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Raiders of the Lost Ark HDTV 35mm LPP regrade — Page 4

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Original restoration? Does that mean the glass reflections in the Well are untouched, or…?

Ol’ George has the GOUT, I see.

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The Wowow broadcast is a restoration directly from the negative and was done for the 30th anniversary. It was restored by Laser Pacific, not Lowry. Lowry’s 2003 restoration used a timed low contrast print (struck from the negative) and looks considerably different. There was an HD version of the Lowry restoration which was shown on HD channels in the US and UK (only Japan got the newer Laser Pacific restoration). I think this has caused a lot of confusion. The old Laser Pacific website had stills from their restoration and stated it was a 4k restoration from the negative. Laser Pacific was then bought by Technicolor, who replaced the Laser Pacific color team and re-graded it in 2012 with the “modernized” blu-ray color.

The version shown on Wowow was also shown in theaters in fall 2011 with much fanfare as the 30th anniversary restoration (I personally saw it twice in L.A.). It was intended to be the blu-ray release, and the early blu-ray trailers used shots from that version. It was late in the game in 2012 that the decision was made to “modernize” the color and remix the sound, probably for the IMAX release. It was hastily done by Technicolor and that is what was released on blu-ray.

There isn’t any evidence that Spielberg disliked the Laser Pacific version. In fact, he appeared at at least one 30th anniversary screening in 2011 and did press proclaiming what an amazing restoration it was and stating that he would never release an altered version of Raiders on the blu-ray. Apparently he (or someone) changed that decision and decided to make major alterations in picture and sound for the IMAX and blu-ray releases the next year.

Keep in mind that Spielberg has done press for every new video transfer of Raiders (1983, 1992, 2003, 2011 and 2012) proclaiming they were state of the art restorations which accurately reflected what the film looked like in theaters. Although I don’t think I have ever seen an interview where he praises the blu-ray, only the 2011 version and the IMAX version. And he never said the IMAX version looked accurate, but that it looked BETTER than the theatrical.

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I wouldn’t say the WOWOW and DVD color timing are considerably different. I was actually toying with the idea of also doing a DVD regrade, but when I compared the WOWOW and bluray releases for the other two films to their DVD counterparts, the colors for the new masters seemed a fairly accurate reproduction of the DVD color timing, although admittedly there are differences. The DVD has a little bit more contrast in general. Also, I believe the DVD might have less DNR. I could make a separate thread to show some comparisons, and some test regrades, if there is an interest in such a regrade?

Here’s one comparison between the WOWOW and the DVD:

WOWOW:


DVD:


Interestingly, the DVD has a more pronounced red cast in the bar fight scene, than the WOWOW.

WOWOW:


DVD:

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The major differences between DVD and wowow are in exposure. The DVD has almost perfect exposure, nothing is blown out or uneven and shadow detail is good (even though several scenes were brightened, probably at the print stage). The color is also more balanced overall (not surprising since it uses a 2nd generation timed print for the scan). However they are similar and I think that is simply because the restoration shown on wowow was intended to recreate the theatrical version timing.

I am curious as to the red cast in the bar. It is definitely not there in the 35mm print but does seem to be in every home video version to some extent. It’s also not there in the footage shown in the 1981 Making of documentary. I wonder if they re-timed that scene for the 1983 theatrical re-release? Maybe they did and that timing was used in successive video transfers.

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litemakr said:

The major differences between DVD and wowow are in exposure. The DVD has almost perfect exposure, nothing is blown out or uneven and shadow detail is good (even though several scenes were brightened, probably at the print stage). The color is also more balanced overall (not surprising since it uses a 2nd generation timed print for the scan). However they are similar and I think that is simply because the restoration shown on wowow was intended to recreate the theatrical version timing.

I am curious as to the red cast in the bar. It is definitely not there in the 35mm print but does seem to be in every home video version to some extent. It’s also not there in the footage shown in the 1981 Making of documentary. I wonder if they re-timed that scene for the 1983 theatrical re-release? Maybe they did and that timing was used in successive video transfers.

I will make a separate thread for a comparison between the WOWOW, the DVD, and the 35mm. This way we can get a good sense of the differences between these three versions. This will also allow me to do some tests, to see how much detail can be pulled from the WOWOW. It’s interesting to note, that I have the PAL versions of the DVD, which should provide a better color reproduction.

