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yotsuya

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2-Dec-2008
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10-May-2021
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Post
#1372956
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

lurker77 said:

ChainsawAsh said:

Yeah, the idea that it’s impossible to restore the original versions is patently absurd. Movies where the negative no longer exists in any form have been restored to excellent levels of quality. There’s plenty of source material to use.

This. And there should be a decent chunk of the negative remaining that’s not faded. The badly faded sections are effects shots that were composited onto Color Reversal Intermediate (CRI) stock. It allowed for positive-to-positive printing to reduce generational grain, but was very unstable. This is why for '97, many (all?) of the effects shots were digitally recomposited from their individual elements. All shots without effects should be fine, aside from that one shot that got dissolved during a cleaning test.

There are several routes available to restore the faded sections. The individual elements can be digitally recomposited again at 4K, though purists wouldn’t like this as it removes the theatrical grain/alignment/patina. To restore the original look of the film, interpositives would be the next step. If they’re too worn from overuse, then it’s on to separation masters, which aren’t ideal because they add grain, but the result would still look better than a theatrical print. If the separation masters have differential shrinkage, this is correctable digitally (and even to a certain degree optically, as was done painstakingly with Spartacus in '91).

If it isn’t in completely unusable condition, it may even be possible to scan the faded CRI stock and add the colour back fron a different source. Restorations often use multiple sources/methods depending on condition, what is ideal for a shot, and how it looks next to other shots.

The separation masters are B&W film with finer grain than color stock so they would not add additional grain compared to other sources. From what Lucas said, not a single duplicate negative had been struck from those. So the sources for the original version of the film are the o-neg, the separation masters, the tech IB prints, the interpositives (the last one known to have been made was in 1985, the others are probably more worn and wouldn’t be as good). For composited shots, you could go back a generation but then you have to recomposite the shot. So there are lots of sources for Disney and Lucasfilm to do a proper restoration of the original version of the film that would meet or exceed the best sources for many older films.

Post
#1370024
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

NeverarGreat said:

My feelings on the project are complicated.

On the one hand, it is clear that he has spent a vast amount of time and money to bring together a large collection of sources for a restoration, and he clearly believes that the results have been worth it. I appreciate and applaud the enthusiasm.

On the other hand, the results he touts in his videos of doubling the detail in the final result simply aren’t apparent to me. The resultant image has less grain, but the way he has described his detail recruitment algorithm makes it clear that there’s not much benefit in stacking sources and the majority of the detail may be coming from temporal super resolution instead. The issue is that he describes his algorithm as using a weighted average in determining a pixel’s value across multiple stacked prints. However, if an image is blurry and low-detail from several generations of printing, it will be blurry in the average of these values as well. Worse, if you have a single high quality print stacked with several lower-quality prints, a weighted value would result in the lower-quality image. The only appreciable gain would be in removing the grain, which is what we see from his process.

I made a comment to this effect and even started an entire thread discussing a potential solution:

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Info-The-Ultimate-Super-Resolution-Technique/id/52162

I would really like to do a test to see if this would actually work.

They way he described it was that he was removing grain that was the result of additional generations. So yes, the grain is reduced/removed, but if he did it right, it would be the o-neg level of grain which was made worse with each generation. The Tech-IB prints don’t have a lot of generations, a color separation and a dye print, but it would remove anything made worse from those. By also applying the frame before and frame after, you could remove even more grain. Several of the shots in ANH look really bad because it is normal 35 mm shots with several generations of FX processing over it. I think his goal was to try to remove that error. From watching his videos, he tried to correct several things in his project that were the result of compositing. Not sure I agree with that for a preservation, but that is what I would hope to seen in a modern restoration of those shots.

Post
#1369876
Topic
Info: Mike Verta’s 4K Restoration - May 2020 Livestream
Time

My understanding is that the problem with the color separation master is that that films have shrunk at different rates. In the early 90’s that meant they were useless. It is 2020 and I can’t even count the number of old technicolor films that have been restored from such non-aligned masters by doing it digitally. So an excellent restoration could be made from them today.

The negative was badly faded in the early 90’s. If storage conditions have been improved and it has been cared for, there is no reason to assume it has faded more. And we don’t seem to be in a position to know if a new color separation master was made to archive the negative so that even if the original deteriorated, they would have a copy as it was then. The new D+ scan (which appears to be 8 years old at this point) shows as much color as any of the older telecines made from interpositives of the o-neg. So whatever the state, it is good enough to get a really good scan. So whatever they have done since the early 90’s, the film is in pretty good shape.

