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This is my first post to the Digital Software forum; there was no FAQ to look up and I could not find anything via the search (although I have no idea what to really call the effect) so my apologies if it has been hashed out a million times.


The wife and I have both noticed a weird effect on some DVD movies - for now I will call it the 'Smudge Effect'. We have noticed primarily with shots of faces, but also with background elements. It is sort of like parts of the face are in focus, while other parts are kind of blurry and moving around.


We just got done watching Unbreakable, and noticed this effect numerous times. In fact, we noticed is so much that we thought it was intentionally there to provide clues as to where the story was going; if so, these smudge clues were not mentioned in the extras.


What was in the extras was a deleted scene that is easy to see the problem on. Bruce Willis is talking to a priest in this scene; in it, the side of Bruce's head seems to be disconnected from his face, is kind of blurry, and seems to be floating around his head. Features on the priest's face are floating all over the place. There are numerous other instances of the effect on this movie. I played this one scene on three different DVD players, all of which displayed the effect to varying degrees in this scene.


We noticed this on some movies viewed on our old Sony 32" XBR. They are easier to see on our new 50" plasma.


The wife and I have speculated that this is some outcome of computer enhancement during the making of the movie, but obviously do not have any real clue.


So, the question before the house is: are the wife and I nuts, or is this a known 'issue' with a believable explanation?


Thanks . . .
 

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Hi fizbin,


I believe what you are seeing is DVNR: Digital Video Noise Reduction. Textures that lack complexity are digitally "smudged" (this isn't the technical term, but I think it describes the end result). This throws away real resolution. So actor's cheeks look smudged or blurry. I guess this saves bandwidth. I can't imagine why else they would use it. I think even some films on HD have this problem as well. In fact, a member set up a web page devoted to this topic. I think that page is down, but anyway, you are not the only one to notice or dislike this artifact. I hope this helped.
 

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Larry,


Thanks for the info. You would think that the folks putting these DVDs out would see DVNR artifact as a problem, not a feature.
 

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I see this in the R2 version of A Bug's Life, too. Not even animation is immune.
 
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