Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by KBABZ » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:09 pm

Planetnamek wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:21 pm
Someone else in another thread(forgot which one) theorized that Funi had already finished doing all the restoration work for every single episode of DBZ and that they could in theory release more Level Sets if they wanted to, they just don't want to because they've discovered that it's much more lucrative to incrementally change things with every new set instead of actually giving the fans everything they want on one set, and I can believe that.
Personally I don't think that's the case. I'm sure Robo can come in to provide more details, but as far as I understand it the Level sets were taking too long to make, were not "appealing" to the mass audiences who didn't know any better, and their dollar-per-episode value wasn't considered affordable. That in mind, I don't think they got much farther than the last set we got a promo image cover art for.

The confusion may stem from the fact that the Black Bricks appear to basically be uncropped versions of the Blu-Ray sets, which of course did go through their entire run.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by VanceRefrigeration » Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:00 am

To really answer how far along they got in the Level Set restoration, we first have to ask, "What did they actually do in that restoration process?". Based on this documentary about the Level Sets, the film was first scanned and color corrected during the transfer, which was done at &Transfer and led by Steve Franko. Then, it was cleaned up in-house frame by frame (to remove dust, scratches, blemishes, etc.), stabilized, and de-flickered.

We've seen frames from their raw color corrected transfer going up to the Cell arc and even a shot of the Buu arc opening, so it seems likely that at least the transfer was completed for all 291 episodes. So then you might ask, "How many episodes did they finish cleaning up?". As we know from that documentary, there was a team of 4 engineers who handled that. But there were apparently "technical challenges of restoring from the original film frame by frame" and so the Levels were cancelled in January 2012. Nearly two years later in November 2013, the Season Blu-rays were announced with a statement saying that "restoration has recommenced". On a documentary included with those sets, the lead video engineer Matt O'Hara mentions that there was a team of 5 engineers who were constantly working on the film to manually remove dust/scratches/blemishes, a process that sounds pretty similar to what was done for the Levels.

So despite suspending the manual cleanup process, they did eventually continue cleanup for the rest of the series, and this work was used on the Season Blu-rays and the 30th Anniversary sets. Some who have the newer Blu-ray sets have noticed occasional dirt and scratches, so it's possible that the cleanup was a little less meticulous when it restarted in order to save money/time. So technically, while the Level Set Blu-ray releases weren't completed past episode 34, the actual scan and color correction was finished for all episodes, and the cleanup was almost as good for the rest of the episodes. If Funimation wanted, they could release something that is almost like the Level Sets for the entire series, but with slightly more scratches and dust slipping by. But apparently they seem to think that magenta tints, DNR, and ugly sharpening are what sell. So here we are.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by KBABZ » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:09 am

VanceRefrigeration wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:00 am
We've seen frames from their raw color corrected transfer going up to the Cell arc and even a shot of the Buu arc opening, so it seems likely that at least the transfer was completed for all 291 episodes.
I take slight issue with this, because for me it'd be prudent to jump ahead and clean up select samples from across the anime to get a good idea if everything's honky-dory across the breadth of your archive, and also to put your cleanup process through various scenarios.

As well, "restoration has continued" sounds like the type of Funimation marketing BS we've been getting since the Orange Bricks were devised.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by VanceRefrigeration » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:30 am

KBABZ wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:09 am
VanceRefrigeration wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:00 am
We've seen frames from their raw color corrected transfer going up to the Cell arc and even a shot of the Buu arc opening, so it seems likely that at least the transfer was completed for all 291 episodes.
I take slight issue with this, because for me it'd be prudent to jump ahead and clean up select samples from across the anime to get a good idea if everything's honky-dory across the breadth of your archive, and also to put your cleanup process through various scenarios.
We're talking about the transfer here, not the cleanup. And really, the main proof that all the episodes were scanned is the very existence of the 30th Anniversary set. In order to even have a 291-episode set to release, the physical film has to be scanned before anything else. Steve Franko also said that he re-transferred and re-color-corrected all of DBZ ("re-" because he did it once before for the Orange Brick transfer).
As well, "restoration has continued" sounds like the type of Funimation marketing BS we've been getting since the Orange Bricks were devised.
Did you watch the Matt O'Hara documentary? If you did, it's pretty obvious what's "marketing BS" and what's truthful. The technical stuff he talks about (5 engineers working all the time to remove dust, scratches, blemishes) is likely truthful. Him saying that they then make the footage look "brighter and bolder" and that 16:9 is "modern" is the marketing BS. And beyond that, just look at the footage with your eyes. Remember the lady in the Level Set documentary saying that tape mark removal was "the most time consuming of all the processes"? Well, how often do you see a tape mark on the 30th Anniversary set? The answer is: very rarely. That alone indicates that some sort of manual cleanup did continue, even after the Level Set cancellation.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by kyppk » Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:19 am

The video you provided VanceRefrigeration certainly does help me piece together an interpretation of Funimations thought process.

