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Dune - Theatrical Deluxe

15MaF

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So I know that there are fuller story arcs available in Spice Diver's cut and a couple of others, but I don't really enjoy them - Not fully. For one thing I'm happy to view the book and the film as separate entities much like Electric Sheep etc. Yes Thufir Howatt's restored scene is a good watch and a compelling resolution, but it just looks like shit. These edits by fans of the book are well founded and very well structured and deserve every praise, but the whole feature has to be intentionally lowered in quality to feel consistent when you propose throwing in a tonne of sub DVD quality deleted scenes.

But Dune in hi definition looks bloody lovely and mostly sounds fantastic too. I wanted a version that had nothing to do with the grotty deleted scenes. And the Extended version portions I want still have a lot of tidying up to do, but mostly on the audio side, and that much is very doable. I haven't put in every extra bit from the extended version as much of Alan Smithy's work is a bit crap ;) but a lot of it can be used to make the original breathe a little. I see it as a deluxe Theatrical so the viewing experience aims to stick to the basic look and feel we've always been accustomed to. I've made a surround mix of the expanded soundtrack and am trying to use it to improve upon some of the poor Smithy decisions with score, but the mix is all over the place and it takes time to track down the optimum vibes and tones and some centre tracks are just riddled with poor score cues that you just can't pull the dialogue from cleanly, and in other examples the score stays conveniently on the left and right channels. Also the older Bluray DTS tracks on the theatrical cut sound fantastic in places, yet the rear channels are often falling apart with a simple lack of digitized cohesion. The recent releases have channels that show similar problems so the source was obviously always impaired.

So most of the work needed seems to be to match the Extended version audio mix to the theatrical - And of course baby's got Fremen eyes - which aren't blue where they need to be. Also the old French Bluray release has a very dark look, due to what looks like a dense print not letting much shadow detail through at the time of scan. But the colour is spot on - much more filmic than the most recent release that has pink skin (Like a lot of recent remasters) and too much bling in the Emporer's gold finish. So I've had to augment the old print with some shadow detail from the newer remaster - You'd be surprised how two versions of the same film need to be locked off at an exact 24fps interpretation on the timeline to get them to even halfway sync with each other. Also, matching the Extended footage to this grading has been pretty successful so far, thanks to the very versatile Lumetri filters we have in Premiere now. Though you usually have to push your processor with multiple layer filters.

I'm about 2/3s through the thing, but of course the Fremen eyes are going delay this a lot. I've included lots of extra footage of desert sands to augment the arrival at Arakkis into a more trippy blend that takes it's time - Using the Prophecy surround mix I made, I included some of the extra reverend Mother dialogue, but not all. I don't think the audience needs every last bit of technical detail from the novel spoon fed to them. The gist of these details is there and at different points through the film the scope of the houses and guild interactions are established. Similarly with the fourth stage navigator's voice over in the Extended version. The voice isn't a patch on the Theatrical and the the spice panic in his angered dialogue is vastly over rated as exposition. Again the gist of their relationship to the spic is covered in partial increments.

So these are my thoughts and intentions so far. And of course fan edits are always a good excuse to design a new poster...early days yet though.

DUNE-poster-QUAD-WEB.jpg
 
15MaF said:
So these are my thoughts and intentions so far. And of course fan edits are always a good excuse to design a new poster...early days yet though.

Moved to ITW
 
DigModiFicaTion said:
15MaF said:
So these are my thoughts and intentions so far. And of course fan edits are always a good excuse to design a new poster...early days yet though.

Moved to ITW

Cheers
 
The Theatrical Cut has been one of my favourite films since I can remember (not a common opinion ;) ). I've seen one or two extended cuts (and the Smithy version of course) but I felt they took away some of the mystery and dreamlike feel that makes it a David Lynch film. So I like the sound of this...

15MaF said:
I haven't put in every extra bit from the extended version as much of Alan Smithy's work is a bit crap ;) but a lot of it can be used to make the original breathe a little. I see it as a deluxe Theatrical so the viewing experience aims to stick to the basic look and feel we've always been accustomed to.

