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The Phantom Menace - upscale to UHD

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I’m 99.99% sure that Phantom Menace is not available in UHD (BD or WEB); yet, I’ve found that someone released a so-called UHD-rip… now, again 99.99% sure it is a mere upscale (and not greatly made, I should add).

So, I can’t resist to make an attempt to clean and upscale the BD - and also regrade, as I was there! 😃

Sadly, no BD player on my PC, so I just took the “UHD”, downscale it 50% with paint (!) and started to develop a suitable script… it took several days of trials&errors, but I think I got a nice result: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/130289

(Note: you can see some details lost in the dark areas, it’s due to my regrade choice, but this is out of the scope of this thread for the moment)

Problem #1: the difference, when zoomed in, is great, but at normal size it is far less impressive…

Problem #2: to render a single frame, my PC takes around 2 minutes (!) - so, at that rate, it will take around 8 months and half, 24/7!!! So, unless someone would kindly give me a powerful workstation as a gift (or more than one) 😉 that will reduce rendering time to a decent amount (“only” one month? two?), the whole project will not happen…

Opinions?

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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How does this upscaling to 4K work exactly? I was curious when ROTS was done by another user, but I’m unaware of how the process works.

Looks excellent by the way

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Thanks!

A lot of avisynth cleaning, denoising, sharpening, upscaling, downscaling, and so on… 😄

May you point me to that ROTS project? Thanks!

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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spoRv said:

Thanks!

A lot of avisynth cleaning, denoising, sharpening, upscaling, downscaling, and so on… 😄

May you point me to that ROTS project? Thanks!

Great work!!! 😃

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spoRv said:

Attack of the Clones upscale: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/130317

This is even worse, as it takes around four minutes (!) for each frame!

Holy crap, that’s an upscale?! 😮

Where is the extra detail coming from like in the embroidered patterns on Padme’s robe?

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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Turisu said:

Holy crap, that’s an upscale?! 😮

Where is the extra detail coming from like in the embroidered patterns on Padme’s robe?

I don’t think the upscale looks good at all. The method used is basically throwing away low frequency detail, filtering medium frequency, and then sharpening high and medium frequency detail. For photos the results can be acceptable - if you mask out the background, and/or apply a fresh bokeh blur to the background. But to get a good photographic result you’d need to also mask other elements like Padme’s robe which has become plastic looking due to the loss of medium and low frequency detail, and filter it a lot less than the filtering to other high-detail areas. All that will only make you a super-high resolution photo, it won’t make a video that looks any good. The processing power to make a video, not to mention the manual labour involved in creating masks for depth of field etc, would be huge.

__Valeyard.net __Vimeo

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@DrDre & Turisu: thanks!

@Bobson Dugnutt: took a look, it seems great! Don’t know if this project could have a reason…

@RU.08: agree partially; it looks a bit platic-y, because I maybe exceeded with the sharpening, and also the fact source is HDTV instead BD did not help - indeed, previous comparison made using BD looks better IMHO.
But, sharpening it less, and/or blurring the image a bit, watching in motion, at the normal distance (not zoomed in, of course) could lead to a nice result. Of course, as usual, any feedback is welcome!

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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I guess trained eyes can be both a blessing and a curse. No matter how many times I look at it, the upscale looks better to me than the original. But I accept that in motion could be a different story.

I think a project like this potentially has value for AOTC and ROTS since any official UHD release can only be an upscale that is likely to be either lazily done or outright botched.

George creates Star Wars.
Star Wars creates fans.
George destroys Star Wars.
Fans destroy George.
Fans create Star Wars.

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The fact is, difference in the TPM comparison is so big because the source was quite poor - in comparison to BD, for sure, hence it looks… well, “better” - at least, watched at 1x; in motion “should” be even nices. I guess BD would look not so sharp, yet better than simple “go and upscale”. Color grading apart, of course.

I guess also TPM could have some value, until a 4K (or more) scan will be ready.

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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 (Edited)

I’m skeptical. I see a lot of detail in the results not even present in the original image. Also not sure why blurring and sharpening operations would be changing the color. Is there some temporal smoothing going on as well, which is getting rid of the compression artifacts? Or are the “before” images not a true representation of your source?

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g-force said:

I’m skeptical. I see a lot of detail in the results not even present in the original image. Also not sure why blurring and sharpening operations would be changing the color. Is there some temporal smoothing going on as well, which is getting rid of the compression artifacts? Or are the “before” images not a true representation of your source?

A lot of denoising operations have an option for reducing color noise, it looks like some color has been lost through such a method.

It also looks like the algorithm is mistaking a lot of the shadow detail for noise and erasing it, seen most prominently in the doorway to the right and in Anakin’s hair.

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A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
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Here’s an example of what I mean by filtering out the low frequency. First an “upscale” to HD:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/130534

I’ve taken a single screenshot, cropped it to 1920x816, then resized that to 1440x816 (the native resolution it was filmed in), sharpened it and then used waifu2x-caffe to upscale (with denoise set to maximum), and and finally downsized the result to 1920x816. The result is a modest improvement in the overall sharpness of the image, and a significant reduction in the camera noise, but at the expense of bringing the background elements into focus.

Now look what happens when I do the same thing, except this time I filter out low frequency noise first:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/130537

Notice much of the same detail that is lost in spoRv’s upscale is also lost in mine.

__Valeyard.net __Vimeo

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Sources went through temporal noise reduction, and when needed (usually with MPEG-2 sources) deblock and/or sharpening and/or dehalo.
Using more than one source helps to get some details back, even if the whole process is far from perfect - “guessing” details sometimes, losing them other times…

I downloaded Emanswfan’s 35mm 4K Filmized ROTS test clip; I like a lot his color grading, so I applied it to my test clip (just increased the gamma for the luma, though); added also a finer 35mm grain plate.

Comparison: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/131243
Test clip: http://www.filedropper.com/rotsuhdtest (only 10s, just to have an idea)

Opinions are welcome as usual.

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |

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spoRv said:

Sources went through temporal noise reduction, and when needed (usually with MPEG-2 sources) deblock and/or sharpening

aah, Sources, not source. I guess I don’t need to check this thread again.

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I recovered my old Technicolor-look-a-like-more-or-less regrade of A New Hope made two years ago, and upscaled the regraded HDTV using this technique:

comparison: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/131279
test clip: http://www.filedropper.com/anhuhdtest (again 10s, it takes so long to make it!)

Guess I went too far with the highlight, clipping some whites.

So, if someone downloaded the clips, how do they seem? Too fake, plastic-y etc. or watchable? Thanks for the feedbacks!

The ResolveR ultimate restoration workstation | [Fundamental Collection] thread | blog.spoRv.com | fan preservation forum: fanres.com |