Mysto

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marv long
1st post and I’ve got to say I wish it would have been a more upbeat one.

I've just received the Blu Ray and from a quick scan I prefer the majority of these on the Essentials Collection. They really are soft and veiled looking here.

Scram! looks much more detailed and sharper on the Essential Collection DVD. I decided to keep the DVD version as my goto as the blu ray is very poor for this title. The blacks are all very grey looking but most disturbingly most of the rain in the early scenes has been digitally removed! Whole scenes with visible heavy rain on the DVD look totally smooth. The screen grabs below show the effect but it really is much more noticeable in the moving image.

I’ll check the rest in more detail over the coming days and hopefully my opinion will change but I’m not optimistic.

DVD on the left:
View attachment 75938
View attachment 75939
Welcome to the forum Andy. Yea we are running a love hate relationship with this release. I wish it weren't so.
I really want to support the restoration of the L&H stuff so I bought it and I love the material but I wish, I wish, I wish...
 

Reed Grele

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1st post and I’ve got to say I wish it would have been a more upbeat one.

I've just received the Blu Ray and from a quick scan I prefer the majority of these on the Essentials Collection. They really are soft and veiled looking here.

Scram! looks much more detailed and sharper on the Essential Collection DVD. I decided to keep the DVD version as my goto as the blu ray is very poor for this title. The blacks are all very grey looking but most disturbingly most of the rain in the early scenes has been digitally removed! Whole scenes with visible heavy rain on the DVD look totally smooth. The screen grabs below show the effect but it really is much more noticeable in the moving image.

I’ll check the rest in more detail over the coming days and hopefully my opinion will change but I’m not optimistic.

DVD on the left:
View attachment 75938
View attachment 75939
Looks like the rain went out with the grain!

I recall Citizen Kane had this issue with an early release. Since corrected.

Since I've had little to compare it to, I'm still enjoying this set. On disc 3 now, and have only 3 or 4 more shorts to go.

Hopefully, if these titles are revisited again in the future, the grain and the rain will return.
 
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Therma123

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It just seems very amateurish. I’ve been cleaning old digital photos for many years now and I learned at a very early stage auto cleanup tools, unless used with great care, strip out detail and throw the baby out with the bath water. Simarly in the audio industry Cedar noise reducing tools have ruined many a good recording. To remove rain by accident leaves me aghast. I thought we were past that.
 

Paul Penna

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I've just received the Blu Ray and from a quick scan I prefer the majority of these on the Essentials Collection. They really are soft and veiled looking here.
Yes, some do have, in varying degrees, what I call the "Pillsbury Doughboy" effect, where facial skin texture takes on the appearance of molded rubber. I wouldn't say the majority, but it is rather unpleasant when it occurs. So much else is good about this set that it's kind of disappointing.
 

Paul Penna

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I’ve been cleaning old digital photos for many years now and I learned at a very early stage auto cleanup tools, unless used with great care, strip out detail and throw the baby out with the bath water.
Me too. I see a very similar effect happening to faces if I crank up Photoshop's noise reduction, what I called the "Pillsbury Doughboy" effect above. It's why I don't use it.
 

B-ROLL

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Looks like the rain went out with the grain!

I recall Citizen Kane had this issue with an early release. Since corrected.

Since I've had little to compare it to, I'm still enjoying this set. On disc 3 now, and have only 3 or 4 more shorts to go.

Hopefully, if these titles are revisited again in the future, the grain and the rain will return.
And with any luck the rain in Spain will still fall mainly on the plain :D !
 

Bart T

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Yes, some do have, in varying degrees, what I call the "Pillsbury Doughboy" effect, where facial skin texture takes on the appearance of molded rubber. I wouldn't say the majority, but it is rather unpleasant when it occurs. So much else is good about this set that it's kind of disappointing.
I know what you mean. In some shots the boys look kinda "waxey". For instance the screenshot of Stan from "Scram". The software thinks that imperfections on someones skin (moles, pimples, pores, etc) are noise, and removes them, resulting in faces that look completely unnatural. It could have been a lot worse, though. I've seen screenshots from the HD version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in some shots the actors look downright spooky, like scary rubber dolls.
 
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Tony Bensley

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1st post and I’ve got to say I wish it would have been a more upbeat one.

I've just received the Blu Ray and from a quick scan I prefer the majority of these on the Essentials Collection. They really are soft and veiled looking here.

Scram! looks much more detailed and sharper on the Essential Collection DVD. I decided to keep the DVD version as my goto as the blu ray is very poor for this title. The blacks are all very grey looking but most disturbingly most of the rain in the early scenes has been digitally removed! Whole scenes with visible heavy rain on the DVD look totally smooth. The screen grabs below show the effect but it really is much more noticeable in the moving image.

I’ll check the rest in more detail over the coming days and hopefully my opinion will change but I’m not optimistic.

DVD on the left:
1.JPG


2.JPG
I'd say it's less the Rain effect being removed per se, and more that it's been greatly obscured by the scene being somewhat darkened.

