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CatBus

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18-Aug-2011
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10-Aug-2020
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Post
#1363635
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

Changing the subtitles would be trivial in terms of effort. It would even be unnecessary if the change was just a couple frames (e.g. to the 4Kxx timing). If Harmy decides to change to a standard that’s neither GOUT nor 4Kxx (which would fix at least two issues with the current situation*), then subtitles could still be used, with an offset (and so could some audio). Rendering the subtitle graphics could still take a week or so, but that’s a fire-and-forget process. All I need is lead time.

Audio would take some work to modify, no doubt about that. Much advance notice would be nice.

* the HMDI handshake muting part of the fanfare on some systems, and users not knowing if their audio is properly synced or not, even while watching.

Post
#1363221
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

ThatPixarGuy said:

May be a bit too early to tell, but does anyone know if 3.0 will be GOUT or Theatrically synched?

That’s a big question for me too. Last time I asked him, when 4Kxx first started syncing to a new frame standard, Harmy said he had no plans to jump onto a new sync standard (the experience of finally nailing down the one we have now was harrowing enough), but things may have changed in the intervening time. 4Kxx is popular, and it may not be such a drag anymore to move to a new standard.

If so, I’ll happily sync my stuff to whatever frame standard Harmy wants to use, but I’ll need some advance notice. And certainly there are others who’ll need to do the same.

My opinion is that as long as we’re breaking sync on a lot of audio tracks, we may as well get all the major project leads together to discuss it, rather than unilaterally doing it, so we don’t just break sync again later when someone has a new idea for how things should sync. For example, in my opinion, if we’re going to go through the trouble of breaking sync, why not pad the beginning with an extra half-second of silence. That will fix issues where HDMI handshakes mute the first bit of the Fox fanfare on some systems, and it would be just as “theatrical” as any other sync standard out there, since theatrically, there were leaders and previews and such before the film anyway. I’d prefer a big difference like this over something that’s only a couple frames different, so people will know with certainty that their audio is out of sync, instead of just having a vague uncertain feeling that something’s not right, but not being able to put their finger on it.

Post
#1362776
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

Zion said:

  • I really like the news segment and Wonder Woman/Hulk bumper intro used on the Tasjo and Gormaanda releases

So much this. The references to other shows, the graphics, the music on the various intro bits, it all puts you right back where you were when you were dead certain this was going to be the best thing you’d ever seen on TV.

Post
#1362153
Topic
Info: Which do you prefer - teamnegative1's 4k77/4k83 or Harmy's Despecialized?
Time

Broom Kid said:

StarkillerAG said:

I guess it’s just a personal opinion, but I think that the 4KXX versions have much more than 720p of fine detail.

I don’t think it’s a personal opinion at all. It’s easily observable fact.

The zoomed-in image on the left has no more than 720p of detail (it’s from the Blu-ray via 720p Despecialized, resized to 4K to give a comparable size). The image on the right is 4K83 (admittedly, just grabbed the version I had handy, not the latest iteration, but it’s all the same print/scan).

The 720p has some funky contrast boosting to be certain (yay 2004 master!), but even taking that into account, it clearly has more fine image detail. I feel I need to reiterate that I’m not trying to trash 4K83. It’s the best reproduction of the theatrical experience out there, hands down. But to pretend Star Wars projection prints have that much fine image detail is silly.

Post
#1361970
Topic
Info: Which do you prefer - teamnegative1's 4k77/4k83 or Harmy's Despecialized?
Time

StarkillerAG said:

I guess it’s just a personal opinion, but I think that the 4KXX versions have much more than 720p of fine detail. There’s some stuff there, like the details on the Tantive 4 door frame, that haven’t been noticeable in any previous release. It isn’t as good as a restoration from the negative, but it’s definitely HD.

The Blu-ray definitely has some spots where color boosting clips the detail out of the image. Typically red lights, but you can occasionally see it elsewhere. And there’s a bit in Jedi where the film scanner was just out of focus for a few minutes (already fixed in DeEd). But seriously, these are exceptions to the rule. The Blu rays had more fine detail than a projection print, and the difference is still apparent scaled down to 720p. The UHD’s even moreso, in spite of being DNR’d into oblivion.