"deluxe Theatrical" is probably what I'm looking for.

To clarify, are you verifying that there is a proper HD blu-ray release of the Smithy cut (not in 4:3)? I wasn't aware of that, I've just got the old DVD. If so, could you please post an Amazon link here, so I/we can purchase a copy and "own the source".
 
TM2YC said:
The Theatrical Cut has been one of my favourite films since I can remember (not a common opinion ;) ). I've seen one or two extended cuts (and the Smithy version of course) but I felt they took away some of the mystery and dreamlike feel that makes it a David Lynch film. So I like the sound of this...

15MaF said:
I haven't put in every extra bit from the extended version as much of Alan Smithy's work is a bit crap ;) but a lot of it can be used to make the original breathe a little. I see it as a deluxe Theatrical so the viewing experience aims to stick to the basic look and feel we've always been accustomed to.

"deluxe Theatrical" is probably what I'm looking for.

To clarify, are you verifying that there is a proper HD  blu-ray release of the Smithy cut (not in 4:3)? I wasn't aware of that, I've just got the old DVD. If so, could you please post an Amazon link here, so I/we can purchase a copy and "own the source".

No sorry to mislead, but on closer inspection it looks like a reasonably good upscale. Plus my prescription glasses are like a photoshop filter these days so I didn't even question it! Not sure what to do with it now.
 
Oooooh, the prospect of a visually gorgeous Dune. A great choice!

Spicediver's extended version is the more complete story, but for visual enjoyment I find myself going back to the bluray. If your Dune ends up looking as good as your Indy 4, I'll never need to reach for my bluray again. :)
 
lapis molari said:
Oooooh, the prospect of a visually gorgeous Dune. A great choice!

Spicediver's extended version is the more complete story, but for visual enjoyment I find myself going back to the bluray. If your Dune ends up looking as good as your Indy 4, I'll never need to reach for my bluray again. :)

I appreciate the kind support there Lapis. But as it turns out there isn't any genuine HD footage I can source for the Extended cut. I have to decide whether the upscaled footage I'm using in place for the edit can pass muster with some extra work. It's not 'deleted scenes' bad, but there's stepping and a noticeable lack of detail in much of the medium and long shots so unless I can minimize it to close framing and/or visuals without any regular geometry present, I don't think it's going to look good enough even with a few tricks up my sleeve for up-scaling. You don't dare try to sharpen very much even with a vector blur and find edges filter combination. Do you think a special edition theatrical with some surround sound improvements and inclusions of extra desert footage would be enough to be worth any one's while?

"Maybeeee"

:)
15MaF
 
I've talked on this forum once before about the theory of using machine learning for upscaling DVDs. I have a far inferior setup to do the kind of training needed for it, unfortunately. I'd love to try it out on something like this.

The only example I've been able to find recently is this guy upscaling Star Trek DS9:
https://captrobau.blogspot.com/2019/03/remastering-star-trek-deep-space-nine.html

However, he's using a pre-trained paid program so there's limited specificity to help the scaler deal with the content. Also, he's using an iTunes copy which isn't ideal as a robust source.

One of the best performing methods has been ESRGAN, which does some pretty amazing inference of detail: https://github.com/xinntao/ESRGAN

In game upscaling communities, people seem to get the best results from doing custom training. So, theoretically you could export the theatrical DVD to a png sequence for the low-res starting point and use the bluray for the high-res ending point. Usually you're supposed to use the high-res photos to make the low-res ones using downscaling, but it seems to make more sense here to use the separate sources.


I'm surprised there aren't more people in these scaling communities working on video, but I guess it is much more intensive for processing power and hard drive space. A lot of these guys are just scaling single texture, model, and pre-rendered background files that can be referenced by a game engine, while with a movie you're working with thousands of images.

I wonder if you could find a person in one of these communities to collab with on trying to use ESRGAN to get the scenes up to snuff.
 