Another pair of "The Essential Collection" DVD and "The Definitive Restorations" Blu-ray comparison screenshots from "Scram! (1932)":

DVD
vlcsnap-2020-07-27-10h01m26s442.png


Blu-ray
screenshot524.jpg


The Blu-ray version also appears to be missing a chunk of the right side of the frame and a bit off the top, as compared to the DVD, at least on the above shot. This could be due to a different film element source being used, which might also figure into the relatively less conspicuous appearance of the Rain effect, as I've read that no two film elements struck from the same title are exactly alike, as there can be so many variables that enter into the film duplication process.

CHEERS! :)
 
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Therma123

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I'd say it's less the Rain effect being removed per se, and more that it's been greatly obscured by the scene being somewhat darkened.
I'm not so sure - look at the detail in the SD DVD. Every wrinkle in the fabric of the jackets looks natural and detailed in the SD version. The HD version looks smooth and like a low resolution upscale! I had a play with the Blu Ray capture in Photoshop and I couldn't recover the shadow detail and make it look like the DVD. As you say it's either from a poorer 35mm source or it's been spoiled in the creation of the Blu Ray IMHO.
 

Therma123

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I also notice the blacks have lost the vibrant glossy look which is something I’ve only seen when a jpeg is over compressed. I’m not sure what’s caused it here. Noise reduction? I guess a higher generation film source would have a similar effect?
 

Tony Bensley

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I also notice the blacks have lost the vibrant glossy look which is something I’ve only seen when a jpeg is over compressed. I’m not sure what’s caused it here. Noise reduction? I guess a higher generation film source would have a similar effect?
The image from the DVD doesn't look particularly glossy to my eyes, though. I still think that any perceived loss of detail could possibly be attributed to a slightly darker source print, in this case.

CHEERS! :)
 

Therma123

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I’ve had a chance to review all 4 BluRay discs now and I must concur with those people who think this is a missed opportunity. Disc 3 is spoiled by digital processing. ‘County Hospital’ just looks wrong resembling 1960s videotape. It’s clearly a good source that has been way overly smoothed with the result it no longer remotely resembles film. ’Midnight Patrol‘ and ‘Scram!’ also look much better to my eyes on ‘The Essential Collection’.

It’s not all bad news though. ‘Hog Wild’ is much improved in this edition as are a few others but it certainly isn’t the definitive edition it claims to be sadly.

It’s galling to me to think there is a computer somewhere with the unprocessed or lightly processed digital versions of these files :huh:. At least it will keep me busy for the next 10 years watching the forums waiting for them to be released so I can buy them all over again :biggrin:.
 

Robert Harris

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I’ve had a chance to review all 4 BluRay discs now and I must concur with those people who think this is a missed opportunity. Disc 3 is spoiled by digital processing. ‘County Hospital’ just looks wrong resembling 1960s videotape. It’s clearly a good source that has been way overly smoothed with the result it no longer remotely resembles film. ’Midnight Patrol‘ and ‘Scram!’ also look much better to my eyes on ‘The Essential Collection’.

It’s not all bad news though. ‘Hog Wild’ is much improved in this edition as are a few others but it certainly isn’t the definitive edition it claims to be sadly.

It’s galling to me to think there is a computer somewhere with the unprocessed or lightly processed digital versions of these files :huh:. At least it will keep me busy for the next 10 years watching the forums waiting for them to be released so I can buy them all over again :biggrin:.
I believe Hog Wild Was a digital restoration by UCLA, and came direct from UCLA without further digital “help.”
 
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Robert Harris

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Incorrect. This version was worked on by Jeff Joseph after UCLA's part was done.
I stand corrected.

What was the precise restoration path for the film, and what organization or entity performed what functions?
 

Randy Korstick

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I might be in for a big disappointment. I just got my set yesterday and I have only watched Hog Wild and was disappointed with the soft picture. I thought it barely looked better than the DVD. If that's one of the better looking prints in the set then yikes!!
 

BobO'Link

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Mine's "on the way" but, as of today, has been 7 days since it apparently left the USPS regional facility in a city ~50 miles from my house. That one is the last stop before being sent to the local PO. Its current status is: "Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility." It was shipped on the 15th - a full 2 weeks ago - from Louisville, KY (a 6 hour drive from my house). From there, it went to Pittsburgh (why? That's the wrong way), then to Memphis, and then, supposedly, to me. That's normally a 3-5 day delivery. It was last "seen" in Memphis on the 23rd (when it got the above status). I'm beginning to think it's lost.
 

Neil S. Bulk

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Mine's "on the way" but, as of today, has been 7 days since it apparently left the USPS regional facility in a city ~50 miles from my house. That one is the last stop before being sent to the local PO. Its current status is: "Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility." It was shipped on the 15th - a full 2 weeks ago - from Louisville, KY (a 6 hour drive from my house). From there, it went to Pittsburgh (why? That's the wrong way), then to Memphis, and then, supposedly, to me. That's normally a 3-5 day delivery. It was last "seen" in Memphis on the 23rd (when it got the above status). I'm beginning to think it's lost.
 

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