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Star Fleet/X-Bomber (1980) Remastered Edition (a work in progress) — Page 3

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MWilson said:

I fiddled around a bit with the mpg.
Comparison 1
Comparison 2

It looks better in motion. 😃

The sharpness looks a lot better, my only gripes is that it sort of ramps up the exposure (another issue I’m struggling with). Also, I’m not sure if you used any noise reduction filters, but I’d rather the grain stay considering that I’m working primarily with pretty grainy footage (as a result I’m adding some artificial grain to some results so they don’t look too out of place.)

Either way, very good result, I’d like to see the result in motion.

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 (Edited)

Video Comparison
pass: ot
I have the settings fairly high, probably too high, so I’ve made this function where you can adjust the settings (per clip if you need to). And yes, the name is a pun 😃

function msx(clip y, float “ls”, float “cs”, float “lt”, float “ct”)
{### © MWilson
ls=Default (ls,127/3)
cs=Default(cs,96/3)
lt=Default(lt,3)
ct=Default(ct,2)

y=y.converttoyv12()
a=y.hqdn3d(ls,cs,lt,ct)
b=y.FlipHorizontal().hqdn3d(ls,cs,lt,ct).FlipHorizontal()
c=y.FlipVertical().hqdn3d(ls,cs,lt,ct).FlipVertical()
mt_makediff(a,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
mt_makediff(y,last,y=3,u=3,v=3)
d=last
mt_makediff(b,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
mt_makediff(d,last,y=3,u=3,v=3)
e=last
mt_makediff(c,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
mt_makediff(e,last,y=3,u=3,v=3)
f=last
av=mt_average(f,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
return av
}

Author
Time

MWilson said:

Video Comparison
pass: ot
I have the settings fairly high, probably too high, so I’ve made this function where you can adjust the settings (per clip if you need to). And yes, the name is a pun 😃

function msx(clip y, float “ls”, float “cs”, float “lt”, float “ct”)
{### © MWilson
ls=Default (ls,127/3)
cs=Default(cs,96/3)
lt=Default(lt,3)
ct=Default(ct,2)

y=y.converttoyv12()
a=y.hqdn3d(ls,cs,lt,ct)
b=y.FlipHorizontal().hqdn3d(ls,cs,lt,ct).FlipHorizontal()
c=y.FlipVertical().hqdn3d(ls,cs,lt,ct).FlipVertical()
mt_makediff(a,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
mt_makediff(y,last,y=3,u=3,v=3)
d=last
mt_makediff(b,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
mt_makediff(d,last,y=3,u=3,v=3)
e=last
mt_makediff(c,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
mt_makediff(e,last,y=3,u=3,v=3)
f=last
av=mt_average(f,y,y=3,u=3,v=3)
return av
}

What did you do this on? virtualdub/avisynth?

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Bladez636 said:

What did you do this on? virtualdub/avisynth?

Avisynth, you need masktools2 and hqdn3d. Just add those to your plugins directory. You can auto load the script easily by saving the text from function to the last } as a .avsi file. Place it in your plugins folder and all you have to do is import your video and type in the function name.

It’s easier done than said 😉

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I finally have some updates.

First and foremost, I finally got to figuring out MWilson’s avisynth script and it made a world of difference. Many thanks to him for sending me the necessary stuff.

Now onto color correction; I need to contact a friend of mine who’s more adept at avisynth than I am (I’m pretty illiterate at it) and help me with color matching to the Japanese masters. Adobe Premiere’s inbuilt color correction plugins are not cutting it.

Lastly, I did a redo of my old audio cleanups from 2012. The original cleanups I did were poor, mainly consisting of running the audio through the lowpass filter in Audacity to make the hiss less noticeable; this resulted in much of the audios clarity being ruined. This time I used a combination of Adobe Audition and Audacity and careful attention to the audio; since noise reduction is destructive. I was also able to use Discotek’s US DVD release to fill in the premature cuts on the UK DVD Audio (which I found while editing, was of generally better quality than Discotek’s). Some episode results came out better than others.

