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First Impressions of the OOT ... — Page 3

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From all the screen shots I have seen, something is awry here. I can't put my finger on just what it is, but I have this odd feeling...

Anyway, I must've missed it somewhere, but what is GOUT? I know OUT = Original Unaltered Trilogy, but what does the "G" stand for? Grainy?!?
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Originally posted by: mverta
On the left, a pre-93 laserdisc image. On the right, the 2006 "1993-laserdisc-master" DVD. The image is grainier. This either means that the '93 laserdiscs were sourced from a different, and grainier print than the pre-'93 laserdiscs, which would mean they went through the re-issuing and quality actually went down in some respects, or this image has been artificially grained-up.


More grain is revealed simply because the DVD's are encoded from a higher resolution source than a laserdisc.
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G stands for George's.
"It's the stoned movie you don't have to be stoned for." -- Tom Shales on Star Wars
Scruffy's gonna die the way he lived.
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If you guys honestly think that LFL would take the time to purposely screw up the OOT, just to "stick-it" to the "fans".... it's beyond the time to take a step back from all this and grow-up.

The Luca$ conspiracy theories know no bounds, apparently.
"Among many things I have to be thankful for are you, the fans. I know that some of you haven't liked every single thing that I've done with the saga, and that you have a strong sense of ownership over all things Star Wars. But take that passion and devotion and channel it into a creative project of your own."
-George Lucas
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Mentor, you are incorrect. All DVD's are authored from NTSC or PAL resolution masters. The source of those masters are higher-resolution images in various formats, downconverted, but their initial higher resolution does not necessarily increase the perceived grain at the end of the downconversion. In fact, it often helps smooth the images when the source is ultra high-res. I often get cleaner results downconverting from 4k film scans than from 2k. When I have a lot of bluescreen work to do, I usually insist on 4k scans, and it nearly always helps. In this case, the pre-93 laserdisc is unquestionably a touch softer than the 2006 transfer, but not by a significant enough margin to justify the extra grain; not by a long shot.

_Mike



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Originally posted by: mverta
http://www.mikeverta.com/Posts/SW_Compare_1a.png

or this image has been artificially grained-up.


That would be absolutely horrendous if true!
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Originally posted by: mverta
On the left, a pre-93 laserdisc image. On the right, the 2006 "1993-laserdisc-master" DVD. The image is grainier. This either means that the '93 laserdiscs were sourced from a different, and grainier print than the pre-'93 laserdiscs, which would mean they went through the re-issuing and quality actually went down in some respects, or this image has been artificially grained-up.


...or that in the Laserdisc mastering stage, it was removed. Laserdiscs can not faithfully reproduce grain, DVD´s can to some extend. There are many threads here complaining that image processing had been done when mastering these movies for the Laserdiscs. The 2006 DVD clearly has more horizontal resolution than the Laserdiscs.

There are some other differences in the images to suggest a different print, as well, so it's not 100% clear. The comment "mixed bag" is especially appropriate to describe the 2006 DVD, which is why I said I'd bet money, and not that I was definitively sure. Having done grain matching on more than 100 projects in the last 10 years, I see a good amount of evidence for post-added grain, which has a look you can recognize if you're familiar enough with it.


Then share your knowledge with us, and explain how you can spot digitally added grain. The shot you are showing has optical effects in it, so there is no wonder the image is grainier due to the optical printing.

The "logical" reason you give sounds really paranoid and ridiculous to me, and goes too far. We should be careful NOT to build up a whole fantasy conspiracy world now. This is the path where other people are rightfully starting to declare us nuts, if they read this.

You can´t see these hefty grain structures here:

http://www.aptirrelevance.com/otscreenshots/images/resized/GOUT-PAL-r-001.jpg
http://www.aptirrelevance.com/otscreenshots/images/resized/GOUT-PAL-r-003.jpg
http://www.aptirrelevance.com/otscreenshots/images/resized/GOUT-PAL-r-005.jpg

and on lots of other shots.
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Originally posted by: Scruffy
G stands for George's.

