Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Being thurough sucks, until you ditch Levels(-15,1.5,255,0,255)


Cursed be the days I talk to the guy who taught me how to use AVISynth. Every time I learn something new, and decide to have another look at that damnable attempt I've put in to fixing the R2 DVD of the Vampire Hunter D OVA. Not because it wasn't perfect and all... just to be sure I've optimized everything I can for easy compression and dazzling colors.

And then A/Bing the original to my version I realize that the super-awesome color correction I managed to perform was causing black noise to wreak havoc on all dark scenes. Yes, I blame the new clarity and not-crushed black level of my brand spankin' new ViewSonic LCD monitor for making this shortcoming all the more recognizable, but I'll admit I was trying like a proud macho sports father to ignore his tap-and-ballet dancing son as best I could. But it was there. Blacks - such as the pitch black opening scene in which Doris fights that dinosaur-thing - had a nasty chekerboard pattern across them that, while visible on the R2, were even easier to spot due to the increased overall brightness on the Kentai Films restoration.

I refuse to trade one problem for another.

<- [Click me!] So, playing with the same filters, I found a compromise: without going into the gory details, I'm using a different order of the same filters to create a transfer that raises the gamma first, and then crushes the blacks, instead of doing it all in one fell swoop. The downside is the image isn't quite as bright as it used to be, since the crush affects the gamma levels too. The upside is I almost can't see the nasty noise patterns in the dark scenes, while the colors and valid details are still boosted to some degree. Unfortunately, the Sony R2 transfer is such a poor starting point that I'm literally trying to polish a turd. As you can see, the new color scheme at least fixes those washed out charcoal gray black levels, which inadvertantly make the colors struggling to get out of them easier to see. I tried boosting the contrast for kicks, but found it just made the lighting effects bleed and the skin tones washed out. No thanks. Also, the saturation is boosted, again, to combat that god-awful "I'm dark yet still manage to look like I'm too bright" vendetta the Sony transfer achieved. I still don't know how the hell they managed it.

Anyway, as promised previously GENOCYBER is still next on the chopping block. Legit work is keeping me away from finishing the menus, but I'll finish everything for the boss man (a situation my initial laziness/disillusionment with the industry got me into), and get to encoding all those songs for the menus soon enough using a better AC3 encoder than I've ever touched prior. All this crap was done whilst ripping and burning DVDs, where encoding stuff isn't much of an option anyhow. All the same - playing with familiar transfers means that I'll be able to apply the knowledge I learn here to less familiar pieces, which will inevitably benefit each and every one of you someday. I also have a couple upcoming projects involving Pinku Eiga (aka: vintage softcore crazy J-porn), though it's an alliance that will lead to no profit for me in the process. Disappointing, yes... but I haven't made a dime in a year now, so who am I to complain? I get to watch 18 Dolls of the Shogun's Harem with subtitles soon! Whoo-hoo!

And that's all I got.


Anonymous said...

Hey there, this isn't relevant to your entry but I saw your post a year back about Urotsukidoji V, and it was a thoroughly good read. I'm a big Urotsukidoji fan myself, so I've often speculated about all the plot points too. Would you be able to tell me your e-mail addy so we can discuss it further? :)

Kentai 拳態 said...

Sure, drop me a line at if you're interested. Careful. I'll yak your ear clean off if you aren't paying attention. ^_~