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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines... -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. JamesNelson

    JamesNelson Second Unit

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    The image on this BD is absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful. Anyone talking themselves out of a purchase based on Internet screencaps is doing themselves a huge disservice.
     
  2. Lidenbrock

    Lidenbrock Agent

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    I agree, the problem is the movement, not the screen caps: if done properly, they look exactly as if we were pressing "Pause", I´ve done comparisons so many times. Its just that we can´t be sure about the content of the entire BD by checking 1/24 th fraction of a second. Anyway, I still think they are useful. I knew Patton, Amadeus, My fair lady, Back to the future or El Cid (just to name a few) were bad transfers and I knew The Sound of Music, The Ten Commandments or Breakfast at Tiffanys were good before reading anything. Sometimes they don´t help , for example I thought West Side Story was fine), but certaianly screen caps arent useless, and they are far better than reading what some reviewers write.
     
  3. OliverK

    OliverK Screenwriter

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    Patton and El Cid are very good examples for movies that look so bad on screencaps that nobody can expect them to miraculously look good when seeing the title in motion, motion cannot completely change all characterstics of a picture.
    For me screencaps and reviews by people whose opinion I can put in perspective with what I like are a good combination that allows me to avoid buying some of the stinkers that are released these days. These day I try to not spend my money on titles that are produced with minimal effort like Spartacus or with misguided conceptions about how a film should look on Blu-Ray, like El Cid or Patton.
     
  4. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    But you can't base your opinion of a transfer on a screencap or frozen frame. You're not supposed to see a single frame in isolation, you're supposed to see twenty-four of them every second, and your eye/brain combination interprets them as a homogenous, moving image. Grain will always look worse - if not downright terrible - in a still image. It stands there frozen as a layer of noise in the picture. If the image was moving, your brain would tune out the grain automatically and you'd see the information on the picture the director wanted you to see. I don't think screencaps are worthless by any stretch of the imagination - they give you an impression of the movie, but you have to see the picture moving on a screen.
    Would it be correct to judge a film to be poorly transferred if the screen caps included negative damage like tramlines, tears or debris, although it turned out to be purely coincidental that the screencapper had chosen to cap the three frames out of 129,600 that were damaged?
     
  5. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    A screencap can certainly tell you if edge enhancement is present or if excessive DNR has been applied but only if the person taking them can clarify whether the whole transfer has issues, i certainly clarify such things when i take a screencap, as for negative damage and the other things you mention, well that's where screencaps WITH a review come in handy so you get a point of reference, of course you will still get some people saying the screencaps are great or the film in question looks fabulous on Blu ray, even if the opposite is the case as has happened recently to me on another thread.
     
  6. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Like I said, I don't think screencaps are worthless by any stretch of the imagination - they'll give you an idea of how a movie looks and possibly tip you off about issues, and a review without illustrating screencaps is a painful thing to read (I should know). I just get on my soapbox when I hear people basing whether or not they'll buy a disc purely on the basis of seeing some screencaps. It's cutting your nose off to spite your face. I want to say to these people - you want to see the movie? Slap down your fifteen dollars and buy the disc, watch it and then complain bitterly. You've earned the right. For me, complaining about a disc based on somebody else's screencaps is on a level with the people who want to ban a movie because somebody's wife's cousin's hairdresser said it was offensive. It's a second-hand viewpoint.
     
  7. MichaelEl

    MichaelEl Stunt Coordinator

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    If screencaps taken from various points in a film reveal a PERSISTENT image quality problem, then I think it's safe to say that the same problem will manifest itself when you watch the actual Blu-Ray - at least that's been my experience. If screencaps show a generally soft image, then you can expect that the actual Blu-Ray will also exhibit a soft image. If screencaps show a general lack of detail in lighter or darker areas of the image, then you can expect that the actual Blu-Ray will also exhibit a lack of detail in those areas of the image. Now if someone wants to argue that what appears as problems are actually not problems at all - for example, some claim that the DVD of NORTH BY NORTHWEST was too bright, and that the darker look of the Blu-Ray is more true to a theatrical presentation - that's fine, but I think it's ridiculous to argue that screencaps can reveal NOTHING about the general image quality of a Blu-Ray.
     
