I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

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I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby melee54 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:28 am

Before I have a heart attack from all of the frustrations of virtual dub, avisynth, mkvextract, mp4box, scripts, and a million other things I don't understand, I figured I'd better ask for help. I consider myself above average when it comes to computers (I build my own, repair them, etc.), but this is pretty new to me. To put it simply, I'd like to do the following - take ugly School Rumble rips and make them less ugly and as "HD" as possible.

I need some help. Pretty confused.

1. Extracting a video from an mkv file using Mkvextract gives me a .h264 file which virtualdub will not open. I was able to convert it to .mp4 and play it in my media players, but I still can't open it in virtualdub. I've used probably 1.21 jigawatts of electricity spending hours reading guides and failing continuously. (By the way, I've searched these forums and many users reference "the tutorial", but I see no such stickied tutorial").

2. Once I get virtualdub to magically open my video file, how the heck do I make virtualdub load my .avs script files? Just dragging the .avs script into the plugins folder does squat, since vdub seemingly only opens .vdf files.


Or if there's an easier way to do this, I'm all ears. I just want to apply some filters and do whatever I can to make the quality of this anime more bearable since there'll most likely never be a bluray of it.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby Pwolf » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:42 pm

melee54 wrote:Or if there's an easier way to do this, I'm all ears.


Buy the dvds/blus.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby mirkosp » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:44 pm

School Rumble is SD, so even if there were to be BDs it's best to just save money and buy the DVDs, they'll look better. No need to upscale, either.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby melee54 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:25 pm

I already have the Funi DVDs and the quality is junk, even for SD. The MKVs I have look better, but I'd like to be able to make them more bearable.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby mirkosp » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:33 pm

Mmmh... do you have any sample screenshots of the funi DVDs and same screen from the MKVs? Considering the MKVs are probably an already filtered and re-encoded version of the DVDs, depending on how good or bad of a job they did, it might be better to filter the DVDs from the beginning than using those MKVs as a starting point.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby melee54 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:54 pm

mirkosp wrote:Mmmh... do you have any sample screenshots of the funi DVDs and same screen from the MKVs? Considering the MKVs are probably an already filtered and re-encoded version of the DVDs, depending on how good or bad of a job they did, it might be better to filter the DVDs from the beginning than using those MKVs as a starting point.


Sure, here's the DVD screenshot
http://i.imgur.com/0sOG8.jpg (thought I'd just direct link to them due to size)

and here's the MKV screenshot
http://i.imgur.com/6UZED.png

The DVDs are so blurry and noisey that they hurt my eyes, lol. Grain, grain everywhere.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby EvaFan » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:36 pm

The DVD screenshot looks a ton better minus a bit of fuzzy edges. Just try a bit of sharpening and you should be good. I can't tell much for noise since there isnt some video or a few frames to check for it but still...

If you look at them both side by side the MKV has completely destroyed the textures on the wall, its pure white... It even destroyed some of the fine lines. Removing grain completely is good for compression, it seems thats what they did on the MKV but it sacrificed alot of fine detail in regards to quality.

Its fine if you want to degrain or remove some noise from the DVD's but your going to destroy textures it if you do too much like in the case of that MKV. If you want perfectly sterile footage then your going to have to deal with loss in detail... Keep that in mind.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby melee54 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:46 pm

I actually think it's something wrong with my Media Player Classic. When I play it in VLC, the colors and detail look the same as the DVD. I tried editing my post, but apparently only donators can do that. Strange. So here are the new screen shot comparisons. They look roughly the same in still, but in actual motion the DVD has really strange interlacing and motion problems.

VLC MKV - http://i.imgur.com/UnbnX.jpg

DVD - http://i.imgur.com/0sOG8.jpg

Anyway, whatever the case, is there anything I can do to make them slightly better? I cam across this custom DBGT remaster on YouTube. Looks amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t885HRzeZTE

I doubt I'd get anywhere near that, though, due to different art / line styles of the anime.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby melee54 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:50 pm

Wrong VLC MKV screenshot. My fault. Gah', edit would be really useful. http://i.imgur.com/4WUoz.jpg
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby EvaFan » Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:28 pm

Media player classic uses decoders on your computer, VLC uses built in ones. The decoder on your computer has some high smoothing settings apparently. I can't think of any other reason it would look that different from the VLC one.

Anyway looks like the only difference is some sharpening between the two. I can't tell anything else without more frames and full screening.

That DBGT remaster has bold, dark, thick lines and perfect color ramping(color changing without banding)... Basically sterile footage. It looks nice and neat but there is little detail. I guess it boils down to personal preference.

