With this project I want to showcase to fans of DS9 what can be possible in the universe of (AI-based) upscaling.
Those of you who have watched Deep Space Nine recently on modern/bigger screens know what the quality of the DVDs, streaming services and WEB-files look like: Most of the episodes (especially during earlier seasons) display problems like blurriness, areas out of focus, issues with grain (luma and chroma), washed out colors, a non-HD-conforming color palette (which makes sense given the technology back then), compression or block artefacts, interlacing issues and problems with motion fluidity originating from variable frame rates.
The approach of this project (in a nutshell) is to do the following steps to assure that the visual quality improves and the result is better “watchable” on a 4K screen:
- Take the source material and extract the raw data (working from PAL sources here)
- Adjust the audio track so it will fit with the new constant frame rate of 23,976 FPS (finished video)
- Re-Encode and filter the source material to get rid of several issues, like:
- Rainbowing, Interlacing, Artefacts, Block Compression, Haloing, Ringing, Aliasing, Softness, Banding
- AI-based image enhancements and upscaling, like:
- Detail enhancements, increase of focus, upscaling of the picture dimensions (to 1080p or even 4K)
- Final Encode/Rendering with additional image improvements. like:
- Custom Aspect Ratio (original 4:3 on HD-resolution without black bars left and right
- Correction of Pixel Aspect Ratio
- Adjustment of the SD-color-palette to more closely resemble an HD-like look
(the work here is based on what I have seen on the DS9 Documentary “What We Left Behind”)
- Working in grain to give a “less plastic/waxy look”
- Sharpening an Unsharpening to create a more “pseudo-detailed look”
- Encoding in a more HD-compatible, modern file-format
If you wish for more detailed information (like the complete guide/workflow on “how to do the project”, comparison images, samples & more) and other stuff, please contact me via private message and I shall do my best to provide what you are looking for 😉
I will do regular updates with images on what I am currently working on, so you can see what is possible - I will also actively discuss the project with you and will try to answer questions (if I can).
Ok, the general password to access all the files around here is: “DS9Enhanced” (without the quotation marks).
Please be advised, that all comparison images have the following characteristics:
- Left Side: Original SD-resolution image (PAL-DVD) without crop oder modifications
- Right Side: Upscaled 4K-resolution image (2880x2160p) with cropping left and right
- Images are displayed through a media player that stretches the image to fit the screen, so the right
sided image looks a little “wider” than the left, but the original aspect ratio is maintained (4:3)
The Ends DO Justify The Means …