Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (banding?) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 12-28-2006, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm waiting for someone to tell me it's my TV, but this banding is really saddening to me. The one thing I was starting to love about Blu-ray and HD-DVD is that there's enough room on the discs to do away, once for all (or so I thought) with the banding that's so prevalent on SD-DVD animation (Lion King, Aladdin etc). So I was shocked and dismayed this evening when I popped in my Ice Age 2 disc and experienced banding within the first 25 seconds! Shocking!

Aside from the banding, this is a gorgeous-looking movie. Corpse Bride Blu-ray showed no banding at all throughout the entire movie (and is a fantastic looking movie all round).

I've become such a video/audio quality snob since moving to HD-DVD and Blu-ray. I would just sigh when I saw banding on SD-DVD, knowing it was just a space issue, but now...there should be no excuse!

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Thoughts?
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post #2 of 30 Old 12-28-2006, 07:08 PM
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Yes, the banding is there. It's a minor flaw, but it's there. I'm glad people are pointing it out. Hopefully Fox (who I know is reading these boards) are going to make sure Ice Age 1 coming early next year doesn't have it.

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post #3 of 30 Old 12-28-2006, 07:43 PM
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Please forgive my ignorance, but what is banding?
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post #4 of 30 Old 12-28-2006, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndtriathlete View Post

Please forgive my ignorance, but what is banding?

The look like square or rectangular patches of ligther or darker color when the color should be uniform. Eg. The blue sky. In Ice Age, some areas of the sky are a darker blue. If you haven't seen it, then there's nothing to worry about. Most people really won't recognize it. Certain displays exagerate it more.

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post #5 of 30 Old 12-28-2006, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightninesuited View Post

Yes, the banding is there. It's a minor flaw, but it's there. I'm glad people are pointing it out. Hopefully Fox (who I know is reading these boards) are going to make sure Ice Age 1 coming early next year doesn't have it.

I sure hope they take more care on the first one.
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post #6 of 30 Old 12-28-2006, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

I'm waiting for someone to tell me it's my TV, but this banding is really saddening to me. The one thing I was starting to love about Blu-ray and HD-DVD is that there's enough room on the discs to do away, once for all (or so I thought) with the banding that's so prevalent on SD-DVD animation (Lion King, Aladdin etc). So I was shocked and dismayed this evening when I popped in my Ice Age 2 disc and experienced banding within the first 25 seconds! Shocking!

Aside from the banding, this is a gorgeous-looking movie. Corpse Bride Blu-ray showed no banding at all throughout the entire movie (and is a fantastic looking movie all round).

I've become such a video/audio quality snob since moving to HD-DVD and Blu-ray. I would just sigh when I saw banding on SD-DVD, knowing it was just a space issue, but now...there should be no excuse!

Sony Playstation 3, Samsung LN-S4695D 46" 1080p LCD.

Thoughts?

I saw banding in 2 places in Ice Age 2 - once in the face of the melting ice (medium to deep blue/gray colors), and once in the very dark blue night sky during a vertical pan (stars in the night sky). In both cases, color transitions that should have been smooth (dark to light or one color to another color, blended smoothly) had EASY TO SEE bands of color "steps" instead of smooth transitions.

There were some brief moments of very soft images also where details like hair and such became very soft - but this didn't last long, you had to be paying attention to notice.

Sony BDP-S1 Blu-Ray player, HDMI connection and 1080p output into a Sony SXRD 60" XBR2 rear projection 1080p set (new).
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post #7 of 30 Old 12-28-2006, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndtriathlete View Post

Please forgive my ignorance, but what is banding?

The description above by eightninesuited is a little vague. So I'm going to give it a shot.

Banding is noticed in a blend of color like the sky. Dark blue blending to a lighter shade of blue. Where a good blend can have as hundreds of shades of blue to create a nice visual sky; video compression can knocks the color pallet down to just a couple of colors (3-5) which allows you to see the steps between each color. Those visible line are called banding.
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post #8 of 30 Old 12-29-2006, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow I just watched this movie all the way through, and it's beautiful to be sure, but severely marred by the banding. The scene with the whole party balancing on the rocks at night is ghastly. Even my wife cringed, pointing it out. She's usually far less picky, but this is a REAL shame.

I wonder if this movie will ever get a re-release to fix this nastiness.
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post #9 of 30 Old 12-29-2006, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

Wow I just watched this movie all the way through, and it's beautiful to be sure, but severely marred by the banding. The scene with the whole party balancing on the rocks at night is ghastly. Even my wife cringed, pointing it out. She's usually far less picky, but this is a REAL shame.

I wonder if this movie will ever get a re-release to fix this nastiness.

So what I'm not spending more money on a new version.