Okay thanks, Scruffy!
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They are not conspiracies, JediRandy; they are lies and deceit exposed. I have personally seen the source files Lucasfilm claims don't exist to produce restored OT discs. The denial of their existence is a lie; as is the idea that financial and talent resources aren't available for a proper restoration. (I'm one of dozens of people who offered to donate state-of-the-art post-production services and facilites completely gratis to see it done.) The idea that the imagery in the 2004 DVD is superior is as laughable as any side-by-side comparison can demonstrate, only a few hundred of which are documented on my site. The revisionist nature of the entire history is well-documented, and disputed by no shortage of people involved in the creation of Star Wars.

None of us know exactly why this has always happened; probably never will. Probably financial, in some way that doesn't make sense to us, shy of some lynch-pin piece of data. But the evidence for a "conspiracy," if you want to be so X-Files about it, is overwhelming. In the end, there are just too many of us, with too much material and expertise, too many inside contacts, and too many privileged sources to make the idea of a deliberately substandard release anything less than fact. In fact, even Lucasfilm is aware the images are substandard: they're deliberately posting compares on the StarWars.com site to show you how shitty the OT DVD's you just bought are.

Frankly, I don't care why Lucasfilm takes the position they do; I already have my own Star Wars vastly superior to anything they've put out. But in the interest of preservation, accuracy, and love for the trilogy, I'm not going to turn a blind eye to the deficiencies which are patently obvious in these transfers. I'm not going to pretend it's okay for Luke's lightsaber in ANH to be green, or Obi Wan's to be purple, or all the glows eaten off the laserbolts. I'm not going to pretend it's okay that the audio in the surrounds are fipped left-to-right. I'm not going to pretend it's okay that the 2006 DVD is grainier than a pre-93 laserdisc transfer I've had sitting on my hard drive for years. I'm not going to believe the source files for a proper restoration don't exist when I've seen them with my own eyes.

If you honestly can't conceive of any of the myriad reasons - financial, artistic, or personal - for why all of this has gone down, then I don't know what to tell you. It isn't particularly hard, nor uncommon a set of potential motivations. As far as conspiracy theories go, it's about as boring as it gets.

_Mike


P.S. Vigo: see my "mixed bag" comment earlier about the inconsistent nature of grain presence in the transfer. It seems I need to keep restating my position for those of you who can't read entire posts: There is a lot of evidence for deliberate image-quality reduction in the 2006 DVD. It's not a fact; it's an informed opinion. I can't teach you guys how to have an eye for the stuff I'm seeing - I can post compares, but a lot of it just comes from more than a decade of doing this stuff all day. You just learn to recognize stuff that's digital from stuff that's organic. I'll try and think of some really illustrative ways of showing the difference, but I'm not sure what the point is. The images are unnecessarily substandard, and that's a fact.

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Originally posted by: mverta
They are not conspiracies, JediRandy; they are lies and deceit exposed. I have personally seen the source files Lucasfilm claims don't exist to produce restored OT discs. The denial of their existence is a lie; as is the idea that financial and talent resources aren't available for a proper restoration. (I'm one of dozens of people who offered to donate state-of-the-art post-production services and facilites completely gratis to see it done.) The idea that the imagery in the 2004 DVD is superior is as laughable as any side-by-side comparison can demonstrate, only a few hundred of which are documented on my site. The revisionist nature of the entire history is well-documented, and disputed by no shortage of people involved in the creation of Star Wars.

None of us know exactly why this has always happened; probably never will. Probably financial, in some way that doesn't make sense to us, shy of some lynch-pin piece of data. But the evidence for a "conspiracy," if you want to be so X-Files about it, is overwhelming. In the end, there are just too many of us, with too much material and expertise, too many inside contacts, and too many privileged sources to make the idea of a deliberately substandard release anything less than fact. In fact, even Lucasfilm is aware the images are substandard: they're deliberately posting compares on the StarWars.com site to show you how shitty the OT DVD's you just bought are.

Frankly, I don't care why Lucasfilm takes the position they do; I already have my own Star Wars vastly superior to anything they've put out. But in the interest of preservation, accuracy, and love for the trilogy, I'm not going to turn a blind eye to the deficiencies which are patently obvious in these transfers. I'm not going to pretend it's okay for Luke's lightsaber in ANH to be green, or Obi Wan's to be purple, or all the glows eaten off the laserbolts. I'm not going to pretend it's okay that the audio in the surrounds are fipped left-to-right. I'm not going to pretend it's okay that the 2006 DVD is grainier than a pre-93 laserdisc transfer I've had sitting on my hard drive for years. I'm not going to believe the source files for a proper restoration don't exist when I've seen them with my own eyes.

