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Akira comparison *PIX* - Page 5

post #121 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirpie View Post

Read the thread more closely. That IS the HDTV version.

What? Are you talking about dvdmike's post? I know that. I was responding to the 'to show how good the BRD looks...' comparison.
post #122 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by vazel View Post

What? Are you talking about dvdmike's post? I know that.

Apologies. I guess reading it in order of the screen caps it sounded like you were talking about the last screen cap.

BTW, what makes you think it looks like pastels? The colors seem to me to be darker than most animated fare.
post #123 of 175
It looked brighter to me. But now that I did a double take it's not as bright as I thought. I just woke up.
post #124 of 175
I took down a few timecodes from the opening of the film, to mark some of the scenes that struck me as instances of the easy to spot inconsistent grain/focus/possible DNR - mind these are only a few instances, and some of the more extreme ones at that, but I figure pointing out the easier to spot examples would be for the best:

00:02:00-00:02:04 - The bar owner yawning shows his gray shirt to be extremely grainy. The next shot has the same shirt from the back, and there's virtually no grain to be found.

00:04:12 - First shot of the yellow car is blurred, and has plenty of clumpy grain (almost has to be an optical effect shot). The rest of the scene looks considerably better. This one could just come down to the camerawork, I'm not certain.

00:04:48-00:04:58 - The first interior shot of the restaurant is almost completely grain free. The next shot of the Clown flying through the window is quite grainy - pay attention to the booth and the table, which remain the same color in both shots. The third shot of the broken window is once again grain-free, while the fourth shot of Kai is... well, less grainy than the second shot in this sequence, but not outright grainless like the shot before it either.

00:05:05 - Close-up of Tetsuo chasing after a Clown with garbage blowing by. This shot has lots of the clumpy noise that looks like DNR filters was applied grainy footage. (It reminds me of FUNimation's Dragon Ball Z restoration... *shudder*) The footage immediately before and after it look somewhat better.

00:05:20 - Shot of Tetsuo getting back on his bike and cursing. Grainy and delicious.

I'd take screen shots if I had the technology, but you can use these timecodes to check out a few good examples that I spotted.

Thanks for the HDTV shot dvdmike007. (And I thought Evil Dead II on Blu-ray looked awful! )
post #125 of 175
I just picked up the last first press version that my local BestBuy had (the one with the booklet and special cover), and I watched it yesterday. I was extremely pleased with the PQ, this being my first bluray purchase and all.

I had hoped to take advantage of the amazing 192kHz/24bit audio track, but unfortunately the only speakers I have are the beyond-terrible 10w speakers on my TV. I do have a decent set of headphones though, but I am having issues hooking them up. I made a thread over here
Thanks for your help to whomever replies
post #126 of 175
Thread Starter 


post #127 of 175
post #128 of 175
It's probably been mentioned already, but going by allt he screens it looks liek they opened it up a bit, I see more picture on the right and left sides of the Blu-Ray images than I do on the DVD ones. I would double dip if I didn't already own 2 versions of the DVD and it was cheaper ($30 is still too much for me to drop on a movie I already have, even if anime on Blu-Ray typically tends to cost even more).
post #129 of 175
That audio does rock the house. I watched it at my parents house and my pops has like a $20k insane sound system (don't ask me what he has,just know my parents almost divorced over it ) and Akira sounded amazing. I don't know about all that BS talked about in the booklet, but it does sound blissful. Anyway, picture quality is very satisfactory. Like some have mentioned, I don't think at all this movie is supposed to be all shiny and new looking. The colors have been touched up and pop enough to still keep the dark mood of this Neo Tokyo world. I think people imagine that since there are a lot of neon colors that it's supposed to have that over-saturated pop effect..but I'm really happy with this. Now I really want to order the 1st and 2nd seasons of Lupin III and Lupin III: Castle Caligiostro, but no English subtitles I might just get them since I'm sure we probably won't see them released here
post #130 of 175
Cagliostro uses an 1080i HDTV master with slight EE and a good bit of dirt/print damage, and the Lupin TV series have the most annoying grain-freezing (grain is there, it's just frozen when there's little cel movement) I've ever seen. Cagliostro actually looks okay, but I have to take my glasses off or de-focus my projector to watch the TV series. It's that annoying. A pity because otherwise it looks great. People with smaller screens might not be as bothered with it.
post #131 of 175
Whoa. Some of the early posts sound very young. I'm old though, and it seems like no-one here saw the film in it's original theatrical release. I did a few times, and it was inconsistent and not the sharpest from the very beginning. Neuromancer and Chirpie made some great points.