Also, here’s a little update on the 35mm LPP regrade. The opening shot is a bit of a challenge, as there actually is some subtle color variation within the shot for the WOWOW, so I’m currently doing a frame by frame regrade. It’s also an incredibly long shot of roughly a 1000 frames.

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With regards to early home video releases, I found a clip from a VHS version a couple of months ago, that doesn’t have a red shift for the bar fight scene and, aside from being low contrast, is consistent with the 35mm LPP. I can’t find the clip anymore, but here are two screenshots:

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DrDre said:

With regards to early home video releases, I found a clip from a VHS version a couple of months ago, that doesn’t have a red shift for the bar fight scene and, aside from being low contrast, is consistent with the 35mm LPP. I can’t find the clip anymore, but here are two screenshots:

Good find. Glad you could confirm that. I’ll track down the 1992 LD and see if that has it.

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Too much black crush in many of the regrades, and you need to remember to lower the color saturation if you’re going to change the contrast so drastically.

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Synnöve said:

Too much black crush in many of the regrades, and you need to remember to lower the color saturation if you’re going to change the contrast so drastically.

As was explained in the first post, the purpose of this regrade is to replicate the original theatrical color timing. The reference is an unfaded 35mm print:

http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/RELEASED-Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-35mm-LPP-Theatrical-Experience-v10/id/51021

An algorithm is used to match these colors, including contrast and saturation, as closely as possible. This algorithm was developed specifically to replicate the color timing of a color reference. One advantage of this method, is that it avoids endless discussions on how a film should look, since what one person finds appealing, another finds appalling. As such, there will be no manual adjustments, as it is not the purpose of this regrade to improve on the theatrical color timing, as is established by the print. Prints tend to be more contrasty than the home video transfers we’re used to, but this is the way the creators originally intended the film to be seen on the big screen (within the confines of HD video). If this color timing is not to your liking, there will be a separate thread for regrading the original trilogy, to match the color timing of the 2003 DVD release.

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Per the crushed blacks; the release print is several generations away from the color-timed negatives, and will have more degeneration in these sensitive areas (more blown highlights, crushed blacks).

The saturation problem is relative to the print screenshots you’re posting; you’re increasing the contrast to match the print, but you’re not lowering the saturation to match, which, relative to the print picture you’re posting, results in a over saturated image. As such, the algorithm is simply not accounting for this.

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Synnöve said:

Per the crushed blacks; the release print is several generations away from the color-timed negatives, and will have more degeneration in these sensitive areas (more blown highlights, crushed blacks).

The saturation problem is relative to the print screenshots you’re posting; you’re increasing the contrast to match the print, but you’re not lowering the saturation to match, which, relative to the print picture you’re posting, results in a over saturated image. As such, the algorithm is simply not accounting for this.

The release print is what creators intended to be seen. The low contrast interpositive was not intended to be seen by anyone, but the creators.

With regards to the saturation, being the creator of the algorithm, I can assure you, that the algorithm matches hue, brightness, and saturation. The print is more grainy, which may make it seem the regrades are more saturated, but this is definitely not the case. It is a mathematical certainty. Here’s an example for another high saturation print scan, that I used for a test a while ago:

35 mm reference:

Bluray:


Bluray matched to 35 mm frame:


It’s pretty obvious, that the algorithm has matched hue, brightness, and saturation.

I suggest you read through the thread dedicated to color matching and prediction:

http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Color-matching-and-prediction-color-correction-tool-v13-released/id/18128/page/1

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DrDre said:

Wazzles said:

Turisu said:
Conversely, the lamp that Indy and Marion are tied to in the opening of the ark sequence was digitally illuminated in the BD whereas it should be off. Not sure whether the WOWOW has the lamp on or off.

Can I see some screenshots of this?

Also, how’s the matching tool do for the bar scene?

Here’s an example for the bar scene.

35mm LPP:

WOWOW:

WOWOW matched to 35mm LPP:

If you load the images in to photoshop, and sample sections of her jacket and their skin tones, you’ll see that the sampled pixels are more saturated. This is also confirmed by my eyes when I load the images in to Resolve and view them on my rec709 monitor.

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DrDre said:

Here’s an example for the bar scene.

