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post #31 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by wuther View Post
The problem is (or was) the studio/distributor/mastering management who have wildly different ideas of what the 'modern' home video consumers want. These are the same geniuses that thought home video should only be pan & scan.
No, actually those were different geniuses. The executive offices at major studios have been revolving doors for the past 20 years or so, particularly in home video departments. The guy who made the decision to over-grain-reduce a 1995 transfer isn't the same guy who did it in 2000 or 2005 or 2010 or today. It's all different people. I like to think they've gotten smarter over the years, but some things never change.

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It does not help there are still film grain haters demanding HD be clean though. For over a hundred year film goers have paid to watch productions with different levels of grain consistently and you will not find them complaining about it coming out the theater.
Don't forget that the very first Blu-ray releases in June of 2006 were roundly criticized for being grainy, being full of dirts, tons of scratches, and being very haphazardly mastered. Only when the discs got returned in droves did the studios sit up and take notice, and their reaction was to go in the opposite direction: spending lots of time removing all the positive and negative dirt, smoothing out density issues, and in some cases, doing too much grain reduction.

Finding a balance between spending money, spending time, having reasonable taste, and having technical expertise is the biggest problem we have in the entire mastering industry.


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Lowry had a thing about it sure and he was wrong, not that there is any film grain consistently between the Bond film masters which is want he really should of been worried about but I am sure the pressure to knock them out fast had partly to do with it.
I was not around when the Bond films were being done, but I have been led to believe that MGM/UA (and Danjaq) spent an awful lot of money restoring all the films, knowing that this added to the value of their library and was also an important part of the Bond legacy. The films have made so many billions of dollars, even spending $500K-$600K per release would be a drop in the bucket. (I have no idea what was actually spent, but it's not an atypical amount for 4K restoration of this scale.)

John Lowry himself was a very curmudgeonly, opinionated guy, but he generally had a good attitude and a real fondness for the work. I knew John casually when I worked for Image Transform back in the 1980s, and the idea for Lowry Digital was more towards film preservation -- not grain reduction per se. The Lowry Process was actually a whole umbrella group of software used for grain management, noise reduction, selective enhancement, de-flicker, dirt removal, and other things including realignment of YCM separation, 3D imaging, and so on.

They actually cared very much about what they did, and the people I knew over there (all of which are now gone as far as I know) did great work. If anything, they might have been the most expensive restoration company around, because they did take a lot of time and care at trying to do things right. On the rare occasions I've seen questionable work come out of Lowry (or many other facilities), usually that was a deliberate choice on the part of the studio.

If a client hits you on the back of the head and says, "I want it green and ugly," the reality of the business is you either do what they ask for, or they walk out and take the work elsewhere. We can make all the tactful suggestions we can, but the bottom line is that the director or the studio rep in charge of the project makes that call.
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post #32 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 01:02 AM
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Would you happen to know if work at the 4K level has been done for Star Wars recently?
To my knowledge, no -- it was all 2K. Note that Episodes 2 and 3 were all shot on HD with 2K visual effects, and none of the VFX in any of the Star Wars films were more than 2K. Some of the early digital stuff in the 1990s wasn't even HD.

It's an interesting thought as to whether they'd consider rescanning 100% of the live-action film footage in Star Wars and recomping all the VFX in 4K. That would be a monstrous expense -- I'm guessing as much as $20M -- so my gut feeling is it's not gonna happen.

People get very wrapped up in 4K, but I'm not convinced it's the be-all / end-all. I think 4K can look great, and I'm all for people shooting in this format, but the post process for 4K is so torturous and expensive, I'm not sure if the world is ready for it yet. I think it can work, but when you're looking at a project with upwards of 1200 visual effects, and each one takes 2 or 3 days to bounce around to different facilities (in 2K)... multiply that times 4 and tell me what it does to the schedule.

Having said that: there are more and more TV shows shooting in 4K. Sony showed some 4K demos of The Blacklist back in April at NAB, and I thought it looked fantastic. But that's not a show with 200 effects per episode.
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post #33 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
Sadly, my ignorance is backed up by being a video mastering engineer for 35 years. 20 of those were for Technicolor in Hollywood; 3 of them were for Kodak, also in Hollywood. I have 400 credits on IMDB, and have mastered more than 250 feature films and been involved with about 40 network TV series.

