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Joel's Star Wars Holiday Special 1080P AI Upscale and Reconstruction (a WIP)

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Hello all -

Inspired by YouTube user Nick Acosta’s Star Wars Holiday Special “4K 60FPS Modern Trailer,” I’ve started working on my own 1080P, 60fps version of everyone’s favorite Life Day celebration document. I’m using Topaz Video Enhance AI for the originally-shot-on-video parts (from the 2015 editdroid version), and D+77 for the majority of the originally-on-film stuff.

While working on this, though, I made a discovery: The footage of Darth Vader and “Bast” walking together in the SWHS is not the same take as the one included in the SW Blu Ray box set as “Darth Vader Widens the Search.” To make it more complicated, the scene as it exists in the SWHS was badly telecine’d. There are stretched frames, frames with extra lines, occasional blurs, etc.

Is this footage available from any other source than the Holiday Special?

Meanwhile, the rest is going smoothly! Thanks for your help in advance.

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I think it is the same scene from the BluRay. I didn’t do a frame by frame comparison, but his mouth movements don’t match the words he says in the SWHS. I think the just chopped a chunk out of the middle of that scene and recorded the new line over top of it.

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zman said:

I didn’t do a frame by frame comparison

I did!

And unfortunately, it’s not the same footage… well, until they turn the corner, then it cuts/crossfades to what looks like the same take as they walk away. But all the stuff with the characters facing the camera is not the blu ray footage.

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You could always piece it together from some ANH footage (Falcon approaching Yavin) and use some color replacement/a color change mask on Yavin to make it green. (As that’s what it appears to be.)

I’m not really that much of a movie purist. I really should’ve thought my name out a bit more.

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The Star Wars Purist said:

You could always piece it together from some ANH footage (Falcon approaching Yavin) and use some color replacement/a color change mask on Yavin to make it green. (As that’s what it appears to be.)

The screenshot I originally posted is exactly that, but the footage I’m asking about is the scene with Darth Vader and officer “Moradmin Bast” walking in a Death Star Corridor.

I changed the pic in my original post to one that relates more to the request.

Meanwhile, this picture is indeed from Star Wars, with the planet color replaced to match the Holiday Special.

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i am guessing the source for this will be the editdroid, is this correct?

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Yes, editdroid’s SWHS will be the main source - I forgot to mention it in the first post! I’ll go fix that now.

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More stuff unique to the Holiday Special.
Here are some frames from original Star Wars footage used in SWHS that aren’t present in 4K77 or D+77:

Around 19s in is a frame that was replaced with “flash”/white frame in Star Wars:

EDIT

Thanks to 13las’s suggestion, the frame above (and plenty like it) was found in the 1985 Pan & Scan laserdisc.

The three other frames were also located: there was a repeated shot TIE shot from approximately 1 second before where I was looking.

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I’m not one hundred percent sure on this but re: the first image… that is actually one of the 3 FX shots that was tweaked between May 1977 and June 1977 while the film was still in theaters. Among other improvements, ILM re-timed the flash frames, so that frame could potentially come from the earlier version.

Most fan preservations are based on the June cut (as are all modern home video releases) but the original version of the shot did make it to a couple of early releases, including some laserdiscs. Sadly, I don’t think it exists in HD anywhere. But laserdisc could be marginally better than what you’ve got now?

Again, not sure that’s what’s going on here but it’s worth checking out.

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXnq2soRMB-8vqvL-6NHIOg

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13las said:

I’m not one hundred percent sure on this but re: the first image… that is actually one of the 3 FX shots that was tweaked between May 1977 and June 1977 while the film was still in theaters. Among other improvements, ILM re-timed the flash frames, so that frame could potentially come from the earlier version.

Most fan preservations are based on the June cut (as are all modern home video releases) but the original version of the shot did make it to a couple of early releases, including some laserdiscs. Sadly, I don’t think it exists in HD anywhere. But laserdisc could be marginally better than what you’ve got now?

Again, not sure that’s what’s going on here but it’s worth checking out.

Ooh thank you for this! I didn’t know about the different 1977 versions. This would explains the discrepancies I found. I’ll go digging to see if I have the shots from LD somewhere.

Later that same day…

Thank you again! The pan&scan 1985 laserdisc had the older (May?) flash frame timings, so that crisis has been averted.

And the other frames were in an earlier shot, I just hadn’t noticed before.

Moving slowly forward…

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nobodybutjarjar42 said:

the JSC has the original SFX

That’s good info too, thank you!

I’m now mostly using the '85 LDs as a reference for reconstruction and only matting in tiny elements of that stuff into footage from 4K77 and D+1977. So far, the '85 LD footage is OK for now. Fullscreen JSC might be a better copy than the US '85 and thusly more usable as-is. This might merit a return visit at some point.

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First trial export of the whole thing happening now. Fingers crossed…

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Joel said:

The Star Wars Purist said:

You could always piece it together from some ANH footage (Falcon approaching Yavin) and use some color replacement/a color change mask on Yavin to make it green. (As that’s what it appears to be.)

The screenshot I originally posted is exactly that, but the footage I’m asking about is the scene with Darth Vader and officer “Moradmin Bast” walking in a Death Star Corridor.

I changed the pic in my original post to one that relates more to the request.

Meanwhile, this picture is indeed from Star Wars, with the planet color replaced to match the Holiday Special.

If you want you can use my reconstruction of that scene when it is done.

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Darth telly said:

If you want you can use my reconstruction of that scene when it is done.

Thanks!

For a little while I actually attempted a manual de- and re-telecine and then gave up after 100 frames or so.

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Hey Joel! I’m so stoked about your Life Day upscale that I joined OT just to comment–it’ll be the perfect bookend to my UHD bluray despecialized 3.0 set. Any progress? The dropbox preview has been removed

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Hi everyone -

I’m sorry for the wait - there was a long period of obsessing and revisions, then a longer period of being burnt out and not looking at it for awhile. I eventually wondered if this is more “reconstruction” than preservation, and I encountered a lot of “hey, that’s REALLY blown out…”

The more I learn, the more I don’t know.

So here’s the thing as it stands. It looks pretty good, but I’d still like a better source and for the software to only uprez but not increase the dynamic range/contrast.

In any case, I present my finished-for-now, mostly complete but partially abandoned AI-Uprezzed, footage-and-some-graphics replaced version of The Star Wars Holiday Special.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1o5W294fKY4D0e7mJsQULwLNwdIsunM2p?usp=sharing