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Black Alert

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Members
Join date
20-Nov-2020
Last activity
7-Feb-2023
Posts
117

Post History

Post
#1454753
Topic
Star Trek Voyager: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (a WIP)
Time

Hello again community. I am sorry to say that I have to take a break for a while (don’t worry, my projects are not dead, nor am I going to abandon anything) and I don’t know how long that break will be.
I have recently lost a family member and I have to deal with stuff.

I tried to distract myself with work and my projects here, but it’s really up and down and not consistent.

I will let you know as soon as I am back, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable to give you a timeframe (which I couldn’t, anyway) that may or may not work out.

Please don’t be worried, I will come back to you guys.

Until then.

Post
#1454752
Topic
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (a WIP)
Time

Hello again community. I am sorry to say that I have to take a break for a while (don’t worry, my projects are not dead, nor am I going to abandon anything) and I don’t know how long that break will be.
I have recently lost a family member and I have to deal with stuff.

I tried to distract myself with work and my projects here, but it’s really up and down and not consistent.

I will let you know as soon as I am back, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable to give you a timeframe (which I couldn’t, anyway) that may or may not work out.

Please don’t be worried, I will come back to you guys.

Until then.

Post
#1453977
Topic
Star Trek Voyager: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (a WIP)
Time

@WXM:
Thanks for the notice that downloading is better than watching as stream - it’s something I always do but forgot to mention, my bad.

As far as the NTSC-DVDs go: It’s a bit of a complicated process, but generally I have found that the NTSC have better quality in the CGI/VFX area, since they haven’t been adjusted for PAL distribution (25 FPS).
With my workflow, I reduce the 25 FPS PAL to 23,976, which looks nice for about 95% of the live action segments, but it really hurts the effects, which are already stuttering (coming from 29,97 FPS half fields). Since live action is mostly shot on 24 fps film stock, the 23,976 fps from PAL are ok.

My modifications now include:
Taking the NTSC and restoring to full fields (which creates 59,94 FPS output), the render them to reduce rainbowing and increase detail, then I eliminate frame doubles and blend the rest together so I get 29,97 FPS again, then I use an AI-based solution to reduce further to 23,976 FPS (without actually changing the number of frames/images in the videostream), then I do 3 upscaling runs with different models and finally I compare the number of images from the PAL stream to the NTSC stream. Usually, there is only a difference of 1 image, but to avoid losing audio sync I delete 1 image that isn’t as “noticeable” which works quite well if you can simply kill a black image during fade-in/fade-out.

The only thing left I want to do is to add FlowFrames in my final workstep to further smooth out the effects - then perhaps it could look even better.

Post
#1453975
Topic
Star Trek Voyager: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (a WIP)
Time

Exiting news on the Voyager front guys: As you have probably noticed, I have been busy updating my projects as of late (Voyager included).

The thing that always stressed me out was how badly the CGI/VFX was handled on the PAL-DVDs of Voyager (DS9 sometimes suffers from similar problems, but not as bad as VOY). The motion is so jerky ships seems to stumble across the screen sometimes.
So, since I am updating things anyway, I thougt “Perhaps I can get a grip on this as well”.

Yesterday, I think I found a sort of “work-around” that improves things. I managed to get the NTSC rendered in a way that reduces the motion stutter and replace the PAL-DVD frames that contain CGI/VFX effects.

Note that this is only a preliminary trial, I am also considering adding FlowFrames to further smooth things out (so the examples do not include FlowFrames yet) - but I am excited and wanted to share where things are going.

First, you have an example of my previous work, upscaled straight from PAL-DVD to 4K (but downmastered to 1080p here for size-reasons) - note how jerky the ships move (link is free, no password):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fqolbtlovv5t2z1/VOY 1080p from 4K Test (PAL only).mkv?dl=0

Second, you have an example of my latest work, live action scenes from PAL-DVD, effects from NTSC - spliced together to create 4K (but downmastered here for size-reasons) - note that the movements are smoother (link is free, no password):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7sz6mshgw159svf/VOY 1080p from 4K Test (with NTSC Fix).mkv?dl=0

Let me know what you think!

Post
#1453315
Topic
Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (a WIP)
Time

Hello there community. I am happy to report that my quality updates on the DS9 pilot are finished.

Most important changes include:

  • better grain and detail retention (to avoid over-smoothed/artificial look)
  • additional rainbowing reduction
  • increased detail sharpening
  • better handling of smaller elements (font/writing, console buttons, comm badges and such)
  • added dehazing to remove white/grey-ish tint in some scenes
  • slightly adjusted color representation

How did I accomplish that?
Well, I reworked about 27 scenes with different AI-models and re-did about 2000 frames by hand (removed scratches, blurred some elements to avoid artefacts - basically all things the software did not notice).

