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  • #16
    Originally posted by Shabaz
    I actually have And the Sky Full of Stars on DVD in a wrongly mastered form, where the shots were not cropped properly. While I know a lot of you already are aware of the difference, I took some screenshots using that disc and a properly mastered disc to show the difference. I know it's not that big a deal to most people, but, indulge me. I have tried not to resize them, to show the frames as accurately as possible, but my apologies if they are a bit big.

    These are shots that pretty much look like they should've originally when they were broadcast in their 4:3 format. It's interlaced as you can see, but the blurryness comes mostly from the way they handled the PAL transfer for these shots. NTSC versions shouldn't have the excessive blur here.



    And these are the wonderful widescreen shots that Sci-Fi's money bought us. Notice how much more detail you can see, how much clearer the new widescreen telecine makes the footage look, and the new vividness of the colours.The blur you see in the first frame is not the result of a bad PAL transfer, but just regular motion blur (the difference should be noticable because of the retention of detail there). Try looking at the table, and the frilly pink things on it, since Sinclair has a bit of motion blur on him because of the shot I chose.



    Now, they cannot do these proper widescreen versions of the shots that include CGI bits, so called composited shots, because the extra frame data was never created when the original CGI was done. So instead of adding extra image information, they cut off part of the frame to make it fit inside the wider frame for comped shots. And this is how they were cropped on the properly mastered DVD (this is not me cropping it).



    So, with the current version, you can go from something like this:

    To something like this in the same scene:


    which can be jarring to me. And the only way to solve it is to redo the CGI. Also, you'll notice that the proper widescreen shots in general are a lot clearer, even if you ignore the extra parts of the frame to the sides. This is mostly because of advances in telecine technology. Expect an even more dramatic improvement if they ever do HD transfers of them, both because of the extra detail that can be picked up by HD, and because of further advancements in the telecine field (the technology of scanning in film, basically).

    You can continue laughing at me now.
    I can't understand how people wouldn't want a sharper looking B5?
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    • #17
      I would buy such a set just to get decent DVD transfers of all of the seasons. Transfers got deent towards the end, but that didn't magically make my Seasons 1 and 2 DVDs clean.
      I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

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      • #18
        I got B5 on DVD. I have no desire to repurchase the same stuff over and over. I highly doubt B5 would become like Star Trek, Star Wars, The James Bond series of movies, and now the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, where everytime you blink the same stuff is repackaged and sold
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        • #19
          Originally posted by Phil Harmonic
          I can't understand how people wouldn't want a sharper looking B5?
          Well, while the poll question states "Would you repurchase B5 if it was redone in HD?", the first post seemingly asks a bit of a narrower question "about redoing the CGI in HD", which I think some people are reading as "would you buy it if they would redo the effects for an HD version, for the effects sake?". If there is ever an HD version, it would certainly have more done to it than just a CGI reworking, if those happen at all, and greater clarity would be one of the greatest assets to such a hypothetical version.

          But, with the way the first post is worded, I can understand how people are interpreting the HD question in a narrower way, and state that they don't care for new effects, in HD or otherwise, and ignoring the other potential benefits to an HD version.
          Shabaz
          Confirmed User
          Last edited by Shabaz; 09-09-2006, 03:48 AM.

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          • #20
            I'm with Shadaz, I don't feel the FX espeically "need" to be redone but if they were and done well then it could be a plus along with the clearer visuals.

            One thing I mentioned in the other thread that could potentially be more interesting(and alot cheaper) IMHO is the possibility of extra footage that was cut to meet the 45 min limate being added back in. JMS has commented a few times on scenes that had to be cut and I'd guess the nature of the show means theres likely to be alot of unused material(if WB/TW havent lost it).
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            • #21
              Originally posted by Shabaz
              Well, while the poll question states "Would you repurchase B5 if it was redone in HD?", the first post seemingly asks a bit of a narrower question "about redoing the CGI in HD", which I think some people are reading as "would you buy it if they would redo the effects for an HD version, for the effects sake?". If there is ever an HD version, it would certainly have more done to it than just a CGI reworking, if those happen at all, and greater clarity would be one of the greatest assets to such a hypothetical version.

              But, with the way the first post is worded, I can understand how people are interpreting the HD question in a narrower way, and state that they don't care for new effects, in HD or otherwise, and ignoring the other potential benefits to an HD version.
              Given that WB lost the models, etc, could an HD version be done without redoing the CGI? Wouldn't it be fairly jarring if the live-action footage was super sharp while the CGI was the same as it ever was?
              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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              • #22
                Sure. I was just saying that the thread seemed to be asking if you would want to buy an HD version for its new CGI effects, rather than any other benefits an HD version might have. So some people go 'nah, don't really care about the effects, and those that do make me laugh'. Even though an HD version has other appeals, and a CGI update would allow them to do more than just make those that only care about spiffy effects happy.