35mm LPP:

WOWOW:

WOWOW matched to 35mm LPP:

Forgive me, but an oil lantern does not glow blue, it glows with a yellow-golden hue. The 35mm colour cannot be correct. Surely Spielberg and Douglas Slocombe knew what a glowing lantern looks like. The WOWOW colour looks perfect. It’s the details that one must look into, I think, not just a source to grade properly. Also, In the 1980s and '90s the projection lamps used to be yellow, I think. So, any film projected would have actually looked warmer than how it appeared on the print itself. I am not an expert, but the 35mm colour looks grossly wrong and I do not think Spielberg wanted a yellow lamp to look blue in 1981.

P.S: Just felt a strong earthquake, shook the entire building. Whew, was a strong one. Our dog hid under the sofa.

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Synnöve said:

DrDre said:

Wazzles said:

Turisu said:
Conversely, the lamp that Indy and Marion are tied to in the opening of the ark sequence was digitally illuminated in the BD whereas it should be off. Not sure whether the WOWOW has the lamp on or off.

Can I see some screenshots of this?

Also, how’s the matching tool do for the bar scene?

Here’s an example for the bar scene.

35mm LPP:

WOWOW:

WOWOW matched to 35mm LPP:

If you load the images in to photoshop, and sample sections of her jacket and their skin tones, you’ll see that the sampled pixels are more saturated. This is also confirmed by my eyes when I load the images in to Resolve and view them on my rec709 monitor.

Yes, but there’s a very good reason for this. You’re using the wrong metric. The print has much less detail in the shadow areas, when compared to the WOWOW, even taking into account the lower contrast of the WOWOW. A more detailed source will always have higher peaks in saturation and contrast (and lower lows). However, if you transform the colors to the HSV color space, you will observe, that the distribution for the saturation channel is the same for the regrade, as it is for the print. This is the relevant quantity to consider.

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It does look dark on my monitor, but I’m inclined to believe it. Papai has a point too, it may be that the print is so coloured to compensate for the lamp projection. Might be worth looking into.

Ol’ George has the GOUT, I see.

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Papai2013 said:

DrDre said:

Here’s an example for the bar scene.

35mm LPP:

WOWOW:

WOWOW matched to 35mm LPP:

Forgive me, but an oil lantern does not glow blue, it glows with a yellow-golden hue. The 35mm colour cannot be correct. Surely Spielberg and Douglas Slocombe knew what a glowing lantern looks like. The WOWOW colour looks perfect. It’s the details that one must look into, I think, not just a source to grade properly. Also, In the 1980s and '90s the projection lamps used to be yellow, I think. So, any film projected would have actually looked warmer than how it appeared on the print itself. I am not an expert, but the 35mm colour looks grossly wrong and I do not think Spielberg wanted a yellow lamp to look blue in 1981.

P.S: Just felt a strong earthquake, shook the entire building. Whew, was a strong one. Our dog hid under the sofa.

This is what the unfaded print looks like, which is also consistent with the 35mm trailers from the era, and the screenshots of the early VHS release I posted. The warm bulb might add a little warmth, but in the same way that the warm setting on your tv will make it appear a little warmer. It will not make blue/white light appear yellow/orange like for the WOWOW. These are the colors of an unfaded print release print, as such it by definition cannot be grossly wrong.

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DrDre said:

Papai2013 said:

DrDre said:

Here’s an example for the bar scene.

35mm LPP:

WOWOW:

WOWOW matched to 35mm LPP:

This is what the unfaded print looks like, which is also consistent with the 35mm trailers from the era, and the screenshots of the early VHS release I posted. The warm bulb might add a little warmth, but in the same way that the warm setting on your tv will make it appear a little warmer. It will not make blue/white light appear yellow/orange like for the WOWOW. These are the colors of an unfaded print release print, as such it by definition cannot be grossly wrong.

Well, the best guess then is that Spielberg and the DOP got it wrong! The 30th anniversary 4K remaster was supervised by Spielberg, which is also warm tinted. Now, I agree that the red-push was a bit too much, but surely they looked at the original prints and know better than anybody else what is the right colour.

The best bet would be to catch a 35mm screening of Raiders in a movie theatre with '80s projection bulbs and the whole bunch.

Don’t get me wrong though. I seriously appreciate the time and effort you guys are putting at recreating an experience. I just think, in that particular scene, the lantern colour is totally incorrect.

