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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Hollywood Reporter

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Plans are in the works for 4k restorations of a number of films from the Warner Bros. vault, including "Blade Runner," "Bonnie and Clyde," "Cool Hand Luke" and the Dirty Harry films "Magnum Force" and "Sudden Impact."


While launch dates have not been announced, the studio has an eye toward offering the restored titles on the two high-definition DVD formats, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, as well as standard-definition DVD. The "Blade Runner" release is being planned for this year, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the film's release.


What 4k resolution offers is more picture information -- four times the amount found in today's commonly used 2k resolution.


Chris Cookson, president of Warner Bros. Technical Operations and chief technology officer of the Warner Bros. Entertainment Group, believes 4k is an important goal.


"When you are doing restoration, you want to re-create a new element to support the title for years to come," he said. "It is critical that you retain as much of the original information that the filmmaker created as possible. Unless you are willing to work at 4k, it is inevitable that you will lose a great deal of the information that was created and included in the (original) finished film.


The 2k master has less information than the original film did," he added. "We really need to push for 4k tools in order to protect what goes into our vault for archiving."


Added Spencer Stephens, vp and GM of motion picture imaging at Warners, "I think the basic notion is (that) we owe future generations the best possible elements in the vault."


"Clyde," "Luke" and the Dirty Harry films are going through the restoration process at Stephens' motion picture imaging unit. That's an extensive operation that relies on rapidly changing technologies and processes, including scanners, film recorders, digital intermediate color grading suites and restoration and quality-control services.


The color-grading suites used for the restoration work center on Filmlight's Baselight color-correction system. The prime restoration tool in the facility is MTI's Correct system. A temperature-controlled vault is on site.


For "Blade Runner," Warner Bros. scanned the original negative in 4k.

I say, bravo to Warner. We knew Blade Runner was a prominent 2007 release, so it's logical (though still very pleasant) to see it has received such care and attention. But what's really encouraging is to see them go to such trouble with other films that won't draw a lot of attention when released in hidef.


If such restorations are used across the board, I'm much likelier to buy:

- Blade Runner rather than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

- Lawrence of Arabia rather than Spider-Man 3.

- Cleopatra rather than Live Free or Die Hard.

- The Godfather rather than Transformers.

- Vertigo rather than Evan Almighty.

- Bambi rather than Pirates of the Caribbean: at World's End.


On the other hand, if you're going to pull a Spartacus or Fifth Element on me, don't even bother.
 

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I give Warner props for their restoration @ 4k efforts but what's the point restoring movies that are not too interesting (Bladerunner not included..of course). The first movie on their list should've been 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Shining. Movies truly worth of restoration.
 

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4K transfers are the most gorgeous way to go. Absolutely the best film transfer you casn get for HD media.


Grain is de-emphasized to its rightful place, color is great and detail is awesome.


I am sure there have been quite a few 4K transers to HD discs already, judging from the quality, but I'd love to see it become more standard!


I am so glad I've already decided to buy the Blade Runner HD DVD - they have scanned the original negative at 4K - this is HUGE news!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Originally Posted by rdjam /forum/post/0


I am sure there have been quite a few 4K transers to HD discs already, judging from the quality, but I'd love to see it become more standard!

The Searchers had definitely a 4K transfer. See the following conversation back in August 2005 between Robert A. Harris (RH), George Feltenstein (GF), Senior VP Theatrical Catalog Marketing for Warner Home Video, and Ned Price (NP), VP of Mastering for Warner Brothers Technical Operations (Warner Brothers Pictures).

Quote:
RH: We're talking about Cooper and Schoedsack. One of the later Cooper films, for which I believe he served as Executive Producer, I'm told is in the works, and that would be The Searchers


GF: Ned, talk about The Searchers.


NP: I've pursued getting... I don't want to say acceptable, but balanced picture from the camera negative for about five years. I test the negative when we have new and more powerful color correction tools. I pull the camera negative out again, and see if I can pull the color back, and I have to say that camera negative is dead.


RH: It probably was years ago.


