Season THREE OFFICIAL TNG Blu-Ray Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Salinga, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Yes, it's unfortunate that they didn't have the resources to scan at 4K, but I think we should be very thankful for what we are getting. It wasn't so long ago that the idea of getting TNG remastered on Blu-Ray was considered a long shot at best.
     
  2. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From what I've seen, movies that get 4K or 8K scans end up looking far superior to their 2K counterparts on Blu-ray. As everything is downgraded to 1080p, it seems like that shouldn't be the case, but it is.

    Sony is currently releasing gimmicky "Mastered in 4K" Blu-rays that supposedly look better on 4K TVs. Yeah, whatever... BUT, they look much much better than the previous releases, which were 2K masters. Check out Ghostbusters, Spider-Man, etc.

    Gladiator was remastered in 4K to replace the terrible first release, and the result was amazing.

    Plus, a problem with 2K is that it's not quite 1080p. 2K is slightly bigger than HDTV horizontally. One option is to scale the image down slightly, but that introduces artifacts and jaggies. That rarely seems to happen. What a lot of studios are doing is cropping the 2K image down to 1080p so that the pixel ratio is still 1:1, but you end up with noticeable information missing on all four sides.

    When a movie is in 4,6,8K, the downscaling is much cleaner.
     
  3. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    It can, but it depends on what the gauge of the film is, what size aperture is used and what sensitivity or speed (ISO number) the film is. Slower speed film has less visible grain and looks cleaner and sharper. Fuji used to make this really great daylight slide film called Velvia 50 that photographers loved to use partly due to its exceptional sharpness and high resolving power. According to Fuji themselves, Velvia 50 had a resolving power of 160 lines per millimeter. If you apply that as an upper limit to the most commonly used motion picture film formats, you get numbers like these:

    • 4-perf 35mm, Full Aperture (aka Super-35): 3987 x 2987 - 4K
    • 8-perf 35mm, Full Aperture (aka VistaVision): 6075 x 4027 - 6K
    • 5-perf 65mm, Full Aperture (aka Super Panavision): 8421 x 3682 - 8.4K
    • 15-perf 65mm, Full Aperture (aka IMAX): 11,266 x 8421 - 11.3K
    Again, that would be the upper limit of what the original camera negatives would be capable of. The printing process obviously makes the image softer and grainier every time a copy is made, from negative to interpositive, then internegative to release print (a third generation copy). By that point you only have around 90 lines per millimeter of resolving power. So, for the two primary 35mm print formats:

    • Flat 1.85:1 prints: 1886 x 1020
    • Scope 2.35:1 prints (before 2x stretch): 1886 x 1578
    The actual perceivable resolution in the theater would be even lower, however, due to the mechanical motion of the film through the projector (gate weave), the edge-to-edge sharpness quality of the lens and brightness of the lamp. In subjective assessment tests using resolution charts, the sharpest part of the screen (not always the center) is usually reported to be between 875-750 lines per picture height for a 1.85:1 image. The average sharpness all over can be as low as 685 lines! :wtf:

    We should all be very, very grateful for digital projection. Even lowly 2K projection!
     
  4. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks for the clarification Maxwell. I always enjoy reading your detailed technical explanations!
     
  5. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Digital may look great, but all this talk of different film stocks and speeds makes me wonder if we haven't lost something of the art of photography. You could do some really lovely things with different camera's, lenses and film back then. Isn't it all a bit 'vanilla' these days?
     
  6. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I believe many directors would agree with you. If you follow entertainment news, it seems to be rather 'big' news when a major production (for example, JJ's Star Treks and now Star Wars) choose to use film rather than digital.
     
  7. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    You should check out the movie "Samsara." Filmed in 70mm, it's the most beautiful film I've ever seen. The movie was shot on film, then digital tech was used to scan the film at 8K. I'd like this to be the future of film -- not replacing film with digital tech, but using digital tech as a tool to make the most vivid, detailed masters possible.
     
  8. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Yes exactly!
     
