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Star Trek Deep Space Nine - NTSC DVD Restoration & 1080p HD Enhancement (Emissary Released) — Page 2

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Animaxx said:

Hello guys. Great news: I’ve just finished the 4K Preview (first 90 seconds of the pilot) in 4K.
The original post at the beginning has been updated accordingly.

Here the link for the Original SD-File from the NTSC-DVD (67,5 MB) so you can compare:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nL19DeM87_kHtksh-XaGyQDPr_nX3F_K/view?usp=sharing

Here the link for the enhanced and upscaled 4K-File (106 MB):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qQrcY66SVMnGMSrIB52MTuzMfV_-IRHH/view?usp=sharing

The 1080p-Version preview is still in the works but should be finished soon, I will also post it here and at the beginning of the topic.

Afterwards the work on the full episode will procede. For the full episode please pm me around the next two days, ok?

Well that’s impressive. It really looks like footage from much later in DS9s run now. If it wasn’t for the black bars preventing widescreen you’d think it was a TNG style remaster.

I defiantly can’t wait for the full pilot.

Edit: the 1080 version looks a little funny in the way it’s enhanced the opening text as it’s cut off the first full stop and some of the letters have a shadowed lines after them. The sharpening on the Cube is also a bit odd in places and I think that’s because it’s made up of a lot of lines which may confuse the AI.
I haven’t noticed these effects on the 4K version.

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Artan42 said:

Animaxx said:

Hello guys. Great news: I’ve just finished the 4K Preview (first 90 seconds of the pilot) in 4K.
The original post at the beginning has been updated accordingly.

Here the link for the Original SD-File from the NTSC-DVD (67,5 MB) so you can compare:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nL19DeM87_kHtksh-XaGyQDPr_nX3F_K/view?usp=sharing

Here the link for the enhanced and upscaled 4K-File (106 MB):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qQrcY66SVMnGMSrIB52MTuzMfV_-IRHH/view?usp=sharing

The 1080p-Version preview is still in the works but should be finished soon, I will also post it here and at the beginning of the topic.

Afterwards the work on the full episode will procede. For the full episode please pm me around the next two days, ok?

Well that’s impressive. It really looks like footage from much later in DS9s run now. If it wasn’t for the black bars preventing widescreen you’d think it was a TNG style remaster.

I defiantly can’t wait for the full pilot.

Edit: the 1080 version looks a little funny in the way it’s enhanced the opening text as it’s cut off the first full stop and some of the letters have a shadowed lines after them. The sharpening on the Cube is also a bit odd in places and I think that’s because it’s made up of a lot of lines which may confuse the AI.
I haven’t noticed these effects on the 4K version.

Thanks for your kind words. I’ve noticed what you said on the 1080p as well. Seems to happen when I downscale from 4K to 1080p with Resizing. I had hoped I wouldn’t have to do a second ai run on 1080p, but I think it would be better quality-wise, unfortunately it would take even longer that way. But I will do it. Quality is important to me, just hope you guys can wait.

Again thanks, glad you like it.

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Also: The shadows/ghosting sometimes appears to be a result of AI upscaling, for it tries to add detail but perhaps confuses it with artefacts still present in the original. Unfortunately I can’t remove them before feeding the file to the AI, that looses more detail (I have tried several times) - the best result is AI first, filters afterwards.
Whenever I did the filter-work before, people or objects in the background looked smeared and their eyes scratchy.

For now, this is the workflow I feel works ok in 90% of cases. Of course, if anyone comes up with some idea to do it better, throw your thoughts at me.

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Oh, and doing this work I have learned to never again be a harsh critic on companies doing upscaling and remastering (except for tv broadcasts). I can still remember how some people were complaining during the original production run of the TNG-Remasters and how long it took.

After having worked on “only” the pilot … Amen to those people having done the work. It can get unnerving at times when the results don’t hold up to what you have expected.

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Tried the 4k version and it’s very impressive! Well done.
The only minor quibble is that the scrolling text is a bit stuttery, but I’m guessing it’s just not possible to get it smooth and maintain the “correct” framerate.
The FX sequences though - wow.

I’ll check my Sky recording tomorrow and report back. The only slight concern is that I think it’s an episode from around season 4. As has been mentioned by Artan42, the latter episodes are visually superior in the first place. What that means is that in order to make a fair comparison, you may have to test your approach on the same episode as I am capturing. Let’s not jump the gun though, and wait to see what I manage to get first!

Also I was wondering if you’d be happy to share what software etc you are using to do this?

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Baobab Archiver said:

Tried the 4k version and it’s very impressive! Well done.
The only minor quibble is that the scrolling text is a bit stuttery, but I’m guessing it’s just not possible to get it smooth and maintain the “correct” framerate.
The FX sequences though - wow.

