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Predator Ultimate Hunter Edition comparison *PIX* - Page 14

post #391 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcdesign View Post

Quite!

It is not necessarily the case that people lack passion merely because they don't share the opinion of some on this forum. Some are equally passionate that they detest excessive grain to such a degree that they would rather see it removed at the expense of some detail in people’s faces than suffer the misery of what they perceive as poor picture quality on an expensive Blu-Ray purchase.

I really don't buy the brush strokes argument that Directors like Spielberg use to justify grainy images anyway. Photography is an entirely different art form to painting and comparisons between the two just don't hold up to scrutiny in my opinion. Still photography has far more in common with film making than painting does!

In still photography visible grain in a shot was almost universally accepted as a price we had to pay sometimes in order to obtain an otherwise unobtainable image. It was never something many photographers actively sought however because it spoilt the image quality in the eyes of many.

For me, coming from a background of over 30 years as an amateur photographer, I see film image quality in much the same way hence my dislike of excessive grain.

CBCdesign, I respect your opinion and it's nice to see your even-handed post. In that spirit I would refer you to my rant on page four of this thread to justify why grain IS an essential element in many filmmakers' creative palettes and painting analogies are not unfounded. I think I also made a post that I was a bit disappointed that Spielberg and SPR was the only thing they could think of, when there are many, many as/more pertinent examples, many of them in the horror genre where mood and tone are an essential storytelling and creative element.

And many cinematographers would disagree with you about film being an entirely different art form, hence the expression painting with light, which applies both to film and still photography. The point of my rant though was to not be all-or-nothing in the pursuit of making a strong point, and I did discuss the long history of grain both as a chemical side effect and something that the companies who make the stock have been working to minimise for about a century. Like I said, both things can be true.
post #392 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcdesign View Post

In still photography visible grain in a shot was almost universally accepted as a price we had to pay sometimes in order to obtain an otherwise unobtainable image. It was never something many photographers actively sought however because it spoilt the image quality in the eyes of many.

I don't know many photographers that would consider the optical deficiencies of old-school anamorphic lenses desirable, yet many cinematographers have sought out that soft, distorted look over the years. They're different disciplines that have evolved somewhat different aesthetics.

It's worth noting that grain at 24fps and grain at 0fps are drastically different things. In motion, your brain is very good at distinguishing the grain from the subject matter... much better than a computer is.
post #393 of 574
It's pretty obvious that grain was a limitation that became a stylistic choice the moment it became possible to defeat it. Most black and white films were not black and white by choice, but because color was not possible or feasible at the time.

This is not an argument for trying to remove it after the fact, which we know cannot be done without collateral damage. I just think it's silly to claim that grain benefits the majority of presentations when it clearly doesn't.
post #394 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by FitzRoy View Post

I just think it's silly to claim that grain benefits the majority of presentations when it clearly doesn't.

It all depends on what the benefit is. yes its true that most film tries to minimize grain. But the grain also helps to make the movie a little more organic. Many digital presentations looks a little sterile. So a little amount of grain will most movies benefit from.

We should also add that many film uses grain to better mask special effects.
post #395 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBMAN View Post

would you guys keep your DTS DVD version, or is the 2008 release on blu a decent upgrade???

Why not just keep the VHS version you taped from TV years ago? Special features include retro ads and bad cuts/fades. With commentary (about next feature) over ending credits.
post #396 of 574
This film is suppose to be grainy which gives it a dirty gritty look and in my opinion is to put the viewer in to the same dirty gritty feeling that perhaps the characters are in. It sets a mood and a lot of films past and present choose that look like Aliens, Predator, saving private Ryan, 300. It is a choice by the director and his DP it is not an accident and films need to be preserved as intended by the director and not dictated by those that do not understand the intentions of those involved in making the film.

Later Everyone
Brian
post #397 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBMAN View Post

would you guys keep your DTS DVD version, or is the 2008 release on blu a decent upgrade???

To keep repeating a point... yes, get the older, (now relatively) cheap Blu-ray until something actually good is released. At least the old Blu has that original "gritty" Predator look irrespective of the other artifacts due to MPEG-2, etc.
post #398 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcdesign View Post

I really don't buy the brush strokes argument that Directors like Spielberg use to justify grainy images anyway. Photography is an entirely different art form to painting and comparisons between the two just don't hold up to scrutiny in my opinion. Still photography has far more in common with film making than painting does!