If you honestly can't conceive of any of the myriad reasons - financial, artistic, or personal - for why all of this has gone down, then I don't know what to tell you. It isn't particularly hard, nor uncommon a set of potential motivations. As far as conspiracy theories go, it's about as boring as it gets.

_Mike


If only the "Twilight Zone" theme was playing as I read that.
"Among many things I have to be thankful for are you, the fans. I know that some of you haven't liked every single thing that I've done with the saga, and that you have a strong sense of ownership over all things Star Wars. But take that passion and devotion and channel it into a creative project of your own."
-George Lucas
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Originally posted by: JediRandy
If only the "Twilight Zone" theme was playing as I read that.


I think X-Files would be better; or maybe the Benny Hill Show theme.

_Mike


@bactaOT: The differing "core" of the frame-right laserbolt is a strong piece of evidence that it's a different print, inasmuch as if it was "sharper" (to reveal more grain) the core probably wouldn't be softer, as it is. But nonetheless, this is only one frame out of hundreds I came across which were far grainier than my pre-93 laserdisc. I just scrubbed through the film and saw tons. Bottom line at this stage, is that my pre-93 laserdisc is cleaner, overall, than yesterday's 2006 DVD.

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I'm pretty sure that the grain is there simply because the LD could not reveal such fine detail. From what I've seen in the LD transfers, the poorer a transfer, the cleaner the image looks, and the better and more detailed a transfer the grainier the image looks (ie Moth3r). It doesn't surprise me that the transfer taken from the master tapes is also the dirtiest looking.

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zombie, you'd have a stronger case if the overall image was significantly softer. That is, if the grain wasn't being revealed because of loss-of-detail, then the image itself should suffer more loss-of-detail. But there is only a slight softening of the image overall in the pre-93 disc; not enough to hide all that grain, especially in the shadow areas. Remember, grain doesn't simply appear as pixel-size (or-subpixel) "dots" but often at large enough sizes to introduce actual tone and luminance variations on the image. If you take a grain pass in post, and "blur" it to any degree, you don't see the tiny flickering, but you can easily spot the residual luminance and tonal impact on the imagery. That is, it leaves a distinctive trace of itself on the image, outside of the "shimmering" pixels. Even if the pre-93 LD had suffered pixel-size loss-of-detail obfiscating the grain, these shifts would still be present in the imagery, and here there is no evidence of it. You would find it most likely in the gradient areas around the smoke, which are rendered in the pre-93 image with extremely natural gradients, absent typical filmgrain impact, above and beyond what is naturally present in the stock. In fact, in this regard, the "grain" on the 2006 DVD would more likely be regarded as dirt, since if it were grain, these impacts would be impossible to smooth out without utterly blurring the image.

But again, this particular shot I think may have been sourced from a different print. There are hundreds of other shots with equal grain discrepancy, however, none of which exhibit a strong enough loss-of-detail quotient to explain the lack of grain. And again, no matter how you cut it, my pre-93 laserdisc imagery is cleaner than the 2006 DVD, albeit a touch softer in many, but not all scenes. Watching them A/B on every calibrated monitor and consumer TV here leaves an unquestionable impression that the pre-93 laserdisc is the superior, "cleaned up" one... It doesn't even "feel" softer, while watching it, and probably for good reason - even in this frame-by-frame scrutinization, the sharpness difference is quite subtle. Is that progress? 1% sharper, 20% dirtier? You guys are an easy crowd, I guess.

_Mike

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Great, now we have boris, who is bickering about the removal of grain in the 2004SE (although it is still clearly visible) and mverta, who sees the conspiracy that the 2006 DVD´s have cgi grain added to the image (although lots of shots have very little grain in them). People outside reading this must really conclude that we are all nutcases here.

Sorry, but all your claims made in your last 2 posts still do not convince me. The shot you presented has optical effects in it, thus it HAS to be grainier, and there are a lot of pictures which barely have any grain at all. Still, you don´t know what type of processing was made during the LD mastering. There are more methods than just softening the image to remove grain, and you forget that ILM were the pioneers of digital film processing, you don´t know what kind of tools they had available to master the laserdisc.

But here is the problem about conspiracy theories: as soon as I would say: "if they wanted to look it really inferior, why didn´t they add grain in all those scenes?" you would say "because then, people would notice!" and the wheel turns around with no end. In the end, you can doubt EVERYTHING. This is no better than believing everything.

