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Answerman - Why Does Old TV Anime Have Jerky Splices?


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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1680
Location: Los Angeles, CA
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:12 am 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.

Good questions! ADV did this once, with the first DVD volume of Evangelion. Since that also froze the (quite prominent) film grain for an extra couple of frames, there was a noticeable pause in the video at every cut. The video-obsessed fans HATED HATED HATED it. Between that and the ridiculous text overlays, the complaints were so bad that it forced ADV to halt production and redo the first disc.

Since it was an additional expense and a TON of work anyway, nobody else really cared to tempt fate and do that again.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 7163
Location: Another Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:57 pm Reply with quote
residentgrigo wrote:
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.


You don't even have to go that far. I grew up watching all sorts of REALLY cheaply done cel animation, as my parents knew I was into cartoons and would just pick things from the discount bin for me to watch or random things on TV that the network could pay to air. (The only one I can positively identify in the present is Adventures of the American Rabbit, and also a Mexican one, Katy the Caterpillar Meets the Aliens. All the others I've forgotten except for tiny little bits, not enough to identify the specific production, unless someone here knows what had a song called "Time and Again" play during the credits and a villain who kept saying "Splice! Dice! Slice!")

The result is that, while I have noticed the weird splicing found in anime, I actually never associated it with anime, just bottom-budget animation in general.
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Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 907
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:23 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
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.

Good questions! ADV did this once, with the first DVD volume of Evangelion. Since that also froze the (quite prominent) film grain for an extra couple of frames, there was a noticeable pause in the video at every cut. The video-obsessed fans HATED HATED HATED it. Between that and the ridiculous text overlays, the complaints were so bad that it forced ADV to halt production and redo the first disc.

Since it was an additional expense and a TON of work anyway, nobody else really cared to tempt fate and do that again.


All for the best, in my opinion. Given a choice between living with the original flaws and fixing them but in the process introducing new flaws, I'll take the original flaws.
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Joe Carpenter



Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Posts: 503
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:04 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
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.

Good questions! ADV did this once, with the first DVD volume of Evangelion. Since that also froze the (quite prominent) film grain for an extra couple of frames, there was a noticeable pause in the video at every cut. The video-obsessed fans HATED HATED HATED it. Between that and the ridiculous text overlays, the complaints were so bad that it forced ADV to halt production and redo the first disc.

Since it was an additional expense and a TON of work anyway, nobody else really cared to tempt fate and do that again.


See, I'm totally confused because I thought they did fix that for the Evangelion Platinum release somehow?
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samuelp
Industry Insider


Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2171
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:12 am Reply with quote
Rather than do it by replacing the bad frame with a good one, another more difficult option is to crop the telecine a bit, and pan the jerky frames with some stretch/translation to where they should be.

This can be done recently using image stabilization algorithms somewhat automatically (see AVISYNTH "depan" filters for an open source method).

Way way back in the day I remember doing a lot of work trying to get settings that would do a semi decent job of automatically dejerking the cut frames, and it's not impossible.

Heck, your average anime episode only has ~300-400 cuts or so. Assuming you can manually recenter the bad frames in like, ~30 seconds each, that's only 4 hours of work an episode or so.
Workflow:
Take telecine, save all frames as lossless png/bmp
Visually scan through the frames looking for bad cuts, then manually pan them so they overlay properly with the frame next to them.
Crop the entire video by as much as necessary to hide the empty borders.

With fast SSDs and large hard discs I think this process would not be so bad today as it would have been years ago.
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