It also seems like no-one here really has an understanding of old optical 2d animation (considering the nature of the site that's not a criticism, rather a statement of fact) and how it was filmed. Multiple layers of cels due to number of discreet elements and effects and multiplane can mess with focus and even shift the colour of lower-placed cels (at Disney they even corrected for both cel yellowing with multiple layers and colour shift through using different stocks). More characters, more effects, more detail, more potential for error. You don't get 'cel shadowing' with scanned, CAPS 2d! With old school optical processes, every time you add a layer you add a generation and remove quality. This was even the same with multiple exposures in optical printing. And if there was one mistake you had to start all over again. Even things as simple as a multi-frame dissolve between scenes had sometimes outrageously obvious discolouration and degradation (but many just seem to think it's OK and 'normal' - these people never noticed a 'cigarette burn' before Fight Club gave the game away either), and that was only 1 generation down. This is why films from Star Wars on used essentially 65mm (Vistavision) film for effects shots, even if the rest of the movie was 35mm. Star Wars did suffer from unstable film stock for the final 35mm though.

Which leads me to Vazel's ridiculous comparison of Sleeping Beauty to Akira. Sleeping Beauty WAS a 65/70mm film. It was always about 4 times the quality of Akira (35mm). I can't remember what 'field' each was animated on originally, although for starters SB was animated with MUCH more image size/quality for the actual animation, as it was one of the first scope films, and had an even bigger image area than what scope finally became (2.35 to 2.4). So forget even the 'storage' comments Vazel, there was a huge disparity to start with. I remember the prints of Akira, and they weren't mindblowing back then. The movie was though!

As for Honneamise, I only saw it once, and only on video. What I remember from that one though is that while it had some beautiful compositions, the actually complexity of the elements wasn't as challenging as Akira. And like Xylon said - too soft compared to? Compared to my memory of the original prints, it looks pretty damned good. It's not like in the digital age, Vazel. The cel isn't an indication of the film - that's the tail wagging the dog I'm afraid!

And grading a sequential/progressive line for year to visual quality is simplistic in the extreme! Come on, Vazel and Toe! You can argue that after the 50s and with the newer colour stocks of the 60s and 70s colour film took a big step BACK, quality and reliability-wise. The reason some big 40s and 50s films look so great is that they used the 3-strip technicolour process, which is ridiculously better than the later colour stocks as the 3 black and white separations (which aren't anywhere near as prone to fading and discolouration and warping) make for much better and more consistent (to the original answer print) restoration.

As far as the sound (haven't sat down to listen to it yet), does the stereo mix have the old English dub? The newer dub has different voice actors in addition to effects doesn't it?

I must admit, I'm so used to the original Fox dub of Totoro that I find it harder to warm to a newer dub. I prefer subs though, even for animation. Just gives you the first-generation tone and mood and honesty, which is lost through translation and other actors' interpretations. Ever tried to watch a Kurosawa film dubbed?! I can't do it, call me a snob...

Ramble over...
post #132 of 175
Well said half vader and the most likely explanation. In addition Disney still had the original cels and scanned them in, instead of using a master print that would retain optical loss because of the layers of celluloid; even with compensation provisions.

Best Regards
KvE
post #133 of 175
half vader, to answer your Q about the stereo mix and the dub version on the Blu-ray: The stereo mix is the original Japanese track in PCM; the only dub on the disc is the new one from the Pioneer/Geneon 2001 reissue, which does feature new actors and remixed/altered sound effects. The Streamline dub is not on it.