You started claiming that these shots were digitally manipulated adding cgi grain, because you can esaily spot it, and are now partly moving away from this position, saying a different print could have been used. This does not add much credibility to your point.

But it surely is exciting, isn´t it?
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Originally posted by: mverta Is that progress? 1% sharper, 20% dirtier?

_Mike


No it's not progress....thank you for putting it in so clear of terms.....the grain is somewhat excessive, to my untrained eye, and does make the picture look dirty...
and to me it distracts from the movie...
Thank you mike for your wisdom and the time you take in trying to teach us something......I for one have learned a lot from you.



I love everybody. Lets all smoke some reefer and chill. Hug and kisses for everybody.

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Weird. I was thinking that grain didn't really look like regular film grain. More like that stuff you get when you crank up the sharpness on your TV. Maybe it's just a by-product of whatever processes they use to put an old tape on dvd. I dunno.
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Mike- On a single frame, is the film grain supposed to be completely uniform across the entire frame? Again I know little about all of this,
but the frame you posted showing the excess film grain looks suspect to me because its so uniform...almost like a brush or effect one would use in Photoshop...

Your thoughts?

I love everybody. Lets all smoke some reefer and chill. Hug and kisses for everybody.

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Vigo -

I appreciate your interest in lumping all "conspiracy theorists" together so you can ridicule them more easily, but the truth is some of us may in fact have some expertise to bring to bear on these issues. If you'd asked that theoretical question about having all scenes grained or not, I would've answered, "I don't know," because I don't. I can only speculate - albeit intelligently - about the reasons why LFL would be interested in devaluing the product. It is a fact that they are doing so, by the way, not conjecture. But one doesn't disprove - or prove for that matter - the other. The images are degraded. That is a fact. Whether intentional or not, is another issue. Personally, I believe the DVD's are intentionally presented as inferior, because Lucasfilm told me they were, and have been proving it on their site, and I can see it . Plus, I can compare to earlier transfers which are largely superior. Plus, I've seen high res clean source material, and been told it doesn't exist. My initial post stated I believe grain has been added - that I would bet money on it. I didn't say I was 1000% sure; I couldn't be. But my position stands, and I'd still bet money on it. I've tried to illustrate a bit, and explain a bit more; sadly having to trump my credentials out along the way somewhat, but I suppose that's to be expected...

In any case, the degradation of the imagery isn't an opinion, it's a quantifiable fact. How much of a grand conspiracy that represents depends on how much that sort of thing appeals to you, I guess. But I'm from the school of thought that says if the government killed Kennedy to turn on the war machine, it's not so much a conspiracy as a business plan. Different strokes, I guess. Anyway, the 2006 DVD's suck, and could've been a billion times better with almost zero effort, so perhaps you should turn your ire where it belongs. Hint: it isn't on me. And if you enjoy your substandard release, then that's awesome; you got what you deserved.

_Mike

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Originally posted by: vbangle
Mike- On a single frame, is the film grain supposed to be completely uniform across the entire frame? Again I know little about all of this,
but the frame you posted showing the excess film grain looks suspect to me because its so uniform...almost like a brush or effect one would use in Photoshop...

Your thoughts?


Uniform? I suppose you're referring here to the presence of it on the frame, not its actual "look". If that's the case, then yes, it's basically uniform.

Film grain is actually the mass of silver halide crystals suspended in the gelatin layer of the film stock's emulsion, which are light-sensitive and ultimately lead to the capture of the latent image. The size and distribution of these "grains" of silver halide crystals differs with stock, and is largely part of what determines how "grainy" the stock is. But the distribution across the entire emulsion is basically uniform. So while the size and pattern of the grain may change, it's always there across the entire frame.

_Mike

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BTW- what does OUT stand for? original unofficial trilogy?
George Lucas was seduced by the dark side. The OOT ceased to exist in his mind and became the Special Editions...." "They're more maching now than movies. Twisted and evil."
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Originally posted by: mverta
I appreciate your interest in lumping all "conspiracy theorists" together so you can ridicule them more easily, but the truth is some of us may in fact have some expertise to bring to bear on these issues. If you'd asked that theoretical question about having all scenes grained or not, I would've answered, "I don't know," because I don't. I can only speculate - albeit intelligently - about the reasons why LFL would be interested in devaluing the product. It is a fact that they are doing so, by the way, not conjecture.