                But I'm getting dangerously close to trying to interpret what other people are thinking here, something I really shouldn't be doing.

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                • #23
                  I could care less if it was done in HD I only care about the storyline. The effects are not important to me.
                  I don't understand answers like this. HD (high definition) has nothing to do with "effects". It has to do with image quality. Now in the case of a series like B5, where the live action was shot on film and the FX and composite sequences were done on computer at broadcast resolution, the film would have to re-scanned and something would have to be done to bring the FX and composite stuff up to the standard of the live action to make a true HD version possible. It isn't a matter of "wanting an HD version to get spiffy new FX", it is a matter of wanting to improve the FX to get the best possible version of the series.

                  Unlike a lot of people posting here I do own an HD TV and trust me, the difference is major. It is major on a film like Gone with the Wind or Cinderella Man - niether exactly an FX extravaganza. I'd love to see B5 in HD if it is done right - which at this point would require re-creating the FX and composite scenes from scratch, not because they could be done "better" now, but because the original files have all been lost. (Theorectically it would have been possible - and much cheaper - to extend the exisiting wireframe models of the original FX shots to 16:9 width and then re-render the final appearance - or even "crop" the pure CGI shots at the wireframe stage and simply re-renender them at the much-higher HD resolution. As always, the composite shots would present the greatest challenge.)

                  That was always what JMS intended for the show - it was always his plan to recomposite the mixed shots and rerender the CGI for HDTV, so this would not be some radical post hoc reimagining a la George Lucas and the Star Wars films.

                  Because WB lost the computer files I seriously doubt that this will ever happen. I can't see them spending the money to so extensively rebuild the show, and I also can't see them releasing a hybrid version where the live action is in pristine HD and the composite and FX shots are standard-def or lower.

                  Unless B5: TLT is a monster hit or an eventual B5 movie does Star Wars-type box office, I don't think WB will invest in an HD version of B5. (And from a business standpoint, they'd probably be right not to do so.) But if enough money were to flow into their coffers to make a true HD edition worth doing, I would definitely double-dip. There aren't a lot of things in my collection I'd do that for, but B5 would be one. (Hell, at this point, I don't own any hi-def DVDs or a hi-def player. I don't plan on buying one, either, for at least another 3 or 4 years. I'll wait and see who wins the format war, how soon the bugs can be worked out, and how long it takes for the players - and burners - to drop to a reasonable price level. This time around I'd rather not pay $500 to $1,000 for the privilege of being a beta-tester for Toshiba and Sony. )

                  Regards,

                  Joe
                  Joseph DeMartino
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                  Pat Tallman Division

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                    Unless B5: TLT is a monster hit or an eventual B5 movie does Star Wars-type box office, I don't think WB will invest in an HD version of B5. (And from a business standpoint, they'd probably be right not to do so.)
                    I don't think a films sucess is that good a judge of how profitable a HD/BR DVD re release would be, the former depends on a small amount of cash from a large audience where as the latter depends on a large amount of cash from a small audience.

                    I'd guess sit would all come down to the numbers, how sucessful will HD/BR DVD be and how much would the FX cost to redo?
                    Who are you?
                    What do you want?
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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                      I don't understand answers like this. HD (high definition) has nothing to do with "effects". It has to do with image quality. Now in the case of a series like B5, where the live action was shot on film and the FX and composite sequences were done on computer at broadcast resolution, the film would have to re-scanned and something would have to be done to bring the FX and composite stuff up to the standard of the live action to make a true HD version possible. It isn't a matter of "wanting an HD version to get spiffy new FX", it is a matter of wanting to improve the FX to get the best possible version of the series.

                      Unlike a lot of people posting here I do own an HD TV and trust me, the difference is major. It is major on a film like Gone with the Wind or Cinderella Man - niether exactly an FX extravaganza. I'd love to see B5 in HD if it is done right - which at this point would require re-creating the FX and composite scenes from scratch, not because they could be done "better" now, but because the original files have all been lost. (Theorectically it would have been possible - and much cheaper - to extend the exisiting wireframe models of the original FX shots to 16:9 width and then re-render the final appearance - or even "crop" the pure CGI shots at the wireframe stage and simply re-renender them at the much-higher HD resolution. As always, the composite shots would present the greatest challenge.)

                      That was always what JMS intended for the show - it was always his plan to recomposite the mixed shots and rerender the CGI for HDTV, so this would not be some radical post hoc reimagining a la George Lucas and the Star Wars films.

                      Because WB lost the computer files I seriously doubt that this will ever happen. I can't see them spending the money to so extensively rebuild the show, and I also can't see them releasing a hybrid version where the live action is in pristine HD and the composite and FX shots are standard-def or lower.

