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Info: 4K77 vs. Despecialized - Tatooine Outdoors

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 (Edited)

I had a thought and figured I’d post it here. This is my first post on the forum!

I’ve really enjoyed the work of Harmy (and Towne32) to bring us an unadulterated version of the original film. And lately I’ve been following the work from Project 4K77 - also very good stuff (and there’s something special about seeing a transfer from an actual print).

One thing I’ve noticed… The outdoor scenes on 4K77 seem to have more exposure than on DEED. You might think it’s a problem with the film stock 4K77 has, but having seen Star Wars in the theater as kid (17 times), I might argue that over-exposure in those scenes could be what Lucas and Co. were going for originally.

It’s an alien desert world with two suns! I can remember those scenes being jarringly bright. Especially vs. the ‘dark’ of the Death Star. Later releases of SW (including DSE) seem to have pulled down the exposure level from what I think might have been the original intent of the film makers. I don’t know that – it’s just a thought.

I wonder what the thinking is for DEED 3.0. I vote for an over-exposed Tatooine. 😃

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The whole thing of the DEED is to approximate what a proper love put into it release of the unaltered cuts should look like, TN1’s efforts are to approximate what the films looked like in the theatre. With that said the DEED is not meant to change things like the outside color, but instead is supposed to restore the unaltered versions by using the Blu Ray, now from what Harmy has said 3.0 will be almost entirely 35mm based with only one shot of GOUT as an Easter egg, which is important because it will make the DEED 1080p instead of 720p. The 4K series on the other hand uses no Blu Ray but is GOUT synched, though Hairy Hen, Harmy, Wilrob and a few others will have more information on this than I will.

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At one point, Harmy was actually thinking three different color grades for 3.0. But that was back when he had a weensy more free time. Now I think this is his plan:

Harmy said:

For v3.0, I’m actually planning on using Neverar Great’s corrections - we have been cooperating behind the scenes for quite some time and his results are amazing. He’s currently matching the BD to the I.B. reference with unbelievable accuracy and then I will probably use that as a basis and do something very similar to what Towne32 shows above, in eliminating some of the I.B. Print’s color biases.

So basically if this is still true, 3.0 will have the same IB Tech print target as it has now, but more accurate to the references we have, and without some of the oddities of the IB Tech prints. I doubt that’s going to do much with the brightness on Tatooine, but the Despecialized Star Wars is showing its age more than the other two films, and I imagine it will still be quite a pleasant improvement.

There are lots of reasons for the differences you see between 4K77 and DeEd. Optical duplication tends to increase contrast with every generation, so projection prints have higher contrast than whatever higher-up source was used for the Blu-rays. So the projection prints have print fade, less detail and more contrast, but the Blu-rays have more detail, less contrast, and all sorts of nasty inexplicable color issues (plus stupid dinosaurs in Mos Eisley). They’re really coming at the problem from two very different starting points, and expecting them to meet at some sweet spot in the middle may be expecting too much.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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This is quite intriguing to find out that the DEED 3.0 will be using an ib tech print. I am looking forward to 3.0 but in the meantime I have 4K83 to munch on at some point.

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LordZerome1080 said:

This is quite intriguing to find out that the DEED 3.0 will be using an ib tech print

No, it will be using NeverarGreat’s regrade of the Blu-Ray, which is graded to match an IB Tech print. It’s a pretty fantastic regrade and it’s kinda neat to see the SE CGI in Tech-like color.

a trolling bantha

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Does NeverarGreat’s version match to a digitized IB Tech print or to a projected IB Tech print?

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theMaestro said:

Does NeverarGreat’s version match to a digitized IB Tech print or to a projected IB Tech print?

Digitized. I don’t have access to a film projector, unfortunately.

However, since the grade is very precisely matched to representative digital frames and balanced scene by scene, it would still be a far better place to start than the uneven blu-ray, and get you a lot closer to the look of the Tech. If someone had access to a print and a projector and wanted to correct it fully to what they saw, it would probably only take a single LUT. Dre was trying to do something like this if I recall, putting his custom LUT’s on my project.

Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? - oojason
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)

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What a great forum. It’s nice to hear insights into the actual processes.

Not sure I’d want to trust any re-releases from the studio as reference to the original release (which seems weird to say). What about the Tatooine scenes on the the VHS or Laserdisc releases? I wonder if they’re ‘over-exposed’. I know I saw the VHS back in the day, but I really don’t remember.

It feels like when they digitized later for the Special Editions, someone looked at a histogram of those scenes and said “oh, I can fix that”.

