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Star Wars Holiday Special - Zion Hybrid v3 (a WIP) — Page 2

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I can’t tell if you guys are serious.

But my take on CatBus’ original statement is that he was stating something that’s pretty subjective (an opinion on the ranking of bear sub-species) and making an outright qualitative statement and saying it as if it were fact.

And he was saying it in a slightly mocking but mostly jovial way, trying to draw a parallel to your argument. CatBus may enjoy black bears. Maybe he likes the grace and power they display. But that doesn’t make them unequivocally the ‘best’.
Someone else might appreciate te regalness (regality?) of a polar bear. Or the grace of a brown bear. Or the ferocity of a grizzly bear. Or the comedy of a panda bear (which may or may not count as an actual bear).
But none of them can be right, absolutely, that the bear they like is truly the ‘best’.

Similarly, one might like the detail of d+77, or the grain of 4k77.
But there’s no definite/absolute ‘best’, so probably best not to argue about it.
Especially in this thread.

The follow-up comment by CatBus (and even the first one):
https://youtu.be/WaaANll8h18

Also CatBus was wrong about one thing. Panda’s are clearly the best bears.

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SnooPac said:

I can’t tell if you guys are serious.

But my take on CatBus’ original statement is that he was stating something that’s pretty subjective (an opinion on the ranking of bear sub-species) and making an outright qualitative statement and saying it as if it were fact.

And he was saying it in a slightly mocking but mostly jovial way, trying to draw a parallel to your argument. CatBus may enjoy black bears. Maybe he likes the grace and power they display. But that doesn’t make them unequivocally the ‘best’.
Someone else might appreciate te regalness (regality?) of a polar bear. Or the grace of a brown bear. Or the ferocity of a grizzly bear. Or the comedy of a panda bear (which may or may not count as an actual bear).
But none of them can be right, absolutely, that the bear they like is truly the ‘best’.

Similarly, one might like the detail of d+77, or the grain of 4k77.
But there’s no definite/absolute ‘best’, so probably best not to argue about it.
Especially in this thread.

The follow-up comment by CatBus (and even the first one):
https://youtu.be/WaaANll8h18

Also CatBus was wrong about one thing. Panda’s are clearly the best bears.

Oh, now I remember that episode of the office (that was a great one) and catbus’s comments makes sense. But 4K77 does have more grain therefor it shows more detail.

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SnooPac said:

I can’t tell if you guys are serious.

I was being serious about suspecting CatBus actually doesn’t know what Star Wars is. If you showed him an image of an X-Wing he’d probably say “that’s just a Viper with four things instead of three.”

LightWave = fun times with gfx for me 😃

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SnooPac beat me to it, but clearly not many fans of the US Office here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaaANll8h18

“Black bears are the best bear” is sort of a parody pronouncement of something that is clearly an opinion being stated as if it were a proven fact. But once you’re explaining the joke, the moment is lost. Luckily for me, the jokes I tell are only for my own amusement. If anyone else gets it, that’s just gravy.

Did I ever tell you my joke about the UDP packet? It doesn’t matter if you get it.

On a serious note, the grain versus detail debate is real, although it’s not really about grain, it’s about generational loss. The optical duplication process used to create projection prints from negatives (typically via several intermediaries) loses significant detail with every generation. Thus, if you want to get the most detail, you go back to the original film negatives, or at least something higher-generation like an interpositive. This is why Blu-ray restorations tend to be based on “scans of the negative” instead of “scans of projection prints”. The Star Wars UHDs, and even the BDs, are based on these higher-generation sources. So even with all the grain scrubbing and color mangling and other nasties, they do in fact have more detail than a projection print. That’s more detail than anybody ever actually saw in the theater, though, so whether that’s a good thing or not depends on what you’re after. So while 4K77 is a better representation of how the film looked in theaters, D+77 does have more fine image detail. Even Despecialized has more detail, and it’s 720p. The reason 4K83 looks so much better than 4K77 is that it’s a special print that skipped a few duplication generations, creating a more detailed and less grainy image (also seventies filmstock was crap, and this was mostly resolved by the time ROTJ was filmed, but that’s another tangent).

