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Cartoons and DNR


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#1 of 52 ChrisPearson

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Posted April 11 2005 - 12:42 AM

This is a hot topic on animation sites at the moment, but I don't think I've seen it addressed here, so if you collect classic cartoons on DVD, please take a moment to read this. Cartoon Brew also has a post on the topic here with links to some forum posts on the subject.
I must admit, when I first heard of DNR affects, my first thought was that those complaining were nitpicking, but a freeze frame review of the LTGC version of The Big Snoose and the Lyris Lite post certainly changed my mind. It's a big problem, and easy to fix, so you might like to use the contact details at the end of the Lyris Lite post if you're at all concerned.

#2 of 52 Patrick McCart

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Posted April 11 2005 - 03:07 AM

I really think it's silly that DVNR is still used. Especially when there are alternatives like Lowry Digital Images' system or the other digital restoration systems. DVNR simply doesn't work with animation...

I'm not very keen on the details of the better digital restoration systems, but just simple Photoshop is able to filter out grain from progressive frames without artifacts:

Original frame from "Book Revue":

Posted Image

Photoshop's take:

Posted Image

It only took me about 5 minutes to find the right settings (using Smart Blur) that would take away grain, without messing up the actual detail. I'd hope that studios have access to software more advantage than my Photoshop Elements.

#3 of 52 LaurenceGarvey

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Posted April 11 2005 - 03:16 AM

I think the whole thing is a lot of B.S. We don't freezeframe cartoons when we watch them, and I've watched the Looney Tunes sets and the French Betty Boops with a lot of people, and each and every one of us has been overjoyed at the quality. People who are bitching should find something better to do with their lives, like go to Starbucks and complain that their mocha is too creamy or something.

#4 of 52 Ernest Rister

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Posted April 11 2005 - 03:32 AM

If it wasn't so tragic, it would be funny.

I remember reading about the first pass of Snow White when it was restored at Cinesite -- the software removed the eyes of birds and removed stippled background detail as "artifacts".

#5 of 52 Ernest Rister

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Posted April 11 2005 - 03:33 AM

People who are bitching should find something better to do with their lives.

Why don't you take your own advice.

#6 of 52 DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 11 2005 - 04:40 AM

I noticed some distracting DNR noise in "Nausicaa" that was just released in 16x9 OAR on DVD. Other than the DNR artifacting and EE, it was a great transfer.

It's a shame that 'electronic' artifacts need to invade otherwise beautiful film-like images on our DVD format! If only the studios would get a clue...
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#7 of 52 ChrisPearson

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Posted April 11 2005 - 05:05 AM

Quote:
We don't freezeframe cartoons when we watch them, and I've watched the Looney Tunes sets and the French Betty Boops with a lot of people, and each and every one of us has been overjoyed at the quality.

Laurence, we *do* freeze-frame cartoons when we watch them – at least some of us do. The DVD format is a wonderful means by which animators and enthusiasts can study sequences frame by frame – it's entertaining as well as informative (check out Rod Scribners scenes in Book Revue for example). If detail is missing that opportunity is lost. And you don't have to freeze-frame DNRd cartoons to notice the loss of detail. It shows up during normal viewing as well – look at some of the cartoons mentioned in the threads Cartoon Brew links to and you'll see what I mean.

The point is that this is a flaw that can so easily be avoided: all the engineers have to do is turn the DNR machine off.

#8 of 52 Ed St. Clair

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Posted April 11 2005 - 06:01 AM

Quote:
Other than the DNR artifacting and EE, it was a great transfer.

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#9 of 52 DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 11 2005 - 06:07 AM

Let me point out that while some folks may not notice (or be bothered by) electronic artifacts like this on a 27" NTSC TV viewed from 10 feet away...these type of artifacts can become quite bothersome when viewed wide-angle on a large-screen display or front projection system.

The DNR in Nausicaa didn't do the dreaded "line removal" but it did reek havoc with the film-grain in some background images during motion pans...the background turned into a garbled mess (this artifacts happens with DNR in live-film as well--not an animation-specific problem).

Definitely ruins the "film like" appearance of that big-screen image...and it's all totally unnecessary!!!

Like Patrick demonstrated earlier...cheap home-software for the PC does a better job at "fixing" the noise these video technicians are trying to address. Why can't their $$$ studio gear to as transparent a job????!!!???
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#10 of 52 Ed St. Clair

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Posted April 11 2005 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
Definitely ruins the "film like" appearance of that big-screen image

I was very excited to purchase this title, however checked the reviews first. Most mentioned EE (none DNR), hence, no sale.
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#11 of 52 Ed St. Clair

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Posted April 11 2005 - 06:25 AM

Quote:
it did reek havoc with the film-grain in some background images during motion pans...the background turned into a garbled mess (this artifacts happens with DNR in live-film as well--not an animation-specific problem).

DaViD (or anyone else),
Was DNR used on Close Encounters? The night scene pans in that movie really ruins it, for me. I always thought it was film related.
Thanks.
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#12 of 52 Ed St. Clair

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Posted April 11 2005 - 06:36 AM

DaViD,
Did I give the WRONG impression with this post of a quote by you?
Quote:
Other than the DNR artifacting and EE, it was a great transfer.

Am I one of the "some folks"?
Quote:
Let me point out that while some folks may not notice (or be bothered by) electronic artifacts

If so sorry. Too me the quote spoke for itself.
Like;
It's not really a "great transfer".
Two wrongs, don't make a right!
It being, most backsided complement I've ever read on this site!
(kind of like; your not ugly, compared too a dog)
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#13 of 52 Ernest Rister

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Posted April 11 2005 - 06:43 AM

Laurence, we *do* freeze-frame cartoons when we watch them – at least some of us do.

