I completed this a few weeks ago, but since the birth of my son I haven't had time to post until now.
I have attempted to preserve the best quality versions of the Prequel and Original trilogies as released on DVD between 2001 and 2005. I can't believe these ****s have been around for nearly ten years already. While they are not how I prefer to watch the OT, the completist in me would like to preserve these versions, in HD, along with the others.
Before explaining the details of the project, I would like to mention that this project may, in fact, seem to duplicate work done previously by Wookie Groomer, and for many people may not be a necessary or even desirable thing to download. My impetus for completing the project is mainly that upon deconstructing Wookie Groomer's release, I noticed many instances of repeated frames, damaged frames, and altogether missing frames, sprinkled through out each film. While the audio tracks maintain sync throughout, the missing frames bothered me enough to attempt to fix it. Additionally, I consider my project to be a preservation and as such have not attempted to color correct any of the films (though the different sources do have minor color variation that I've attempted to match).
I have gone through all six films pretty much frame by frame, and have tested my results against the original dvds by inverting and averaging the two, looking for damaged and missing frames.
I will begin posting to the Spleen beginning tomorrow.
My sources were, in order of priority:
1) German HDTV (Discussed Here: "Star Wars HD rips")
2) British HDTV (HV versions found on usenet)
3) Official Blu Rays (Used minimally, mainly for detail on opening crawl and small patches throughout. NOT used at all for TPM or AOTC, as they were too different.)
4) Wookie Groomer's AOTC (Again, only used for small patches. The available German HD rip for AOTC is terrible. It has damaged frames throughout the film, but Wookie Groomer's version did not suffer from as much damage, even though I understand it to be from the same source. This was used mainly because the BD version has such drastically different colors.)
Here are my avisynth scripts for your inspection, or for anyone to use/edit at their leisure. I believe the only extra plugins are MSharpen and ColourLike. There are a couple of files necessary for using the ColourLike Plugin that I'll post below, as well as a short patch for ANH, needed for avoiding a few bad frames.
AOTC - ColourLike Files for AOTC
ANH - ColourLike Files & Patch for ANH
Note: If attempting to encode these on your own, ANH and AOTC must be encoded in parts, then joined together using either tsmuxer or mkvmerge. ANH is pretty easy and has only three parts. AOTC on the other hand had so much damage, that I ended up needing to use a ridiculous 35 parts. This was done because encoding it in full resulted in doubled frames or missing frames at the junctions.
I encoded using MeGui using x264 with constant quality Level 10. I chose level 10 mainly because I saw reduced quality at level 15 and even at level 12. This produced large files, in the same manner that Wookie Groomer originally did. I capped the bit rate at 40 Mb/sec and maintained Blu Ray compatibility, in case anyone wants to burn it to disc.
Track 1) English DDEX 5.1 from DVD releases (prequel tracks have had the EX flag set using "exme.exe")
Track 2) English DD Surround 2.0 from DVD releases (AOTC was sourced from the region 2 disc, but had to be fixed and re-encoded due to pal speedup. Patched headbutt scene with audio from the Spanish 2.0 Mix.)
Track 3) DVD Audio Commentary from DVD releases
Track 4) Bonus - not publishing it here.
Track 5) Spanish DD 2.0 from DVD releases.
Track 6) French DD 2.0 from DVD releases.
I have totally redone the English subtitles for each film. I have based them on the DVD subtitles, but have edited and retimed them to fit my preferences. I have removed all captions for the hearing impaired and have made sure that the timings match the spoken line. This is against published best practices for readability, but this is how I prefer them.
Further, I have attempted to render the subtitles using fonts that match the theatrical subtitles. I have used "Franklin Gothic Demi Condensed" for the prequels and a slightly modified version of "Alternate Gothic 2 BT" for the OT.
I have included the Subtitles as 1080p Vobsub tracks for compatibility reasons, as I am posting mkv's. I will, however include the original ASS files, SRT text subs, as well as a rendered BD SUP tracks for anyone interested.
Track 1) English Subs
Track 2) Spanish Subs (I think I got these from Subscene, but I can't quite remember)
Track 3) Speaker names and titles for the DVD Audio Commentary Track (From DVD)
In the Future:
I am currently attempting to teach myself to code BD-J. I have some background in Java, so I don't think it will be that difficult to learn the Blu Ray version, knock on wood. Anyway I plan to eventually create BD menus, etc. for these releases.
Update 1 (5/30/14):
I've posted the PT at this point. I think I'll seed these until Monday before putting up the 2004 OT.
Update 2 (6/1/14):
I noticed that I uploaded a previous version of AOTC without a couple of error frames corrected. I have posted the correct version and have begun to seed ANH.
Episodes 1 - 4 are now available.
If I had some gum, I’d chew a hole into the sun…