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Top Gun / Open-matte / 1080p / Multiaudio-multisubs / BD project
#1
Ok, bare with me as this will be a rather long post (those of you that know me are already aware, LOL)...

So, a while back there was a discussion in one of the other threads here about various films and open-matte versions of those films. Somehow, the topic of "Top Gun" came up and I thought to myself, "this would be an awesome project for one of my favorite 80s films."

I HATE the 2.40 AR that is used for most of the DVD releases and all of the BD releases. There is just too much cut off from the top and bottom. The aerial scenes suffer the most from this ridiculous cropping. The "director's approved" 2.0 AR would have been awesome (as was released on Laserdisc and the first DVD editions for NTSC and PAL) but we were not that lucky. Even though the 2.0 AR is decent, there is still some stuff on-screen that would benefit from a 1.78 AR (16x9) especially during some of the aerial scenes.

There was a full screen release of the film on the first NTSC DVD, which is mostly open-matte (although about 15-20% of the shots have a "pan & scan" thing going on) This same DVD also had a non-anamorphic 2.0 AR version included on the same disc. There is also an anamorphic 2.0 AR PAL DVD of the film, but I'll get to that in a moment.

All of this is "lovely" and all, but reconstructing an open-matte version using just the 2.40 AR BD release and the DVDs would NOT have been worthy of a project. There are a couple of reasons for this. The BD looks like sh*t, due to excessive DNR and EE (making it look like "wax-o-vision") and it has a different color-timing. Granted, I could probably regrade it and make it match rather well, but the wax look of it still bothers me. The 3dBD, is excellent in terms of sharpness, detail, and grain, but has an atrociously changed color-grading. Even if I was able to match the color-grading of the 3dBD to the DVD, it would still be waaaaaaaay too obvious that I used two different sources to create an open-matte version due to the sharpness of the 3dBD.

Granted, I could create this open-matte version using just the DVD footage but it would only be an upscale of SD footage, which would be pretty pointless IMHO. However, I got really lucky. Thanx to Andrea, who pointed me to a private ftp site, I now have a 2.0 AR HDTV broadcast of Top Gun from RTS DeuxHD. It's "only" 720p, but was encoded at ~10.5mbps, is an AVC stream (so better than MPEG2) and is progessive (so no de-interlacing needed, yay!) It has a very small logo in the upper-right-hand part of the screen, but can be easily patched using any of the DVD footage (once upscaled)

With this source, all of a sudden, this project became doable and I started working on it. For the last couple of weeks, my computer was hard at work upscaling all of the sources that I have, using SuperResolution, so that I can start assembling this together.

During this process, I discovered something rather weird... the non-anamorphic NTSC DVD (at an average bitrate of ~4100kbps) looks BETTER than the anamorphic PAL DVD (which has a higher average bitrate of ~6000kbps) The NTSC disc is progressive, while the PAL release is interlaced (which may have something to do with this, even though I tried multiple de-interlacing methods) but it shocked me when I was able to see them after the upscaling. The NTSC disc looks excellent, while the PAL disc looks smeared and REALLY soft. However, the progressive NTSC disc has some problems too. There are 8 (or 9) instances where the is combing present, which to me says that they de-interlaced it incorrectly. Fortunately, most of these are after a scene change and can be fixed fixed easily... The full-screen version suffers from the same issues, during the exact same frames and this shouldn't be much on an issue.

The HDTV capture has a couple of "issues" too. First, there are French undertitles for the English onscreen text and the intro text is in French. Fortunately, this is easy to fix/patch. Then, there's the logo which is also easy to fix. The part that can NOT be "fixed" is the 25 frames that are missing for the one single commercial during the broadcast (which I will have to replace using upscaled footage) There is also one more frame missing at a scene change toward the end of the film, which can easily be fixed (already done) Also, during the fade-out at the end of the credits, the last 6 frames are missing and will have to be replaced. Other than that, the footage is excellent and will help this project look right.

I spent the last couple of days aligning the footage to the 2dBD, as that will be the source for nearly all of the audio. This was pretty straight-forward, but time-consuming. Now, I have to align the frames to each other spatially. About 65% of the film is a straight-forward center-crop and will be easy to "expand" to the 1.78 AR. About 20% of the footage needs to be aligned differently (to the side, zoomed in more/less, etc., depending on shot) and about 15% of the footage will be re-cropped to fit with the 1.78 AR (as the DVD footage there is "pan&scan")

It will take me the next few days to get all the sources to align properly, as I have to correct everything on a shot-by-shot basis (there is no "universal" setting I can apply here) The film will also contain the original studio logo, unlike all of the "official" releases, with the proper AR for that logo (the 3dBD has the original logo, but it's squeezed into a 2.40AR and looks wrong) There is a LOT of work to be done here, as the alignment changes very frequently and I have to keep in mind the logo patch.

