Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

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MrWalnut4
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Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by MrWalnut4 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:31 am

So recently I found Ashura's guide on color correcting Dragon Box footage and decided to have a go at Kai. Following that guide, correcting Kai 1.0 was fairly simple with mostly minor changes to get results that look like this:

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(original on left, corrected on right)

The flesh tones become much closer to what they should be and the sky is a more natural blue among other changes. Most of Kai 1.0 can be corrected like this to get fantastic results.

Another example:

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Here we now have proper blue and yellow values as well as bringing out some definition around Vegeta's tail.

You can do this process with pretty much all of the footage from the Dragon Box, Kai, and the movies. Having some success I decided to have a go at Kai 2.0 considering it needed it most with the infamous green tint. That's when I started to really notice the drop in quality from the original Kai restoration. Take this screenshot of Vegeta and Goku from the Buu arc:

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Immediately you can tell the difference in the quality and clarity of the image from the above screenshots. The dark colors are crushed to the point where you can barely see any detail in Vegeta's clothes. Removing the color cast from the image gives you slightly better results:

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The whites are white but the darks were originally so crushed that getting any detail from them is basically impossible. Correcting the footage in VirtualDub gives us this result:

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Ok, so now the flesh tones are much closer to what they should be. However correcting the sky to it's vibrant purple leaves Goku and Vegeta's clothes purple as well. The green data in the ground is lost as well leaving only sickly greens mixed with pale yellows.

Problems like this are what make me seriously question the remastering process for Kai 2.0. With all of the footage from the first 98 episodes of Kai, you can correct them with free tools close to original cel colors with little to no artifacting in the video stream. Kai 2.0 is not like that at all. In finding a decent image to use as an example in this episode of Kai (episode 153) the color of Vegeta's clothes changes at least 4 times. Kai 1.0 was very consistent with it's color correcting leaving the consumer with colors that weren't perfect, but could easily be changed to their liking. The remaster for the second half of Kai seems amateurish in comparison with extremely inconsistent corrections and contrast issues. It's especially disappointing considering that these episodes were color corrected instead of simply being left alone and this is the level of quality we received. I would have much rather had Kai 2.0 scanned to 1080p with colors left alone considering how correcting untouched footage can give results like this:

Image

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(Official Toei cel scan for reference)

I guess in short I'm a lot less enthusiastic about Kai than I previously was because of this among other things (weird score placements etc). Ultimately, I'll probably still purchase Kai 2.0 when it's released in the US solely for the updated script. But I'm still left with a bitter taste in my mouth. It feels like Toei pretty much flipped us the bird and gave us the cheapest version they could. Realistically, they probably did exactly that since it was made for the international market, but Kai 2.0 had so much potential to be great. The best I can hope is that Funimation at least removes the horrible green color cast from their release. We'll never get the perfect release, but hopefully we can get one that is good enough.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by Metalwario64 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:40 am

First of all, there's a Kai section.

Anyhow, you're going about the green tint all the wrong way. It's a simple RGB issue, which is most definitely from improperly calibrated monitors. All you need to do is remove some green from the RGB levels. You're doing all sorts of unnecessary and destructive things to the Buu Kai footage.

Image

In this case, I removed the green tint from the right side, and then brightened it up some to make up for the green removal darkening the image.

Personally, color wise I like Buu Kai's footage when the tint's removed. Piccolo has the proper slightly yellow tint, and skin tones are nice. It just makes that tint even more annoying.
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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by MrWalnut4 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:47 am

I considered this more about the remastering and color correcting process Toei went through than Kai itself but to each his own. If you look at the second image of Goku and Vegeta, adjusting the green value is exactly what I am doing. There is a green tint to the image that I am removing. The thing is that simply removing that tint does not solve all of the issues with color. For example, the sky is light blue instead of a deep purple. Darker colors are also crushed which cannot be corrected by adjusting RGB values. What I'm trying to get across is that there are more problems with the image than a high green value. Also, how is what I'm doing destructive?

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by Tanooki Kuribo » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:55 am

MrWalnut4 wrote: Toei pretty much flipped us the bird and gave us the cheapest version they could. Realistically, they probably did exactly that since it was made for the international market, but Kai 2.0 had so much potential to be great. The best I can hope is that Funimation at least removes the horrible green color cast from their release. We'll never get the perfect release, but hopefully we can get one that is good enough.
Yea, we've been saying this since the second part was released a year ago. Also, if you didn't notice there's a Dragon Ball Kai section in this forum.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by Bullza » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:07 pm

All the effort probably went into Dragon Ball Super instead.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by DB1984 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:59 pm

Not only in quality, but also in music as well.

The music just isn't as good as it was in 1.0. I guess Sumitomo didn't have as much of a budget as Yamamoto did.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by Lord Beerus » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:17 pm

DB1984 wrote:Not only in quality, but also in music as well.

The music just isn't as good as it was in 1.0. I guess Sumitomo didn't have as much of a budget as Yamamoto did.
Kai 2.0, as a whole, was made on the cheap by Toei.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:26 pm

Bullza wrote:All the effort probably went into Dragon Ball Super instead.
I don't think that's the case since Kai 2.0 was made before "F" and possibly BoG. I think the real reason why Kai 2.0 was made they way it was, was because it was only intended for international audiences at first.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by funrush » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:22 pm

It's cheaply made because pretty much the only reason it exists is so they can sell it off to Funi and the other dubbing companies, and maybe hype up the new movies.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by MrWalnut4 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:24 pm

In hindsight, I agree this probably should be in the Kai section but I digress. In my perfect world Kai 2.0 would have been remastered by Q-TEC with the same budget as the first part of Kai. Yamamoto would magically continue producing the soundtrack with a proper budget (without any plagiarized songs of course) and would be promptly removed at the end of the production and home releases. International publishers would support the cost of the production to minimize losses for Toei (since that's what gave us an inferior product in the first place), and we would receive a proper continuation of Kai. Oh if only... :(

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by DemonRin » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:25 pm

While I appreciate what it is you're trying to do here in testing Kai 2.0's colors and trying to color correct, I feel your assessment is at least a little flawed here.