Nov 8th 2011 - Level 1.1
Dec 13th 2011 - Level 1.2
January 26, 2012 - Funimation confirms Level series have suspended production
March 27, 2012 - Level 2.1 release date before cancellation

Given the relatively small amount of time between the releases of 1.1 and 1.2 and the suspension of production on the Level Sets its seems likely that rather than poor sales themselves killing the Level Sets; it was the discrepancy between the amount the Level Sets cost to produce and the amount the Level Sets brought in. The three month delay between 1.2 and 2.1 suggests to me that Funimation doesn't have a backlog of remastered episodes and it's taking them more time than they anticipated to remaster them. So Funimation decides to scrap the Level Sets in favor of a more (significantly?) hands-off (cheaper) approach.

The team in the video mention how the process of removing the tape marks at the bottom of the screen is the most time consuming, so Funimation decides to crop the remaster to 16:9 instead of 4:3 to escape this problem. The team mentions manually going through frame-by-frame to remove dust and bodily fluid and to fix grain issues, so Funimation decides to automate the process with aggressive filtering and DNR. Obviously they still have some manual QA, but in reduced capacity. By doing all of the above Funimation increases the speed of the remastering and reduces the costs.

However, Funimation has drastically changed how DBZ looks by doing all of this, so they need to test the product to see if consumers will buy this new, different DBZ. Thus the initial gap between Season Set One on December 31, 2013 and Season Set Two on March 4, 2014, and the frequent releases after Season Set Two showing that they can output more episodes per Season Set then the Level Sets could in a similar amount of time.

Gross profit favors the Season Sets over the Level Sets, so Funimation decides to use a similar process in making the 30th, but backlash over "features" of the Season Sets leads Funimation to "bridge" the two. Funimation isn't willing to put more work into a different remastering unless they're sure they can make enough to justify it (so they don't get a Level Set scenario), so they use a kickstarter-esk platform to sell the idea and product limiting the risk to themselves.

Finally we end here, where we have a 30th set many dislike. I imagine we will see the 30th remaster sold as a standard release around the time the Season Sets go out of stock, and future remasterings (if any) will follow a similar kickstarter-esk preorder system.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by Robo4900 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:18 am

Planetnamek wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:21 pm
Someone else in another thread(forgot which one) theorized that Funi had already finished doing all the restoration work for every single episode of DBZ and that they could in theory release more Level Sets if they wanted to, they just don't want to because they've discovered that it's much more lucrative to incrementally change things with every new set instead of actually giving the fans everything they want on one set, and I can believe that.
I believe that was me.

But I think my ultimate conclusion that Funi find it more lucrative to incrementally improve things was just a comfortable vent for my frustrations that assigned a concrete blame onto Funimation for deliberately making things shitty... I think it's far more likely they just think the look they're going for is better than what the fans want.
KBABZ wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:09 pm
Personally I don't think that's the case. I'm sure Robo can come in to provide more details, but as far as I understand it the Level sets were taking too long to make, were not "appealing" to the mass audiences who didn't know any better, and their dollar-per-episode value wasn't considered affordable. That in mind, I don't think they got much farther than the last set we got a promo image cover art for.

The confusion may stem from the fact that the Black Bricks appear to basically be uncropped versions of the Blu-Ray sets, which of course did go through their entire run.
As noted by VanceRefrigeration, the reality is that the Level restoration wasn't nearly as problematic as people are assuming, and we can pretty definitively say that, because the Season BDs underwent the exact same restoration process, based on Steve Franko's already-finished scans he completed for the Levels in about 2011, and those ~2014 cleaned-up masters are what were ultimately pulled out and used for the 30th sets later on... The problem is, they finish up each release by putting the ugly DNR+sharpening filter on top that ruins all the good work that went into it, and Funi tend to do weird things with the framing (30th sets are very zoomed in, Season BDs are cropped, etc.).

