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Star Wars PSA upscale/remaster (WIP)

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Hello, I plan on doing an upscale and restoration of all the star wars PSA’s.

If you did not know there were 3 Public Service Announcements that featured c3po and r2d2, “Parents of Earth” (A vaccination PSA), and 2 versions of a PSA called “A message from a galaxy far, far, away” (A anti-smoking PSA), one version was a minute, another was half a minute. I plan on upscaling and repairing damage to all 3.

Then there was also another star wars PSA later on called “star friends: friends don’t let friends drive drunk” which I will not be doing because it was distributed on film at some point, and I want to leave that up to the people who have access to the film source.

here is an example of what I plan to do, keep in mind this example is an early test so it does not look great.

before

after

I have an excellent source for the Parents of Earth PSA, but I do not yet have a source for the anti-smoking one that runs at its original 29.97 framerate, so if anyone has a VHS rip of the anti-smoking one please tell me.

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Hot stuff! This is my kind of project.

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as an update, I am currently tinkering with the upscaling and image enhancement for the parents of earth PSA. do you think this is coming along well? please nitpick.

before

after

as you can see there are some problems.
the process I put it through was this.

  1. AI image upscaling
  2. manual color adjustment
  3. sharpening
  4. addition of digital grain

so what do you think so far?

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I’d rather watch the before.

The problem I have with these sorts of remasters is that they don’t do the images any favors.

The source looks like an honest representation of the material, soft, low contrast, hazy, but believable. It’s what we expect from 50 year old analogue images.

But the processing delivers a fiercely digital image full of distracting artifacts. The AI turns soft fuzzy shapes into hard wobbly shapes while the sharpening flattens the image by making the background as sharp as the foreground, discarding any impression of depth. Also the color grading makes it uncomfortably high contrast. Essentially its “unnatural”.

In theory AI scaling should make great looking images, but in practice, it’s just polishing a turd. Taking something that was fine to begin with, and dressing it up till the real image behind it is obscured. In the before pic all I see is C3P0 and R2D2 on the death star in 1977, in the after pic all I see is image processing.

I think you can probably find a happy medium where the image looks ok on a big screen, but still looks pretty much like VHS. But to me, everything done here to make it look “better” just makes it worse.