Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,512
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 688
attachment.php?attachmentid=144398&d=1244127767
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

91






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2005
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 126 Minutes
Genre: Anime/Adventure/Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/Japanese/French Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Dutch
Directed by: Tetsuya Nomura
Art Director: Yusuke Naora
Music by: Nobuo Uematsu
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 2, 2009







"I'm not alone, not anymore"



Film Synopsis:

When a mysterious illness is linked to an insidious plot to resurrect an old enemy, Cloud is forced to take sword in hand if he's to save the planet once again. Featuring an extended director's cut containing 26 minutes of explosive new footage and over 1000 revised scenes, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete is Blu-ray High Definition at its mind-blasting best, a senses-shattering CGI sci-fi adventure you can't afford to miss!





My Take:

The Final Fantasy game franchise is a popular one that has been around for quite some time. FF VII was released in 1997 and this film was released in 2005 and is a adaptation based upon that video game. The film's story picks up two years after where the game left off. Advent Children Complete represents Tetsuya Nomura's director's cut of the film and boasts 26 minutes of additional footage and over one thousand revised scenes, each was re-recorded with the original voice cast. I have never seen the original release of this film or played the video game but this looked interesting. Here is an overview taken from Wikipedia:

Two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII, the survivors of Midgar have begun to build a new city, Edge, on the outskirts of the old metropolis. A strange disease known as "Geostigma" has arisen. After Cloud's showdown with Sephiroth, he has been living with Tifa in Edge. Marlene and an orphaned boy named Denzel have been entrusted to their care. After receiving a message from Tifa, Cloud is attacked by three men, Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo, who believe that he has hidden their "mother". The leader, Kadaj, ends the battle as he discovers that Cloud does not have their "mother". Cloud responds to a message from Tifa, who tells him that the Turks have a job for him. At the meeting place, Cloud discovers that Rufus Shinra is still alive. Rufus attempts to enlist Cloud's help to stop the trio, but fails as he refuses and leaves. Kadaj arrives and demands that Rufus tell him where to find his "mother". It is revealed that his "mother" is Jenova's remains, and is somehow connected to the cause of the Geostigma. The trio is planning a new "reunion" that will culminate in an assault on the Planet.

Loz arrives at Aerith's church in an attempt to find Jenova's remains, and is confronted by Tifa. After battling Tifa, he receives instructions on his cell phone to capture Marlene. Kadaj and the gang begin collecting children infected with Geostigma, including Denzel and the uninfected Marlene, and take them to the Forgotten City. Cloud attempts to rescue them but fails, and is quickly defeated, and is then rescued by Vincent Valentine, who reveals to Cloud what the trio is seeking and that it could result in the return of Sephiroth. Cloud agrees to return to Edge and face Kadaj in battle. In Edge, the trio call forth several monsters to attack the populace, including the summon "Bahamut SIN". While Cloud's companions deal with Bahamut SIN, Reno and Rude try to take care of Yazoo and Loz until Cloud arrives. Cloud and his friends are able to dispatch the monsters and Bahamut SIN.

In a nearby building, Rufus reveals to Kadaj that he has been in possession of Jenova's remains all along. He throws the box containing it from the edge of the building. Kadaj dives after the remains and recovers it, but Rufus shoots the box and damages it. Kadaj spots Cloud in pursuit of him, and is followed to the ruins of Midgar. They battle each other in Aerith's church. Kadaj destroys the flowerbed, which releases an outflow of Lifestream-infused water that cures Cloud's Geostigma. Kadaj flees to the ruins of Shinra Headquarters, where they continue their fight. He distracts Cloud with the box containing Jenova's remains, which he absorbs into his body and transforms into Sephiroth. He reveals that once those who die from the Geostigma return to the Lifestream, he will be able to control it and use the Planet as a vessel to travel space in search of a new planet for him to rule. Cloud defeats Sephiroth, who dissipates, leaving a weakened Kadaj at Cloud's mercy.

Aerith begins to pour healing rain across Edge, curing the people of their Geostigma. She tells Kadaj to be at rest, who believes her voice to be that of his "mother", and he is taken by the Lifestream. Cloud is then shot by Yazoo in the back, who is also succumbing to the healing rain. He and Loz prepare one final blast at Cloud, resulting in a large explosion that disintegrates them and engulfs Cloud. Afterward, Cloud appears surrounded by a white light, and Aerith and Zack are heard. Zack tells Cloud that his place is not with them yet, and sends him back. Cloud awakens in a pool of Lifestream-infused water in Aerith's church, surrounded by his friends and the citizens of Edge. After curing the Geostigma-infected children, he turns and sees Aerith crouching by some children. As she stands and walks to the doorway, she turns back to assure Cloud that she is all right, and steps into a white light with Zack.

