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Old 2007-10-07, 16:28   Link #21
N-Bomb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
In the meantime I'll keep calling it HD by _my_ category. And I can tell you, I have had no complaints in the channel about the video quality yet.
That's a problem, because for a language to work, we all need to be using a common set of words and terms.

By misuing a term, you may be misleading or confusing people.

Secondly... if it's not true HD, why release an 'HD' version? It seems like it's just a waste of space and time to keep and transfer it, when the 'SD' version will give you 90%+ of the same thing.

Granted, @ enhancing things, but really, aren't you just kinda... fooling with things to kinda 'fix' what isn't broken in the first place?

(arguments about whether fansubbing NEEDs HD encodes belong elsewhere)
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Old 2007-10-07, 16:31   Link #22
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N-Bomb View Post
By misuing a term, you may be misleading or confusing people.
Hence this topic came into fruition...
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Old 2007-10-07, 16:32   Link #23
zalas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alizar View Post
The squabble is about what the "HV" (or HD) label means really. I'm sure MBS broadcast something at a size of 1280x720, hence the cappers nabbing it at such in most cases (also the station logos are quite, quite clear)

Beyond that it's all guesswork as to what went on behind the scenes, i.e. is it a studio upscale, a station upscale, or what? I'm sure some HD resolution masters are hiding behind the scenes, but what got handed to the station really is anyone's guess.
For instance, Honey and Clover II was produced in SD and then shown with the HV label.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar
Irrelevant. The difference is not between "everyone-of-the-three-steps HD" and "lower-res airing, rest all HD", but between this release and normal SD. The funny thing is that by this (frankly misleading) definition the highly expensive Air BluRay DVD set isn't HD. Many sequences are taken from normal SD captures, and visibly so.
Actually, while the animated cels on the AIR BluRay set were in standard definition and horribly upscaled, the backgrounds were originally higher resolution and thus didn't look as terrible in the BluRay set. And yes, AniVillage did give out some samples of their background files which were clearly higher resolution than 480p (although it might not have gotten anywhere near 1080p).

By the way, I took your image, loaded it into Photoshop, did a bicubic downsample to 720x480 and then upsampled it back up to 1280x720 and there's almost no difference.

http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/6826/sdhdur2.png

Can you give a better example for me to try out?
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Old 2007-10-07, 16:58   Link #24
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N-Bomb View Post
Secondly... if it's not true HD, why release an 'HD' version? It seems like it's just a waste of space and time to keep and transfer it, when the 'SD' version will give you 90%+ of the same thing.
I'll just assume that you haven't compared both versions. Otherwise you wouldn't ask this. How about doing so before you talk? If you really think that the SD version is 90%+ the same thing, I can't help you, sorry

As for the rest: How about you read what I wrote about the whole "HD" thing before you repeat the questions which have been answered by me more than once?


zalas: Sure the Air BluRay set had several true HD parts aswell, but many _many_ sequences were not. It caused alot of frustrated uproar by the fans. And if you reserve the "HD" label to only those shows who are absolutely HD in all steps, not many will warrant this description.
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Old 2007-10-07, 17:33   Link #25
zalas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
I'll just assume that you haven't compared both versions. Otherwise you wouldn't ask this. How about doing so before you talk? If you really think that the SD version is 90%+ the same thing, I can't help you, sorry
Comparing your two releases says nothing, because you used two different codecs and thus there is the additional noise/blur incurred through the lossy encoding process which are vastly different among your two encodes. The easiest way to tell whether there's additional detail in your high definition encode is to downsample it to SD's 720x480 image size and scale it back up and compare, which I've just done.

