Sign In

Babylon 5: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (DVD 16:9 & HD 4:3 Fusion) (a WIP)

Author
Time
 (Edited)

This project started during the first Covid-related lockdown back in March 2020 and has been continuing ever since.

The “Enhanced Edition” features a combination of the 16:9 aspect ratio PAL-DVDs (for all live action scenes) and the 4:3 aspect ratio HD remastered versions (for all CGI/VFX effect shots), which were stretched to 16:9 to conform to the live action segments.
Basically, this is a higher quality version that focuses mainly on the “clean-up” of visual aspects of the show, like: Reduced motion stuttering (stable 23,976 FPS), deinterlacing, cross color reduction, noise removal, deblocking, dehaloing, deringing, anti aliasing, reduction of color banding, sharpening.
All borders have been slightly cropped to eliminate the “VHS-tape look”.
Slight color grading has been added to enhance the color representation.
Furthermore, the audio tracks have been slowed down to correct for the PAL-shift.

The releases (4K) are encoded as follows: H265 (mkv) at 20 Mbps with Main 10 @ L5 @ Main, BT.709 @ 10 bit, resolution at 3840x2160p (16:9 aspect ratio) with English and German AC3 5.1 audio tracks at 640 Kbps.
45-minute-episodes take up between 6,5-7,5 GB of space per episode.

The releases (1080p) are encoded as follows: H265 (mkv) at 2,5 Mbps with Main 10 @ L5.1 @ Main, BT.709 @ 10 bit, resolution at 1920x1080p (16:9 aspect ratio) with English and German AC3 5.1 audio tracks at 256 Kbps.
45-minute-episodes take up between 1,2-1,4 GB of space per episode.

The realisation of this project is a very complicated multi-step approach (f.e. using several instances of AI-upscaling software), so it may take a while, but it continues to go on.

If you are interested in getting to know more technical details or in watching the “Enhanced Edition”, send me a private message!

The Ends DO Justify The Means …

Author
Time

Sorry I haven’t been around much. Was sick (including hospital and recovery time), but I am getting back into things. Actually, I am planning on revamping a few things including a latest quality update. I will keep you guys updated.

The Ends DO Justify The Means …

Author
Time

I’ll add, I was impressed with your DS9 posts on reddit.
I’d love to help out.

Author
Time

That’s kind, but I guess I’ll be doing my quality updates to what I have done so far first and then I’ll see, ok?
It’s a bit of a state of flux at the moment, but I am back at work (right now the DS9 pilot will be upgraded, release to follow soon).

The Ends DO Justify The Means …

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Black Alert said:

That’s kind, but I guess I’ll be doing my quality updates to what I have done so far first and then I’ll see, ok?
It’s a bit of a state of flux at the moment, but I am back at work (right now the DS9 pilot will be upgraded, release to follow soon).

Hey, I just love the hell out of your work.
I’ll support you any way I can, it’s like you nudged the masters where they needed to be, and if the perfect remasters never happen, your contribution is the best.

I’ll share my agenda with you, what I want to do is overlay high defintion live action footage over the PAL dvds 16:9 footage, in the case of Babylon 5, and attempt to seamlessly blend them.
I planned my steps out, a while ago, and wanted to make a test episode, in my dream project with this, your work is the first layer.
I’m going to denoise the 4:3 masters, and use Dre’s color tool to match the footage.
I want to blend them together with a layer of 35mm film grain, but I also have to stack the footage, and that will be the tricky part.

Author
Time

Is this all upscaling? Since a friend of mine has a lot of actual original CGI assets he is currently working on a project reworking them to 1080p

Author
Time

b5historyman said:

Is this all upscaling? Since a friend of mine has a lot of actual original CGI assets he is currently working on a project reworking them to 1080p

The project that Black Alert has posted, so far has been an upscale of PAL DVDs, he’s using the HD upscaled footage from the recent remaster to replace VFX shots in his upscale.
It’s badass that your friend has VFX assets though.
How many episodes worth of assets exist still?

Author
Time

b5historyman said:

Since a friend of mine has a lot of actual original CGI assets he is currently working on a project reworking them to 1080p

I heard (on sci-fi-meshes I think) the originals were all lost by the studio that demanded to be the sole custodian of them. Were they found, or are there other things to the story…? Are his the assets of the old LightWave meshes/scenes or…?