Grain is sort of a red herring. Because of how optical duplication works, the grain structure is “stacked” with the grain of all the previous generations. So the grain of the negative may be fine, but by the time you get to the projection print, it’s pretty thick. But really I’ve found it’s not the grain so much as the lack of fine detail people object to. But as you lose detail in duplication, you gain grain, so they kind of go hand-in-hand.

Nevertheless, if you’re blending with NTSC TV footage and don’t want the quality seams to be obvious, I’d recommend a Laserdisc/GOUT source, but color-adjusted.

Regarding his absence, Zion comes and goes, and works on his own schedule. I would not necessarily take a year-long absence as a sign of a problem. But I do wish him well.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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CatBus said:

SnooPac beat me to it, but clearly not many fans of the US Office here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaaANll8h18

“Black bears are the best bear” is sort of a parody pronouncement of something that is clearly an opinion being stated as if it were a proven fact. But once you’re explaining the joke, the moment is lost. Luckily for me, the jokes I tell are only for my own amusement. If anyone else gets it, that’s just gravy.

Did I ever tell you my joke about the UDP packet? It doesn’t matter if you get it.

On a serious note, the grain versus detail debate is real, although it’s not really about grain, it’s about generational loss. The optical duplication process used to create projection prints from negatives (typically via several intermediaries) loses significant detail with every generation. Thus, if you want to get the most detail, you go back to the original film negatives, or at least something higher-generation like an interpositive. This is why Blu-ray restorations tend to be based on “scans of the negative” instead of “scans of projection prints”. The Star Wars UHDs, and even the BDs, are based on these higher-generation sources. So even with all the grain scrubbing and color mangling and other nasties, they do in fact have more detail than a projection print. That’s more detail than anybody ever actually saw in the theater, though, so whether that’s a good thing or not depends on what you’re after. So while 4K77 is a better representation of how the film looked in theaters, D+77 does have more fine image detail. Even Despecialized has more detail, and it’s 720p. The reason 4K83 looks so much better than 4K77 is that it’s a special print that skipped a few duplication generations, creating a more detailed and less grainy image (also seventies filmstock was crap, and this was mostly resolved by the time ROTJ was filmed, but that’s another tangent).

Grain is sort of a red herring. Because of how optical duplication works, the grain structure is “stacked” with the grain of all the previous generations. So the grain of the negative may be fine, but by the time you get to the projection print, it’s pretty thick. But really I’ve found it’s not the grain so much as the lack of fine detail people object to. But as you lose detail in duplication, you gain grain, so they kind of go hand-in-hand.

Nevertheless, if you’re blending with NTSC TV footage and don’t want the quality seams to be obvious, I’d recommend a Laserdisc/GOUT source, but color-adjusted.

Regarding his absence, Zion comes and goes, and works on his own schedule. I would not necessarily take a year-long absence as a sign of a problem. But I do wish him well.

ya, I get that, but would you say that the 4k release of terminator 2 is better than a film print? same case for star wars.

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Darth telly said:

ya, I get that, but would you say that the 4k release of terminator 2 is better than a film print? same case for star wars.

Personally, I would definitely rather watch the UHD of My Fair Lady than a projection print of the same film, but I recognize that it’s not really the same as the theatrical experience. The BD and UHD releases of Star Wars are trash on their own – I don’t think anyone here will argue that – but the question is if there’s anything of value worth salvaging from them (color-correcting, grain-matching and despecializing in the process), not if you’d actually watch them without those alterations. I’d argue yes, there’s stuff worth salvaging from them. Others would argue no, it’s irrevocably tainted. I actually don’t like the D+ releases as much as Despecialized, but I like D+77 better than 4K77 and 4K83 better than OTD83. It’s a crazy mix of personal preferences. In other words, black bears are the best bear.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I prefer the route Adywan has gone with ANH:R HD, in switching between AI upscale BD and UHD depending on the quality of the shot (with unifying color correction, of course). That’d be the best way to structure a Despecialized version, IMHO (along with print sources). Like take a look at this example:

overdoneDNR

It makes sense to upscale BD shots when the UHD equivalents get bad. Likewise, luma and details from the UHD can enhance the BD well enough.