Well I had no idea the gaming community used upscaling as much as they do, but then I don't play. I'd heard of a vector based upscale tool in development, but hadn't researched it in all honesty. I just don't expect any way to get past the stepping you get on thin geometry from some DVD sources. But yeah this is a lot of detailed suggestion Flubly and I shall take a further look, the DS9 footage is promising - and the custom training tool sounds rather like Dr Dre's colour software that samples examples. I imagine the restoration folks working for criterion must have some tricks too - But they probably have a budget heheh. I'm just getting the best out of an old Lenovo i5 with SS drives and patience.
Thanks very much :)
 
15MaF said:
Well I had no idea the gaming community used upscaling as much as they do, but then I don't play. I'd heard of a vector based upscale tool in development, but hadn't researched it in all honesty. I just don't expect any way to get past the stepping you get on thin geometry from some DVD sources. But yeah this is a lot of detailed suggestion Flubly and I shall take a further look, the DS9 footage is promising - and the custom training tool sounds rather like Dr Dre's colour software that samples examples. I imagine the restoration folks working for criterion must have some tricks too - But they probably have a budget heheh. I'm just getting the best out of an old Lenovo i5 with SS drives and patience.
Thanks very much :)

No problem!

As far as I know, everything in these GAN models are still raster-based, nothing encoded to vectors. The source is just being referenced in the upscale rather than converted to anything. The way it's getting past the thin geometry is by just making stuff up inferred from its data-sets. It's putting totally new information into the image that's not in the source at all.

If you zoom in on this image you'll see just how many creative liberties are being taken by ESRGAN to get the image up to the requested resolution. Left is source and right is output. No ground truth copy exists to compare this image to, the original asset this background was pre-rendered from was deleted by the company that owned it. No higher resolution copies were ever rendered so that source file on the left is the only version that exists. The right image is a creation of ESRGAN's imagination, so to speak.
 
Yeah holy shit that image is good.

When I have time I shall have to get my noggin around it. I am definitely not a command line type of person, but I've been known to use it when the codes are cut n paste etc. I'm sure I can use trial and error just the same. Perhaps there's a GUI available and batch processing etc... But the capabilities are clear to see. I'm going to check out waifu2x too at some point, but I expect a varying degree of consistency when you start processing video frames, but we'll see :)

Cheers.
 
Well I tried installing AI Gigapixel onto 4 different machines, but it is a software that thirsts for memory and an expensive GFX card with multiple GBs of cuda etc. It's supposed to be able to deal with onboard GFX and just test the CPU etc, but I would not recommend anyone buy it until they've tested the trial on a shiny hi spec machine basically.

Waifu2x did install but the caffe version did not initialize on mine. Just used one of the basic GUI versions that appears to be working on the file and it results in an upscaled file, but not one that appears optimized.

For now I'll stick to After Effects and multiple filter layers using find edges and vector blur tweaks to clean up the basic upscale.

Worth a look though as some folks with decent kit will be able to get some nice results.
 
DFwSGePl.jpg


I have just spotted this and thought i'd give you a heads up. I am not sure if you are aware but a TV and theatrical version is being released in Germany on Monday. I thinks its them versions anyway...not sure as i dont speak German and i'm off to bed - so my research into the package will have to wait until tomorrow... Apparently its remastered. I am not sure if the upscaled/remastered footage is useful for your edit.
 
Last Impressions said:
DFwSGePl.jpg


I have just spotted this and thought i'd give you a heads up. I am not sure if you are aware but a TV and theatrical version is being released in Germany on Monday. I thinks its them versions anyway...not sure as i dont speak German and i'm off to bed - so my research into the package will have to wait until tomorrow... Apparently its remastered. I am not sure if the upscaled/remastered footage is useful for your edit.

Some links would be good when you have a moment. Thanks.
 