Post
#1366038
Topic
What is your main way of watching the Original Trilogy?
Time

I’m picky with colors. I don’t tolerate odd colors very well. I just can’t enjoy watching anything that way. I have found issue with most of the color corrections for 4k77 and 4k83 and also with harmy’s Despecialized. I tend to favor my color correction of the GOUT, but that might be surpassed by the D+ semidespecialized (D+77, D+80 and D+83, which isn’t out yet).

Post
#1357358
Topic
Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020
Time

emanswfan said:

Got a chance to watch the new 4K Dolby Vision version of Lawrence of Arabia, and my goodness did it remind me what a proper film restoration is supposed to look like with the latest tech. It was bright and grainy and the colors looked more like old film stock than some of the HD clips from an earlier release I found on Youtube. I pulled up Empire Strikes Back by comparison that looked dull and waxy by comparison. (Of course LOA was shot on 65mm vs 35mm for SW, but I don’t think most of what I was seeing was due to that).

I even watched King Creole, a B&W film staring Elvis Presley from the 50’s, in 4K Dolby Vision and that looked better these 4K versions of the Original Trilogy. (forgive some sections that were restored from a late generation print, but otherwise the vast majority was sourced from the original negative).

I seriously am more and more disappointed and confused about how these movies continue to look like absolute shit when compared to other classic films.

Because, except of 2003 when the scanned it for DVD and HD broadcast, they haven’t actually scanned it for release since. The 2011 BR was just the 2003 HD scan. The 2006 extra disc was just a quick transfer of the 93 Definitive Collection LD master. And this was the scanned master for a supposed 3D conversion from several years back. So we have never really had a quality release of these films. I don’t suppose we ever will. What we need is a proper restoration for all these films.

Post
#1350421
Topic
Info Wanted: The Prequel Trilogy - awful DNR - are there better versions available?
Time

For my personal edits, I am planning on using Schorman’s HDTV for AOTC and ROTS. I do plan on restoring the wipe when Threepio and Obi-wan are leaving Mustufar off the blu-ray to produce what is basically the theatrical version. But those seem to have more life and better colors than later releases. I’m enamored with CG Yoda, so my go to version of TPM has to include that I have made my own edit which is the theatrical cut using the original DTS audio tracks, but using the BR with CG Yoda. I found an HD cut of the theatrical podrace to get the first shots of that sequence and I creatively edited one of the clips in the extended air-speeder sequence on Coruscant to cover the missing shot so it is all HD. A little noise and grain hid the worst of the DNR, but that one shot of Qui-gon can’t be so easily fixed. It depends on which cut you are after. Three shots from the original theatrical version of TMP only exist in SD so with upscaling I haven’t been able to get them to look even watchable at higher than 720p. But if you just want to put something on, HDTV version is proabably the best looking. Though ZigZig’s recent release of his LD preservation rivals it in some ways for color.

Post
#1350418
Topic
Luke's X-wing left at Bespin? How did he get it back?
Time

It is the same model, same cockpit set, and same full sized prop. We can assume that in the year between TESB and ROTJ that someone went back to Bespin to get it. The new official canon is that Lando and Luke went back after they found out Han was delivered to Jabba. Luke looked for his saber, but retrieved his X-wing.

Alternatively it would be pretty easy to have a different X-wing painted to match the original.

Post
#1349382
Topic
StarWarsLegacy.com - The Official Thread
Time

I have to say he does good work, but the man is ignorant as to why Lucas edited out some of these shots. He keeps saying there is no reason and even after he cleans them up, I can see the reason and it isn’t what he thinks it is. For instance, the Wolfman was replaced not becasue of the quality of the shot, but because of the mask itself that Lucas hated. And the composite shot outside Yavin base just looks horrible because the matte painting looks so fake when you get to higher resolutions. We all still love the original, but Mike doesn’t seem to understand what drove Lucas to make the changes he made. It was not the quality of the shots, it was the composition and the flaws in production that had been under his skin.

Nice to hear from him after so long, but kind of depressing that nothing is going to come of this.

Post
#1347749
Topic
Harmy's RETURN OF THE JEDI - Grindhouse 35mm LPP (Released)
Time

Harmy said:

Having recently compared them, I actually like the colors of this better too (not to blow my own horn 😉) but I think it would be much easier and a more worthy effort to recolor 4K83 than to clean this.

Being the expert on despecialized and what that takes, do you think 4K83 has enough color depth to replace the SE parts?

Post
#1347670
Topic
Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace - ZigZig's Laserdisc Preservation (Released)
Time

CourtlyHades296 said:

I’m more interested in a scan of JSC than Faces.