My original attempt also utilized VHS transfers to clean up audio glitches and used VHS audio primarily for Episode 24 (which has a sort of muffled problem on the DVD where the lower audio was lower and higher audio was higher) along with the audio from the episode off “Space Quest for F-01” on the Japanese DVD. I got these transfers offline and they have since disappeared due to rapidshare dying. So this time I bought the necessary US VHS Tapes off eBay & Amazon and got a VHS to DVD program to capture the audio. I’m happy to say that the results came out better than I thought they would. I go more in depth about it on the SFXB forums.

It’s getting somewhere now.

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 (Edited)

Nice one 😃

That image of poor Captain Carter though - never forget, never forgive what the Imperial Alliance did to him 😉

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 (Edited)

Sorry for not having many updates; there’s not too much.

I’ve gone about trying to fix a weird glitch the French DVD’s occasionally have. There’s a pixelization glitch that happens in some episodes (to my knowledge, mainly Episodes 4, 15 and 21 and probably a couple others) were for a brief period a single frame will pixelate every few seconds. It typically only happens for a few seconds to a minute. The worst one is in Episode 4; the others took me a while to actually notice. It happens during the Dai-X launch sequence, so with stock footage from other episodes I’ve been fixing it using Photoshop and Premiere to match the colors (it would be just easier to just use the even further matted stock footage, but that would be too simple and apparently I don’t like that).

Here’s an example, original on the top; fixed on the bottom.

If I do the others I mentioned, that will be trickier since I could only use the less crisp and washed out Japanese masters which would stick out more, but I’ll give it a try.

I’m sorry it’s taking so long, I want everything to be perfect and it’s all a learning curve. One thing that will help get my remaster out sooner; Discotek Media is now releasing the series on Blu-Ray (standard definition only unfortunately) but with the Japanese version included as well. This helps as we will finally have the entire Japanese version subtitled into English at last so I won’t have to delay the release further finding and/or paying for a translator. Doubtlessly the master of the English version will be the same as the DVD, and the Japanese one likely the same as the 2013 “Remaster” DVD. I don’t see Enoki Films giving them a superior master than their own since that would encourage reverse importing, but we’ll see.

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I wasn’t aware it was coming to blu-ray. Too bad it’s only SD, and even worse it’s too bad that it will likely be the same inferior transfers as previously released. It would be nice to be proven wrong, but I’m betting the only benefit will be better compression on the blu-ray and the inclusion of the Japanese episodes with English subs.

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Well I caved in and bought the new US blu-ray release in SD. Both the English and original Japanese episodes look pretty dreadful. I mean really bad. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than the UK set, but they’re all bad. The motion on the new blu-ray is particularly problematic. I wouldn’t be shocked if I learned they transferred them from the PAL tapes. The motion is really odd, and the image is very blurred in general, with very bad aliasing. I think the French set is the only worthwhile set, but sadly of course it’s not in English, and rather pricey now I think.

I do like that the original Japanese episodes are included, and they do look different than the English episodes (slightly different aspect ratio and colors), but neither is particularly watchable.

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 (Edited)

Oldfan said:

Well I caved in and bought the new US blu-ray release in SD. Both the English and original Japanese episodes look pretty dreadful. I mean really bad. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than the UK set, but they’re all bad. The motion on the new blu-ray is particularly problematic. I wouldn’t be shocked if I learned they transferred them from the PAL tapes. The motion is really odd, and the image is very blurred in general, with very bad aliasing. I think the French set is the only worthwhile set, but sadly of course it’s not in English, and rather pricey now I think.

I do like that the original Japanese episodes are included, and they do look different than the English episodes (slightly different aspect ratio and colors), but neither is particularly watchable.

I really expected nothing less tbh. I bought it too just for the sub aspect since I plan to do a separate remaster of the Japanese version.