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CatBus said:

Personally, I would definitely rather watch the UHD of My Fair Lady than a projection print of the same film, but I recognize that it’s not really the same as the theatrical experience. The BD and UHD releases of Star Wars are trash on their own – I don’t think anyone here will argue that – but the question is if there’s anything of value worth salvaging from them (color-correcting, grain-matching and despecializing in the process), not if you’d actually watch them without those alterations. I’d argue yes, there’s stuff worth salvaging from them. Others would argue no, it’s irrevocably tainted. I actually don’t like the D+ releases as much as Despecialized, but I like D+77 better than 4K77 and 4K83 better than OTD83. It’s a crazy mix of personal preferences. In other words, black bears are the best bear.

I am not familiar with my fair lady’s releases (I have never even seen my fair lady). So I can not understand the comparison, can you please explain for me.

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BedeHistory731 said:

I prefer the route Adywan has gone with ANH:R HD, in switching between AI upscale BD and UHD depending on the quality of the shot (with unifying color correction, of course). That’d be the best way to structure a Despecialized version, IMHO (along with print sources). Like take a look at this example:

overdoneDNR

It makes sense to upscale BD shots when the UHD equivalents get bad. Likewise, luma and details from the UHD can enhance the BD well enough.

I much prefer D+77 over this route you described that awyidwan did.

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Darth telly said:

I am not familiar with my fair lady’s releases (I have never even seen my fair lady). So I can not understand the comparison, can you please explain for me.

Nothing much to explain – you offered two examples of films that had been butchered or at least abused on UHD. My Fair Lady is just an example of a film that had been treated very respectfully. They still went back to earlier-than-projection-print elements, and so the UHD has more fine detail than the projection prints ever did – and considering it was a 65mm film, that’s really saying something!

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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CatBus said:

Darth telly said:

I am not familiar with my fair lady’s releases (I have never even seen my fair lady). So I can not understand the comparison, can you please explain for me.

Nothing much to explain – you offered two examples of films that had been butchered or at least abused on UHD. My Fair Lady is just an example of a film that had been treated very respectfully. They still went back to earlier-than-projection-print elements, and so the UHD has more fine detail than the projection prints ever did – and considering it was a 65mm film, that’s really saying something!

I was not saying that all official releases are subpar quality, stuff like the birds and doctor Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb look beautiful. The camera negatives do show much more detail, just as soon as DNR is in play they show less detail.

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Darth telly said:

CatBus said:

Darth telly said:

I am not familiar with my fair lady’s releases (I have never even seen my fair lady). So I can not understand the comparison, can you please explain for me.

Nothing much to explain – you offered two examples of films that had been butchered or at least abused on UHD. My Fair Lady is just an example of a film that had been treated very respectfully. They still went back to earlier-than-projection-print elements, and so the UHD has more fine detail than the projection prints ever did – and considering it was a 65mm film, that’s really saying something!

I was not saying that all official releases are subpar quality, stuff like the birds and doctor Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb look beautiful. The camera negatives do show much more detail, just as soon as DNR is in play they show less detail.

Right, but as we see with Despecialized, even if you take a subpar scan of a more detailed source, DNR the crap out of it, and downscale it to 720p, it still can show more image detail than a pristine projection print scanned at 4K. A lot less detail than the negative is often still more detail than a projection print. Yes, for this to be true, the amount of detail lost by generations of optical duplication would have to be staggering – and it is.