In still photography visible grain in a shot was almost universally accepted as a price we had to pay sometimes in order to obtain an otherwise unobtainable image. It was never something many photographers actively sought however because it spoilt the image quality in the eyes of many.

For me, coming from a background of over 30 years as an amateur photographer, I see film image quality in much the same way hence my dislike of excessive grain.

Yeah it's a strange argument.. It's like saying that because compression artifacts are the nature of digital video, directors might choose to compress their movies poorly to bring out that certain 'feel' of crunchies all over the image.

It's been almost 30 years since CDs came out, yet people still insist that the hiss and crackle of vinyl is so much nicer a sound.

It's not just that it's hard for most people to embrace change, the majority simply don't want to because of some undefinable emotional connection.

A good example is analog clocks/watches.. Socially they are so much 'classier' than digital watches - even though they are an arbitrary and inefficient way to represent time.
post #399 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz! View Post

It's not just that it's hard for most people to embrace change, the majority simply don't want to because of some undefinable emotional connection.

Not sure why these threads inevitably go in this grain vs non-grain direction. The discussion in this thread shouldn't really be about grain or film technology in today's environment. It should be about Predator and how it has been substantially altered for this Blu-Ray edition.

Who cares which members here like or hate grain? Or who embraces changes in technology. Or which directors like grain. Whatever. That has nothing to do with this film, which for better or for worse *was* shot with a lot of grain. Ok, so that's a done deal. The film has grain. Mission Impossible has Tom Cruise. Star Wars has some cheesy scripting. Metropolis is silent.

And Predator has grain. And its been removed for this home video release and the film is now substantially altered from its original creation.
post #400 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz! View Post

Yeah it's a strange argument.. It's like saying that because compression artifacts are the nature of digital video, directors might choose to compress their movies poorly to bring out that certain 'feel' of crunchies all over the image.

Well let put it this way. A movie shoot with grain will not look as a movie shoot without grain, just because you DNR it.
post #401 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by philnerd View Post

Who cares which members here like or hate grain? Or who embraces changes in technology. Or which directors like grain. Whatever. That has nothing to do with this film, which for better or for worse *was* shot with a lot of grain. Ok, so that's a done deal. The film has grain. Mission Impossible has Tom Cruise. Star Wars has some cheesy scripting. Metropolis is silent.

And Predator has grain. And its been removed for this home video release and the film is now substantially altered from its original creation.

But don't you know that some people couldn't care less about preserving the original look? They want it to look the way they want it to, keeping the original look be damned.
post #402 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by half vader View Post

CBCdesign, I respect your opinion and it's nice to see your even-handed post. In that spirit I would refer you to my rant on page four of this thread to justify why grain IS an essential element in many filmmakers' creative palettes and painting analogies are not unfounded. I think I also made a post that I was a bit disappointed that Spielberg and SPR was the only thing they could think of, when there are many, many as/more pertinent examples, many of them in the horror genre where mood and tone are an essential storytelling and creative element.

And many cinematographers would disagree with you about film being an entirely different art form, hence the expression painting with light, which applies both to film and still photography. The point of my rant though was to not be all-or-nothing in the pursuit of making a strong point, and I did discuss the long history of grain both as a chemical side effect and something that the companies who make the stock have been working to minimise for about a century. Like I said, both things can be true.

I did read your post with interest. I remember a while ago very much enjoying Quentin Tarantino's clever use of image degredation in his grindhouse movies. It was one of those rare examples (imho) where this was an essential element and without which, the movies would have suffered as a result.

I understand that Grain is now another tool that directors use to try set the mood too, so they think anyway. Again, from my perspective as an amateur photographer though, I believe mood can be established by aiming for specific values of exposure, saturation and tint.

A dark under saturated image with a cold (blue) tint for example produces images that are perfect for stories set during the depression or the Second World War. Add rain and mud to the scene and you have all the grittiness you need, no grain required.

For me composition, saturation, exposure and tint are THE most important tools in the directors and DOP's arsenal. They can accomplish just about anything by varying these four parameters and I look forward to the day when they realise that grainy images are not really adding anything useful to the art if the big four are used creatively. Conrad Hall's compositions for example, particularly his use of reflective surfaces to show two things in different position is a single shot were quite superb as was his use of tint and saturation. He did use grain too but nobody's perfect!