There is already an excellent version of JSC. I have it and it is nearly as good as this version of TPM. It is also a much older LD release by about 15 years. The DSC and Faces release hasn’t seen a lot of love because it is mostly a repeat of what go released in 2006. But I think that has some flaws that a high quality LD preservation might fix.

althor1138 has done great work and has done so many versions except the DC, Faces, and TPM.

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Star-Wars-Laserdisc-Preservations-See-1st-Post-for-Updates/id/15283

Post
#1347253
Topic
Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace - ZigZig's Laserdisc Preservation (Released)
Time

Yes, I have those two SD copies (TB and ORF) and I’m going to see if this added to those can improve it. In particular the three shots that don’t exist in HD (until we hopefully get a film scan). This version is glorious is so many ways.

And I hope that you might be tempted to do the one LD version that does not exist in this quality - the Definitive Collection/Faces. True we have the GOUT discs, but I have some concerns that some of the GOUT issues might be reduced with a proprer pulldown reversal and such an LD preservation might offer some improvements.

Post
#1345917
Topic
Star Wars Prequels 35mm 4K Filmized Editions by Emanswfan (a WIP)
Time

NeverarGreat said:

It looks like all three of them are just the Blu-rays run through a sharpening/upscaling process. ROTS really suffers from sharpening artifacts while AOTC looks better for the process.

I’d say that they went back a generation. Not the actual BR version, but the master the used to make it. AOTC actually looks like it has more detail. I’m guessing whatever they did to “clean up” the image for the blu-ray is gone and they have “cleaned up” the video for 4k.

Post
#1343994
Topic
Empire Strikes Back 1997 HD (a more accurate) Reconstruction (Released)
Time

Stotchy said:

I am really curious as to how you got the 97DTS track to sync.

Is this reconstruction frame accurate so the audio just worked? Or did you have to make changes to the soundtrack to fit the video?

Since we have frame accurate versions of the 97se and the DTS tracks are by film reel, it is rather simple to align them and sync the video to it.

Post
#1340645
Topic
I'll never understand the attitude of people who oppose the release of the unaltered original trilogy.
Time

Yup, Blade Runner is a shining example of how the OT (and even PT) should be treated. Heck, even deleted scenes. Everything was cleaned up and polished and presented in a format that you can truly enjoy each of the 5 version of the film or the deleted scenes. Everything in 1080p, everything in a state that fan editors salivate over. That is what I want from an OT release. If you can do branching that would be awesome, but there are so many changes from the OT to the SE that isn’t very practical. So, like in 2006, a bonus disk with the OT. each version. There are 4 version of ANH and 2 of TESB and then the various soundtracks. And the SE PT done the same way with the different versions and soundtracks. And then a disc for the deleted scenes. A real set of deleted and alternate scenes… in color, cleaned and timed properly. But you’d have to have someone at Disney and Lucasfilm who cares enough to do this. I’d partner with Criterion for the release because they would love a project like this and wouldn’t be put off by the low profit margin that Disney cares about (and face it, we know they do).

Post
#1339267
Topic
Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020
Time

Han Solo IRL said:

MikeMatt101 said:

Broom Kid said:

Looking at the cap from above, thought I’d put together a comparison of “Here to Rescue Yous”

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/7DKY7NNX

I think I got those all labeled correctly.

May I ask, is the last of these screenshots the 2019 Blu Ray or the 2019 4K?

It’s the 4K. It’s got a 3840x1610 pixel count.

yotsuya said:

It sounds like we need to rip the new BR’s and 4k discs and apply a lut to make the 4k version match the colors of the BR. From what I’ve seen the 4k versions have crap colors unless you discover what tinkering you need. Virtually all the 4k screen caps I’ve seen look like crap. Utter crap. So washed out and unlike any film I’ve ever seen in a theater. Natalie Kalmus would be appalled.

The 4K discs are orders of magnitude better than the new 1080p discs for colour and contrast on my GZ1000. Tone mapped screencaps on PC monitors don’t give a good or accurate representation of the 4K versions at all.

From what has been shared, I can’t see it. If you can’t even capture an accurate image of it, what good is it? It has the resolution but if this community is going to make use of that, the colors you claim to be seeing need to transfer over or they are useless. So if we can’t transfer them any other way, we copy the BR colors to the 4k image. Should be easy. I don’t care for 4k because of all the problems the format seems to be having. We can’t burn 4k disc, we can’t transfer HDR colors, can’t even get the right colors in screen caps.