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Old 03-27-2021, 09:09 AM   #6041
ChocolateFizzles ChocolateFizzles is offline
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I really really can not wait until the "Rainbow Parades Volume 1" Blu-ray is released. I will gladly order it on the spot.
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Old 03-28-2021, 02:25 AM   #6042
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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It's a work weekend here, as usual....

Build #7 on the Rainbow films on V1 in progress right now. Tweaking all little things at this point, and waiting for a single soundtrack to get here. New cover art in progress and will show as soon as I have the rough pencils back here.

I'm going to tweak the still galleries tomorrow (Sunday) and do any other additional little things. I've got a compile of the whole title sequence, although I'd like to tweak that a little more as well.

Other things this weekend include mastering some special sets. Then, more dubbing this week....
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Old 03-28-2021, 06:08 AM   #6043
Paul Penna Paul Penna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moviebuff75 View Post
It was great seeing the 1937 feature. I now understand what people mean when they say that Technicolor hides a lot of fine detail. Those lines and such were not scrubbed from the "official" restoration...they weren't seen in the first place.
The “hiding of fine detail” is an effect of the production of Technicolor projection prints such as Steve used. All the detail would still be in the negatives used to photograph the art. The Disney video versions would have started out with those or with film elements produced from them, not with Technicolor prints. So if the videos show a loss of fine detail or appear “scrubbed” it's a result of things Disney did in producing the video masters, and not anything to do with the way Technicolor prints were made.
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Old 03-29-2021, 01:50 AM   #6044
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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The interesting thing about working with original materials is that, as a producer, you have to decide *how* you want to proceed. Saying "I want to make it look good" can mean lots of different things. Having an "original version" can mean lots of different things!

I have a few thoughts on things here in terms of what I want the 'look' to be. For the "Official" sets, I want to keep the films looking like film-- as if you were a collector of films and have the best print possible-- but a print, not a scrubbed version of the film devoid of any of the unique things that film has. Now, if we're able to go up a generation or, in some cases, back to the original camera neg, I'm happy to and wouldn't degrade that material to look like a generation down, but I also won't try to remove the features that made it a film negative. We're do dust busting on the material to make them look better, but never with the intention of removing what makes a film look like film.

Now, for the 'special' sets, they're raw scans of what we're able to get a hold of, for better or worse. What we have is what is you get- no cleanup, not trying to find multiple prints-- really a good, basic scan. Sometimes they honestly look beautiful, but sometimes prints have wear and splices. They're unofficial sets and available in a limited way, so they're really collectively funding the preservation of that particular material. Sometimes they cover their costs, sometimes not. Thunderbean manages to make some money, but it's all spent doing the projects- covering costs of labor, materials, travel, scans and postage.

I like all of this stuff, and am really happy we've been able to do so many of these things. The special sets really do help the official sets move forward. We couldn't have done all we've been able to do without them. At least, when comparing to scrubbed versions of the films, you'll at least be able to see what the films looked like in a theatrical presentation.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:10 PM   #6045
phrankenstign phrankenstign is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Penna View Post
The “hiding of fine detail” is an effect of the production of Technicolor projection prints such as Steve used. All the detail would still be in the negatives used to photograph the art. The Disney video versions would have started out with those or with film elements produced from them, not with Technicolor prints. So if the videos show a loss of fine detail or appear “scrubbed” it's a result of things Disney did in producing the video masters, and not anything to do with the way Technicolor prints were made.
Is there a resource somewhere on the web where these differences between negatives and projection prints can be seen? I thought Technicolor prints were made from Technicolor negatives. I didn't think there'd be any difference in color. I thought there would only be a minuscule difference in the detail since the print would be considered a second generation.
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Old 03-31-2021, 02:55 AM   #6046
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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There are all sorts of possible variances-- even between reels in a Technicolor print. The interesting thing about Cinecolor, Technicolor and other Imbition Dye processes is that there isn't a negative to positive photochemical process for the picture on the final print. Instead, it's a 'Dye Transfer' process where a stamper-type neg (called a matrice) is, essentially, inked, and then used in a silkscreen-type process to imbed dye onto the print. On Cinecolor, the two colors are on opposite sides of the print sometimes- so there isn't an emulsion only or base only side. Harriscolor (the process Fiddlesticks was done in) and Brewstercolor (for Mendelssohn's Spring Song) are also dye transfer processes. The reason these prints are so valued by collectors is that they, usually, don't fade like a single neg Eastman print does, and they maintain a really beautiful color palette. The process has its strengths and weaknesses: The color is beautiful, but prints can be less sharp than others (especially the late 40s 16mm blue tracks). They tend to show halos around really dark/ black colors at times (but not always) and they're notorious for being just a little different for each reel of film in a print. So, first releases are best on Technicolor prints, generally, and the timing and process is a little different on later prints (where color timing could be done on a single eastman neg and then split for printing). I know people that swear by the Blue track prints of Pinocchio but don't like the later print (no matter how beautiful they are). So, these things can vary all over the place, and some Technicolor print *are* faded, depending on how the material was kept. I have some Nitrate Tech that is beautiful, and other prints that have become somewhat pastel in color- although most are still great.
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:13 AM   #6047
Regulas314 Regulas314 is offline
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Hey Steve, just curious since tomorrow is the big April Fools and all. Ya ain’t got nothin’ planned that day do ya? A secret upload? A prank disc you’re gonna put out? I dunno if you’re one for a good laugh or nothin (lord knows we could all use one) but I think something to tickle our funny bones might be nice.
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Old 03-31-2021, 02:06 PM   #6048
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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I *don't* have anything crazy planned for sure-- but I'm working on tomorrow's post right now.