If Funi saw fit, they could release the masters they prepared in ~2013-2015, and we'd have something akin to the Levels, but with slightly better cleanup and colours (the Levels were released with an extra layer of colour grade on top of Steve Franko's initial pass, which basically made the crushing inherent to the prints they're using appear slightly worse. In addition to this, there were some mistakes made in painting out the tape marks and such, which sometimes resulted in slight ghosting at the bottom of the frame in some shots). Funimation just don't want to. And given what was said by representatives of Funimation when the 30th sets were first unveiled, the reality is that the guys at Funi think the shitty DNR+sharpened look is a better look than what we want. So, Funi aren't going to change this just because we continue complaining. So, we're stuck with shit, at least for the next few decades. :(
kyppk wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:19 am
Given the relatively small amount of time between the releases of 1.1 and 1.2 and the suspension of production on the Level Sets its seems likely that rather than poor sales themselves killing the Level Sets; it was the discrepancy between the amount the Level Sets cost to produce and the amount the Level Sets brought in. The three month delay between 1.2 and 2.1 suggests to me that Funimation doesn't have a backlog of remastered episodes and it's taking them more time than they anticipated to remaster them. So Funimation decides to scrap the Level Sets in favor of a more (significantly?) hands-off (cheaper) approach.

The team in the video mention how the process of removing the tape marks at the bottom of the screen is the most time consuming, so Funimation decides to crop the remaster to 16:9 instead of 4:3 to escape this problem. The team mentions manually going through frame-by-frame to remove dust and bodily fluid and to fix grain issues, so Funimation decides to automate the process with aggressive filtering and DNR. Obviously they still have some manual QA, but in reduced capacity. By doing all of the above Funimation increases the speed of the remastering and reduces the costs.
This is a false conclusion. The 30th sets consistently show enough of the frame to make the tape marks visible, and even the Season BDs often framed things that way. The tape marks, and really the entire cleanup process in general, was just as rigorous as (if not moreso than) the Levels.

Back when I was still angry about this, and was still convinced this was to do with Funi finding it more lucrative to incrementally improve things without ever giving us a good release, I put together this thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=44383
My ultimate conclusion of Funi's intentions was, I think, completely wrong, and just driven by frustration, so I've now added an edit to clarify this (I only "struck-through" the old contents, I didn't erase or change anything), but everything leading up to that point, I completely stand by.

As for the costs of the Levels, my theory is that they priced the Levels high because they expected low sales (Blu-ray in 2011 was still quite risky, particularly for a 291-episode-long show that hadn't broadcast any actually new episodes in 7 years), and wanted to still make some profit off the release... Then the sales were unexpectedly very, VERY good. Otherwise, to me, there's no explanation for why they would price the Levels so high, but then charge so little for the Season BDs that underwent the same kind of remastering process.
Personally, I think the unexpected mainstream success of the Levels prompted Funi's high-ups to decide "No no, this is all wrong! It should look GRAINLESS! like the Orange Bricks! and put them out in Seasons! Make them as widely appealing as we can!!"
kyppk wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:19 am
Gross profit favors the Season Sets over the Level Sets, so Funimation decides to use a similar process in making the 30th, but backlash over "features" of the Season Sets leads Funimation to "bridge" the two. Funimation isn't willing to put more work into a different remastering unless they're sure they can make enough to justify it (so they don't get a Level Set scenario), so they use a kickstarter-esk platform to sell the idea and product limiting the risk to themselves.
The 30th sets required no additional restoration work, so probably they sunk next to no money to make them. It wouldn't have been much of a loss if they hadn't sold them well. I think the Kickstarter-esque thing was just to build up hype for this "NEW COLLECTORS SET PRESENTING IT IN LEGENDARY, RARE, FOR-THE-FANS-ONLY 4:3 ASPECT RATIO!!" thing. Of course, the fans didn't want it anyway, so it kinda backfired, the whole thing was a joke, and they BARELY crossed their minimum threshold, so... It was a mess.

I think ultimately, the reason why this "for the fans collectors set" still used the shitty DNR and sharpening is because Funi basically wanted to please everyone, but ended up pleasing no one; Funi have somehow got the idea into their heads that DNR+sharpening = mass appeal, so they wanted to put that on this set to appeal to the masses. But, it's also an expensive collectors set that appeals to the fans by giving us the 4:3 ratio.
So, it's too expensive and limited for casual fans to care much about, and it's still the same shit the fans have been complaining about for years, so Funi really screwed this one up, sadly. I do think, having had a lot of time to reflect on it, that they did honestly want to throw the fans a bone... Why else would they have finally swallowed their pride and put out a 4:3 release?... But they went about it wrong, and rather than admit they screwed up, push it back, and go back to the pre-DNR masters, they doubled down on it, and their PR team even kinda made fun of us... It's a sad state of affairs, and I really hope they improve, but I really don't think they will. :(
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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:09 am

