns out I had a misconception about interpositives, I thought they were already color timed, but it seems that they're merely USED to do the color timing.

"After a film is shot, the original negatives—taken directly from the camera equipment—are edited into correct sequence and printed onto fresh stock as a cohesive film, creating an interpositive print used for color timing. From the interpositive, answer prints, which include the color-corrected imagery and a properly synced sound track, are made. Once approved by the studio, the final answer print is made into an internegative used for striking copies that will be delivered to theaters for viewing."

So ya even if they scanned an interpositive, they'd stil need to color correct it properly if you want the theatrical colors.

edit2: Word of warning though, just because the laserdisc has a certain set of colors, does not mean those are correct either. Although in this case they'll most likely be more accurate than the blurays.

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It will be for laserdisc nostalgia.

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BDgeek said:

WOW, those Blade Runner BD caps with LD colors are just amazing!

Imagine a fixed BD color timing with LD PCM audio! (Now I'm hooked for this to become a future project)

This sounds awesome but which cut of the film would be theatrically correct - the original theatrical cut with narration, the '92 cut, the definitive cut? The definitive cut has only been released on BD and I trust those colors because that is what was intended by Ridley Scott but if we're talking about absolute original colors then I'd imagine we are also talking about the original cut and what that looked like in 1982.

The 1982 laserdisc is available on spleen so that could help as a reference.

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jero32 said:

 I was under the impression that the "legacy" cuts of blade runner were sourced from interpositives?

edit: Turns out I had a misconception about interpositives, I thought they were already color timed, but it seems that they're merely USED to do the color timing.

"After a film is shot, the original negatives—taken directly from the camera equipment—are edited into correct sequence and printed onto fresh stock as a cohesive film, creating an interpositive print used for color timing. From the interpositive, answer prints, which include the color-corrected imagery and a properly synced sound track, are made. Once approved by the studio, the final answer print is made into an internegative used for striking copies that will be delivered to theaters for viewing."

So ya even if they scanned an interpositive, they'd stil need to color correct it properly if you want the theatrical colors.

edit2: Word of warning though, just because the laserdisc has a certain set of colors, does not mean those are correct either. Although in this case they'll most likely be more accurate than the blurays.

I thought it was a combination of ON and IP for fill in parts (Workprint not withstanding) but maybe you are right. I have to go look at my BDs to see if the scans differ outside of the obvious differences. Regardless, you are also right, both the ON and IP need to be color timed.

Concerning the laserdisc, you are also absolutely right jero32. I don't want to give an impression that it is an absolutely authority on colors. Just as I have been very specific to say that the Alien '95 LD is not the end authority for the colors for that film (but circumstantial evidence points to it being closer to a release print then the BD). That Blade Runner LD just has the golden hues/bright colors that I remember on every VHS copy I had and that I noticed missing immediately on the BD. When I add them to the BD it looks pretty neat.

thxita said:

It will be for laserdisc nostalgia.

Exactly, treat it not as the authority in colors but an alternative to the BDs.

kaosjm said:

BDgeek said:

WOW, those Blade Runner BD caps with LD colors are just amazing!

Imagine a fixed BD color timing with LD PCM audio! (Now I'm hooked for this to become a future project)

This sounds awesome but which cut of the film would be theatrically correct - the original theatrical cut with narration, the '92 cut, the definitive cut? The definitive cut has only been released on BD and I trust those colors because that is what was intended by Ridley Scott but if we're talking about absolute original colors then I'd imagine we are also talking about the original cut and what that looked like in 1982.

The 1982 laserdisc is available on spleen so that could help as a reference.

Again this was a test. I still have to finish Alien (Aliens) and I don't want to bite off more then can chew. Having said that I was thinking the International Cut (with the extra violence) regraded. Adding the International Cut Dolby Stereo/Surround PCM 2.0 that BusterD and NeonBible put together as track 1. For track 2 the same soundtrack but with filled in parts from the Director's Cut soundtrack BusterD did, eliminating the voice over narrative. The only problem is the voice over in the "happy ending" part.

Yeah the LD I was referencing is the '82 from the spleen. Its a mess but the colors are a keeper, so I took the colors and tweaked the BD as close as possible (the '82 is P&S also).

I need to get the video from the Criterion LD also as a comparison. If anyone can send it to me, I would appreciate it. 

I've officially derailed my own thread but I just wanted to gauge interest in this as a possible next project. See if people thought it was worth doing. 