As to the banding, I just can't believe this got through all the QA/QC testings. Maybe they don't have any testing of these discs.
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post #10 of 30 Old 12-29-2006, 06:59 PM
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While many people see the banding, many other users (including me) do not see banding at all. It appears to be a setup-specific problem rather than a disk mastering problem. Informally it appears to be more frequent on LCD screens, and possibly on the Samsung and PS3, but that's a totally non-scientific survey of my own memory.

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post #11 of 30 Old 12-29-2006, 07:10 PM
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Crap...I didn't notice it the first time I watched it...I just rewatched it and yes it is there. Oh well nothings perfect.

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post #12 of 30 Old 12-29-2006, 07:10 PM
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Crap...I didn't notice it the first time I watched it...I just rewatched it and yes it is there. Oh well nothings perfect...will have to live with it.

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post #13 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 11:25 AM
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How did it make tier 0 then?
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post #14 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 11:37 AM
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If anyone has a laptop with a Blu-Ray drive in it and this movie, they can test this disc out on a 32 bit color field and see if the badning is that big of a problem... For the most part, HDTV's are all 8 to 10 bits max in color accuracy. I believe those TV's make the problem look far worse than it really is.. I watched the movie and even with this problem it is a tier 0 for sure..
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post #15 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 11:41 AM
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You will find banding on both formats I do not know where it is coming from. I have complained and the excuses from the insiders all differed which tell me they are just that, excuses. Someone is missing this stuff and asleep at the wheel. I can handle banding more then EE. Banding is usually in limed spots while EE when present plagues the entire movie
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post #16 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post

You will find banding on both formats I do not know where it is coming from. I have complained and the excuses from the insiders all differed which tell me they are just that, excuses. Someone is missing this stuff and asleep at the wheel. I can handle banding more then EE. Banding is usually in limed spots while EE when present plagues the entire movie

Yeah too much EE is far worse of a problem. Ice Age Meltdown is still very enjoyable and if all movies simply had one to two scenes of banding which last a minute or so..I wouldn't complain. Simply look how far the picture quality has gotten since SD-DVD DL.. Now we are seeing problems with transfers themselves we would not have noticed before on SD-DVD because we would notice so many other flaws first...Banding on Finding Nemo for example is a movie that does really need re-working by Disney before a BD release.. That movie will not be 1 or 2 scenes with banding but more than half the movie..
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post #17 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 01:01 PM
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Anyone notice flickering or random grain in the fur, sort of like a sudden burst for a fraction of a sec. Not saying it's compression, could be something to do with the 3D rendering software.
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post #18 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post

You will find banding on both formats I do not know where it is coming from. I have complained and the excuses from the insiders all differed which tell me they are just that, excuses. Someone is missing this stuff and asleep at the wheel. I can handle banding more then EE. Banding is usually in limed spots while EE when present plagues the entire movie

I'd go as far as saying the entire crew is asleep on the ship. How can such OBVIOUS problems (banding, and ee) get through any type of screening. They do screen these before mass producing right? Or is it a set it and forget it mentality over there and you just hope for the best. If the latter is the case, I'd prefer they stop all transfers and get their act together until they actually figure it out.
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post #19 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 01:24 PM
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I noticed this too on my PS3 attached to a 1080p display while my wife and I were watching Ice Age 2. I quickly begin to position our LCD as being obsolete.

The color gamut supported by the current majority of displays is woefully inadequate. This is why xvYCC enhanced colorimetry and Deep Color (4:4:4) support were introduced with HDMI 1.3.

Current displays typically support a 24-bit color depth (8-bits for Red, 8-bits for Green, 8-bits for Blue) which limits them to 256 shades (levels of brightness) of each primary color for a total of 16.7 million possible colors (256 x 256 x 256 = 16.7 million).

Beginning with revision 1.3 of the HDMI spec, support for color depths of 30, 36 and 48-bits have been introduced. Color depths greater than 24-bits are referred to as "Deep Color". A 36-bit color depth will allow for 68.7 billion possible colors (4096 x 4096 x 4096 = 68.7 billion). That's a huge increase from 256 to 4096 shades of each primary color. This will virtually eliminate artifacts like color banding.

Generally speaking, your eyes can perceive a greater number of colors than can be represented by RGB. This is best illustrated by a CIE chromaticity diagram. An excellent discussion and example diagrams can found here:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...ision/cie.html
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post #20 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 01:37 PM
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Yep it has banding. But I don't care it's for the kids, and they don't seem to care about it.

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post #21 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 02:23 PM
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Don't the compression people actually watch the stuff they encode? How could they let this slip? We've been dealing with mpeg imperfections for so long and there still with us, just dissapointing.

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post #22 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 02:31 PM
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ptelles is on the right track here - from what I understand of this problem coming at it from a game perspective is that its extremely difficult to hide banding with this type of vivid computer-generated material. In fact, depending on how the film was transferred or projected, I wouldn't be surprised if there's banding in the theaterical presentations...

