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A few previously unseen pencil test frames. The dark, tilted lines indicate a dissolve (in this case, a fade in from black). Noise Removal is used on all pencil tests, and makes a big difference to what can be grainy footage otherwise.
Transitions to and from the workprint are seamless dissolves, with color correction to match. In this case, I may improve the scene further using footage from the Color Tests VHS.
HD footage from Peter C., who paid for the transfer himself.
Transitions to and from the workprint are seamless dissolves, with color correction to match.
All storyboards are color corrected and completely Dirt Removed, with all splices and bad frames carefully edited out. The result is extremely clean.
Previously unused pencil test from the Calvert WIP, noise reduced and cleaned up with thanks to Christoph Nass.
HD footage by Peter C.
Transitions to and from the workprint are seamless dissolves, with color correction to match. Splices are removed from every frame in Photoshop as time and schedule permits.
These pencil tests flying over the mountains to the One Eye massacre were not used in previous Recobbled Cuts. Here they are Auto Levelled, noise-reduced and cleaned up, with some splices and damage removed in Photoshop. Color footage from Arabian Knight is also used, but more sparingly than before - the shot cuts back to the color version when possible. (The color version is missing quite a bit of footage and dissolves to shots from the War Machine sequence. Previously I used this in the Recobbled Cuts, but with the new clear workprint, it would be sacrilege to do that here.)
The color version of these shots only appears in the rare Calvert WIP VHS, and is extremely low quality. (Possibly unused in the final due to what may be a minor animation error involving One Eye's spear.) This low-quality color version was cleaned up by Christoph Nass, and the clear pencil test from the workprint was cleaned up and composited over it, for a new “best of both worlds” clarity. The lines from the workprint, the colors from the WIP. It gives a good sense of what the scene actually is. Both sources shake and had to be carefully warped and motion-keyframed to match.
The Dying Soldier transitions seamlessly from the workprint to Arabian Knight, with color correction and warping to match. A glow has been added to the Arabian Knight footage.
Pencil tests are clearer. Autolevelled and noise reduced with splices usually removed, and sometimes dirt and damage.
HD clips from 13 minutes of 35mm footage bought and transferred by Peter C. This footage is having splices and damage removed by Oliver Judd and myself. There is also a clean dirt removed version of all this footage by David Mackenzie, which will be used for some shots that don't move much, and may be used for other shots if I have time to give the material frame by frame cleanup and attention. (As usual, dirt removal removes elements we need to include, such as the Thief's flies, so any errors have to be painted out frame by frame, which there usually isn't time for.)
The end of this shot only appears in the Calvert work in progress VHS, in very poor quality. However, once Christoph Nass had filtered it, it looked rather okay, and I seamlessly dissolve from Arabian Knight to this source without trouble.
35mm HD source from Peter C. Previously we only had these shots in workprint quality. Dirt removal by David Mackenzie and myself. Splice removal on the HD sources by Oliver Judd and myself.
The new clarity of the workprint (from Simon Maddocks' PAL VHS source as restored by Christoph Nass) allows us to see details we might have missed before.
A clear VHS source, autolevelling, color correction, noise reduction and splice removal brings us these pencil tests in much greater clarity than the nearly unwatchable mess of previous Recobbled Cuts.
Several frames here had big black marker asterixes drawn on them for a reel change. I removed this using some compositing in FCP. I will probably remove splices in this scene and perhaps some dirt, and possibly composite in some clearer Thief elements from the PAL color tests reel VHS.
With the Dirt Remover plugin removing all dirt, color correction and splices and bad frames edited out, all storyboard sequences are clean and clear.
Clearer pencil test. Auto levels, color correction, noise reduction, and sometimes dirt removal.
Seamless transition from workprint to Arabian Knight. This shot in the workprint has “dissolve” lines drawn all over it, so I will almost certainly warp and composite the version from the Color Test reels over it instead.
One missing frame in Arabian Knight is recreated in Photoshop using a workprint frame repainted to resemble the DVD.
Christoph Nass filtered the workprint VHS source and the result is quite clear. Here the Eunuchs get their only closeup, showing their unfortunate design, which I would have to replicate elsewhere. Indeed elements from this shot were used later to restore the Eunuchs to their original appearance in Fred Calvert's scenes. Today you would want them to be redesigned.
Dirt removed storyboards.
The pencil test scenes received a lot of special attention to remove dirt, splices and film damage, as well as auto-level them so they were clean and clear and visible, with bright whites and dark blacks. Many frames required attention in Photoshop to remove splices and more objectionable bits of dirt and damage. In some cases the frame was barely visible before.
Dirt removed storyboards.
35mm HD transfer by Peter C. Most of the Thief's adventures, such as getting the golden balls, will appear in full HD. I believe the transfer of 49 minutes of 35mm material held by animator KA has already occurred. This transfer will require special attention to remove splices and damage to make it ready for the big screen.
Noise reduced, color corrected pencil test.
A rare pencil test section from the collection of Simon Maddocks. This will probably be altered in Photoshop so that we can see the background behind him.
HD by Peter C.
Here the workprint and the Japanese Arabian Knight DVD were composited together into a single frame, so that we can get back some highlight detail which is otherwise lost on the Japanese DVD (Tack's face, and the window behind King Nod). That DVD has very blown-out whites, especially around this point in the film. Various tricks and tactics will be used to bring back as much detail as possible - such as recreating the widescreen shots using the pan & scan cropped DVDs.
HD by Peter C. The HD material requires very specific and complex color correction by myself, generally at least 5 minutes work per shot. This is partly because I know this material can look really good when color corrected properly. It's possible that some of this material will receive frame by frame dirt removal attention using the versions filtered by David Mackenzie. Splices are being removed by Oliver Judd and myself.
