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mverta

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15-Apr-2004
Last activity
26-Sep-2020
Posts
521

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Post
#70874
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: Kennerado
About the Fox logo, on the "Legacy Of Starwars" doco they show the original opening logo and LucasFilm logo for ANH I believe.


More than that even, this documentary is a friggin' GEM. The original starfield is seen behind the Star Wars logo and the crawl, and even the laser bolts for the Tantive and Star Destroyer are far better than appears on the actual DVD. How THAT happened, we'll never know.

_Mike
Post
#70823
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Thanks for the reply. I suppose in the end the whole thing becomes a bit semantic, as even under the best conditions, the Laserdisc images look atrocious. We spent 6 months in plug-in development creating clean-up algorithms to help correct them, and now looking at the results, I can't stomach the noisy, desaturated transfer. But that's what restorations are for

_Mike
Post
#70794
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: Laserman
Just to answer mebejedi's composite question, yep the video signal on the Laserdisc is a composite signal. (Laserdisc tech info here for the interested folk http://www.access-one.com/rjn/laser/ld_faq.pdf).


I've heard this before, and have this guide as well (nice to see a fellow WSR reader), but the issue becomes one of garbage in/garbage out. If the signal is somehow "composite" in nature, then that's it, you can't by some method "upsample it." If you can ever separate the data into luminance and chrominance at a source level, then it can't be construed as composite, can it?. The NTSC signal encoded on the disc is comprised of luminance and chrominance values, and if they were truly integrated, then providing an S-Video output would be pointless, since you can't somehow "recapture" the split signals. Unless the hidden message here is that composite signal-to-composite-output would be akin to "stacking" two composite processes on top of each other, whereas outputting on some component level at least wouldn't make it any worse. (?) The whole thing gets very convoluted very quickly. In any case, I suppose my experience is as a content provider, where the data is simply data, and can be encoded in any variety of ways, digtially, composite-ly, or component-ly. We do this all day every day, and there's definitely a difference...

_Mike

Post
#70661
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: ChainsawAsh
... This is not entirely about making a duplicate of the theatrical version, it's about Mike fixing the DVDs the way he likes it. It's his project. He's more or less de-SEizing the discs, but some things are being kept.


So far - and here I'm talking way out of school, mind you, I've only just started - the only SE things I'm planning on keeping are the elongated detention hall corridor (it's seamless, doesn't change the drama and doesn't upset the suspension of disbelief [see my site for more about my philosophy]) and Vader's fixed red saber. But I plan on finally correcting things like the garbage mattes, and the miscolored matte painting/set piece in the tractor beam scene... so... yeah, it's Star Wars as I see it.

So there.


_Mike



Post
#70660
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: Pemdawg
Yeah, sound matters not, as it'll be used only for video. Remember, Mike is using the audio from the Def LD (and maybe the Fox LD if we bug him enough., See my thread on alternate audio for details.)


Actually, I plan on incorporating both, 1 per audio channel...

As for the FOX logo, can I just say... I find it interesting that for all the fretting and worrying and stressing I've done about every little detail in the film up to this point, the one thing I decided in 10 seconds has been talked about the most in this thread. How about that...

_Mike

Post
#70422
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: MeBeJedi
Does it somehow utilize the component-video circuitry already in the 91, or is it a separate device altogether?


Ah, ok... it's a custom bit of electronics that to the best of my understanding (I'm not the engineer) is inserted in place of the component circuitry which ships with the 91, which apparently sucks. My engineer explained it at lengths before he built it (and a few others for other components) and I know it has stuff from Faroujda and Crystal Vision in it. What I DO know is that when they were first upgraded a few years ago, we went through a bunch of comparison tests, and the results were obviously better...

_Mike
Post
#70419
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: MeBeJedi
Since LD is a composite format, and a lot of the video information has been irretrievably lost when converted to this format (luminance, etc.)


Your assertion that LD is a composite format is incorrect. Laserdisc is a storage medium, not a format. Laserdisc stores the video format, in our case, NTSC, which may be input or output using a variety of methods, such as component (RGB or YUV), composite, or C/Y (S-Video). The same video signal decoded 3 different ways will wield 3 different results, in this case, superior sharpness and chrominance when delivered via component outputs.

_Mike
Post
#70077
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: wadetv
Great site. Don't feel a need to create your own forum as that would be hard. You could just link here or even specifically to this thread.


Well someone else will be doing it, I'm not qualified. But I don't really want to hijack Jay's gig here with a discussion of my restoration. I also didn't really see the need for a forum discussing the OT/PT stuff - there's more than enough of that here. What I wanted was to set up a discussion of my restoration in particular, so people could weigh in with questions, or comments.