The truth is that the quality of the individual shorts on the Looney Tunes sets is as specific and individual as the available elements. Of course, the high-profile shorts are well-represented, like "Duck Dodgers", "Feed the Kitty", "Rabbit of Seville", "What's Opera, Doc?", etc. etc. etc. But some of the lower-profile titles do feature some wear and tear. They look good, but they also feature numerous flaws.

And I don't know how to say this -- in fact, I'm tying myself in knots trying to find a way to say this -- there are people who listen to a guitar solo and hear details in fingering that others just don't pick up on and recognize. There are people who study painting and pick up on brush techniques that others never even appreciate.

There are people in the world who are highly knowledgable and informed on the subject of American animation and rather than insulting such people for spotting such flaws like the alteration of hand-painted cels, they should be praised.

Just because the majority of people don't see the warped frames caused by restoration software, that in no way justifies hostility and insults towards those people who did. They simply saw more than you did, Laurence. Your aggression was unwarranted and unbecoming of the HTF.

#14 of 52 ScottR

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Posted April 11 2005 - 06:45 AM

I've been complaining about DVNR on The Brady Bunch thread. Several people told me it is my hardware, but upond inspection of the show on TVLAND, on a different television, the artifacts are still there. I don't know that a lot of people know what to look for. In the case of the Bradys, everytime there is a pan, the background goes blurry (check out the paneling in the family room....all of the vertical lines disappear!). Everytime there is something shiny, the shiny object blinks/flickers.

#15 of 52 ChristopherDAC

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Posted April 11 2005 - 07:36 AM

"Don't freeze-frame cartoons"????

Pardon me. One of the reasons why I have a large collection of Japanese animation LaserDiscs, many of them in the full-feature CAV recording format, is precisely that I do so use the special play modes. Still-frame and step play are no strangers to my viewing experience -- particularly since some of these productions were made specifically to be watched on video, and have single-frame details or gags. Posted Image


#16 of 52 DaViD Boulet

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Posted April 11 2005 - 08:56 AM

Ed...no problem here! just always mention my "some folks aren't bothered" thing so those who aren't actually bothered don't feel too put out by the fact that they like a transfer that I subsequently trash in a review etc...

Quote:
I don't know that a lot of people know what to look for. In the case of the Bradys, everytime there is a pan, the background goes blurry (check out the paneling in the family room....all of the vertical lines disappear!). Everytime there is something shiny, the shiny object blinks/flickers.

Exactly. This is exactly the case with Nausicaa...background panning becomes a digital mess. This is actually what I consider the "normal" DNR artifact...backgrounds get garbled with pans. It's REALLY bad when movies have shutter bob/weave because the slight movement of the frame confuses the DNR and it doesn't know what to do...backgrounds get all weird and pastey-looking and patterns vanish and reappear.

Folks used to just call all of this "compression artifacts" but, in fact, most times it's DNR artifacts!!!
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#17 of 52 Ed St. Clair

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Posted April 11 2005 - 10:26 AM

Quote:
the majority of people don't see the warped frames caused by restoration software

I noticed "warped frames" in Bringing Up Baby, however did not notice "restoration". The reviews raved about the PQ, I was greatly disappointed. Thought the source was heavily damaged.

So, is DNR used thought the LT Box Set?
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#18 of 52 Patrick McCart

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Posted April 11 2005 - 01:51 PM

Quote:
So, is DNR used thought the LT Box Set?

No, only a few cartoons have it. So far, it's only The Big Snooze, Gorilla My Dreams, Have You Got Any Castles. All in the 2nd volume. Oddly enough, all 57 of the cartoons on Volume 1 are free of DVNR.

#19 of 52 Edwin-S

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Posted April 11 2005 - 03:42 PM

I am glad I read this thread. I was thinking about picking up volume 2 in the Looney Tunes series, but after looking at the stills from the "Gorilla My Dreams" short I think I will pass. I think I will let WB clean up its act first before I buy any more of these sets.
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#20 of 52 ChrisPearson

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Posted April 11 2005 - 11:02 PM

Quote:
So far, it's only The Big Snooze, Gorilla My Dreams, Have You Got Any Castles. All in the 2nd volume. Oddly enough, all 57 of the cartoons on Volume 1 are free of DVNR.

Four cartoons on volume two of LTGC have DNR, the three Patrick mentions, plus Book Revue. On volume one, What's Up Doc, Boobs in the Woods and The Bugs Bunny Show opening are affected.

Quote:
I was thinking about picking up volume 2 in the Looney Tunes series, but after looking at the stills from the "Gorilla My Dreams" short I think I will pass. I think I will let WB clean up its act first before I buy any more of these sets.

With respect, Edwin, I don't think boycott is the way to go. Apart from the few shorts listed above, these are great sets – I'm sure you'd enjoy them. I'd suggest writing to Warner and making them aware of the problem so it doesn't affect future sets (and volume three is already affected; see here.

I liken this process to noise reduction on early 20th-century sound recordings. Just as processes like Cedar, indisciminately applied, removed sound levels along with noise, scratches etc, so DNR removes detail from the frame along with noise, scratches etc. And who says grain and scratches are that bad anyway? I happily watched Warners' DVD of Libeled Lady last night and the source material of that has a fair amount of damage – it's still a good transfer under the circumstances. Of the two stills from Book Revue posted above, I vastly prefer the one with grain to the photoshopped one. The first version looks emotionally warmer.


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