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The Hitcher Regrade and Video Fix
[Image: bkmfO4Q.jpg]

The Hitcher Regrade and Video Fix

Project Info

Been hoping for an HD version of The Hitcher for awhile. I knew it wouldn't happen in the USA as the rights to it and all the HBO films are in legal limbo. I was hopefully expecting it to appear in the UK since there was an excellent SE DVD which I had upscaled previously. So I was happy to hear about a German release. When I got a copy I was surprised to see that it was clearly a scan of a lower order print, maybe even a release print. And since it's not an OCN or IP scan then it comes with a whole host of issues. This project's goal is to either fix those problems or at least minimize them while tweaking other concerns.

1. Black Levels - Given the scan's probable origins, the master has had its brightness/black level boosted to counteract the look of black crush or loss of details. I separated the movie into 15 "scene section" and pinned the black level to 0 for the darkest areas for each section and then used curves on the shadows and mids to make sure as much detail is preserved. Even after that the shadows are not balanced correctly resulting in blacks that drift off into red or occasionally blue. I readjusted the shadows via curves to make them black as much as possible.

[Image: 4HuLBvS.jpg]
[Image: ssngljx.jpg]

Even with these adjustments my personal goal is to keep the colors as close to the original bd as possible.

2. Light leak - The scan has a lot of light leak on the sides. It increases towards the end and is more noticeable in dark scenes. I did what I could trying to minimize this but there is no way to get rid of it all.

3. Blown Highlights - I ran an effect to bring down the highs a bit but there is no information to be recovered in the highlights. They are blown. So, the highlights are what they are.

4. Compression Artifacts - Coming from a lower print there is a lot of grain and the encoder was unable to deal with it. I tried to separate the compression artifacts from the grain and ran a de-blocking filter. I think I was able to minimize the worst of it.

5. Logos/Credits - This is technically not wrong but still something I wanted to change. This scan has a tacked on Cannon logo at the beginning. That is correct since Cannon released the movie in European territories. In the US, HBO films had a deal with Tri-Star to release their films, whose logo you can see on the UK and US DVDs. So I took a vintage HD Tri-Star logo and put it in the beginning.

(notice the red in the shadows of the Canon logo)
[Image: v54Po67.jpg]

The print is clearly an English language print, most likely a US one given the credits. The exception is the one shot with the title card in it, whereas the title is the German Hitcher der Highway Killer with the Hauer's and Howell's name in the wrong font.

[Image: Z6rfPDN.jpg]

I upscaled this 19 second section from the UK DVD and will color correct it to match

[Image: GjHLrf6.jpg]

As for the audio. There is nothing wrong with the English soundtrack on the German BD. It just sounds weak. So went about comparing every English soundtrack to find the best possible. There is no PCM track on a LD but Buster D was nice enough to cap the analog for Doombot and me. Comparing that, the German BD tracks, the UK DVD track and the US DVD track, I found that the 2 channel Dolby Digital track from the US DVD was, by far, the most dynamic. I converted this to PCM (for editing) and included it as the main track.

The German BD scan of a lower print with thw above listed fixes.

1. PCM 2.0 Dolby Surround at 48KHz (an edited version of the BD's 2.0)

[Image: gj4jNQY.jpg]

Collaborators and Thanks:
Doombot: for running ideas and tests with me
Buster D: for capping the analog audio from the JPN LD
New members: Please do not post or PM asking where to get something. Projects are for long term, participating members only. Stick around and make some friends
Thanks given by: Plissken1138 , bronan , DoomBot , Stamper , Colek , oh_riginal
Quite a project! It's a film I've been meaning to revist for a while - had no idea there were such issues in terms of a US release. Always thought this was perfect for an Arrow version here in the UK but don't know how likely that is.
Thanks given by:
Looking forward to this one PDB, one of my favorites, while i was happy to finally see a hd print, the German bluray was still lacking overall, glad you have tried to fix it as much as possible.
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my favorite hauer. great project!
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Nice work!
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I believe this project to be done. I just want to thank Doombot for helping me with it by watching previews, bouncing ideas around, etc.

As detailed in the first post I believed I fixed as much as possible with only the scan light leak, blown highlights and sometimes shifty frames being things impossible to fix without a different, better scan. It's far, far, far from perfect but definitely better then the original product.

I kept the final project in 24fps which is the same as the original BD. I also decided against using the US DVD's track in favor of using the German BD's English 2.0 modified with other soundtrack parts. The DVD track was difficult to get in sync and strangely muffled in parts. Outside of that here is the final MKV:

ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Main@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 6 frames
Duration : 1 h 37 min
Bit rate mode : Variable
Nominal bit rate : 30.0 Mb/s
Maximum bit rate : 40.0 Mb/s
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 24.000 FPS
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.603
Title : The Hitcher Regrade and Video Fix
Writing library : x264 core 157
Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=6 / deblock=1:-1:-1 / analyse=0x1:0x131 / me=umh / subme=10 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.15 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=24 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-3 / threads=12 / lookahead_threads=1 / sliced_threads=0 / slices=4 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=1 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=0 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=1 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=1 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=60 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=30000 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / vbv_maxrate=40000 / vbv_bufsize=30000 / nal_hrd=vbr / filler=0 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Language : English
Default : Yes
Forced : No
Color range : Limited
Color primaries : BT.709
Transfer characteristics : BT.709
Matrix coefficients : BT.709
DURATION : 01:37:21.042000000

ID : 2
Format : PCM
Duration : 1 h 37 min
Bit rate mode : Constant
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Title : PCM 2.0 Dolby Surround (edited from the German BD track)
Language : English
Default : Yes
Forced : No
DURATION : 01:37:21.000000000

Participating members (aka no newbies) can PM me if they want a copy. I'll keep it posted for a week or two.
That makes 7 for the year

Releases (so far) for 2019

1. Top Gun Open Matte (Quick Project v3.0)
2. Alien 1999 HDTV Master (Quick Project v1.0)
3. The Fellowship of the Ring Variable Aspect Ratio (Original TC Colors v1.0A)
4. The Fellowship of the Ring Variable Aspect Ratio (Color Corrected v1.0B)
5. Dawn of the Dead Regrade (35 Project #3 v1.13)
6. Conan The Barbarian Theatrical Cut (Quick Project v1.0)
7. Hitcher, The Regrade and Video Fix (v1.1)
New members: Please do not post or PM asking where to get something. Projects are for long term, participating members only. Stick around and make some friends
Thanks given by: X5gb , TomArrow , DoomBot , alexpeden2000 , BusterD
Any other takers? I need the space to upload something else.
New members: Please do not post or PM asking where to get something. Projects are for long term, participating members only. Stick around and make some friends
Thanks given by:

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