Originally Posted by grodd
3 is greatly darkened also. You can also see by the screenshots. I watched the BR. It's not quite as strong as 4 and 5.
For what little its worth, I do happen to be a graphic designer with about 20 years of Photoshop under my belt. I've always used the term "black crush" as you now couldn't see the different shades of black and image detail in the darker areas of the image.
Originally Posted by Spiritual_Chaos
Ofc "black crush" is when you push the black levels so that you loose details in the black and it's pure black. Ofc this can be done for artistic reasons and often are... no problem there... but I guess this look is not Renny Harlins intended - or maybe the DVD was overly bright and warm compared to the theatrical prints.
Thank you. I've encountered the term black crush in many contexts, and in every case it was in reference to the phenomenon seen here with the Nightmare BDs, as expressed with different phrasing by both of you.
Fenders, our disagreements seem to stem from three factors: Your questionable application of the term black crush, some confusion over semantics, and your belief that imagery swallowed by crush can somehow be recovered in the context of crush baked into a video transfer.
What's clear is that you understand/acknowledge what's occurred here (which you earlier referred to simply as "darkening"), but disagree that black crush is the proper term for it. The fact that every context in which I've encountered the term was in reference to this particular phenomenon--supported by Grodd and Chaos' input--leaves me to call into question your understanding of the term's application.
The most basic ways I could think of to describe black crush would be "a decrease in the amount of gradations from visible to total black", or "increase in overall black level independent of brightness, contrast, and other factors".
With no (or minimal) crush, you have a full range of dark shades visible along with total black. Severe crush - this range of dark shades is reduced or eliminated completely, and there's a stark 'cut-off' from lit/visible to total black. And then all the in-between.
It's definitely not a mere matter of contrast or brightness alone, since you can have: A) An image that is washed out and 'milky' (overly bright/too little contrast) with weak, grey blacks that are still crushed, or B)what we see here with the Nightmare BDs, deep inky crushed blacks, or anything between.
As far as semantics, you want to differentiate between "lost" and "hidden" detail, but the way you're using hidden is what I meant by lost detail. I assumed "details lost in black" would adequately convey "details that have been swallowed (or 'hidden') by black crush, but perhaps not. Anyhow, hidden seems to imply that the details are merely "covered up" and can be recovered, which is untrue in the context of a video transfer with pre-set crush, which brings me to...
'Pre-baked' crush in video transfers. You mentioned there's nothing "magical" about it above, and I agree. I was sarcastically conveying that imagery lost to pre-set black crush in a transfer can't be recovered. Think of the level of crush in the transfer as a 'ceiling' (or floor if your prefer) - a pre-set level that can't be surpassed. Let's take Pic 4 from Nightmare 4 (aka "Where'd that damn pillow go??") since it's probably the most severe example. If I increase brightness on my Pioneer Kuro (past optimal level; '0' in my case), the blacks will turn grey and weak and the entire image will become milky and hazy, but the once-visible pillow on the floor won't (magically!) reappear. It's gone. The black mass on the left will become a lovely grey, and that's it. If I decrease brightness, the already-crushed blacks will begin to devour even more
visible imagery, to a cut-off point, at which point the black stops "advancing" and whatever visible detail is left will just get dimmer. Increasing/decreasing contrast will just change the saturation of the visible areas in relation to the dark. And gamma will of course mess up by carefully calibrated colors, but none of those things will get around the black level's absolute ceiling.
More stylish/atmospheric? In the case of a lot of these tweaked scenes I feel it is, but preference or artistic intent doesn't factor into any of my points here.