It's such a darn shame that they have made this thing more difficult than it needs to be, and continue to put out one release after another which is only just barely better than the last. As you say though the people overseeing this all have a particular (albeit very misguided and deeply flawed) view of how to go about the remastering process and the results show in spades. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they legitimately believe the DNR filter smear fest and oversharpening makes the image look better when in reality it's the exact opposite, as this has been going on effectively since the Orange Bricks came out over a decade ago. The 30th BD set really should have been a finish to what had been started with the Level sets, although i still maintain that had FUNi waited a few years more (like until around 2014 or 2015) and put them out in larger sets with the episode counts of the Season BD's then maybe they would've sold better and become the standard release in stores. As it stands now, there is no easy means by which to get DBZ in its proper aspect ratio and that really is a travesty. With that said i have gradually collected the Dragon Boxes over time, and even though they have their own flaws too it really was my only option at this point of having a consistent 4:3 collection of the series given almost every other version out there is either incomplete like the original singles or messed up like the Orange Bricks and Season BD's. I'm satisfied with the DBoxes, because it doesn't look like they're going to get their act together and put out a non DNR'd to oblivion release anytime in the near future.

It really makes me shake my head that they've dropped the ball so many times, and the 30th anniversary set is just the latest example for the pile when it shouldn't have been.
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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by ArmenianPepsi » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:52 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:09 pm
Planetnamek wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:21 pm
Someone else in another thread(forgot which one) theorized that Funi had already finished doing all the restoration work for every single episode of DBZ and that they could in theory release more Level Sets if they wanted to, they just don't want to because they've discovered that it's much more lucrative to incrementally change things with every new set instead of actually giving the fans everything they want on one set, and I can believe that.
Personally I don't think that's the case. I'm sure Robo can come in to provide more details, but as far as I understand it the Level sets were taking too long to make, were not "appealing" to the mass audiences who didn't know any better, and their dollar-per-episode value wasn't considered affordable. That in mind, I don't think they got much farther than the last set we got a promo image cover art for.

The confusion may stem from the fact that the Black Bricks appear to basically be uncropped versions of the Blu-Ray sets, which of course did go through their entire run.
I think that that theory might have some ground in truth. Perhaps not all 291 episodes, but at least past the Frieza saga. Here is the bonus featurette Funi made for the Level Sets.

---> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moAy02J2fd8

Go to 2:18 and you can see there is a shot of Trunks and Goku on the monitors. That shot is from episode 122.
So what I theorize is that before Funi canned the project they were at least scanning the materials for episodes well into the Android / Cell arc.
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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by VanceRefrigeration » Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:50 pm

Whether you think they finished scanning all the episodes pre or post-Levels-cancellation doesn't really matter too much. The fact of the matter is that the Season Blu-rays and 30th Anniversary sets cover all 291 episodes, so we can say with 100% certainty that they finished scanning all the episodes at some point. Even for the Season Blu-rays, which were 16:9, their behind-the-scenes material shows in-progress footage before cropping, so we know for sure that they were using full-frame scans even for that project. Scanning film is expensive, so they're not just going to keep re-scanning it over and over again. They most likely scenario is that they scanned all the episodes full-frame when they decided to do a DBZ Blu-ray project. And then this transfer was the one used as the basis for all of their Blu-ray releases, including the Levels, Season Blu-rays, and 30th Anniversary.

The only thing that's really up for debate is exactly how meticulous their frame-by-frame cleanup was post-Levels-cancellation. It's possible that they relaxed some aspects of it, since some viewers have noted occasional dirt and scratches on the 30th Anniversary set. But on the other hand, their removal of tape marks actually improved from what they did on the Levels. Like when you compare the Saiyan saga episodes on the Levels to their 30th Anniversary counterparts, the 30th was actually better at removing them and didn't leave behind artifacts like the Levels did. Don't believe me? Well here's an example.

Frame from raw transfer:
Frame from Levels with tape mark removed (note how you're seeing rocks that aren't supposed to be there at the bottom of the frame):
Frame from 30th with tape mark removed (note how the tape mark removal is basically perfect and free of artifacts):

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by Scsigs » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:07 am

I mean, it's not hard to listen to criticism when it can actually help you improve your method of doing something. I'm willing to bet a small amount of people pointed out those issues & they took note, or someone at some point noticed those issues on the team. They get a small point for that, but they lose a lot more for not taking more care.
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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by VanceRefrigeration » Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:13 pm

The point is that there is a solid film restoration (with very minimal dirt/scratches/tape marks left) underneath the ugly filtering of the 30th Anniversary set. If they wanted to, they could simply turn off this filtering and give us something that is very similar to the Level Sets. But they choose not to. It's not about "taking more care" or laziness. It's just that the company has a misguided belief on what they think will make them money.