I am not certain what the additional 26 minutes of footage added to the story but I found this to be an enjoyable watch. The world of Final Fantasy is an alluring one full of variety both in character design, weaponry, and concept. The interpersonal relationship among the characters is integral to the story's development. The film provides enough flashbacks and dialogue so that having prior knowledge of them isn't essential but I imagine it would make it more meaningful. The action based elements are plentiful, fast paced and exciting. The extended battle that begins in chapter 29 and culminates in chapter 35 (at the conclusion of the chase sequence) literally had me transfixed. The animated images are reminiscent of the previous Final Fantasy film The spirits within and have an incredibly lifelike quality that is different from other animated CG films. As good as The spirits within looked this looks even better. At just over two hours this film runs long but I have to admit I never felt that it was moving too slowly. Anime fans who have seen the original version should probably give this director's cut a spin to see if it enhances the experience. I liked it and will give it another watch now that I am acquainted with the story.




Parental Guide:

This film contains mild action violence.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 92


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete comes to Blu-ray from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.4 mbps.

This is a reference quality animated presentation that boasts superlative visuals that look spectacular. Depth is incredible for an animated feature as images reveal excellent delineation that draws out the finest details. An example of this can be seen in chapter 11 as Denzel walks among the ruins outside of the church. As he passes from shadow to light the transitional effect is seamless. The texture in the charred remains of the stone structures and damaged buildings is readily apparent and nuanced. Objects in the background are crisp with a nearly infinite visual perspective that provides three dimensional quality that is impressive. Resolution is exquisite as the video exhibits high level detail that occasionally gives the animation a lifelike appearance. I found that this to be most noticeable in clothing and objects as the patterned weave of fabrics, the texture of leather and metallic surfaces are realistic. Colors are rich with vivid hues and deep vibrant reds. Contrast is strong, well balanced and dynamic without robbing images of detail. Blacks are inky and stable. The combination gives the video plenty of pop. This is an immaculate high definition presentation that contains breathtaking imagery that will look magnificent regardless of the size of your display.

The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack nearly keeps pace with the video presentation and offers high level detail, definitive, room penetrating dialogue and an active/involving soundfield filled with discretely placed effects and room filling surround sound. The mix makes excellent use of the rear channels to create sounds that effectively place off camera cues that are appropriately spaced within the diffused acoustic environment to generate a realistic simulation of sounds that fade in, out or are off in the distance. The soundstage across the front three channels has broad, clear perspective with enriching directionality and crisp, lucid dialogue that maintains prominent focus that never overshadows other sounds. I found this to be a dynamically lean presentation in terms of low frequency effects when compared to the best action based films available on Blu-ray ray. I would like to clarify that bass is not lacking however I would have liked stronger presence and deeper extension. As it stands bass response provides good tactile emphasis that enhances the action and supports the music score but rarely reaches room shaking levels. Otherwise this is a great sounding mix that presents an excellent surround sound experience.



Bonus Features:


  • Legacy of Final Fantasy VII - 6 minute feature

  • Reminiscence of FF VII - 24 minute feature

  • Reminiscence of FF VII - compilation - 29 minute feature

  • (HD) On the way to a smile - Episode: Denzel - 28 minute character back story

  • (HD) Sneak peek at Final Fantasty XIII - 7 minute feature
attachment.php?attachmentid=144399&d=1244127767



Final Thoughts:

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete is a film that will more than likely appeal more to those familiar with it and the game. Going into it cold might be a bit confusing however there is enough substance to keep it interesting. The bonus supplements provide a solid background on what it going on in the world of FF VII which might serve novices better if watched before the film. I found it entertaining and I have no prior experience with either. Sony's presentation on Blu-ray Disc adds to its entertainment value as it looks amazing and sounds nearly as good. The bonus features are well worth watching especially if you have no prior knowledge of the game's elements/story. I can't recommend this as a blind buy but for fans it's a no brainer.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 09:36 AM
AVS Special Member
 
maxleung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 13
I wonder how the quality of the transfer compares against the Japanese version of the disc. There were reports that the Japanese version was basically an upconvert except for the new scenes that were added.

Anyways, thanks for the review.
maxleung is offline  
post #3 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 11:24 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Chad Varnadore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 1,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxleung View Post

I wonder how the quality of the transfer compares against the Japanese version of the disc. There were reports that the Japanese version was basically an upconvert except for the new scenes that were added.

Anyways, thanks for the review.

