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The Wizard of Oz UHD
#1
One of the most ingenious shots in film history wasn't ingenious enough for the remastering team behind the UHD of The Wizard of Oz.

For those unaware, the magical moment when the sepia goes into colour was achieved in camera all in one shot by using a monochrome-painted set and a Dorothy body double wearing a monochrome dress, lit with a brown tinted filter over the set lights. As the camera moves through the door, Judy's double moves out of shot and the actress herself enters in her blue dress.

For the UHD, a power window was drawn around the doorway and everything inside the house, doppleganger included, has been digitally converted to pure black and white, then graded sepia.

Here's a comparison, with brightness raised for a clearer view, between the UHD and the 1997 MGM DVD which shows the unaltered colours.

UHD:
[Image: DKNo4IH.jpg]

1997 MGM DVD:
[Image: Yf2k0GZ.jpg]

It really is astonishing just how many of these digital "fixes" are poisoning cinematographic history.
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#2
Sigh that sounds about right.
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#3
No doubt had they used the original photography there would have been some almighty ruckus on a certain b** r** forum arguing the wider gamut in fact revealed certain shades of Dorothy's sepia dress to be more green than brown, and then a further 200 pages of discussion on the specific shade
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#4
It's this kind of tampering that kills my interest in 4K. Rolleyes
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#5
So I'm guessing my original DVD with all the original mixes is just fine, no need to sync to any UHD. Thanks for the info Smile
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#6
HDR grades look nothing like the original anyway. From what I understand about HDR grading, which is limited, there's really no way to do it for film material AND simultaneously retain the original look of the film. So you have to compromise, and it brings out more detail which again is not always what you want. Too much detail reveals things that the film covers up making the image look worse not better. It enhances noise as well (including film grain) and even just a good quality scan enhances the grain from what you see projected to begin with.

What I imagine that you're seeing in this scene is that the HDR grade has made the sepia-toned set stick out due to the clarity of the colours being enhanced and elevating the coloured details in the shadows, so to manage it they've re-coloured the sepia part.
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#7
(2021-09-01, 10:42 AM)Valeyard Wrote: HDR grades look nothing like the original anyway. From what I understand about HDR grading, which is limited, there's really no way to do it for film material AND simultaneously retain the original look of the film.

That's not necessarily the case. HDR can actually be quite useful in retaining highlight details in film and providing a smoother curve in bright areas as you'd see in a film projection. Problems occur when colourists grade the highlights to pop at maximum brightness, then you end up with all those mid-tone details exposed that shouldn't be, just as you mention. When I grade projects even in SDR and want to emulate a photochemical film look, I try to keep most highlights well below pure white, otherwise you just end up with a generic Rec709 look. So the technology isn't at fault, just improper grading.
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#8
Are these film-based projects or digital?

In a few weeks I can send you some HDR scans of movie trailer prints straight off a Lasergraphics Scanastation and you can go right ahead and do an HDR grade if you like. Prints are more difficult to work with, but I can just about guarantee you that 1930's Techincolor separation negatives were not designed with future digital HDR grading in mind. I'm not defending their choice or anything, but if they've been asked to do an HDR grade it will be a challenge to do it faithfully and it requires compromise. What the professional restorations with HDR grades do, whether you want to believe it or not, even when scanning separation negatives on a Lasergraphics Director is scrub the scanned image almost entirely of grain first before HDR grading.

As for the scanning tech that's another matter entirely - and yes most of it isn't up to the task. You'd be amazed what's in-use. But even the best of the best can only reproduce what the film holds. The best scans as they are reveal details (including grain) that is hidden in projection, even in 70mm. It's important to remember that this was known when the movies were filmed - it's an art form. Scanning a razor-sharp negative at 6.5K can reveal an image that was not intended for the audience by the filmmakers. So there is a balance to be found with it and it takes restorationists who understand the artistic vision of the filmmakers to be able to present the intended look and feel of the film.
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#9
Valeyard Wrote:Are these film-based projects or digital? In a few weeks I can send you some HDR scans of movie trailer prints straight off a Lasergraphics Scanastation and you can go right ahead and do an HDR grade if you like.

Both. And many thanks!

Quote:Prints are more difficult to work with, but I can just about guarantee you that 1930's Techincolor separation negatives were not designed with future digital HDR grading in mind. I'm not defending their choice or anything, but if they've been asked to do an HDR grade it will be a challenge to do it faithfully and it requires compromise. What the professional restorations with HDR grades do, whether you want to believe it or not, even when scanning separation negatives on a Lasergraphics Director is scrub the scanned image almost entirely of grain first before HDR grading.

I can believe it. Compromise necessary for sure, but that goes for any film to video conversion I'd say. Each level of scanning or grading technology has presented its own challenges in maintaining a faithful projected film look over the years. HDR needn't be a deal-breaker.

Quote:The best scans as they are reveal details (including grain) that is hidden in projection, even in 70mm. It's important to remember that this was known when the movies were filmed - it's an art form. Scanning a razor-sharp negative at 6.5K can reveal an image that was not intended for the audience by the filmmakers. So there is a balance to be found with it and it takes restorationists who understand the artistic vision of the filmmakers to be able to present the intended look and feel of the film.

All true. There ought to be a better balance had other than this sort of drastic re-colouring as in the Wizard doorway shot though.
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#10
It all comes down to this power windows thing. HDR can be used to represent faithfully a IP or the O neg or a print, and it will still look like film only the greatest print ever.

But add digital stuff like power windows, and you destroy the work. These were not designed to be doctored through power windows adjustments. They would touch up the entire shots so that they look best, not parts of the shots.

I think here they abused the digital tricks. I don't mind a power window to bring back highlights in an indoors shot, this I can understand the need for fix. But using it to enhance the eyes, or like there, and it ends up looking like any film on Netflix exclusive, digital and blah with no life.

The Oz DVD hurts my eyes due to the low res, but damn, it feel alive, not digitally frozen in ice.
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