NP: Mean Streets, contains a clip from The Searchers, you can see the negative was completely faded in 1973.


RH: That makes sense.


NP: We've taken the VistaVision A and B roll separation masters... all 48 reels and scanned each of the records in at 4k resolution. The separations will be combined with the same "ultra-res" process we use for three-strip Technicolor negatives... we will output a new set of separation masters from the restoration.


RH: Will you be eventually recording out new separations there?


NP: Absolutely. We've been creating YCM separation masters on all of our new films at WBMPI. I'd like to make a few comments about quality. You asked why Warner Brothers would go to this degree in our mastering process. We are now mastering in 4k resolution which allows us to create new elements for the vault in full 35mm resolution. We were previously working at a small fraction of the film information which allowed us to make nice, but temporary, distribution masters. I consider high definition mastering a "rental" format, because my experience with the library is that you will have to remaster once higher resolution is available. The industry is often fooled into thinking the new "state of the art" technology will never be surpassed. Now that we're working in film resolution, we're not just getting a video master, we create a new film element to put in the vaults, which will take the form of three-strip YCMs for color features.


RH: How are the 8 perf seps fitting together on The Searchers.


NP: They're working, which is great... I did not know if they would be successful as separation masters were never proof printed up until the late 1970s.
 

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Thanks Grubert. This is a great thread as it puts the emphasis on the quality.


The process for the Searchers sounds similar to that used for Grand Prix, except that Grand Prix came from the negative. I've often wondered if Grand Prix was scanned at 4K, since it is just unbelievably sharp,


Wonderful movie on hi def disc - it should be in Everyone's library.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by swifty7 /forum/post/0


I give Warner props for their restoration @ 4k efforts but what's the point restoring movies that are not too interesting (Bladerunner not included..of course). The first movie on their list should've been 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Shining. Movies truly worth of restoration.


You know not everyone out there is a sci-fi and comic-book FX-geek, there are other genres just as, if not more "worthy." I don't mean to sound harsh, because I will buy "all the above," but Bonnie & Clyde and Cool Hand Luke are excellent films.


Lolita, Giant, North By Northwest, White Heat, Stagecoach, Virgina Wolf, Wizard of OZ, keep'em coming WB.


Eventually all studios are going to have to hook in catalog titles that aren't all blockbusters, and stuff that caters solely to tech-boys.
 

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North by Northwest was a fantastic looking DVD transfer - i can only imagine how good the HD presentation would be.


The Searchers really *is* amazing. the move towards better masters is a great thread for enthusiasts to support.
 

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both crops taken from 1080p rec709 . derived from 10bit log 4k and a 2k 35mm film scan. The 2k is derived from downsampling from the 4k ( this should be standard practice these days , ie the scanner captures in 4k with a post downsample to 2k).


There is a difference . I can see the slightly better high frequency detail on the one derived from 4k especially if I run a histogram on it before I jpeg it. However its not anything I'd say would make 4k particularly worthwhile with regard to 1080p mastering. And there is no way I would be able to see any difference between the two on a domestic display. Dismissing a 1080p mastering of a film because it originated from 2k rather than 4k is frankly nuts if you ask me.






and if someone wants to suggest a better way of getting these images displayed next to each other be my guest.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.D /forum/post/0


both crops taken from 1080p rec709 . derived from 10bit log 4k and a 2k 35mm film scan. The 2k is derived from downsampling from the 4k ( this should be standard practice these days , ie the scanner captures in 4k with a post downsample to 2k).


There is a difference . I can see the slightly better high frequency detail on the one derived from 4k especially if I run a histogram on it before I jpeg it. However its not anything I'd say would make 4k particularly worthwhile with regard to 1080p mastering. And there is no way I would be able to see any difference between the two on a domestic display. Dismissing a 1080p mastering of a film because it originated from 2k rather than 4k is frankly nuts if you ask me.






and if someone wants to suggest a better way of getting these images displayed next to each other be my guest.