I wouldn't trust reports of any BD being upconverted from a standard definition source. Such reports are usually little more than unfounded speculation from people that know little about the technologies, trying to justify why they don't see any difference compared to the DVD on their gigantic 30 inch HDTV.

Chad Varnadore <><
ex-armchair quarterback
***************
Our HT
Chad Varnadore is offline  
post #4 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 11:27 AM
Senior Member
 
duffman13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
well the DVD was well worth it. I'll probably be picking this one up as well. Die hard FF fan BTW
duffman13 is offline  
post #5 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 11:37 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Chad Varnadore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 1,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 49
I liked the first movie. But, like Ralph, having no experience with the game, I was a little lost in this one. Considering the films fantastic visual design, I'm tempted to give it another look once the price drops. Thanks Ralph, for the tip about watching the extras first.

Chad Varnadore <><
ex-armchair quarterback
***************
Our HT
Chad Varnadore is offline  
post #6 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 12:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
maxleung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 13
chad, I saw screenshots posted from the Japanese Blu-ray - including the new scenes that did look HD while the original ones looked SD upconverted.
maxleung is offline  
post #7 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 01:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Chad Varnadore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 1,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxleung View Post

chad, I saw screenshots posted from the Japanese Blu-ray - including the new scenes that did look HD while the original ones looked SD upconverted.


Some early titles from Warner made a lot of people think they were SD or at least improperly deinterlaced 1080i. I even wondered if some early Fox titles were from 720p sources, based on their resolve and that 720p was the resolution of their broadcast. But in every case, not only were the masters HD, they were also 1080p. Warner did admit some of their early titles needed to be remastered and even delayed the BDs as a result, but even those masters were still 1080p. Who knows... a very small producer like Troma or Echo Bridge might try pulling off scaling an SD master for a BD release. And I'll be the first to admit that I have reservations against (based on past experiences with import DVDs recommended by DVD Beavers highly questionable comparisons) and very little insight into the production practices outside the US. But, I seriously doubt any major studio would actually use an SD master for HD packaged media delivery.

That said, some masters may be so out of date they may look no better than SD on most conventionally sized displays.

There are numerous inherent flaws in judging a disc by online screenshots. That your interpretation is based on the scaling to your computers own native resolution is the most obvious potential for bias. The video is being recompressed and scaled who knows how many times between creating the screengrab on the posters computer, formating and uploading to the net. Even if the poster has a native 1080p/24 computer himself and knows enough about all the components involved to take every possible precaution to faithfully preserve the disc image, size is still very limiting and more biasing of BD than DVD. DVD looks near HD on much larger computer screens than my 17" laptop.

I'm aware of at least two techniques for taking direct screengrabs; neither makes it as easy as it was with DVD due to BDs copy protection and leaves a lot to the unknown, because nobody really knows exactly how the image is being treated by the components involved. You have to question the components, calibration and other aspects of the process used in grabing the pictures, just as you do when reading someone's review. If the reviewers grayscale is off, or has BD calibrated using DVD level patterns or vice versa, it'll inaccurately bias his perceptions of the disc in the areas of color rendition, shadow delineation, black level depth, and dynamic range.

There is way too much margin for error to put very much weight on screengrabs. Having taken direct screengrabs myself and screenshots of numerous BDs, I wouldn't rely on online pictures being any kind of precise measure anymore than I would trust someone viewing on a 40" screen to tell me what my experience will be on a 100" screen.

Chad Varnadore <><
ex-armchair quarterback
***************
Our HT
Chad Varnadore is offline  
post #8 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 02:50 PM
Senior Member
 
talyler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have the Japanese Blu Ray and IMO it looks great. The FFXIII demo looks amazing too. It would have been nice if they did a quick translate on the demo and bundled it with the US version. Oh well.

Anyways it's great to see such a good review from Ralph on this. FFVII is now available for download on PSN so it's a perfect time for all gamers to catch up prior to watching the Blu Ray FFVII is an exceptional game.

Xbox Live & PSN: talyler
talyler is offline  
post #9 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 02:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
eric.exe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,344
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Chad, your knowledge of how screenshots work is wrong in about every aspect.

