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Restoration tips: Soft+Open Matte™ (a.k.a. YAO™)
Soft+Open Matte™

What is Soft+Open Matte™?
It's a method to display an open matte video with or without soft matte; applicable also to the open matte scenes found on variable aspect ratio sources.

Because someone would prefer an open matte version, with more images on top and bottom, while someone else would like to watch the OAR version.

How does it work?
Using a matte mask that will be overlaid on the open matte version, masking top and bottom parts of that, recreating the OAR version.

It's too good to be true...
You know what? IT IS TRUE! Of course, there are pros and cons...

  • avoid to have two different versions - open matte and OAR
  • less BD-R discs/files
  • works with BD-R and single file
  • filesize increase negligible in comparison with having two versions - actually, it would be a bit more than just half that size
  • retains part of the images that would actually lost in an OAR version, giving at the same time the chance to see it in both formats
  • one frame gap every one minute unavoidable in most players, except MPV and SMPlayer (up to date); hardware behavious to be tested yet
  • no subs with the OAR version*
Want an example? Want to test it?
drop me a PM!

This method will work perfectly with open matte version of 1.78:1; if used with lower ratios, like 1.66:1 or 1.33:1, the OAR will result windowboxed.
It could be used even with multiple versions; for example, open matte 1.78:1 + soft matte 1.85:1 + softmatte 2.00:1, or open matte 1.78:1 + soft matte 2.35:1 + mixed (like IMAX versions)!

* possible with A LOT of work
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Wouldn't you be losing resolution, though? If you're making it BD compliant, then the open matte video would be 1440 X 1080 with black bars on the sides, and then overlaying bars on the top and bottom would cut the picture down to 1440 X 780 and it would have black bars all the way around. Or am I missing something?

Oh, wait, I'm sorry, you mean open matte as in 1.77:1, not 1.33:1. Okay, that makes more sense then, sorry for the misunderstanding.
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In the case of this test clip (Jurassic Park) the open matte is 1.78:1 1920x1080 and the OAR is 1.85:1 hence 1920x1040; but you are right, I forgot to mention which open matte would work - going to edit the first post now!
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the subtitles works with Leawo Blu-ray player - the only free player that plays (more or less well) BD menus; they are expected to work flawlessly on every BD-R played on a compatible BD player.

Finally managed to have proper black bars instead grey ones - using BDSupEdit; still, have to find a way to get continuous subtitles - one after the other, without even a frame break... if the way exists, obviously! (If someone knows it, please let me know, please...)

Until then, this could be used for example for a variable aspect ratio project; I'm thinking about Harry Potter 8; OAR would retain their own black bars, while open matte scenes may have black bars if selected.
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Final notes (first post edited with most useful info):
  • free players used for the test are VLC, MPC-HC, MPC-BE, MPV, SMPlayer, Leawo Blu-ray player; still no hardware players tested so far, so if you want to make your own test, just PM me, so I can prepare a SUP file to be muxed with any video you are ready to burn to BD-R
  • black bars "hacked" subtitle, converted from XML+PNGs to SUP using BDSupEdit, then muxed with TSmuxeR is recognized by all the tested players
  • the max time each subtitle line can last is 1 minute, so it's not possible to use a single line for a whole movie, so multiple lines, max one minute long, should be used
  • those lines are played continously only on MPV and SMPlayer (which is based on MPV engine); all the other players insert a one frame gap
  • pause the video will not stop the black bars to be showed
  • once pressed ffw/rew, or move the cursor to any time slot, it will take up to the line lenght for the black bars to be showed again; for this reason, it's better to limit each line lenght to few seconds - ten at max, but lower is a wiser choice
  • the black bars subtitle should use a given language; for the moment, I'd use "bin - Bini" as an acronym for Bars IN Image, but if you have another idea please share it
The perfect use for this would be 1.85:1 sources opened to 1.78:1; Jurassic Park and Aliens are two films that come to mind; I'd add this hack to my projects that would benefit, like The Chronicles of Riddick and Timeline, but it's not applicable to any open matte version, but it will be perfect for any variable aspect ratio source - for example, Harry Potter 8 would benefit of this only on the open matte scenes, and the viewers with proper player would see the whole movie as a normal letterbox one.

Last word: I'd like to have a nice designed logo for this, anyone would help me?
Fundamental collection thread | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
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Test clip -!1uZUWLbT!tWoHF9vOnXYAz...pCcsezvZX4
AAP/AR with YAO hack!
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Tell you did not fall for a good HDTV 1080i Open Matte movie End of Days 1999?
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It will fit well; you can choose if have the black bars to cover the TV logo (but then you get the wrong aspect ratio), or get smaller black bars to mantains aspect ratio (but then you can see part of the TV logo), or both!
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This is a record from the Polish channel

[Image: dbe29862af1a.png]

[Image: 92b46f4b0b54.png]

There are several records from the Czech Republic channels, they are available on their website, maybe some can be combined to remove all the logos

[EDIT BY ADMIN] direct links removed, not allowed, sorry - you can always send them via PM
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First feature film project using soft+open matte is currently under test...
Fundamental collection thread | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
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