A work in progress early experiment to use some of the detail from the workprint to restore lost detail to the Japanese DVD. Results are very weak and pastel at the moment, but with more elements from the pan & scan DVDs and perhaps the laserdisc, these scenes should start to come to life. Note that the entire workprint has been warped at over a hundred points to match the Arabian Knight DVD, making a composite shot like this possible.
Frame by frame rotoscope in After Effects was used to restore the spear sticking out of the Dying Soldier's chest, using the workprint as the source. Calvert removed the spear and it's not present in the Arabian Knight DVD. Now it's back.
Details from the workprint were composited over the Japanese DVD here to restore some highlight detail. It looks dirty at the moment but I intend to also use some elements from the cropped 4x3 DVDs, so it should look clean then.
From a brief German 35mm film trailer, which was scanned at 5k cinema resolution by Helge Bernhardt in Germany using his own hand-made system. The HD clarity of the shot is incredible, and even in this shrunken-down SD version it looks quite clear.
As is now usual, the Arabian Knight DVD dissolves seamlessly to the workprint, with warping and color correction to match.
HD footage by Peter C., color correction by myself, splice frames removed by Oliver Judd.
In this HD shot the overly-dark blue sky was selectively color corrected to be brighter.
I believe this bit of pencil test wasn't used before. Color corrected and noise reduced.
A rare pencil test of the flowers, I believe from the collection of Simon Maddocks, was composited over this workprint shot. Then YumYum and Nanny were cut out in Photoshop and matted over the result. Dirt was removed completely using Dirt remover.
Nearly a storyboard scene with only the key poses animated so far, this scene benefitted greatly from color correction and Dirt Remover. The result is completely clean.
Another pencil test that benefitted from auto levelling and noise reduction.
Again, all storyboard sequences have had all dirt removed with CHV's Repair Collection. They're color corrected with splices and bad frames edited out and look very clean.
Another two HD clips owned by Peter C. The Thief's attempt to steal the emerald, and his escape from execution, will appear in full HD this time round. 49 minutes of 35mm footage owned by animator KA is being transferred to full cinematic HD thanks to donations from members of this group, including Marcus Brenneman, Christoph Nass and Mat Fitzpatrick. About 30 minutes of the finished film will now appear in full cinematic HD quality.
Some of these pencil test scenes were just a mess of splices, dirt, damage, retiming, and muddy colors. Although my restored version isn't perfect, the color correction, autolevelling, noise reduction, some dirt removal, and lots of frames restored manually in Photoshop have made a big difference to this scene's watchability.
All storyboard scenes have dirt completely removed, and splices and bad frames edited out.
This scene, where King Nod discusses the Old Witch, is now edited to match Williams' workprint much more closely, with less Calvert footage and more original storyboards.
Lightning effects were created in Photoshop based on (and using elements from) Dick Williams' original storyboards.
A famous animation error in Calvert's footage has Tack's skin as a dark pink here. The Eunuchs are also suddenly a bright purple rather than black. A new frame by frame matte for Tack's skin was drawn and animated in Photoshop, and a matte for the Eunuchs was created in FCP using chromakey (bluescreen) based on their purple color. The result has all characters restored to their rightful skin tone.
More lightning effects created in Photoshop.
A noise-reduced pencil test, resized to match the Arabian Knight DVD perfectly.
Workprint filtered and cleaned up by Christoph Nass. Color correction by myself.
Some pencil tests have never appeared in a Recobbled Cut before. For this scene, which pulls back from the Brigands and pans across the desert, I am intending to redraw the storyboard myself to tell the story better. I have already done the rough sketch.
The Brigands scenes will also be slightly extended in the Mark 4 edit, using previously unheard audio from the collection of Simon Maddocks.
Some pencil tests only appear in the Calvert WIP VHS and are extremely low quality, to the point where it's impossible to tell what's going on. These received very careful frame by frame attention from me in Photoshop. Sometimes appearing on “twos” or even “fours,” I would merge the two or four frames together, auto level them, clean them up, color correct and darken or brighten areas of the frame until it was at least clear what was happening.
Here, Nanny pokes a Brigand in the eye.
Due to the extreme low quality of this material, we are actually planning to retrace this material ourselves in Photoshop if time permits, creating new clearer animation.
Calvert's version of the Eunuchs have bright purple skin and are poorly drawn, looking nothing like Williams' black-skinned originals. Here I used Photoshop and elements from a shot elsewhere in the film to recreate the dark-skinned Eunuchs and paste them over these two Calvert shots. Tack had to be carefully cut out and chromakeyed (blue screened) around, since he is standing in front of them. At the end of the shot, YumYum also required some chromakey.
This shot is mostly animated on “ones,” with every frame a different drawing. However, toward the end it is suddenly on “twos,” only animating every other frame. I decided to change this. I used After Effects to automatically motion-estimate the shot, inventing inbetween frames for a version on “ones.” Although the result has a slightly more “sketchy” look due to frame blending (and one Brigand moves oddly), it's less distracting and much smoother. I also painted out a minor animation error in one frame.
I actually motion-estimated the entire film in After Effects so that I could attempt to replace some weaker Calvert shots animated on “twos” with smoother versions on “ones.” However, the results always have some issues and I haven't used the motion-estimated versions very often - they'd require frame by frame attention in most cases. However, there's at least eight shots in the current cut which are motion-estimated, and it's always an option at least.
Selective color correction was used to change the green sand behind YumYum to a more natural color. This is done in Final Cut Pro and works similarly to Chroma Key (blue screen), where you select a range of colors in the image to color correct only. Many shots have required selective color correction, especially when two sources are being merged together in some way.
HD from Peter C.'s reels, painstaking color correction by myself, and a little glow added using Chroma Key.