Years back Paramount Cartoons *did* post a fake disc, saying I was too busy to post myself-- and I had to refund a bunch of people as soon as I found out! Not too funny!!!
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:55 PM   #6049
bigshot bigshot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phrankenstign View Post
Is there a resource somewhere on the web where these differences between negatives and projection prints can be seen? I thought Technicolor prints were made from Technicolor negatives. I didn't think there'd be any difference in color.
When a request for a print to be struck is sent to the lab, timing notes go along with it. This indicates "day for night" shots and scene by scene color corrections. Disney was always careful to maintain these adjustment notes from decade to decade, but other studios lost and recreated them. When Turner restored Gone With The Wind, the color adjustments were radically different than it had looked in the past and people were upset. When Disney restored the animated features, they basically threw out the notes and started over in the video domain with a different aesthetic altogether. Basically, with three negatives, you can make the colors pretty much anything you want.
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Old 04-01-2021, 01:07 AM   #6050
cjamescook cjamescook is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Stanchfield View Post
The interesting thing about working with original materials is that, as a producer, you have to decide *how* you want to proceed. Saying "I want to make it look good" can mean lots of different things. Having an "original version" can mean lots of different things!

I have a few thoughts on things here in terms of what I want the 'look' to be. For the "Official" sets, I want to keep the films looking like film-- as if you were a collector of films and have the best print possible-- but a print, not a scrubbed version of the film devoid of any of the unique things that film has. ...
Hi, Steve, what's your theory about grain? I don't want to start a religious war, I'm just curious to hear your opinion.

For some people (Disney?) grain in animation is removed because the original source material - animation cells - did not have any grain and preserving grain does not preserve any details. Put another way, if the original cells still existed, if you were to rephotograph the movie using todays tools - digital cameras - you would have the same result.

So, where does your learned opinion fall on this question, and more importantly, why?

(Let's all agree to skip discussion of grain in live action, pretty please?)

Last edited by cjamescook; 04-03-2021 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 04-03-2021, 02:59 AM   #6051
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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My basic thoughts:

The look of a particular film varies all over the place- depending on when the material was made, the color stock that was used for the film, what the lab did in processing, etc. Animation was (mostly) shot in a controlled light situation,with same variance in stock and color - but not as much as with live action film.

Now, to me, talking and working with a filmmaker to determine what they consider to be the best presentation of their material would be ideal. We often don't have that luxury- so, we have to make a decision based on the material we have. We could consider the original theatrical presentation look, or decide that the look of the film in its original presentation prints (since it's degraded from the original neg) shouldn't be considered as a reference.

For *me*, literally *all* these aspects are things that should be considered and debated. Getting as consistent of a look out of material and having a good presentation is important to me. The digital tools we have now available (even for a small company like mine) are pretty powerful, and you can easily have the ability to make something look pretty drastically different than the material you've started with. Since that's true, my approach is (as stated before) to make each film look like a really, really good print of the film- but, still look like a piece of film since that's the format we're watching. Sometimes the grain will be more depending on the source, sometimes less. In terms of grain reduction: I think it's appropriate if it is helping to make the presentation of the material better to view. Now-- that's an *opinion* most of the time, I know-- but if the grain is bad and impeding on the presentation, it make sense do so in my opinion.

For the current 'Rainbow Parades' set, some of the 16mm material was much, much grainier than the 35mm. Since the 35mm grain (in my opinion) was mostly not distracting in the original 35mm prints, I left it alone (that isn't to say there isn't multiple versions of many of them and I tweaked and tweaked, only to come back to the opinion that they looked better with that grain). This won't always be the case of course. For the 16mm prints, I did some reduction of it, but not completely, keeping some of the grain structure look and avoiding that smeary or glassy 'denoising' look. When viewed small as you're doing it, at first the complete grain reduction looks great, until you see the stuff *big* on a screen. Then you see all the reason to temper use of these particular tools since they make the material look pretty different than any print you've seen. Now, when I have something that's from the neg, I'm not going to add *additional* new grain that wasn't there, but I'm also not going to clean it up or denoise it to make it even cleaner in structure than that neg.