Example:

Minion

Now don’t get me wrong. The image on the left (Despecialized scaled up to 4K) has all sorts of issues: objectively shitty scan, DNR, edge enhancement, some banding (some of this possibly exaggerated/introduced by the upscale), and of course any fine image detail above 720p is just plain gone. Not perfection in the least, and I could see how a person could reasonably prefer either of the images (because bears). But Despecialized definitely, without any doubt at all, in spite of its many other faults, still has more fine image detail than 4K83 at 4K on the right. And 4K83 is the special unicorn print with much more fine image detail than 4K77.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I’m curious, CatBus – how much do you think AI upscaling can improve print scans to get mildly closer to camera negatives quality (in terms of making despecialization more seamless)?

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BedeHistory731 said:

I’m curious, CatBus – how much do you think AI upscaling can improve print scans to get mildly closer to camera negatives quality (in terms of making despecialization more seamless)?

It depends a little on how clever the AI is. The only project I’m really following along these lines is DrDre’s, and it looks like the improvements are modest but noticeable. I’m a fan of AI enhancement, but I’m not sure it could ever really approach camera negatives.

IMO I think we’re stuck with the detail versus authenticity struggle indefinitely. Something pieced together from the best bits of HDTV, BD, and UHD will always outstrip projection print scans on detail, no matter how much we try to enhance them. But that’s the only metric they’re guaranteed to be ahead on. For despecialization, I think we’ll end up removing more detail from the high-detail sources than adding detail to the low-detail sources, to make them blend. And grain matching too, of course.

I’m firmly on the detail side of the struggle. My personal goal is to be able to watch the Star Wars trilogy as if it had had a respectful Blu-ray release (we’re talking 1080p here, I’m not picky), akin to other classic films respectfully restored for the format. Imperfect authenticity isn’t a dealbreaker for me, as long as I can’t detect it.

That said, projection print scans have factors in their favor I can’t ignore. 4K83 looks good. DrDre’s AI enhanced version looks damned good. Does it have all the detail I could ever want? No. But it’s extremely close to good enough to stop caring about it, as far as I’m concerned.

4K77? Meh, I honestly never cared for it. I don’t know much about 4K80, but that ESB print Poita had looked so good it made my teeth hurt. God, I hope that sees the light of day.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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CatBus said:

BedeHistory731 said:

I’m curious, CatBus – how much do you think AI upscaling can improve print scans to get mildly closer to camera negatives quality (in terms of making despecialization more seamless)?

It depends a little on how clever the AI is. The only project I’m really following along these lines is DrDre’s, and it looks like the improvements are modest but noticeable. I’m a fan of AI enhancement, but I’m not sure it could ever really approach camera negatives.

I agree with that. The source I’d recommend AI enhancement on the most is the 2004 HDTV/2011 blu-ray. It’s already negative-sourced and it has some shots that look better than the UHD release (in terms of DNR and power windows). The only limitation on that version is that it was (presumably) a 1080p scan and has crushed blacks throughout. With the latter, luma restoration from the UHD might be helpful.

I’m firmly on the detail side of the struggle. My personal goal is to be able to watch the Star Wars trilogy as if it had had a respectful Blu-ray release (we’re talking 1080p here, I’m not picky), akin to other classic films respectfully restored for the format. Imperfect authenticity isn’t a dealbreaker for me, as long as I can’t detect it.

I’m in that boat too. Fortunately, Harmy’s 3.0 seems like it will deliver in that regard (and in 4K, no less). I’d prefer to use as little projection print material as possible, just to make OOT shots possible/allow custom mattes to blend better. It’s why I’m also behind keeping the 2004 HDTV stuff around since it is negative-sourced versions of shots changed in 2011.

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CatBus said:
4K83 is the special unicorn print with much more fine image detail than 4K77.

Sorry for my ignorance, but what is a unicorn print?

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Sorry, I just use the word unicorn to talk about something rare of excellent quality. 4K83’s print was a special print that didn’t go through as many duplication processes as your average projection print. And it was a print with very, very little wear and tear because it hadn’t been shown much. And it hadn’t been abused in any other way – stored in an area that was too damp or warm, and so on. To find a print in this condition over twenty years after all circulating prints were ordered to be destroyed is pretty damn special. It’s like finding a unicorn. It’s a large part of why 4K83 looks so good.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)