"That your interpretation is based on the scaling to your computers own native resolution is the most obvious potential for bias."
-using the correct decoders and renderer will output the image at its original resolution without scaling

"The video is being recompressed and scaled who knows how many times between creating the screengrab on the posters computer, formating and uploading to the net."
-again, using the correct decoders and renderer will not scale the image, the output rez is the same size as in the input rez, saving directly PNG will losslessly compress the image, not a single artifact with be introduced

"Even if the poster has a native 1080p/24 computer"
-there is no such thing as a "native 1080p/24 computer"

"neither makes it as easy as it was with DVD due to BDs copy protection"
-copy protection is easily removed with anydvd

"because nobody really knows exactly how the image is being treated by the components involved"
-you don't, myself and others do because we actually took the time to understand something, instead of assuming

"You have to question the components, calibration and other aspects of the process used in grabing the pictures"
-there are no components, just software. the correct decoders perform reference decoding on the video and output to the renderer, there is no calibration involved

The ONLY downside to PC screenshots is that colors might be infentesminally off because of the YCbCr to RGB conversion, but that wont be an issue in the future with modern renderser. Judging the quality from a still screenshot is still not a good idea, but it's not completely useless as you make it sound. A properly taken screenshot is equivalent to 1:1 copy of a frame out of the videostream.
eric.exe is offline  
post #10 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 04:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Chad Varnadore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 1,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric.exe View Post

Chad, your knowledge of how screenshots work is wrong in about every aspect.

I think I know a little something about it - enough to be able to distinguish a screengrab from a screenshot. I've taken hundreds of screenshots reviewing. They're far from precise. Screengrabs are much more so. And again, both formulas I'm aware of leave something to the unknown. I've never seen the software or devices used professionally reviewed for such application. If you can blow up a screenshot onto a 100" screen and it still doesn't show any alteration of textures and detail, I'd be satisfied. But, I still wouldn't consider viewing the same screenshot condenced to fit on a computer sized screen at all representative of how it'll look at 100 inches.

Quote:


"That your interpretation is based on the scaling to your computers own native resolution is the most obvious potential for bias."
-using the correct decoders and renderer will output the image at its original resolution without scaling

I'm not as adept at computers as I am consumer electronics. I don't watch movies on my laptop, nor do I get the appeal. But all consumer digital displays have a fixed resolution. Regardless of what resolution is input, it has to be converted to the resolution of the panel at some point. And while I'm sure products are available for computers to do so optimally as they are for TVs, I imagine it's no more standard in most computers as it is in most consumer displays. I don't know what browser software, operating systems, online sight design, etc, might impose on pictures of varying resolutions. But, I do know that most impose restriction on size and have to be compressed. And without qualifing description of such things by the poster or site, how can you trust the fidelity of their efforts? There are professional BD reviewers, popular reviewers that take no interest in learning how their components influence their evaluations. If you want my trust you've got to prove yourself.


Quote:


"Even if the poster has a native 1080p/24 computer"
-there is no such thing as a "native 1080p/24 computer"

"neither makes it as easy as it was with DVD due to BDs copy protection"
-copy protection is easily removed with anydvd

Thank you for illustrating my points.

Quote:


"because nobody really knows exactly how the image is being treated by the components involved"
-you don't, myself and others do because we actually took the time to understand something, instead of assuming
"You have to question the components, calibration and other aspects of the process used in grabing the pictures"
-there are no components, just software. the correct decoders perform reference decoding on the video and output to the renderer, there is no calibration involved

I don't know you, so please don't take this as doubting your sincerity. Maybe you work in computers and have done indepth analysis of exactly how mainstream software programs, drives, decoders, etc perform using qualified equipment designed just for such evaluations. But, how do I know that just by looking at a pic posted on a forum. Again, even if you go to satisfactory lengths to ensure the highest fidelity possible in reproducing the BD image, you can't insure the reciprients computer will preserve it as faithfully. Case in point: the Star Trek thread. Some say they they see more detail in the DVD grabs than those of the BDs. I looked at every grab myself and didn't see a single example of such. Viewing the BDs on my own system, I can confidently say that in terms of resolution, there's no comparing any of the 6 films to DVD.



Quote:


The ONLY downside to PC screenshots is that colors might be infentesminally off because of the YCbCr to RGB conversion, but that wont be an issue in the future with modern renderser. Judging the quality from a still screenshot is still not a good idea, but it's not completely useless as you make it sound. A properly taken screenshot is equivalent to 1:1 copy of a frame out of the videostream.


I agree that it's not completely useless. But screengrabs are innately handicapped by their size and can be far from accurately representative of what anyone might see on a display considerably larger than the size of the grabs, whether that display is 40" or 400". Regardless of how faithful the process or well versed the attempt, you're still compacting detail. And such is less biasing of a low res format like DVD than it is of HD. Nomatter how close you sit to a 40" screen it will never show all the detail that you can see on a 100" screen, just as no matter how close you sit to a 100" screen you won't see everything you might notice from good cinema-sized projection. In contrast compacting the image can be more foregiving of softness, as you wouldn't see the missing fine detail anyway.

