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Resolution drop on Desiree blu ray (1 Viewer)

skylark68

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I'm not really sure how to properly explain this phenomenon, but while watching Twilight Time's Desiree the past weekend, I noticed that when the film is about to transition from one scene to another for a brief moment the resolution drops off quite a bit, from what looks like 1080p to something closer to 480p (DVD resolution). It does this for a slight moment before the end of one scene and for a moment when the new scene starts. Has anyone else experienced this? Just for reference I have an old Oppo BDP-83 and a Sony Bravia KDL-46XBR9 (both roughly 2010-2011 vintage).

Any ideas?
 

Will Krupp

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It sounds like what you're seeing is the quality drop associated with optical dissolves in early Eastmancolor films.

When you're dissolving from one scene to another, you reduce the exposure, frame by frame, on the scene you're fading OUT of until there's nothing there. You then have to manually rewind the film and the begin the reverse process of fading IN to the next scene frame by frame, double exposing it onto the fade out you just made. Since it's practically impossible (time-wise) to do that on each and every release print in a large run, they just do it once. They re-photograph the completed "dissolve" onto duplicate stock and cut it into the printing master, meaning that those dissolves are dupes and at least one generation removed from everything surrounding them. They are extremely noticeable in films made on early color negatives because the duping stock available at the time was not very good.

Before color negative, Technicolor would "hide" the quality drop associated with optical dissolves by duping the entire section of film leading into and leading out of a dissolve because the quality of dye-transfer Technicolor release prints was not as closely tied to grain structure as b&w contact prints were. There was no way to hide the quality drop and grain increase for films made with color negative; however, so they began to limit the duping to just around the dissolve itself. This is what causes a noticeable" "bump" like what you're describing.

Does that make sense?
 
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Peter Apruzzese

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You're seeing the result of the optical film duplication that was done to create the transitions. It was always there and you can see it on many films of that era.
 

Lord Dalek

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As everyone has said, its a side-effect of the ancient optical printers of the day. Nothing you can do about it.
 

skylark68

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Okay, I'm not complaining. I guess I just never noticed it before. The disc looked wonderful, I just wasn't sure if I was seeing something I shouldn't. Thanks for the answers, particularly to Mr. Krupp.
 

Mark-P

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It seems that before high definition, nobody noticed them. One of the reasons they are more noticiable nowadays is due to the fact that original elements are being scanned whereas in the old days the telecine process used release prints.
 

OliverK

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With some movies the opticals really stick out. The Tall Men (1955) is another title where they were really distracting. Back in the days their impact would have been lessened somewhat on a release print but now we have the camera negative next to the dupes for a growing number of titles and that is hard to miss.
 

John Hermes

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Another nice thing about a lot of the VistaVision films is their fade and dissolve opticals are A/B rolled - seemless first generation transitions. Check out The Geisha Boy. Too bad all films did not do this.
 

Paul Penna

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Studio policies varied on the process as well. Most restricted the optical dupe to the start and end points if the dissolve, which of course could in an perceivable abrupt quality shift in mid-shot. Others duped the entire length of the shots before and after the dissolve, the trade-off being longer sections of lower-quality image. I think Warner did that in the 50s?
 

Alan Tully

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I'm sure the desolves looked okay back then, but time hasn't been kind to the dupe stock, I've seen how badly these dupes have faded & the studios really do work wonders getting them to match the original negative so well.
 

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