(Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

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Jesta'
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(Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:35 pm

Dragon Ball Z Kai looks beautiful upscaled, it's a very good approximation of what the cels look like. Theoretically, you could upscale the entire series, but the amount of time and manpower needed is simply too much for one person. So here's the idea, a team of 5~6 would work on upscaling the entire series, three people working with different filter settings, someone to compile and edit, someone to upscale redrawn shots with Level-Set or Dbox footage, and finally quality control. If anyone would like to volunteer for such a project, say it here, I would argue that it's worth the effort...

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by PremiumSalt » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:26 pm

How intensive would the upscaling work be? Like if I were to volunteer would I just take some footage, put in some settings, and let a program run?
Dragon Ball Arc Rankings: 1. Piccolo Daimaō 2. Saiyan 3. 22nd Budōkai 4. 23rd Budōkai 5. Hunt For the Dragon Balls 6. Zamasu 7. Tournament of Power 8. 21st Budōkai 9. Broly 10. Battle of Gods 11. Boo 12. U6 Tournament 13. Freeza 14. Red Ribbon Army 15. Artificial Humans/Cell 16.Golden Freeza
Kunzait_83 wrote:No matter what twisted pretzel logic you contort yourself into to try and convince yourself otherwise, Raditz landing on Earth is the middle of the fucking story. Zero context, zero setup. Its in NO way meant to be seen as a "beginning point" for ANYTHING other than the next story arc. It flows precisely and fluidly from where things left off in the aftermath of the 23rd Budokai and mostly hits the ground running from there without really stopping to look back. You're plopping someone into the middle of a book starting at chapter 195 out of 519 for absolutely no good goddamn reason, with very minimal opportunity to look back at much needed context and character/story growth.

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Shaddy
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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Shaddy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:38 am

Kai already had quite a bit of grain removal, you're just Orange bricking it at this point. You might as well just buy the shitty new Blu Rays.
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Hobby Bill
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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Hobby Bill » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:38 am

I dunno man. The linework looks kinda smeary. The clarity is great but I don't know if it's a worthy trade-off. Though I am interested in the idea of toying with or replacing the redrawn scenes to make them look consistent with the rest of the footage.

There are different ways you can get around to that. You can add some grain to the redrawn shots or replace them with color corrected dbox or level set footage.

Honestly, It wouldn't hurt to try out what you proposed on a single ep and see how it turns out.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:20 pm

PremiumSalt wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:26 pm
How intensive would the upscaling work be? Like if I were to volunteer would I just take some footage, put in some settings, and let a program run?
Intensive, especially on your computer. You need to break each video into frames, then run each frame through the program. You can cue subsequent images, you just can't convert video files.
Shaddy wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:38 am
Kai already had quite a bit of grain removal, you're just Orange bricking it at this point. You might as well just buy the shitty new Blu Rays.
Hobby Bill wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:38 am
I dunno man. The linework looks kinda smeary. The clarity is great but I don't know if it's a worthy trade-off.
You're incorrect on every level except that Kai was DNR'ed. The upscaler adds detail based on an AI algorithm, nothing is lost. DNR is better on some shots because the extra noise can cause unintentional artifacts.
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/JFCMMNNU
(Edit: I mixed up the DNR and no DNR.)
Hobby Bill wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:38 am
Honestly, It wouldn't hurt to try out what you proposed on a single ep and see how it turns out.
That's a great idea!

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by ronaldnorth_03 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:38 pm

We can launch a 1 or 2 minute trailer showing the project and asking for help.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by PremiumSalt » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:47 pm

Probably a dumb question but I assume you'd also be color correcting the DBox inserts you're using for the reanimated stuff, yes?
Dragon Ball Arc Rankings: 1. Piccolo Daimaō 2. Saiyan 3. 22nd Budōkai 4. 23rd Budōkai 5. Hunt For the Dragon Balls 6. Zamasu 7. Tournament of Power 8. 21st Budōkai 9. Broly 10. Battle of Gods 11. Boo 12. U6 Tournament 13. Freeza 14. Red Ribbon Army 15. Artificial Humans/Cell 16.Golden Freeza
Kunzait_83 wrote:No matter what twisted pretzel logic you contort yourself into to try and convince yourself otherwise, Raditz landing on Earth is the middle of the fucking story. Zero context, zero setup. Its in NO way meant to be seen as a "beginning point" for ANYTHING other than the next story arc. It flows precisely and fluidly from where things left off in the aftermath of the 23rd Budokai and mostly hits the ground running from there without really stopping to look back. You're plopping someone into the middle of a book starting at chapter 195 out of 519 for absolutely no good goddamn reason, with very minimal opportunity to look back at much needed context and character/story growth.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:09 pm