Apologies to Ralph for detouring the discussion.

Chad Varnadore <><
ex-armchair quarterback
***************
Our HT
Chad Varnadore is offline  
post #11 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 06:02 PM
Senior Member
 
gammite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
i saw the original dvd a few years ago and picked up this bd last week.

this bd is reference standard. you can easily use a few different scenes as demo material for both audio and video.

that 20 mbps bitrate is no exaggeration.
gammite is offline  
post #12 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 06:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
maxleung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 13
I can view screenshots without scaling on my 1680x1050 monitor. How? Simple - my graphics viewer does 1:1 pixel mapping and panning.

It is VERY easy to tell if a screenshot taken from a disc has been upconverted or not. Believe me, I've taken my own screenshots from DVD upscaled to 1920x1080 and compared against the Blu-ray version of the same movie. If the master used for the Blu-ray is of a higher quality then it is very easy to see the difference.

Anyways - I hope to compare this BD against the Japanese one. It was obvious to me that the Japanese version was an upscale and so I expect this US version to be superior.
maxleung is offline  
post #13 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 08:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chirpie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Olathe, Kansas
Posts: 3,597
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

Nomatter how close you sit to a 40" screen it will never show all the detail that you can see on a 100" screen, just as no matter how close you sit to a 100" screen you won't see everything you might notice from good cinema-sized projection.

Gotta disagree. I'd trust the accuracy of my 24 inch Apple Cinema Display calibrated with a Greta Macbeth i1 XT over (almost) any projector and screen, calibrated or no. It might not have the larger than life wow factor, but I can spot items such as compression and black level fluctuation as well as edge detail a lot easier sitting at my computer than in my theater.

Having said that, I still much prefer my theater. ;-)
chirpie is online now  
post #14 of 39 Old 06-04-2009, 09:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
butsu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I like this CGI film since dvd so I must pick this one and nice review,Ralph.
butsu is offline  
post #15 of 39 Old 06-05-2009, 07:37 AM
AVS Special Member
 
PENDRAG0ON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 558
Considering how the DVD was obviously a upconverted UMD at times (noticably low resolution details, such as hair, which looked just fine on the UMD version when played on a PSP) and it has been all but confirmed that they didn't re-render all the scenes in HD like they did for the new scenes (as the same pixelated hair remains based on some screen captures) I'll be able to confirm or disprove this once my copy arrives from Amazon, as I have probably seen the DVD of this movie more than anyone else here.

PSN - Pendragoongp
NNID - Pendragoon
Include your AVS username in the friend request.
PENDRAG0ON is offline  
post #16 of 39 Old 06-05-2009, 07:53 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Chad Varnadore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Salisbury, NC
Posts: 1,450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirpie View Post

Gotta disagree. I'd trust the accuracy of my 24 inch Apple Cinema Display calibrated with a Greta Macbeth i1 XT over (almost) any projector and screen, calibrated or no. It might not have the larger than life wow factor, but I can spot items such as compression and black level fluctuation as well as edge detail a lot easier sitting at my computer than in my theater.

Having said that, I still much prefer my theater. ;-)


The accuracy of color rendition, black and white levels, gamma... is not dependent on screen size, it's dependent on calibration and the limitations of display design (ie. a color-wheel can't render colors as accurately as a 3-chip color design...). Visible detail does change though and changes dramatically as you increase in size (depending on how much information is available in the source).

Here's a illustration that I learned a long time ago. I know it's very elementary and you'll have to forgive that I nolonger remember the percentages, measurements, ratios used, as it's been many years since I participated in the experiment, but it's still relevant just the same. Draw two parallel lines on a piece of paper. As you walk away from the piece of paper it appears smaller. At some point your eyes will nolonger be able to distinguish the two separate lines from one another and they'll appear to be one single line. If you reduce the paper in size, the same thing happens (you can do a similar experiment on a computer). Regardless of how close your eyes are to the paper, the reduced image will still only look like a single line.

Not only have the two lines been perceptionally compacted into one single line of visible information, thus diminishing detail, but any information that was between those two lines has been perceptionally lost as well. It's the information between the two lines that, while not needed on a 24" monitor for the image to still look crystal clear, allows BD to still look as transparent when projected on much larger screens.

The film-prints used by commercial cinemas are generations removed from the source and potentially less faithful than BD at preserving detail.

