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Answerman - Why Does Old TV Anime Have Jerky Splices?


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K.o.R



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:46 pm Reply with quote
I guess I never considered just how big the impact of scaling up was. Tiny fractions of a millimetre equals huge jump on the screen.

Thanks, Answerman! Very Happy
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 1746
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:56 pm Reply with quote
I know Sailor Moon has a few shots of visible tape at the bottom of the screen for some reason.

I own a couple 16mm reels of old television prints of movies that my uncle found in an antique shop. It really is very tiny, about half the size of 35mm.

Another film issue you sometimes see with movies are cue-holes in the upper right corner, which mark reel changes. There will be two at the end of every reel. I know they’re visible for the Dragon Ball/Z and Sailor Moon films, even the “remastered” versions.
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:49 pm Reply with quote
Why does animation have cuts if it's being drawn frame by frame anyway?
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K.o.R



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:14 pm Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:
Why does animation have cuts if it's being drawn frame by frame anyway?


Multiple scenes being drawn and photographed simultaneously. 35,000 frames is going to take far too long to do with only one camera.
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Sailor Sedna



Joined: 08 Jan 2015
Posts: 501
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:50 pm Reply with quote
So this is why on older anime releases (and other animated non-anime films) you may see the screen jump around if it cuts to scenes or something (usually I think stuff like that adds to its charm).
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Posts: 535
Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:24 pm Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:
Why does animation have cuts if it's being drawn frame by frame anyway?


Because cuts organize the work.
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Dumas1



Joined: 20 Dec 2012
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:48 pm Reply with quote
Fascinating. I've always vaguely known that film was physically spliced, but I'd never thought about how that might affect the appearance of the final product. I suppose low resolution viewing can hide some funky stuff.

My friend's Macross DVDs has strangely rounded corners on a lot of shots. I wonder if that's an artifact of the old film or the transfer process.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1599
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:55 pm Reply with quote
I noticed this years ago when I ripped His and Her Circumstances for an AMV and noticed the splice damage at the top of the first frame after every cut in the entire series.

Compare this frame's obvious splice at the top:


With the undamaged next frame afterwards:
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MadHi



Joined: 10 Mar 2014
Posts: 166
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:11 pm Reply with quote
It doesn't explain why they're not fixed for DVD releases? When they convert them to digital files, it's quite easy, with the right software that isn't picky with file types, to just cut from the jerky part and replace it with an identical scene that isn't jerky. And those are almost always the very next frame.
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Ashley Hakker



Joined: 31 Aug 2016
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:23 pm Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:
Why does animation have cuts if it's being drawn frame by frame anyway?


Because animation is not animated sequentially onto a single master reel.

First the animation itself is literally tasked out shot by shot. That way each and every shot could be tackled individually by multiple people/teams of people. That basically allows parallelism.

Secondly, the exact edit of a production won't be decided exactly until the editing stage. So each shot could have extra frames (We call these 'Handles' in the west). Not to mention, some shots may be a single shot tasked up. Imagine panning halfway up on a giant robot, cutting to the pilots face, then cutting back to the robot. The robot pan would be done as a single shot and then be edited later. The extra animation also gives 'wiggle room' in editing so someone can then say 'Yes, but we should stay on Sailor Moon's face another 12 frames before cutting to the monster.'.

...Of course, all of that editing is a lot easier today than it was back then. Razz
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Ouran High School Dropout
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Joined: 28 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:34 pm Reply with quote
MadHi wrote:
It doesn't explain why they're not fixed for DVD releases? When they convert them to digital files, it's quite easy, with the right software that isn't picky with file types, to just cut from the jerky part and replace it with an identical scene that isn't jerky. And those are almost always the very next frame.

I'd imagine it's an issue of time--and time equals money. Anything that cuts into tight profit margins has to be seriously considered. There are a few titles where the expense might well be worth it: Ranma 1/2, Cowboy Bebop (judging by the Blu-ray on both, some work was done), and a handful of others. But if you're Discotek Media reissuing a 30-year-old,1-hour OVA, you're a lot more likely to make do with the existing master.

Just for fun: back in high school/college, I made amateur 16mm movies, using the same reversal film that Justin mentions (it was a far better and cheaper choice for hobbyists, where only a single print was required). Cut film on block, scrape emulsion, apply cement, let dry, wash, rinse, repeat. But you had to be careful; with no duplicate negatives, there's no correcting mistakes.
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Ashley Hakker



Joined: 31 Aug 2016
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:53 pm Reply with quote
Ouran High School Dropout wrote:
I'd imagine it's an issue of time--and time equals money. Anything that cuts into tight profit margins has to be seriously considered. There are a few titles where the expense might well be worth it: Ranma 1/2, Cowboy Bebop (judging by the Blu-ray on both, some work was done), and a handful of others. But if you're Discotek Media reissuing a 30-year-old,1-hour OVA, you're a lot more likely to make do with the existing master..


As someone who works in the VFX industry in the west I can tell you for sure, it's money. It's always money. A lot of conversations basically go like this:

Client: We'd like you to do this, this, and this.
Vendor: That'll cost this much.
Client: ...How about just the first two things?
Vendor: It'll cost his other, smaller amount.
Client: Just do the first thing then, it's the most critical and fits our budget. D:

But to be honest I think some of that honestly adds to the character of the transfer. Seeing the little scratches and marks on the transparent areas of the cells in Outlaw Star as they moved in parallax for example, I genuinely found it interesting to see them in high resolution detail. It makes you really appreciate the means that were used to composite the animation and add effects without the having digital tools at your owns.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1188
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:24 pm Reply with quote
K.o.R wrote:
Multiple scenes being drawn and photographed simultaneously. 35,000 frames is going to take far too long to do with only one camera.


In the cel based animation world, no standard 30 minute TV episode would have had 35,000 frames.

A cel animation cut refers to the background used. Each cel is paired against one background for the entire sequence, such as an up close shot of a character speaking. Each hand painted background is numbered in the far right corner with the word "cut" and then when it will be used (ie. Cut 10, 14, 16). It is not uncommon for the same background to be used 3+ times during the same episode. Cel animation cuts will often include registration holes traced on to the background at the top of the background. If the background is going to be used multiple times, there will sometimes be multiple holes traced, with something like "Cut 10" pertaining to one set and "Cut 14" to another set. Depending on the sequence, there could be one cel used for that cut or there could be 20. Often, the first cel of the sequence will feature a cut number to aide those involved in the filming process so that they know what background to use for that particular sequence of cels.
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Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 631
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:21 am Reply with quote
Cutiebunny wrote:
In the cel based animation world, no standard 30 minute TV episode would have had 35,000 frames.


Depends how you're counting the frames. If you're counting unique frames, ie it's not a new frame until the next cel, no way. But if you're counting every frame of film in the reel, that's more-or-less right for the amount of program plus OP and ED. (Still slightly high though; 34,000 and change is more like it.)
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residentgrigo



Joined: 23 Dec 2007
Posts: 1429
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:52 am Reply with quote
There is something to be said about the thumbprint of the animator being seen on the final product. So i never minded. You really need to hunt down Grindhouse releases so see similar issues being so prevalent in US productions though.
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