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View Full Version : Fixing the "Bad Sabers" in ROTJ (tips)


Kurgan
10-14-2004, 04:06 PM
Okay, I realize not everyone watches DVD's on their computers, but a lot do, so here goes.

I was reading a site (Sam Davatchi's page) talking about the "low contrast" of the lightsabers in the classic SW DVD's. So I tried messing with the settings in PowerDVD 5, to see if I could balance it out and make it look a little better.

Note: I didn't change anything on my monitor, rather these are the settings in PowerDVD in windows. I am using CLEV (CyberLink Eagle Vision) mode, set to "full."

Here's the setting. Go into "Configuration" (right click menu), then choose the "Video" tab. Under "Video Enhancement" choose CLEV,

http://strategy.jediknight.net/powerdvd5a.jpg

....and then click on the "Advanced" button. Click on the "Color" tab as shown below and set the following:

http://strategy.jediknight.net/powerdvd5.jpg

Observe the effect:

http://strategy.jediknight.net/brighter.jpg

Doesn't that look better than this, below (original)?

http://strategy.jediknight.net/newsabers.jpg


Note: I'm using PowerDVD 5 Deluxe Edition (build 1203), but your version should have similar options.

I realize that I should probably run through all the "THX Optimizer" tests, but I think these are geared more for TV sets rather than Pc monitors. Plus I don't have any "THX glasses" and blue filters to use for the color tests.

But, perhaps with more tweaking, things will look correct (like fixing Vader's pink sabers, etc).

Anyone else have any tips for the Star Wars DVD set?

coupes.
10-14-2004, 04:58 PM
I just tried it, and the saber clash does look much better. The problem is the rest of the movie's colors and luminosity are already pretty much balanced corretcly, so by correcting the colors and luminosity for this particular scene, makes you loose quality in every other frame of the movie. I really don't know what made them change this scene, it's never looked that bad, ever. If you take a look at the RotJ trailers on the bonus disc, you'll notice the saber clash looks much better than it does on the DVDs.

Kurgan
10-14-2004, 06:50 PM
I agree.

Some folks I've talked to claim that the saber clash in the 2004 Edition actually is how it "always looked" in the Original version.

The shots of the trailers either show the SE version or a version that has slightly shaded blades but still without the obvious "red section" in the center.

However I have yet to see a screencap of the original (non-SE) to demonstrate that fact (even the little "red clip" in the center of the blade clash? Vader is supposed to be blocking Luke's blade right... RIGHT??).

The Special Edition version looked fine to me, they should have kept it.

I didn't notice any real problems in the rest of the scenes, but I admit I only watched ROTJ with the new settings from that point on. It's only a bit brighter is all.


Examples:

Special Edition, from disc 4:
http://strategy.jediknight.net/oldsabers.jpg

TV spot for the "original" from disc 4:
http://strategy.jediknight.net/tvtrailer.jpg



"My version" (edited the current version with Photoshop):

http://strategy.jediknight.net/myversion.jpg

Shok_Tinoktin
10-14-2004, 06:57 PM
In the original version, it was impossible to tell which blade was on top , but not because one goes right through the other. They just kind of mixed together in the middle.

(Although this was the 1995 version, which I believe was remastered and could have thus been different from the ORIGINAL ORIGINAL original trilogy)

Kurgan
10-14-2004, 07:01 PM
Maybe it's like Luke's green saber. A SFX gaffe that was fixed, then "restored" to the original gaffe-ness.

In other words, a screw up on the part of Lowry Digital or a memo that Lucas had a brain fart about and forgot to send.

Kurgan
11-30-2004, 09:40 AM
Well, that cinches it for me. After reading Chris Gould's article (Star Wars Changes Part 3) at DVDAnswers, I'm convinced that this "it was always this way" thing is incorrect.

Unless it's due completely to people having the brightness and contrast on their TV sets with the original version of Return of the Jedi turned way down, the way it looks now IS worse than its ever looked.

http://dvdanswers.com/index.php?r=0&g=info&s=8&k=return+of+the+jedi&x=0&y=0

(see the third article on that page)

Btw, the brightness changes I suggested don't make the rest of the movie look that off to me, but again, maybe that's just me. I'm watching it on a 19 inch pc monitor after all.

The fact that Vader's saber appears pink in a lot of other scenes might also be helped by this.

I do know that when watching ANH on my family's TV set over the thanksgiving break I had to turn the brightness WAY down, in order to make the boxes around the TIE Fighters not so noticable. I guess that's one more thing that Lucas forgot to fix in his various tamperings with the OT. *sigh* ; )

At least there's a fix for it, even if it's annoying!

