The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:57 am

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Extended scenes of Zigzag “jousting” - charging on his horse toward Tack, spear in hand - only appear in the Calvert work in progress VHS tape as pencil tests that are so poor in quality as to be almost unwatchable. However, careful attention to autolevelling, color correction and especially noise reduction has turned a blur of pixels and digital garbage into something much cleaner. The attention to subtle movement, and the art style that is barely visible in some frames, suggests that this is probably Williams studio work.

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Seamless transition from workprint to Arabian Knight, as is now usual.

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Extra footage of the tack ricocheting off One Eye soldiers' helmets only appears in the Calvert WIP VHS, in very low quality, but Christoph Nass filtered and cleaned it up, and it appears here in the Recobbled Cut for the very first time. I may or may not add Williams pencil linework to this color shot as I have with other color shots from the Calvert WIP VHS.

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A rough pencil test of Tack, cleaned up heavily in Photoshop by Cheyne Quinn.

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A pencil test of Zigzag on his horse, now clear enough to see.

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HD courtesy Peter C.
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:57 am

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Pencil tests in the workprint have received special attention - noise reduction, occasional dirt removal, auto levelling, heavy color correction, and so on - to make them as bright and dark and clear as possible. I am paying more attention to the pencil shots of the war machine than in previous Recobbled Cuts - much of this footage has never appeared in a Recobbled Cut before.

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A storyboard scene of YumYum running to “save” Tack and getting caught up in smoke has never been used in the Recobbled Cut before. It's received a new, tighter edit, Dirt Removal via the CHV plugin, and splices are edited out.

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HD courtesy Peter C. Most of the HD material in the Mark 4 will be courtesy of KA. HD material will total about 30 minutes, with transfer already paid for by this group.

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Two short, rare pencil tests of One Eye being menaced by his Women only appear in the Calvert Work in Progress VHS, and in very, very low quality. These were previously thought unfit to use. However, they're often animated on “twos” and “fours,” so I was able to merge several frames of the VHS together for a clearer picture, which then received heavy frame by frame attention in Photoshop, using autolevelling, color correction, and noise reduction. I used the Dodge and Burn brushes to brighten or darker portions of the frame and bring out the details. The result are shots where you can see what's going on at least.

There is a more ambitious plan, if we have time for it, and can pull it off - to retrace this very low quality material ourselves.
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:57 am

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This pencil test of Phido happily full after eating Zigzag only appears in the Calvert WIP VHS, in incredibly low quality. I carefully restored it in Photoshop until the action was actually visible, and used noise reduction in Final Cut Pro. It's low quality footage, but it matches the workprint storyboards (and audio) and has never appeared in a Recobbled Cut before.

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Every shot of the Thief's adventures inside the War Machine will appear in high definition in the Mark 4 Recobbled Cut, thanks to an HD transfer of 49 minutes of 35mm film owned by animator KA, which he rescued from Jean MacCurdy's trash at Warner Bros. Previously transferred (somewhat poorly) in SD for the Recobbled Cut Mark 3 in 2007, once again this group has pitched in real money to make this transfer a reality, with particular thanks to Marcus Brenneman, Christoph Nass (who is also our footage-filtering AviSynth guru), and Mat Fitzpatrick.

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A Fred Calvert shot from Princess and the Cobbler, with (a carefully warped version of) the 4x3 cropped DVD composited over the rare timecoded widescreen VHS, color corrected to match. The bottom center of the frame was painted over in Photoshop to extend the background as needed.

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Workprint footage, and all other major footage sources, filtered in Avisynth by Christoph Nass to look as good as they possibly can, considering. Workprint sourced from a very good PAL VHS provided by Simon Maddocks, who was smart enough to provide almost everything in MiniDV quality. That made a big difference.

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I've added much more of a glow to the burning war machine, using FCP filters.

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I reedited this Calvert shot of The Thief to remove a cartoonish stagger as he sees Tack. Also, the Golden Balls are made to glow using Selective Color Correction (Chroma Key style).

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Dirt removed storyboards.
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:58 am

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Similar to what I did for previous Recobbled Cuts (but more complex), I've added clouds and shafts of light to this shot of Tack holding the Golden Balls. The balls glow using Selective Color Correction in Final Cut Pro 7 (which again is similar to Final Cut's Chroma Key). The shaft of light grow more intense. Tack himself was animated on “twos” by Fred Calvert's team, but here appears on “ones,” using motion estimation in After Effects to digitally estimate a smoother motion. Some minor estimation errors involving Tack's thumb have been fixed in Photoshop.