As for the Predator release, well they just keep getting it wrong don’t they? The previous release was too grainy and this one has excessive DNR scrubbing. Carl Weathers facial features could have been due to excessive makeup as a reviewer said however the total absence of detail in his lips shows that this is not in fact the case. Unfortunate but short of frame by frame examination and careful use of DNR, I don’t think we will ever get a perfect release of this movie.
post #403 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

But don't you know that some people couldn't care less about preserving the original look? They want it to look the way they want it to, keeping the original look be damned.

Then these people should use the DNR button on their remotes. So they can adjust the movie much more to what they want. You can kill detail anytime but you cannot bring it back.

I think a lot of people are missing the point here. it's not about grain. It's about detail. If there was an algorithm which erased grain and preserved detail, be my guest. The problem is, grain is detail. Every grain particle is a carrier of color informations. So lets say we have 5 red grain and 5 white grain particles. DNR scrubs it to pink. Which has more detail? 10 identical pink or the red/white ones.
post #404 of 574
I am probably in the minority here, I enjoyed this presentation of Predator other than the freaky looking faces at the begining of the film. On my 132" screen the jungle scenes looked fantastic. The other releases are almost unwatchable on my screen. I don't mind film grain, but when it is to heavy it detracts from the film and becomes annoying. The bad part is neither home presentations are what the theaterical presentation looked like.
post #405 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz! View Post

Yeah it's a strange argument.. It's like saying that because compression artifacts are the nature of digital video, directors might choose to compress their movies poorly to bring out that certain 'feel' of crunchies all over the image.

It's been almost 30 years since CDs came out, yet people still insist that the hiss and crackle of vinyl is so much nicer a sound.

It's not just that it's hard for most people to embrace change, the majority simply don't want to because of some undefinable emotional connection.

A good example is analog clocks/watches.. Socially they are so much 'classier' than digital watches - even though they are an arbitrary and inefficient way to represent time.

People embrace change just fine. and yes they also hold emotional connections to things that are "technically" flawed.

A good example would be audio distortion. Everyone hates digital distortion or clipping. But where would music be today with out analog distortion? It literally defines rock and roll.

and as has been said repeatedly in this thread, it's not grain vs no-grain. it's about taking steps to remove grain that end up damaging the image and/or removing crucial detail. Because so much can go wrong anytime you tamper with an image, I think it should be a safe consensus that if changes are being made that dramatically impact the look of a movie/film, then the creative forces behind said film should at the very least be involved. It's much easier to do "too much" than it is to do it just right.

Much like any "effect", it loses it's value when the effect becomes apparent. CGI for instance is best executed when it looks as little like CGI as possible.
post #406 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz! View Post

Yeah it's a strange argument.. It's like saying that because compression artifacts are the nature of digital video, directors might choose to compress their movies poorly to bring out that certain 'feel' of crunchies all over the image.

It's been almost 30 years since CDs came out, yet people still insist that the hiss and crackle of vinyl is so much nicer a sound.

It's not just that it's hard for most people to embrace change, the majority simply don't want to because of some undefinable emotional connection.

A good example is analog clocks/watches.. Socially they are so much 'classier' than digital watches - even though they are an arbitrary and inefficient way to represent time.

Dust and scratches on vinyl are just like dust and scratches on film, they're not comparable to film grain.
post #407 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz! View Post

Yeah it's a strange argument.. It's like saying that because compression artifacts are the nature of digital video, directors might choose to compress their movies poorly to bring out that certain 'feel' of crunchies all over the image.

It's been almost 30 years since CDs came out, yet people still insist that the hiss and crackle of vinyl is so much nicer a sound.

It's not just that it's hard for most people to embrace change, the majority simply don't want to because of some undefinable emotional connection.

A good example is analog clocks/watches.. Socially they are so much 'classier' than digital watches - even though they are an arbitrary and inefficient way to represent time.

* Compression artifacts do not make up the image in digital video. In film, grain IS the image.

* The hiss and crackle of vinyl is a product of the limitations of vinyl, not the limitations of the original recording. In film, grain IS the original recording.

* Your watch analogy makes no sense.
post #408 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz! View Post

It's not just that it's hard for most people to embrace change, the majority simply don't want to because of some undefinable emotional connection.