The problem is, as he stated, there are just not enough bits in the current color-processing pipeline to hide this completely. Real photography hides it better, due to a combination of film grain and more variation on color on "real world" objects, but a computer-generated gradient like you'd find in a cartoony-CG movie is just brutal on the colorspace.

Until we have "deep color" this will be a persistent problem in certain types of content, I think. All the common solutions videogame developers use like dithering just end up adding noise of the picture to cover up unavoidable banding. I'm not sure anyone wants their copy of Ice Age to look like Miami Vice.

I don't think just because HDMI can support deep-color means BD or HD-DVD will be able to support it, their chipsets are (presumably) geared around processing in a particular color-space for display and can't have those pathways upgraded.

Anyway, doubt its compression-induced. This sort of material should be very easy to compress w/o artifacts. These are a different sort of artifact.
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post #23 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 02:47 PM
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If you saw Ice Age 2 theatrically, you would have seen the banding in the sky. It was there originally, meaning it was rendered with banding intact. To get rid of it, Blue Sky would have to fix the problem and re-render all the problematic scenes.


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post #24 of 30 Old 01-20-2007, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriteSimple View Post

If you saw Ice Age 2 theatrically, you would have seen the banding in the sky. It was there originally, meaning it was rendered with banding intact. To get rid of it, Blue Sky would have to fix the problem and re-render all the problematic scenes.


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This is good to know. It wasn't the people who encoded it but the original computer animation dept. that created the film. Interesting.. 32 bit color output won't change the banding then..
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post #25 of 30 Old 01-21-2007, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptelles View Post

The color gamut supported by the current majority of displays is woefully inadequate. This is why xvYCC enhanced colorimetry and Deep Color (4:4:4) support were introduced with HDMI 1.3.

Current displays typically support a 24-bit color depth (8-bits for Red, 8-bits for Green, 8-bits for Blue) which limits them to 256 shades (levels of brightness) of each primary color for a total of 16.7 million possible colors (256 x 256 x 256 = 16.7 million).

Beginning with revision 1.3 of the HDMI spec, support for color depths of 30, 36 and 48-bits have been introduced. Color depths greater than 24-bits are referred to as "Deep Color". A 36-bit color depth will allow for 68.7 billion possible colors (4096 x 4096 x 4096 = 68.7 billion). That's a huge increase from 256 to 4096 shades of each primary color. This will virtually eliminate artifacts like color banding.

Even though HDMI 1.3 can pass a "Deep Color" signal, neither HD DVD nor Blu-ray support those color depths. Both formats are encoded with 8-bit 4:2:0 color, and that isn't going to change until a subequent video format down the road.

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post #26 of 30 Old 01-21-2007, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyB View Post

Anyone notice flickering or random grain in the fur, sort of like a sudden burst for a fraction of a sec. Not saying it's compression, could be something to do with the 3D rendering software.

I definitely noticed the flickering.. It actually bugged me more than the banding..
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post #27 of 30 Old 01-21-2007, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Even though HDMI 1.3 can pass a "Deep Color" signal, neither HD DVD nor Blu-ray support those color depths. Both formats are encoded with 8-bit 4:2:0 color, and that isn't going to change until a subequent video format down the road.


That's what I thought. Bummer... I guess in ten years we'll see "maybe" the standard in movie encoding be something greater than 8 bits..
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post #28 of 30 Old 01-22-2007, 03:45 AM
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Now hopefully the eventual re-release is encoded in AVS on a 50GB disc with the bitrate turned up to the max.
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post #29 of 30 Old 01-22-2007, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Even though HDMI 1.3 can pass a "Deep Color" signal, neither HD DVD nor Blu-ray support those color depths. Both formats are encoded with 8-bit 4:2:0 color, and that isn't going to change until a subequent video format down the road.

This is only my second Blu-ray Disc to watch (seen 70+ HD-DVDs) and I noticed the banding the first time through, but didn't think it was that bad. In fact, I thought the movie was excellent and just as good as most any HD-DVD I've seen. (my other BD view, Stargate, would go near the bottom of the HD-DVD pile) I just figured that with the sky being almost all blue-scale, they ran out of colors in their roughly 8-bits of mostly blue.

I have noticed on HD-DVDs that some sets (several DLPs in stores) showed banding, while my SXRD didn't in those scenes. After comments and review, it was determined to be a display fault and not disc/player fault. So not all sets handle the displays the same, so some people will see banding worse than others, and it depends on your settings.

Once the TVs can support HDMI 1.3 deep color and enhanced color space, it will be interesting to see if the HDMI 1.3 players will upsample these scenes to help get rid of the banding with better processing and picture quality settings in the players software to surpass the 8-bit 4:2:0 limitation of the format.
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post #30 of 30 Old 01-22-2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzap64 View Post

Now hopefully the eventual re-release is encoded in AVS on a 50GB disc with the bitrate turned up to the max.


I've read the banding is intentional, just like the landscape has an old school 2D look, as opposed to the 3D charactors.
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