Chad Varnadore <><
ex-armchair quarterback
***************
Our HT
Chad Varnadore is offline  
post #17 of 39 Old 06-05-2009, 10:51 AM
Senior Member
 
talyler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON View Post

Considering how the DVD was obviously a upconverted UMD at times (noticably low resolution details, such as hair, which looked just fine on the UMD version when played on a PSP) and it has been all but confirmed that they didn't re-render all the scenes in HD like they did for the new scenes (as the same pixelated hair remains based on some screen captures) I'll be able to confirm or disprove this once my copy arrives from Amazon, as I have probably seen the DVD of this movie more than anyone else here.

Be sure to post your thoughts in this thread. I'm interested to hear results.

Xbox Live & PSN: talyler
talyler is offline  
post #18 of 39 Old 06-05-2009, 11:01 AM
 
juda's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by butsu View Post

I like this CGI film since dvd so I must pick this one and nice review,Ralph.

Agreed, i'm picking it up regardless, always been a fantasy fan, even the old PS games
juda is offline  
post #19 of 39 Old 06-05-2009, 11:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
PENDRAG0ON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 558
Quote:
Originally Posted by talyler View Post

Be sure to post your thoughts in this thread. I'm interested to hear results.

My copy just arrived, so I will watch it tonight.

PSN - Pendragoongp
NNID - Pendragoon
Include your AVS username in the friend request.
PENDRAG0ON is offline  
post #20 of 39 Old 06-05-2009, 11:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chirpie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Olathe, Kansas
Posts: 3,597
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post

The accuracy of color rendition, black and white levels, gamma... is not dependent on screen size, it's dependent on calibration and the limitations of display design (ie. a color-wheel can't render colors as accurately as a 3-chip color design...). Visible detail does change though and changes dramatically as you increase in size (depending on how much information is available in the source).

Here's a illustration that I learned a long time ago. I know it's very elementary and you'll have to forgive that I nolonger remember the percentages, measurements, ratios used, as it's been many years since I participated in the experiment, but it's still relevant just the same. Draw two parallel lines on a piece of paper. As you walk away from the piece of paper it appears smaller. At some point your eyes will nolonger be able to distinguish the two separate lines from one another and they'll appear to be one single line. If you reduce the paper in size, the same thing happens (you can do a similar experiment on a computer). Regardless of how close your eyes are to the paper, the reduced image will still only look like a single line.

Not only have the two lines been perceptionally compacted into one single line of visible information, thus diminishing detail, but any information that was between those two lines has been perceptionally lost as well. It's the information between the two lines that, while not needed on a 24" monitor for the image to still look crystal clear, allows BD to still look as transparent when projected on much larger screens.

The film-prints used by commercial cinemas are generations removed from the source and potentially less faithful than BD at preserving detail.

I realize that accuracy is not specifically related to screen size. I think the illustration is moot not only because I simply sit closer to the smaller screen to get the SAME field of vision as my 106" screen in my theater but also because it's my experience that it's much easier (and cheaper) to get a more accurate smaller display than a large one. Simple really. It's also to reason I don't view the photos I take on my projector to do color correction.

I'll reiterate that I perfer the larger one.
chirpie is online now  
post #21 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 09:41 AM
AVS Special Member
 
PENDRAG0ON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 558
After Watching Advent Children Complete once, I have solved the upscaling mystery. So is the movie upscaled? No it is being re-rendered at 1080p, however, it is not like most CG movies in that they intended for it to ever be shown in high resolution, it was intended for a PSP screen and all the old footage was prepared in that manner. As someone who has played many old PS1 and N64 games on a PC using emulators which can render the 3d parts of the games in higher resolutions, the upscaling method was obvious. The problem with this method is that any and all 2d objects don't get a high res makeover. So any background 2d image (like when cloud is looking out at Midgar's ruins after replacing Zack's Sword, the 3d objects are 1080p, but the background of midgar is very low resolution as it is a static background) as a matter of fact, a lot of detail in this movie is 2d, including clothing and hair. (hence the aliased look) this also leads to some odd moments when a high res 3d object meets an old 2d background that has their blur filter applied. The edge against a 2d background is blurred, but the edge against the sky is just as sharp as can be. (which implies that they purposely blurred the old backgrounds in an attempt to hide that they are very low res in detail) There are other signs that they re-rendered the old footage as well in the form of crawling pixels (the white trees in the forgotten city for example) but they left out the AA, something all old emulators use to hide the low res polygons and make them look better at higher res. (a quick AA pass of the movie would have probably fixed it) it makes the old footage look like a FF game running at 1080p while the new footage looks like the CG cutscenes in a FF game.

