I Wish UK Blu-ray - Problems with image blur, anyone know what causes this specific artifact? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-11-2013, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hirokazu Koreeda's latest film: I Wish (Kiseki) is being released on Blu-ray/DVD by Arrow at the end of May and I'm currently working on a review of the disc, but it has some very strange issue with detail levels and image blur that I was hoping the boffins on here could shed some light.

Basically most of the medium shots and pretty much all of the long shots look horribly out of focus and the edges of contrasty areas have a smudgy "halo" around them (kind of like what you'd see if a diffusion filter has been applied to the image). When things are high contrast, like a white image on a black background, then the whites streak across the screen like someone has just run a thumb across the image and smudged it. This is most apparent during the film's titles (the studio cards and end credits). I'm sure I've come across this streaking issue before and there's a name for it, but I must be getting old as I'm drawing a total blank!

Arrow aren't to blame here though because I've seen screengrabs of the HK BD release from Panorama and it appears to have the same issue of blurry long shots.

Anyway, here are some screengrabs (had to upload them to IMGUR, don't know where else I could upload them tbh): 01, 02, 03, 04
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-12-2013, 12:29 PM
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You can upload images as part of the message you post to AVS. It's the icon just to the left of the paperclip.

If the blurriness varies from scene to scene, it almost has to be the fault of the source material provided to the disc production service.

Unfortunately, your screengrabs are JPEG. JPEG damages the image quality making it almost impossible to determine what problems originate with the source material and what are due to JPEG.. The screengrabs need to be taken and uploaded in a lossless format like PNG. (BMP, TGA or TIFF could be used, but they result in much larger files.)

Stripes across images due to over-saturation usually are created in the camera or in the display device. Am I correct in assuming you're watching it on a computer display? Have you compared the white-on-black credits of this movie to those from some other "reference quality" movie? The problem might be in the source material, your player software, or the graphics hardware. Since computer screenshots are taken directly from the graphics hardware's RAM, its unlikely to be a display problem.

My personal suspicion is that the problem in the credits, at least, is most likely due to the compression software used by the disc production house, and that they mis-adjusted some of the software's controls.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-12-2013, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Didn't see the point in uploading PNG titles to IMGUR, but now that I know how to upload images to here I'll get right on it, thanks Selden. BTW the PNG grabs will exhibit the exact same issues as the JPEGs, I would not have posted the JPEGs if I thought the issues I described had anything to do with JPEG compression. They are there on the Blu-ray and I'd also be very surprised if it was a display issue because the problem's there on both my JVC DLA-X35 projector and my AOC monitor. Likewise I don't think it's a problem with the cameras used in production because the theatrical presentation looked perfectly fine.

So I guess that leaves either compression or maybe how the negative/print was transferred to digital? As I mentioned in my OP the HK BD release also seems to have the same problem, but there hasn't been a Blu-ray release in its native Japan yet so it should be interesting to see if the eventual Japanese release exhibits the same issue!


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post #4 of 11 Old 04-13-2013, 10:50 AM
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I have the Japanese release. Posting two screencaps.

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post #5 of 11 Old 04-13-2013, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting, didn't realise Bandai had already released it in Japan as a Cdjapan search brought up nothing. Unfortunately I can't match any screengrabs posted because I no longer have the UK BD here (it was a loaner), but going from the first screenshot you've posted nomadi it does indeed seem like the UK & HK releases are struck from the same masters as the Japanese, so the fault is probably with Bandai.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-13-2013, 05:11 PM
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Has this ever been released on VHS or DVD before? Are there any HD recordings of that movie on a DVR? If so, do the same issues come up? If so, it's likely it could have been the source material. Such as a problematic film gate or some such other informality. If it's not in the source, then there could have been a problem with it's transfer.

If it's not in the source, I would blame it on the transfer, not your equipment.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-13-2013, 06:29 PM
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Investigate how it was produced and filmed. That usually leads to some answers, though I have noticed a tendency for Japanese owners to pass off inferior transfers to foreign distributors. Are there any frame-rate conversions from the original source to the UK disc?
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-14-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Investigate how it was produced and filmed. That usually leads to some answers, though I have noticed a tendency for Japanese owners to pass off inferior transfers to foreign distributors. Are there any frame-rate conversions from the original source to the UK disc?
Yeah I'm looking into it, but naturally not being able to read/speak Japanese is a bit of a hindrance! Here's what IMDB say:

Camera
Arricam LT, Zeiss and Angenieux Lenses
Arricam ST, Zeiss and Angenieux Lenses

Laboratory
Imagica Corporation, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Film negative format (mm/video inches)
35 mm (Fuji Eterna 500T 8573)

Cinematographic process
Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format)
Spherical (source format)

Printed film format
35 mm (Fuji Eterna-CP 3514DI)
D-Cinema
Digital (Digital Cinema Package DCP)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebarnman View Post

Has this ever been released on VHS or DVD before? Are there any HD recordings of that movie on a DVR? If so, do the same issues come up? If so, it's likely it could have been the source material. Such as a problematic film gate or some such other informality. If it's not in the source, then there could have been a problem with it's transfer.

If it's not in the source, I would blame it on the transfer, not your equipment.
From what I've gathered the film is available on BD & DVD in Japanese & HK and there's a US DVD coming out in a couple of days. Arrow are releasing it on BD & DVD in the UK on May 27th. The US distributor (Magnolia Pictures) have uploaded a HD trailer on YouTube that looks fairly similar to the UK BD transfer. I saw a digital projection of this film at the cinema four weeks ago and I don't recall any softness/blurriness in the image, it's something that I'm a little paranoid about tbh when it comes to digital screenings as I've been in more than a few where the automatic focus has screwed up. Of course, now I'm seeing the softness in the JPN Blu-ray and the US HD trailers, I'm starting to doubt my memory of the cinema screening!
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-15-2013, 02:06 PM
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It can be as simple as that your Blu-ray player output wrong resolution. Check the players resolution via the TV:s info-button.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-15-2013, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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It's not my equipment, can you not see the issue in the screengrabs I posted surap?
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post #11 of 11 Old 05-12-2013, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Just an update on this: I finished my review and our site got in touch with Arrow and they checked their digital masters and compared them to their theatrical prints and saw no difference, so my initial memory that the digital screening I attended was free of the issue must have been incorrect. It looks like whatever the cause of the blurring and halos, it was almost certainly a result of the way the film was produced & not a fault with the masters or prints.

I'm going to edit my original post now to remove the comments on the digital screening, as I feel it misrepresents the Blu-ray transfer.
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