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The ‘Custom Special Edition’ That Almost Wasn’t, But Then Was — Page 16

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Thanks for that; glad you enjoyed it and can appreciate some of the hopelessly obscure details. 😃

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I’m in the process of giving ESB a fresh regrade, starting over using the LUTs provided by DrDre. I think it’ll be less ‘better because it’s different,’ and more ‘better because it’s actually better.’ Part of what I’m doing is to apply less correction in many scenes, as well as using different blends of LUTs.

The impetus and focus for this is the lightsabers during the duel in and around the carbon freezing chamber. I was and still am content with their color in this project, but I feel something has got to be done about the low contrast cores. With the new 19SE transfer to compare to, the 2011 BluRay just won’t do.
While no usable source for the 19SE is available, I wonder whether its appearance would be too different to blend in with the BluRay’s other carbon freezing chamber scenes. Comparing the two, they feel rather distinct from each other.
Another option would be to just borrow from Adywan’s Revisited for those sequences as I did for the Wampa. However, I would prefer to retain the original sabers without them being totally recreated. He also added yellow light whenever the sabers collide which I’d prefer not to include. However, using Revisited only for key shots in which no sabers collide may work well enough. (I believe I’ve gotten the carbon freezing scene graded to a close match to Revisited for this reason.)
A third option would be to cull from work from other members which I may not be aware of. Ideally merely restoring the white cores of the sabers, perhaps through adjusting settings within a mask without completely redoing the saber effects.

(I’m of course hoping that my eventual primary source for ROTJ, be it Adywan’s or something else, will already have reckoned with the BluRay’s botch-job with the sabers during the third act, whether through hard work or using the 19SE.)

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Have you ever thought about updating the 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm openings, or at the very least, updating the fanfare? One of the things that has bothered me about the Special Editions is that they updated the company logos (at the time in 1997) but kept the same old fanfare which is incredibly off putting when synced with the revised opening.

Noah Lawson

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Nah, I like the old one, and I like that it’s different for ANH. Just because it’s what was there and I like hearing the little audio peculiarities like that.
For all my projects I’ve avoided altering things like logos. For example, I don’t want to add the 20th Century Fox logo or fanfare to TFA or TLJ; it would feel improper.
If the primary source for this Custom SE project remains the 2011 BluRay or lower, I’ll leave the 1997 logos. If substantial portions of the 19SE are used AND I find myself in a position to know this before an intended final version of any of them has been released, I’d probably go ahead and use the new logos seen in the 19SE. (But I wouldn’t reencode and rerelease just for that. If ANH and ESB are done but ROTJ ends up using a great deal from the 19SE, I would still use the 1997 logos for ROTJ for consistency’s sake.)

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I’ve heard that they intentionally used an older recording (outdated even in 1977) of the Fox fanfare contrasting with the more hi-fi Star Wars theme, to make it feel like you enter a different world when the theme starts.

I guess the fanfare could be updated if you don’t want that effect, but I wouldn’t use a modern Fox fanfare with a higher quality than the theme.

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Hal 9000 said:

For example, I don’t want to add the 20th Century Fox logo or fanfare to TFA or TLJ; it would feel improper.

That makes sense considering that the new films are not distributed by Fox. Any fan editor who adds in the 20th Century Fox logo for their edits of either The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker, or even Rogue One or Solo, has a very heavy amount of nostalgia of seeing/hearing the fanfare along with the Lucasfilm opening. And we all know why Disney doesn’t put their opening before the Lucasfilm logo, for the same reason they don’t do it for Marvel movies. It would be jarring and feel out of place.

All I’m saying is that I like some company logo updates for older films, as I kinda feel it helps it feel modernized, as opposed to 4K remasters where studios have an obsession of adding teal to their older back catalog. I liked what Adywan did for his Revisited edits in that regard.