PremiumSalt wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:47 pm
Probably a dumb question but I assume you'd also be color correcting the DBox inserts you're using for the reanimated stuff, yes?
No. I haven't sorted that out yet. My idea was to somehow get Enigmo onboard. While his corrections are full of artifacts, they are accurate and impressive. The issue can be reduced by blasting the color corrected image with DNR, and overlaying the color information on top of a B&W copy of the upscaled footage. I don't know how this would look like in practice though.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by sangofe » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:43 am

You can never get more detail than the original source. I don't see any reason to upscale.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:49 pm

sangofe wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:43 am
You can never get more detail than the original source. I don't see any reason to upscale.
This is AI upscaling that predicts where detail would actually be. https://topazlabs.com/gigapixel-ai/

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by sangofe » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:03 pm

Jesta' wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:49 pm
sangofe wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:43 am
You can never get more detail than the original source. I don't see any reason to upscale.
This is AI upscaling that predicts where detail would actually be. https://topazlabs.com/gigapixel-ai/
Can't that lead to weird outcomes?

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:23 pm

sangofe wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:03 pm
Can't that lead to weird outcomes?
Occasionally, it varies from shot to shot. Usually, that can be solved with heavy DNR, nothing that compromises the original image, it only affects the improved "detail". For example, upscaling at 720p actually produces a better and cleaner image sometimes because the remaining grain isn't confusing the upscaler. Sometimes the 1080p produces cleaner results with smaller details. It's not an exact science.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:55 pm

sangofe wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:03 pm
Jesta' wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:49 pm
sangofe wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:43 am
You can never get more detail than the original source. I don't see any reason to upscale.
This is AI upscaling that predicts where detail would actually be. https://topazlabs.com/gigapixel-ai/
Can't that lead to weird outcomes?
It doesn't just lead to weird outcomes, at the moment it's utterly shit for traditional animation.
It either heavily distorts the picture, or gives a Season BD-like look where there's oversharpened bits right next to super-blurry bits, and whatever you do, you end up with an overall really smeary, oily texture to the whole thing.

Those screenshots in the OP are super-downscaled to standard-def even on HD monitors, so to illustrate what I'm saying, here are some segments of those screenshots at full-size:
ImageImage
Image

Not only will AI upscaling never beat an authentic film scan, but right now, it's not even good enough to look decent.

I see and understand the desire to make Kai sharper, but adding sharpening filters on top of a blurry degraining filter of the kind used on Kai is exactly what Funi did to their awful Season BDs to give them their awful look, and AI upscaling really doesn't do much to address the flaws of this kind of approach.

Realistically, these AI upscalers are put together for live-action still images and video game textures. There's almost certainly a way to do it that'll give a nice look from a traditionally-animated film-based production, but Kai's visuals are just so blurred and soft. You're not gonna get good results no matter how you tune your filter. (Plus, the render times will be insane for anything more than still frames)
A somewhat self-indulgent thesis on my current outlook on Dragon Ball fandom, which I feel should be below every post I make from now on:

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:00 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:55 pm
sangofe wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:03 pm
Jesta' wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:49 pm

This is AI upscaling that predicts where detail would actually be. https://topazlabs.com/gigapixel-ai/
Can't that lead to weird outcomes?
It doesn't just lead to weird outcomes, at the moment it's utterly shit for traditional animation.
It either heavily distorts the picture, or gives a Season BD-like look where there's oversharpened bits right next to super-blurry bits, and whatever you do, you end up with an overall really smeary, oily texture to the whole thing.

Those screenshots in the OP are super-downscaled to standard-def even on HD monitors, so to illustrate what I'm saying, here are some segments of those screenshots at full-size:
ImageImage
Image

Not only will AI upscaling never beat an authentic film scan, but right now, it's not even good enough to look decent.

I see and understand the desire to make Kai sharper, but adding sharpening filters on top of a blurry degraining filter of the kind used on Kai is exactly what Funi did to their awful Season BDs to give them their awful look, and AI upscaling really doesn't do much to address the flaws of this kind of approach.

Realistically, these AI upscalers are put together for live-action still images and video game textures. There's almost certainly a way to do it that'll give a nice look from a traditionally-animated film-based production, but Kai's visuals are just so blurred and soft. You're not gonna get good results no matter how you tune your filter. (Plus, the render times will be insane for anything more than still frames)
I don't understand your issue, it's not like you're losing access to the current version of Kai!

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Shaddy
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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Shaddy » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:07 pm

You could deflect literally any criticism with that.