To be honest, in the few days the site's been up, I've gotten about 1000 emails to that effect, so it looks like the forum might be helpful. I've linked to this site because I think Jay's the man, and I always appreciated this place, but I wouldn't feel right usurping it without his blessing. If he wants to setup a forum thread here for my restoration, that's great, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Thanks,

_Mike
Post
#69752
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: mistertones
Mike,

I'm curious - are the shot-by-shot white-balance differences you're pointing out a new feature of the 2004 transfer,


Yes and no. The original film was color timed in a lab via traditional methods, which tend to be far subtler than today's digital methods, where you can pretty much do anything. 2004 features inconsistency in color timing and audio issues that I can only describe as "inexperienced." They are the kind of mistakes my interns make.

Anyway... we'll get 'em sorted out!

_Mike
Post
#69647
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Lots of people requesting those high resolution shots.. I agree it's a good idea. I'm doing this all by myself, including learning webpage design as I go (this is day 3 with Adobe GoLive, I can't believe the page actually works!), so I have to split my time between posting the updates and actually doing the work!

I've been stopped for the last day and a half trying to get to the bottom of the Rebel Fleet Trooper gray/blue shirt issue... nearly resolved.. updates coming. And a cool surprise, too!

_Mike
Post
#69484
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: The Bizzle
oh, Mike--I've read some posts from costumers--and the Rebel's shirts are SUPPOSED to be blue, not Gray. The actual costumes themselves were blue shirts.

Also--I thought the Prequel "A Long Time Ago's" were timed and printed to look like ESB and ROTJ's? even before the SE's, I'd had the impression that only "Star Wars" logo looked different.

Either way--your work on this is VERY VERY impressive, and thanks for showing the step by steps.


Wow.. I'll check on the blue shirts thing. That would be really odd, because you'd have to do some super specific color timing to get the shirts blue while keeping the rest of the frame's colors intact, but it was a very "typical" adjustment to make them gray while keeping the fleshtones balanced.

As for the color timing on the other movies, I'll check. I haven't been considering "trilogy consistency" in any of this - I've only been focusing on the one, the only, the original.

_Mike

Post
#69430
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Originally posted by: The Bizzle Now THIS is something to follow

Mike-- you might also want to contemplate keeping the new "A Long Time Ago.." as it matches up to every other "A Long Time Ago" in the series.

Got your site bookmarked, even if it's not up yet


It's coming...

The FOX logo thing I'm still uncertain on... though I don't really feel it's a part of the film itself. That may be my anti-studio bias. (You get that after working with the studios for any length of time).

However, the "A long time ago..." that appears in the PT is just wrong. It's wrong, so I redid it. They used this new one at the top of the DVD trilogy, and I'm not cool with that. It's as iconic as anything else in the movie, and that's why I took the time to re-do it properly. I know Dan Perri carefully considered every last aspect of that title card - the setup, the letter forms and the color - he said so - and I want to honor that.

Also -

The temporary pages got more hits in the last 2 days than I expected, so I decided to bring the hosting inside and set up a server locally - it'll take a couple more days, but in the meantime, here's page 3:

Legacy_3

_Mike
Post
#69143
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Naturally, this is of course just a project we're doing in-house to practice the art of compositing and color correction, as no exhibiton or distribution of such a project would be legal.


Jay, just to be clear, I said this, and I meant it. Other people took it upon themselves to interpret this as "code" and offered to purchase copies. My hope is that my restoration will help others with their own restorations, by both illustrating the myriad issues with various releases, as well as providing solutions.

In the next couple of days, interested parties can view the restoration effort at www.starwarslegacy.com

For now, people can see the effort at this temporary page:

Star Wars Legacy Edition


_Mike
Post
#66623
Topic
Using the '04 SE DVD version to restore the Original (with lots of info)
Time
Well, since everyone here is like-minded, I'll go ahead and say it... This is something I've been planning for a long time. I happen to own a visual effects/post-production company, and we have all the facilities to author an amazing hybrid. We've already done tests where we can intercut between the new DVD footage and the LD to fill in the gaps to restore it to OT, and it's nice.

There are a ton, I mean a TON of problems even with the DVD images.. scenes like the Tantive jump all over the map in terms of color timing - very poor work. On our calibrated displays (and consumer displays, for that matter) the Tantive interior, for example, is extremely blue-shifted. And then there are things like the complete over-chroma boosting of R2's blue that has such horrific implications for the rest of the picture... Have you seen the glowing escape pod hatch, yet? We've already been able to correct much of that, and for certain scenes, we're prepared to treat them like visual effects shots, and take the time to roto specific areas for more complete control.