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I don't see an alternative thread for Blade Runner yet, but I would suggest using the International cut if you're planning on regrading it, as it pretty much encompasses the American theatrical cut, and Scott always intended for that footage to be there. Historically speaking, for many years, that is the cut that most people would also have been introduced to on home video.

I don't know how you'd do the sound for the “happy ending,” though I guess you could track in the love theme from Vangelis Themes album (IIRC, this is the original track with the synthesized saxophone — I could be wrong) as I don't recall there being any foley in that scene.

“That’s impossible, even for a computer!”

“You don't do ‘Star Wars’ in Dobly.”

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PDB said:

That Blade Runner collection is fantastic but sadly, neither the 30th Anniversary nor the 5 disc collection have the right color timing (the way I remember them) for the Theatrical/International Cut). Those top pics are from the 5 disc, which has the same video as the 30th. The theatrical had a golden hue on its release prints. Its the same as Alien, they went back to the negative and didn't color time to a release print. Instead everything was given a cool blue color timing (the Final Cut was given a green hue like Alien, which is Scott's prerogative since its his Final Cut.)

It might make a fun future project. Those pics were just a test to see what a re-timing might look like. Back to work on Alien...

 The WP (The one true version) is pretty untouched 

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I certainly like the shot from your potential regrade of Tyrell's office, but for me this all seems too warm. The grays seem more likely to be a correct hue than the general blue look of the model shots, but again, it's too yellow. I think, if there is a problem with the BR release, then the correct timing likely lies within a balance of the two.

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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StarThoughts said:

I don't see an alternative thread for Blade Runner yet, but I would suggest using the International cut if you're planning on regrading it, as it pretty much encompasses the American theatrical cut, and Scott always intended for that footage to be there. Historically speaking, for many years, that is the cut that most people would also have been introduced to on home video.

I don't know how you'd do the sound for the “happy ending,” though I guess you could track in the love theme from Vangelis Themes album (IIRC, this is the original track with the synthesized saxophone — I could be wrong) as I don't recall there being any foley in that scene.

I agree. I think the International is the way to go, especially for the reasons you point out, StarThoughts. Yeah the dialogue at the end is a problem. I've long since misplaced my CD of Blade Runner's OST, so I can't fill in the music from that. I might just have to keep it the way it is, although a wordless scene to music sounds interesting.

dvdmike said:

 The WP (The one true version) is pretty untouched 

I was always very happy they included the WP in the set. 

bkev said:

I certainly like the shot from your potential regrade of Tyrell's office, but for me this all seems too warm. The grays seem more likely to be a correct hue than the general blue look of the model shots, but again, it's too yellow. I think, if there is a problem with the BR release, then the correct timing likely lies within a balance of the two.

Funny, I had the opposite reaction. I like the warmth in the office scene. But you maybe right about the too yellow. I also wonder if the LD is too bright. That's why I want to get ahold of the Criterion LD. It is almost guaranteed better video and Criterion at the time used release prints to master their LDs. Maybe Blade Runner is from a release print also. If anyone has it, can they check for cig burns/reel change markers?

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I thought it was my old monitor, but indeed it seems that the LD office shot is too green/yellow... I have the Criterion BD LD, but first I should locate it... (^^,)

Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash… 😦 | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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_,,,^..^,,,_ said:

I thought it was my old monitor, but indeed it seems that the LD office shot is too green/yellow... I have the Criterion BD LD, but first I should locate it... (^^,)

 I'd appreciate your insight Andrea. I'm wondering if the Criterion is more reserved in its colors. I need to get a copy of it, maybe from Ebay.

I started a thread for the Blade Runner Color Regrade here:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Blade-Runner-Color-Regrade/topic/17070/

Back to your regularly scheduled Alien discussion.

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hairy_hen said:

I agree that the second film is pushing red far too much. This needs to be dialed back significantly to look natural.

It seems there is some confusion about the various sound mixes, so I think I should clear it up. According to this post by disclord on the LaserDisc Database forum, the version of the Alien soundtrack heard on the THX laserdisc is not actually the 70mm mix that was used for the theatrical release. It is, in fact, an early test mix made for the Sensurround format, which contained more bass and surround usage than the final version. It was never released to the public in 1979, because 20th Century Fox didn't end up going with the Sensurround format for various reasons, opting to use Dolby Stereo instead as they had done for Star Wars. This mix was never publicly heard at all until it was put on laserdisc many years later.