  9. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Captain

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    Even if shot on film, there's still all of the digital processing that results in the product looking no different than another that was digitally shot. That's why Christopher Nolan doesn't use DI, and has his films traditionally mastered (example, instead of color timed digitally, he color times his films chemically). That's one of the things that bugs me about the Abrams Star Trek films. If you visit the set and take a photo, the set looks great and vibrant. On his films, the colors look all washed out because the film has been processed so many times digitally. That's why the films before XI seem more vibrant looking, at least to my eyes. That's why the news of STAR WARS returning to 35mm film doesn't really excite me, because in the end it's just going to look like any other over-processed film.

    As for TNG being scanned at 2K, it doesn't bother me too much because that's really the standard of all TV shows today, whether they're shot on film then transferred digitally or if they're digitally shot at 2K from the start. 4K would have been too generous for a TV show, and given how great the show looks the way it does on blu after being stuck at standard definition for over 20 years, I'm pretty content with this.
     
  10. SpHeRe31459

    SpHeRe31459 Captain Captain

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    Sorry that's an incorrect assessment you're blaming the mere fact that films are post-produced in the digital domain (using a DI) on the intentional (mis)use of what you can do with the array of digital tools to a DI. Much of it is subject to the current fads in Hollywood. For example: the orange/teal coloring and the downplaying of film grain, since the average person thinks he/she likes razor sharp digital video. Blown out contrast is another fad that keeps sticking around, making outdoor scenes "sizzle", crushing dark scenes purposefully to obscure details, etc.

    A DI done properly shouldn't do anything inherently to the image captured on the film (aside from reduce it's effective resolution to 2k or 4k of course).

    I personally really like the look of film, but clearly the best way to deliver it right now is a digital scan of the finished film. Digital projection has been a huge boon for the average movie theater, gone are terrible generational loss prints of films, gone are stupid high school kids who can't properly load the 35mm film and ruin things for the audience, etc. etc.

    Also While Nolan might not think he used a DI, it sure seems like there was in effect a DI when editing Inception, you can read how it's clearly edited in the digital domain before being put back to 35mm for final approval here:
    http://www.studiodaily.com/2010/07/editing-inception-for-a-photochemical-finish/
     
  11. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Captain

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    True, I forget that nuTrek used the overused teal and orange thing so that definitely had a factor. I must have been confusing it with the situation of SUPERMAN RETURNS, where it was at one point very colorful and vibrant in the early stages but in the actual release it was murky and desaturated. That was digitally shot on what was supposed to be by Panavision's new Genesis camera It's not that Nolan dismisses digital entirely, it's that he uses it minimally because he prefers sticking to traditional methods. Spielberg was kind of the same for awhile because of his insistence on editing film non-digitally (while composites are done digitally). He's not one of those filmmakers that outright dislikes everything digital to the point that they prefer using old optical printers for composites (and yeah, I've met people who feel that way about composites).
     
  12. Jonesy

    Jonesy Commodore Commodore

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
  13. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Captain

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    It's been a long time since 50 speed was used for film/tv. Almost everything now is shot in 500 speed these days, probably so studios don't have to use so much lighting equipment.
     
  14. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, nowadays most studio interior work is shot at ISO 500. And while it's true Kodak hasn't made an ISO 50 tungsten balanced film since the late 60s, they introduced an ISO 50 daylight balanced EXR film in 1989 and they've kept making 50D ever since. Their VISION3 50D is the finest grain film they've ever produced:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njg2i99fVzk[/yt]
     
  15. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Captain

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    Quite beautiful. I was always curious about something, I heard that while TOS was shot with 50 ISO, it was later shot with 100 ISO. I always guessed it was the third season that did the latter, because it stuck me during a viewing of "The Enterprise Incident" that the shadows didn't quite look as strong as earlier episodes. I've never had this confirmed, because I can't seem to find any reliable info about it. Would you know anything?

    An example: Kirk and Sulu, one from "Balance of Terorr" and then the second from "The Enterprise Incident".