You asked if people were interested, people said your examples don't look very good.
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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by DHM211 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:18 pm

Jesta' wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:35 pm
Dragon Ball Z Kai looks beautiful upscaled, it's a very good approximation of what the cels look like. Theoretically, you could upscale the entire series, but the amount of time and manpower needed is simply too much for one person. So here's the idea, a team of 5~6 would work on upscaling the entire series, three people working with different filter settings, someone to compile and edit, someone to upscale redrawn shots with Level-Set or Dbox footage, and finally quality control. If anyone would like to volunteer for such a project, say it here, I would argue that it's worth the effort...

Image
Image
Image
Eh, I might be in the minority on here but I think these look really good.
Only advice I have is don't touch the 35mm episodes, as those look perfect as is.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:02 pm

Shaddy wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:07 pm
You could deflect literally any criticism with that.

You asked if people were interested, people said your examples don't look very good.
He was comparing those upscaled images to the Shitty Funimation releases, it wasn't a criticism, it was an insult. He's literally blowing up 4k images into small nuggets to highlight his "point". If he can see those artifacts on a 4k monitor with the image in fullscreen, then he's either got remarkable vision or sits too close to his screen.

This comparison isn't 100% fair to the official Kai Blu-ray as this capture from normal Kai is in 720p but it does a pretty good job comparing the two.
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/DWLWWNNX
DHM211 wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:18 pm
Only advice I have is don't touch the 35mm episodes, as those look perfect as is.
That was and is the plan.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Shaddy » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:29 pm

Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:02 pm
He was comparing those upscaled images to the Shitty Funimation releases, it wasn't a criticism, it was an insult.
Both he and I compared it to Funimation's releases because that's what it resembles. Just because you take it personally doesn't mean it's not a criticism.
Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:02 pm
He's literally blowing up 4k images into small nuggets to highlight his "point". If he can see those artifacts on a 4k monitor with the image in fullscreen, then he's either got remarkable vision or sits too close to his screen.
If you don't want people looking closely at a show, why are you trying to increase the resolution? You could just say "sit further back from your monitor" to anyone that thinks normal Kai is too blurry, as well.

It's also really easy to see how your upscale has smeared things, I'm on my phone right now and I can still see it a little bit.
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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Jesta' » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:39 pm

Shaddy wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:29 pm
If you don't want people looking closely at a show, why are you trying to increase the resolution? You could just say "sit further back from your monitor" to anyone that thinks normal Kai is too blurry, as well.

It's also really easy to see how your upscale has smeared things, I'm on my phone right now and I can still see it a little bit.
Other users have pointed out the improved clarity, the image overall looks cleaner. Take it whatever way you want, I understand you don't like it and I'm not going to try and convince you to do otherwise.

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Re: (Project idea) Dragon Ball Z Kai Upscale

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:40 pm

Jesta' wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:00 pm
I don't understand your issue, it's not like you're losing access to the current version of Kai!
Sure, and I can still watch the pre-Super Dragon Ball series; doesn't mean I won't criticise the Super series.
"The other one still exists" is about the thinnest excuse I can think of to dissuade criticism.
Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:02 pm
He was comparing those upscaled images to the Shitty Funimation releases, it wasn't a criticism, it was an insult.
If you're going to take any and all criticism personally like this, I suggest you cease using the internet. I was speaking of the quality of the picture, nothing else. I stand by what I said, given this context.
Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:02 pm
He's literally blowing up 4k images into small nuggets to highlight his "point".
Read my post. I am not blowing up anything. I am merely showing parts of these images at full size, since the forum downscales them quite significantly.
Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:02 pm
If he can see those artifacts on a 4k monitor with the image in fullscreen, then he's either got remarkable vision or sits too close to his screen.
... Or your upscale isn't as good as you think it is, and no one with a 4K screen has looked at it in fullscreen and had the heart to tell you.
Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:02 pm
This comparison isn't 100% fair to the official Kai Blu-ray as this capture from normal Kai is in 720p but it does a pretty good job comparing the two.
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/DWLWWNNX
I have no idea what you're getting at here, this just kind of helps my points along, since it provides the non-distorted but still super-blurry source to compare it to... So... Thank you?
Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:39 pm
Other users have pointed out the improved clarity, the image overall looks cleaner.
In other words, what you're saying is "The people who agree with me are telling the truth, and the people who disagree are wrong."
Jesta' wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:39 pm
Take it whatever way you want, I understand you don't like it and I'm not going to try and convince you to do otherwise.
No one was asking you to. We're giving constructive criticism/feedback, as well as -- at least in my case -- providing a look at this that isn't obvious at a glance, as I've explained, in hopes of providing potential readers of this thread with additional info that isn't clear.

My point isn't to tear you down, and I'm not asking you to tell me my opinion is wrong or needs to be changed. Frankly, I don't see you ever convincing me that this visual, which I consider to look terrible, doesn't look terrible.
A somewhat self-indulgent thesis on my current outlook on Dragon Ball fandom, which I feel should be below every post I make from now on:

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