This means that the text on the laserdisc advertising that is uses the 70mm version is actually mistaken. Technically it is correct, because the mix was indeed made for 70mm prints, but it is not "the" 70mm version—at least not the one that anyone who went to see the film actually heard. It had likely been sitting in an archive forgotten and unused, and whoever transferred it to home video probably didn't realize that they'd actually unearthed a rough mix, rather than the final version.

Note that since it is an early test version, this explains why it has differences in music and dialog editing than other mixes of the film.

The 70mm mix that actually ended up being presented to the public in 1979, then, would have been a 4.1 track with identical content to the 35mm stereo version. Such a track can be found on the official Bluray release, as 640 kbps AC3. The surrounds are mono and the amount of bass is somewhat less than in the test version, but it is more finalized in editing and content than its predecessor.

Taking this into consideration, for the sake of authenticity I would say that any project proclaiming to be Alien in 70mm should include both the laserdisc 5.1 and the Bluray 4.1 versions, and that they should be clearly labelled for what they are.

Editing to add: Furthermore, we can also infer from this that the 4.1 track on the Bluray of Aliens really is that film's 70mm mix, as well.

Interesting to hear, I was hoping something like this info would also pop up in this thread as well: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Dolby-Digital-41-Surround-Alien-Anthology/topic/13986/ It should also be noted that the same audio mix was used on a VHS release in Sweden in the early nineties. I have now acquired a copy once again just to make sure I wasn't going senile. His post over at LDDB sounds too elaborate to not be the truth, at the same time you have to wonder why Fox even considered another format after their success with Star Wars a few years earlier. It sounds weird...

PDB said:

There was a lengthy discussion on the the Alien soundtracks here:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Dolby-Digital-41-Surround-Alien-Anthology/topic/13986/

Where msycamore (is he here anymore?) was nice enough to put together the differences (he is referencing Jonno's 2.0 capture):

I'm here, PDM, but not as often as I used to lately... I was referencing my own capture. I only did a quick and dirty capture of the 2.0 pcm track which Jonno beautifully synced. The way I understand it someone later did manage to make bitperfect caps of both the PCM and AC-3 track.

I love your idea of a color graded Blu. About your color grading, your screencaps which should represent the 20th anniversary DVD timing doesn't match that timing that well, I see weird hues all over the place. What's your way of trying to replicate those colors?

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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msycamore said:

There was a lengthy discussion on the the Alien soundtracks here:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Dolby-Digital-41-Surround-Alien-Anthology/topic/13986/

Where msycamore (is he here anymore?) was nice enough to put together the differences (he is referencing Jonno's 2.0 capture):

I'm here, PDM, but not as often as I used to lately... I was referencing my own capture. I only did a quick and dirty capture of the 2.0 pcm track which Jonno beautifully synced. The way I understand it someone later did manage to make bitperfect caps of both the PCM and AC-3 track.

I love your idea of a color graded Blu. About your color grading, your screencaps which should represent the 20th anniversary DVD timing doesn't match that timing that well, I see weird hues all over the place. What's your way of trying to replicate those colors?

 Yes, Andrea has a rip and sync of the AC-3 track from the laserdisc and was nice enough to provide me with a copy.

Actually the color grading is based on the 1995 laserdisc and not the 1999 DVD, that accounts for the weird hues you are seeing. On first page I presented those two possible regrades. Initially, everyone seemed to like the 1995 LD better for a variety of reasons, like warmer skin tones, more 70s era look, etc. A little later Jonno posted pics he had from the Alien Movie Novel which featured scans from an original release print. Those scans seemed to more or less match the 95 laserdisc (if not color, in spirit at least). Its a bunch of circumstantial evidence that points to the 1995 LD being closest to an original 79 release print.

The Mother scenes, Ash head, the shuttle craft, any of those weird pics are the exceptions not the rule. A lot of the 1995 LD is similar to other version of Alien. Sometimes its a matter of making the transfer darker, making the skin tones warmer or removing the green tint (see the last pic). I posted those pics since they are exceptions. Compared to the Blu-ray some scene are almost exactly the same, like these first two:

BD/BD graded to the LD

Since this is a regrade I don't post those pics since no one wants to see where the two match up. 

After watching several versions of Alien, it seems to me the 1999 DVD is way too bright and seems to have almost no color timing. The Blu-ray seems to have odd color timing that changes at random and for no particular reason. In the end its all a matter of preference and this version may not be for everyone but I do hope many people will like it.