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[Help] Problems Deinterlacing The Storyteller (Jim Henson, 1987)
#1
Hello everyone,

I'm trying to fix Sony's disastrous NTSC DVD of The Storyteller, Jim Henson's mythical 1987 series.

The first problem I have with interlacing. Supposedly the series was shot in 35 mm, but with a inverse telecine I don't get good results.

Neither with filters such as QTGMC, TDeint, TMC ... I cannot eliminate residual images, ghosting, saw effect in the contours and other artifacts.

Could anyone help me to fix and restore the video?

This is a sample of the uncompressed DVD:

https://mega.nz/file/Aa4ERK6Q#nGhKboyzo3...IFe3UwfoXg

Thanks in advance.
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#2
(2020-11-24, 12:56 PM)Kyaneos Wrote: Hello everyone,

I'm trying to fix Sony's disastrous NTSC DVD of The Storyteller, Jim Henson's mythical 1987 series.

The first problem I have with interlacing. Supposedly the series was shot in 35 mm, but with a inverse telecine I don't get good results.

Neither with filters such as QTGMC, TDeint, TMC ... I cannot eliminate residual images, ghosting, saw effect in the contours and other artifacts.

Could anyone help me to fix and restore the video?

This is a sample of the uncompressed DVD:

https://mega.nz/file/Aa4ERK6Q#nGhKboyzo3...IFe3UwfoXg

Thanks in advance.

To be honest, I'm guessing it might not be possible to totally eliminate some problems with stuff shot on film but telecined to NTSC, if the DVD is old enough; when did the NTSC one come out?

If the telecine was done in the 80s or something, which might be the case even though the DVD will obviously have been released much later, then you might get frames blending into each other at what should be hard cuts etc. I've found that pretty consistently with quite a lot of NTSC LaserDisc transfers and a few older DVDs.

There's a UK DVD but if it is one of those old problematic telecines then it's possible the PAL version would just be the NTSC one converted, which would be even worse, rather than better (if native 24 fps then PAL would theoretically be better, since it should be a clean speed-up to 25 fps / 50 fields per sec). I recently found this with the Michael Jackson HIStory DVDs, the PAL versions were just the already telecined NTSC versions converted, so they're a complete shambles and I ended up buying the NTSC ones. Similarly, I've had some frustrating experiences with documentaries with mixed frame rates, so that might be something to do with it if there's a mix of film and video or something like that (being that it's for TV, they wouldn't necessarily have had reason to make it work at 24 fps / 24/1.001 fps). But I'm working just now so can't properly sit down and try it myself, sorry.
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#3
^^ The sample is field-blended, which is why you can't IVTC it successfully. Try SRestore() if you like. To the best of my recollection, the PAL DVD is a bit better, but the picture quality is certainly nothing to write home about, so there's probably not much in it. There are HD versions, but I think that they are 16:9, which might be a deal-breaker.
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#4
(2020-11-25, 12:35 AM)Chewtobacca Wrote: ^^ The sample is field-blended, which is why you can't IVTC it successfully.  Try SRestore() if you like.  To the best of my recollection, the PAL DVD is a bit better, but the picture quality is certainly nothing to write home about, so there's probably not much in it.  There are HD versions, but I think that they are 16:9, which might be a deal-breaker.

That's what I was guessing without having a chance to actually download and look at it. There've been so many blended fields in between cuts on loads of my 80s LDs and it's a pain in the butt.
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#5
(2020-11-25, 12:35 AM)Chewtobacca Wrote: ^^ The sample is field-blended, which is why you can't IVTC it successfully.  Try SRestore() if you like.  To the best of my recollection, the PAL DVD is a bit better, but the picture quality is certainly nothing to write home about, so there's probably not much in it.  There are HD versions, but I think that they are 16:9, which might be a deal-breaker.

The HD version is very very poor and as you say it's cropped to 16:9. This is a WEB-DL sample from amazon.com (curiously the framerate is 25 fps):

https://mega.nz/file/OIYnBK7C#J0jOVrF7bR...nEX5tQTkIY

I also have the PAL DVD, it's interlaced but the QTGMC does a good job, the problem is that the compression and definition seem worse than the NTSC DVD. This is a sample in case you want to compare, I would appreciate your opinion:

https://mega.nz/file/XAhQVSyB#JxtjpkATVt...Vs4x1O3f-k
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#6
(2020-11-25, 03:10 AM)Kyaneos Wrote: I also have the PAL DVD, it's interlaced but the QTGMC does a good job, the problem is that the compression and definition seem worse than the NTSC DVD. This is a sample in case you want to compare, I would appreciate your opinion:

The sample matches my recollections of the PAL DVD.  It's not interlaced (just encoded as such), so please don't deinterlace it.  As mentioned above, it's a bit better than the NTSC, in my view, because it lacks the field-blending, but the compression issues mean that that doesn't make a huge amount of difference.

Maybe you could denoise/deblock/whatever the PAL DVDs and improve them a little.  When I looked at The Storyteller a while back, I decided that despite my affection for the series, none of the releases was worth working on, so I kept the PAL DVDs (somewhere).  Given that the Amazon is cropped, I didn't bother with it.
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#7
Like The Muppet Show, The Storyteller was made in England and recorded in PAL. In addition, the extensive effects were done on video. A correct presentation needs to be interlaced.
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#8
(2020-11-25, 05:43 AM)Nick_M Wrote: Like The Muppet Show, The Storyteller was made in England and recorded in PAL. In addition, the extensive effects were done on video. A correct presentation needs to be interlaced.

Are you sure?

I quote the book Jim Henson's The Storyteller: The Novelization:

"Barron set the tone with the pilot, "Hans, My Hedgehog", using 35mm film instead of video..."

Taken from imdb:

"Barron persuaded Henson to shoot the series on 35mm film rather than video, and developed its unique visual style. All subsequent directors were told to absorb this style before directing their own installments."

Also from imdb:

"Negative Format 35 mm"

Undecided
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#9
It could have been shot on 35mm and then transferred incorrectly to PAL video for post-production and effects work. This would make it broken beyond repair even if you went back to the film stock. Possibly.
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#10
Yep. "Shot on 35 mm" doesn't necessarily mean "finalised/edited on 35 mm", as @Cactus says. Especially if it was made with the express intention of it being for release on television, which wasn't necessarily intended to be viewed at anything more than SD PAL resolution (in terms of both single image and temporal resolution). See, for example, the recent discussion about THE STAND and how effects were redone for the HD transfer: https://forum.fanres.com/thread-3146-pos...l#pid67178
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