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Restoration tips: PaNup™

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PaNup™ - PAL and NTSC upscaled

This technique should be used to obtain a good quality upscale, when two different standard definition video are available, better than using one source only.

The idea is simple: take two captures of the same content, one PAL, one NTSC, then merge them to “squeeze” every bit of details from it… everyone knows that a PAL capture has 576 horizontal lines, while NTSC has 480… now, when a movie was transferred to video, usually original resolution was higher than that (not all the times, but often); so, the PAL and NTSC “received” different lines of image… see the next image (obviously intentionally exagerated…):

[Image: hd_pal_ntsc.png]

As you can see, the red, green and blue lines have different thickness in PAL and NTSC; the aim of this technique is to combine those different lines to recreate an image closer to the original one.

To test my theory, I took some high definition images, resized each dimension to 1/3 to simulate NTSC, and to 2/5 to simulate PAL, then I wrote a script to mix and upscale the simulated PAL and NTSC images. Here you are the close-ups of the results; PAL and NTSC are the simulated images upscaled with pointresize, PALup and NTSCup are upscaled using a bicubicresize, to simulate a simple upscaler, PaNup™is my script (oh, how much I love acronyms – PaNup™=PAL and NTSC upscaled) – no noise reduction is used:

[Image: SANY0005_closeup.png]
[Image: HDTV1_closeup.png]
[Image: Men_Funny_Constructicons_Eating_Crash_Test_Dummi.png]

Of course, the validity of this tests are questionable, as the PAL and NTSC images are simulated; nevertheless, these give an idea of what could be achieved using “simple and poor” low definition media, like VHS or better laserdisc, and DVD too! Not HDTV, OK, but still quite a good result.

The problem is, in real life, it’s close to impossible to find a movie which has a PAL and NTSC version that match each other 100% – usually they use different masters, so cropping and color grading are different… but, in those almost-impossilbe cases where a PAL and a NTSC laserdisc (and VHS) are virtually the same, the ideal condition is to capture the PAL at 768×576 and the NTSC at 640×480 (actual letterbox images at 2.35:1 will be 768×326 and 640×272, at 1.85 will be 768×416 and 640×346); if the capture card could capture at 720×576/480, only the Y axis will benefit – this is also the case of DVD.


I tested PaNup using “The Abyss” PAL DVD letterbox, and NTSC R6 DVD, anamorphic; overlaid at 40% PAL and 60% R6 (as it has more resolution); applied at the end a grain plate

Another example: Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem

Star Wars - A New Hope 1997 (adding Super Resolution):
(more comparisons on post #18)

It could be an interesting technique to restore movies that are not available in HD, but only as PAL and NTSC DVDs – or letterbox and anamorphic DVDs, OR, just missing shots not present in HD, but only on PAL and NTSC DVDs... or, if someone would like to make a fan extended edition, this could be used to improve the quality of SD deleted scenes!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
I don't find The Abyss frame that spectacular, but the one from AvP is truly amazing!

All this techniques are yours, right? I mean, you "invented" them. Or am I wrong?
As far as I know, yes... it's why I put the little trademark symbol near them! Wink
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
That's awesome. Great work spoRv! Looking forward to more of your efforts. Halloween and The Thing are benchmarks in my opinion.
Thanks a lot!

I think Halloween is the best project I've ever made, because resemble very closely the colors of the 1999 THX DVD; The Thing was my first project and, despite the fact is waaay better than BD (and HD-DVD) color grading IMHO, in the meanwhile I learned a lot of new techniques and refined old ones, so I think it could be improved.
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
I wish there was a PAL version of the extended cut of the Alamo. That way we could rebuild the longer cut of the Alamo in HD, since MGM will never resort it.

Speaking of The Abyss, Andrea have you thought of using this process on the Full Frame laserdisc?
Is there any full frame PAL laserdisc of The Abyss?
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
Looking at lddb, I guess not. Damn that would of been great use of this technique.
...PAL and NTSC will do, too!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
This technique is amazing

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