James Bond and Film Grain - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-04-2013, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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So I got the Bond 50 blu ray box set (really excellent) and decided to pop in Quantum of Solace. While many scenes are crystal clear, to my surprise a good handful of them were very grainy (pictures attached). I had also experienced this with The World Is Not Enough but figured since it came out before the HD era that wasn't very surprising. First question is, has anyone else experienced this with these movies? Secondly, while I don't care much for grainy films (I know some do) is there a list floating around of the top 10 least grainy and most grainy films? If anyone was curious I was watching on my Sharp LC-60LE600U with DNR on high and using the PS3 for Blu-ray. Thanks in advanced.

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post #2 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 03:35 AM
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Quantum of Solace is a great looking Blu-ray and it keeps the grain in the photography visible as it should.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 05:23 AM
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JulianPope, since the flood gates are about to open, my first best suggestion is buy an umbrella. smile.gif

Grain is a natural part of film and should be as visible on Blu-ray as it is when you see a film projected in your cinema. Only newer films shot digitally (e.g. Avengers) or modern animated films (Toy Story et al) should ever be absent of grain. All others, if presented properly, will be grainy to some degree - as well they should be. Some films will be grainier due to choices made by the director or cinematographer. Sometimes those choices will affect the grain even from shot to shot, as you may be seeing in Quantum of Solace.

If you see Blu-rays devoid of grain (especially of old films), these will most likely have been scrubbed using something called DNR. You will find plenty of posts about that if you search just a little.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 06:51 AM
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Having a TV or player's sharpness or contrast control cranked will often accentuate grain due to artificial enhancement of edges. Perhaps look into how best to set these for a cinematic experience before exploring other filters to remove grain as that will also remove detail.

As someone else has mentioned, grain is intrinsic to film and is part of the film-like experience of a cinema that we try to recreate at home: usually grain can not be separated easily from fine film detail.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 09:01 AM
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I don't remember QoS having excessive amounts of grain. Make sure your TV is set up to display an accurate image. If it's in some over-sharpened, over-saturated, blown out torch mode, you can't hold a disc liable for the horrible things your TV is doing to it. And, if you're used to some horrible torch mode image, it might take you a few minutes to adjust to a more natural one.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure what 'torch mode' is but my sharpness is at 0. Animated films must be different I put on Castle in the Sky (1989) blu ray and it was completely devoid of film grain.

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post #7 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 12:10 PM
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Live action films will always have more grain/noise than animated films since you never have perfectly controlled light levels. Low light = faster film stock = bigger grain.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 04:38 PM
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DNR on high. lol. You should buy dvds instead if that's what you want.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa View Post

Quantum of Solace is a great looking Blu-ray and it keeps the grain in the photography visible as it should.
It had grain in the theater, therefore so should the disc.

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post #10 of 21 Old 04-05-2013, 08:20 PM
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So you have your sharpness on 0 yet you have DNR on high?????? The picture on your HDTV must be really damn soft, not because sharpness is low because sharpness should be set low, but because your DNR is killing the detail. Turn DNR off.
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 04:14 AM
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Films shot on... film... should have grain. Because the image is made up out of... grain.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh ok, didn't realize this was a smart ass forum

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post #13 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 12:26 PM
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Nobody is trying to be smart ass, its just that the chemical make up of film makes grain an inherent artefact.
You will find some VERY heated discussions on the subject of grain on these forums because some like it and others loath it, preferring the sort of clean grain free images that modern digital media provides.
But pretty much everybody agrees that removing grain means removing detail, you cannot really do one with the other so if grain is in the original stock it should be present in the Blu-Ray.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 01:39 PM
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I have not watched QoS in sometime but I am assuming the variances you have observed are likely due to the speed of film stock used for those particular shots or even a stylistic choice.

Unfortunately some of the Studio Ghibli movies have been filtered, not as bad as the UK, such as CITS but NotVotW has been left alone. Yet since you claim to have the DNR featured turned up anyway what little grain there is on CITS would be removed by it. Filtering often does not visibly degrade animated films picture quality as adversely as live action ones since they usually do not have nearly as much finely detailed visual information to be affected.

Now no one here knows your background and it was not mentioned in the first post. Even though you claim to have worked in the industry it does not really mean anything either; for all we know you worked as a key grip. Nor do we know what your display settings are, having baseline can help with responses. Since many here are enthusiasts there is an assumption that everyone has well calibrated displays.