  8. haineshisway

    haineshisway Screenwriter

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    I disagree, of course. You cannot show me one screen cap on DVD Beaver, for example, that bears any relation to any disc I own. His caps are soft, the DVD caps look better frequently, and I'm sorry, movies in motion do no look like one-frame screen captures. I find them completely useless.
     
  9. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    One thing which might help DVD Beaver's caps is if he would get the BD and DVD comparison images the same size. I'm kind of in the middle on caps. I think they may help at times but are far from conclusive. Sometimes they appear pretty much the disc, other times not. I think they are a better indication of color and maybe contrast rather than sharpness.
     
  10. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    But if the Beaver resizes his Blu-ray caps to match his DVD caps, he's compromising the integrity of the image - the resizing involves a resampling of the image - and we don't know if he puts any image processing into his screencaps. As it is, the screencaps on his site are .jpg files - potentially as removed from the data on the disc as a theatrical print from an OCN if the screencaps have been edited and resaved more than a couple of times.
    I've just randomly picked a Blu-ray cap from DVDBeaver (the shot of Tom Ewell with the Pepsi bottle in The Seven Year Itch). Now, if the image is 1920x1080, that should be 2,073,600 bytes of data, right? The file size for the image (as a .jpg) is 452.43 KB (463,291 bytes). That's 1.6Mb of data given the boot. I know JPEG compression is good, but it isn't that good. It isn't a straight bitmap of the frame off the disc.
    Screencaps should be for illustrative purposes only.
     
  11. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Well, I show both my BD and DVDs on a 106" screen (120" for scope films), so it's easy to compare the two. There must be some way to do caps the same way. It just seems to me if the caps are not the same size, it's hard to make a direct comparison. I agree with your last sentence.
     
  12. MichaelEl

    MichaelEl Stunt Coordinator

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    A 1080p image should actually fill the entire screen of a 1080p monitor. Most screencaps of Blu-Rays are, as you point out, considerably smaller than that. The compression, however, doesn't prevent the screencaps from revealing a lack of detail in closeups or the overall brightness of a Blu-Ray. For example, I could easily tell from screencaps that the Blu-Ray of NORTH BY NORTHWEST was going to be considerably darker than the DVD.
     
  13. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    You mean like the results below, this is scaling the DVD image and is indeed what many will see when the blu ray player/projector/television scales it to 1080p standards and by the way i do just one conversion for Blu ray images from PNG to JPG and save at 100% quality, when you do that there is no difference between a PNG and a JPG and i have tested this many times and even posted asking people to see if they can spot which is the PNG and which is the JPG, DVD Beaver does not convert to JPG and save at 100% quality, they also use Power DVD for some of their caps which is also an issue which results in a few problems such as softness.

    I know some of you are very skeptical regarding screencaps, i have had the argument about it all too often but i maintain they serve a purpose and can be useful, hover your mouse on and off the images to check the differences out.

    http://www.darkrealmfox.com/film_reviews/2011/01/24/hd-comparisons-wild-at-heart/

    http://www.darkrealmfox.com/film_reviews/2010/09/22/hd-comparisons-king-kong-1933/

    http://www.darkrealmfox.com/film_reviews/2010/10/06/hd-comparisons-tomb-raider-the-cradle-of-life/

    This cap is a great example of fine detail on a Blu ray that the DVD filters away, check the shirt sleeve.

    http://www.darkrealmfox.com/dvd_bluray_comparisons/tomb_raider2/dvd-bluray%20comparison%20-%20Tomb%20Raider%20The%20Cradle%20Of%20Life%20-%205.html
     
  14. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    I agree that the mouse on/off comparisons are great for comparing DVD to Blu-ray, and if you're looking at screen caps you have to look at the full definition image, not an image reformatted to fit your monitor. However, I still think that any kind of data compression compromises the validity of a screencap as a totally faithful representation of what is on the disc. The image information for your screencaps - no criticism intended - indicates a file size of 757.98 KB (776,174 bytes) for the "shirt sleeve" cap. Again a 1.3Mb reduction in data from a full frame bitmap.
    I'm not saying people shouldn't do screencaps. I'm all for them. Considering how fussy (it took me ages to come up with something that wouldn't sound critical) many of us on these forums are about the technical aspects of movies on DVD and Blu-ray, I'm surprised so many seem to have a knee-jerk negative reaction based purely on a screencap. I guess my objections will mostly fall on ears that are either deaf or don't want to listen to reason. I'd just rather a situation where people would reserve judgement until they'd actually seen the disc.
     