While it may not show as much benefit for 1080 (although I think this is debatable), Warner is using 4k restoration for futureproofing as well. By restoring and remastering at 4k now they will have ready to go masters for formats beyond HD/BD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by swifty7 /forum/post/0


I give Warner props for their restoration @ 4k efforts but what's the point restoring movies that are not too interesting (Bladerunner not included..of course). The first movie on their list should've been 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Shining. Movies truly worth of restoration.

Not all movies NEED to be restored. In 2001's case, there already was a film restoration/re-release done a few years ago, and as for THE SHINING, I'm guessing the film elements are in fine shape and don't need any work.


Vincent
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by studiotan /forum/post/0


While it may not show as much benefit for 1080 (although I think this is debatable), Warner is using 4k restoration for futureproofing as well. By restoring and remastering at 4k now they will have ready to go masters for formats beyond HD/BD.

Well I agree that 4k is fine for an archive solution but I'll tell you right now anything requiring even slightly complicated restoration will most likely be undertaken at 2k and then recut back into the 4k for DI.


You are going to be very very disappointed in the visual differences between 2k and 4k displayed on anything below a very large cinema sized screen, even then its still going to be subtle and I mean way more subtle than 720p vs 1080p for example.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdjam /forum/post/0



Grain is de-emphasized to its rightful place, color is great and detail is awesome.


D

On more than one occasion I have heard people remark about the more visible grain on 4k and even express a preference for the 2k in light of no other way to differentiate between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Originally Posted by Mr.D /forum/post/0


And there is no way I would be able to see any difference between the two on a domestic display.

That depends on your definition of 'domestic' display.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert /forum/post/0


That depends on your definition of 'domestic' display.

Well if the difference is subtle on 35mm rushes struck directly from the 2k and 4k neg filmouts on a 20 foot screen in a professional viewing theater with a way better projector than you'll find in even a good cinema I'd say its going to be at least as subtle on a domestic display whatever way you slice it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.D /forum/post/0


You are going to be very very disappointed in the visual differences between 2k and 4k displayed on anything below a very large cinema sized screen, even then its still going to be subtle and I mean way more subtle than 720p vs 1080p for example.

Unless the material has very high frequency content. The aliasing on the spiderweb in the end credits on Spiderman 3 from standard 35mm print was not subtle at all. And its absence had it been rendered at 4K instead would have been very welcome.
 

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Warner had some spotty standard dvds early but no studio seems to be as good as Warner. I've thought this for some time, but it seems that WB has people there who really do love film. Perfect balance between releasing classic films and new ones too.


No studio will always get it right, but Warner is pretty dang close.


Bravo!
 

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Aliasing on credits and other digital created content at 2K has been visible for years, and bothered me every time they took me out of the movie...


When you go watch a new Fox movie, for example, just look at the logo. When it's moving, you can see bad aliasing on the top of the 'platform' that holds the '20th', and on some letters of the 'century fox'.


I went to see Happy Feet twice, on small screens and it was OK. Then I saw it in IMAX. Beautiful, but in static scenes with a lot of detail, aliasing was horribly noticeable.


I wish the ever present digital animation features were all rendered and filmed-out in 4k, they'd look even better than they do now, and the IMAX versions would look awesome.


Mr D.,

You seem to someone who understands deeply the process of film scanning, restoration and film-out techniques.


Do you think the differences between 4k and 2k would be more noticeable on a digital projector with 4k res (the Sony SXRD is the only one being commercialy used, as far as I know. Its black level is good enough, if not great, but the resolution is astounding?


I ask because I saw a demo of one of those here in Brazil, and they showed a clip of "Do-Re-Mi" from "The Sound of Music", I guess scanned at 4k from the 65mm neg, and it was just breathtaking, every blade of grass visible. It looked much better than all the other clips, from HD sources.


In my view, the ideal method (quality-wise) for digital cinema nowadays would be film capture, preferably scope and/or super-35 (or Vista-Vision, if the money was there for it), scanned at 4k, and sent digitally to theaters with a 4k digital projector.