I’ll check my Sky recording tomorrow and report back. The only slight concern is that I think it’s an episode from around season 4. As has been mentioned by Artan42, the latter episodes are visually superior in the first place. What that means is that in order to make a fair comparison, you may have to test your approach on the same episode as I am capturing. Let’s not jump the gun though, and wait to see what I manage to get first!

Also I was wondering if you’d be happy to share what software etc you are using to do this?

First of, I’m really happy that you guys like it. It’s nice to know that the work is appreciated. You don’t know how long I have been searching for a community to share this project with.
Before I had my present set-up, I have been searching for ways to do this and trying it since as far back as 2013, the remastered TNG inspired me.
But back then, the software wasn’t up to it, so it didn’t make much sense to do it from home. When software solutions finally caught up, I was resuming work.

But the community has to be right. People have to respect that a certain level of security has to be maintained, which includes not sharing them on public sites. Also, as you have come to know me, I respect constructive criticism and ideas (with emphasis on “constructive”). Then I began to look into other peoples projects and attempts, including some enhanced clips online. I was again inspired, but a bit discouraged when I saw and read how people commented on it, things like “that isn’t a true remaster, stop kidding yourself” or “stop blowing up dvds, you’re wasting your time and ours”. And while that might be true on some earlier attempts, I find it a bit unkind to judge something that has taken a lot of effort and work by comparing it to present day professional bluray releases, because that is just insane. Of course a series that has been around for 25 years won’t hold up to that, especially when done by a private person. And to then rip it apart in the comment section is not fair, considering it has been provided for free and the person saying that has never tried a hand on it him-/herself.

Back to my file: Yeah, the text/font is a real source of grief. Don’t know if they originally meant the letters to have a 3d shadow effect (like some fonts in word), but the text really doesn’t translate well, although I’ve read on someones blog that the font that was used changed slightly in season 4 (accompanied by upbeat theme music) and again in season 7 and therefore looks better when upscaled/enhanced. Haven’t tried it yet, so we’ll have to wait and see. Forgive me for saying so, but maybe someone around here has an idea on that, I have given up on the font, for I don’t find it to terribly important, as long as it doesn’t look to bad. But I must admit, the PAL-Version handles the font (especially the movement of it) a bit better - perhaps because of the 25 FPS at constant rate?

To the cgi/vfx: Yeah, the upscaling mode I’m using was specifically designed for computer generated content, which I can only validate through several attempts. Although it sometimes over-smoothens faces a bit, I can accept that, for it also removes a lot of the grain. Other modes of the software may retain a bit more facial detail, but also keep grain and cause more color dithering, which I don’t like. Of course I could adjust the after-filters, but then I would have to go back to experimenting. And after 43 attempts with different modes and settings (yes, it really took that many), I am pretty happy with what I got.
I can’t wait for a few later battle scenes, the mode should really bring them out 😃

On the topic of your hd-capture: Everything is fine, for now it’s abound finding out the basisc (logo, bars, general quality, audio pitch etc.). It will help to form an opinion. And perhaps I could then do a preview upscale of a 2 minute-segment as test to see what we can come up with, that wouldn’t take all that long.

On the matter of the software I am using: There are several programs involved.
The free ones (you don’t have to pay) are: DVDShrink (I don’t know if that is still available, for support has ended years ago), Handbrake, StaxRip, meGui and mkvToolnix.
The only paid-for software is Topaz Video Enhance AI (from Topaz Labs): It is the key component in my enhancing and upscaling, but it does cost 199 Dollars. But sometimes you’ll get lucky - there is a guy called “Capt Robau” who writes a blog about upscaling games and clips (even DS9) that provides a 15% discount code for the software.
I was lucky enough to catch the company having an additonal 10% or something off while offering 30-days-money-back-guarantee, so i thought what the hell and bought it for around 165 bucks. And it really is worth it. They update it regularly and have forums for beta testers and always an open ear for customers and their suggestions.
I can highly recommend it!

If anyone is interested, I could make a sort of guide on how my workflow goes, if you’d like.
I just have to find the time, for my vacation time is almost over and my dayjob is 12 hours/day.

Glad you like it. Here’s to many more episodes 😃

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And I almost forgot: In case the quality leaves something to be desired, sometimes adjusting your tv settings can help out. In the very beginning, I always tried to make the image sharper, but we all know, oversharpening is terrible for the general image quality, but then I reduced the sharpening on the filters (so no artefacts would be created) and turned up the sharpening on my tv.

Since most TVs aren’t that aggressive here, you can have a nicer image without doing damage on it or finding it visually distracting. Same thing goes for color and brightness settings.

Sometimes it actually does help. I have created specific profiles on my panasonic for that. One mode is called SciFi-Old and specifically calibrated for DS9, Voyager or other SciFi content of the 90s - most of them share similar challenges like weak colors/lighting, bad contrast, blurry/soft overall image and so on.