Let me put it this way: if they wanted to give us a Level Set-esque release, it would take them less effort than it took them to do the 30th Anniversary release. Why? Because the 30th had them tampering with the colors and applying DNR+sharpening filters to the footage. If they just didn't do that, then it would be less effort for them and we would get a good release. But instead, they actively took steps to make the footage look the way that it does. They acted with agency. And it's unfortunate that they have the misguided beliefs that they do.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by eledoremassis02 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:28 pm

VanceRefrigeration wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:13 pm
The point is that there is a solid film restoration (with very minimal dirt/scratches/tape marks left) underneath the ugly filtering of the 30th Anniversary set. If they wanted to, they could simply turn off this filtering and give us something that is very similar to the Level Sets. But they choose not to. It's not about "taking more care" or laziness. It's just that the company has a misguided belief on what they think will make them money.

Let me put it this way: if they wanted to give us a Level Set-esque release, it would take them less effort than it took them to do the 30th Anniversary release. Why? Because the 30th had them tampering with the colors and applying DNR+sharpening filters to the footage. If they just didn't do that, then it would be less effort for them and we would get a good release. But instead, they actively took steps to make the footage look the way that it does. They acted with agency. And it's unfortunate that they have the misguided beliefs that they do.
This is exactly how I feel. It's not to purposefully destroy the art, it's because some dept. said "Hey look, this is what consumers *not fans* want". This is exactly why I'll deal with the DNR if it includes the 4:3 picture. Look at the making of in the level sets. They were filled with pride about their hard work, and there was effort in making it a making of mini-doc. Then look at the season/30th restoration extra. It's just a guy sitting their uncomfortably gulping evertime he has to mention how good it was that they essentally ruined the picture.
The qestion now is if the second go around to clean up the saiyan saga episodes (and possible layer) were done for the 30th set or before? If it's the for the 30th set, then I guess they did more than simply just uncrop the footage. If it was before, then I wonder if they toiled with the 4x3 DNRed season release. It would make sense given the survey and the fact that there were cosumers who thought the levels were too grainy and DNRing does allow more episodes on a disc.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by Robo4900 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:44 pm

eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:28 pm
This is exactly how I feel. It's not to purposefully destroy the art, it's because some dept. said "Hey look, this is what consumers *not fans* want".
Never forget that if this attitude from the high-ups, they're completely wrong. Regular consumers don't give a fuck about grain, and to be honest, they'd be happy with either version.

So, just as with the 16:9 cropping, Funi seem to be trying to appeal to a preference they think they see, but which most people ultimately people don't care about, and in the process, they're alienating the hardcore fans who actually do care. It's just crazy.
They're putting in the effort of putting the DNR+sharpening to appeal to people who don't care, and in the process, pissing off the people who do care... It's really frustrating.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:28 pm
The qestion now is if the second go around to clean up the saiyan saga episodes (and possible layer) were done for the 30th set or before?
It's abundantly clear this was done for the Season BDs' cleanup phase. Not only are there various statements supporting this, but it's very clear the 30th sets were an exceedingly cheaply-made cash-in product. And even if it wasn't, there wasn't enough lead-in time for the cleanup process you're talking about to have made sense, and even if there was enough time, the super-limited quantities of the thing wouldn't makes sense; I doubt they could've raised enough money to properly clean up even a fraction of the series with just 3000 sales.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:28 pm
If it's the for the 30th set, then I guess they did more than simply just uncrop the footage.
All they did is go back to the cleaned-up footage, zoom it in to hide the edges (far more than they needed to, because they don't want to manually frame each shot to maximise the framing area), add the DNR and sharpening on top again, and apply a shitty colour filter.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:28 pm
If it was before, then I wonder if they toiled with the 4x3 DNRed season release. It would make sense given the survey and the fact that there were cosumers who thought the levels were too grainy and DNRing does allow more episodes on a disc.
Funi did the survey shortly after the Levels were cancelled, and then disregarded the results completely. If the survey mattered at all here, they would have listened to it in 2014.

Maybe the 30th sets were just to shut up the fans who, to Funi's eyes, are basically just constant complainers. It's clear they didn't actually listen to what we really want, otherwise we wouldn't have got what we got here. :L

We really don't know what the idea was going in here, but whatever it was, Funi completely missed the mark, and proved that they're shockingly out of touch with what their fans actually want. I really hope things improve one day, but I doubt they will, not for decades at least.
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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by KBABZ » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:42 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:44 pm
Maybe the 30th sets were just to shut up the fans who, to Funi's eyes, are basically just constant complainers. It's clear they didn't actually listen to what we really want, otherwise we wouldn't have got what we got here. :L
IMO this outlook was locked in when they added fake grain to the 30th sets after we complained they removed it.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by eledoremassis02 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm

My point exactly but the Season Blurays cropping does not benifit from fixing the tapes marks,
Image
The green area is the blemish/error seen on the level set
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/9F29JNNU
and as people assumed (one) reason why they might have had reverted back to widescreen was to reduce the tape mark issue. So as I said, either
A) They were initally follwing the survey results and then rengeg for some reason
or
B) There was some sort of fix up/investment in the 30th set (they did add grain, new title card fonts)

As you proved yourself, they did even fix tape marks in later episodes. I'm just wondering when. It's quite possible the 30th set was done before the Season Blurays, which would suggest that the survey had some impact but they decided against and then released them later in a limited set. Or they took some money (or newer programs, settings, whatever) to clean up the rest of the footage for a 4:3 presentation.