BTW I saw Streamline's subtitled version twice in theaters, back in the early '90s, and I agree, the prints were not the most stellar. The Blu-ray remaster is light years better.
post #134 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by half vader View Post

It also seems like no-one here really has an understanding of old optical 2d animation (considering the nature of the site that's not a criticism, rather a statement of fact) and how it was filmed. Multiple layers of cels due to number of discreet elements and effects and multiplane can mess with focus and even shift the colour of lower-placed cels (at Disney they even corrected for both cel yellowing with multiple layers and colour shift through using different stocks).

Also, consider:

I'm not very familiar with the specifics of Akira's production in particular, but from my general understanding of the animation industry in Japan, I would place an educated bet that various sequences in Akira were farmed out to many contract production houses, probably both in Japan and abroad. This aspect would also likely impact scene-to-scene production consistency on the original negative.
post #135 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectator View Post

Also, consider:

I'm not very familiar with the specifics of Akira's production in particular, but from my general understanding of the animation industry in Japan, I would place an educated bet that various sequences in Akira were farmed out to many contract production houses, probably both in Japan and abroad. This aspect would also likely impact scene-to-scene production consistency on the original negative.

You're right, they were. Particularly when the film started falling behind schedule. I'm not sure if anything was sent abroad, but every animation production house from Gainax to Omnibus were brought in to do parts of the film.
post #136 of 175
Oh wow I'm getting called out! Well you seem to know your stuff half vader thank you for your input. But regardless of the reasons I still find the PQ disappointing and don't think it's worth the $30 asking price on Amazon.
post #137 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by vazel View Post

Oh wow I'm getting called out! Well you seem to know your stuff half vader thank you for your input. But regardless of the reasons I still find the PQ disappointing and don't think it's worth the $30 asking price on Amazon.

I like that smiley! It's smart but slightly demented... ^_^
post #138 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by vazel View Post

But regardless of the reasons I still find the PQ disappointing and don't think it's worth the $30 asking price on Amazon.

Hey, I can understand that. Even if there are good/unavoidable reasons for something not being perfect av quality, it's still good that we should always want our films/discs to be great quality, every time. We pay our hard-earned, after all. That's why sites like this are great! Keepin' 'em honest is an admirable thing! Cheers Vazel.

Oh and good one guys about the different production house thing. Missed that one in my rant-o-rama.

And thanks Linewalker for the info! I'll get around to this disc next week hopefully. Ah the joys of conflicting work schedules...
post #139 of 175
What, us whipper snappers can't have an opinion on a film that's a scant 4 years younger than we are?

Watched the whole film today on my friend's Bose/XBR6 setup, which is a decent step up from my usual Hi-Scan CRT. I stand by the transfer being a notch or two from perfect, but man, that TrueHD track is something else... but I noticed was that the subtitles looked 'iffy', which I don't think has been brought up yet. I haven't watched the Pioneer dub since the DVD came out, but a lot of subtitles look 'dubtitled' to me.

The most obvious bit:

Japanese dialog: "Tetsuo!"
English subtitle: "Heads up, Tetsuo!"

While the Pioneer DVD had a literal translation, the Japanese R2 DVD (also from Bandai Visual) was dubtitled, so I shouldn't be surprised if they re-used the same script. It's unfortunate, but the Pioneer dub was so close that I wasn't convinced that something was wrong for a good 20-30 minutes.
post #140 of 175
Ha ha, good one Kentai!

No, I'm just saying that most of the arguments are completely redundant if the people are debating the merits of the only versions they've ever seen - which are NOT the actual film itself but lower-grade video interpretations of it! If you HAVE seen proper prints, you'd have to say the BD looks pretty great. Which doesn't negate that it looks a bit soft or technically underwhelming in general (Av wise, not imagery/design wise) at all - it does, but so did the film!

People are arguing a sort of similar thing in the Silence of the Lambs thread with the colour timing. Even to the point of ridiculous arguments about how the colours don't look 'natural' enough (Maybe they've never heard of intentional colour timing or noticed it was a horror movie) and the skies not blue enough etc.! Again, beside the fact they're comparing to their own aesthetic subjectivity (no matter how inappropriate), they're also debating versions removed from the original, making the whole thing meaningless.

