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Ultra-Resolution


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28 replies to this topic

#1 of 29 OFFLINE   DaveK

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Posted January 04 2005 - 09:03 AM

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 of 29 OFFLINE   Scott_MacD

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Posted January 04 2005 - 09:52 AM

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 of 29 OFFLINE   Andrew Budgell

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Posted January 04 2005 - 10:30 AM

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


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 of 29 OFFLINE   Heinz W

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Posted January 04 2005 - 10:49 AM

I would love to see the process applied to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Please Warners, to hold me til the hi-def version arrives? Posted Image

#5 of 29 OFFLINE   John Whittle

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Posted January 04 2005 - 10:50 AM

Quote:
Could someone be so kind as to explain this Ultra-Resolution process


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 of 29 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted January 04 2005 - 11:36 AM

Quote:
I would love to see the process applied to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Please Warners, to hold me til the hi-def version arrives?

Well, 2001: A Space Odyssey was shot in 65mm (Super Panavision). Ultra Resolution is really meant to recombine 3-strip material such as Technicolor.

Other than some edge enhancement in places, Warner's 16x9 remaster of the film looks fantastic. I'd suspect they have an HD master, which would probably be used for the 2-disc SE coming sometime in the near future.

Quote:
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)

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 of 29 OFFLINE   DaveK

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Posted January 04 2005 - 02:42 PM

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

Quote:
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)


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 of 29 OFFLINE   Jayson Wall

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Posted January 04 2005 - 06:47 PM

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

Posted Image


JW

#9 of 29 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted January 04 2005 - 07:46 PM

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?

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Will Krupp

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Posted January 05 2005 - 01:37 AM

Quote:
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?


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 of 29 OFFLINE   Scott_MacD

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Posted January 05 2005 - 03:47 PM

Quote:
Sorry you asked?

Not at all, many thanks, John. Posted Image 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 of 29 OFFLINE   DaveK

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Posted May 04 2005 - 05:44 AM

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

#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted May 04 2005 - 08:02 AM

Quote:
Quote:
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?
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.
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,
Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted May 04 2005 - 10:01 AM

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

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#15 of 29 OFFLINE   GerardoHP

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Posted May 04 2005 - 10:24 AM

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.
Gerardo

#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted May 04 2005 - 11:03 AM

Quote:
This is precisely 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.
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 of 29 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted May 04 2005 - 01:50 PM

To Gordon McMurphy,

Precisely, but in an automated (mechanized) fashion.

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted May 05 2005 - 08:23 AM

Boy, that does sound like a lengthy (and therefore expensive) process.
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#19 of 29 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted May 05 2005 - 08:37 AM

Quote:
Boy, that does sound like a lengthy (and therefore expensive) process.
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,
Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted May 05 2005 - 08:49 AM

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

Posted Image

(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....om/?1231&0

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


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