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This rather poor Calvert scene of The Thief has been reedited and retimed to move a little faster, so that more of it is animated on “ones” with smooth motion (taking out every other frame of something originally animated on “twos”). At certain points, frames are digitally motion-estimated in After Effects so that the movement is smooth and on “ones.”

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One of the most complex shots in the film to restore is the final shot. Some footage of this Calvert-animated shot only appears in Princess and the Cobbler, and not in Arabian Knight, so it was necessary (in After Effects) to carefully Mesh Warp both the Princess and the Cobbler cropped 4x3 PAL Australian DVD and the timecoded widescreen Princess VHS so that they would match the widescreen Japanese Arabian Knight DVD. Heavy color correction had to then be done on all three sources so that they would match as much as possible. The 4x3 DVD source is used over even the Arabian Knight portions of the shot so that the changes won't be obvious (and because the Princess source is superior). Indeed, the changes from source to source are mostly quite seamless. Portions of the final “The End” were matted and recreated in Photoshop, but there's still a bit of a jump when the camera stops moving (and cuts to the somewhat inferior Arabian Knight source).

There is one portion of the shot which could be the biggest headache of the entire edit. Even in Princess and the Cobbler, the shot is not played out in full. We cut to a lengthy musical montage, “It's So Amazing,” and the red clouds of the war machine sequence dissolve back to Tack and Yum Yum, who then kiss.

Which means there are about eight animation frames of this complex scene which have red war machine clouds dissolved over the frame, so you can barely see Tack and Yum Yum. It's a nasty mess, made worse by the fact that it's raining confetti, making the original frames even more difficult to recreate in Photoshop.
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:59 am

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One of the most difficult shots in the new restoration, this was originally a wide shot with a zoom-in that Calvert reshot as two medium closeups. I drew the rest of King Nod's body and recreated the wide shot (and the servant Gort) in Photoshop based on elements of other shots. I animated King Nod's body (and Gort) using puppet pinning in After Effects and frame by frame Photoshop to remove any strangeness around the edges. The shot zooms in so that it's all one continuous shot now.

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This shot (like this whole section of the film) is quite washed out in the Japanese Arabian Knight DVD, and Zigzag has a light pink hue rather than any sort of blue. I warped the Princess and the Cobbler Pan & Scan DVD in After Effects and placed it over the center, color corrected to be more colorful. The rest of the shot was then color corrected to match.

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Another washed out shot in the Japanese Arabian Knight DVD. The windows at the sides were redrawn in Photoshop. The center was taken from the Princess and the Cobbler Pan & Scan DVD, warped to match, with the two sources color corrected (with some frame by frame Photoshop work at the end of the shot) to match.

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I took this shot from the Pan & Scan Miramax DVD, and created a still-image background around it in Photoshop based on the Japanese Arabian Knight DVD.

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Perhaps the most complex restoration in the film, there is a section of this shot which is barely visible in the “Princess and the Cobbler” version of the film, since the musical montage “It's So Amazing” plays in the middle of the shot, fading back to the shot at the end. Based on what I could see I cleaned up and redrew about 15 frames in Photoshop, then added a new layer of confetti over the material. A video of this was posted at Youtube but further Photoshop work was done after that video to make the change from the first half of the shot to the second more seamless. (In Arabian Knight this is two shots, with very different color correction settings, and a section missing in the middle. Making an elegant transition between the colors of the first part of the shot and the second was tricky, on top of the very difficult work recreating the eight or so extra frames of animation.

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This shot gets a more golden appearance thanks to the Pan & Scan DVDs.

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Much of this scene was reshot by Fred Calvert and lacks the beauty that the Williams original had. This shot is an exception, and so I wanted to restore the beauty of Williams' work to the very blown-out transfer on the Arabian Knight DVD. The windows at left and right were recreated in Phtooshop, with some Chromakey around Zigzag's shoulders. The center of the shot, with the King, was taken from a pan & scan DVD, and everything color corrected to match.

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The center of the shot is from the Princess & the Cobbler Pan & Scan DVD, with sources warped and color corrected to match. I must have used the workprint as well here.

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The Princess Pan & Scan DVD was used for the lackeys; I believe the Miramax Pan & Scan DVD was used as well for Zigzag. Certainly the workprint was used also, the brighter areas of it motion-tracked and keyed over the very washed-out Japanese Arabian Knight DVD.
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:59 am

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Princess and the Cobbler Pan & Scan DVD used for King Nod, over the washed-out Japanese DVD, with some Photoshop bringing back a blue color to the windows.