Then there's the whole Godfather furore. Willis shot and processed in such a repeatable and recordable way that we CAN get much closer to what he wanted all these years later. It WAS soft, it WAS dark, and it was a lot of sepia and gold-soaked imagery. I understand people's attachment to their existing home video version, but it's all about adherence to the FILM, and the new one is RIGHT. They're confusing nostalgia and love for the film with the fact that the look (which they also loved) was wrong/inaccurate.

Having said that, my memory's a bit more hazy on my original viewing of Silence than the few times I saw Akira at the cinemas back then, but I do vaguely remember it looking more like the Criterion version than the more recent grades... I'm on the fence with this one. Too bad, as it's one of my faves!
post #141 of 175
Oh God, if people are this hard on softness of old films they are going to freak with misplaced annoyance then about the new Quantum of Solace BD. Especially as it seems NO-ONE noticed how awful those couple of set-ups when M gets scolded in the minister's office were in terms of softness/bad focus in the actual film itself! Still can't believe they didn't re-film that bit...

Finally tracked down and watched Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles last night. Hoo boy, if you want to see a lousy quality DVD that's the one! Just a mess (regarding the transfer, not the also sub-par cheapo av quality of the film stock itself)! Funny flick though...
post #142 of 175
I don't expect everything live action to be sharp. It's just with animation I do expect it to be sharp, it's just colored in lines(I don't mean to be condescending to traditional animation I'm an animation enthusiast and prefer traditional animation to CG). We have other anime movies from the '80s on BD that look sharp but I guess I'll have to buy your explanation of it being Akira's multiple cel layers complexity as the reason this one isn't.
post #143 of 175
I getcha Vazel, but like I say, it's from before systems like caps came around (unfortunately Rescuers Down Under which from memory was the first to utilise it was 2 years later, and that was only Disney) and there was room for error and differences in look because of the animation camera, cell setup, different vendors, and very importantly film processing and actual print quality. There are also Japanese TV cartoons that vary in sharpness and quality from the same period. You seem to be thinking of the actual cels themselves but not the whole/old process of getting it onto a screen. These days things are a bit simpler and more consistent, with less margin for error. I see what you're saying though, it does seem funny that you can't always focus the animation camera perfectly on a bit of artwork.
post #144 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by half vader View Post

I see what you're saying though, it does seem funny that you can't always focus the animation camera perfectly on a bit of artwork.

It's not that simple. We're talking layers of cells stacked on top of each other, sometimes 8-10 cells thick.

By the time you get to the base layer, things can get pretty muddy.

Also, when you source out your stuff to various vendors, the quality can be very inconsistent with cells, unlike with computer animation where you can have programmed presets for certain things like color.

The other thing to consider is, most animated productions from the 60's through the 80's were just simply lacking in any real quality. Look at the crap put out by Hanna Barbera. They are what animators today mock. Anime was in that zone, too, with the constant use of the "rushing background" to imply speed and the re-use of elements to save cost.

We've been spoiled with bright, popping colors with hard edges in the last decade. It's easy to forget it wasn't always that way.
post #145 of 175
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post


We've been spoiled with bright, popping colors with hard edges in the last decade. It's easy to forget it wasn't always that way.

True.
post #146 of 175
Network, I already said all that about the cells, discolouring etc. And the vendors thing has been discussed too. I started off saying how the old optical/non digital days were different and that 'youngsters' may not realise how things were. Read back a bit. I was just giving a friendly nod to Vazel, that's all. The focusing thing was a bit of an ironic joke. I also worked with an old reprographic camera for years, which should have been simpler again, but...

Cheers mate!
post #147 of 175
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by half vader View Post

Whoa. Some of the early posts sound very young. I'm old though, and it seems like no-one here saw the film in it's original theatrical release. I did a few times, and it was inconsistent and not the sharpest from the very beginning. Neuromancer and Chirpie made some great points.