I could just as well say that some people have an "emotional need" to change the image to fit what they think it should look like. But it's really about respecting the original image, rather than resisting change or feeling that the original is emotionally unsatisfying.
post #409 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonJF View Post

I am already thinking of some especially grainy scenes in the SE version of Aliens... I am afraid, though, that grain is going to be synonymous with poor PQ to the vast majority.

And, really, if you look at what they were trying to achieve with this disc (and I'm not saying it's right), they did an amazing job of turning film into HD video. Some think whoever did this should be fired - I see them getting a promotion. They may be public enemy #1 at AVS, but, unfortunately, they totally accomplished their mission...

Cameron may care more than Scott, but, at the same time, Cameron is the guy who used to prefer full frame transfers of his super 35 films. Maybe his attitude has changed with the increased number of 16:9 screens, although I get the impression (based on Avatar's home video aspect ratio) that he is not a fan of "black bars" no matter what. I don't know if he's ever said anything about it, but I could see him thinking grain interferes with the viewing experience...

Well.. i am in the crowd that is willing to take the bad with the good on this one. For the $13 its selling for on amazon right now, i bought this Blu because the DVD just looks dreadful on a 150" screen.. Just too pixalated. I can play with my PJ's settings to overcome some of this discs issues, the added sharpness is welcome IMO.
post #410 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by philnerd View Post

Not sure why these threads inevitably go in this grain vs non-grain direction.

Apologies for going OT..

Quote:
Originally Posted by philnerd View Post

The discussion in this thread shouldn't really be about grain or film technology in today's environment. It should be about Predator and how it has been substantially altered for this Blu-Ray edition.

Agreed..

Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieSwede View Post

Well let put it this way. A movie shoot with grain will not look as a movie shoot without grain, just because you DNR it.

post #411 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminator840 View Post

I am probably in the minority here, I enjoyed this presentation of Predator other than the freaky looking faces at the begining of the film. On my 132" screen the jungle scenes looked fantastic. The other releases are almost unwatchable on my screen. I don't mind film grain, but when it is to heavy it detracts from the film and becomes annoying. The bad part is neither home presentations are what the theaterical presentation looked like.

The heavy grain was a part of Predator from the start. It is on purpose. It's an artistic choice.

The DP wanted to use available light and high speed film rather than break out the high powered lights and switch to a tighter grain stock in order to "beautify" the shots.

This new release alters what the film is supposed to look like.

If they had properly gone back to the original negatives with the DP's supervision in 6k, done careful frame-by-frame dust and scratch removal and proper color timing... and kept the intended grain... then did a high bitrate encode with MPEG-4 AVC... maybe even improved the sound mix and maybe remixed to 7.1 (as long as it was a real improvement)...

I would be happier than pigs in sh#t, but Fox didn't bother.
post #412 of 574
Has anyone successfully played the Ultimate Hunter Edition on players running firmware released in April, 2010 or earlier?
post #413 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by philnerd View Post

Not sure why these threads inevitably go in this grain vs non-grain direction. The discussion in this thread shouldn't really be about grain or film technology in today's environment. It should be about Predator and how it has been substantially altered for this Blu-Ray edition.

Who cares which members here like or hate grain? Or who embraces changes in technology. Or which directors like grain. Whatever. That has nothing to do with this film, which for better or for worse *was* shot with a lot of grain. Ok, so that's a done deal. The film has grain. Mission Impossible has Tom Cruise. Star Wars has some cheesy scripting. Metropolis is silent.

And Predator has grain. And its been removed for this home video release and the film is now substantially altered from its original creation.

This is probably the most relevant post I've read in this thread in quite some time.

As you said, it really doesn't matter if the grain was the artistic intent from the get go or not. Predator has been grainy ever since its theatrical release, and nothing is ever going to legitimately change that. This discussion shouldn't be about the merits of grain vs no grain (or DNR'd grain), and it shouldn't be about whether grain was a choice or just a limitation. What's done is done, and it should be preserved as such. Altering whatever was on the source isn't going to make things 'better', no matter what you do to it. It's going to make certain things look a little more pleasing to the eye (color saturation, brightness, etc), sure, but that's not exactly the point, is it? Blu-ray is all about presenting films in high-definition, a medium that can capture the original film in a way that makes you think you're watching FILM on your HDTV.
post #414 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42041 View Post

I don't know many photographers that would consider the optical deficiencies of old-school anamorphic lenses desirable, yet many cinematographers have sought out that soft, distorted look over the years. They're different disciplines that have evolved somewhat different aesthetics.