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A brief VHS pencil test is used here for The Thief, with hand-drawn mattes on every frame compositing him over the city.

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I believe the Miramax 4x3 DVD is used for Zigzag, and the Princess 4x3 DVD also used for a partial view of the Lackeys. The brighter areas of the workprint are composited over the washed-out Japanese DVD. Everything is warped to fit.

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The center is the Princess 4x3 DVD, warped to match, with the Japanese DVD heavily color corrected beneath it.

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The Miramax laserdisc is warped specifically for this shot, its brighter areas keyed and motion-tracked over the Japanese DVD. This shot was reshot by Calvert and lacks the “glow” that the few remaining Williams shots in this sequence have.

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Tack is the unwarped Miramax 4x3 DVD, with everything but his eyes color corrected to remove any spurious coloration. The background around him was recreated in Photoshop based on the Japanese Arabian Knight DVD.

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A few extra layers of hallway were added to the right side of this shot, to match Williams' pencil test rather than Calvert's shot version.

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Another rare Williams shot in this sequence. The brighter areas of the workprint were warped and composited over the washed-out Japanese Arabian Knight DVD, with the center of the shot (The King etc) taken from the warped 4x3 Princess and the Cobbler DVD.
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:59 am

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Zigzag in the center is taken from the Miramax 4x3 DVD, warped and color corrected. The Japanese Arabian Knight DVD is color corrected to match, with the brighter elements of the workprint composited over it, as visible in the characters at left.

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Reshot by Calvert to remove the spear sticking out of the soldier's chest, the (lower quality) spear from the workprint was rotoscoped frame-by-frame back into the shot in After Effects. The brighter areas of the Miramax laserdisc were keyed over the shot to get back the detail of King Nod's turban and beard, lost in the washed-out Japanese DVD.

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The background windows and palace were painstakingly recreated entirely in Photoshop using elements of other shots, usually from the 4x3 Miramax DVD. King Nod is Chromakeyed in here from the 4x3 Miramax DVD. The Dying Soldier is taken from the rare VHS Color Tests reel, so that we see the spear sticking out of his chest, which was removed by Calvert.

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Tack is taken from the (warped) 4x3 Miramax DVD, with the Japanese DVD color corrected to match. The brighter areas of the workprint were composited over this shot, with the golden ball color corrected specifically to be gold and bright.

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Using Chromakey, the original floral background behind YumYum was composited in behind her, as recreated using Photoshop. Nanny's bananas were also removed by Fred Calvert when this scene was reshot. The bananas here are Photoshopped based on her scene with The Thief (from the Princess 4x3 DVD), and were keyframed with Puppet Pin animation in After Effects, redone several different times and edited together frame by frame so that her shaky hands and the bananas appear to blur and vibrate, which takes attention away from the fact that the bananas are not full animation. A variety of filming errors and dirt were also removed in Photoshop.

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A Calvert shot. Tack's movement here is actually reversed from how it appears in Arabian Knight, with very careful Photoshopping, matting and compositing making that possible, so that you don't see any stray elements of Calvert's version of Nanny walking backward over him! Calvert's Nanny was talking in this shot, and Photoshoppery mostly removes her, with a new Nanny animated using Pin Puppeteering and Keyframing in After Effects. Her bananas are here newly drawn from scratch by myself. She has three different faces (all taken from the film itself) and is animated to shake as she walks - although not as much as in the Williams shot above, since this shot is animated on “twos” and doesn't allow for as much vibration. A lot of work was done to get her movement looking believable despite being done simply in After Effects. Several different passes were done and then edited together frame by frame so that she appears to shake, and her movement is more eccentric.
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Roger Rabbit Merchandise and Statues (Walt Disney World)

Postby TheTimeWanderer » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:41 pm

Throughout 2 weeks of vacationing at Disney World, I did a search for anything Who Framed Roger Rabbit related that people can see or buy without having to pay for any of the actual theme parks. If there's anything else outside the parks themselves, then they're extremely well hidden. This is all of them that I managed to find:
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:53 pm

Today's Thief and the Cobbler editing livestream starts in about 30 min ....
http://www.livestream.com/orangecoworglivestream


So what happened during the week we were down? Oh, plenty. I can't even talk about all of it because I don't want to jinx things.

But Christoph Nass (Emulgator) has finished his filtering and restoration of the workprint's audio, in both 2.0 and 5.1 formats.