How does it look now?
Here are the comparison images (sorry for the many links, but the online service Imgsli only supports so many images per post):

Wanna know more?
PM me 😉

Post
#1452782
Topic
Babylon 5: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (DVD 16:9 & HD 4:3 Fusion) (a WIP)
Time

@Cave Doctor:
This is amazing. I was aware that some VFX work seemingly survived, but I had no idea to what extend. So basically you would just need the upscaled live action footage from me, correct? Or would you require the whole episode as I have done it (Live Action 16:9 from DVD and 1080p VFX/CGI stretched towards 16:9 from the HBO Max / Amazon release)?

As I am re-doing things (quality updates) it would be good to know. Perhaps we could work on episode 1 (MotFL) and see how things go?

Post
#1448402
Topic
Star Trek Voyager: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (a WIP)
Time

This project started during the first Covid-related lockdown back in March 2020 and has been continuing ever since.

The “Enhanced Edition” features a PAL-DVD-based higher quality version that focuses mainly on the “clean-up” of visual aspects of the show, like: Reduced motion stuttering (stable 23,976 FPS), deinterlacing, cross color reduction, noise removal, deblocking, dehaloing, deringing, anti aliasing, reduction of color banding, sharpening.
All borders have been slightly cropped to eliminate the “VHS-tape look”.
Slight color grading has been added to enhance the color representation.
Furthermore, the audio tracks have been slowed down to correct for the PAL-shift.

The releases (4K) are encoded as follows: H265 (mkv) at 20 Mbps with Main 10 @ L5 @ Main, BT.709 @ 10 bit, resolution 2880x2160p (4:3 aspect ratio / no black borders left and right; you can decide if you want to stretch or not) with English and German AC3 5.1 audio tracks at 640 Kbps.
45-minute-episodes take up between 6-7 GB of space per episode.

The releases (1080p) are encoded as follows: H265 (mkv) at 2,5 Mbps with Main 10 @ L5.1 @ Main, BT.709 @ 10 bit, resolution 1440x1080p (4:3 aspect ratio / no black borders left and right; you can decide if you want to stretch or not) with English and German AC3 5.1 audio tracks at 256 Kbps.
45-minute-episodes take up between 0,8-1,0 GB of space per episode.

The realisation of this project is a very complicated multi-step approach (f.e. using several instances of AI-upscaling software), so it may take a while, but it continues to go on.

If you are interested in getting to know more technical details or in watching the “Enhanced Edition”, send me a private message!

Post
#1447231
Topic
Babylon 5: Enhanced 4K & 1080p Edition (DVD 16:9 & HD 4:3 Fusion) (a WIP)
Time

This project started during the first Covid-related lockdown back in March 2020 and has been continuing ever since.

The “Enhanced Edition” features a combination of the 16:9 aspect ratio PAL-DVDs (for all live action scenes) and the 4:3 aspect ratio HD remastered versions (for all CGI/VFX effect shots), which were stretched to 16:9 to conform to the live action segments.
Basically, this is a higher quality version that focuses mainly on the “clean-up” of visual aspects of the show, like: Reduced motion stuttering (stable 23,976 FPS), deinterlacing, cross color reduction, noise removal, deblocking, dehaloing, deringing, anti aliasing, reduction of color banding, sharpening.
All borders have been slightly cropped to eliminate the “VHS-tape look”.
Slight color grading has been added to enhance the color representation.
Furthermore, the audio tracks have been slowed down to correct for the PAL-shift.

The releases (4K) are encoded as follows: H265 (mkv) at 20 Mbps with Main 10 @ L5 @ Main, BT.709 @ 10 bit, resolution at 3840x2160p (16:9 aspect ratio) with English and German AC3 5.1 audio tracks at 640 Kbps.
45-minute-episodes take up between 6,5-7,5 GB of space per episode.

The releases (1080p) are encoded as follows: H265 (mkv) at 2,5 Mbps with Main 10 @ L5.1 @ Main, BT.709 @ 10 bit, resolution at 1920x1080p (16:9 aspect ratio) with English and German AC3 5.1 audio tracks at 256 Kbps.
45-minute-episodes take up between 1,2-1,4 GB of space per episode.

The realisation of this project is a very complicated multi-step approach (f.e. using several instances of AI-upscaling software), so it may take a while, but it continues to go on.

If you are interested in getting to know more technical details or in watching the “Enhanced Edition”, send me a private message!