Now, I give you that if you use a 1280x720 capture/encode of a 720x480 source, you'll often get better image "quality" using the same quality settings. This is why higher image size raws look better than the 720x480 sized ones. However, given a 1280x720 capture of a 720x480 source by some random Japanese guy, who usually don't go as hardcore into encoding as you do, you should be able to squeeze it down to a 720x480 encode with no problems. Try doing an encode at 720x480 and give it as much bitrate or slightly less bitrate as the 1280x720 encode with the same codec. If there are significant differences, then something is wrong with the codec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar
zalas: Sure the Air BluRay set had several true HD parts aswell, but many _many_ sequences were not. It caused alot of frustrated uproar by the fans. And if you reserve the "HD" label to only those shows who are absolutely HD in all steps, not many will warrant this description.
Yes, a lot of fans were frustrated that the cel animation was only available in SD. However, it is technically an HD release due to the fact that there is one HD datapath from the animation studio to the release. That is, if at any point of the production process you reduced the video to a standard definition format, you would result in some appreciable data loss. That is my operational definition of HD. If you could at some point in the inception->release process reduce the entire video to SD and back without appreciable loss of quality, then there's no point in keeping all the redundancy that was introduced after the SD step. The bottleneck that reduces your detail is that SD step, and unless there's a tighter bottleneck after that, nothing is really going to affect the detail after that.
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Old 2007-10-07, 18:03   Link #26
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zalas View Post
Comparing your two releases says nothing, because you used two different codecs and thus there is the additional noise/blur incurred through the lossy encoding process which are vastly different among your two encodes.
Only the codec changed. (Which is certainly a major difference, but that's all there was). The xvid is a downscale of the filtered h264 version, and then hardsubs added. No additional noise or blur of any kind other than what the codecs do.

Quote:
The easiest way to tell whether there's additional detail in your high definition encode is to downsample it to SD's 720x480 image size and scale it back up and compare, which I've just done.
I still see differences, but okay - the resizing itself is probably mainly responsible for that.

Quote:
Now, I give you that if you use a 1280x720 capture/encode of a 720x480 source, you'll often get better image "quality" using the same quality settings. This is why higher image size raws look better than the 720x480 sized ones.
Well, the difference mainly doesn't stem from the capture itself, but rather from the filtering. More about that below.

Quote:
However, given a 1280x720 capture of a 720x480 source by some random Japanese guy, who usually don't go as hardcore into encoding as you do, you should be able to squeeze it down to a 720x480 encode with no problems. Try doing an encode at 720x480 and give it as much bitrate or slightly less bitrate as the 1280x720 encode with the same codec.
That alone won't do. I don't want to go into too much detail, but the main key for the "visual impression" are clean and defined lines. Simple example: Imagine a line which is 3 pixels wide in 1280x720. What do make out of this in 640x360 (I choose this instead of x480 since it's nonanamorphic and half the size for easy calculating)? 1 pixel wide? 2 pixels wide? After all, it can't be 1.5 pixels wide. In general, the result will be 2 pixels shaded in grey. Which, when it's upsized to the fullscreen resolution in the end, results in a "blurry" look.

Of course, there's a limit to how far you can go with this. By rule of thumb, any upscale above factor 1.5 causes this strange look you create when you upscale true SD sources (which are effectively even _lower_ in resolution due to the generally lossy capture, and then often halo-inducing postprocessing).

Here, on the other hand, we have a source which captures most of the visual quality of the original. And I believe that you will agree that the impression of the mkv and avi are _significantly_ different. Right?

Quote:
Yes, a lot of fans were frustrated that the cel animation was only available in SD. However, it is technically an HD release due to the fact that there is one HD datapath from the animation studio to the release.
As far as I've seen, no. Several parts of the video were captured SD and upscaled to HD. I'll never forget some of those frames - blurry upscales, with even some rainbowing(!). Now I don't want to ride on that too much, my point is this: If you insist on the definition ALL must be HD, you're limiting the selection tremendously. For what purpose? Isn't the primary point to indicate a higher visual quality than usual SD?

