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Test My Thread of Random Color Comparisons
#1
I just thought I'd make this thread as a little personal note keeping system for myself and for others to see. A way to keep track of the many instances where there are some pretty massive color incongruencies between modern HD transfers of older movies and older transfers or scanned trailers without necessarily bringing a whole project upon myself. A little hobby thing really as I experiment more and more with Dr. Dre's Color Matching tool.

Opera (1987)

Browsing around YouTube, I ended up finding an Orion trailer of the movie.


For the most part, there aren't any real incredibly notable color differences that are worth really taking note of except for one very brief shot.

[Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-18h50m47s919-B.png][Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-18h49m32s739.png][Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-18h51m55s818.png]
(Trailer - Scorpion Blu-Ray - Arrow DVD)

In the trailer, the statue head is bathed in blue lighting which seems to be mostly absent in other transfers. As such, a took a moment and white-balanced the trailer, and then I lined up the frame from the trailer (white balanced it from the Orion logo preceding the trailer) and the Scorpion Blu-Ray to make a small LUT in Dr. Dre's Color Matching tool. From there, I imported a latter frame from the same shot to regrade, resulting in this.

[Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-19h13m37s106.png][Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-19h13m37s106.png]

Results aren't perfect, and I have no idea how accurate that trailer really is, but it's something I find interesting to look at.

Inferno (1980)

Similarly to Opera, on YouTube, I found an Arrow trailer of the movie.


A few things notable about this was how it's darker and more colorful than any of the transfers I've seen. There were several shots shown that on the Blu-Rays I've seen that were neutral in comparison and missing some of the blues shown in the trailer.

As such, I white-balanced the trailer and lined up frames with their Blue Underground Blu-Ray counterparts and threw them into color matcher.

[Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-15h13m37s422.png][Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-14h17m29s628.png][Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-14h15m49s521.png]
[Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-15h13m37s422.png][Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-14h17m29s628.png][Image: vlcsnap-2019-03-26-14h15m49s521.png]


I think the results are nice since even though I'm not sure how accurate the trailer is in terms of colors, it does have a closer semblance to the likes of Suspiria which I admittedly prefer.
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#2
So last night, I went to a 35mm tri-screening that showcased Army of Darkness, Waxwork and The Beyond. During then, I made a handful of mental notes on each of the movies in terms of their colors and hoo-boy did I find some interesting things to account. Now being the brainlet I am, I didn't take any brief iPhone pictures for practically the entire screening (the only exception being The Beyond which you can see info on here), however, I did make some mental screenshots.

Army of Darkness was supposedly a print made in 2009 weirdly enough so I'm not sure how accurate it would be to judge off of that, but I will say that it was not only in great condition, but it had a surprising amount of blues throughout. Now if I'm being honest, it caught me totally off-guard as someone who's only seen the movie through the–now outdated–Primitive Screwhead blu-ray which has a rather overbearingly warm yellow / orange color scheme; So seeing the movie suddenly have steel blues really took me aback. As surprising that color scheme was for me though, it looked very pretty at times. I must say though that look at Caps-A-Holic, Shout! Factory has gotten it pretty close, but it's still not quite as blue. The only reason I remember this was because of a rather dumb and crude memory where I noticed the reflection off of the blacksmith's bald head being in a deeper shade of blue.


The only apt comparison I can really think of here though is to ask of you to imagine the open-matte trailer scan provided from the Book of the Dead fan-site but with the daylight scenes being vibrant and more orangey (the night-time blues roughly on-par, just a touch lighter than what I saw). Thankfully there's a picture the organization behind the screening posted a picture of the reel on a lightbox.

[Image: 58375784_2471867099504822_38970116981202...e=5D400188]

On the topic of Waxwork, it's a fun and campy little 80s horror comedy with a lot of gorgeous blues. The print itself is in great condition and is–interestingly enough–the only known print to be floating around apparently (the only real notable issue being slight yellowing and somewhat wonky pin-registration issues, resulting in the projection being rather shaky at times).

Now for the record, I'm going off of the snapshots on Caps-A-Holics and the internet in general for home-media judging since I don't personally own a copy of the movie (in fact, last night was the first time I actually saw it). From what I can see, the Lionsgate blu-ray is a complete disservice and mute much of the blues whilst overbrightening it a touch. Meanwhile, the Nameless blu-ray is much closer to what I saw but not quite on the mark being a touch too dark and the blues still a bit off. I have two vivid mental recollections: The first time you catch a glimpse of the building's exhibits, there's a blue tone in the background and the whole werewolf cabin in the woods sequence was bathed in blue lighting, almost akin to what was seen in my Hellraiser regrade (it's really quite gorgeous honestly).