Then again the mode mentioned before can’t be used for HD or present-day content, cause it makes images that already have a nice quality look artifical somehow, so you best remember the settings before changing them. Save a seperate profile on your device or just write the old and new settings down and place them by the tv.

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Animaxx said:

If anyone is interested, I could make a sort of guide on how my workflow goes, if you’d like.
I just have to find the time, for my vacation time is almost over and my dayjob is 12 hours/day.

Glad you like it. Here’s to many more episodes 😃

Without wanting to eat into time you use for processing the actual episodes, I would like to see that. Beyond just general sharpening I have no idea what actually goes into upscaling video.

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Artan42 said:

Animaxx said:

If anyone is interested, I could make a sort of guide on how my workflow goes, if you’d like.
I just have to find the time, for my vacation time is almost over and my dayjob is 12 hours/day.

Glad you like it. Here’s to many more episodes 😃

Without wanting to eat into time you use for processing the actual episodes, I would like to see that. Beyond just general sharpening I have no idea what actually goes into upscaling video.

Don’t worry, I will find the time. It’s just that I sometimes tend to be a perfectionist and when I am writing that, I want it to be clear and logical in case someone would like to try his/her hand at it.
I’ve been through asking people online what they have done on the files they have upscaled and enhanced, but when one has to inquire for every bit of information it gets difficult, for I don’t like to have to scroll through hundreds of comments to get info on the process, you know what I mean?
At times people also wrote back, saying things like “well, sorry, but i can’t go into detail, since then others would be able to do it” - and here I always thought people would be interested in sharing their processes so everyone might come up with better ways to do. That’s why I am so happy around here.

Anyway, I think I will update the beginning of the topic again and include the workflow/process I am using.
That might add to it’s length, but so everyone can see how it’s done, regardless of whether he/she can actually do it or not, depending on what hardware/software the reader has available (as well as the time they’re willing to put in).

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OK I’ve checked the broadcast today and there is some good news:

  1. The onscreen logo is in the black bar on the left, so aside from a few seconds where it “morphs” at the start, the presentation is logo free.

  2. The panning shots seem smooth both on the filmed sequences and the space sequences, although a know they can vary. I would imagine a straight slow down to 23.976 would work out OK.

Now the downside - the image is still quite soft (not that I’d expect much else given it’s an upscale) and it would mean a LOT more work if you were to use it as a source instead of the DVDs.

I can capture an episode for test purposes but it won’t be a lossless capture. I have a Hauppauge HD-PVR2 which is not bad but does show a deterioration in image quality when you look for it.

Here is a photo I took from the TV (which is even worse as a test case really as my TV isn’t brilliant anyway!)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/19ldYiwVG8Nf73k3OPh7dcKVWmTSAhBX9/view?usp=drivesdk

Let me know if you want me to do a test capture (I don’t mind either way) but ideally if you’re going for this as a source for the project, you (we) should try to find someone who can do a direct capture of the broadcast stream.

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Let’s go ahead with the test capture. Let’s see what SyFy has to offer. Thanks.

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Hey guys, I updated the topic at the beginning to include my complete workflow to illustrate how I’m doing the upscaling and enhancing on the episodes; the “guide” also includes what software was used and what settings/filters apllied. Hope you like it and it helps/inspires you, to try your hands at it.
I’m sure, together we can improve things further.

Have fun!

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No problem. I’m working from home at the moment, so will just set it to record when I’m in a couple of meetings.
It’ll probably produce about a 5gb file, which I’ll upload without any post processing.
One thing the hauppauge software does seem to do on occasions is swap the field order,so you may need to do something to deal with that.
Thanks for the guide by the way - very informative.

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Baobab Archiver said:

No problem. I’m working from home at the moment, so will just set it to record when I’m in a couple of meetings.
It’ll probably produce about a 5gb file, which I’ll upload without any post processing.
One thing the hauppauge software does seem to do on occasions is swap the field order,so you may need to do something to deal with that.
Thanks for the guide by the way - very informative.

Sure thing, looking forward to it.

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This is an interesting project, but looking at your first 3 steps:

  1. Copy the original DVD-Stream (VOB-Files) from the NTSC-DVD (SD-Resolution at 720x480p in 4:3 at VFR between 23,976 and 29,970 FPS)
  2. Recode the episode to conform to a constant Framerate of 23,976 FPS
  3. Deinterlace the episode to go from interlaced to progressive

I spot some problems there. I strongly doubt there’s any variable frame rate on those DVDs *
What you should have is a standard NTSC 3:2 pull-down for the 24fps film segments, and standard 60fps video for the effect composites.