You could potentially get your source to look somewhat like it but you would probably destroy all detail. It would require alot of smoothing and virtually removing grain all together. Probably some line darkening and thickening, thinning when necessary.

IMO... I would just sharpen it a bit and maybe increase saturation a bit to make colors more bold, they look kinda faded. It's just preference. I honestly cant tell much more than that without frame by framing.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby melee54 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:23 pm

I ended up getting decent settings using built-in ffdshow options / media player classic. There's an avisynth option in ffdshow but even after importing my .avs scripts, it doesn't do anything. Oh well. Guess I did fine without it. awarpsharp + saturation and maybe something else and I'll be happy....ish.

If I sit far away enough, it looks very good. Haha.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:58 pm

You don't need cleaning. You need sharpening. But not a/warpsharp. (you'll lose too much detail/texture)

And, as you found out, there is no need to re-encode either :)
Although I would do it a bit different by upscaling the mkv's on-the-fly in MPC as follows:

  • Load mkv with Media Player Classic >> Play >> Filters >> ffdshow Video Decoder >> Properties
  • Checkmark Resize & Aspect >> Specify H & V Size: 1280x720 (maybe select Resize to screen resolution if your computer can handle it)
  • Checkmark Sharpen >> Unsharp Mask >> Set to ~80 is pretty good for School Rumble IMO (other sources will be different)
  • Checkmark Deband >> Use defaults

    (Note: you may need to move these three filters up/down as needed so they are in that particular sequential order)

One really nice thing about this method is any [soft] subtitles will literally be HD.
(It's not just an upscale trick like with the video; the subs are actually rendered at whatever resolution you choose... so you'll have gorgeous subs, even if the video doesn't upscale that nicely)

---
Generally I wouldn't mess with colors-- I find it usually creates more problems than any gain you think you are seeing (unless you are doing color correction scene-by-scene). Levels might be a different matter though, so it may be worth noting that the original DVDs will usually look more dull since they have a clamped TV luma range (16-235; blacks won't really be black; whites won't really be white), so you would want to expand to PC range (00-255?)... but anyways color correction is a whole different beast...

As for using the 'AviSynth Filter,' you first need to make sure avisynth and any associated plugins are actually installed on your computer. Be sure to check add ffdshow video source. Then type any filter commands you like into the dialogue box (but don't include your sourcecall-- just the filter commands). Checking buffer ahead/back 10 10 can really improve performance (especially if you want to do things like frame-interpolation on-the-fly for live action). Although you probably won't need avisynth in this case, unless you wanted to do a true remaster; but then you would want to re-encoding the whole thing, and I don't think you really want to do that... and even then... you would have to know what commands to use and when it's appropriate to use them... so ffdshow filters are more convenient for your purposes.

But if you wanted to take that route, here's a dirty summary of the guide everyone is referring to :book: :
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=103579#p1373940
As you have probably suspected by now, some DVD's don't look that great to begin with. Welcome to DVD quality :lol: That's just how it is.
However, they do have the potential to look the best since you are starting with the original detail (...or as much detail as possible anyway...)

Also, I just have to point out: that DBGT remaster example is devoid of all fine detail/texture. It looks like watching the Flintstones. Way over-filtered.
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby melee54 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:13 am

Thanks for all of the info, Phantasmagoriat. lol, unsharp mask set at 80 made it look like it was made in the '80s. And yeah, I already knew about the "HD" subtitles. I love that! I used some of your recommendations with a combo of my own. It's bearable. If you squint your eyes, it looks like a bluray.
http://i.imgur.com/YcO73.jpg
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby mirkosp » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:02 am

Why the hell are you taking these screens from the player at 1920x1080...

When I asked for screenshots, I meant taking them from avspmod at the actual res of the DVD and the MKV, with no further resizing going on.
Of course the DVD is going to look blurrier as is during playback: it's flagged as interlaced due to being telecined (wild but very likely guess), and as such the player is going to do some quick bob-deinterlacing or something during playback (hence why it's blurrier vertically).
You will have to IVTC it and treat it properly for it to be good.

Also I guess you must be used to funi's upscaled BDs if you say that screen looks like a blu-ray. Actual HD is just another thing, no matter how much eye squinting you try. :\
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Re: I'd like to "remaster" School Rumble. So far? Failure.

Postby Mister Hatt » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:33 am

THAT'S NOT HOW YOU TAKE SCREENSHOTS WHY WON'T YOU PEOPLE LEARN ;___;
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