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Answerman - What Is DNR/DVNR, And Why Do People Hate It?


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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:46 pm Reply with quote
One can only wonder whether in a future release, a frustrated engineer will heed the por qué no los adage and fit two video tracks on one disc with differing degrees of residual grain. It would either please all viewers or none.
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Kurohayabusa



Joined: 10 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:28 pm Reply with quote
Why do many anime films that are released on bluray still have film grain? I assumed most have a completely digital mastering workflow that wouldn't involve any film at all. Do they just add it to give a subtle "movie" feel?
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Sakura Shinguji



Joined: 09 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:41 pm Reply with quote
I do wish the article had placed a bit less emphasis on the effect of DNR on film grain, and more emphasis on DNR being poorly applied such that content gets blurred into a smeary blobby mess.

The article does address both, but comments thus far seem to suggest people are getting stuck on the grain aspect, while missing the arguably worse issue of video simply being made to look bad.

The Sailor Moon situation got a lot of press, but that's just because it was a high profile title; that's hardly the first time such a situation has happened.

When your Blu-ray version looks significantly worse than your DVD version because the Blu-ray version was hamfistedly DNR'ed by a day 1 intern (for example, anyone who owns a combo pack for season 2 of Shakugan no Shana can go have a look right now), you know something's gone very wrong.

The consumer of course is the problem. Studios wouldn't be so inclined to so heavily apply DNR if so many people didn't expect everything to have over-bright yet somehow flat colors inside artificially sharpened outlines, which will then look like "correct" HD to them on their HDTV still set to factory settings with brightness, contrast, and motion blur turned all the way up. This is why Funimation ended up canceling their original, light-touch, pillarboxed Blu-ray release of DBZ partway, and started over again with their overly-DNR'ed, faux-widescreen version, which unlike the first try ended up selling like hotcakes. It was the right business move, but a crying shame.
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Ushio



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:42 pm Reply with quote
http://i.imgur.com/E9yWZ.jpg

Is the perfect example of some things should be left alone.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:06 am Reply with quote
configspace wrote:

I see and agree with his point, because the original here is really the source -- the animation cells themselves, not the film. The cells for the characters, foreground objects for the most part, have no grain. If you theoretically reassembled the foreground cells on original backgrounds for animation and rescanned them now in digital format, rather than refilming on old analog XX-mm camera film, you'd have zero grain. It will come out clean, stable, bright solid grain-free cel shades -- just like the cels if you've ever seen or held any, appear in front of your eyes and the artists' eyes. And hand-painted backgrounds will retain their texture without any film noise artifacts.

This is generally how I feel too. It's different for live-action, where the actors' performances are ephemeral and now exist only as they were caught in the moment on film. As you say, the original cels and backgrounds of a vintage anime series are actual physical objects, and things like film grain and cel dirt are artifacts of the photography process. I know it's nigh-impossible due to poor archival processes and the massive cost involved, but it would be amazing to see someone go back and re-shoot at least part of a cel-animated series with full digital clarity.

Now all of that being said, if the choice is between a bunch of grain and a poorly-applied filtering process that destroys a ton of fine detail, I'll obviously go with the former every time. But I see no value in film grain for its own sake.
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Tony K.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:43 am Reply with quote
Kurohayabusa wrote:
Why do many anime films that are released on bluray still have film grain? I assumed most have a completely digital mastering workflow that wouldn't involve any film at all. Do they just add it to give a subtle "movie" feel?

Yes. Grain has been around since the inception of cinema, so I would think adding even a little artificial grain would give said film that "theatrical" feel. That and the obvious increase in animation budget.
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MrBonk



Joined: 23 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:49 am Reply with quote
The fact of the matter is you cannot really effectively eliminate grain from something made on film without it ruining the illusion of detail and scrubbing in surface information in the process. (You can to some degree reduce it to be less distracting but good god look at Dragon Ball Z on Blu-Ray to see what happens if you try to remove it all. It looks like hot garbage)
The random high frequency noise present tricks the brain into the illusion of detail. Your brain then fills in the gaps.

This is true for anything shot on film. Or even digital cameras and human vision itself.
Light is inherently random and our brains and eyes fill in the gaps.
https://www.dpreview.com/articles/8189925268/what-s-that-noise-shedding-some-light-on-the-sources-of-noise
(Also google visual noise/snow. Hand over one eye and you'll start to see the noise of the other eye without that brighter high frequency input. Or just dark vision noise in general. )

Film grain isn't an artifact, it's an inherent part of how the medium works. It's no different than how a digital image is made up of pixels. Things added to the image as part of compression are artifacts because compression is not inherently how digital images work. Those are added *After the fact*. Grain on film is present the moment it is shot.

A bunch of cels laid together is not how a show was meant to be seen, that was merely how a shot was composed because what was shot was not necessarily how it turns out once the film is off to be developed and color timed. Those kinds of choices were thought out as part of the process. (And how they took advantage of film to deliver a certain look to the image)
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NJ_



Joined: 31 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:52 am Reply with quote
MrBonk wrote:
The fact of the matter is you cannot really effectively eliminate grain from something made on film without it ruining the illusion of detail and scrubbing in surface information in the process. (You can to some degree reduce it to be less distracting but good god look at Dragon Ball Z on DVD & Blu-Ray to see what happens if you try to remove it all. It looks like hot garbage)


Fixed that for you because those orange bricks are still in-print.
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miken



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:03 am Reply with quote
Tony K. wrote:
Kurohayabusa wrote:
Why do many anime films that are released on bluray still have film grain? I assumed most have a completely digital mastering workflow that wouldn't involve any film at all. Do they just add it to give a subtle "movie" feel?