Yes, they have substantially devaluated this DVD release by using these inferior transfers, I don´t question that. It is a more than sloppy release, and if you would have happen to read some posts of me on this issue, you would have noticed that I am a strong vocal opposer of this release.

BUT.... You have to be careful to stay with the facts. This transfer is shoddy and does not represent what can be achieved on DVD. You can explain this to anyone, and some people will actually understand that. BUT, if you are now building up a whole conspiracy theory without any proof, just some vague assumptions, and trying to sell this, ALL people will quickly oversee the whole point of this site (fighting for quality copies of the OOT), and just claim "Nah, these are unthankful über Nerdie nutjobs!".

FACTS and proofs please, not just some vague theories and references to things you have seen or people you have heard. Things like that can be made up by everyone here.


But one doesn't disprove - or prove for that matter - the other.


Exactly.


The images are degraded. That is a fact. Whether intentional or not, is another issue. Personally, I believe the DVD's are intentionally presented as inferior, because Lucasfilm told me they were, and have been proving it on their site, and I can see it . Plus, I can compare to earlier transfers which are largely superior.


They wouldn´t have needed to add cgi grain to the movie. The transfer itself is inferior and would have never achieved the amount of detail of the 2004SE, with or without added cgi grain.


Plus, I've seen high res clean source material, and been told it doesn't exist.


Again, some vague reference. If you mean film material, actually no one out there believes that there wasn´t any better material available to remaster the OOT. We all know that much higher source material exists, so this is no surprising secret.


My initial post stated I believe grain has been added - that I would bet money on it. I didn't say I was 1000% sure; I couldn't be. But my position stands, and I'd still bet money on it. I've tried to illustrate a bit, and explain a bit more; sadly having to trump my credentials out along the way somewhat, but I suppose that's to be expected...


The problem is: i could easily disprove your point by posting images here which where nowhere as grainy as this particular scene. Plus the fact that in this scene, optical effects were used, and Lowry himself said that everytime someone turned on a lighsaber, the image quality dropped noticeably.

Sorry, but I do not blindly believe what people say, I want waterproof facts.


In any case, the degradation of the imagery isn't an opinion, it's a quantifiable fact. How much of a grand conspiracy that represents depends on how much that sort of thing appeals to you, I guess. But I'm from the school of thought that says if the government killed Kennedy to turn on the war machine, it's not so much a conspiracy as a business plan. Different strokes, I guess. Anyway, the 2006 DVD's suck, and could've been a billion times better with almost zero effort, so perhaps you should turn your ire where it belongs.


I´m citing the T-800 regarding your claims made here: "This does not help our mission."


Hint: it isn't on me. And if you enjoy your substandard release, then that's awesome; you got what you deserved.


*yawn*

Sorry, still not convincing, still no facts despite elaborate language.
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Vigo -

I don't have more solid proof than the images themselves. I agree not all shots are equally grainy. I also have nothing more than my professional expertise to draw conclusions from, and my eye has spotted things in the transfer I recognize as digital post work. This is what I do. It's what Lucasfilm hires me to do for them, from time to time. You can no more make a blanket statement saying such alterations weren't made, then anyone can say they were. I didn't say they were, difinitively, I said I thought so, and still do. I have my experience to draw on; nothing more, and of course, you can completely invalidate my expertise to make your point if you want. Speculations and theories are how things start; then you go off in search of proof to refute or support the theory. This is what I've done. In this case, that proof must largely come from informed supposition and analysis, by expert eyes. I've done that, too... In any case, I hope you never get the proof you're looking for, which I think you're saying would have to come from Lucas himself. Or somebody from Lucasfilm coming right out and saying, "yes, we want to have permanently satisfied the demand for an OT while not infringing upon the sales of the remastered versions, so we made sure they looked like shit." The chances of which, I daresay, are slim.

In any case, just chalk me up as a nutjob who has a whole lot of nothing to say, and bask in the self satisfaction of your rapier perception. Then at least I will have the satisfaction of having entertained you, if I can't inform you. Six of one, really...

_Mike

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I haven't seen blade runner in a while and I don't own the dvd anymore but doesn't that grain look sort of like the grain of the OUT?
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