Editing Resumes on ROTJ:R!

Work on Revisited has restarted…

So today i started delving into the new Blu-Ray versions of the OT, beginning with ROTJ as this is the one i will be using these versions for. Well it is the best the trilogy has looked on home video. Which, in itself , is a very sad statement to make. A very subpar release i’m afraid. Although the grading doesn’t suffer as bad as the 2011 Blu-rays, it isn’t great either. Whereas the 2011 blu-rays suffered with oversaturated colours and a heavy blue tint, these ones are very undersaturated and it seems like the blues have almost been stripped from the film. Skies are almost grey and other areas that should have heavy blues are missing almost all traces of blue colour. So, where i thought that ROTJ wouldn’t need so much of a regrade as it would have using the 2011 blu-rays, turns out there needs to be as much, if not more, work done in that area.

Now getting onto the image quality. While , again for the most part, the quality of the video is much better than the previous 2011 blu-ray set, it does suffer with many problems. Most of it is down to RelianceMediaworks grain reduction/ restoration. Static/ frozen grain is a problem that plagues releases they have worked on. Background really suffer with frozen grain. While the image is static, it doesn’t pose too much of an issue. But if the background is moving along with the shot, then it makes the background look like its a still image just sliding across the screen, almost making the shot look like the background was added at a later time. The biggest static/ frozen grain problem though is when it is on people faces/ bodies. The frozen grain then unnaturally moves with the character, while still being frozen. Then there are areas of the image where RelianceMediaworks algorithm seems to have missed the grain completely and actually over-sharpened it. I’ve been doing some experiments to eliminate/reduce this problem and , so far, the results are promising. Sadly this isn’t going to be just a case of adding a filter to remove the frozen grain. Each shot will have to be worked on individually. Each shot will require multiple mask layers to separate background and foreground objects to apply filters to reduce this problem. Sadly adding a layer of slight film grain doesn’t hide this problem, so heavy rotoscoping & multiple mask layers is the only route. Then, once this cleanup is done, a slight layer of film grain can be added to match the previous 2 films in the Revisited saga. Very time consuming, but it will be worth it.

Another problem with the grain reduction is that the digital noise reduction has been applied to heavily on many shots, destroying a hell of a lot of detail. These shots are spread throughout the film and are worse quality than the old 2011 blu-ray set (as you can in the comparisons between the 2020 blu-ray set and the 2011 in the link below). (either press the number on your keyboard that corresponds with the image to cycle through them or click on each tab)

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/91J0CNNU

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

Now , for these type of shots, I will be replacing them with the 2011 versions. With some clean-up work these shots can look pretty good, much better than they are on this new set. Here is a rough example of what can be done.

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/91J1JNNU

that last shot also shows ( in motion it can be seen much clearer) another problem with this new set: the use of Power Windows. This is where an area is masked off so that a different grading can be applied to it. In that shot, Han and Leia have been badly masked off and have been brightened. The problem is that the shadow areas have also been brightened and do not blend in with the surrounding areas. What is worse is that the mask is so badly applied that is doesn’t follow the movement of the characters and then they have what looks like a black line around them at times. It’s horrendously bad. Theres a bit in ANH when they pull up to the cantina where this has also been badly applied. In the background as they get out from the speeder in front of the cantina, the background buildings have been masked to enable a different grading for the sky. But when the camera moves, the mask doesn’t move with it correctly and the sky in that area becomes a sandy colour. Although this one isn’t as noticeable as other ones

Now we get onto the films grading. Dull. That’s all I can say about it really. It’s so lacking. Like I said before, they seem to have gone the other way with this release and removed a lot of the blues that should be there and reduced the saturation . When you look at older releases of the OT, prior to the 2004 SE’s, you can see just how much the colouring differs. Thankfully we have the 4k83 releases, which are scanned from original film prints and give us a better idea of that the grading should or can look like. While these may not be 100% accurate to how the film originally looked, they’re the closest we are going to get. So I have been tinkering with the grading to try and get it to look more like the 4k83 versions. Below are a few examples of a test regrade.