Quote:
That is, if at any point of the production process you reduced the video to a standard definition format, you would result in some appreciable data loss. That is my operational definition of HD. If you could at some point in the inception->release process reduce the entire video to SD and back without appreciable loss of quality, then there's no point in keeping all the redundancy that was introduced after the SD step. The bottleneck that reduces your detail is that SD step, and unless there's a tighter bottleneck after that, nothing is really going to affect the detail after that.
Fair enough. That's a logical definition, but IMHO it doesn't help the anime viewer much - at least not in the fansub sector.

Are we agreed that generally we have the 4 quality levels I outlined above?

1) Mastering HD - Airing HD
2) Mastering HD - Airing SD
3) Mastering SD - Airing HD
4) Mastering SD - Airing SD

In this order. For encoder eyes, there's a noticeable step between 3 and 4 (most of the clean fansub encoding raws chosen for SD shows are picked from 3). There is a VERY significant step between 2 and 3, and personally, I'm inclined to start pointing out shows from level 2. If I had known how much time I've wasted here, I'd have said "Hi Quality" and bingo. It's not in the filename either. Here you can first create a genuine "wow" effect visually. And only a minimal amount of shows are really level 1.

So how would YOU distinguish between the levels? If at all?
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Old 2007-10-07, 18:22   Link #27
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Jesus, some of you people...
USE YOUR EYES if they still haven't fallen out from years of reading fansub drama on forums.

As requested though, FUN WITH PICTURES - all from (one of) the raw(s) so you won't get to have fun questioning Mentar's filtering choices:
Originals:
1
2
3

bicubicresize(852,480).bicubicresize(1280,720) (because only *bleep* use image manipulation programs for image manipulation):
1
2
3

I also took the liberty of doing your eyes' job for you: subtract(last, bicubicresize(852,480).bicubicresize(1280,720)):
1
2
3

DOES NOT AIR IN HD my ass. Look at the station logo and the sponsor logos and then come back and say that again.
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Old 2007-10-07, 18:42   Link #28
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
And only a minimal amount of shows are really level 1.
Why is it so important to you that we have more shows to call 'HD'? I think you're just fooling a lot more leechers into thinking that your subs are the real deal. It's completely reasonable to expect them to believe you, since the average leecher only needs to look at the video resolution to declare it a "true HD experience".
In this manner you're just pandering to leechers' illusion that more and more anime they get are HD. That isn't to say their numbers aren't growing (Jushin Enbu and Gundam 00 are perfect examples of HD-produced-aired-captured anime of this season), but as you say they're in minority and will continue to be for some time, one of the reasons being they're more expensive to produce. However, these days leechers expect a high resolution version of any show that airs. The whiners are extremely annoying out of no good reason. Recently I've worked on Nodame Cantabile and Sumomomomomo. Guess what? The raws were all MentarHD, not true HD, and we got a bunch of leechers whining because, well, we didn't distribute upscales. Now whose fault will that be next time? Or should all groups start releasing MHD?
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Old 2007-10-07, 18:51   Link #29
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Here are the three original images downsampled to 720x480 using a 3-lobed Lanczos filter and then upsampled to 1280x720 using the same:

http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/7...sized01ul2.png
http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/7...sized02ox8.png
http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/7...sized03wu3.png

The only real differences I see are in the credits. And yes, I used Photoshop last time because it was convenient. These downsamples and upsamples are done with in-house software for image manipulation that my graphics research lab maintains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar
Are we agreed that generally we have the 4 quality levels I outlined above?

1) Mastering HD - Airing HD
2) Mastering HD - Airing SD
3) Mastering SD - Airing HD
4) Mastering SD - Airing SD
I'll assume you mean Airing and Capturing as opposed to simply airing. 1) obviously gives the highest image quality and 4) obviously would give the lowest quality. However, 2) and 3) would give the same theoretical image quality as 4) as long as:
1. you capture losslessly (lossy captures are obviously the norm, but the lossless image quality is the upper bound) and your resampling is done ideally (most resampling is non-ideal, but a Lanczos filter gives very close results)
2. the station doesn't add any HD stuff like sponsor logos (which often change between episodes and between stations)