So your first step would be to get rid of the pull-down, and that would also remove any interlace artifacts on the film segments. You get 24fps non interlaced video.
The effect sequences require a separate treatment. There a normal deinterlace filter would do, coupled with frame rate conversion (60 » 24fps).

  • Your SD sample from the DVD is very strange. It’s a 60fps video with doubled frames. Did you run a deinterlacer on it ? There’s some residual interlaced frames when it switches to the battle scene (frame 2212).
    Can you share the original sequence in unchanged VOB/MP2 format ?

As you are doing, you are running a line doubling deinterlacer (step 3). I seem to see some deinterlace artifacts on your SD-Quality (NTSC DVD) link images. And why are those images in 768x576 ?

I not saying this to put you down, just to prevent you from spending more time with something that has problems from the start. PM me to further discuss this, perhaps I can help!

(of course I might be wrong, but from the images you posted I seem to stop these problems)

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4throck said:

This is an interesting project, but looking at your first 3 steps:

  1. Copy the original DVD-Stream (VOB-Files) from the NTSC-DVD (SD-Resolution at 720x480p in 4:3 at VFR between 23,976 and 29,970 FPS)
  2. Recode the episode to conform to a constant Framerate of 23,976 FPS
  3. Deinterlace the episode to go from interlaced to progressive

I spot some problems there. I strongly doubt there’s any variable frame rate on those DVDs.
What you should have is a standard NTSC 3:2 pull-down for the 24fps film segments, and standard 60fps video for the effect composites.

So your first step would be to get rid of the pull-down, and that would also remove any interlace artifacts on the film segments. You get 24fps non interlaced video.
The effect sequences require a separate treatment. There a normal deinterlace filter would do, coupled with frame rate conversion (60 » 24fps).

As you are doing, you are running a line doubling deinterlacer (step 3). I seem to see some deinterlace artifacts on your SD-Quality (NTSC DVD) link images. And why are those images in 768x576 ?

I not saying this to put you down, just to prevent you from spending more time with something that has problems from the start. PM me to further discuss this, perhaps I can help!

(of course I might be wrong, but from the images you posted I seem to stop these problems)

I will pm you. And you are right. The NTSC VOB Files are basically on 29.970 and probably use 3:2 pulldown.
But most files on the web are encoded with vfr and when I use the vfr option in handbrake, I get a file with 23,976 on live action and 29,970 on vfx.
Thanks for pointing that out. Let’s discuss this further

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Yes, just mentioning this for the best 😃 Not a critique of your work.
PM me a raw sample of the DVD intro if you can 😉

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4throck said:

Yes, just mentioning this for the best 😃 Not a critique of your work.
PM me a raw sample of the DVD intro if you can 😉

I’m always open for ideas on how to improve. I will try to upload a sample of the first 90 seconds and provide you with a link. But it might take a while, since I can’t get it done right away. I will message you as soon as I will get to it.

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OK, here are some sample images from my DS9 capture:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1W9A_exZvWXeF6OjYvUyQLBnSIINBcbgQ?usp=sharing

All I have done is run a field correction pass (using tfm in Avisynth).
The images are then saved at max quality jpg, to reduce the chance of the image further degrading.

I’m not sure if these will be a better source or not, but worth a look.

@Animaxx - I’ll upload the full unaltered capture file overnight and share with you via PM tomorrow.

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Baobab Archiver said:

OK, here are some sample images from my DS9 capture:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1W9A_exZvWXeF6OjYvUyQLBnSIINBcbgQ?usp=sharing

All I have done is run a field correction pass (using tfm in Avisynth).
The images are then saved at max quality jpg, to reduce the chance of the image further degrading.

I’m not sure if these will be a better source or not, but worth a look.

@Animaxx - I’ll upload the full unaltered capture file overnight and share with you via PM tomorrow.

Thanks a lot, looking forward to it. By the way, 24 more hours and my 4K-Version is ready to upload.

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Oh yeah, I wanted to ask you guys something: Since the 4K-Version will be ready to upload some time tomorrow, do you think it would be ok to post the link for the pilot episode (only the pilot) at the beginning of the topic so people know what to expect or would that be breaking the rules around here?

On that note: All further releases would be by pm and I would just invite you guys into a group, so you can always get the latest for I think that would be easier than opening a separate topic for each member.

Good idea?

Also, I would like to give a special shout out and thanks to the following members around here:
RwAoNrDdOsM, 4throck, Baobab Archiver and Artan42.
You guys rock - you have given me some interesting ideas and pointers; some of you even participate with your own work to help improve the project. I really, really, really appreciate it!!!

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Glad to help 😃
It’s one of those projects that interests me, but I have so many others on the go I’m glad someone else is taking the helm (no pun intended) and working on it!

As far as sharing goes, you would need to share via PM only. There are hosting sites you can use, but I believe sharing links in public messages would be against site rules.