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Theater Performance Preservations — Page 3

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The jaggies were fortunately not part of the capture.

I took new screenshots with PowerDVD 9 and Media Player Classic, and they look fine (or at least better).

VideoReDo:

 

PowerDVD 9:

Media Player Classic:

 

Where's the best place to host a clip?

 

Fritz

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

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...and here's my DVD5 recode, aspect ratio corrected and anamorphic.

Here's what it will look like when played back:

 

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...and just for kicks, a framegrab superimposed on the same frame from the 2004 DVD.

(I had to correct the boot's aspect ratio by 92,5% vertically and 94% horizontally to match. This was also the basis for the correction of the aspect ratio before encoding to DVD5.)

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

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Wow! That looks like it's in great shape compared to previous home-made telecine copies we've had of any Star Wars movie. I'm getting excited!

A Goon in a Gaggle of 'em

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Excitement seconded!  Welcome aboard, Fritz.  Thanks for sharing.

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Promising indeed!  Converted or not, that snippet looks really good.  I am surprised by how good this looks, considering.  Thanks, Fritz!

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 (Edited)

I want to say thanks to everyone for making these Star Wars film/video recordings available. :)

Not only is it really cool to have these, but I hope it will help all the preservation/restoration experts here on the forum to more perfectly color correct and adjust the white balance in their preservation projects to match the original unaltered appearance of the Star Wars trilogy in theaters. :)

It might also help with restoring the starfields, by seeing how many stars there really are and where they are located in the events taking place in space.

The Star Wars trilogy. There can be only one.

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Video Collector said:

The jaggies were fortunately not part of the capture.

That's good news.

To echo what others have said, this is surprisingly good quality considering its age and source.

Also, as someone from the UK, I'm loving the old BBFC certificates.

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Video Collector said:

I'm using a consumer DVD/Harddisc recorder that captures realtime MPEG2 to harddisk. Not an ideal solution, granted (even at the highest quality setting there is some compression-related blocking).

In my experience you can eliminate a lot of the recorder induced noise/blocking by recording for example 3 times and then averaging the captures in avisynth.

The Monkey King - Uproar In heaven (1965) Restoration/Preservation Project

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations

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satanika said:

Video Collector said:

I'm using a consumer DVD/Harddisc recorder that captures realtime MPEG2 to harddisk. Not an ideal solution, granted (even at the highest quality setting there is some compression-related blocking).

In my experience you can eliminate a lot of the recorder induced noise/blocking by recording for example 3 times and then averaging the captures in avisynth.

That is assuming the amateur doing the capturing can handle avisynth :-)

I have thought about this actually, but it wouldn't be first and foremost for the blocking. (The compression to fit these 2+ hour movies on a DVD5 would negate that). I believe averaging would take care of most of the tracking-related garbage as well.

The Empire boot in particular is suffering from severe telecine wobble, so I'd like to use Avisynth to stabilize the image as well. That would probably entail some minute cropping, but it's worth the tradeoff.

Also, if both averaging and stabilization were applied, the damn thing would compress better.

So, who's up for teaching me Avisynth and sending me the scripts to accomplish all this, then?

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

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 (Edited)

Wow! I just watched the clip and this looks intriguing to say the least. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see the unconverted clip, let alone the whole thing!

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Looks amazing.

You know, I tried to colour correct this to see what it ought to really look like and that pink/orange tint is always there. The clue is the BG backdrop, which has white snow. But even when you dial the red out until that starts looking white, the walkers are still orange/red. Then I went and looked at HD versions of the original release trailers: looks exactly the same, mild orange/pink lighting hue. Not surprisingly, the clips on the THX WOW disc also have this colouring. In all cases, there is dirt galore as well, just like on this. High-def trailers are a really good source for original lighting, since they have most of the vibrancy in them; usually they aren't the final answer print, of course, but rather the on-set photography, but it doesn't look to have changed a lot. A lot of the asteroid chase looks like the Falcon was comped with a noticeable green shift. The other thing I am noticing is that the Luke-Vader confrontation on the Bespin shaft is quite blue in a lot of places. Maybe not as much as the SE, but if the green and blue Death Star can turn grey in Star Wars on the GOUT, this isn't unbelievable. Would be interested in seeing a shot of the "I am your father" angle from this bootleg.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Do betamax tapes degrade in any significant way? 