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/7YDG7NNX

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/91191NNU

So , that’s it for now. The grain cleanup is going to take a while and then I can move onto the grading.

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Summer 2020 Update – Editing Resumes Next Month

Work will resume of the Revisited edits on September 14th. 😁😁😁

At the end of this month we will finally start to have a wage coming back into the household. Sadly a lot less than we had before, but at least its enough for us to cover our bills and food. And there are a LOT of people that are suffering a LOT more than we have than still don’t have this luxury.

Thank you so much to everyone that helped support me through these difficult times. I really can’t thank you enough. Yes, this period has created a hell of a lot of debt for us, but at least, thanks to you guys, we were able to cover some of our bills.

I must apologise for not doing the Q&A video that i originally promised. To be honest i just haven’t been in the right frame of mind to do anything like that. But it will be coming shortly after i restart work on the edits.
Things will still remain quite quiet until the start date because i’m still severely limiting the time spent on the computer to keep the electric bill low until we can start affording it again.

I’m also going to go back in this thread to try and answer as many of the questions asked that i have missed

Thank you all for being so understanding.

Posted in Uncategorized

May The 4th Be With You!

First off i would like to thank everyone for your supportive comments/ messages during this difficult time. And to those that sent a donation & offered help i can’t thank you enough. I had a lot of messages/ comments asking how they could help with a donation (sorry to those that i haven’t replied to but i am limiting my internet time to once a week at the moment) , well the easiest way would be through the original donation Paypal money pool. This is the link.

https://paypal.me/pools/c/8fZda4Wcai

In other news, i have been able to check out the new Blu-Ray for ROTJ. Wow, what a difference. The picture is much sharper than the original blu-rays and the grading is also much better. It does still have its problems though. Static grain being the main one. The image has too much Digital noise reduction applied in places causing the image to look unnatural and soft. I think i have a way of minimising the static grain, but i won’t know until i can get back to work on the edits. The grading is good for the most part but it does need some work, but nowhere near as much as the 2011 blu-rays did.

While editing work is at a halt , i thought i might do a Q&A session where i can answer questions you have about ROTJ:R or the Revisited saga in general. So, if you post your questions in the comments on Facebook, i will try to answer as many as i can in a video that i will post in a week or two’s time.

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Spring 2020 Update – Project Delayed + Demo Reel

Well, the world really has gone to sh*t hasn’t it…

This will be my last update for a while. I’ll explain the reasons why further on.
So ANH:R has been coming along nicely. Apart from about 12 FX shots, I’ve now completed up to the escape from the Death Star. That’s 1hr 30mins of the film completed. But , as usual, something had to put a spanner in the works…

A few weeks ago, my wife lost her job. It came completely out of the blue. As the sole bread winner of the family this was going to hit us hard. But we were optimistic of her finding a new job in no time. Plenty of interviews lined up. And then the coronavirus pandemic hit our country. Every single interview cancelled within a week. Recruitment halted and places started ton close down. And then the lockdown happens. within a few weeks our life had turned upside down. But we are not the only ones as almost everyone is suffering through this crisis and there are people a lot worse off than we are.

Trying to get financial help off the government is proving to be very difficult. They have said it is unlikely we would qualify for Universal Credit, but we are still awaiting on the decision. So we are having to make a lot of financial changes to our lives until this pandemic blows over and things can hopefully return to normal and places start recruiting again. So, at the moment, we are surviving on her final wage packet. Things like TV services, internet, phones etc have all got to go until normality returns. But a huge reduction has to be our electric consumption. Just got our latest bill and that was over £160 solely for electric. So i have no other choice but to halt work on Revisited because i HAVE to stop using this computer completely to drastically reduce our consumption. When it on at least 14 hours a day it really does eat up the electric.

