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Clean-up and restoration of deleted scenes

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 (Edited)

"Out, damn'd spot! out I say!" -- Lady Macbeth

The recent release of The Complete Saga on Blu-ray comes with bonus discs that contain deleted scenes from all six of the movies. Since all of these deleted scenes are presented in high-definition 1080p video, it is possible to edit these scenes back into their respective movies. Unfortunately, most of the deleted footage was transferred from film directly to video without any post-production. Many scenes contain a tremendous amount of dust and scratches. So a simple edit would have less than desirable results.

If no one else has done so, I would like to initiate a project that is focused on cleaning up the deleted scene footage. Specifically, the deleted footage from the original trilogy. From there, others can edit the restored footage into their own fan edits. Other issues such as audio soundtracks would not be addressed. And fan editors could color-correct the footage in a manner that matches their respective endeavors.

The wisdom of doing such an edit is questionable in all cases. Nevertheless, many fans would enjoy adding some of these scenes to their own edits of a particular movie. For example, I believe there is absolutely no point in trying to clean-up and restore the landspeeder scene featuring Luke and C-3P0 in ANH. But it might be interesting to restore the ANH scenes featuring Luke and Biggs.

Some deleted scenes are pretty clean of dirt and devoid of scratches. Those would require very little work. But there are other worthy scenes that are in pretty bad shape. For example, the Treadwell scene that features Luke observing the space battle with macrobinoculars at the beginning of ANH.

Here is an example frame:

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j466/ct1970/treadwell0001.jpg

As you can see, there is a considerable amount of dust and scratches. This particular frame is vertically misaligned with most of the other frames of this shot. And like all the other frames of this shot, there is a strange curved border at the top.

I've already begun work on cleaning up this particular shot. First, I brought about a half-dozen of the "cleanest" frames into Photoshop. Starting with one frame, I placed another one on a new layer. Then I carefully erased any specks of dirt or scratches. The holes created by the erasure revealed the frame on the layer beneath it. In some places, these holes only revealed the dust on the bottom layer frame. To address this, I then added a different frame on a new layer and did the same thing. After repeating this process six or so times, I did a little pixel-pushing to repair the borders. This was the result:

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j466/ct1970/treadwellcleanup.jpg

I plan to use this "TreadwellCleanup" image as the basis of editing all the other frames of this shot. I loaded up the example frame (the first image in this post), put it on a layer above this Cleanup image (the second image), and erased away the dirt. This was how much I erased:

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j466/ct1970/treadwell0001_e.jpg

But that's not the end of it. This frame, for example, is slightly discolored with a greenish tint. I color-corrected the top layer so that it matched the Cleanup image beneath. I had to do this twice in order to match the sky as well as the ground. This is the result:

http://i1087.photobucket.com/albums/j466/ct1970/treadwell0001_f.jpg

Using the Cleanup image as a foundation, the clean-up of one frame took me 30 minutes.

THIRTY. MINUTES.

There are over a thousand frames in this entire scene. And the example I presented above was a frame from only one shot in this scene. There are 20 shots total in this scene. And each of those shots will present different problems that won't be solved in exactly the same way as I did for this shot.

I also have to admit that this process might not be the best process. But based on over a decade of experience with Photoshop, Premiere, and AfterEffects, I believe that this tedious method might be the most effective. Although I have experience with professional art software, film restoration is not my profession. It is possible that there is software or some sort of plugin out there that would greatly accelerate the process. But I doubt that it could replace the effectiveness of working each frame by hand.

Before I start asking people to help, I need to test this method. Once I have 24 frames completed, I'll load it up into Premiere and see what it looks like. It might look horrible. Or it might look great. I don't know yet.

The most important thing at this point is that I would like to attract the attention of others who might like to help. And I would like to attract the attention of others who may have already started restoration work on these scenes.

Another caveat: I'm planning to go on a two-week vacation shortly. So I won't be able to continue my experiment until I return. However, I will have access to the internet so I'll be able to discuss ideas in this thread.

Star Wars: Spirit of '77 fan edit project.

Clean-up and restoration of deleted scenes project.

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The process is no new to me but the tutorial is a nice beginning for those who care :)

The problems start as you said when you deal with discoloring and brightness flickering.

Experiencing cleaning the toche station footage many distorted frames causing many troubles in the cases on humans that are not static...

Lots of hand painting :)

Creating patches as a global fixer as start may be better before getting into the fine tweaks.


-Angel

 

–>Artwork<–**

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I'm considering the idea of blending the layers together in either Premiere or AfterEffects instead of Photoshop. (Probably AfterEffects.) That way I can manage the color corrections to each layer and quickly see the results in motion.

You are right, Angel. I suspect that a bit of digital painting will be involved in order to reconstruct a few frames.

What do you mean by "creating patches as a global fixer"?

