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TAF Restored Masters
#1
In keeping with both spoRv and Koopa Luath, I'm starting my own unofficial line of custom Blu-Ray releases. I've retroactively added the ones already released to this line. 

TAF Restored Masters (TRM) aims to fix releases of Blu-Rays that are problematic due to incorrect color timing, DNR, and/or other problems, creating Restored Masters. In addition, TRM also provides Reconstructions for alternate cuts of films, using as much HD footage as possible to create a higher quality presentation than currently available; in many instances, an inferior cut, widely available on BD, was used as a source.

As has already become evident, TRM tends to focus on older films, pre-1980 that wouldn't normally get as much attention 'round these parts. A lot of films restored here are from the 1940s to the 1960s, which tends to be outside the purview of most preservationists here. This is by no means a strict policy: there are exceptions (eg. Reservoir Dogs, Star Wars: Episode II), of course, if a particular modern title is in need of help.

Available Now:
    
Coming Soon: 
  • TRM017: Mr. Arkadin (1962): Corinth Cut Reconstruction - May 2020
  • TRM018: Mr. Arkadin (1962): US Cut Reconstruction - May 2020
  • TRM019: Possession (1981): US Cut Reconstruction - May 2020
  • TRM020: The Third Man (1949): US Cut Reconstruction - ?
That's all for now, but we'll see if I get bored enough in quarantine to do more...  Wink

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EDIT: 05-09-20 - TAF Restored Masters is back. Updating this thread for the new stuff and noting where some old releases are obsolete!

That being said, note that Le Samourai's Criterion color timing definitely is too warm and lacks the blues of theatrical prints. Dracula (1958) by WB definitely has better color timing but at the expense of some slightly crushed blacks.
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#2
Great job Falcon! Ok
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#3
Looks like a great selection of movies Falcon. Glad someone is working on some more classic films, especially the Hammer films which I'm a big fan of also.

I'm excited, mind if I ask some questions?

Is the German master of Brides (my favorite Hammer) based off the old master? Not the 2.00 one currently on bd.

What are going to do for the color of Dracula (HOD)? Stick with the U.K. blue or go with the redder/warmer of the Warner master?

What colors are you using for 1979? I started some work fixing the old NTSC/Ld master based on the 35mm trailer to use as a color guide but didn't get to far. Looked nice with all the blues.
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#4
(2017-05-29, 10:00 PM)PDB Wrote: Looks like a great selection of movies Falcon. Glad someone is working on some more classic films, especially the Hammer films which I'm a big fan of also.
Happy that there are other Hammer fans around as well. Really rough release history, especially stateside.

(2017-05-29, 10:00 PM)PDB Wrote: Is the German master of Brides (my favorite Hammer) based off the old master? Not the 2.00 one currently in bd.

The German master is unfortunately the same as the 2.00 one, except in a 1.78 aspect ratio. It's got the same issues- too dark, oversharpened, and magenta pushed, likely a carry-over from the LD-era.

My version is a color regrade, similar to the master used on the DVD set. For the sake of uniformity with Dracula, I'm cropping the picture to 1.66 (a slight loss on the sides which isn't beyond the realm of possibility for prints); then, I'm also softening the image slightly to mitigate the harshness of the EE, which makes the grain noisy. For those who take opposition to the crop and the softening, I'm also releasing a color-corrected version that keeps the 1.78 ratio and the sharpness as-is, EE and all.

Unfortunately, the apparently restored master used for the DVD was lost in a Universal backlot fire a few years back.

(2017-05-29, 10:00 PM)PDB Wrote: What are going to do for the color of Dracula (HOD)? Stick with the U.K. blue or go with the redder/warmer of the US?

I'm actually going to do something in between. Personally, I think the US master looks way off. Looking like it was taken from a low-contrast IP (probably was), it is too bright, too undercontrasted, not nearly saturated enough, and magenta shifted. That being said, the U.K. looks like it does go a bit too far with the blue.

Working from the UK master, I took out the blanket aspects of the tint, so flesh tones become natural once more. Then, I added a healthy amount of saturation.

Thread to come for both this and Brides later.

(2017-05-29, 10:00 PM)PDB Wrote: What colors are you using for 1979? I started some work fixing the old NTSC/Ld master based on the 35mm trailer to use as a color guide but didn't to far. Looked nice with all the blues.

I was planning to not rely on the LD master entirely, which looks a bit too warm, and just try a more straightforward increase in brightness and saturation using the 35mm trailer as a rough reference. Truth be told, I'm not overly familiar with the film and, if the initial tests don't look good enough, I may swap it out for another project- another Hammer title or, more likely, a 1960s Bond film.
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#5
Sounds great. Didn't know there was a better formatted copy of Brides out there. I'm certainly looking forward to that since it is my favorite Hammer. And a color clean-up of HOD is always welcomed.

(2017-05-29, 10:00 PM)PDB Wrote: What colors are you using for 1979? I started some work fixing the old NTSC/Ld master based on the 35mm trailer to use as a color guide but didn't to far. Looked nice with all the blues.

I was planning to not rely on the LD master entirely, which looks a bit too warm, and just try a more straightforward increase in brightness and saturation using the 35mm trailer as a rough reference. Truth be told, I'm not overly familiar with the film and, if the initial tests don't look good enough, I may swap it out for another project- another Hammer title or, more likely, a 1960s Bond film.
[/quote]

Well after running tests for this, I have to say you have your work cut out for you. The colors are so desaturated and monochrome that pumping levels back in won't do anything. It's very much a case of having to rebuild the colors from scratch. Even then it's difficult since one LUT won't do. It might require shot by shot work with many luts. I basically corrected about 7 scenes before I realized its going to be a major project and put it aside.