                      Unless B5: TLT is a monster hit or an eventual B5 movie does Star Wars-type box office, I don't think WB will invest in an HD version of B5. (And from a business standpoint, they'd probably be right not to do so.) But if enough money were to flow into their coffers to make a true HD edition worth doing, I would definitely double-dip. There aren't a lot of things in my collection I'd do that for, but B5 would be one. (Hell, at this point, I don't own any hi-def DVDs or a hi-def player. I don't plan on buying one, either, for at least another 3 or 4 years. I'll wait and see who wins the format war, how soon the bugs can be worked out, and how long it takes for the players - and burners - to drop to a reasonable price level. This time around I'd rather not pay $500 to $1,000 for the privilege of being a beta-tester for Toshiba and Sony. )

                      Regards,

                      Joe
                      Cheers my point exactly though not as well spoken.

                      The difference IS huge, and it's about having the best possible version of B5.

                      The redoing the CGI was pretty much cause since WB lost all the files, to do an HD, the CGI would have to be redone anyway.
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                      • #26
                        I'm all for this, and chances are if it was to happen, it would happen some years down the road as re-rendering the CGI takes some time. I dunno what has been lost or not of the source material, but most of the basis for the CGI from Season5 could easily be applied to the former seasons, so that you would have crystal sharp textures and higher poly models in them - only the rendering itself would take time.

                        By the time everything was done, HD would probably have dropped considerable in price and you would have seen one of the formats dropped or merging with the other (or if not, nice combo-players). And I think we all would want to see a crystal clear HD version of Bab5 if we watch it in 10 years.

                        That was just my imminent thoughts after reading through this topic. Unfortunately DeMartino is right, most likely WB would never back this.

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                        • #27
                          I don't think a films sucess is that good a judge of how profitable a HD/BR DVD re release would be, the former depends on a small amount of cash from a large audience where as the latter depends on a large amount of cash from a small audience.
                          A really successful B5 feature would, by definition, increase the potential audience for more B5, since no move based on a cult property can do big numbers at the box office based soley on the existing fan base. It is axiomatic that many people who see such a film are going to be new to the material, and that some of them will then go back to explore the original source material. (Hence both the Lord of the Rings films and the first Narnia installment were probably seen by more people who hadd never read the books than those who had. And book sales shot up for both for that very reason. Even monster best-sellers like Harry Potter and The DaVinci Code are seen by far more people than read them.)

                          So not only the DVD, but the television prospects of B5 would be vastly improved by a successful feature film. Surely some syndicator or cable channel would snap up the rerun rights to the original series. As this would be likely to take place several years from now, there would be more preasure to present the series in HD. At that point WB Domestic Television might be willing to spring for new CGI and hi-def masters - as they financed the widescreen version for the Sci-Fi Channel - or at least split the cost with Warner Home Video.

                          Conditions change, and in show biz one should never say "never".

                          Regards,

                          Joe
                          Joseph DeMartino
                          Sigh Corps
                          Pat Tallman Division

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                          • #28
                            I dunno what has been lost or not of the source material, but most of the basis for the CGI from Season5 could easily be applied to the former seasons
                            All of it, up through and including season 5, was destroyed. WB simply wiped the hard drives or degaussed the back-up tapes and tossed them. Some simply put them in the "junk" pile by mistake, and the error wasn't discovered until much later when JMS requested that the files be sent to the company that was doing the FX for the Rangers pilot. By that time everything had been wiped and there were no copies left. (Netter Digital, Foundation Imaging and Babylonian Productions were all bound by contract to surrender all such material to Warner Bros. at the end of each season, pending the renewal decision and they were forbidden to retain copies. Even if someone at Netter had screwed up and kept copies, all of their gear was auctioned off and - in accordance with their various software licenses - the drives would have had to be wiped before the sale. The operating systems and licesnse for idividual software packages would have been auctioned along with the boxes and the users required to reinstall them on the bare drives. At least that's typically what happens with surplussed computer gear in auctions I'm familiar with.

                            As Dr. McCoy might have said, "It's dead, Jim." Everything would have to be recreated from scratch except what little was already recreated from scratch for the Rangers film.

                            Regards,

                            Joe
                            Joseph DeMartino
                            Sigh Corps
                            Pat Tallman Division

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                              in accordance with their various software licenses - the drives would have had to be wiped before the sale. The operating systems and licesnse for idividual software packages would have been auctioned along with the boxes and the users required to reinstall them on the bare drives. At least that's typically what happens with surplussed computer gear in auctions I'm familiar with.
                              Freaky to think that if someone ran a good recovery programme on their bargain Hard drive what they might find.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                                All of it, up through and including season 5, was destroyed. WB simply wiped the hard drives or degaussed the back-up tapes and tossed them. Some simply put them in the "junk" pile by mistake, and the error wasn't discovered until much later when JMS requested that the files be sent to the company that was doing the FX for the Rangers pilot. By that time everything had been wiped and there were no copies left.
                                It wasn't just lost, they actually actively destroyed it? I didn't know that. Any reference link where I can read more about exactly what happened there? I tried searching JMS's messages a few days ago, but couldn't find anything more specific than it being lost.

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