Would the original recording have been impacted by any technological limitations of early 80s home systems.  Any guesses on camera type?  Would they have used something like this:

http://www.digicamhistory.com/1970s.html

SONY HVC-1000 - 1979. The HVC-1000 is an example of an early Beta video camera. Originally, the HVC-1000 required an adapter to record to Beta recorders. Later, it could record directly to the Sony SL-2000 and SL-2500 of 1982.

Seems like more hand held version were a few years away still, so the operation behind ESB had some serious connections to get the equipment and replication. 

Maybe this was the camera behind RotJ - the 1983 BetaMovie: http://www.totalrewind.org/cameras/C_BMC1.htm

Or would a more industrial camera, maybe from a local news station more likely been the device behind these recordings?

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none said:

Do betamax tapes degrade in any significant way? 

Would the original recording have been impacted by any technological limitations of early 80s home systems.  Any guesses on camera type? 

Return of the Jedi bootleg was camcorded off the screen.

I don't believe they had any professional gear for camcording in the cinema. There were commercial cameras around by 1983, but they were bulky so you couldn't sneak them in to a public showing. You'd have to have an arrangement with a projectionist or indeed, a stolen copy of the film like the one you alluded to in a previous post.

(Though I remember having a bootleg of Back To The Future that was camcorded at a public showing, with people responding (laughing) and getting up to take a leak, crossing the screen. Someone really had cojones taking one of those ginormous video cameras into a public screening.)

Remember, even if the copy I have is on Beta, that doesn't mean it was captured on Beta. Beta L-500 blanks ran 2 hours, 10 minutes, while VHS were 120 minutes, so Beta would make a better fit for +2 hour film. They probably used either 3-hour VHS blanks or 3h, 15mins. for Beta anyway.

..and beta does not degrade differently from VHS, if at all. The actual tape is identical (to all intents and purposes). A guy wrote in to heavyweight UK magazine What Video, that he'd successfully spooled VHS blank tape onto a Beta cassette and could record to it as normal. You couldn't play back VHS recordings in this way, obviously, but the tape is the same.

The Empire Strikes Back is obviously a telecine done with professional equipment at a duplicating store or somesuch. It is not an official transfer, as they used a worn release print (especially at the reel changes), the contrast is too high and the framing is off at reel changes. And the telecine wobble is just atrocious.

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I wonder then, given the pretty big red shift, does this date to 1980, or was it a print that repertoire cinema had or a private collector had that dates maybe to the mid-80s instead? Print pinkness is a sign of aging and shouldn't be there if it is 1980. I just assumed it was some weird video transfer thing that happened, but you may be on to something.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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zombie84 said:

I wonder then, given the pretty big red shift, does this date to 1980, or was it a print that repertoire cinema had or a private collector had that dates maybe to the mid-80s instead? Print pinkness is a sign of aging and shouldn't be there if it is 1980. I just assumed it was some weird video transfer thing that happened, but you may be on to something.

I don't think it's from the mid-80s because Fritz's website say it was bought in 1982 in Qatar. Maybe you were right in your first assumption that it was some weird video transfer thing. Another possibility is there could have been some error made while the tapes were being copied.

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It would seem I've hijacked this thread completely. I will start a separate thread about the bootlegs if anyone calls for it.

Anyway, I'd just like to update everyone on how the DVD conversions are getting along.

Let me tell you, I have elected not to do any post-processing on these. I made a few valiant efforts, but my learing curve with Avisynth is too steep, and it would only delay the release of these by months.

Jedi:

With regards to the Jedi cam, well, you can't polish a you-know-what. It may benefit from some stabilizing, but I won't bother. All I've done is crop out the noisy edges and centered the image, leaving the image slightly windowboxed. It shouldn't show up on most monitors. Encoded to DVD5 and ready to go.