  15. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Okay, take a look at the original PNG lossless file and then take a look at the JPG, like i say i have had this argument before, i wouldn't use JPG at 100% quality unless it worked. I am one of the fussiest persons around for getting the little things right and i did extensive testing of PNG and JPG, i even used torture test frames with lots of red in them and there is no difference between a lossless PNG image and a 100% quality JPG, indeed even at 90% the difference can not be seen but i take no chances and use 100% quality. It is best if you use a monitor with at least 1920x1080 resolution to view them with all "enhancements" switched off.

    Sorry it took so long, had to get Dreamweaver out and do another rollover comparison between the lossless PNG file and the 100% quality JPG, you tell me if you spot a difference. Remember the Blu ray itself has compression applied but some of the better encodes are said to be faithful to the Master so don't be surprised that a lossless PNG and a JPG at 100% quality are identical.

    http://www.darkrealmfox.com/sleeve_rollover.html

    Oh and just so you know they are different files.

    http://www.darkrealmfox.com/blu_ray5.jpg

    http://www.darkrealmfox.com/shirt_1.png
     
  16. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Very impressive, Malcolm, I'm sorry you think I'm criticising your technical skill. I'm not. I agree 100% with your calls on making those screencaps and presenting them. I know they represent exactly what you would see viewing that specific frame on the original blu-ray. I appreciate that screencaps are an excellent illustrative tool for review purposes, both from an aesthetic and technical standpoint.
    My point is simply that people shouldn't use them as a one-stop criteria for the usual cry of "no sale!"
    You need to see the output from a disc a) running in full motion and b) on your home theatre kit. As I've said before - you slap down your fifteen dollars, watch it on your own kit and then you can complain.
    Would you buy a car based solely on a photo of the steering wheel? No, you'd want to see the whole vehicle. You'd want to sit in it, know the technical specs, take it for a run round the block.
    Screencaps are an excellent tool for judging certain things about a disc, but they don't give you (ahem) the whole picture.
     
  17. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Screencaps without commentary is not always good or desirable, i think when you have someone reviewing the film they have watched and then giving some screencaps from various points in the film it can be a good thing, there are instances where screencaps cannot give you the whole picture, for example, you may have screencaps showing film grain, that film grain may have issues when not seen as a still frame, blocky, or static in motion or something else, that's when a posted comment comes in handy.

    Screencaps are good for showing edge enhancement or issues with DNR or the differences between various region releases of a Blu ray or a DVD-Blu ray comparison, of course as you are aware there can be conflicting opinions on all this, i guess there will always be differences, for me, if i have any screencaps at my site then i have viewed the film first and i like to give an opinion with the caps. I'll never convince some people about the value of screencaps though and DVD Beaver is damaging the cause.

    Anyways back to Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, damn i can't get the song outta my head. ( I keep editing my posts - I'm a Libra, go figure :eek:)
     
  18. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    How many people look at screenshots on the same calibrated display that they watch movies? I would venture few to none. The whole argument in favor of screenshot analysis pretty much breaks down when you realize that.
     
  19. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    We have an accord! :D I knew we were on the same page all along. ;)
    Quite. As a matter of fact I have two laptops from the same manufacturer which are as far as I can manage identically calibrated, and the two screens bear little resemblance. There are all kinds of issues like native resolution, graphics card and the like that can affect the output, and tv displays have their own foibles. I think you'd wind up spending more (time and money) calibrating all your various displays to match and only have this lousy straightjacket to show for it. :D
     
  20. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Of course the counter argument to the one provided by Josh is that many large screen television displays now come with internet browsers and are 1080p and intended for home cinema viewing, thus one could potentially use those ( if ) calibrated displays for viewing screencaps.
     

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