You see sometimes that 3) is better looking than 4), and that is primarily due to the fact that most cappers in Japan don't know how to encode properly and that fixed macroblock sizes obviously favor larger image sizes. Any differences between 2), 3) and 4) are miniscule compared to the difference between 1) and the rest.
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Old 2007-10-07, 18:52   Link #30
Mentar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toua View Post
Why is it so important to you that we have more shows to call 'HD'? I think you're just fooling a lot more leechers into thinking that your subs are the real deal. It's completely reasonable to expect them to believe you, since the average leecher only needs to look at the video resolution to declare it a "true HD experience".
Would you be happier with "Hi Quality"? Why don't you just answer my question about the different quality levels? Personally I couldn't care less about what to call it, but it's worth tagging the difference.

Quote:
In this manner you're just pandering to leechers' illusion that more and more anime they get are HD. That isn't to say their numbers aren't growing (Jushin Enbu and Gundam 00 are perfect examples of HD-produced-aired-captured anime of this season), but as you say they're in minority and will continue to be for some time, one of the reasons being they're more expensive to produce.
So let's differentiate the 5% from the 95%, and ignore the different forms of 95%? Because some True Believers (tm) decree that the shades in between don't qualify?

Again, your definition of HD is only one of several, it's not "the" real one. It's a logical and consequential one - and one which doesn't help the majority of anime watchers at all.

Quote:
However, these days leechers expect a high resolution version of any show that airs. The whiners are extremely annoying out of no good reason. Recently I've worked on Nodame Cantabile and Sumomomomomo. Guess what? The raws were all MentarHD, not true HD, and we got a bunch of leechers whining because, well, we didn't distribute upscales. Now whose fault will that be next time? Or should all groups start releasing MHD?
Actually, I'd say it's your fault. Because you CAN create MHDs out of these raws, and they DO make for a more pleasant viewing experience, but your dogmatic views prevent them from being created. And - excuse me - the ones whining in this thread are neither the MHD-creators nor the MHD-viewers.

What's your solution? Pretend they don't exist and hiss at those who disagree?
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Old 2007-10-07, 19:05   Link #31
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Because you CAN create MHDs out of these raws, and they DO make for a more pleasant viewing experience,
Like I said before, you can do the same with SD sources! You could upscale all your DVD rips to make them look better. Heck, you could upscale to ZOMG so you'll be able to see the edges of every pixel!! But why isn't anyone doing that? It's pointless for such small 'impression' gains.
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Old 2007-10-07, 19:10   Link #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toua View Post
Like I said before, you can do the same with SD sources! You could upscale all your DVD rips to make them look better. Heck, you could upscale to ZOMG so you'll be able to see the edges of every pixel!! But why isn't anyone doing that? It's pointless for such small 'impression' gains.
Okay ... I'm looking forward to your Shana version in SD, which looks just like my mkv one. Good luck!

*chuckles amusedly*

Oh, and just FYI: Actually it's becoming more and more prevalent to release DVDs mildly upscaled (which I don't, but for different reasons).
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Old 2007-10-07, 19:12   Link #33
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Just out of curiosity, but why is your SD encode only 704x400? Aren't you losing about 16% of the resolution? Is it because you wanted a compatible, no-frills, easy-to-view version?
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Old 2007-10-07, 19:19   Link #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Jesus christ, so many people talking about things they don't understand. I guess they didn't even bother to download and look, they just had a peek at some sites and knew. What really matters in terms of visual quality is the quality of the master - NOT merely the final airing resolution.

Look at this frame. Does this look like an upscale to you?

http://www.earth-alliance.org/zhenta...this_in_SD.png

Okay. Now, we see how an upscale really looks like. I take this frame and reduce it to SD (640x360). Keep in mind that almost no SD encodes exist which could reach this quality level.

http://www.earth-alliance.org/zhenta...downscaled.png

And finally, we re-upsize it again

http://www.earth-alliance.org/zhenta...ized_again.png

As you see, especially if you open the frames in both tabs, is how the upscale loses definition and precision and gains a blurry edge. And this is why "fake upscales" don't really do look better. If I had the nerve, I'd pick a SD encode, upscale it, and then show how SD would look at 1280x720. Ugly.