Anyway, really looking forward to 3.0 (whenever that is).

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The way the VHS and Laserdisc releases were made doesn’t really make them a great color reference. They were made from low contrast prints and color timed in a way to make for ideal viewing on the CRT televisions of the day. Not something you want to look at if you want a reference for the original theatrical colors.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

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NeverarGreat said:

Yeah, the video transfers of Star Wars have a very distinctive look that isn’t like the film prints.

Same with the Blu Ray and the dvd.

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LordZerome1080 said:

Same with the Blu Ray and the dvd.

Yes, we’re all well aware of that, since that’s pretty much why this site exists in the first place. Thanks for the clarification.

That’s impossible, even for a computer.

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silverwheel said:

LordZerome1080 said:

Same with the Blu Ray and the dvd.

Yes, we’re all well aware of that, since that’s pretty much why this site exists in the first place. Thanks for the clarification.

I’m sorry I didn’t know Bugs Bunny was visiting this thread.

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Here’s a relevant quote from an interview around the time of the original release.

George Lucas said:
I visualized an extremely bizarre, Gregg Toland-like surreal look with strange over-exposed colors, a lot of shadows, a lot of hot areas.

I’m not sure exactly what’s meant by “over-exposed colors” here though. It could refer to overall brightness: in digital terms, all channels over-exposed with blown-out highlights. Alternatively, it could mean over-saturated colour: one or two channels over-exposed, e.g. a shot that’s more or less monochrome red with solid bright red highlights.

Off the top of my head and from a look at 4K77’s thumbnails, I can’t think of any examples of the latter in the original Star Wars. So, I think this supports the idea some scenes were intended to be over-exposed.

EDIT: Just re-watched 4K77, and there are some shots in the garbage compactor and Tie fighters with some very saturated coloured lighting. Does anyone more familiar with film-making terminology know which of the above (or something else I haven’t considered) is the most likely meaning of “strange over-exposed colors”?

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boffy said:

Here’s a relevant quote from an interview around the time of the original release.

George Lucas said:
I visualized an extremely bizarre, Gregg Toland-like surreal look with strange over-exposed colors, a lot of shadows, a lot of hot areas.

I’m not sure exactly what’s meant by “over-exposed colors” here though. It could refer to overall brightness: in digital terms, all channels over-exposed with blown-out highlights. Alternatively, it could mean over-saturated colour: one or two channels over-exposed, e.g. a shot that’s more or less monochrome red with solid bright red highlights.

Off the top of my head and from a look at 4K77’s thumbnails, I can’t think of any examples of the latter in the original Star Wars. So, I think this supports the idea some scenes were intended to be over-exposed.

EDIT: Just re-watched 4K77, and there are some shots in the garbage compactor and Tie fighters with some very saturated coloured lighting. Does anyone more familiar with film-making terminology know which of the above (or something else I haven’t considered) is the most likely meaning of “strange over-exposed colors”?

I think he meant high contrast. Gregg Toland did The Long Voyage Home, Citizen Kane, and Song of the South. I think it also refers to more natural lighting instead of traditonal studio lighting.

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It was mentioned upthread that Despecialized 3.0 will be “entirely 35mm based.”

Does this mean 3.0 will finally be the “best of both worlds” version? In other words, the unaltered 70-80% of the bd color-corrected, with the 35mm scans used for the stuff that was altered, and none of Harmy’s meticulous recreations nor using the ‘97 re-comp shots in place of the true originals?

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Fang Zei said:

It was mentioned upthread that Despecialized 3.0 will be “entirely 35mm based.”

Does this mean 3.0 will finally be the “best of both worlds” version? In other words, the unaltered 70-80% of the bd color-corrected, with the 35mm scans used for the stuff that was altered, and none of Harmy’s meticulous recreations nor using the ‘97 re-comp shots in place of the true originals?

I think he said all that and he will only be using one shot of GOUT.

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LordZerome1080 said:

Fang Zei said:

It was mentioned upthread that Despecialized 3.0 will be “entirely 35mm based.”

Does this mean 3.0 will finally be the “best of both worlds” version? In other words, the unaltered 70-80% of the bd color-corrected, with the 35mm scans used for the stuff that was altered, and none of Harmy’s meticulous recreations nor using the ‘97 re-comp shots in place of the true originals?

I think he said all that and he will only be using one shot of GOUT.

Jedi 2.5 had a piece of a shot from the GOUT, but I don’t know that there is a plan for 3.0 to do that. I would guess not.