The master Discotek used is the same as the UK DVD, except… worse. I think it’s an early version that Fabulous Films had initially done (The UK DVD was originally slated for a fall 2008 release before they delayed it to its February 2009 release; I speculate they weren’t satisfied and did further editing). The audio on all Episodes after the 9th are worse than the UK DVD (especially Episode 11), though they’re definitely the same audio masters - FF did some lowpass filter cleanup to them. The intro and end credits on the US DVD are taken from the 8th Episode (you can see the opening shot of X-Bomber through the interlacing on some episodes). The UK DVD similarly transplants the opening and ending from Episode 8 but with some color correction, plus the respective intro audio is left intact rather than transplanted like the US DVD.

Could be that Enoki or Fabulous Films accidentally, or purposely, sent them this inferior master. It’s pretty common for Japanese distributors to screw over American releases to curb reverse importing. FWIW I really don’t think Discotek did these edits, because I follow a lot of their video editors on twitter, and they’re pretty competent in what they do. Yet, I really don’t think Discotek sees this show as a particular “best seller” and didn’t put a whole lot of work into it; their releases of the show are pretty bare bones.

Of course, the PAL version is going to be better since PAL holds more resolution; but it’s still the same bad looking 3rd or 4th Generation 16mm master but minorly improved. Discotek really could only interlace the dub to 29fps in order for the disc to be playable on most American players (not all have PAL compatibility, region locked or not, which there’s 0 excuse for in this day and age). The Japanese version is slightly better, but it’s washed out with a cyan hue to all of the episodes; all I can really say is that it’s really more use to my project than the UK DVD. I think it’s a 2nd or 3rd generation print; it’s still fairly sharp unlike the US DVD. With some contrast upping and color correction, it looks presentable with the French footage, which is more than I can say about the UK DVD. Knowing Japan’s piss poor record of preservation; I’m in no way certain the original masters for the show even exist anymore.

The French DVD is by far, the best out there, but it’s missing some bits present in the English/Japanese versions; thus this Herculean pain in the ass project since the Japanese and UK DVD’s are my only other sources to fill in those gaps.

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Thanks for all the info.

Wow, what a mess. What a shame this show hasn’t been taken care of. I was so disappointed in the blu-ray. Even though my expectations were already low, they managed to disappoint me even further.

I do have the UK DVD set too. Maybe I should have just stuck with that.

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Can someone please write an AviSynth script to do this?

Bladez636 said:
Here’s an example, original on the top; fixed on the bottom.

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Not many updates. Still working on cleaning the next episode preview scenes. I may have figured something out but don’t want to say anything before getting further along. I need to take breaks from this project sometimes otherwise my brains will blow out all over the wall.

I have kind of a request here. Does anybody following this project happen to speak Japanese? I found this on Twitter: https://twitter.com/fuu_cyodenji/status/1001206491020316672

I’ve been trying to clean up the Japanese sound track of the series as well; except it’s pretty impossible because of how bad the audio is. I was wondering if these VHS captures are of any clearer audio quality? It’s a stretch considering these would have to be almost 40 years old, but then again, is it? “Dragon Ball Z” has a similar situation where all the DVD and Blu-Ray soundtracks of the Japanese version sound like crap due to Toei canning the original tapes, but fan VHS captures of the original broadcasts being significantly cleaner. Inquiring about it is kind of an impossibility on my part because of the language barrier.

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Bladez636 said:

Oldfan said:

Well I caved in and bought the new US blu-ray release in SD. Both the English and original Japanese episodes look pretty dreadful. I mean really bad. I’m not sure if it’s better or worse than the UK set, but they’re all bad. The motion on the new blu-ray is particularly problematic. I wouldn’t be shocked if I learned they transferred them from the PAL tapes. The motion is really odd, and the image is very blurred in general, with very bad aliasing. I think the French set is the only worthwhile set, but sadly of course it’s not in English, and rather pricey now I think.

I do like that the original Japanese episodes are included, and they do look different than the English episodes (slightly different aspect ratio and colors), but neither is particularly watchable.

I really expected nothing less tbh. I bought it too just for the sub aspect since I plan to do a separate remaster of the Japanese version.