So it’s highly likely there won’t be any updates from me for a while.
I was going to schedule some screenshots to be posted over the next few weeks but i thought, what the hell. Forget screenshots, why not post a video showing these shots in action instead. those that can remember the very first video i ever posted when i began working on Revisited will get the homage to that with the disco soundtrack. Hopefully they won’t block this video.
Oh, and for those that noticed the 8 minute preview had been removed from Vimeo, well it seems that they are clamping down on there too now. This doesn’t mean that the project is dead. Just that a request to remove it was placed.

I hope everyone can understand why i have to stop work on Revisited for now.

Hope you enjoy the video

Stay safe everyone. And see you all on the other side…

Posted in News, Video Clips

Merry Christmas! First 13 Minutes of ANHR:HD!

Merry Christmas everyone. Here is a 13 minute clip from the HD version of ANH:Revisited. The audio was taken from the original SD version of ANH:R, so this won’t be how the final version will sound. But the video side of things is 100% complete. See how many changes you can spot 🙂

Posted in Video Clips | Tagged , ,

December 2019 Update

Sorry things have been quiet here lately. But it’s that time of the year when i concentrate more on getting things needed to be done at home to be ready for Christmas and work on the edits take more of a back seat. Plus i seem to have been getting every single damn bug that’s been going around here in the UK lately, so have been quite ill. Still haven’t fully recovered. But they weren’t the only reasons why i have been so quiet

There has been a major development that has altered plans for these edits somewhat…. Disney+.

There had been rumours, prior to the streaming service going live, that there would be brand new 4k scans of the OT and now we know this came to be true. Unfortunately we don;t have access to Disney+ in the UK so i was unable to check out these new scans until recently. Well they have turned out to be a game changer. While ANH and ESB seem to suffer with some grading problems in places, ROTJ looks beautiful for the most part and would need minimal work to enhance the grading, unlike the amount of work needed to fix the current blu-rays. This was the film that had so many problems with grading and having a whole reel scanned out of focus on the Blu-Ray releases. So the rumours of a 4k set of the saga being released in 2020 are looking much more likely now.

While i won’t be using the streaming versions for my edits, because of compression etc, i will be using official physical releases for ROTJ:R. Which has changed plans significantly. I have stopped work on the grading of ROTJ as i will no longer be using the current blu-rays for that film. This means stopping work on the film until an official Blu-Ray release of the new versions. It would be madness for me to continue when there is going to be something much better to use at some point. This also means not working on any effects shots that incorporate parts of the blu-ray picture ( like fixes, matte enhancements etc). I will, however, be continuing work on models and shots that will be used as a complete replacement for existing ones. This will all start after Christmas now i have all the supplies needed. But just because i will be using the new 4k transfers of ROTJ, this doesn’t mean that it will be in 4k. The saga will still be 720p

So i’m going to concentrate mainly on ANH:R HD. I’m happy with the completed colour grading i did for that film and having already completed the first quarter of the film it wouldn’t be worth scrapping everything just to use the new versions.

I’m off now to down another Lemsip and try to recover from this damn ilness

MTFBWY

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New A New Hope Revisited HD Screenshots

Here are a few screenshots comparing the official blu-ray, the original SD version of ANH:R and the new HD version. As you can see i’m sticking pretty close to the shots in the original SD version of ANH:R (impossible to exactly recreate the shots without all the original elements and project files). Some shots though will be different . This will be due to a few reasons, but mainly because i wasn’t able to do / fix something when i first worked on the edit or because the original elements used just don’t look very good in HD. In the case of the R2 canyon shot, for example, the AOTC Blu-ray is so soft and digitally scrubbed ( not to mention the new awful colour grade used), the Tatooine elements that i originally used just don’t look to good and pretty fake/ cartoony. Plus i was never really happy with that shot in the first place.

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Battle Droid has been re-added to the shot from ANHR.

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The Special Edition skyline has been replaced.

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New sandcrawler (actually a shot of the sandcrawler that was replaced for the Special Edition)

71221893_2903018169713746_4493321027601825792_o

The Special Edition skyline has been replaced.

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This shot was recomposited with new suns elements.

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The Special Edition skyline has been replaced.