Most of the new footage is made with 1080p in mind and very much looks the part. (Just look at the new Beatdown on the roof of the Midgar building, simply breathtaking) Now, not all of the new footage is done with 1080p in mind as I noticed some new stuff is pretty low res in the 2d details so they are using the old engine in some parts. (but it is very rare) And then there are the parts where they added dust dirt and blood to the old footage, which can look pretty good (tifa in the church) or pretty bad (Rude and Reno after the sunglasses get broke and they are dusting themselves off, the dirt on their clothes is just wrong for where they were fighting)

In conclusion, I am 99% sure that this is how they handled the movie, so while it isn't as bad as we thought it was, it is still pretty rough. At least this is one mystery about ACC that is solved.

PSN - Pendragoongp
NNID - Pendragoon
Include your AVS username in the friend request.
PENDRAG0ON is offline  
post #22 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 02:20 PM
Newbie
 
jkoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So... where does Square Enix say "we intended for this movie to be viewed on a PSP screen"? Seriously, I don't know how that assumption is being made.

Downscaling screens from 1080p to DVD resolution, and then resizing back to 1080p in Photoshop has shown that 0 detail is lost during the reupscale to 1080p from the "old" scenes that were not touched, while the new scenes are definitely 1080p. Cloud's face is even a different shape almost, as they're using the Crystal Tools engine for rerendering the new scenes. There is no way that the old scenes that had no touchups were rerendered at all from what I've seen. I think you have looked into it way too much.

Here are two screens from one scene, the first is grabbed from footage that existed in the DVD, the second is from "extended" footage.

jkoz is offline  
post #23 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 03:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
maxleung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 13
So basically, FF7:AC was rendered at a higher resolution for the BD, but they didn't bother redoing the textures!

Like taking the original Quake game, that was designed for 640x480 OpenGL, and playing it on a modern computer at 1920x1200!
maxleung is offline  
post #24 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 03:15 PM
Newbie
 
jkoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxleung View Post

So basically, FF7:AC was rendered at a higher resolution for the BD, but they didn't bother redoing the textures!

Like taking the original Quake game, that was designed for 640x480 OpenGL, and playing it on a modern computer at 1920x1200!

No... many of the scenes were simply not re-rendered at all. The textures have nothing to do with it; as they were used in the new scenes and were perfectly fine. Square Enix would not put millions of dollars into this production to make the textures at 512x512 or whatever. It was already "HD" before the DVD version came out but DVD specs are obviously much lower. They added more detail and more scenes for the extended cut but they didn't need to do anything about the texture resolution.
jkoz is offline  
post #25 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 04:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
maxleung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 13
I meant the old scenes, not the new.

Pendragon seemed to say that they re-rendered the closeup shots (in the old scenes) but didn't bother updating the background areas of the same scene. And sometimes didn't bother with AA even in the closeup shots.

It's similar to playing an old (circa 1995) 3D game on a new PC with a latest generation videocard. It will look better, but not the best it could be. Make sense?

My post was based on Pendragon's assumptions. Not yours. Don't take offense! You may be right and it is all upscaled, but we don't know for sure either way.

Upscaling makes sense if the studio is particularly lazy. And laziness seems to be quite common.
maxleung is offline  
post #26 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 07:32 PM
 
StanDaMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 164
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxleung View Post

Upscaling makes sense if the studio is particularly lazy. And laziness seems to be quite common. [IMG]http://www.entertainment-place.info/smile/img/2658/*************************[/IMG]

This is so sadly. True.
StanDaMan is offline  
post #27 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 09:22 PM
Newbie
 
jkoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxleung View Post

I meant the old scenes, not the new.

Pendragon seemed to say that they re-rendered the closeup shots (in the old scenes) but didn't bother updating the background areas of the same scene. And sometimes didn't bother with AA even in the closeup shots.

It's similar to playing an old (circa 1995) 3D game on a new PC with a latest generation videocard. It will look better, but not the best it could be. Make sense?

My post was based on Pendragon's assumptions. Not yours. Don't take offense! You may be right and it is all upscaled, but we don't know for sure either way.

Upscaling makes sense if the studio is particularly lazy. And laziness seems to be quite common.

No no, I don't take offense. I've had the Bluray since mid-April when it came out in Japan though and I've watched the film at least ten times. I've also talked about this on a lot of other forums and have filed a complaint with Square Enix for misleading me, the viewer, into thinking I was buying a truly 100% HD product, when it definitely isn't. Unfortunately they wouldn't do anything since it wasn't release in the US. I googled the movie title/upscaling and stumbled upon the AVS forum's topic on it and figured I would put in my two cents.

I know exactly what you mean though; playing a game from ten years ago at a modern day resolution. I don't see that though; the lines are not sharp to me. It doesn't feel re-rendered to me at all. I'm going to school for game design and from what I've learned, the textures in CG movies would always be a higher resolution, then downscaled, which I'm sure a company like Square Enix has done. You can always downscale the detail, but you can't make detail appear from nothing, if you needed it.

