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


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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
Posts: 3852
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:00 pm Reply with quote
FLCLGainax wrote:
I thought Discotek did a pretty good job with A-ko, considering the source they were working with.


...What? There IS one? Where, where? Shocked (does quick "Doko-doko?" search-about)
What happened with Discotek's version? I know the source is gone, but any lingering traces of CPM's, er, "remastering"?

(As for A-ko #2-4, the CPM's weren't so bad, and I'll keep my one-disk version, thanks.)
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Violynne



Joined: 09 May 2014
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:44 am Reply with quote
I do not mind attempts at using DNR to clean up for digital display. When done right, it's transparent.

The issue is it's not flawless, so when it is noticeable, it's usually due to the failure of its application, such as blurred spots or "whiteouts" where compression couldn't factor correctly and creates white-like spots in the area.

With 4K now penetrating the market, any attempts at "saving" 4:3 analog shows is almost pointless as nothing can be done to "save" it. Most TVs don't know how to handle 4:3 natively anymore (adding letterboxing/sidebars is not "handling" it, it's still be converted for digital display).

There has to be a time when anime fans let go of the old shows done in analog.

Frankly: those complaining of the transfers but refuse to buy an old CRT to watch it as it was intended are doing so for the sake of complaining.

It's like listening to vinyl fans, falsely believing the sound is better than digital which is scientifically and audibly inaccurate.

The device which plays the medium is what creates the "distortions" people appreciate.

The medium itself is irrelevant.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:18 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.

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


I don't think anyone said that the grain was more important than the content of a film. It's a part of it, not the most important thing.

Quote:
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.

I think live performance is a great example. A live performance is made of many things. There's the play itself--the written word on a page. There is the oral performance of the actors and actresses who recite those words--the inflections, emotions, and accents in their voices. There are costumes. And there is also the set design of the theater. Lighting is very important too. An audience member's experience is affected by all those things. Changing the grain on film is little different than changing any of those things I listed above. It's part of the experience.

Personally, I'm not a film aficionado either. I'm not a grain purist, in fact I don't really care about it most of the time. But I think it does have an obvious affect on a film. And if the film happens to be one with a lot of artistic elements in the photography itself, then fooling around with the grain can have a huge impact on it, the same way that costume changes can have a huge impact on certain plays.

Quote:
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...

yes indeed


Last edited by AkumaChef on Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:38 pm Reply with quote
Violynne wrote:
I do not mind attempts at using DNR to clean up for digital display. When done right, it's transparent.

Agreed 100% The technology isn't the problem, rather it's how the technology is used which matters. DNR doesn't ruin movies. Editors who happen to use DNR improperly sometimes do.

Quote:
It's like listening to vinyl fans, falsely believing the sound is better than digital which is scientifically and audibly inaccurate.


I think that's an interesting comparison, but perhaps for slightly different reasons than you mention. I think it really comes down to how the technology is implemented, not which technology is used.

If we take your example and compare "digital audio" with "analog audio" on paper and look at tech specs there is no question that digital is the superior format. Zero. But if we look at things in practice then things are a little different. Most analog LPs were made at a time when auto-tune didn't exist and it was not standard practice to doctor up the signal with dynamic range compression and aggressive EQ. LPs pre-dated the "loudness wars" which plagued CDs in the 1990s and we seem to be stuck with in popular music to this day. They don't have any sort of lossy compression. Decades ago people sat down in a room in their home and listened to music on a big stereo. Today we use tiny portable devices with a fraction of the power. So when we look at the two formats based not on paper specs but how they were or are typically used then digital suddenly has a lot of problems. Those problems aren't inherent to digital formats so it's not really fair to blame "digital" for them but they are so common that they are *typical* of digital. Just like with DNR, it's how the tech is used that is the problem. It can be a great improvement or it can be a disaster.
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FLCLGainax



Joined: 10 May 2010
Posts: 513
Location: USA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:02 pm Reply with quote
EricJ2 wrote:
FLCLGainax wrote:
I thought Discotek did a pretty good job with A-ko, considering the source they were working with.


...What? There IS one? Where, where? Shocked (does quick "Doko-doko?" search-about)
What happened with Discotek's version? I know the source is gone, but any lingering traces of CPM's, er, "remastering"?

(As for A-ko #2-4, the CPM's weren't so bad, and I'll keep my one-disk version, thanks.)
Discotek's version was a different remaster from the same LD edition, but without the aliasing issues or laser-rot CPM's had. They pretty much just filtered out analog video noise. Also, the color-timing was more preserved unlike CPM's which muted them a bit.
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Desa



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 254
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:33 am Reply with quote
Grain and noise actually have practical uses in that they greatly mitigate or altogether eliminate color banding, which to me is a far more egregious artifact than uniformly distributed grain or noise. Visual noise is much like audio noise, in that when they are constantly present your brain will eventually ignore most of it as it focuses on the colors, shapes, and sounds that are actually meaningful.

I consider myself an archivist rather than a purist, and to that end what I am concerned with most is the preservation of information. DNR is by definition the permanent removal of information, which often results in blurry smearing artifacts when done poorly. It's simply a terrible trade off to remove something that isn't that bad to begin with. And if we assume to be true the proposition that future noise reduction methods will be superior to the present means available, then all the more reason to preserve the fidelity of the grain and noise for posterity.
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miken



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 48
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:42 am Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
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.

they do have. they were mostly shot on 65/70mm though, which produces a finer and less clearly visible grain than the classic 35mm film.
here they are praising the fine grain-layer on H8 for example:
https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Hateful-Eight-Blu-ray/123505/

Quote:
I doubt anyone saw Ben-Hur back when it first came out and experienced film grain.

sure. if ben hur would have been filmed with digital cameras... analog film will always have grain.
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Posts: 662
Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:07 am Reply with quote
miken wrote:
MarshalBanana wrote:
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.

they do have. they were mostly shot on 65/70mm though, which produces a finer and less clearly visible grain than the classic 35mm film.
Quote:
I doubt anyone saw Ben-Hur back when it first came out and experienced film grain.

sure. if ben hur would have been filmed with digital cameras... analog film will always have grain.


Yep. Grain is built into the physical structure of film the same way that pixels are built into the physical structure of a digital camera's sensor. The choice of film, exposure, processing, and printing can change the amount of grain visible (always for the worse, you can't exceed what's manufactured into the film), but it's always there.

Various film purveyors spent a ton of money and time minimizing the size of the grain and thus rendering it invisible to the naked eye... but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:42 am Reply with quote
DerekL1963 wrote:

The choice of film, exposure, processing, and printing can change the amount of grain visible (always for the worse, you can't exceed what's manufactured into the film), but it's always there.


And that is why I think that some film aficionados are so interested in grain. Some filmmakers try and minimize it. But other times the director specifically chooses a certain type of film because of the specific look it gives. Maybe that film has a certain color profile the director wants. Maybe it has a certain grain that he or she likes the look of. It's no different than a painter selecting different weaves of canvas or different paint application techniques to get the look they want. If DNR is done poorly it can remove that aspect of the film.
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