The master Discotek used is the same as the UK DVD, except… worse. I think it’s an early version that Fabulous Films had initially done (The UK DVD was originally slated for a fall 2008 release before they delayed it to its February 2009 release; I speculate they weren’t satisfied and did further editing). The audio on all Episodes after the 9th are worse than the UK DVD (especially Episode 11), though they’re definitely the same audio masters - FF did some lowpass filter cleanup to them. The intro and end credits on the US DVD are taken from the 8th Episode (you can see the opening shot of X-Bomber through the interlacing on some episodes). The UK DVD similarly transplants the opening and ending from Episode 8 but with some color correction, plus the respective intro audio is left intact rather than transplanted like the US DVD.

Could be that Enoki or Fabulous Films accidentally, or purposely, sent them this inferior master. It’s pretty common for Japanese distributors to screw over American releases to curb reverse importing. FWIW I really don’t think Discotek did these edits, because I follow a lot of their video editors on twitter, and they’re pretty competent in what they do. Yet, I really don’t think Discotek sees this show as a particular “best seller” and didn’t put a whole lot of work into it; their releases of the show are pretty bare bones.

Of course, the PAL version is going to be better since PAL holds more resolution; but it’s still the same bad looking 3rd or 4th Generation 16mm master but minorly improved. Discotek really could only interlace the dub to 29fps in order for the disc to be playable on most American players (not all have PAL compatibility, region locked or not, which there’s 0 excuse for in this day and age). The Japanese version is slightly better, but it’s washed out with a cyan hue to all of the episodes; all I can really say is that it’s really more use to my project than the UK DVD. I think it’s a 2nd or 3rd generation print; it’s still fairly sharp unlike the US DVD. With some contrast upping and color correction, it looks presentable with the French footage, which is more than I can say about the UK DVD. Knowing Japan’s piss poor record of preservation; I’m in no way certain the original masters for the show even exist anymore.

The French DVD is by far, the best out there, but it’s missing some bits present in the English/Japanese versions; thus this Herculean pain in the ass project since the Japanese and UK DVD’s are my only other sources to fill in those gaps.

Toei, in particular, is notorious for the way it deals with western distributors. For example, they refused to lend the footage of some Transformers OVA to Madman Entertainment. Madman had to use a low-quality fan sub for the release. Pretty much the only company they get along with is Funimation, but that’s probably because Funimation’s CEO has an uncle who works at Toei.

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How this coming along? Any news to share?

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 (Edited)

Oldfan said:

How this coming along? Any news to share?

Not much to share. Right now, it’s been mostly a practice in masochism with a few payoffs.

One thing I recently managed to complete was an attempt to extend the scene of the volcano exploding in Episode 8 from varied masters (Episode 13 and the Japanese master) while making it match the quality of the French masters. It consisted primarily of me going frame by frame in Photoshop to match it (15 extended frames which took from late November to late last month). I will probably post a mediafire link of it at some point for some input - I think it came out well, but don’t think I can do much better on it though. (Edit: link)

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Hey everyone. I must admit that I’ve not been working on the project as much as I’d like to, but have been experimenting here and there. I’ve also not had a whole lot of free time, as I moved out of my parents’ place recently and have been busy with life. I could’ve used my two month quarantine time more effectively toward working on this.

Going back to my previous Japanese audio post though, I’ve found a good workaround on cleaning up the audio; it involves a lot of convoluted and painfully tedious work in Audacity. Yeah I know, most people are here for the English version-my focus on this project continuously shifts back and fourth.

Here’s a comparison video I made.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlA9oNlGLe4

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I actually prefer the Japanese version but then I’m a big fan of Japanese cinema and anime. This project sounds awesome! Thanks for perservering with it and putting in so much hard work.
I grew up with the Starfleet version as I live in the UK. I was happy to see the recent Discotek release that included both the Starfleet version and the original X-Bomber. Was the first time I’d been able to see it with the original Japanese audio and musical score. The show really holds a special place in my heart, really glad to see it being treated with respect. It’s a real shame some Japanese distributors can be a pain in the ass when it comes to giving other countries good materials for their releases.

Best of luck with the project Bladez!

Thanks to ALL members of the forum whose tireless preservation efforts have allowed me to watch the original films as I remember them.
You all rule.