Judging from your posts it does instill a sense of ignorance of the issue of accurate picture quality reproduction of a movie mostly captured on film.

Although wuther's comment is dismissive it is reflective of the contradiction in your expectations. Enabling your displays DNR features to maximum degrades fine details which is a major benefit of HD; so with excessive DNR applied it essentially defeats the point of bothering with BR. Effectively you will be viewing better than DVD quality but not the full potential which HD can provide.

Ideally one should have their display professionally calibrated or at least use reasonably accurate picture settings; you may not like the result but if given time you might actually understand why many prefer not to enable similar features that you are using.

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post #15 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the thought in your response. I had maxed the DNR during that film because I was trying to figure out if it would help reduce all the noise and it did a little, I usually keep it on low. I was an editor with a post production group by the way, the only reason it even need be mentioned is because I know what 'film' is and I don't appreciate being patronized. I just got this TV a few weeks ago and I'm trying to work out the kinks is all. I just want is the clearest cleanest possible picture as I'd imagine most people do.

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post #16 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianPope View Post

My question was specifically about Quantum of Solace as I have seen other blu-rays released around that time that weren't as grainy. Nothing needs to get heated in a discussion about home entertainment lol
Every movie is different... different DPs, different film stocks, different stylistic choices, budgets, ability to control lighting, etc. Some movies deliberately go for a grainy aesthetic, under-exposing/push-processing the film, others stick to slower film stocks and/or thicker exposures, others are shot haphazardly, etc.
Since home theater enthusiasts have had to deal with many waxy, noise-reduced discs, grain is somewhat of a contentious topic around here.
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 07:08 PM
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I'll confess that sometimes I set DNR to low when watching HD programs since artfacting, macroblocking and actual video noise, not grain but video noise, are distracting. So especially during sports, a bit of light DNR can actuelly help clean up the picture. For Blu-Ray though, it should ALWAYS be set off IMO regardless of the transfer quality.
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-08-2013, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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can you post pictures of the differences between grain and noise?

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post #19 of 21 Old 04-09-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulianPope View Post

I appreciate the thought in your response. I had maxed the DNR during that film because I was trying to figure out if it would help reduce all the noise and it did a little, I usually keep it on low. I was an editor with a post production group by the way, the only reason it even need be mentioned is because I know what 'film' is and I don't appreciate being patronized. I just got this TV a few weeks ago and I'm trying to work out the kinks is all. I just want is the clearest cleanest possible picture as I'd imagine most people do.
Look, if you work in the industry then you should know and understand what grain is, how it works and also how DNR can degrade picture quality. I don't say this to antagonize you. I say it because you are claiming to be in the industry, but are asking why a title is grainy. I (and others) are a bit confused by that contradiction.

Each film is different. Some films are grainier than others and no doubt the older the film, the greater the chance their will be grain. Modern film stocks and digital cameras are spoiling people so when they see grain, they think something is wrong and want to erase it. All that does is erase detail.

Studios sometimes hear a few complaints about grain and than release a new version of the film, but grain scrubbed...



When it comes to this forum, most of the members are high end buyers and high information viewers. When we hear "I don't like grain" or "I hate black bars an want all Blu-Rays cropped to fill my screen" reactions range from mild annoyance to thermo-nuclear anger.

What I recommend for you is to play with your TV, get it set up right. Tweak tweak tweak until you have a calibrated image. Then you will see what releases are good (to you) and what releases are bad (to you).

By the way, most releases today that have grain also have some mosquito noise. It's very difficult for these encodes to resolve grain without noise. Few releases get it just right.

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post #20 of 21 Old 04-09-2013, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I didn't start this thread to complain about grain, I honestly just wanted to know why QoS looked grainer than other movies that were even older than it, now I understand. Is there a difference between film grain and just noise? I can see the difference very clearly in that Predator screenshot.

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post #21 of 21 Old 04-10-2013, 06:27 AM
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Grain and noise are not the same, but grain frequently leads to noise in the encoding process. The first PREDATOR DVD was MPEG2 on a similar layer had frequent problems with compression artifacts and noise. The second disc not so, but it had been so completely stripped of detail the image was unwatchable.

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