Either way somthing was clearly done to the 30th remaser.

Edit: It does also make one wonder if there was any automation in the level sets tape removal, or if this one instance was just perhaps a burnt out employee that had to many fracking frames :lol:

Edit 2: Not really a complain but more intrique. You can see the slight distortion here caused from a tape mark fix
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/7KP77NNX
Last 3 frames of Nappa
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/9F29FNNU

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by VanceRefrigeration » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:20 am

eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
My point exactly but the Season Blurays cropping does not benifit from fixing the tapes marks,
The green area is the blemish/error seen on the level set
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/9F29JNNU
and as people assumed (one) reason why they might have had reverted back to widescreen was to reduce the tape mark issue. So as I said, either
A) They were initally follwing the survey results and then rengeg for some reason
or
B) There was some sort of fix up/investment in the 30th set (they did add grain, new title card fonts)

As you proved yourself, they did even fix tape marks in later episodes. I'm just wondering when. It's quite possible the 30th set was done before the Season Blurays, which would suggest that the survey had some impact but they decided against and then released them later in a limited set. Or they took some money (or newer programs, settings, whatever) to clean up the rest of the footage for a 4:3 presentation.
It is a good point that the Season Blu-rays mostly wouldn't benefit from removing tape marks because of their crop hiding them. My own personal guess is that when they restarted the clean-up work (if they even paused it to begin with), they weren't quite sure what aspect ratio the next release would be in because the survey said one thing, but sales numbers said another thing. So it's possible that they cleaned everything, including tape marks, just to cover their bases.

And here's one thing to consider: the Season BDs had selective cropping and sometimes artificially panned up or down on the footage. There may be instances where certain shots are framed or panned low enough to where tape marks would be visible if they weren't removed. I found this comparison on another thread, and that Season BD shot looks like it's dangerously close to tape mark territory:
But when I checked, the last frame of the shot shows no tape mark:
However, you can actually see a bit of the tape mark affecting that area on Funimation's DVD single:
And you can also see the tape mark there on a Japanese tv airing of this episode:
The tape mark being there on other sources must mean that it was removed on the Season BD. So if they were cleaning up the film with knowledge of this sort of cropping, maybe they figured it would be safer to just remove all the tape marks to allow for any kind of framing on any given shot.

About whether they could have removed them specifically for the 30th, I'm not sure if there was enough time. There had to be 3000 pledges for them to even know they would be making the thing, and that happened in mid-April 2019, while people started receiving the sets in November 2019. I'd guess they would have to have the video work done at least a month before that to give time to package >3000 sets. So is 6 months enough time to remove tape marks at the end of every shot for 291 episodes? Maybe. I don't know.
Edit: It does also make one wonder if there was any automation in the level sets tape removal, or if this one instance was just perhaps a burnt out employee that had to many fracking frames :lol:
I think the area of the frame you want fixed needs to be manually selected, and then the software finds information from previous frames that it thinks matches best. I'm sure if it messes up, someone can fix it manually, but I guess this was one that slipped by quality-control. Though I will say, that particular shot may have been tricky for the software because it was shaking. The frame before had everything shifted up, while the frame before that matched Nappa's position but not the rocks. Though whatever method they used after the Levels seems to have been smarter and could account for shaking.
Edit 2: Not really a complain but more intrique. You can see the slight distortion here caused from a tape mark fix
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/7KP77NNX
Last 3 frames of Nappa
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/9F29FNNU
Yeah I see this kind of distortion all the time on the Levels. Whatever tool they were using doesn't seem to have been accounting for the warping changes that happen between frames.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:19 am

eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
My point exactly but the Season Blurays cropping does not benifit from fixing the tapes marks,
Not in that shot, but it varies. See VanceRefrigeration's post.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
and as people assumed (one) reason why they might have had reverted back to widescreen was to reduce the tape mark issue. So as I said, either
A) They were initally follwing the survey results and then rengeg for some reason
or
B) There was some sort of fix up/investment in the 30th set (they did add grain, new title card fonts)
The survey has nothing to do with it, there is no way there was any new fixing up for the 30th sets, and most critically, the tape mark cleanup being part of why they went widescreen is 100% speculation, which arose from the idea that the Levels were too expensive to remaster, which is clearly not what went on, particularly when you read into the Season BDs' remastering process. Plus, if you just take a second to look at the picture, it's clear it's been cleaned in general, otherwise you'd see dust, scratches, cue marks, and all kinds of other crap showing constantly, and we know for a fact it was cleaned anyway because we literally have a quote from the Season BD remastering feature, where the home video head explains that teams of five engineers would work on each episode to manually clean them up. This is no mystery, we know that the Season BDs were a full-frame clean-up and the cropping was done last. We even see footage in the Season BD remastering feature showing a full-frame version with no visible tape marks. I'm pretty sure they outright discuss the decision to crop it, even, and talk about how they came to that decision; not as part of the cleanup, but after that, as part of the filtering.

As I said in my last post, look at the timescale, look at the investment, etc. (Both VanceRefrigeration and I have already mentioned this in more detail) It's clear they did a full restoration of the film, then just cropped it and filtered it at the end for release, then the 30th sets just took the restored footage, then zoomed it and filtered it again. You're trying to find some good, honest, hard work that went into the 30th sets just to give us the basic requirement of a 4:3 picture, and I'm afraid what you're looking for was never there.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
As you proved yourself, they did even fix tape marks in later episodes. I'm just wondering when. It's quite possible the 30th set was done before the Season Blurays, which would suggest that the survey had some impact but they decided against and then released them later in a limited set. Or they took some money (or newer programs, settings, whatever) to clean up the rest of the footage for a 4:3 presentation.
There is literally nothing to suggest what you're speculating here. All evidence so far points to the 30th sets reusing material created for the Season BDs, even going as far as to use the exact same untouched audio tracks and subtitles. There was no real new master created, at all. The signs are abundant that they just went back to their 2014 restored picture, zoomed it in, and added their DNR+sharpening filter. If they'd decided to do a bunch of new manual restoration work on the 30th sets, they would have had to have, as with the Season BDs and Levels, a team of engineers working for days at a time on each individual episode to manually clean up any remaining problems. It's just not feasible for this release; it makes no sense to assume that anything like this happened, especially when so much points to them doing a proper cleanup of the full 4:3 frame for the Season BDs...

And again, the survey doesn't matter. As I recall, we have word from within Funi that they literally just ran the survey to try to have something to show "See, the fans want 16:9!", then it didn't go their way, so they threw it out and never thought about it again.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
Edit: It does also make one wonder if there was any automation in the level sets tape removal, or if this one instance was just perhaps a burnt out employee that had to many fracking frames :lol:
Again, we literally have quotes on teams of engineers working for weeks at a time to manually clean each episode for the Season BD remastering, and we know the cleanup of the Season BDs was done in 4:3, they just cropped it down at the end along with their DNR+sharpening filtering.
VanceRefrigeration wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:20 am
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
Edit: It does also make one wonder if there was any automation in the level sets tape removal, or if this one instance was just perhaps a burnt out employee that had to many fracking frames :lol:
I think the area of the frame you want fixed needs to be manually selected, and then the software finds information from previous frames that it thinks matches best. I'm sure if it messes up, someone can fix it manually, but I guess this was one that slipped by quality-control. Though I will say, that particular shot may have been tricky for the software because it was shaking. The frame before had everything shifted up, while the frame before that matched Nappa's position but not the rocks. Though whatever method they used after the Levels seems to have been smarter and could account for shaking.
I'm pretty sure we've seen in other remastering features, as well as the descrpitions of the processes, that removing the tape marks is a manual thing. I would guess the Levels, they got a bit careless in places, or may have experimented with trying some automated tape mark removal, but that created some issues.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
Edit 2: Not really a complain but more intrique. You can see the slight distortion here caused from a tape mark fix
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/7KP77NNX
Last 3 frames of Nappa
http://www.framecompare.com/image-compa ... n/9F29FNNU
Yes, this is widely-known. It's also widely-known that these issues were fixed for the Season BD restoration, and those fixes were inherited by the 30th sets.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:09 pm
Yeah I see this kind of distortion all the time on the Levels. Whatever tool they were using doesn't seem to have been accounting for the warping changes that happen between frames.
Their "tool" was really just rubbing out the bottom of the frame with basically a photoshop style soft eraser tool, with a previous frame underneath. The result is good enough that you wouldn't notice it on normal viewing, and even individual screenshots look good, but when you put the adjacent frames side-by-side, you see the warping created by this.
Dragon Ball is a goofy kids cartoon from a long time ago. You take it too seriously at your own peril.
Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by eledoremassis02 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:10 pm



Don't know why I was quoted as somthing I didnt say but something just doesnt make sence regardless of what facts and assumptions we have.