Star Wars: Spirit of '77 fan edit project.

Clean-up and restoration of deleted scenes project.

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Zero said:

You are right, Angel. I suspect that a bit of digital painting will be involved in order to reconstruct a few frames.

What do you mean by "creating patches as a global fixer"?

Its like making big areas that will not change in one layer and track the shot with them. Then you can roto out the moving objects and then do the fine tuning with frame by frame. The size might vary. Even matte paintings can be used as patches.

ILM did that technique by adding a patch of sand layer for removing the shadow under the speeder  so they could add it again.

Darth_Editous did a similar solution for removing the flying droid in tattoine.

Photoshop as prime use yes, then use compositing programs as combination for tracking and stabilizing :)


-Angel

–>Artwork<–**

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I see what you mean now. Yes, that was an option that I was going to consider for that establishing shot of the Treadwell scene. It would certainly save a lot of time. The trick, of course, would be to add very subtle animated noise so that the matte wouldn't appear flat and fake.

Forgive me for discussing subjects like this that have probably been discussed many times before on this forum. I'm new here. Over the next few weeks I'll read old threads to see how other people did their work.

Star Wars: Spirit of '77 fan edit project.

Clean-up and restoration of deleted scenes project.

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only reason GL didn't fix up those scenes, is because he wanted them to be left in their original format for people to see.

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Now if only he felt the same about the movies proper.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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WhatsMyName said:


only reason GL didn't fix up those scenes, is because he wanted them to be left in their original format for people to see.

Ha!

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Molly said:

Now if only he felt the same about the movies proper.

Amen.

Kitbashed
Essays, videos and thoughts on the inspiration behind Star Wars.

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Bump.  I really hope this keeps going.  This is a worthwhile endeavor, and those willing to devote the time to fixing the deleted scenes will really be of great assistance to a multitude of faneditors.  I can just imagine how the collaborative efforts of various talented editors could really fix these scenes up, with someone perhaps willing to add generic special effects for all to use, and someone else (Cutter, likely) even scoring the scenes.  It's just amazing what a bunch of you talented folks can do.

Unfortunately, all I can provide is "talented" critiques :)  Good luck!

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Maybe you can get a job working for Lucas

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jasmorru said:

Maybe you can get a job working for Lucas

Anyone can. The only requrement is to nodd your head properly, laugh when everyone else is laughing and kiss an ass every now and then.

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 (Edited)

Zero said:

Since all of these deleted scenes are presented in high-definition 1080p video, it is possible to edit these scenes back into their respective movies.

Very nice cleanup you did, but I'm sorry to say that the particular video you're cleaning up is actually upscaled from DVD.

I suspected it when I watched it, so I did a test: Grabbed some frames, downscaled them to 720x480 and upscaled them back. They look identical except for some added sharpening, which was maybe done to disguise the fact that the clip wasn't presented in it's full resolution.

http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/8458/01original.png
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/7070/01resized.png
http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/9613/02original.png
http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/9718/02resized.png

Considering this, maybe it's better to downscale the whole video before cleaning it up?

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What struck me when watching the deleted scenes for the OT, the sandstorm for Jedi especially, was that the dirt and specks seemed to show up in the same places repeatedly. It almost looked artificial, like a cheap "silent movie effect" loop was run over it.

I know I'm being overly paranoid here, but what if Lucasfilm intentionally added the dirt just to avoid people like us the access to high quality footage of these scenes?

I never bothered to analyse the dirt specks to confirm or deny my hunch, I just revel in the conspiracy theory!

The fact that the clips show no resolution above 720x480 adds fuel to my fire :-)

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

http://www.swonvideo.com

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 (Edited)

I don't know if it's a looped "dirt & scratches" effect but about the resolution: the cantina scene, aunt Beru, old woman on tatooine, and Luke meeting Biggs before the battle is all in HD for real.

Strange thing I noticed about "the search for R2-D2" scene is that it looks like it was upscaled from DVD resolution without being deinterlaced or something, as can be seen in this frame: http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/9518/swdeleted02m2tssnapshot.png

EDIT: Check this frame from the ROTJ deleted scene also: http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/8915/rotjdeleted02m2tssnapsh.png

Looks like they forgot deinterlacing again.

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Wexter said:


nodd

Just needed to mention this is one you don't see every day ;-)

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bttfbrasilfan said:

Please, I need to download or watch online the blu-ray extras(deleted scenes, documentaries...) where I can find it? PS.: I have plans to buy the original blu-rays, but not for now.

Patience!  For the Jedi, it is time to eat as well!

http://images.fanedit.org/images/FE%3C3OT/fe-ot1_signature.png

The franchises I get nerdy about are so obscure that not even most nerds know about them.

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I know it has been a long time but is there any update on this project? I would love to see these clips restored to a decent enough quality