Noah Lawson

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Does anyone happen to have the '77, '80, and '83 sets of opening logos in good 1080p quality? (I believe ESB and ROTJ were identical.)

I wonder if it might just be better to use the original opening logos for this Custom SE, even if they are meant to stand alongside the OOT. I think I’d prefer for a ‘desert island’ version of the saga to be that way, with each trilogy having its own flavor of opening.

I’ll carefully see if there’s anything that would make ANH end up being worth revising again, whether things from the new 19SE or anything else. However, if there really just isn’t, I won’t reissue it just for the logo change and will leave ESB and ROTJ with the SE logos also.

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DNR versions of 4K77 and 4K83 have really great opening logos. I believe the DNR version of 4K77 has that hair at the top removed.

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Hal 9000 said:

Does anyone happen to have the '77, '80, and '83 sets of opening logos in good 1080p quality? (I believe ESB and ROTJ were identical.)

I wonder if it might just be better to use the original opening logos for this Custom SE, even if they are meant to stand alongside the OOT. I think I’d prefer for a ‘desert island’ version of the saga to be that way, with each trilogy having its own flavor of opening.

I’ll carefully see if there’s anything that would make ANH end up being worth revising again, whether things from the new 19SE or anything else. However, if there really just isn’t, I won’t reissue it just for the logo change and will leave ESB and ROTJ with the SE logos also.

If you wanted a version that keeps the old Lucasfilm and Fox logos, you could use the Despecialized Editions. Although, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Harmy has put out a 1080p version of the trilogy yet.

Noah Lawson

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Duh, of course 4K77 and 83 would be where to go. I can’t tell you how busy and exhausted I’ve been so I sort of forgot those existed.

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ANH and ESB use the same Fox logo; ROTJ used the newer 80s one. I don’t know about the LFL logo.

a trolling bantha

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As the changelog seems to be incomplete (at least Han shooting first is missing):
Does this edit of ANH keep or remove the “R2D2 hides behind rocks” and the “many stormtroopers added when Han chases them” changes?

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It does indeed remove the rocks (already done in my primary source) but does not undo the added troopers. The added troopers would have been surprisingly difficult to get the OOT footage to feel like it belongs there. Plus it’s a change I’m on the fence about anyway.

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Oh, look out for a revised ESB. It’s already on Google Drive and I’ll get it in myspleen etcetera soon.
No changes to sync or content, just a new pass at regrading the colors. They are all roughly someplace between the OOT (as referenced by The Despecialized Edition) and the 1997 SE (as referenced by a LaserDisc capture).

EDIT: All done. Look for it wherever. (Fanedit.info may take a while to reflect it.)

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Hal 9000 said:

It does indeed remove the rocks (already done in my primary source)

Adywan did remove the rocks when he color corrected the blu-ray? Or am I confusing your sources here?

Something that would also benefit from a 19SE upgrade would be the out of focus shots. And there are several small bluescreen and rotoscoping improvements.

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Yes, that was part of Adywan’s work on the regraded transfer.

This project began and has used the Blu-ray as its primary source throughout, even when borrowing from the Despecialized and other related releases. Once we have the 19SE to pick a part in process, I am open to revising this to take some of it into account. However, other foreign members have put in a great deal of work on this project using the Blu-ray source, so I do not want to start from the ground up.

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At the very beginning of the 1080p version of ESB there are red bars at the top and bottom of the screen for about half a second. The problem isn’t there in the 720p version and I’m not sure if it’s in the others.

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Damn, yeah… I know what did that. It really is for a split second before anything comes on screen. It’s not worth what it’d take to fix, so I’ll leave it. 😕

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Now that the 19SE is out and the colors are pretty good, any thought about using that as the primary source for ROTJ? Really only needs some contrast and saturation adjustments and you can use DrDre’s tool to color match pre-2011 footage. Seabastian Shaw’s eyebrow removal looks quite a bit better as well.