Empire:

The Empire boot had a lot more going for it. However, I must insist you all lower your expectations. The clip I uploaded was small, and from a portion of the tape with few tracking related errors.

I have experimented with both Avisynth and Virtualdub to eliminate/reduce the excessive telecine wobble, with little effect. Granted, my skills are pitiful, but the wobble is off the charts in some places. Someone else may give it a shot down the road. Also, the first 45 minutes suffer from tracking related noise along the bottom of the image. This could also be lessened by some clever scripting, but...  Last, the way I "captured" these from Beta was with a budget model DVD/HD recorder. It has the annoying knack of pausing the recording whenever the image goes out of synch (tracking, or tape damage), missing out on a few frames here and there. You'll notice the "Nerfherder" rant being cut off mid-sentence.

The one major snag is that the wobble wreaks havoc with my encoder (TMPEG) and targeted bitrate, and causes some stuttering on playback from time to time. I may attempt a re-encode using a different encoder, but at this point I may not bother.

So, if I haven't put you all completely off these transfers, I'll have them out in a couple of weeks. To-do list: Burn to single-layer DVDs, ship to accomodating forum member, wait for him to upload.

At the moment, it is my intention to design covers for these, just because I'm looking for an excuse to get me on the custom cover bandwagon. (I moonlight as a graphic designer and illustrator). If I manage (timewise) I'll enclose them in a DVDROM folder and/or upload them here.

/sitrap

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http://www.swonvideo.com

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zombie84 said:

I wonder then, given the pretty big red shift, does this date to 1980, or was it a print that repertoire cinema had or a private collector had that dates maybe to the mid-80s instead? Print pinkness is a sign of aging and shouldn't be there if it is 1980. I just assumed it was some weird video transfer thing that happened, but you may be on to something.

I believe I bought this as early as 1982. My website originally said 1984, but I realized I had this at least a year before Jedi was released. We got our first Beta machine in 1980, so 1982 sounded about right. (I've been confusing a lot of dates lately, though.)

I don't know if the particular colours on my copy relate to the print used or the duplicating done in the day. There is no way of telling how far removed my tape is from the master. To my eyes, all colours seem equally boosted. They don't look like the red shift I see in my Super8s or 16mm reels. For all we know, the telecine was done the first week of release in the UK, but your theory holds merit.

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Excellent news! This is really exciting. :)

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Exciting indeed! I would really like to help you out, but unfortunately my Avisynth knowledge is about equal to yours, I guess. Maybe you could ask for some help in the how to section of this forum.

I looking forward to this anyway, with major telecine wobble or not. :)

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

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I too am looking forward to this. It's quite an exciting and significant release! Oh and I don't mind the telecine wobble either.

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Thanks for all the words of encouragment.

I made the cover for Jedi today. It will be available on the disc. A matching Empire cover will be done over the weekend.

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

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Very retro cover, it fits the era, 80s pastels palette.  I'd add in "Found in Qatar" after the description you've got.  I'm amazed at the travel history of this version.  Are the screen caps from the transfer?

Video Collector wrote:

It would seem I've hijacked this thread completely. I will start a separate thread about the bootlegs if anyone calls for it.

Don't mind the hijacking, you've given the thread some life so it's fine if it plummets for a time.  Makes sense to have either a thread for each title or a general one for your collection.  Take it up with Mothr.  He should be able to either clone the posts or move them from this thread into one you create.

It has the annoying knack of pausing the recording whenever the image goes out of synch (tracking, or tape damage), missing out on a few frames here and there. You'll notice the "Nerfherder" rant being cut off mid-sentence.

Don't know beta, but with VHS players allow you to relocate the tracking.  I'll record the whole tape using the default tracking, then see where it goes off, and play with the tracking to find a level where the error parts do play well.  (often the video will play nice but the audio will go out)  so then you've got to pick and chose the best of the results.  Not super critical but if you'd like to remove the missing bits, that's a fairly easy way.  But it's time consuming.  and will only fix the trackable errors.  Tape damage requires some real science.

kudo for the 'Glorious Betamax'.