Now although I don't have iPhone pictures as I've said, thankfully the organization also posted several images of the reel on a lightbox similarly to Army of Darkness which helps demonstrates some of the blues I saw, but even then I kind of discount these a bit since they're not representing the faux moonlight I saw throughout the film.

[Image: 57504666_2472283636129835_83029347583383...e=5D308796][Image: 57451016_2472283709463161_64996208757199...e=5D44A84A][Image: 58373132_2472283769463155_41159159076356...e=5D6FEB83][Image: 57546387_2472283819463150_70759817399689...e=5D77773E]

All-in-all: I loved the opportunity and had a blast watching all of the movies. I hope this information will prove to come in handy for those of you who want to venture into regrading any of the movies I discussed here.
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#3
Army of Darkness Color Match Test: I took the 35mm trailer scan from the Book of the Dead website and took the closest frame possible to the one put up by Cinematic Void (exact wasn't shown) and color matched it in Dr. Dre and did some further tweaking with white / black balancing in Resolve. The resultant grade is a damn near close replication of the film's color scheme from my personal experience–though I think the blues were a touch darker. It retains all of the blues but brings back the warmth and saturation missing in the trailer scan (and removed some of the excess yellow hue from the print).

[Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-2.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-1.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-12.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-11.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-4.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-3.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-6.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-5.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-8.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-7.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-10.png][Image: Color-Match-Test-Army-Of-Darkness-1-2-9.png]

Please note, I didn't do any checking for black crush nor overblown highlights so if there is any, then my apologies. I currently do not have any real plan on making a full regrade at the moment since I don't own a personal copy of the latest transfer of the movie by Shout! (only the outdated Primitive Screwhead edition), but hey, if enough people are interested, I may do something about that.
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#4
I take it you saw the US theatrical cut of AoD?

I wonder if there were any timing differences between the original prints of that and the international version.

Somehow, I don't think the VHS bootleg of the latter that I made at the drive-in back in the day would be of any help...
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#5
(2019-05-06, 12:04 PM)The Griff Wrote: I take it you saw the US theatrical cut of AoD?

I wonder if there were any timing differences between the original prints of that and the international version.

Somehow, I don't think the VHS bootleg of the latter that I made at the drive-in back in the day would be of any help...

Taking this into consideration, I can safely say I say the U.S. Cut (didn't even know an International Cut existed, I only thought there's the Director's Cut). I doubt there'd be any real color timing differences worth noting due to the fact that it was a full-blown Universal production and not an obscuro film like with The Beyond. As for the VHS bootleg, I can't particularly discount it nor promote it in terms of color timing since I've seen scenarios where–apparently–VHS tapes somehow have it more correct (EG: The Terminator) but since I know nothing about the tape, I can't say. All I can say is that the pictures I posted are accurate to the print I saw.
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#6
It's interesting because the International Cut is currently the best available source for the film. It is what Shout! restored in 4K and then used as a base for their Director's Cut release.

And, yeah, I was kinda making fun of this particular bootleg since I shot it myself with a random video camera. In fact, I had to go to the drive-ins twice because the battery was only good for half a movie. Unfortunately, the 2nd time round, it was raining - so there's that and the fact that we were drinking and smoking and getting pretty rowdy. Certainly not suitable for re-distribution, even if it were a reliable colour reference!
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#7
Shout!'s Director's Cut doesn't use the International Cut restoration as a source. That's from an older master, but still higher quality than Universal's Theatrical Cut transfer IMO.
Finest kind.
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#8
(2019-05-08, 02:05 AM)Dek Rollins Wrote: Shout!'s Director's Cut doesn't use the International Cut restoration as a source. That's from an older master, but still higher quality than Universal's Theatrical Cut transfer IMO.

Whoops. My bad. It's the US Theatrical Cut that uses the International Cut as a source.
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#9
There seem to be some Versions on caps-a-holic:
https://caps-a-holic.com/c_list.php?c=2734

Edit:
And we may not forget the history of DVD Releases:
http://sd.caps-a-holic.com/vergleich.php?vergleichID=40

Some of the DVDs have different colors and grading and such...
"Never cut a deal with a dragon..."
- Old Shadowrun wisdom
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