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The "Custom Special Edition" That Will Likely Never Be — Page 9

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I wonder if the hyperspace effect could benefit from having the white portions made a little aqua in color. It seems like in TFA and Solo the whites aren’t totally white, but have that sort of yellow-green cast to them. The effect varies from film to film, with Rogue One having only a minor case of it. It need not be pronounced, of course, just a little bit of that color. What do you think?

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That’s something to consider. The current color is based on the color of the original hyperspace effect which I feel gives it a retro look, but I could add a bit of green to the highlights to match the new movies.

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It’s hard to disagree with that. I’d say see how both look and decide which fits best.

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So I’ve been thinking about the entrance into Mos Eisley, and wondering how feasible it would be to recreate the Adywan version of this sequence in HD. Hal, I think your solution of completely ommiting the helicopter shot is elegant, but it kind of takes away from the feeling that Mos Eisley is a bustling spaceport, which is what I think the special edition was trying to establish. It also has the side effect of making the Tatooine shot at the end of ROTJ feel more foreign, since we’d never really seen Tatooine from that vantage point earlier in the trilogy.

I’m also wondering why you choose to remove the special edition sequence of the Stormtroopers on dewback searching for evidence of the crashed pod. I know that the CGI is a little rough by today’s standards, but this scene at least shows that the empire is putting some might behind the search for the stolen plans, which doesn’t really feel apparent in the original theatrical cut. The larger landing party feels more appropriate to me, especially considering the number of troopers we see later on.

I also felt your usage of slowed down and reversed footage to alter the timing of the scene was a little jarring, as the trooper and the dewback seem to freeze in place for a few moments.

Of course, it’s your edit and these are your decisions to make. Perhaps I will try my hand at a hybrid ANH down the line.

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For me, the dewback scene adds too many shots and drags the pacing down and screws up the music. I don’t mind keeping the CGI dewback in the original shot, though, but the added shots have to go.

a trolling bantha

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With the dewback scene, I think this version has no less motion than the original shot, and I like the idea of dodging the terrible CGI without altering the timing of the scene (the way Darth Editous did).
I’ve tweaked the shot since the clip I posted, so the trooper is frozen in place for much less time. It’s slightly less faithful to the original but looks better in motion. (The OOT obviously didn’t have to use reversed and slowed footage to show the trooper turn to his left and then back again.)

I do not like the Mos Eisley helicopter shot, so I’m happy to avoid it and sort of split the difference between the SE’s bustling spaceport and the OOT’s shithole.
I had intended to remove the Mos Eisley shot from ROTJ, but the Naboo shot proved too different in timing once the wipe/tower was removed to be able to substitute it.

All in all, I’m happy with these for ANH. I can still try to find a way for the ROTJ celebration to work out that way.

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For lack of a proper ESB regrade of the BluRay like the one used for ANH and hopefully for ROTJ, I wonder if a LUT could do the trick.

Ideally, I’d like something in the vicinity of the 1997 colors for ESB. I know a simple LUT would only go so far, but I wonder if it’d be good enough. The existing release of this project for ESB is fine, but the picture quality leaves something to be desired, since it was based on outdated (though still really cool) work from Adywan based from the HDTV master set at about 13GB in size. I would still very much like to remaster my ESB release.

I know I’m only setting myself up for disappointment, but I’d love to have my presentation of all eight saga films by the end of the year. I can’t keep doing this forever and am eager to wrap things up, though without making sacrifices in the end result. I think it’s gonna be a bugger getting an eventual IX edit completed since I’ll have two little ones running around by then.

Anyone good at making LUTs?

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Have you considered using kk650’s semi-specialized edition as a base for ESB? I know earlier versions of his work on the OT skewed pretty yellow but the latest 2.6 version looks about as good as a blanket color-correction on ESB will ever look. I don’t think it’s possible to do much better without going shot-by-shot like Adywan.

As an added bonus, all you really need to do on that version is swap out the wampa scene and adywan’s emperor. The rest is already done.

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The thing is that the source I used has 100% perfect colors, as far as I’m concerned, but not great picture.

Using KK650 would be a step down in colors (just because his target is different, not because they’re poor), and a fair improvement in picture. I believe it’s abailable at something like 19GB, compared to Adywan’s 1997 SE project’s 13GB.

What would be a big upgrade in picture that would make it more acceptable to sacrifice the color grade would be something sourced from the BR and clocking in at something like 25-30GB.

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Would it be feasible to use Dr. Dre’s color match tool to match a full-quality BR rip to Ady’s correction? I haven’t tried his tool at all so I don’t know how easy it would be.

a trolling bantha

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I’m not sure, since I haven’t either. If anyone with a Windows machine can advise, I’d welcome input. I bet it’d take my Mac running a virtual machine 10 years to render something like that.
I’m re-downloading KK650’s ESB to take a closer look at it; it’s actually about 22GB, a good 9GB greater than my original primary source, so it may do the trick well enough.

