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The Thing [spoRv] v2.0

76 Replies, 48598 Views

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Project released under the new [Fundamental Collection] label - please visit https://forum.fanres.com/thread-1348.html and post your comments there, thanks!

The Thing (1982) [special preserved or Restored version] v2.0

[Image: The_Thing_spo_Rv_logo.jpg]

Project mission: restore John Carpenter's The Thing video to be closest to the theatrical version as could be possible at the present day, using the best video source chosen from all the various available versions; adding the best original and remastered audio soundtracks in different languages.
Video sources: HD-DVD Scream Factory BD, Laserdisc as color reference.
Audio sources: uncompressed PCM soundtracks captured directly from Laserdiscs; AC3 soundtracks from DVD; DTS soundtracks from BD.
Subtitles sources: from BD.

The Thing [spoRv] v2.0

Source Material

  • La Cosa (The Thing) - PAL IT DVD - just for color reference where LD has fades
  • The Thing (Signature Collection) - NTSC US laserdisc CLV/CAV - English soundtrack PCM 2.0 (original)
  • The Thing (letterbox edition) - NTSC US laserdisc CLV - English soundtrack PCM 2.0 (changed)
  • The Thing - PAL France laserdisc CLV - French soundtrack PCM 2.0
  • The Thing - 1998 US DVD - English commentary AC3 1.0
  • La Cosa (The Thing) - 1998 PAL IT DVD - Italian soundtrack AC3 2.0 (changed)
  • La Cosa (The Thing) - 1998 PAL IT DVD - Spanish soundtrack AC3 1.0 (changed)
  • The Thing - UK BD - English soundtrack DTS-HD MA (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - French soundtrack DTS 5.1 (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - Italian soundtrack DTS 5.1 (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - German soundtrack DTS 5.1 (new remix)
  • The Thing - UK BD - Spanish soundtrack DTS 2.0 mono (new remix)
english, italian, french, spanish, german from the BD.

Capture setup & processing info
  • Pioneer DVL-909 PAL/NTSC laserdisc/DVD player
  • Sony Vaio VGX-XL201 PC CPU Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86Hz, 3GB RAM, 32GB+2TB+4TB HDDs, BD-RE
  • AverMedia BDA A16C internal video card (with Philips SAA713x chipset)
  • Western Digital Elements 1TB external USB HD
  • Microsoft XBOX360 HD-DVD player
  • Monster Cable S-Video 5pin cable (very high quality)
  • SONY optical S/PDIF cable (very high quality)
  • no-brand coaxial cable (very high quality)
  • VirtualDub as capture software
  • VirtualDub and AviSynth for video editing
  • AviSynth + SoundOut and Foobar2000 for audio conversions
  • tsMuxeR and AVIdemux for muxing/demuxing
  • laserdisc video captured at card native resolution 720x576 @25fps (PAL), YUV Lagarith lossless compression
  • PCM digital audio from Laserdisc to PC via S/PDIF bit-perfect 16bit 44.1KHz stereo
Project status: RELEASED on 2017-03-05

Video sources and processing:

HD-DVD VC-1 BD AVC and DVD MPEG2 are converted using the Lagarith lossless compression (YV12); laserdisc video is captured using the Lagarith lossless compression (YUY2).
HD-DVD BD is used as frame reference (so no frames are cut or duplicated); it's simply converted to lossless with not further processing.
PAL UK laserdisc is used as primary color reference: it's captured using AviSynth at its original resolution of 720x576@25fps; then frame rates is changed to 23.976; a rainbow remover is applied to the capture, along with mild noise reduction to get rid of eventual dropouts; at the end, video is upscaled to 1920x816 and frames are cut or duplicated to match the HD-DVD BD video.
PAL IT DVD is used as secondary color reference, just to replace two laserdisc fades: it's converted to lossless; then frame rates is changed to 23.976; at the end, video is upscaled to 1920x816.
After a lot (and when I mean a lot, I mean A LOT) of tests, the video will be treated as following:
  • opening credits (up to "Antarctica, winter 1982") are taken untouched from HD-DVD BD video, because there is no need for color regrading, as the flying saucer and earth colors are almost the same of the laserdisc/DVD - for the end credits, from the last image of the movie, BD is used, but with zero saturation, because it has a lilac dominance
  • the rest of the movie is regraded using the HD-DVD BD as source, and laserdisc as color reference; avisynth script ColourMatch is used
  • except the laserdisc side 1 end / side 2 beginning scenes, as they have fade out / fade in, were not possible to be used, so I used the DVD there for color reference, tweaked a little bit to be as close as possible to the laserdisc
Then, the result video is saved as lossless, to be converted to lossy AVC for the final Blu-Ray.
Audio sources and processing:
PAL FR LD is captured (thanks to ilovewaterslides); then converted to 48KHz; as LD video frames are cut or duplicated to match the HD-DVD video, audio is adjusted accordingly to be in sync with the HD-DVD video.
NTSC US LDs are captured and processed to be in sync with the HD-DVD video (thanks to Jonno); the letterbox LD is converted to AC3.
PAL IT DVD italian, spanish and english commentary AC3 soundtracks are demuxed, then converted to PCM to be processed; as DVD video frames are cut or duplicated to match the HD-DVD video, all the soundtracks are adjusted accordingly to be in sync with the HD-DVD video; the resulted tracks are then reconverted to AC3 to be BD compliant.
UK BD english DTS-HD MA, french, italian, german DTS 5.1 and spanish DTS 2.0 (mono) are used as they are (thanks to Jonno)

Final format: BD-25

  • letterbox 2.35:1 1920x816 pixel inside the 16:9 1920x1080 pixel FHD frame, AVC (x264) 23.976fps, average bitrate 18500kbps
  • english PCM 2.0 16bit 1536kbps - from NTSC Signature Collection LD
  • english AC3 2.0 16bit 384kbps - from NTSC letterbox LD
  • english DTS-HD MA 5.1 24bit 3900kbps (1536kbps core DTS) - from UK BD
  • french PCM 2.0 16bit 1536kbps - from PAL french LD
  • french DTS 5.1 24bit 768kbps - from UK BD
  • italian AC3 2.0 16bit 192kbps - from PAL IT DVD
  • italian DTS 5.1 24bit 768kbps - from UK BD
  • spanish DTS 2.0 24bit 384kbps (mono) - from UK BD
  • spanish AC3 1.0 16bit 96kbps - from PAL IT DVD
  • german DTS 5.1 24bit 768kbps - from UK BD
  • commentary AC3 16bit 1.0 96kbps - from PAL IT DVD
english (full and SDH); french, italian, spanish, german (full and forced) from UK BD
Special thanks to:
Jonno, for english laserdisc, all BD soundtracks, missing frames, and A LOT OF HELP!!! Without you, this project could not be the same! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Other credits:
  • The Aluminum Falcon for the HD-DVD video
  • zeropc for DVD english soundtrack and commentary
  • ilovewaterslides for the PCM french soundtrack
  • Namtar for the isolated score
  • Jetrell Fo for general supporting and encouragement
  • MrBrown for German and Spanish tracks
  • everyone who showed interest and appreciation
Blu-ray custom cover
[Image: The_Thing_spo_Rv_BD_25_mini.jpg]

Full resolution, ready to print: outside cover - inside cover - disc label

Screenshot comparisons (top spoRv 2.0, middle LD, bottom BD):

[Image: 1mini.png]

[Image: 2mini.png]

[Image: 3mini.png]

  • v2.0 will use the new Scream Factory BD, due to its higher resolution and visible film grain in comparison to the HD-DVD used for the previous version; the upgrading aiming to improve the color regrading quality, and of course will benefit of the superior source resolution; audio and subtitles are the same.
  • updated project info accordingly
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
I wasn't expecting this project to reappear so soon!

Certainly, things have moved on since V1 - the new Shout edition gives us a lot to think about.

You're not the first to suggest that the new colour balance may have 'problems'. The criticism seems to be based on the fact that the new disc looks different to ALL the previous home releases, including our beloved laserdiscs. Add to that the involvement of Dean Cundey, whose supervision of Halloween over the years has resulted in its own controversy.

To take a different stance, the transfer process - as publicised by Shout Factory - was to rescan the IP (not negative) at 2K, with the film's original DP on hand to ensure an accurate result. We also know that Universal's earlier master is very old, indeed dating from a time when 'warming up' for analogue displays was the norm. And one final point, which is entirely subjective: the new image looks and feels like the 35mm print I saw three years ago (beat-up as it was!) I don't profess to have the same eidetic colour memory that others claim, but it was an undersaturated, cold-looking print.