I still prefer to watch film, but 99% of the multiplex screens are just horribly mantained, always out-of-focus and with numerous scratches from inexperienced/careless operators. But 4k digital would be great, if it became standard. 2k projectors for any of the larger screens don't cut it...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafner /forum/post/0


Unless the material has very high frequency content. The aliasing on the spiderweb in the end credits on Spiderman 3 from standard 35mm print was not subtle at all. And its absence had it been rendered at 4K instead would have been very welcome.

How do you know it wasn't just badly rendered?


I've seen 2k cgi rendered well that had significantly less aliasing than the same imagery at 4k from a different renderer. Likewise I've requested CG rendered at 4k so that when downresed to 2k it wouldn't alias compared with rendering direct to 2k. Too many possible issues to make any reasnable assumptions.


I'd say they should have done a better job regardless.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfuhlendorf /forum/post/0


Aliasing on credits and other digital created content at 2K has been visible for years, and bothered me every time they took me out of the movie...


When you go watch a new Fox movie, for example, just look at the logo. When it's moving, you can see bad aliasing on the top of the 'platform' that holds the '20th', and on some letters of the 'century fox'.


it...


Many questions...


The aliasing on the logo is something I'd put money on having nothing to do with 2k vs 4k issues see my reply to michel above.


The main advantage with 4k projectors is more refined pixel structure. I look at a 2k projector a lot and it does exhibit aliasing however subtle on certain imagery . At large screen sizes this to me is a problem. However thats not quite the same issue as 4k vs 2k delivery formats.


Bringing 65mm into it is a bit misleading: For a start 4k scanning of 65mm is effectively half resolution scanning anyway: its essentially "2k" scanning a larger area. The amount of film area per pixel is still essentially 2k. It looks better because its 65mm not primarily because the scanned frame resolution is into 4k.

4k scanning of 35mm would equate to 8k scanning of 65mm ( I forget the exact resolutions its scanned at I seem to recall its more like 6k actually its been a while since I saw any: last really unusual resolution I saw was anamorphic vista which was 6k with a 2:1 squish on it : so it had to be worked 12K to get it square pixel for what was ultimately a 2k scope delivery format: 6224x4096 to 12448x4096 to 2048x1556) . And I still had to add dirty great 2k scope lens flares to it because the vista lens was too good to give us OTT Carpenter flares! Never quite worked out why they bothered shooting it that way.


I've still not seen any digital footage that was as consistently nice as 35mm so I agree with the film capture point.


Film projectors are relatively simple bits of kit , the only downside is they require a bit of maintainance. If a multiplex can't keep a simple film projector up and running efficiently I'm not entirely convinced they will do a better job with a digital system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.D /forum/post/0


How do you know it wasn't just badly rendered?

I've seen 2k cgi rendered well that had significantly less aliasing than the same imagery at 4k from a different renderer. Likewise I've requested CG rendered at 4k so that when downresed to 2k it wouldn't alias compared with rendering direct to 2k. Too many possible issues to make any reasnable assumptions.

I'd say they should have done a better job regardless.

It's quite easy. In 2K you can have a soft spiderweb with no distracting aliasing or you can have a real sharp spiderweb with very obvious jaggies or something in between. You can not have a real sharp spiderweb with no jaggies. There are simply not enough pixels relative to what you see with normal vision and from the first couple of rows in the cinema (depending on the cinema even the first half of rows). If you come from 4K to 2K you can get a nicely balanced version that is reasonably sharp and free of bad jaggies. You still can't get what you really want, real sharp and not aliased. Credits with thin lines in all directions are worst case material, but they exist and the 2K system's limits become obvious with them. Not to mention that if a 35mm print from a negative from a 2K master shows such aliasing clearly it has quite some more resolution than 2K to begin with and 2K does not measure up to the film's resolution, lower MTF or not upto 2K. There is resolution enough to show the pixels clearly, beyond 2K well into 4K. It does not matter that much with your average 35mm film, but it will more and more with data from 4K digital cameras (Red, Dalsa).
 
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