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I think he mentioned it in one of his workflow videos. 🤷🏻‍♂️😉

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LordZerome1080 said:

I think he mentioned it in one of his workflow videos. 🤷🏻‍♂️😉

Without any kind of actual source to look at here, I’m just going by memory. The inclusion of GOUT in Jedi 2.5 was minor and more of a little homage, as all of the other 2.x releases had GOUT (in other cases, because it was needed, for Jedi just for fun).

This is in contrast to 3.0, which can totally break free of GOUT dependence. What would be the reason for including one GOUT shot for each film, in this case? I’m pretty sure you’re mistaken on this, but I’d be curious to see if he did in fact say that. 😃

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Putting aside the GOUT issue, I’m really just curious if 3.0 will simply be the unaltered stretches of the blu-ray (color-corrected, of course) using only the 35mm scans for the parts that were altered. For example, there are still some ‘97 recomps in the most recent version of the despecialized ESB if I’m not mistaken.

I would hope we finally have a viable alternative, but that may have to wait until Poita’s project is done.

Is ESB Grindhouse the only 35mm-based preservation of Empire that’s currently out there?

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Fang Zei said:

Putting aside the GOUT issue, I’m really just curious if 3.0 will simply be the unaltered stretches of the blu-ray (color-corrected, or course) using only the 35mm scans for the parts that were altered. For example, there are still some ‘97 recomps in the most recent version of the despecialized ESB if I’m not mistaken.

I would hope we finally have a viable alternative, but that may have to wait until Poita’s project is done.

I’d be surprised if poita’s project releases before 4K80.

a trolling bantha

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ChainsawAsh said:

Fang Zei said:

Putting aside the GOUT issue, I’m really just curious if 3.0 will simply be the unaltered stretches of the blu-ray (color-corrected, or course) using only the 35mm scans for the parts that were altered. For example, there are still some ‘97 recomps in the most recent version of the despecialized ESB if I’m not mistaken.

I would hope we finally have a viable alternative, but that may have to wait until Poita’s project is done.

I’d be surprised if poita’s project releases before 4K80.

Isn’t 4k80 already expected to take a while?

The movie theater where I work does a Star Wars marathon for the employees-only every year at the end of November / beginning of December, one movie per night. This year it will be Rogue One, OT, TFA, TLJ, in that order. Last year they simply hooked up a bd player to the 2k cinema projector and the sound system and used the official blu-rays. In one of the previous years they hooked up a laptop to watch despecialized, or so I’m told.

I’d love to change things up a bit this year but I don’t want to use despecialized for the OT since it’s stuck at 720p. So I’m wondering if I should just go with TN1’s OT or if the ideal lineup for now is 4k77 non-DNR 1080p, ESB Grindhouse, 4k83 non-DNR 1080p.

Any advice would be welcome.

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Fang Zei said:

ChainsawAsh said:

Fang Zei said:

Putting aside the GOUT issue, I’m really just curious if 3.0 will simply be the unaltered stretches of the blu-ray (color-corrected, or course) using only the 35mm scans for the parts that were altered. For example, there are still some ‘97 recomps in the most recent version of the despecialized ESB if I’m not mistaken.

I would hope we finally have a viable alternative, but that may have to wait until Poita’s project is done.

I’d be surprised if poita’s project releases before 4K80.

Isn’t 4k80 already expected to take a while?

Yes, but - and I mean no disrespect to Poita here, he does great work, has helped the community in immeasurable ways, and his real-life job keeps him busy, not to mention the various health problems he’s had - of all the film scanning projects he’s begun over the many years he’s been active here, how many of them have actually been finished and released?

The movie theater where I work does a Star Wars marathon for the employees-only every year at the end of November / beginning of December, one movie per night. This year it will be Rogue One, OT, TFA, TLJ, in that order. Last year they simply hooked up a bd player to the 2k cinema projector and the sound system and used the official blu-rays. In one of the previous years they hooked up a laptop to watch despecialized, or so I’m told.

I’d love to change things up a bit this year but I don’t want to use despecialized for the OT since it’s stuck at 720p. So I’m wondering if I should just go with TN1’s OT or if the ideal lineup for now is 4k77 non-DNR 1080p, ESB Grindhouse, 4k83 non-DNR 1080p.

Yeah, that seems like a good way to do it. The official 1080p Blu-Ray releases of 4K77 and 4K80 4K83 will be out in a couple weeks, but then again, that’ll be the DNR 4K77 and a new pseudo-DNR 4K83 (with adjusted contrast and reel change markers removed), so you might wanna stick with the 1080p MKV versions instead.

a trolling bantha