None of them are as sharp as I would like, especially the ones as old as The Time Machine (which is one of my favorite films). Perhaps we have different ideas of what sharpness is.

Way too many things filmed in the 60s all of us have seen that are very sharp and clear with incredible resolution for you to make such a blanket statement as I quoted first"It's a 1960 movie -- it's never gonna be sharp.". It really doesn't matter what experience you have if you choose to ignore what's out there or are ignorant of it. Look at The Sound of Music, Dr No, Goldfinger, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Twilight Zone, Ice, Station Zebra,Seconds,North By North West, Ben Hur to name a few I've seen. Your comment about 60's films doesn't hold up. Now if you had said something like so many films during that period were filmed on stock or with techniques which will never look sharp, well....

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post #34 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post
Way too many things filmed in the 60s all of us have seen that are very sharp and clear with incredible resolution for you to make such a blanket statement as I quoted first"It's a 1960 movie -- it's never gonna be sharp.". It really doesn't matter what experience you have if you choose to ignore what's out there or are ignorant of it. Look at The Sound of Music, Dr No, Goldfinger, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Twilight Zone, Ice, Station Zebra,Seconds,North By North West, Ben Hur to name a few I've seen. Your comment about 60's films doesn't hold up. Now if you had said something like so many films during that period were filmed on stock or with techniques which will never look sharp, well....

Art
I suspect the poster you are replying too is referring to digital sharpish rather then the crisp look of say the Exorcist and Crisp Grover done stuff like Taxi Driver. I have seen quite a few 'raw' plates of newish productions shot on film and they were also crisp rather then sharp.
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post #35 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
To my knowledge, no -- it was all 2K. Note that Episodes 2 and 3 were all shot on HD with 2K visual effects, and none of the VFX in any of the Star Wars films were more than 2K. Some of the early digital stuff in the 1990s wasn't even HD.

It's an interesting thought as to whether they'd consider rescanning 100% of the live-action film footage in Star Wars and recomping all the VFX in 4K. That would be a monstrous expense -- I'm guessing as much as $20M -- so my gut feeling is it's not gonna happen.

People get very wrapped up in 4K, but I'm not convinced it's the be-all / end-all. I think 4K can look great, and I'm all for people shooting in this format, but the post process for 4K is so torturous and expensive, I'm not sure if the world is ready for it yet. I think it can work, but when you're looking at a project with upwards of 1200 visual effects, and each one takes 2 or 3 days to bounce around to different facilities (in 2K)... multiply that times 4 and tell me what it does to the schedule.

Having said that: there are more and more TV shows shooting in 4K. Sony showed some 4K demos of The Blacklist back in April at NAB, and I thought it looked fantastic. But that's not a show with 200 effects per episode.
I'm sure it would be a huge undertaking. It's just too bad if it's never done as we see how great Blus sourced from 4K remasters can look and at some point, you would think Star Wars would need to be worked on.

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post #36 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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In case wuther or any other of the denizens are still curious about the Blu-ray Puppetoons Movie, here's the dope as I see it (it may actually speak to the differing ways things are mastered, which is the bulk of recent conversation).


If you don't know what a Puppetoon is, search on youtube, and find Tulips Shall Grow, one of the finest of all the shorts. None on youtube look very good. The Blu-ray is light years better.


It's expensive (list $50), and not all of it is high definition. That which is is quite impressive: the original Puppetoon Movie, seven newly restored shorts, and The Great Rupert. The restorations tend to be a bit dark, though Pal seemed to like a wide tonal range in the way they were photographed, and the generation used may have just gained contrast. Rupert at first glance looks bad, but many of the opening shots were full of opticals, and later shots show a sharp, though contrasty, image.


The standard definition shorts look okay, but if you have the old image entertainment set don't get rid of it. I think these shorts look better on that set, particularly Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk. The color is much better, and glimpses of some of the other shorts also seem better on the earlier set. It is OOP, and asking price is around $30 from the other vendors on Amazon.


