I announced this a while back on the Rebellion Collection thread, but figured I'd start a new thread now that I've made some real progress.
Star Wars Trilogy – Hyperspace Collection
This is my latest attempt at working with GOUT. The primary goal is to remaster the original theatrical trilogy in 720p AVCHD format. Eventually, if there is any demand, I'll also downscale my final video masters for a standard DVD release in 16x9 widescreen.
Beyond The Rebellion Collection:
After my Rebellion Collection was finished, I upscaled The Empire Strikes Back to 720p as a test. The results were okay...but changes were needed. So, I started reworking my existing AviSynth script, but wound up starting from near-scratch. Eventually, I wound up with the script I'm using now, plus some additional post-processing.
Obviously, the films still suffer from the limitations of GOUT. The blurring will always be there. And the aliasing, while reduced, is still present. No matter what anti-aliasing I throw at it, the fine details can't be fully resolved. Well, at least they can't be resolved on my budget ;)
Rebellion only used minor color correction. Just some tweaking of the black and white levels, a slight hue change, and an increase in saturation. This new project goes beyond that.
For Hyperspace, I desaturated the red levels a bit and then mildly increased saturation across the board. I also boosted the yellow levels a touch. Black and white levels have also been adjusted differently than before to decrease the crushed whites as best I can.
The spliced-in GOUT opening for Star Wars was adjusted separately from the rest of the film in hopes of making it blend more seamlessly...and restoring the yellow of the opening text.
Trimming The Fat:
Originally, I'd considered recycling my audio tracks from the Rebellion Collection. Since the LaserDiscs I used for the theatrical sound mixes were often shorter than GOUT by a few frames (due to telecining), I had to stretch some portions of the sound. Most people wouldn't notice, but it never sounded quite right to me.
Furthermore, I noticed that the '93 Definitive soundtrack had been stretched by the studio in some of the same areas. I'm not sure if that means the Definitive video is from a different source than the Definitive audio...or what.
In any case, the loss of a few frames from telecining seems a fair trade-off for slightly superior sound. After all, if we didn't have multiple home video sources for the trilogy, we wouldn't know about the telecining differences to begin with, right? So, I've decided to trim the video and sound to match the shortest audio. I did the same thing with my early 720p Empire and no one who watched it ever complained.
Each film will also contain at least two audio mixes, which you can switch between with your remote. All three films include both the '93 THX mix (LaserDisc sourced) in Dolby 2.0 and the original theatrical stereo mix in Dolby 2.0. Star Wars also includes the restored mono mix (from Belbucus) in Dolby 1.0.
I'm still undecided what will be included. At this point, I'm probably going to just do a single "Bonus DVD" with some selected extras to round-out the 4-disc case for which I'm designing artwork. I'm not planning a massive, feature-filled extravaganza (like Rebellion).