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The Terminator (Enhanced Edition)

krausfadr

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"Uh-huh-huh, hey Beavis, these effects aren't so special..."

The purpose of this edit is to improve the low budget, outdated VFX so it still feels like a 1984 Terminator movie, but the laughable moments like painfully obvious Schwarzenegger mannequins and choppy stop motion animation are fixed. This film editing project aims to level up Terminator to a higher budget 1980's production.

This edit does not change the film's narrative or add deleted scenes.

Released in 1080p, 5.1 channel surround with no major change to the runtime (the cuts mentioned below add up to about 30 seconds). In replacing VFX shots I kept the shots generally the same length and content, e.g., replacing a HK aircraft with the same thing or a tank with a better tank. I did not want to expand the length of shots and make it feel like a completely different scene.

Change List:
  1. Regraded throughout to reduce the extreme teal from the official remastered Blu-ray.
  2. Re-foleyed many of the gunshots from the remastered Blu-ray 5.1 mix using new, beefier sounds. Where’s the beef? Right here.
  3. Cleaned up and processed various 3rd party VFX to remove the color banding and other artifacts and to blend the footage into a 1980’s movie.
  4. Replaced an opening production company credit with a credit for those who did the new VFX work.
  5. Replaced the beginning of the opening scene from the future with footage from VFX artist, Jamie Martin. It looks more realistic now as an establishing shot for a ruined, apocalyptic Los Angeles with a better rendering of the Hunter Killer craft, rather than a low budget styrophome set with miniature stop motion animation.
  6. Matched the font and recreated the Los Angeles 2029 A.D. title.
  7. VFX so the Terminator doesn't flinch-blink when he guns down the first Sarah Connor.
  8. In Reese's dream about the future, replaced a few VFX shots with much better ones by Jamie Martin.
  9. In the same dream, foleyed in the arrival of the getaway car.
  10. Added post production VFX during some of Reese's dream footage so it's less apparent the background with the HK Tank is a screen.
  11. Removed the sound of the phone crashing when the Terminator guns down Sarah's roommate. Also made it so he doesn’t flinch-blink so much during the gunshots.
  12. Darkened, reframed, and added one deepfake VFX shot by StoRyx to the eye surgery scene. Now the footage looks more realistic rather than featuring a brightly lit, ridiculuous mannequin.
  13. Added blood VFX and gore SFX to the eye surgery scene.
  14. On the closeup of the Terminator's cyborg eye, slightly rotated it to match the tilted angle of the Terminator's head.
  15. Cut the Terminator fixing his hair in the mirror after he removes his eye. So there is no sudden jarring difference in the look of his face.
  16. VFX to darken the Terminator's sunglasses when he arrives in the police station lobby so we can't see that his eye is still there. Concealed his eye and eyelashes at a side angle as well.
  17. Darkened the glasses in one of the shots of the police station shootout where we could kind of see the Terminator’s eyes again.
  18. Added some blood spray to various cops being shot including when the Terminator shotguns the fleeing rookie.
  19. Cut a few frames of one of the cop's reactions to getting shot.
  20. Changed a weird shot of the Terminator backing up after shooting a cop, so now he advances forward and shoots some more.
  21. Foleyed in Reese kneeing the cop.
  22. Added some camera shake to closeup up of car's fuel gauge showing empty since the car is moving.
  23. When Sarah dreams as Reese recounts what the future is like, replaced some of the Hunter Killer footage with better looking VFX by Jamie Martin.
  24. Same future sequence, post production to help reduce the effect of using screens for backgrounds.
  25. In the dead cat motel, darkened and reframed the scene with the Terminator looking through the address book so it no longer showcases a joke mannequin.
  26. Same motel scene, added some VFX and SFX to create a lovely surprise.
  27. Re-foleyed The Terminator’s footsteps departing the motel.
  28. Re-foleyed Reese’s sneakers hitting the pavement after hitchhiking.
  29. Darkened, reframed, and widened the footage with the Terminator dummy driving the big rig at the end so it looks more realistic and more like Schwarzenegger.
  30. Post processing to reduce the background screen effect in multiple shots when the rig explodes behind Sarah.
  31. The endoskeleton robot at the end (the full sized puppet version) moves faster as it follows Reese and Sarah into the building (cut a few seconds of it moving slow and Sarah picking up the board. Also sped up some of the sluggish endoskelton footage).
  32. Inside the warehouse as the Terminator gets close to Sarah and Reese, removed the studio sound effects which indicated a Terminator POV shot that wasn't actually there. Seems that with the actors not looking straight toward the camera the intended POV did not work. Foleyed in Reese stepping back.
  33. The endoskeleton has its movements smoothed to eliminate the stop motion animated effect. VFX work by Uncle Machete using flowframes.
  34. Re-foleyed the endoskeleton smacking Reese around.
  35. The final shot of the stop motion version of the endoskelton walking toward Reese is replaced with a Blender version by StoRyx.
  36. Post production processing of epic shot of Sarah driving away toward the stormy sky, to make it look more real and less like a composite.
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"VFX so the Terminator doesn't flinch-blink when he guns down the first Sarah Connor."

