As usual I’m refining my color grade more and more. I’m just still not achieving the look I want. Originally I wanted to put my own spin on the colors and change things such as lightsabers or time of day. I will eventually be doing a version with changes like that, but as I’ve said before for now I feel satisfied coming out with a version that does a faithful film emulation but at the same time keeps much of the original color timing.
In terms of film emulation, early on I’ve always wanted to emulate older film stocks such as the ones used to shoot the original trilogy or maybe even older film stocks to make it appear as if the films were produced before the original trilogy. I did have some good tests with that that I’d posted years ago but often my methods only worked for very specific shots and it was hard to figure out a technique that works more broadly across the film. With that in mind, I decided to focus on making the prequel films look more like the sequel trilogy which are shot on modern film stocks. That clip that I’d posted was my latest results at doing that. And while it is a more appealing look to the film, it still isn’t something that I originally envisioned for the project.
One of the looks of films that I really like is films shot on film stock with little to no digital color grading changes. Rian Johnson’s Brick comes to mind (shot on Kodak Vision 500T 5279 and Vision 800T 5289, and finished on film aka no digital intermediate), or even this music video: https://vimeo.com/299219173 (it was shot on 16mm variants of the film stocks used to shoot TFA and TLJ). That look that just screams film is exactly what I’d like for this project.
I’d like to recreate the look of older film stocks but if that’s too hard I’ll satisfy for a better film emulation of the modern stocks.
And even if I get the colors right, there’s a certain motion, texture, and artifacts for something truly shot or finished on film. So I wanna work on that.
Anyhow, that’s my latest thoughts on the project, I’m glad people liked the clip I posted, and I apologize for how poor the compression is on it, a final render will be not only at a higher bitrate and HEVC but not using the built-in Adobe encoder which honestly sucks. I should really post some PNG’s or TIFF’s of shots from my work so you can see all the detail I’ve been working to recover in the 4K upscale.
I also think I really need to save up for a new PC. My old PC broke and while I’m working to get it fixed, it never really had the power to handle 4K. Currently I’m doing everything on my mid-2015 15 inch Macbook Pro, which isn’t ideal, although it definitely packs a punch in terms of rendering power for the size. Plus, I’m so busy in school and work these days that I can’t sacrifice my macbook to do days long renders. I don’t even wanna think about how long the final render is going to be.
This project is close to my heart, and I’m always thinking about it and trying new things with it. It’s been a long journey, but I promise that the results will be worth it. When I started this project, I was only 4 years into video editing, and I’ve gained so much experience since then.
I’m so happy the OT is getting the treatment it deserves with all the preservations coming out. Even though the PT is vastly inferior, I feel it’s important to help make the best versions possible and I know there are people that still appreciate what George tried to do.