There are a few other little film clips of Pal related stuff on the new set, and a bunch of interviews not seen before with Harryhausen, Bradbury, Roddenberry, Wah Chang, etc. and the Fantasy Film World of George Pal documentary, in standard def. There are so many sources in this that high definition wouldn't have improved it, really.


So it's up to the individual to decide if they want to spend the money. I'm glad I did, because I absolutely worship all things Pal (well, most things, including Puppetoons). Once this goes out of print I figure the price will go through the roof.

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post #38 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood View Post
In case wuther or any other of the denizens are still curious about the Blu-ray Puppetoons Movie, here's the dope as I see it (it may actually speak to the differing ways things are mastered, which is the bulk of recent conversation).


If you don't know what a Puppetoon is, search on youtube, and find Tulips Shall Grow, one of the finest of all the shorts. None on youtube look very good. The Blu-ray is light years better.


It's expensive (list $50), and not all of it is high definition. That which is is quite impressive: the original Puppetoon Movie, seven newly restored shorts, and The Great Rupert. The restorations tend to be a bit dark, though Pal seemed to like a wide tonal range in the way they were photographed, and the generation used may have just gained contrast. Rupert at first glance looks bad, but many of the opening shots were full of opticals, and later shots show a sharp, though contrasty, image.


The standard definition shorts look okay, but if you have the old image entertainment set don't get rid of it. I think these shorts look better on that set, particularly Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk. The color is much better, and glimpses of some of the other shorts also seem better on the earlier set. It is OOP, and asking price is around $30 from the other vendors on Amazon.


There are a few other little film clips of Pal related stuff on the new set, and a bunch of interviews not seen before with Harryhausen, Bradbury, Roddenberry, Wah Chang, etc. and the Fantasy Film World of George Pal documentary, in standard def. There are so many sources in this that high definition wouldn't have improved it, really.


So it's up to the individual to decide if they want to spend the money. I'm glad I did, because I absolutely worship all things Pal (well, most things, including Puppetoons). Once this goes out of print I figure the price will go through the roof.

I have the Puppetoon movie due to similar tastes as you. I've yet to be in the right mood for it. The way I buy is several films at once then watch each as my mood matches.


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post #39 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood View Post
In case wuther or any other of the denizens are still curious about the Blu-ray Puppetoons Movie, here's the dope as I see it (it may actually speak to the differing ways things are mastered, which is the bulk of recent conversation).


If you don't know what a Puppetoon is, search on youtube, and find Tulips Shall Grow, one of the finest of all the shorts. None on youtube look very good. The Blu-ray is light years better.


It's expensive (list $50), and not all of it is high definition. That which is is quite impressive: the original Puppetoon Movie, seven newly restored shorts, and The Great Rupert. The restorations tend to be a bit dark, though Pal seemed to like a wide tonal range in the way they were photographed, and the generation used may have just gained contrast. Rupert at first glance looks bad, but many of the opening shots were full of opticals, and later shots show a sharp, though contrasty, image.


The standard definition shorts look okay, but if you have the old image entertainment set don't get rid of it. I think these shorts look better on that set, particularly Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk. The color is much better, and glimpses of some of the other shorts also seem better on the earlier set. It is OOP, and asking price is around $30 from the other vendors on Amazon.


There are a few other little film clips of Pal related stuff on the new set, and a bunch of interviews not seen before with Harryhausen, Bradbury, Roddenberry, Wah Chang, etc. and the Fantasy Film World of George Pal documentary, in standard def. There are so many sources in this that high definition wouldn't have improved it, really.


So it's up to the individual to decide if they want to spend the money. I'm glad I did, because I absolutely worship all things Pal (well, most things, including Puppetoons). Once this goes out of print I figure the price will go through the roof.
I supposed screen captures are out of the question? I know it is a lot of work but I have yet to to find any 1080p images of it although I have not searched that hard, too bad doblu went down since it was reviewed there. The Great Rupert is the one I interested in, anyway thanks.

