Secondly, this thread will be my way of letting you all know about my progress on my LD-to-DVD conversions. I'll will try to keep everyone abreast of what's going on, as well as what's coming up.
I would hope that others: zion, Magnoliafan, ISOMIX and others follow along, if only to help regular users (yes, I called you all "regular") differentiate between the various versions out there.
Anyways, here is some initial information.
Soyo P4S Dragon with onboard C-Media CMI8738 5.1 audio card with optical/coaxial in/out ***Update: now I have two***
2.8 Mhz Pentium 4 ***Update: now I have two***
Memorex DVD +/- X1
Maxtor hard drives (3 160's, 1 250, 1 200 ***Update***)
Dell 1025TM 17-inch flat-screen monitor
Viewsonic 15-inch monitor (12 years old!)
Logitech Z-640 5.1 speakers
SBC/Yahoo DSL modem ***Update***
Linksys Wireless G router/switch ***Update***
IOGear PS/2/video/audio KVM switch (for controlling 2 computers with 1 keyboard/mouse/monitor/speakers.) ***Update***
Now I have a render farm.
Windows 2000 (I prefer the '98 interface, and there's no 2 GB file limit)
Sony Vegas 5 (for video/audio editing and MPEG/AC3 compiling - Mainconcept encoder included)
Combustion 3 video editor (BTW, This program is DA BOMB, and is highly recommended!)
Virtualdub (for IVTC, AVI cropping, and Decrawl filtering)
DVDLabPro (DVD mastering)
Nero 6 (for burning)
Photoshop 6 (for photo editing/cropping)
Graphedit/Winhex/Besweet (These three programs were used to create the 5.1 soundtrack from the LD PCM)
Definitive Collection : slightly defective - minor sparkling on films, commentary volumes are wildly eratic. Vegas helped me to normalize the audio for my commentary track. You don't even notice it now. I'm assuming it is also missing some of the "Leia welding" sequence, but I've not bothered to check.
"Faces" set : This is the set I am using for my masters. I don't feeling like purchasing another Def. Col., and I find the visual quality of the Faces set to be more appealing. YMMV
ANH: Fox Special Widescreen edition : Disc 1, to be specific (long story). Luckily, this is the disc that contains the infamous C3PO line which will go in a future version.
ESB/ROTJ: CBS/Fox fullscreen versions : Hey, they were 10 bucks each!
I will be making a DVD of my version with a German soundtrack to be provided by Soundtrackmaster. (What can I say...I took the language for several years, might as well make the effort worth it. ) The DVD will have the 5.1 English audio (to save space), and the German PCM audio. Greedo's subtitles will be in English and German, and you will be able to choose between these versions at the menu.
I am working with Rikter and Magnoliafan to reproduce the 1977 version of Star Wars as best we can. We have some of the material already, while some footage will have to be recreated (i.e. the opening crawl - my next project.)
Also, I considering making a "Radio Play" version, using the radio plays for the audio, and stills from the movies/comics/etc. for the visuals. I will experiment and see if it's worth the effort, but I'm stoked about it. BadAshe71 will be providing the CD set. Big thanks to him.
Whenever I am able to purchase a dual-layer burner, there will be a dual-layer version.
I won't get into too much detail, as one can just read the Bootlegs thread to get the jist. Suffice to say, I've sent XVIDs of my prior attempt to Rikter to put on BitTorrents. if you're impatient, go bug him.
As it stands right now, my DVD will have the "Faces" video transfer, as well as the PCM audio. There will be a second DD 5.1 soundtrack faithfully created from the PCM. Lastly, there will be an audio commentary from the Def. Col., with a scene-specific submenu.
My menus will largely remain the same. In due time, I will post links to them here.
The current DVD will be 4x3. When it is complete, I will reformat it for 16x9.
Update: There will be a DVD-5 version and a DVD-9 version as well.
At this point, I am starting from scratch. Prior to receiving the Video Essentials laserdisc, I was experimenting with various capture settings for the LD picture. Ultimately, I was not able to find a happy medium in the final product. Now, my monitor and my LD capture settings are both properly calibrated, and I've made my new capture.