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The Blockade Runner is deeper in the docking bay and grasped by the pincers.

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Donation Goal News & First 20 Minutes of ANH:R HD Complete

Sorry for the lack of updates. I took a few weeks off from social media because i needed a bit of a break and concentrate on a few things i needed to do around the house and garden and spend some time with family.

Well i was about to make a post announcing that we have made it past the donation total. But the past couple of days i’ve been dealing with Paypal. We reached the total on Tuesday, actually going £5 over. But then i got multiple emails informing me that they had received 5 , in total, charge backs from people who had donated , not through the money pool, but through the wordpress link in US dollars. It seemed strange to me that i would get these all on the same day. When looking through my account i could see they were all supposedly from all different people. But each email they donated using ended in .de and these 5 donations all happened within a few days of each other. Now that is suspicious. But sadly there is nothing i can do about this as Paypal are backing the people who asked for their money back. Thankfully this can’t happen through the money pool donations. So i will be disabling the donation links on the wordpress site and any future donations will only be taken through the money pool option. Luckily this time it wasn’t a credit card charge back so i didn’t end up losing much more money that they originally donated ( even though they used todays exchange rate instead of the better exchange rate when they first donated) . But it still has left me £346 away from the drive total. So close , yet so far.

So this is the only link to make a donation to now:

https://paypal.me/pools/c/8fZda4Wcai

Anyway, on to some better news. The first 20 minutes of video for ANH:R HD, up to the Leia Hologram scene in Luke’s garage, is 100% completed. That’s over 150 shots finished just for that section. But thats not the total number i have completed for the movie as i don’t do things in order. It’s over double that so far in total. I have tried to keep it as close to the original DVD version as possible, but as you can understand, it’s not going to be 100% faithful without having all the original project files etc. There are a few extra fixes that i have been able to do that i wasn’t able to do originally and a few minor changes FX wise ( mattes etc).

I’ll post some pics in the next few days

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A New Hope Revisited HD Opening Shots Preview

Here is a quick look at the opening shot of ANH:RHD. The one good thing about having to start everything from scratch is that i am able to utilize sources that were not available at the time, like HD scans of many of the original Matte Paintings. Plus i have learned a great deal since i completed ANH:R, so i am able to fix a few things that i wasn’t able to fix first time around. It would have been impossible to accurately recreate the original version anyway.

hd moons.jpg

Fixed the misaligned flash effect on the Stardestroyer…


fixed-flash.jpg

And fixed the background issue with the trooper…

trooper-fixed.jpg

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Donation Drive Update and Landing Platform Explanation

The donation drive is going well. Thanks again to all who have contributed so far. We’re just over £1700 away from reaching the target. If we can hit the target by the end of this month, as a small thanks you, i will upload a clip of the redone Obi-Wan/ Vader duel from ANH:RHD

Donations for materials needed can be made through:

https://paypal.me/pools/c/8fZda4Wcai

Now onto the first part in a short series of posts where i explain some of the changes i will be making for ROTJ:R.

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In this scene, their dialogue doesn’t make much sense with what we see on screen. Leia says” The main entrance to the control bunker is the far side of that landing platform. This isn’t going to be easy”. To which Han replies “Hey, don’t worry. Chewie and me got into a lot of places more heavily guarded than that”. Well that wouldn’t be difficult because there is nothing or no one down there apart from the landing platform. And the only activity is the shuttle leaving. Which comes to the other problem. The scene directly before this is the scene at night when Luke faces Vader on the landing platform and is taken away to the shuttle. It’s the same landing platform and it makes it look like they were just sitting around in the shuttle for hours waiting for daylight.

It’s interesting though when you read this scene in the original novel:

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Now that fits in perfectly with what they are saying on screen. Even though Han’s dialogue is slightly different, it’s still basically the same as in the film. This is the type of thing we should be seeing on screen at that point, so that is what i will be doing, using a mixture of physical models , miniature sets and digital FX. It’s going to be a heavily guarded place 

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