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Papai2013 said:

DrDre said:

Papai2013 said:

DrDre said:

Here’s an example for the bar scene.

35mm LPP:

WOWOW:

WOWOW matched to 35mm LPP:

This is what the unfaded print looks like, which is also consistent with the 35mm trailers from the era, and the screenshots of the early VHS release I posted. The warm bulb might add a little warmth, but in the same way that the warm setting on your tv will make it appear a little warmer. It will not make blue/white light appear yellow/orange like for the WOWOW. These are the colors of an unfaded print release print, as such it by definition cannot be grossly wrong.

Well, the best guess then is that Spielberg and the DOP got it wrong! The 30th anniversary 4K remaster was supervised by Spielberg, which is also warm tinted. Now, I agree that the red-push was a bit too much, but surely they looked at the original prints and know better than anybody else what is the right colour.

The best bet would be to catch a 35mm screening of Raiders in a movie theatre with '80s projection bulbs and the whole bunch.

Don’t get me wrong though. I seriously appreciate the time and effort you guys are putting at recreating an experience. I just think, in that particular scene, the lantern colour is totally incorrect.

The amount of correction you’re suggesting, would give all the daylight scenes a pronounced yellow/orange cast. Since all the other scenes have perfectly balanced colors, the colors for the bar scene should be accurate, as far as the original theatrical color timing is concerned. The fact that the same color timing can be found on an early home video release confirms this.

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DrDre said:

The amount of correction you’re suggesting, would give all the daylight scenes a pronounced yellow/orange cast. Since all the other scenes have perfectly balanced colors, the colors for the bar scene should be accurate, as far as the original theatrical color timing is concerned. The fact that the same color timing can be found on an early home video release confirms this.

See, I am not asking you to do any of this, just expressing my honest opinion. There is no way that lantern was meant to give out a blue glow. It has to be yellow, it’s common sense (my tone is not rough or harsh, in case you read it as such). Just because all other scenes look ok doesn’t mean this shot cannot be wrong. Human error happens.

Then you would have to factor in the yellow-bulbs making the print more yellow. The DOP would light the shots and the colour timer would time them keeping in mind the warm projection bulbs, which would alter the col temp of the image.

Also, no need to alter the other scenes. They are more or less fine, colour-wise.
A VHS or laserdisc cannot be reliable sources of original colour timing.

The VHS and laserdisc (and DVD/BD) of Jurassic Park, all had a blue colour-cast which was totally wrong for decades until the 4K remaster showed that the actual tinting was much warmer. In fact, 35mm frames from the prints floating in the internet confirmed this warmer timing. Though the 3D BD went slightly overboard with the orange.

I also remembered the Leaky Cauldron tavern scene in ‘Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone.’ It was a similar low-lit, scene filled with candles and lanterns. And that scene also had a warm yellow-golden hue.

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Papai2013 said:

DrDre said:

The amount of correction you’re suggesting, would give all the daylight scenes a pronounced yellow/orange cast. Since all the other scenes have perfectly balanced colors, the colors for the bar scene should be accurate, as far as the original theatrical color timing is concerned. The fact that the same color timing can be found on an early home video release confirms this.

See, I am not asking you to do any of this, just expressing my honest opinion. There is no way that lantern was meant to give out a blue glow. It has to be yellow, it’s common sense (my tone is not rough or harsh, in case you read it as such). Just because all other scenes look ok doesn’t mean this shot cannot be wrong. Human error happens.

Then you would have to factor in the yellow-bulbs making the print more yellow. The DOP would light the shots and the colour timer would time them keeping in mind the warm projection bulbs, which would alter the col temp of the image.

Also, no need to alter the other scenes. They are more or less fine, colour-wise.
A VHS or laserdisc cannot be reliable sources of original colour timing.

The VHS and laserdisc (and DVD/BD) of Jurassic Park, all had a blue colour-cast which was totally wrong for decades until the 4K remaster showed that the actual tinting was much warmer. In fact, 35mm frames from the prints floating in the internet confirmed this warmer timing. Though the 3D BD went slightly overboard with the orange.

I also remembered the Leaky Cauldron tavern scene in ‘Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone.’ It was a similar low-lit, scene filled with candles and lanterns. And that scene also had a warm yellow-golden hue.