It also seems like no-one here really has an understanding of old optical 2d animation (considering the nature of the site that's not a criticism, rather a statement of fact) and how it was filmed. Multiple layers of cels due to number of discreet elements and effects and multiplane can mess with focus and even shift the colour of lower-placed cels (at Disney they even corrected for both cel yellowing with multiple layers and colour shift through using different stocks). More characters, more effects, more detail, more potential for error. You don't get 'cel shadowing' with scanned, CAPS 2d! With old school optical processes, every time you add a layer you add a generation and remove quality. This was even the same with multiple exposures in optical printing. And if there was one mistake you had to start all over again. Even things as simple as a multi-frame dissolve between scenes had sometimes outrageously obvious discolouration and degradation (but many just seem to think it's OK and 'normal' - these people never noticed a 'cigarette burn' before Fight Club gave the game away either), and that was only 1 generation down. This is why films from Star Wars on used essentially 65mm (Vistavision) film for effects shots, even if the rest of the movie was 35mm. Star Wars did suffer from unstable film stock for the final 35mm though.

Which leads me to Vazel's ridiculous comparison of Sleeping Beauty to Akira. Sleeping Beauty WAS a 65/70mm film. It was always about 4 times the quality of Akira (35mm). I can't remember what 'field' each was animated on originally, although for starters SB was animated with MUCH more image size/quality for the actual animation, as it was one of the first scope films, and had an even bigger image area than what scope finally became (2.35 to 2.4). So forget even the 'storage' comments Vazel, there was a huge disparity to start with. I remember the prints of Akira, and they weren't mindblowing back then. The movie was though!

As for Honneamise, I only saw it once, and only on video. What I remember from that one though is that while it had some beautiful compositions, the actually complexity of the elements wasn't as challenging as Akira. And like Xylon said - too soft compared to? Compared to my memory of the original prints, it looks pretty damned good. It's not like in the digital age, Vazel. The cel isn't an indication of the film - that's the tail wagging the dog I'm afraid!

And grading a sequential/progressive line for year to visual quality is simplistic in the extreme! Come on, Vazel and Toe! You can argue that after the 50s and with the newer colour stocks of the 60s and 70s colour film took a big step BACK, quality and reliability-wise. The reason some big 40s and 50s films look so great is that they used the 3-strip technicolour process, which is ridiculously better than the later colour stocks as the 3 black and white separations (which aren't anywhere near as prone to fading and discolouration and warping) make for much better and more consistent (to the original answer print) restoration.


Ramble over...

Excellent post.

Sleeping Beauty is a whole different beast.

Most people expect the colors to "POP" out and I don't blame them. Current animations look that way. Well almost all of them. Some HD transfers has been "softened" up including CGI features. Artistic intent.

There is no major issue to complain about the PQ of Akira. It is what I expected. Hey it could be worse. Have you guys seen Gulliver's Travels? Oh what could have been. The horror.
post #148 of 175
Shhh... don't give Bandai Visual any ideas! They do resort to LD-era composite tape masters for "lost" credit sequences on HD restorations, after all...

Toei, too, on their Fist of the North Star remaster... oh, don't get me started.
post #149 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xylon View Post

Hey it could be worse. Have you guys seen Gulliver's Travels? Oh what could have been. The horror.

Yep I think the intentional softening of Wall-E for both technical (70s anamorphic sci-fi feel) but more importantly emotional reasons (long lenses giving a feel of both isolation and/or intimacy in a large landscape or crowded scene) was fantastic. Even if the nerdy side of me did crave some razor-sharp detail - story and character above all else!

Oh God Gulliver's Travels! You didn't buy it did you Xylon? OAR! OAR! To quote Christian Bale, what don't they effing understand?

I'm crushed that the same thing was done for the Blu-ray release of Thunderbirds - It was too good to be true - Thunderbirds in Blu! And then they go and chop the top & bottom off to 'fit' 16/9... Aaaarrgh.

I'm such a big fan of Thunderbirds and old Fleischer stuff and would have bought both in a heartbeat. But not like that I won't! OAR!
post #150 of 175
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