Post
#1361934
Topic
Info: Which do you prefer - teamnegative1's 4k77/4k83 or Harmy's Despecialized?
Time

StarkillerAG said:

That’s actually not true, there’s still plenty of GOUT footage in ANH and ESB Despecialized. The inclusion of 35mm footage in ROTJ Despecialized is the reason why that’s arguably the best-looking of the trilogy.

I just don’t like how a lot of the time you seem to undersell the 35mm releases, saying that they’re no better quality than the GOUT, when they look much better to my eyes.

There’s 35mm footage in ESB too, but you’re right that the percentage of 35mm footage goes up chronologically through the trilogy. Star Wars has lots of GOUT footage. Add them all up, and most of the original footage in the Despecialized trilogy is from 35mm, but yes there’s still too much GOUT.

I wasn’t implying that projection prints in general weren’t better than the GOUT. I’m saying that for that particular original element of Boba Fett flying behind Luke in one scene, the 35mm sources didn’t provide appreciably more fine detail than the GOUT. It’s one shot, and a blurred composite at that. It’s not that surprising. I’m not a big fan of 4K77 to be honest, but I’m a fan of 4K83. It looks good. Much better than the GOUT. And, like the person I was responding to stated, much more consistent levels of detail than Despecialized. Consistently low, yes, but consistent nonetheless.

That said, I will state without any reservations that Star Wars projection prints – even unusually good prints like the one used for 4K83, don’t really have enough fine image detail to max out 720p’s capacity. I’m not saying 4K is wasted on them – the film grain is better resolved at 4K, there are clear benefits to oversampling from an historical preservation perspective, and so on. But when you watch Despecialized at 720p and 4K83 at 4K side-by-side, there’s a reason Despecialized has so much more fine detail. This is why 1080p Blu-rays remaster from negatives or interpositives. There’s more detail there than can be seen on a projection print, and 1080p resolution would reveal that.

Again, this is not trying to say lack of fine detail is bad. Lack of fine detail is what people saw in the theatres. That’s literally how projected film prints look. If that’s what you’re after, then 4K83 is a pretty great reproduction of the experience. I just personally prefer something that looks more like a respectfully restored Blu-ray release. As of 4K83 1.6, lack of fine detail is my ONLY gripe about 4K83, and considering that that’s baked into the source, I feel like I’m effectively stating that it perfectly achieves its goal of reproducing the theatrical experience. If that’s underselling, I don’t know what to say.

Post
#1361904
Topic
Info: Which do you prefer - teamnegative1's 4k77/4k83 or Harmy's Despecialized?
Time

calculon559 said:

At this very moment, I’d say the 4Kxx versions, mostly because the quality across the whole feature is basically the same throughout, whereas Despecialized varies from 1080p to barely DVD quality. Having said that, if Harmy can pull off what he’s trying to do with Star Wars Despecialized 3.0 and beyond, his versions would become my preference, especially since I’m still watching stuff at 1080p so any minor differences between the sources at 4K would become negligible.

I wouldn’t expect too much improvement in terms of “quality seams” in newer Despecialized releases. Most of the original footage in the current releases of Harmy’s trilogy is from 35mm print scans (not necessarily from the 4Kxx project, but comparable amounts of detail). In Jedi, for example, there’s only one original element taken from the GOUT, and he only did that because the 35mm theatrical scans didn’t have appreciably more detail than the GOUT for that shot (think about THAT for a second!). The optical duplication process used to create theatrical prints from 35mm negatives simply blurs out fine detail, and it doesn’t matter what resolution you scan a projection print at, you’re not going to get that detail back. When you notice certain parts of Despecialized don’t even seem to have 720p worth of fine detail, more often than not, that’s from a 1080p or 4K 35mm print scan, not the GOUT.

That said, since the UHD’s aren’t covered with fake grain like the Blu-rays, it may be possible to grain-match the various sources without over-graining the 35mm footage, which might help to a small degree. Also, the Jedi print used by the 4K83 project is a bit of a unicorn, so there may be a hair’s improvement to be gained from using 4K83 as a source. But these will be very, very incremental improvements at best. The huge quality jump will come from the UHD source, and that will make the quality seams harder to hide, not easier. Not that Harmy may not have learned a trick or two in the intervening years.