Not to white knight Kai 2.0 or anything, but There is a massive difference between Kai 1.0 and 2.0 that is being ignored in your assessment here that I think drastically changes the situation here.

All the screenshots of Kai 2.0 that you're using in the original post are from TV Rips of those episodes, as evidenced by the time in the upper left hand corner. Meaning, you're presumably using Blu-ray Rips on Kai 1.0 (as they are 4:3 and have no clock) and TV Rips of indeterminate origin on Kai 2.0.

The sources aren't exactly comparable because we don't know what codec or container the TV Rippers used on the Kai 2.0 footage. The crushed darks could easily be a result of them trying to compress the filesize down resulting in these problems.


I think this would be a test better done on Blu-ray footage sourced from an officially released disc rather than a TV Rip.
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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by MrWalnut4 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:22 pm

DemonRin wrote:I think this would be a test better done on Blu-ray footage sourced from an officially released disc rather than a TV Rip.
I completely agree that the screenshot of a recording of a broadcast of the original footage (that's a mouthful) isn't exactly the most representative of the quality as a whole.
Take this screenshot from the original Nicktoons broadcast of Kai:

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Compared to a down-sampled blu ray screenshot:

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The difference in sharpness and quality is jarring as well as color slightly varying, so yes: it isn't quite fair to compare the two. What compression and reformatting can't explain however is the inconsistency of color within a single episode.
Notice the color of Vegeta's clothes in each of these screenshots:

Image

Image

We have one blue so dark it is almost black, and the other is a less dark, but much more vibrant, blue. The strangest part is that the blues are the only colors that are noticeably different between the two. The skin tones are almost identical which leads me to believe it was simply lazy color correcting or miscommunication between different teams color correcting separate parts the footage. Either way it doesn't speak well of Toei. :problem:

I should also state that in no way do I consider myself exceptionally good or even average at color correcting. I'm just some dweeb playing around with some open source tools to make one of my favorite anime look a little better. :lol:
Last edited by MrWalnut4 on Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by Tanooki Kuribo » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:45 pm

MrWalnut4 wrote:
DemonRin wrote:I think this would be a test better done on Blu-ray footage sourced from an officially released disc rather than a TV Rip.
I completely agree that the sceenshot of a recording of a broadcast of the original footage (that's a mouthful) isn't exactly the most representative of the quality as a whole.
Take this screenshot from the original Nicktoons broadcast of Kai:

Image
The NickToons broadcast was NOT that blurry. Not at all...

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by MrWalnut4 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:13 pm

Tanooki Kuribo wrote:The NickToons broadcast was NOT that blurry. Not at all...
That's because it is a screenshot from a recording of the Nicktoons broadcast. It has gone through mostly the same processes that my screenshots from Kai 153 have. It shows the level of quality loss when compared to the original blu ray after going through compression and re-encoding a few times. The quality of the image you saw on Nicktoons was probably about in the middle maybe leaning toward the blu ray side of the spectrum.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by jelleline89 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:09 pm

Tanooki Kuribo wrote:
MrWalnut4 wrote:
DemonRin wrote:I think this would be a test better done on Blu-ray footage sourced from an officially released disc rather than a TV Rip.
I completely agree that the sceenshot of a recording of a broadcast of the original footage (that's a mouthful) isn't exactly the most representative of the quality as a whole.
Take this screenshot from the original Nicktoons broadcast of Kai:

Image
The NickToons broadcast was NOT that blurry. Not at all...
Here is what it actually like on the Nicktoons broadcast.

Image
MrWalnut4 wrote:
Tanooki Kuribo wrote:The NickToons broadcast was NOT that blurry. Not at all...
That's because it is a screenshot from a recording of the Nicktoons broadcast. It has gone through mostly the same processes that my screenshots from Kai 153 have. It shows the level of quality loss when compared to the original blu ray after going through compression and re-encoding a few times. The quality of the image you saw on Nicktoons was probably about in the middle maybe leaning toward the blu ray side of the spectrum.
You took a screenshot from "MyAnime", not the actual fize and it was a C_P encode, which was known for terrible compression.

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Re: Quality Drop from the First to Second Half of Kai

Post by Darkblade1995 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:31 pm

MrWalnut4 wrote: We have one blue so dark it is almost black, and the other is a less dark, but much more vibrant, blue. The strangest part is that the blues are the only colors that are noticeably different between the two. The skin tones are almost identical which leads me to believe it was simply lazy color correcting or miscommunication between different teams color correcting separate parts the footage. Either way it doesn't speak well of Toei. :problem:

I should also state that in no way do I consider myself exceptionally good or even average at color correcting. I'm just some dweeb playing around with some open source tools to make one of my favorite anime look a little better. :lol:
Well how does the DBZ version look? We should all remember that this is 20+ year footage we're looking at. Even in the first Kai we had scenes like with Goku's gi, where it was perfectly orange all the way through Kai, yet there were still some scenes where it would look a little reddish. Or Piccolo for example. Through the entire first iteration of Kai he has been the same color, yet in episode 10 where Piccolo talks to Krillin that they should fight on the ground with Nappa, he was significantly darker than before, and in the next scene he, again, is the correct color. That's because they were colored that way in DBZ and Kai just has to work with it. I'm not trying to defend Toei's incompetence, but DBZ's colors weren't always exactly consistent.

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