But it...protects his eye sensors!

Seriously, though. This is exciting.
 
I look forward to checking it out. @spence is working on a similar project, I believe. It'll be interesting to see how your versions compare.

Added a brief shot of the Genisys time portal bubble forming in the back alley as Reese arrives. We just see the bubble, not Reese swirling weirdly around inside it.

When watching Genisys, one of my thoughts was that their effect for the bubble somehow looked worse than the effect from the '80s :p maybe I'd feel differently when they're side by side, but somehow it didn't work for me.

The endoskeleton robot at the end has its movements smoothed to eliminate the stop motion animated effect.

What was your process for this? By "smoothing" do you mean frame interpolation? Motion blur? Just curious as I've been experimenting with enhancing stop motion for a little while.
 
I think the Genisys time bubble only works as a brief shot, a few seconds at the beginning of the bubble formation. All of the recreated scenes from Genisys overall did look worse / sterile.

A guy who calls himself Uncle Machete used flowframes for RIFE motion interpolation and this did wonders.
 
@spence is working on a similar project, I believe.
That’s awesome he’s working on Terminator as well! Agent 9 was doing something similar too. His deepfake work for the eye surgery scene was phenomenal (but is unreleased).I was at first sad he hadn’t released it yet but after using some more standard tricks on this scene I was completely satisfied with the results, even more so than only deepfaking over brightly lit puppet movements.
 
A guy who calls himself Uncle Machete used flowframes for RIFE motion interpolation and this did wonders.

^^ I just checked it out. Looks great and much better than other attempts I've seen. Basically part of what I did for my Jason and the Argonauts edit (and am continuing to use on other projects).
 
Also Topaz video slow motion effect might work really well for stop motion jitter. It has really amazing slow-mo capabilities. You could DRASTICALLY slow a video in Topaz, speed it back up to normal in an NLE, render it, then convert that output back to 23.976 FPS in Topaz.

EDIT: I did a test in Topaz to see if the motion smoothing was better than flowframes for stop motion animation. Topaz slowed by 8X and then sped up by 8X in the NLE was a noticable, decent improvement. Flowframes by Uncle Machete at 4X was a VAST improvement.
 
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@The Scribbling Man when I went to do the final touches on the time portal bubble, to get it to blend in and look good, the moment where the bubble actually looks cool is so fleeting, I trashed it. So no Genisys footage will be in this edit.
 
Updated the description to show some screenshot comparisons to give a better idea of the types of enhancements for this edit.
 
Looking great! Love the idea of cropping the dummy shots, so simple but so effective! And of course anything that gets rid of the gruesome recoloring of the current editions is instantly a winner in my book.
 
What's your reference for regrading? Were you aiming to restore the colours of a previous version or are you just tweaking things to personal preference?
 
@The Scribbling Man , The re-grade is only to reduce the teal overkill. Glowing teal permeated many scenes of the remastered version, and this was just too much. It's not my intent to revert this to any previous grading, but rather to a get a more natural look to the new grading.
EDIT: I guess ultimately by removing the teal it will probably come close to the original grading. But I’m not referencing the DVD either. The screenshots I posted were a first high level pass. Still going through individual scenes for further tweaking and teal reduction/removal.
 
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