But I don't want to discourage you since this movie really needs the work. It's a damn shame what the director was allowed to do to it. Especially when the colors from the trailer look so good. So good luck and if I can help, let me know.

(Although I will say Devil Rides Out could use some work if you need an alternative Wink )
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Alien 1999 Master Japanese BSHI Broadcast 1080i mid 2000s
Blade Runner DC US HDTV Broadcast 1080i 2005 (blade.runner.1080i.dd5.1.oar)
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#6
Threads with screenshots now posted for the following releases:

TRM007: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964): Restored US Master - https://forum.fanres.com/thread-1536.html

TRM009: Dracula (1958): Restored UK Master - https://forum.fanres.com/thread-1534.html

TRM010/TRM011: Brides of Dracula (1960): Restored DE Master - https://forum.fanres.com/thread-1535.html
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#7
(2017-05-31, 06:21 PM)PDB Wrote: Sounds great. Didn't know there was a better formatted copy of Brides out there. I'm certainly looking forward to that since it is my favorite Hammer. And a color clean-up of HOD is always welcomed.

Glad that Brides gets some love. Really great film and Hammer's most beautiful for my money.

(2017-05-31, 06:21 PM)PDB Wrote: Well after running tests for this, I have to say you have your work cut out for you. The colors are so desaturated and monochrome that pumping levels back in won't do anything. It's very much a case of having to rebuild the colors from scratch. Even then it's difficult since one LUT won't do. It might require shot by shot work with many luts. I basically corrected about 7 scenes before I realized its going to be a major project and put it aside.

But I don't want to discourage you since this movie really needs the work. It's a damn shame what the director was allowed to do to it. Especially when the colors from the trailer look so good. So good luck and if I can help, let me know.

Thanks very much for the offer of help, PDB. The more I look into Dracula '79, the more it seems that I'm in over my head. Truth be told, I know I'm going to get quite busy soon, so I'm trying to pump out as many projects while I have downtime and don't want to get snagged on one, especially a movie I've never actually seen. Woo

In any case, here are the initial tests, all achieved with the same settings (simply, a blanket regrade) - 
BD
[Image: 1.png]

Restored Master
[Image: 1_COLOR.png]

BD
[Image: 2.png]

Restored Master
[Image: 2_COLOR.png]

BD
[Image: 3.png]

Restored Master
[Image: 3_COLOR.png]

BD
[Image: 4.png]

Restored Master
[Image: 4_COLOR.png]

Having looked at the trailer posted in another thread, it is still a pretty far cry from the original cinematography, and there already looks like there are minor chroma artifacts popping up. *sigh*

(2017-05-31, 06:21 PM)PDB Wrote: (Although I will say Devil Rides Out could use some work if you need an alternative Wink )

True! I would, but, unfortunately I have neither the commercial BD nor the theatrical footage in high quality.

If Dracula '79 is postponed, it would be nice to add a Bond film to the catalog and get some of those Connery LDs synced.
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#8
The best option here would be to take out the chroma entirely and release it in black and white, the way the director originally intended.
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#9
(2017-06-01, 06:47 AM)The Aluminum Falcon Wrote: Thanks very much for the offer of help, PDB. The more I look into Dracula '79, the more it seems that I'm in over my head. Truth be told, I know I'm going to get quite busy soon, so I'm trying to pump out as many projects while I have downtime and don't want to get snagged on one, especially a movie I've never actually seen. Woo

In any case, here are the initial tests, all achieved with the same settings (simply, a blanket regrade) - 
.....

Having looked at the trailer posted in another thread, it is still a pretty far cry from the original cinematography, and there already looks like there are minor chroma artifacts popping up. *sigh*

(2017-05-31, 06:21 PM)PDB Wrote: (Although I will say Devil Rides Out could use some work if you need an alternative Wink )

True! I would, but, unfortunately I have neither the commercial BD nor the theatrical footage in high quality.

If Dracula '79 is postponed, it would be nice to add a Bond film to the catalog and get some of those Connery LDs synced.

Not a bad start but basically the same problems I was running into where the skin tones get over exaggerated. Still a lot of those pics look nice and on the right path. Better then the no color version.

I have Devil Rides out on BD and the old DVD. I thought to upscale the old SFX and put them back into the BD master (which has the same color issues as Brides and HOD) but never got around to it.
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Looking For:
Alien 1999 Master Japanese BSHI Broadcast 1080i mid 2000s
Blade Runner DC US HDTV Broadcast 1080i 2005 (blade.runner.1080i.dd5.1.oar)
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#10
(2017-06-01, 02:09 PM)Koopa Luath Wrote: The best option here would be to take out the chroma entirely and release it in black and white, the way the director originally intended.

Thanks but no thanks. If you want it in near black and white, just stick with the commercial BD. Anyway, the director didn't get his wish, and the film was in fact shot in full color.

(2017-06-01, 04:38 PM)PDB Wrote: I have Devil Rides out on BD and the old DVD. I thought to upscale the old SFX and put them back into the BD master (which has the same color issues as Brides and HOD) but never got around to it.

To be honest, if I were to do another Hammer title, I would do Curse of Frankenstein. Did you ever do a comparison, PDB, between the iTunes HD master of the DVD and the BD? I'm curious which is a better starting point; for what it's worth, I believe recalling the iTunes HD master is superior.

In any case, despite being sourced from misaligned seps which are horrendously soft, both ALSO seem to be undercontrasted and too bright, much like Horror of Dracula's initial DVD.
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