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    It would definitely have to be the 3rd Season. 5251 (50T) was discontinued in 1968 and replaced with 5254 (100T). The arrival of 5254 was a kind of watershed moment for cinema, actually. After that point, films began to experiment more and more with naturalistic low-light shooting. The faster speed really emboldened directors and cinematographers. Just look at some of the films of the 1970s like "prince of darkness" Gordon Willis' exceptional work in Coppola's The Godfather, Part I & II, John Alcott's amazing candelight scenes in Kubrick's Barry Lyndon or Michael Chapman's seedy New York nighttime scenes in Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

    From what I recall, director/cinematographer Haskell Wexler got some of the first batch of 5254 for use filming the roller derby sequence in Medium Cool. If you're not familiar with the film, Medium Cool was shot in a vérité documentary style in real locations, so studio lights were out of the question. Anyway, it turned out that actor Robert Forster's father worked at Eastman Kodak and he told Wexler about a new color negative stock they had made which was faster than any film currently on the market, i.e. 5254. This was in late summer, 1968, I believe. Late August, something like that. (There's an ultra-comprehensive 6-hour making of the film here in four parts, if you're brave enough to sift through the footage and find exactly when they shot that particular sequence.)

    Now, as for TOS, the last episode of Season 2, "Assignment: Earth," was filmed between January 2 and January 10, 1968 according to Memory Alpha, so that's off the table. The first episode of Season Three, "Spectre of the Gun," began filming on May 23, 1968. "The Enterprise Incident" began filming on June 19, a bit too early for this stock to be available to a TV show that was already deep into production at that point. It's possible, but not very likely.

    However, we know that the show's primary DP, Jerry Finnerman, left to shoot a feature after "The Empath" wrapped on Friday, August 2nd, 1968 and Al Francis took over starting with "The Tholian Web," which started on the following Monday, August 5th. I suppose it's possible that this is when the film stock changed. On the other hand, it's also possible that the production had already bought all the 50T 5251 they would need to finish the series. "Turnabout Intruder" began filming on the last day of 1968. StarTrekHistory.com claims that "Whom Gods Destroy" was filmed on 5254 100T stock in early October, 1968. So, if that claim is true, my guess would be somewhere between "The Tholian Web" and "Whom Gods Destroy," if at all.
     
  17. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Captain

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    Agreed about the faster stock really giving cinematographers a new way of telling a story. It worked greatly for those films, and I gotta throw a shout out to Willis for his work on MANHATTAN. I think it's too bad that faster stock took over so much that the natural lighting style is pretty much a standard in films, unless you hire someone who knows how to emulate the old look of movies and that can be tricky, especially if you want those shadows. That's why I admire even Jonathan West, who actually took notes from Finnerman on how to get the lighting right and did an admirable job emulating the look of TOS for "Trials and Tribble-ations".

    Thanks again for all that info. I've been doing photography as a hobby for awhile, but I never delved into filmmaking so I'm still learning the technical side of things on that medium. I don't think I'll ever try that out, but I still find it fascinating.
     
  18. FrontierTrek

    FrontierTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If you're not aware of them, be sure to check out our series of YouTube videos comparing the SD and HD versions of TNG Season 3.

    The latest one is here, from "Ménage à Troi": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUEMGrhbrqQ
     
  19. MakeshiftPython

    MakeshiftPython Fleet Captain Captain

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    The red on those uniforms! The color correction has always been the main thing I looked forward to in these HD remasters. Where TOS looked nicely saturated, TNG felt flat and video-like. It's nice to see the show with proper color timing.
     
  20. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    See, I'm actually very impressed with the color upgrades and the vibrancy of the uniforms, but the actual uniforms are a much deeper, almost a purple-ish burgundy, so the remastering is actually changing that. It's always been the case that the red uniforms looked different when filmed (similar to the TOS gold/green uniform) but the remastering has made it even more different.

    As an aside, this is such a problem that often times when the uniforms are replicated the blue and gold use what used originally, but the red uses a color that's adjusted to reflect what's seen on screen rather than what was used on set.