So, long story short: I think really good dustbusting (sometimes referred to as restoration), steadying, some deflickering, some grain reduction and color correction are all valid ways of making material look really good. It's up to the producer to temper these as they see fit, but in my mind (and practice) it's something to be carefully considered on each piece of film.

On 'Willie Whopper'- most of the material was 35mm, and some 16mm. The best 16mm has a beautiful grain structure, as did most of the 35mm. We left it alone for the most part since, even though there was variance between films, they all looked pretty great with little intervention on the grain.

On Tommy's 'Mesmer' set, The best prints were absolutely stunning, with very little grain structure- just clean lines and good greyscale. The worst sometimes had a snowstorm look and really inconsistent with other films made around the same years. In this case, it seemed appropriate to reduce the grain, under Tommy's direction and careful consideration throughout the process. There's no one on the planet that loves film more than Tommy (I can say that about a lot of the filmheads I know) but a good presentation required intervention on particular film print's grain, but never to the detriment of the original material (now that's an opinion, but I think the excellent work done by *all* the folks on the set bears this out).

Arnie's 'Puppetoons 2' set was a ton of work in digital cleanup, carefully remaining faithful to the material at hand. The stuff from Paramount was especially beautiful, but the grain structure was really different depending on the material. Since Arnie wanted grain reduction to achieve a more consistent look in each film, I spent a lot of time on each making sure they looked beautiful-- but *still a piece of film*. It was a case-by- case, and I worked closely with Arnie in mastering every last film on the set, down to scrutinizing many films shot-by-shot. Getting *you* folks (and of course those who have never heard of this newsgroup) to be happy with the versions is my most considered point. For the Puppetoons 2 set that one thing was the reason I set my own project priorities aside to make sure the set turned out really good- for Arnie of course, but really as much for history and getting it right. After all, no one has been able to do what Arnie just did in getting these released, so trying to make them as good as possible became the guiding direction.

The small producers have a whole series of things that make it easier to really tweak things- sometimes with the luxury of extra time. Large companies sometimes have that ability for that extra personal touch, but sometimes the larger companies are so split in duties and departments that little things slip through the cracks, and one slip can lead to whole areas of not-very-good presentation. Sometimes everything turns out amazingly good. So, while budgets are never on our side, the ability to get it as right as we can is if we don't run out of time.

Last edited by Steve Stanchfield; 04-03-2021 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:55 AM   #6052
cjamescook cjamescook is online now
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Thank you Steve for sharing your philosophy, approach, and lessons learned, and for the time it took to write it all down. I appreciate it, and I'm sure others do, too.

-Jim
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:04 AM   #6053
Spire Spire is offline
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Havent stopped by the thread in a bit, It's nice to see people receiving some releases, but looks like I'll have to open up a ticket. At least that means I'm this much closer to getting some long-ordered releases.
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Old 04-06-2021, 01:14 AM   #6054
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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Hi Sire--- yes, open a ticket and we'll make sure to get anything we've missed to you. Dave and Becky have been doing an amazing job organizing and dealing with all order things...
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Old 04-06-2021, 04:42 PM   #6055
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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The masters are now done for 1973 and Late 80's feature. Late 80s feature will be available at the Thunderbean shop for a little while.

I've been waiting for the full res versions of all the material we've scanned to be output on a handful of 'special' sets still. We've started dubbing these two and will have a few other masters done from what we have here.

We're about to put up a new special set in a bit...1951!
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:35 PM   #6056
bigshot bigshot is offline
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1951 is desperately needed. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:01 PM   #6057
Steve Stanchfield Steve Stanchfield is offline
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We have a new special sets listed: 1951 Animated Feature-from a 35mm Technicolor print, for pre-order for a limited time.

The late 80s Live Action/ Animation feature is now listed for a limited time- available at the Thunderbean shop.

I think there's a sufficient amount of Rabbits in recent times here!

This and 1973 are shipping starting this week, and joined by one of two others if we can manage. We hope to send up to 12 sets out this month.

Last edited by Steve Stanchfield; 04-06-2021 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:34 AM   #6058
phrankenstign phrankenstign is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Stanchfield View Post
We have a new special sets listed: 1951 Animated Feature-from a 35mm Technicolor print, for pre-order for a limited time.
It'll be great to see a good print of this feature! ORDERED!!!
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:18 PM   #6059
X-human X-human is offline
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Excellent! The 1951 feature has been foremost in my mind as previous releases have had some of the most tinkering.

Excited to get the late 80's feature in hand as this was my true pipe dream as an uncensored version seemed so out of reach. And in a vault somewhere is an alternate version where the director is manipulating puppets to enact each SFX scene. That's my new pipe dream.
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:55 PM   #6060
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Ordered! I can't wait to get my package with all the new disks listed on the home page. Ooo La La! Good stuff.
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