Yes. Grain has been around since the inception of cinema, so I would think adding even a little artificial grain would give said film that "theatrical" feel. That and the obvious increase in animation budget.


besides color-banding doesn't appear that obvious for the eye with a bit grain, and a lot of anime still have issues with that.


Ushio wrote:
http://i.imgur.com/E9yWZ.jpg

Is the perfect example of some things should be left alone.


yeah, disney managed to ruin many of my childhood favorites on blu-ray...

https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=3262&d2=7650&c=1363
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EricJ2



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:56 pm Reply with quote
MrBonk wrote:
The fact of the matter is you cannot really effectively eliminate grain from something made on film without it ruining the illusion of detail and scrubbing in surface information in the process. (You can to some degree reduce it to be less distracting but good god look at Dragon Ball Z on Blu-Ray to see what happens if you try to remove it all. It looks like hot garbage)


Yeah, I thought Kuro was asking about film grain in general, too, but he was asking why there's film grain in digitally sourced anime, now that filmed cel animation is almost extinct.
(Eg. the Disney movies, where animation is done in the computer, or how Pixar sources its DVD/Blu-rays directly from the computer files rather than the digital film print.)

But, while we're on that, Film Grain didn't officially become a film-preservation issue until Fox tried to scrub live-action grain from unfortunate overenthusiastic Blu "restorations" of Predator and Patton, giving us "plastic" characters that looked like the live-action equivalent of that Cinderella shot:
https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/544128-a-look-at-a-predator-remastered-on-blu-ray
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MarshalBanana



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:58 am Reply with quote
Grain would not be part of the original experience, it's a by product of time. If that was true then films like Hateful 8 and Dunkirk would have film grain. But they don't as they were digitised soon after being filmed. I doubt anyone saw Ben-Hur back when it first came out and experienced film grain.
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#884745
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:02 am Reply with quote
DerekL1963 wrote:
#884745 wrote:
Quote:
While pretty much nobody appreciates video noise (unless you're specifically going for an 80s VHS look), there is absolutely no consensus in how much film grain is appropriate to leave in. Purists often want to feel like they're getting as close to the original image as possible, and often that means "the more grain, the better!"


"Purists" are so peculiar. Such a peculiar phenomenon.

Purists want the original image - which would mean more grain, but... the original... would be the real life materials - the actor, the sets, the costumes, etc. - that the camera was filming, not the camera itself. And that has no grain at all.


That's a bit of an odd claim since "original" usually means "as originally broadcast" (or recorded, or whatever). I have literally never seen or heard of anyone using "original" in the sense of "the actual materials used to create the broadcast" (or recorded, or whatever).

So, a bit of a strawman there I think.


Even if no one's ever said something before, that doesn't make the point invalid.

I find it really strange that the medium, the package of the content, is considered more "original" than the subject.

It feels detached, like saying the brush strokes in a painting are more important than what they represent.

Not that paintings don't have more than their fair share of controversy over restoration...

Or like saying that a production now of an old play shouldn't use lighting techniques that weren't around when the play was written. Sure, there are lines in Shakespeare that reference the dim candlelight in Blackfriar's, or the fact that the Globe was outdoors, and the limited sets they had (if any), and there are times when directors have done creative and interesting things to make the most of what they had, but most of the directors in those times would have vastly preferred a modern lighting setup.

As if these things are more important than who the characters are, or what they're saying. Or as if the characters would no longer be themselves without these things... which is probably true in some cases, but only a very small number of them... and demanding "authenticity" for everything sort of diminishes the artistry of those cases, one could say...

I'm not a film person, though, I'm an all-media person, but... mostly prose and live theatre. So that's where my perspective is coming from.

But I do also think that "but this is what everyone says" is a bad reason for thinking/doing things, and I do think that fans/creators/etc. of any media should explore other media as well, and that that's the best way to develop a better appreciation of one's preferred medium...
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xchampion



Joined: 21 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:44 pm Reply with quote
I love things to look great on my HDTV and I don't really care how it was originally meant to be seen quite honestly. If it has grain but the picture still looks great than awesome. If the picture has been DNRd to hell but it still looks good than that's fine too. I'm easy to please you could say.
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DerekL1963
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:53 pm Reply with quote
#884745 wrote:
I find it really strange that the medium, the package of the content, is considered more "original" than the subject.


You find it really strange that the original broadcast format, how it was intended to be seen and how the audience first saw it, is considered the original? You think that the materials used to create the show, which were never intended to be seen by the public, are "more" original?

I honestly cannot grasp how anyone can think that. (Especially since the folks trying to justify that position are grasping at ever more tenuous straws to support that position.)

Quote:
It feels detached, like saying the brush strokes in a painting are more important than what they represent.


No offense, but you've got it backwards. You're the one proposing that the brush strokes and other other production steps and components are more important (and more 'original') than the finished product.
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FLCLGainax



Joined: 10 May 2010
Posts: 514
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:45 pm Reply with quote
EricJ2 wrote:

If the earlier post about CPM's A-Ko and AnimEigo's early UY volumes didn't get through, I repeat:
These "remasterings" were Evidence For the Prosecution that will curl your hair Shocked ...With Japanese sources, we may yet have a chance to save UY, but considering that we have now officially lost any hope of seeing a proper Discotek of "Project A-Ko" pushes DVNR from "Historical footnote" all the way into "Tragic atrocity of early animation history".
And, has been said about many historical atrocities...NEVER. AGAIN.

I thought Discotek did a pretty good job with A-ko, considering the source they were working with.
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