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It looks like DrDre’s color matching tool can output a LUT based on the reference and target images.
Even if it proves impossible for me, and I’m planning to give it a try when I am able, it should be possible for the user to create LUTs to be applied on a scene-by-scene basis. Or perhaps even more general, like a ‘Hoth LUT,’ ‘Dagobah LUT,’ etc.
I wouldn’t know until trying, but I wonder if one could create, say, 10 LUTs from random points in the film, and apply them uniformly to the final product, each at 10% effect.

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I could try to make a LUT, if needed. If you provide a corresponding set of frames from the two versions (BD vs preferred color) from a variety of scenes I could try to find a grade that works on the whole film.

If it turns out that the color difference between the two versions is about the same from scene to scene I imagine that the result could be good. If not, there might need to be a set of different LUTs for different types of scenes.

One thing I’d like to try is to take the image sets and lay out the frames from each version in a grid that represents a version of the whole film, and then try to match the BD grid to the target grid. I imagine that could be helpful when trying to adjust the whole film at once.

The color grading/correction solution that I use does have a color match tool. The matching is not as advanced as Dre’s, but I think it could at least give me a decent starting point for further tweaking.

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Octorox said:

Have you considered using kk650’s semi-specialized edition as a base for ESB? I know earlier versions of his work on the OT skewed pretty yellow but the latest 2.6 version looks about as good as a blanket color-correction on ESB will ever look. I don’t think it’s possible to do much better without going shot-by-shot like Adywan.

As an added bonus, all you really need to do on that version is swap out the wampa scene and adywan’s emperor. The rest is already done.

What happened to kk650? He’s been gone for almost a year and I’ve tried private messaging him for some of the color regrades he’s produced.

Noah Lawson

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I’ll do that, Ridley, as soon as I have the chance, and send the images to you. I appreciate you!

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About kk650’s hybrid cut, there only seems to be the following differences with your edit:

  • “All extra shots of Darth Vader going back to the Executor removed” : you’ve kept one of them
  • “The original emperor from the theatrical release has been returned” : you’ve used Adywan Revisited Emperor
  • The Wampa scene seems to be the SE version : you’ve recreated the theatrical version
  • to be confirmed, but I’m not sure kk650 has used the Falcon cockpit shots prior to the 2004 reframed dvd version

Besides kk650’s version provides 3 heavy tracks (1 pcm and 2 dts), hence I’m not sure the video quality is that much better than the 1997’s reconstruction you’ve used.

The best solution would indeed be to regrade the original bluray file, if possible with a less time consuming algorithm. At least for Hoth and Bespin (the pink saber…).

Another solution - but you won’t like it - would be to make an alternate version of your project using the bluray video untouched, for video quality consistency from Episode I to Episode VIII. I myself find the colors good (I like better the revisited colors though), only main issue being the pink Vader’s saber which really looks bad.

“I have to say that I felt George’s group of six films had more innovative visual imagination, and this film was more of a retrenchment to things you had seen before and characters you had seen before, and it took a few baby steps forward with new characters.” - James Cameron about Episode VII.

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I don’t have a copy of KK650’s ESB handy to check, but can anyone confirm that his version does indeed have the uncropped Falcon interior?

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Here’s the final dewback scene, for anyone still uncertain about it. If you do a direct comparison with the OOT version, it merely looks like the SE has chosen to minimally enhance the background dewback. The original shot was very static.

https://vimeo.com/325031952

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Hal 9000 said:

Here’s the final dewback scene, for anyone still uncertain about it. If you do a direct comparison with the OOT version, it merely looks like the SE has chosen to minimally enhance the background dewback. The original shot was very static.

https://vimeo.com/325031952

Even though I don’t mind the SE scene, I have to admit that this looks pretty seamless now. Good work!

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Now that’s the way it should have been in 1997! Excellent work, Hal!

a trolling bantha

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Hey, Hal. I’m working on my own custom special editions as well. My personal primary source is the official Blu-rays that I color corrected using Final Cut Pro to match the looks of the 97 Special Editions and the Despecialized Editions. Similar to the coloring seen in Adywan’s Revisited Saga I think.

Noah Lawson

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I can confirm that his shot of the falcon are cropped.

All my life as I looked away to the future, to the horizon. Never in my mind did I know where I was, what I was doing.

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Hal 9000 said:

Here’s the final dewback scene, for anyone still uncertain about it. If you do a direct comparison with the OOT version, it merely looks like the SE has chosen to minimally enhance the background dewback. The original shot was very static.

https://vimeo.com/325031952

Hal, that looks absolutely fantastic.