Post
#1359800
Topic
Info: Which do you prefer - teamnegative1's 4k77/4k83 or Harmy's Despecialized?
Time

IMO, it’s all about what YOU want. Do you want to experience the films as if you were in a threatre watching them projected, or do you want to experience the films as if they’d undergone a respectful restoration and released on Blu-ray?

If the former, 4K77 and 4K83 are more likely to make you happy.

If the latter, Despecialized is most likely to suit your tastes.

Neither of them are perfect. In particular, Star Wars is pretty imperfect from both offerings IMO, but I come down on the side of Despecialized because I’m looking for something akin to a respectful Blu-ray restoration.

That said, 4K83 is amazing and worth a look, even though I still very slightly prefer Despecialized ROTJ, for nothing much more than the extra fine detail.

EDIT: D’oh, oojason ninja’d me.

Post
#1359736
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

Question about scene-by-scene vs shot-by-shot: have you seen a significant difference in shot-to-shot variation in the 19SE source vs prints and other sources? i.e. when you say the shot-to-shot variation is inherent to the source, is that mostly ultimately due to the 1977 source in your opinion, or did it get added/boosted somewhere along the restoration pipeline?

Just wondering. Scene by scene looks very nice, and IMO white walls have never done anyone any favors with shot-to-shot color consistency.

Post
#1357967
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

Bluto said:

CatBus said:

IIRC there are a few places where the heavy cropping has a significant impact on content. I think ESB is worst affected of the three films, and I think there’s one scene where Leia is cropped out of the image altogether. But as far as I know, nothing of that scale in Star Wars.

Do you know roughly which scene this is? Presumably she was already cropped out to some degree originally for her to disappear completely, unless the new cropping is considerable there.

Harmy - I don’t blame you for planning to keep the UHD cropping for the most part. It would be a near impossible job to reinstate a border seamlessly throughout each entire film. Thanks for the video update!

Found it.

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/DIF-Difference-tool-to-spot-visual-changes-Current-2004-vs-2019/id/13179/page/3#1344390

There’s a million screencaps in that post, so search for the text “she goes out of frame”. It’s a scene where Leia is definitely not the focus of the shot, but she is speaking, so it’s significant IMO that she got cropped out of the frame.

Post
#1357902
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

Bluto said:

CatBus said:

IIRC there are a few places where the heavy cropping has a significant impact on content. I think ESB is worst affected of the three films, and I think there’s one scene where Leia is cropped out of the image altogether. But as far as I know, nothing of that scale in Star Wars.

Do you know roughly which scene this is? Presumably she was already cropped out to some degree originally for her to disappear completely, unless the new cropping is considerable there.

Harmy - I don’t blame you for planning to keep the UHD cropping for the most part. It would be a near impossible job to reinstate a border seamlessly throughout each entire film. Thanks for the video update!

I seriously don’t know. I’m trying to search threads here but you know how that is 😉

I just remember reading about it in one of the UHD/changes threads, but there are so many, it’s hard to keep track. Yes, I believe she was already at an extreme edge to begin with, but the cropping on ESB also takes out a bigger chunk of the edges.

Post
#1357863
Topic
Harmy's STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD - V2.7 - MKV (Released)
Time

Harmy said:

Just read the quote in 44rh1n’s post 😉

Here’s the promised video: https://youtu.be/5ByflKACiBQ

A couple shots in there had me wondering: what’s your plan/process dealing with the heavy cropping in the UHD versions? Are you restoring out to the edge of the 4K77 frame, the BD/DeEd2.x frame, not restoring cropped areas, or case-by-case?

If so, how does that work out? There were a few cropped shots in the 2.x series that you restored to a less-cropped version, and that seemed to work pretty well in most cases.

Post
#1356451
Topic
Despecialized or the Special Editions; Which do you prefer - and why?
Time

I know alternate versions are sometimes curiosities worth checking out from time to time – different Blade Runner cuts, extended cuts of the Lord of the Rings films, even Buckaroo Banzai with an alternate opening, and the alternate versions are even sometimes better than the theatrical versions.

But with Star Wars, there is nothing worth watching about the Special Editions, in any iteration. Their only saving grace is that they provided raw materials for Harmy’s reconstructions, allowing us to have an Original Trilogy preservation that’s very much like what a respectful Blu-ray release would have been. Harmy’s versions are still my favorite for this reason, although 4K83 1.6 really upped the color game and is now very nearly as good IMO.