El Sitherino
11-30-2004, 09:57 AM
I never saw any of the boxes on the tie fighters on my dvd :x.

and that clash has always been there. it's just with the way the film held the picture it wasn't so clear. Unless you, like you said, adjusted the contrast and all that fun stuff. Me though, I tend to notice that stuff when looking at the images.
http://strategy.jediknight.net/tvtrailer.jpg
I can even see it in there. but it's not as obvious as the dvd when they cleaned it up. me though, I can look past the imperfections now just like I did back when I watched the original-original trilogy.

Kurgan
12-01-2004, 02:42 AM
Of course anyone can look past the imperfections. It's just that in this "restoration" they made some of the imperfections a lot more obvious than they ever had been.

And this being billed as an "improvement" over even the Special Edition. It makes me wonder why they didn't fix stuff that seems so obvious. They were spending millions of dollars after all, tweaking all sorts of things. But then they screw up stuff like this that couldn't have been that hard to fix, considering the stuff they have at their disposal. It just goes to show that overall they didn't give the set as much time as it deserved.

Many of these tweaks also don't make any sense (like removing the color from the DS1 explosion, or Luke's color changing lightsaber). And then there was all that BS about the "creative sound changes" for ANH (which they conveniently forgot to change on the, excellent, French track).

I agree, the sabers look crappy, and what we're seeing is really an "illusion." But if you darken the scene up too much, sure you lose the "emperor's slugs" which we are never meant to see but it also makes it appear that either the sabers are "cutting each other up" or Luke is in fact blocking Vader from killing the Emperor! ; )

The boxes around the TIE Fighters are very visible, if you up the brightness on your monitor. During the TIE Fighter attack on the Falcon in ANH this is VERY obvious. A Fighter flys across the center of the screen during the battle and you see a huge square around it.

In the scene in ROTJ when the fighters first attack ("fighters, coming in") you can see green boxes around the ships, but its very very brief. Also when the Falcon flies into the "super structure" of the DS2, you can see a shot of the fighters following them in the trench with green boxes around them.

When the Executor crashes into the surface of the DS2 you can see a big wedge shaped matte box at the top (made visibly obvious by the "flame jet" that comes up when it impacts).

There's also another scene of a box around the left edge of the bridge tower of a Star Destroyer, but I forget if it's during the battle of Endor or if it's in ESB.


My family's 32in TV (it's a Sony trinitron) has a couple of presets on it. The "Movie" one looks fine. But if i set it to "Vivid" (really bright) you can see the matte boxes a lot easier.

The thing about the brightness is that ROTJ seems too dark, and the matte boxes will still be visible because they are mostly green (for the blue TIEs).

Yay for "Star Wars", but a big "HUH?!" for Lowry Digital and George Lucas.

Astrotoy7
12-28-2004, 02:55 PM
OMG K, I cant believe how fired up about this(re- saber clash) you are!! I am an absolute SW nut and it doesnt bother me....its just, what 1-2 seconds of a 6 movie saga ! This is craziness bordering on Trekdom ! :p

*runs from Kurgans evil glare*

:p

mtfbwya

Kurgan
12-29-2004, 10:50 AM
Your point? ; )

*shoots eye lasers at Astrotoy*

pnkparasite
01-04-2005, 01:28 PM
I agree with astrotoy that its like 1 second in like 12 hours so whats the big deal? Then again I also realize that the saber clash might be a very important scene to you. Yes it does look better.

Kurgan
01-05-2005, 05:33 PM
Btw, I was trying out PowerDVD 6, and while it is slightly improved over the latest patched version 5 Deluxe, the ROTJ effect doesn't quite come off as well.

So if this scene "looking correct" is important to you, I suggest you stick with PowerDVD 5 for now.

Version 6's CLEV2 feature looks good, but is a bit too bright, and you see a TON of grain and stuff. And the effect can mostly be achieved by manually moving the sliders in 5 anyway. It's a nice preset, but that's about it. You might like the sound tweaks, but on a system like mine I won't notice the differences really (Deluxe has more sound features than "normal" powerdvd).

The point of this thread is just to tweak the movie so it looks more how it should, bypassing the shortcomings of the (otherwise mostly excellent) Lowry Digital SW Trilogy boxset.

rut-wa jodar
01-05-2005, 10:37 PM
Vader`s saber in ROTJ has been badly retouched and thanx to the "pink saber" scenes, vader loses some credibilty as being and evil character.
ILM heads should roll for this one.

BTW !
Does anyone know where i can get the special editions of the OT from in the UK ?. I`m so dissapointed at the changes with the new box set

Astrotoy7
01-07-2005, 05:18 PM
Kurgan, if i were you Id shoot off an angry email at Lowry, being very specific about the problems you have noticed. Ive done it a cpl of times with other things, its amazing that they sometimes respond - with a crappy response for sure, but they have read and heeded ! :p

mtfbwya