It's worth noting that grain at 24fps and grain at 0fps are drastically different things. In motion, your brain is very good at distinguishing the grain from the subject matter... much better than a computer is.

This is one of the most realistic and well thought out posts that I've read on the subject of grain. I've never thought to tell people that what they're seeing in a single frame is not as it appears while (whilst for our friends in the UK) in movement taking advantage of persistence of vision.

And this is extremely important. I merely assumed that everyone understood it.

Thank you. Beautiful!

RAH
post #415 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

The heavy grain was a part of Predator from the start. It is on purpose. It's an artistic choice.

It's rather absurd to assume intent for something which was unavoidable at the time. Maybe if we went back in time and offered modern digital cameras to every director, then we could determine whether they actually preferred grain or simply accepted the image as the best they could get.
post #416 of 574
Predator 2 has some heavy DNR also.
post #417 of 574
There will be some that believe that preserving the image in its original form, no matter how bad it may have been is the Holy Grail. Even if visible grain could be removed without any loss of detail, it is totally unacceptable to do so.

Others believe that image quality should be improved to meet the expectations of the buying majority, even if that means altering the image with heavy DNR and EE and losing visible grain completely. Blu-Ray is after all a mass market medium, not something designed solely for the enthusiastic minority.

There are a third group of people who are somewhere between the two. They don't mind some alteration to improve images that are clearly sub-standard but want sympathetic and careful "doctoring" of the material, preferably with the film makers supervising the process.

All of the above are subjective opinions in my humble opinion and therefore there is no right and wrong viewpoint, just a difference of opinion.

I watched this release last night however and drew the following conclusions:-

1. Some shots look very nice with excellent detail, great colour and well focussed images although some of them looked a Tadd too clinical for my taste. They lacked something that is difficult to put into words.

2. Other shots were soft, had excessive DNR applied or were simply not focused properly when filmed.

3. Some were downright atrocious. In particular the diving scene when Dutch plunges into the lake. This was without a doubt THE worst shot I have ever seen in a movie. Just a blurred mess quite honestly.
post #418 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcdesign View Post

There will be some that believe that preserving the image in its original form, no matter how bad it may have been is the Holy Grail. Even if visible grain could be removed without any loss of detail, it is totally unacceptable to do so.

Others believe that image quality should be improved to meet the expectations of the buying majority, even if that means altering the image with heavy DNR and EE and losing visible grain completely. Blu-Ray is after all a mass market medium, not something designed solely for the enthusiastic minority.

There are a third group of people who are somewhere between the two. They don't mind some alteration to improve images that are clearly sub-standard but want sympathetic and careful "doctoring" of the material, preferably with the film makers supervising the process.

All of the above are subjective opinions in my humble opinion and therefore there is no right and wrong viewpoint, just a difference of opinion.

I watched this release last night however and drew the following conclusions:-

1. Some shots look very nice with excellent detail, great colour and well focussed images although some of them looked a Tadd too clinical for my taste. They lacked something that is difficult to put into words.

2. Other shots were soft, had excessive DNR applied or were simply not focused properly when filmed.

3. Some were downright atrocious. In particular the diving scene when Dutch plunges into the lake. This was without a doubt THE worst shot I have ever seen in a movie. Just a blurred mess quite honestly.

Very good post.

However, most would actually fall right here (if not the vast majority):

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcdesign View Post

There are a third group of people who are somewhere between the two. They don't mind some alteration to improve images that are clearly sub-standard but want sympathetic and careful "doctoring" of the material, preferably with the film makers supervising the process.

Every Blu-ray has had some *minor* alteration done. I consider Blade Runner the poster child of catalogue releases, and there has been some alteration (which all turned out to be gorgeous enhancements in my opinion). Also, having the film makers supervise the process (they are actually over watching the entire thing, not just signing off), is always a good thing.
post #419 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanboyz View Post

Predator 2 has some heavy DNR also.

And it looks like ass, I regret the purchase.
post #420 of 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

* Compression artifacts do not make up the image in digital video. In film, grain IS the image.

Well, the image in MPEG-based video is indeed comprised entirely of DCT-encoded blocks which appear as artifacts when the edges are visible...

Just like the pixels are the image but aren't considered an artifact of digital sampling until the edges are visible.

And to the point you're replying to, didn't Cloverfield and possibly [Rec] use some digital breakdowns for "artistic" effect?
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