Last Impressions said:
DFwSGePl.jpg


I have just spotted this and thought i'd give you a heads up. I am not sure if you are aware but a TV and theatrical version is being released in Germany on Monday. I thinks its them versions anyway...not sure as i dont speak German and i'm off to bed - so my research into the package will have to wait until tomorrow... Apparently its remastered. I am not sure if the upscaled/remastered footage is useful for your edit.

Cheers, will look into that! It would be very tasty if they've fixed some of the sound problems too.

Update. Yeah I've been here before with similar looking covers. The multiple Dune releases are a mess of faulty information and copyright vagueness. Outlets seemingly list any spec they get given (Amazon is the worst for this) And forums yield intriguing contradictions. But it does seem that a remaster is supposedly coming out but no definite news about which version, which format, which postponed date, or which elusive pre-order page it might be on. People are also confusing links to repackaged content from older releases too, so there's that. There is talk of a professionally upscaled Extended version floating about from an earlier German Blu ray release, which is what I would like to order - but I don't trust a single outlet to give me a trustworthy spec with so many rebranded discs. The mixed results start to look like obfuscation from these outfits after a while. I advise no more than 30 minutes Dune Blu ray googling to avoid a headache.

I'd say wait for a legitimate Bluray review.
 
TM2YC said:
Some links would be good when you have a moment. Thanks.


15MaF said:
I'd say wait for a legitimate Bluray review.

https://www.amazon.de/Dune-Wüstenpl...ediabook&qid=1554711048&s=dvd&sr=1-5-fkmrnull

There seem to be a few different packaging options. I have just done a quick google translation and the package incorporates the theatrical and TV versions. 

Bonus material:

Theatrical; TV-long version; trailer; Deleted Dcenes; Bonus movie: To the End of Times;

I agree with 15Maf - i think we should wait for the reviews to start appearing before we purchase.
 
Yeah I'll wait for that to show up and get some reviews under it's belt. Cheers for the post.
 
15MaF said:
There is talk of a professionally upscaled Extended version floating about from an earlier German Blu ray release, which is what I would like to order - but I don't trust a single outlet to give me a trustworthy spec with so many rebranded discs.

I saw one of these German blu-rays of Dune on eBay which had a hi-res photo of the back cover. It claimed it had the Theatrical on one blu-ray and the Extended version on a 2nd dedicated 50GB blu-ray, in 2.35:1, with English 5.1 (Copyright 2013). It's out-of-print, so wasn't cheap but I chanced my arm and bought it. This is the cover (which is one of the worst I've ever seen :D ):

48444866077_4b4ebddb81_o.jpg


I was fully expecting to have wasted my money but I was very pleasantly surprised. The upscaling of the EE footage was so good that from across the room, I initially mistook it for genuine HD, until it got to a scene like the one below of the Emperor where TC and EE footage is being intercut quite often and I started to spot the differences. Even so, it's upscaled very well. Upscaled footage is only used when needed and it's a progressive transfer, not just dropping the old interlaced footage onto a blu-ray. At a quick scan the sound is fine and the movie takes up 35GB.

48444658556_083c4b30a1_o.png


If I was going to watch the EE I'd definitely choose this blu-ray over my old R1 flipper Steelbook DVD...

Dune-Extended-Edition-Steelbook-DVD-New-Manuf-Sealed.jpg


...and it's what I'd use as the source to make an extended Dune fanedit, for sure. Sadly the 15-mins of deleted scenes on the bonus features have not been upscaled, or de-interlaced and the sound is still unfinished and pretty awful... but I never expected them to be fixed.

That's 5 transfers/versions of Dune I own now. I do love this film :) .

All the other covers might be the same good transfer and some released in the years since 2013 might be better but at least I can confirm this one edition is worth owning. Amazon Germany are listing it for 300 Euros ($334 / £275) but that's ridiculously overpriced, you'll find it on ebay (when a copy comes up) for a 10th of that (30-40 Euros):

https://www.amazon.de/Dune-Wüstenplanet-Collectors-Francesca-Annis/dp/B00MXNFHPU/

Hope that helps.
 
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