The fact of the matter is, they corrected an error (and I admit its small one) which seems very unFuni like. And an error that was cut out of it's intial release and not be seen again (if they werent planning a 4x3 release either then or down the line (aka 30th).

Either way FUNimation has weird track record at best when it comes to inhouse restortions/home video. They still sell the Orange Bricks while never fixing the missing lines issue but they went back and fixed a few cherry picked frames.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by Robo4900 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:50 pm

eledoremassis02 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:10 pm
Don't know why I was quoted as somthing I didnt say
Which part?
I'm fairly sure I correctly quoted you on what you said. Perhaps you misread the part where I quoted VanceRefrigeration?
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:10 pm
but something just doesnt make sence regardless of what facts and assumptions we have.
The fact of the matter is, they corrected an error (and I admit its small one) which seems very unFuni like. And an error that was cut out of it's intial release and not be seen again (if they werent planning a 4x3 release either then or down the line (aka 30th).
Funi correct errors all the time, just not how we'd like. The Orange Bricks had a ton of mixing errors on the dub tracks that were fixed on the Season BDs (not all the errors were fixed, but many were; in fact, it's a very different audio mix overall), the cropped framing was worse on the OBs than on the BDs, the disappearing lines issue was fixed for the BDs. Similarly, here, when the remastering process started up again for the Season BDs, they did a once-over on the earlier episodes to make sure they were up to snuff, and fixed some errors. They were already in it for the long haul of 291 episodes, so you might as well do a little TLC on the first 70 or so episodes that were already done/kinda done, to make sure they're as best as they can be.

Again, Funi's restoration process overall seems to have been good on both the Levels AND the Season BDs... But they ruined the Seasons by cropping and DNRing at the end, and then the 30th set merely took this restoration, zoomed it in, applied the same DNR+sharpening the Seasons had, and fucked up the colours.

As for the fix not being seen... First up, it seems you missed VanceRefrigeration's post (I suggest you go read it; it's a good post):
As you can see here, the tape mark has been cleaned off, and this is from a late Boo arc episode. Grab the version of this shot from the 30th set and you'll find it's identical to the Season BD, I'm sure.

Second up, who knows, maybe they did initially assume they'd do it in 4:3 when the engineers started the restoration process up again after the Levels... Steve Franko's initial transfer was the full frame, and the engineers working on it were at least partially the same people as on the Levels, seemingly with about the same process, so it seems the restoration was carried out at 4:3, with the assumption they had to clean up the whole frame... But the decision from high up had been made to crop and DNR+sharpen the picture as a part of the filtering at the end, and they only went back on the cropping five years later, for a cheaped-out set to appease "the most hardcore of fans" that completely missed the mark in all the important ways.
To be honest, I've lost track of what we're even arguing about when it comes to this point specifically... We know the cleanup was done full-frame, it's abundantly clear it was done for the Season BDs' restoration in 2014, so we know they could have done a successor to the Levels in 2014 at the same pricepoint and episode counts and such as the BDs, and we know the 30th sets could have been basically a successor to the Levels, and each time, Funi had just not done that, so... To me, it makes perfect sense that the cleanup was done in full frame, but the release was cropped down, and the 30th set shows this is what happened... Funi covered all their bases by having the whole picture cleaned up so they would never have to have it cleaned up again, but all their releases so far that use this cleaned-up master as their base has been shitty because of the attitudes of those in control there. I don't really get why you find this so weird.
eledoremassis02 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:10 pm
Either way FUNimation has weird track record at best when it comes to inhouse restortions/home video. They still sell the Orange Bricks while never fixing the missing lines issue but they went back and fixed a few cherry picked frames.
They did fix the Orange Bricks' missing lines issue, when they went on to do the Season BDs; those (and the 30th sets, and the Levels) were completely free of the disappearing lines issue, as well as stuff like the audio mix errors I mentioned above. The Season BDs also made the cropping more selective than the shitty OB centre-crop, which is an issue fix...
Dragon Ball is a goofy kids cartoon from a long time ago. You take it too seriously at your own peril.
Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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Re: Funimations 30th anniversary collectible home video release

Post by KBABZ » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:12 pm

I'd imagine they cleaned up more of the tape marks for the Blu-Ray sets because they use selective 16:9 cropping to frame the shot as best it can. In Robo's example shot, that's plainly the bottom. The OBs meanwhile were of course a totally centered 16:9 crop which totally ruins almost every shot, but it meant you didn't have to worry about tape marks at all.

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