Ultra-Resolution

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaveK, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. DaveK

    DaveK Second Unit

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    Since Warner's and MGM's old techincolor movies are being restored thruogh the Ultra-Resolution process:

    Will the movies previously released on DVD be re-done with the process (On The Town, Little Women, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Anchors Aweigh, Kim, The Harvey Girls, Good News, Calamity Jane and Scaramouche...did I miss any..lol)

    Also, will all technicolor movies be treated equally and get the Ultra-Resolution treatment.



    Does anyone know which technicolor movies are currently in the process of being restored for home video???
     
  2. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    Could someone be so kind as to explain this Ultra-Resolution process, or point me in the right direction for one..? I'd be interested in finding out more about the process of restoring a Technicolor film to video.
     
  3. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    I don't think so. I think it's too expensive to give all the old Technicolor films the treatment on DVD. Warner must predict how successful and profitable they feel the title will be before they give the green light to Ultra Resolution treatment for a film.

    One film, however, I would like to see re-released using the Ultra Resolution treatment is National Velvet, which would make a good 2 disc special edition!

    Andy
     
  4. Heinz W

    Heinz W Second Unit

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    I would love to see the process applied to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Please Warners, to hold me til the hi-def version arrives? [​IMG]
     
  5. John Whittle

    John Whittle Stunt Coordinator

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    Technicolor movies shot with the Technicolor camera produced three black and white negatives (that is a "record" for each primary color). In the Technicolor process, these negatives were printed to a matrix material which was imbibbed with dye which was transfered to a release print producing the IB (imibition) dye trasfer prints.

    Dye transfer prints (besides being old and most cases worn) make poor source material for video transfer. Therefore the negatives were used (or other protection elements) to produce interpositives for video transfers. Since this is a photomechanical process, alignment, dirt and shrinkage problems enter into the source material.

    The Warner Ultra system uses the original nitrate negatives (and there are lots of dupes in there for fades and dissolves) and then electronically combines and color corrects the materials. They can work from either a negative or a finegrain (both existed in the Technicolor system).

    The process is slow and costly so I doubt that all Technicolor negatives will undergo this process.

    It's interesting this is much like the process that the WRS Lab (may they rest in peace) developed (pardon the pun) which involved a trip head optical printer that allowed a real time compositing of Technicolor negatives. The Warner system has a much better gamma and color correction system and allows precise "fitting" of the three images.

    Each one of the 22 or so Technicolor cameras had it's own "personality" and each prism had a personality that had to be corrected for in the lab in making release prints.

    Sorry you asked?

    John
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I think some of those are somewhat new and look great. However, I think On the Town and Anchors Aweigh have been said to be mediocre in terms of color fringing.


    By the way, the upcoming 2-disc SE's of Easter Parade and The Band Wagon are both Ultra-Resolution projects. Warner also hinted at An American in Paris being a potential UR project. The Wizard Of Oz will apparently be a 2-disc/3-disc SE later this year, with a new Ultra Resolution transfer.

    If you haven't seen the new Gone with the Wind 4-disc set yet (which is an essential purchase, IMO) it has a featurette on the Ultra Resolution process (as well as other aspects of the restoration).

    Here's a short list of UR DVD's...

    Released:
    Singin' in the Rain (2-Disc SE)
    The Adventures of Robin Hood
    Meet Me in St. Louis
    Gone with the Wind (4-Disc SE)

    Coming soon:
    Easter Parade (3/15/2005)
    The Band Wagon (3/15/2005)
    The Wizard of Oz (Fall 2005?)
    An American in Paris (2006?)
     
  7. DaveK

    DaveK Second Unit

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    John, thanks for the information because I had no clue on what exactly was done.



    I bought these so far and I plan on buying Easter Parade. I hope they do something with Lucille Ball's technicolor MGM movies.
     
  8. Jayson Wall

    Jayson Wall Extra

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    Myself, I'm waiting for an Ultra-Res version of "The Kissing Bandit" and "Texas Carnival"

    [​IMG]


    JW
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Would it be at all feasible to do UR on panchromatic separations of color negative films when the negative/IP/what-have-you won't do?
     
  10. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Screenwriter

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    I would say no. The whole purpose of ultra-resolution is to perfectly re-combine the negatives for maximum sharpness. Using it on separations made from single strip color negative wouldn't get it any sharper or clearer than the original negative from which the separations were made, so it would be ultimately pointless as you would end at the exact same place you started.
     
  11. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    Not at all, many thanks, John. [​IMG] Let's just see if I've got this straight.

    The three black and white prints (interpositives) are telecined into a digital form, realigned for damage/shrinkage and other artifacts.

    Then each of them, frame by frame are reimbibed with the respective colour, combined to provide a full colour image which is then used as a master for video and recorded back out to film for distribution/preservation elements.

    The flexibility of the approach is outlined as you stated, with the control over combining colours to the final image.
     
  12. DaveK

    DaveK Second Unit

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    Besides The Wizard of Oz, any upcoming movies this year getting the U-R treatment by Warners?
     
  13. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I think you missed the last part of his question where he said "when the negative/IP/what-have-you won't do". The ultra-resolution process could be used quite effectively to create new digital masters for films where the O-neg is lost or badly faded, but B&W separations were properly made.

    Regards,
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ultra-resolution is a trade name used by WB for re-combining three-strip negatives or masters, and would work equally as well with separation masters or negatives if all other pre-print material no longer survived or was in poor condition.

    This is very similar to the process used for Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot, for the re-combining of alien elements as well as shrunken separation masters in VistaVision format. The general technology is not unique to WB, although they have used it with superb results.

    RAH
     
  15. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    As using Ultra Resolution becomes less expensive, like anything else, it wouldn't be surprising that many more titles would be put through the process, and not just by Warners for their pictures.
     
  16. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Robert, do you mean to say that the shrunken sep-masters were not run through an optical printer or telecine, but laid flat on some kind of scanner and scanned one frame at a time?
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    To Gordon McMurphy,

    Precisely, but in an automated (mechanized) fashion.
     
  18. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Boy, that does sound like a lengthy (and therefore expensive) process.
     
  19. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    At least it wasn't a feature length film! I imagine they had to scan the frames at extremely high resolution in order to eventually be able to output something viable for large format projection.

    Regards,
     
  20. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's not like it's the same process you use by putting a still camera negative onto a flatbed scanner...

    [​IMG]

    (This is a Spirit 4K Datacine. One of many types of motion picture film scanners.)

    Cinesite has a good page on film scanning on their website:

    http://www.cinesite.com/?1231&0&1269

    Also check out their article on the Williamsburg restoration: http://www.cinesite.com/?1243&0&1380
     

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