I'm expecting a delivery very soon of some important software which will help me make frame-by-frame repairs of various visual glitches. technically, I can (and have) made such repairs with Vegas using a method similar to what I am doing with the IVTC repairs. In addition to this, I will be receiving the Cinema Craft 9-pass MPEG encoder, which should be a large step up from Mainconcept's 2-pass encoder. It will also be interesting to see if the resulting MPEG has creates a sharper image, as Mainconcept is known for softning the picture to some extent.
Due to the inconsistency of IVTC with Virtualdub, I've created two sets of IVTC mastered AVIs. As I find IVTC errors in the first AVI, I will swap frames with the second IVTC master. This really shouldn't take too long, as VD actually does a very nice job overall, but it is something that I feel is necessary.
Okay, just figured something out. Comparing two IVTCed files isn't working, because they have pretty much the same errors. HOWEVER, if I IVTC individual segments at a time (10-20 seconds), each segment IVTCs almost perfectly. Therefore, I will do this for the rest of the movie. Yes, it sounds tedious, but compared to 1) searching a section, 2) finding an error, 3) re-IVTCing the section, and then 3) fitting it in, this method is actually easier. In essence, it is semi-manual IVTCing. Right now, I am at 8,000 of 160,000 frames.
Having recalibrated my new monitor, I've made another capture with no modifications. IVTC looks much better now (but still not quite %100 percent.)
I'm now using Combustion 3 to remove any and all visual glitches in the video, such as "sparkles" and stuff like editing out the yellow tape marks left by splices in the master video. I've also played with trying to remove matte boxes in the space scenes, but I've yet to create a seamless effect ---- yet!
Well, I've had some technical difficulties with Combustion 3 (saving my changes), so until I get that hammered out, I'm going to create some small MPEGs of my current capture. I'm doing this for three reasons.
1) I don't think video captures really do the work justice.
2) I finally have DSL, so uploading's easy.
3) My new DSl account has 150 Mbs storage, so hosting them is easy.
This will be the straight video without corrections. Some of the scenes I plan on doing (or have done at this point.
1) Tantive/SD flyover
2) Obi-wan/Vader duel
3) Han/Gringo ( ) scene, with subtitles
4) Luke destroying the DS
I'm debating whether to make them anamorphic or not, since you would need to burn them to DVD and watch them on an HDTV to get any benefit from them. It's an easy thing to do, but I don't know if I have enough space to have two copies of each scene. At the very least, I'll do it for the Tantive/SD flyover.
Okay, Just wanted to give some examples of what I am working on. Here's a 9 Mb segment comparing before and after. Te opening sequence has a slight glitch, see if you can find it. The remaining segments have the most speckles/glitches that I've come across so far, so I chose those to demonstrate what can be done with Combustion. (one of my corrected sequences has a missing frame which I wasn't aware of until now - guess I'll have to go back and fix it.) Be sure to watch it in fullscreen, as most of the speckles are actually kind of small. It may seem like overkill to fix them, but they would really show up in an anamorphic transfer. Plus, I want a pristine master for future projects (in case my LD player bites the dust.)
Update : I've sent a hard drive to Laserman, so that he can send me the ANH AVI transfer from the X0 LD player. These are raw uncompressed files from the best possible player we can get our hands on. As such, the corrections I had to make to my own transfer will no longer be necessary (at least, nowhere near to the same extent.) As much as it was good practice to clean up my transfer, it will now be deleted to make way for these newer AVIs. Once I receive the hard drive, it will be relatively easy to prep the files to fit into my existing DVD project. I'm on vacation this month, so it shouldn't be too hard to knock out ANH by February (no promises!)
After that, Laserman and I may have to slow things down a bit, as we have both spent tremendous amounts of cash, as well as wife-collateral, at this point. Bringing ESB and ROTJ to the US is going to require another large expenditure (and my wife doesn't even know about the most recent one yet), so please be patient. We want this as much as you do, but we've had to do a lot of heavy-lifting lately. You are more than welcome to bombard us with thanks and appreciation, and even monetary donations, not with PMs asking for time tables or "can I have a copy when you are done" (or why we are making our own version when others exist. ).
It's coming, and it'll happen, and you guys will be the first to know when it's ready. I promise you this.
Anyways...stay tuned for updates. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com
JediRandy: They're certainly beyond any repair you're capable of making.
MeBeJedi: You aren't one of us.
Go-Mer-Tonic: I can't say I find that very disappointing.
JediRandy: I won't suck as much as a fan edit.