I'm just basing that on my screen comparisons that I've done and from multiple repeat viewings on a 50" Sony 1080p set. (along with my 3D modeling knowledge) After the past couple months, I have convinced myself that they have not been touched and they've not even re-rendered, just simply stretched the picture to fit the new amount of pixels.
jkoz is offline  
post #28 of 39 Old 06-06-2009, 09:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
maxleung's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Makes sense! Thanks for your thoughts!
maxleung is offline  
post #29 of 39 Old 06-07-2009, 08:47 AM
Senior Member
 
diceburna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Gentlemen I think we all need to be realistic here. This movie took years to make make not just a mere few months, but years my friend. Also at the time when they were making this CGI the cost were probably astronomical and guess what, they're selling this product to a very small market here in the US, Japan, etc. Unless the demand was theres not a soul on this earth that would invest the time and money to completely redo the movie in 1080p.

Secondly, wrong terms are being applied here (upscaling/downscaling) are not the proper terms to use here. When a CGI or film is created, the people involved in the process are using highly professional equipment that the average consumer can't afford. There are vast differences between consumer grade goods and professional/commercial grade goods. So all Square Enix or whoever made this movie probably said to themselves was "ok now consumers have access to digital displays and now there is a new medium called Blu-ray that has more storage capacity and can transmit data at higher bitrate than dvds." At this point all they'll need to do is go back to the original artwork and render the movie at a higher resolution and make some more money. The proper term to use here is rendering which I've seen a few posters used. Just to be clear in our discussion and to avoid any further confusion I've included information on what rendering is from wiki below (mind you, this is just a simple introduction to the whole process of rendering which is typically done in the final stages of movie making):

Render: "Rendering in visual art and technical drawing means the process of creating, shading and texturing of an image, especially a photorealistic one. It can also be used to describe the quality of execution of that process. This is synonymous with illustrating.

The emphasis of the term is on the correct reproduction of light-and-shadow and the surface properties of the depicted objects, not on the emotional impact, composition, or other more generic qualities. Unsurprisingly, most often it is used in relation to the more exacting, meticulous techniques like pencil or airbrush.

In an artistic rendering visual information is interpreted by the artist and displayed accordingly using the chosen medium. The non-photorealistic rendering area of computer graphics develops tools and techniques to enable interpretive rendering in digital media"

Rendering when applied to CGI: "Rendering is the process of generating an image from a model, by means of computer programs. The model is a description of three-dimensional objects in a strictly defined language or data structure. It would contain geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading information. The image is a digital image or raster graphics image. The term may be by analogy with an "artist's rendering" of a scene. 'Rendering' is also used to describe the process of calculating effects in a video editing file to produce final video output.

It is one of the major sub-topics of 3D computer graphics, and in practice always connected to the others. In the graphics pipeline, it is the last major step, giving the final appearance to the models and animation. With the increasing sophistication of computer graphics since the 1970s onward, it has become a more distinct subject.

Rendering has uses in architecture, video games, simulators, movie or TV special effects, and design visualization, each employing a different balance of features and techniques. As a product, a wide variety of renderers are available. Some are integrated into larger modeling and animation packages, some are stand-alone, some are free open-source projects. On the inside, a renderer is a carefully engineered program, based on a selective mixture of disciplines related to: light physics, visual perception, mathematics, and software development.

In the case of 3D graphics, rendering may be done slowly, as in pre-rendering, or in real time. Pre-rendering is a computationally intensive process that is typically used for movie creation, while real-time rendering is often done for 3D video games which rely on the use of graphics cards with 3D hardware accelerators."

As the technology for us the consumer gets better you'll see that most CGI's are really ahead of their time.
diceburna is offline  
post #30 of 39 Old 06-07-2009, 01:22 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chirpie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Olathe, Kansas
Posts: 3,597
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by diceburna View Post

Secondly, wrong terms are being applied here (upscaling/downscaling) are not the proper terms to use here.

If a user is of the opinion that they didn't re-render the scenes and all that they did was upscale pre-existing video, the term would certainly be right.

If a user is of the opinion that the video was re-created for this release and they went back to the original models and re-outputted them, then using the term re-rendering would be correct.

I haven't seen many incorrect uses up to this point, but then, I don't pay close attention sometimes. ^_^
chirpie is online now  
Reply Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews

Tags
Blu Ray Movies , Final Fantasy Vii Advent Children Complete Blu Ray
Gear in this thread - Final by PriceGrabber.com



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off