I fear we may not be much closer to having catergorical proof of the cinematic look (unless others who've seen film prints can add support to one transfer or another). What is certain, though, is that there will be a lot of folks who still like those old colours (much as the Halloween THX transfer is a firm favourite, however authentic it may be). For that reason, this is a project well worth pursuing!

One more point on the audio: Moshrom offered some valuable input in the LD audio thread: https://forum.fanres.com/thread-201.html
He listened to the new BD tracks and compared to our PCM. It turns out our track (from the 1998 Signature disc) is a downmix of the then-new 5.1 version, so not the original Dolby Stereo at all. Since the stereo track on the 1990 disc was compromised, the version on the new BD is actually the first home release of the original Dolby mix. It also has the theatrical 6-track in 4.1 DTS-HD, so you'll be wanting to include those two in any future versions!
Thanks for the feedbacks!

Even if Dean Cundey worked on the new release, this doesn't assure the color grading is right... to my own eyes, it is not, but obviously it's only my POW... still think snow should be white - agree that sometimes icebergs looks bluer than white, but not the snow! Big Grin

Audio: agree, so I should discard old BD 5.1, and add new 4.1 and 2.0 from Scream release, right? What about Signature Collection, should I include it, as 640kbps AC3, or discard it?
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
Regarding the audio on the Shout disc, the upshot seems to be that the 5.1 was created in 90s, the 2.0 has too much noise reduction, and the 4.1 is accurate to the mix that was made for the theatrical 70mm prints and is the best option in terms of fidelity.
4.1 is OK, 2.0 will be discarded in favour of Signature Collection laserdisc PCM track.
So, keep the 5.1 from the previous release, or take the new one? Probably they are the same...
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
Glad to see a second version spoRv.

First off, I do believe that the Shout is probably pretty accurate to what you saw in theaters. Besides Dean Cundey working on it, the producer Stuart Cohen has gone record saying the film was meant to be very de-saturated as to make the gore pop off screen. On the new disc he said:

"Video transfer much more faithful to the original look of the film. All the usual parameters improved upon. Rob's stuff really pops in all of its visceral gooiness, almost to the point of exaggeration - which WAS the idea at the time..."

More here:

Having said that I still love your version and would welcome a second version. I think the latest Halloween transfer is the most accurate to the theatrical release but I still watched your version on Halloween. The orange tint helps me ignore the green leaves and palm trees in the background. Smile

Anyway if I can put my vote in, I'm all for the 4.1 from the Shout but I'd vote for the PCM 2.0 from the original widescreen LD as the second English track. That has a higher degree of being more theatrical accurate then the signature version once the "Superstition" scene audio is spliced in from somewhere else.

I don't remember was the commentary the uncut version or not.
Well, I made a dirty new regrade, just take a look and let me know:

Scream BD Vs spoRv 1.0

Scream BD Vs Scream regraded

spoRv 1.0 Vs Screma regraded

Some notes: Scream BD quality is really better than the old master used in the HD-DVD and BD; colors are improved also a lot, and they are consistent (remember that shot where snow starts pink, then became white, finally blue?); still, too much blue for my taste - of course, if you watch the whole movie, you will not notice it a lot, because eyes (brain) will be slowly think the colors are right, but I do not think so… finally, a spoRv 2.0 using the Scream BD as source could still be an interesting project!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
Looks great , SpoRv.

The Scream has so much better detail in that pic.
(2016-11-16, 12:06 AM)PDB Wrote: Looks great , SpoRv.

The Scream has so much better detail in that pic.

Thank you, sir!

Maybe I have picked up the worst HD-DVD shot!!!
Well, a fast'n'furious comparison, led me to state these... "things" Big Grin

  • Definition - Scream BD is better
  • Grain - Scream BD is better
  • Frame size - Scream BD is a bit better
  • Colors - Scream BD is consistent, but in many scenes too cold
Conclusion: further tests are needed, but it seems that the regraded Scream BD is the only way to go... if there is a bit of interest, of course!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
From the screens I like the regraded ore. The colors of the clothes have actually colors and aren't just blue.

Totally looking forward to v2 Big Grin

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