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post #40 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 04:41 PM
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Way too many things filmed in the 60s all of us have seen that are very sharp and clear with incredible resolution for you to make such a blanket statement as I quoted first"It's a 1960 movie -- it's never gonna be sharp.". It really doesn't matter what experience you have if you choose to ignore what's out there or are ignorant of it. Look at The Sound of Music, Dr No, Goldfinger, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Twilight Zone, Ice, Station Zebra,Seconds,North By North West, Ben Hur to name a few I've seen. Your comment about 60's films doesn't hold up. Now if you had said something like so many films during that period were filmed on stock or with techniques which will never look sharp, well....
I worked on four or five of them, and trust me: they are not sharp, and they've never been sharp. Perhaps we have different definitions on what sharp pictures are.
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post #41 of 48 Old 08-04-2014, 06:10 PM
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I worked on four or five of them, and trust me: they are not sharp, and they've never been sharp. Perhaps we have different definitions on what sharp pictures are.
Perhaps but I'm confident that the answer you gave to the post confused clarity of the BD image with sharpness. Unfortunately that term has become a synonym for clarity and resolution of the image when it appears you meant digital enhancement. In that case I stand corrected.


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post #42 of 48 Old 08-06-2014, 04:52 PM
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Doh, I was wrong doblu is not dead and the Puppetoon review does exist on it's site. Do not know why I got a 404 error the first time I tried. Maybe it was a end of the month hosting issue.

There is however no screen captures of The Great Rupert from what I can tell.
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post #43 of 48 Old 08-10-2014, 02:28 PM
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Doh, I was wrong doblu is not dead and the Puppetoon review does exist on it's site. Do not know why I got a 404 error the first time I tried. Maybe it was a end of the month hosting issue.

There is however no screen captures of The Great Rupert from what I can tell.
DoBlu is alive and well. Here it is, The Puppetoon Movie Blu-ray review with full 1080P screenshots. If you needed shots from The Great Rupert, I could probably get them for you.
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post #44 of 48 Old 08-11-2014, 05:06 PM
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DoBlu is alive and well. Here it is, The Puppetoon Movie Blu-ray review with full 1080P screenshots. If you needed shots from The Great Rupert, I could probably get them for you.
Well need is too strong a word, but I would like to see some.
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post #45 of 48 Old 08-11-2014, 06:11 PM
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Well need is too strong a word, but I would like to see some.
Check the review now.
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post #46 of 48 Old 08-12-2014, 05:30 PM
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Check the review now.
Thanks. Now if I can persuade you to review the Columbo Japanese Blu-ray boxset, tee hee.
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post #47 of 48 Old 08-13-2014, 12:32 PM
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Getting back to THE TIME MACHINE, I've just gotten a copy. Haven't watched it but put it in to check it out a bit. I've owned this on laserdisc and DVD...and both were excellent transfers. However, I can see right away that the BD is a bigger improvement than others indicate. Some scratches previously seen on the opening credits are gone. Blacks are deep and inky, colors pop (looking at Taylor and Young sitting by the fireplace, I was taken by how well the red reflection on Young contrasted well with the more natural-colored Taylor.)

Detail/textures are also more discernible. The first walk-around of the full scale machine seems a bit darker than previously seen but doesn't obscure anything...in fact each individual "part" of the machine now seems more obvious. Indeed, the slightly darker cast seems to make everything else pop a bit more. (I'm almost tempted to watch this with the 2D>3D conversion feature on!) Some grain is apparent on a couple facial close-ups (I'm sure I'll see a bit more on the matte composites) but on the whole this is a smooth, clean, and detailed presentation. I'll be watching it to completion within the next day or two but I'm quite pleased with what I see. (Others have already made note of the 5.1 music score.) If you're a fan of the film, it is certainly an upgrade over the DVD and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a buy. It is the best I've ever seen this movie look and sound.

I even noticed something I never noticed before...after Taylor is thrown from the machine, a bunch of what looks like hail or crystals or rock salt inexplicably falls on him from above. Don't know if it was always there or not (I assume it was) but I never noticed it before today!


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post #48 of 48 Old 08-18-2014, 05:10 AM
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I watched this last night and enjoyed it very much. I agree that the overall presentation is very good with times when the image is quite sharp. Colors are presented well and blacks are very nicely rendered. Of course, I have no access to the original elements but I bet this would hold it's own.


Still hoping for many more Pal films.


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