Yes, but here’s the problem with what you’re suggesting. The print’s colors are consistent between shots. Hence, you cannot adjust just one scene, while leaving the others unadjusted. So, you either end up with all the other scenes having a pronounced orange/yellow cast, or you accept the colors as they are, the bar scene included. It seems Spielberg at some point wasn’t happy with the look of this scene and felt like you did, that the lights did not look right amongst other things, and had the scene regraded. I might even agree, that the WOWOW color timing looks better, and more realistic for this scene. However, this is totally irrelevant to this project, as the goal is to reproduce the original theatrical color timing, including any color timing errors, that were in the original theatrical release, not the most realistic color timing.

This discussion is similar to the discussion on the theatrical color timing of The Empire Strikes Back, that originally had a pronounced blue cast for the Hoth scenes. Many then too felt that it looked “wrong” or unrealistic. However, ultimately it’s not about what we feel are the correct colors, but what a reliable color reference tells us the colors should be. The 4K remaster, like the bluray is revisionist. The film was completely retimed from the original negative. As such, it does not represent the original color timing, and there’s no reason to assume they even attempted to reproduce the original color timing. We have an original unfaded 1982 LPP, with the original color timing, there’s no more reliable color reference than that.

However, this thread is about regrading the WOWOW to what I and many others consider a reliable color reference. Discussion about the reliability of the 35mm LPP used should be directed to the appropriate thread, dedicated to this color reference:

http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/RELEASED-Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-35mm-LPP-Theatrical-Experience-v10/id/51021

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Understood, warts and all. He he, just kidding.
But I think digital colour adjustment to one scene could have been done without it affecting the entire movie. You just had to work on it separately. Though I get the idea of preserving the original print as is. Did you project the print, by the way?

Also, was some scenes missing from the 35mm LPP?

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What’s particularly weird for me in the bar scene on the print is you can clearly see their faces illuminated by red light, but there is nowhere in the frame that the warm light is originating from. The look that ended up on the print HAD to be deliberately put there during the grading of the film, because there is no way those were the colors on set. It’s actually perplexing me how they ended up with that look, as even if you have never seen Raiders before and have no preconceptions of the color, that would just look wrong and off putting, which makes me think it might have been a mistake, but one made too far along in the process and that didn’t seem a big enough deal to justify the price of fixing it.

It’s weird, it reminds me of some of the wacky experimental color grading done in the early 2000s when digital grading started to take off. The regraded WOWOW actually looks more like an 80s film. Just all around strange to me and I wonder how it ended up that way.

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My theory is that the blue cast, which is the opposite extreme from the red in other versions, is a mistake introduced at the interpositive stage. If I remember correctly, color timing on film is done with a series of red, green, and blue light filters. It is not unreasonable to suppose that on the interpositive this print was derived from, they meant to use a red filter in the bar scene, but messed up and accidentally used a blue filter instead, then didn’t have time to go back and reprint it. So any print made from this interpositive would show a blue cast to the scene; it is possible that other interpositives were made that did not have this blue cast.

Back in 2007, I went to a screening of a very old print of Raiders, and I remember very clearly that the bar scene did not have the red tint that the DVD and other recent home video releases have. Since it was an old print, and had significant fading throughout the film (the amount of which varied considerably between scenes), I unfortunately cannot say what the color actually should be. It definitely was not blue on the print, but the fading was such that the color blue was somewhat scarce throughout the movie, so who knows. If anything, I just remember it looking neutral.

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DrDre said:

However, this is totally irrelevant to this project, as the goal is to reproduce the original theatrical color timing, including any color timing errors, that were in the original theatrical release, not the most realistic color timing.

I think this is a great project and I’m kinda bummed that you’ve had to say the above numerous times when you’ve already made it clear that it is what your doing with “this” particular project.

Anyways, I’m glad to see that this film is getting treated so carefully. It’s nice to know that there are people in the world that care about these films like I do.

Cheers!!!

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I am really enjoting reading this thread. Ive learned so much since finding this community. The unfortunate, and perhaps serendipitous at times, thing for me is that Im color blind. I can see the blatent anomalies, but the subtle nuances y’all mention often, I just cant see. My one question is, Isnt it hard for all of us around the world to be completely unbiased seeing as that each of our monitors vary in quality and calibration?