We're going to correct the garbage mattes once and for all, even if it means rotoing every single ship in the movie... bottom line, I don't have any faith that an OT version is coming, so we're going all out on this one.

You may have noticed that on the DVD, the receeding Star Wars title card moves way too fast... first time we've seen that in 27 years, and it's correct on the DVD for the alternate languages. Today we created the new title crawl by seamlessly combining the title card from an alternate language with the English language crawl. Fortunately, the background elements were identical, pixel for pixel, so creating a composite was no problem.

This will truly be a labor of love. We already have both the first pressing CLV LD and the Definitive LD online, and we are doing 3 way frame-by-frame comparisons, along with pouring over an ungodly amount of references to best determine the color timing for each shot. We've been preparing for the arrival of the DVD for 2 years, and have everything ready to go. Progress will probably be slow - we're only going to do this once, but we feel it's worth it.

And it is good fortune that we have state-of-the-art facilities, and time, at our disposal.

Naturally, this is of course just a project we're doing in-house to practice the art of compositing and color correction, as no exhibiton or distribution of such a project would be legal.

But we appreciate input, and will be documenting the process extensively, so if you're interested in hearing about what we're doing, you can always email me!

_Mike

Post
#65505
Topic
OT bootleg DVD reviews
Time
REALLY DOING IT RIGHT

You know, it seems to me that to really do a bootleg right, you should capture the Definitive LD uncompressed, and do a scene-by-scene retiming/rebalance on every shot using the new DVD's as a guide. Of course, you'd need a serious digital color timing system to do it on, like a DaVinci. Then, you'd want to be able to transfer the LD's audio digitally at 448kbps for the 5.1 ac3 soundtrack. Commercial, dual-layer DVD-9 authoring would be a must, so you could encode at the highest possible bitrate..

To do this, you'd need state-of-the-art post production facilities, of course... and people sympathetic to the cause.

Now if only we could find one!




...... wait a minute....




....that's right...


....I own one!


...hmmm.....


_Mike
Post
#43322
Topic
Changes in 2004 DVDs
Time
First of all, jimbo is having a great time stirring you guys up and watching you foam at the mouth...

But the real reason I wanted to post is to point out what I think is an uncharacteristically cavalier attitude towards the audio changes...

In addition to being a professional film composer, I have worked for 12 years as a feature film sound designer and mixer, so I have a great appreciation for the advances we've made in sound reproduction, and imaging (or matrixing options, like 5.1), as well as the huge dynamic range increase that digital affords us, etc..

But for a feature film audio mix, the internal balance between dialogue, music, and effects is crucial to the overall perception of the drama. Turn the music down too far, and the impact of a scene can be all but obliterated. There has been a trend towards louder sound design vs music in recent years, partially because the new capabilities allow for more punch and viceral effect ("kids love the boom," as we say) as well as the fact that as film music has gotten worse, directors and mixers have come to trust it less... few composer's music can truly stand up to presence-scrutiny as well as John Williams' for example.

Spielberg (an avid music fan) always gets his mixes right... he has a tremendous amount of confidence in John Wiliams, and in the hands of mixer Gary Rydstrom, this has led to some of the most impactful moments in film history. This is the same sort of internal balance that the ORIGINAL Star Wars mixes featured: they were very "music-heavy", and more powerful for it. The THX Definitive Editions changed the internal balance between the Dialogue, Music and Effects, to showcase the new sound design, most likely, at the expense of the most powerful aspect of audio drama, the music. It's easy to hear, especially in certain scenes, like the inside of the sandcrawler... but few champion the preservation of that original mix sensibility.

We are afforded very little opportunity as an audience, to ever "A/B" a mix with more/less music, but it is an experience that forever changes your understanding of what creates drama in a soundtrack. People by music CD's and go to concerts all the time; very few people drive around listening to sound effects. That's because they aren't particularly interesting or dramatic. Now.. in an overall soundtrack, great sound design SHOULD be able to stand on its own somewhat, and the best mixes perform a continual dance between sound design and music, letting each one take center stage when appropriate.. but again, it's about balance.

Everyone here defends obvious character compromises, like Han shooting first, or rails against the gratuitous, poorly executed CG of Jabba the Hutt... and "Better Sound" sure sounds easier to get behind, until you realize that terms like 5.1, "louder", cleaner, "truer to the source", etc., are meaningless when held up to the ultimate factor, the internal balance. I, for one, don't even mind the improvements to the sound design.. all I care about is that the balance is restored.. for it was that balance that made the heroic moments heroic, and the epic themes powerful.

Mike