Alex Williams shares Chuck Jones' opinion about Richard Williams (and his ego), and why he disagrees with it. I can see the merit of both arguments, but I think Chuck was going for an easy laugh here. I'd agree more with Alex.

http://flipanimation.blogspot.com/2013/ ... chuck.html

Peter C., the British restorationist who handled and paid for the transfer of about 13 minutes of HD material, chimes in with this update. I had almost forgotten that Helge Bernhardt in Germany was retransferring that material in higher quality. That's more bad news for Oliver Judd, who had already done the splice frames for this material, but I'll happily hold off on working on that material for a little while longer. Since a handful of shots in the Peter C material have already been painstakingly restored by David Mackenzie (and myself), I'll use those in the Mark 4 Recobbled Cut at least.

Helge is still beavering away on the transfers, but he did send me a sample of what's in store and overall it's damn good work. Decidedly crisper and not as soft, most notably the scene with the Thief crashing through windows lacks the odd dark tint that plagued my transfer.

In the meantime, I've been contacting a number of companies involved with the film and its many incarnations at some point.
- Constantin Film, in search of promo materials and anything else related to the anticipated '91 release. Ended up receiving a reply from their licensing department, politely informing me that they don't own any domestic rights to the film. I didn't expect them to anyway, but it's fair to say that were a full-blown authorised restoration attempted some of the footage used to compile the trailer might well be found.
- The Creative Partnership, to obtain a high-quality copy of the licensing trailer. Contacted the general enquiries manager at the end of December, and have since not heard a word from them.
- Filmayer and Hoyts (Spanish and Australian distributors of the Princess cut respectively), for acquiring 35mm prints of the Princess edit. The former doesn't seem to have been active since 2002, so any kind of reply seems very unlikely. Hoyts doesn't have a public business email address, so I've had to mail the enquiry.
- Icon, to see whether they currently own the rights to the Princess cut; given that they inherited the catalog of its sales agent, Majestic Films. Again, as with Hoyts, mailed off. Still, a slow reply is better than none.

Moreover, I've been in touch with several film archives in the UK regarding Dick's advertising output. The British Film Institute are confirmed to own around 120 RWA-produced adverts on 35mm (the Vladivar and Nairn spots, among others) and U-Matic (the Superman PSAs, etc), as well as 35mm prints of The Little Island and Love Me Love Me Love Me. They also have I Drew Roger Rabbit on Betacam. Sadly there's no sign of The Dermis Probe, A Lecture on Man, or The Sailor and the Devils; but hell, I'm just glad that the prints for the commercials weren't trashed by the ad agencies. The other archives weren't nearly as fruitful : Only one other archive had RWA material, but it was a single ad already available from the BFI and a duped print part of a rather beaten-up reel screened in cinemas.

On a lesser note I ordered a South Korean DVD of one of the edits that seemed to be doing the rounds on eBay, in the hope that it might have had something salvageable that could be of use in the Recobbled Cut. Given that the film's Korean title translates to "Princess Yumyum and the Thief" and that the sleeve has a lot of Princess-era promo stuff, I assumed it might've been the Princess edit. Alas, it's the same shitty Miramax pan-and-scan transfer with chroma artifacts and awful colour. Amusingly (or perhaps obnoxiously), the fly-by-night distributor decided to snatch a few images from Google and adorn the back of the sleeve with your artwork!


I believe I still have the 16mm print of A Lecture on Man anyway. But I'd love to see those ads in 35mm quality someday.

I was also talking to SS about a few things .... SS supervised the KA transfers in 2007 and just recently. That included 49 minutes of Thief workprint material, and, back in 2007, Raggedy Ann & Andy and The Little Island.

SS and KA both have prints of Raggedy Ann & Andy. SS got his for cheap. We were talking about the rights to Raggedy Ann, which seem like a mess at this point. SS believes the music rights are the most difficult.

"In theory the film (Raggedy Ann & Andy) belongs to the American people... it was funded by the CIA (and I'm not kidding!)
I went to the National Archives and requested information. It was part of the 'Spirit of 76' campaign. They were trying to boost the American economy and distract the public from the impending oil crisis in the middle east. this plan started under Nixon, and continued through Ford. That's why the CIA was so mad at Dick- and fired Emery Hawkins for slowing the whole thing down. They wanted it out at Christmas on 76. Abe Levitow was going to direct, then died. Williams was brought on, funny enough, because they thought he could deliver a Disney-style extravaganza."


Awhile back SS was in contact with an Australian collector who owns a 35mm print of Princess and the Cobbler but won't release it. We also know that the Library of Congress holds a print of Arabian Knight, only for release to the rights holders.
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Postby SmarTeeMackxs » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:20 pm

What interesting news! I hope the footage you get will be very useful
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