Because those same-ish original LightWave scenes, it would almost be hilarious watching a modern system re-render out the same even at mere 1920x1080; I’d imagine shots that took a room of Amigas a week to render in the early '90s would be poured out in a mere minute or two on a (buffed-out) modern workstation. (Yeah, my sig gives away why I’m in this territory here 😃)

LightWave = fun times with gfx for me 😃

Author
Time

WXM said:

b5historyman said:

Since a friend of mine has a lot of actual original CGI assets he is currently working on a project reworking them to 1080p

I heard (on sci-fi-meshes I think) the originals were all lost by the studio that demanded to be the sole custodian of them. Were they found, or are there other things to the story…? Are his the assets of the old LightWave meshes/scenes or…?

Because those same-ish original LightWave scenes, it would almost be hilarious watching a modern system re-render out the same even at mere 1920x1080; I’d imagine shots that took a room of Amigas a week to render in the early '90s would be poured out in a mere minute or two on a (buffed-out) modern workstation. (Yeah, my sig gives away why I’m in this territory here 😃)

It’s a misconception that they were lost.
If you look on youtube, there are several rerenders of visual FX from the series that somehow turned up despite being lost.
Some things had to be fixed, but the scenes weren’t lost.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKj-N5j0SBY&t=1s
The live action footage is upscaled to 4k for this one, but the VFX are all rerendered from original files, with replaced texture maps.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

@Cave Doctor:
This is amazing. I was aware that some VFX work seemingly survived, but I had no idea to what extend. So basically you would just need the upscaled live action footage from me, correct? Or would you require the whole episode as I have done it (Live Action 16:9 from DVD and 1080p VFX/CGI stretched towards 16:9 from the HBO Max / Amazon release)?

As I am re-doing things (quality updates) it would be good to know. Perhaps we could work on episode 1 (MotFL) and see how things go?

The Ends DO Justify The Means …

Author
Time

CaveDoctor said:
It’s a misconception that they were lost.
If you look on youtube, there are several rerenders of visual FX from the series that somehow turned up despite being lost.
Some things had to be fixed, but the scenes weren’t lost.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKj-N5j0SBY&t=1s
The live action footage is upscaled to 4k for this one, but the VFX are all rerendered from original files, with replaced texture maps.

Wow, really cool (and a relief to hear)! Thanks for that info/link 😃

LightWave = fun times with gfx for me 😃

Author
Time

Black Alert said:

@Cave Doctor:
This is amazing. I was aware that some VFX work seemingly survived, but I had no idea to what extend. So basically you would just need the upscaled live action footage from me, correct? Or would you require the whole episode as I have done it (Live Action 16:9 from DVD and 1080p VFX/CGI stretched towards 16:9 from the HBO Max / Amazon release)?

As I am re-doing things (quality updates) it would be good to know. Perhaps we could work on episode 1 (MotFL) and see how things go?

The live action footage is all that’s necessary, I don’t have any VFX files myself.
I just ran into the upscaled footage on youtube this year, so I’m aware of it’s existence.
I’d like the whole episode though, I think your upscaling work is amazing, you nudge those masters into place so damn well.

Author
Time

@CaveDoctor:

Ok, so the whole episode, no problem. It could take a bit, as I have said, I am doing two other updates as well.

The Ends DO Justify The Means …

Author
Time

Black Alert said:

@CaveDoctor:

Ok, so the whole episode, no problem. It could take a bit, as I have said, I am doing two other updates as well.

Hey man whenever is good for you.
I’ve got a lot to figure out with my project, anyway.
The only thing I need is one episode for a test run.
something that would be on both the PAL dvd and the HBO MAX versions.
That rules out “The Gathering” since it never got remastered.
Although I hope, but doubt in the future, the 16:9 + TV films get the remasters they desperately need.
The two projects I want to do with B5,
An HD overlap of upscaled DVD footage.
Then conclude with “B5:Redux”, where I cut the series into a straightforward 54 episode series.

Author
Time

@CaveDoctor:
Sounds very interesting. I will provide you with the first episode of season 1 as soon as I get around to it. I would be very curious to see that HD overlay before the Redux - that’s something I could imagine myself wanting to have 😉 (in case it works).

The Ends DO Justify The Means …

Author
Time

Really looking forward to seeing this.