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Well, sure, assuming that an eventual 1080p rip/conversion I can get in front of me looks right. (Any of my devices make it look dark and dull.) I agree about the eyebrow removal being superior.

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That’s the trouble. I tried doing a web rip for this but it’s all choppy and laggy.

I just used VLC Media Player’s screen capture, though, and I suspect the lag might have been my computer itself just lagging. I wonder if someone else could do a better job, because that version really is far superior to the Blu Ray. It’s not even close.

I especially hope someone can do a web rip so Harmy can replace the Blu Ray footage with it, too.

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Hal 9000 said:

Well, sure, assuming that an eventual 1080p rip/conversion I can get in front of me looks right. (Any of my devices make it look dark and dull.) I agree about the eyebrow removal being superior.

I subscribe to Disney+ and own the Blu-Rays so I grabbed a 1080p web rip from Schorman. The colors look good as does the video quality generally, but unfortunately the bitrate is too low to use for anything but a workprint I’d think. The 4k webrip floating around seems to be a significantly higher bitrate and encoded with HEVC which should allow for much better quality. Unfortunately I think you would then run in to problems with HDR > SDR conversion, unless someone is able to rip a 4k SDR version from D+.

EDIT: checked out the 4k version. Quality looks immaculate but yeah, you would need to convert it from HDR to SDR somehow using tonemapping. Not sure how this would be done using commercially available software.

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Thank you, Octorox, for the glimpse of what looks like a properly presented 1080p version of the 4K masters. The contrast looks good compared to how it appears when I view it on Disney+, which still doesn’t make sense to me. The image itself looks wonderful; certainly the best I’ve seen the OT look. The colors still don’t seem like a slam dunk to me, though obviously a huge improvement over the Lowry masters by default.

I’m hoping I can get the chance to at least put out an updated ROTJ workprint using this as the main source. That would go a long way to making it truly watchable, as a temporary version at least. The colors and overall appearance are more similar to 4K83 than I would have expected. The colors are more natural and it feels less saturated. I’ve used Adywan’s color work for ANH and based ESB off DrDre’s work, with each appearing somewhat ‘technicolor.’ This master of ROTJ would seem to need a little work to fit in well alongside the other two. That, or redo ANH and ESB using the new master, which may well make sense to do at a later time.

I imagine what Adywan comes up with would be the most congruent with my presentations of ANH and ESB, though. For now, I hope to switch my temporary primary source to the new master and await whatever fan work emerges to use as a final source.

EDIT; I almost forgot the reason I wanted to post. While taking a look and listen to my ROTJ timeline, I made a few more reversions to OOT audio during the Sarlacc sequence to undo some subtle audio tweaks that were made to accompany the CGI beak. I ensured none of these changes disrupted the flow in 5.1, with each of them feeling smooth individually as well as part of the overall mix.

Because of this, I will also include these in veerrrry slightly updated version of ROTJ’s GOUT and 4K84 synced 1997 SE audio mixes.

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Currently encoding a new workprint for ROTJ using the 19SE as the primary source, since it was easy to do. This should be much more watchable than the BR-sourced one available now.
But, I probably won’t use the 19SE as the ultimate source because it is a different feel to the ones I used for ANH and ESB. Whether it’s Adywan adjusting the BR or someone else adjusting the eventual disc release of the 19SE, the ultimate source remains hidden for now.

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Hal 9000 said:

Currently encoding a new workprint for ROTJ using the 19SE as the primary source, since it was easy to do. This should be much more watchable than the BR-sourced one available now.
But, I probably won’t use the 19SE as the ultimate source because it is a different feel to the ones I used for ANH and ESB. Whether it’s Adywan adjusting the BR or someone else adjusting the eventual disc release of the 19SE, the ultimate source remains hidden for now.

Looking forward to checking out the workprint! The 19SE does have a bit of a different feel, However I’m not convinced that a single LUT couldn’t remedy that. It’s such a better starting point for colors than the Blu.