Anyway, the sources used for the video of this project:

2dBD - for timing ONLY
3dBD - for the text intro (as it has the best quality) and has been re-graded to match the rest (had a nasty yellow cast)
NTSC non-anamorphic DVD (mostly for logo patch and, possibly, the onscreen undertitles)
NTSC full-screen DVD (a HUGE thanx to Tylerdurden389 for providing this source)
PAL anamorphic DVD (will NOT be used at all... mad that I wasted time upscalling this for nothing)
720p HDTV broadcast (a HUGE thanx to Andrea for helping me get this source)

Everything upscaled, using SuperResolution, to 1080p (actually the full-screen DVD is upscaled to 1920x1440 so that when I crop to 1920x1080, there is no picture quality loss)

The sources for the audio of this project:

2dBD - the US version and two different EUR versions
custom BDrips - for some of the more "obscure" languages
NTSC Laserdisc

The sources for the subtitles of this project:

Same as the audio


There will be TONS of language options available for thisSmile

For the audio, I have:

English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
English 5.1 AC3 @640kbps
English 6.1 DTS-HDMA
English 2.0 PCM from LD, not bit-perfect, still needs to be synced (thanx to friend for supplying this)
English Commentary 2.0 AC3 @192kbps
Czech 2.0 AC3 @224kbps
French 5.1 AC3 @640kbps
German 2.0 AC3 @224kbps
Hindi 5.1 AC3 @448kbps
Hungarian 5.1 AC3 @640kbps
Italian 2.0 AC3 @224kbps
Polish 2.0 AC3 @224kbps
Portuguese 2.0 AC3 @224kbps
Russian 5.1 AC3 @640kbps
Spanish 5.1 AC3 @640kbps
Turkish 5.1 AC3 @640kbps
Ukrainian 2.0 AC3 @224kbps

For subtitles, I have:

English
English SDH
Arabic
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dutch
Estonian
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Italian
Latvian
Lithuanian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Spanish
Swedish
Turkish
English Commentary
French Commentary
German Commentary
Italian Commentary
Spanish Commentary


Feel free to post any commentsWink
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#2
The usual short description, Jerry... Big Grin.Big Grin.Big Grin

Happy to have helped you, another great project!
Fundamental collection thread site | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
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#3
Never seen this movie before, though the disc is sitting on my shelf. Be interested to experience it for the first time through this project. Good luck, Jerry!
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#4
This sounds excellent, well done for putting so much time in to getting this right!

On the point of audio, the theatrical release had a Dolby Stereo track (which should be more-or-less represented by the laserdisc PCM) and also a 6-track mix on the 70mm prints.

The 1995 THX laserdisc(s) (http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/21964/LV-1692-WS/Top-Gun, I think a P&S one too) made a special point of using the 6-track mix for the 5.1 AC-3 track, which sadly doesn't happen all that often - is it possible to include that track too? Andrea? Wink
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#5
Thanx guysBig Grin

A friend of mine sent me the LD PCM track that he ripped from his LD a while back. I asked him about the 1995 THX disc, but he can't rip it anymore due to his player dying. If there is anyone here that could supply it, that would be awesome. To the best of my knowledge, all of the LD releases had the "director's approved" 2.0 AR. The only P&S releases were on VHS and the first NTSC DVD release (which also contained the 2.0 AR on the same disc)

When I first decided to do this project, a couple of my friends asked me why I don't just stick with the "director's approved" 2.0 AR, which shows way more than the official BD and it would be easy to do having the HDTV capture I have. Well, it's amazing how much more is onscreen just by adding those extra lines on top and both and how much that changes the experience.

Now, it's time to get back to work... it's interesting working with three different video files simultaneously. I am not only having to adjust nearly every shot seperately for framing, but also for the patch and the color-matching. Both of the DVD sources (technically both from the same master and the same disc which means when I find the right color-timing I can copy/paste the result) have slightly faded colors compared to the HDTV capture and the brightness/contrast settings have to be adjusted a little to. Unfortunately, the colors shift a little bit back and forth on the DVD, so one constant setting for entire film won't work either. Between all of the lossless lagarith encoded files for this project, while I make edits, is already taking up nearly 1TB. There are certain shots that I will have to render just the 2.0 AR DVD footage aligned to the HDTV, then use that footage to patch the logo, then use the patched footage to superimpose over the fullscreen DVD footage that's been cropped/framed to 1.78 AR and aligned to the HDTV footage.

I realize that my posts are long on my projects... thanx to all readers for your patience.... I'm hoping that some people are interested in the "process" of putting something like this together, which is why I write so much about it. And, honestly, sometimes it helps me keep track of progressWink
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#6
There is at least a P&S version on LD with the AC3 track (and it's THX, too!): http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/21967/LV-1692-THX/Top-Gun

Casually, it's somewhere between the othet hundreds discs in my collection... do you need its track?!? Big Grin
Fundamental collection thread site | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
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#7
Well... hmmm... let's see what others thinkWink

Personally, I'm not sure whether it's necessary or not and could use some adviceBig Grin
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#8
I would ask BusterD, he has this LD http://www.lddb.com/laserdisc/25690/PILF-2284/Top-Gun

BusterD can rip bit perfect
                                                           



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#9
Since you know him, would you mind asking him? Smile
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#10
Of course i will my friend Smile
                                                           



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