It's true that several parts - especially those from season 1 - are only normal SD. They are INDEED upscales. However, the NEW parts are not. They have a much higher visual clarity which becomes rather obvious when watched.

If you were correct, then the xvid and the h264 should look almost the same, at least in terms of sharpness and detail. Because after all, the h264 is only a puny upscale, right? Fine. Download both and see for yourself.

And I can't believe that I was stupid enough to waste 15 minutes on doing all this.
I'm sorry, but one can create much better upscales than that. I'd like to show some screens upscaled that don't lose that sharpness, but will lose extra details.

First screenshot is the unmodified 1280x720.
Second screenshot has been downscaled to 704x396 and then upscaled to 1280x720, thus losing any extra detail that would have resulted from the higher resolution.




You can see a little detail is lost on the bottle labels and couch buttons, however the majority of the sharpness retained at the expense of a little warping.

Avisynth to generate the second image:
Spline36Resize(704,396)
Lanczos4Resize(1280,720)
aWarpSharp(10,1,.5)

Now, looking at the credits alone (see TheFluff's post) you can definitely tell this is at least airing at HD resolutions. While watching it, I didn't notice a whole lot of detail that made me think the source master was HD. Because there are decent methods for upscaling, I general consider HD 'good' when there are extra details as opposed to just being sharp. As for whether it is worth releasing a fansub in HD with such a source, I could go either way.

Note: I did create an upscale of the original image I'm quoting but the png is 2.7mb and I can't find a place to upload it. X_X
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Old 2007-10-07, 19:24   Link #35
Mentar
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Compatibility encode. Since we always release 2 versions, we need one for the small computers and standalones. 704x400 (or 396 if you stick with ASP codecs) is a proven size for that.

By the way: Check the Kimikiss raws, from MBS. There's even a 1280x720 version out. Would you say that this is the same kind of upscale like the Shana ones? If not, what's the difference? After all, according to your theory, they're all SD?

Off to bed now, will continue this tomorrow.
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Old 2007-10-07, 19:36   Link #36
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Whoops, I missed a posting

Quote:
Originally Posted by zalas View Post
I'll assume you mean Airing and Capturing as opposed to simply airing. 1) obviously gives the highest image quality and 4) obviously would give the lowest quality. However, 2) and 3) would give the same theoretical image quality as 4) as long as:
1. you capture losslessly (lossy captures are obviously the norm, but the lossless image quality is the upper bound) and your resampling is done ideally (most resampling is non-ideal, but a Lanczos filter gives very close results)
When I read "theoretically", I winced. Yes, in theory you're right. However, in real life, things are different. I mean, seriously now. Do you guys just sew your eyes shut? Do you REALLY not see the qualitative difference between a source like Shana or Kimikiss (both on MBS, and both "SD" in your opinion).

I just can't believe that you are really so blind. Why do you argue against the visible and obvious so much? I don't understand it.

Quote:
Any differences between 2), 3) and 4) are miniscule compared to the difference between 1) and the rest.
Er, no. Just no. In general, the difference between 1) and 2) is significantly smaller than 2) and 4)
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Old 2007-10-07, 22:20   Link #37
N-Bomb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentar View Post
Compatibility encode. Since we always release 2 versions, we need one for the small computers and standalones. 704x400 (or 396 if you stick with ASP codecs) is a proven size for that.

Off to bed now, will continue this tomorrow.
Well, first of all I want to applaud this descision. It's common sense, but common sense is all too-lacking these days.

That said, I don't think anyone is challenging your skills as an encoder, rather the disingenuous way that things are being labeled.
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Old 2007-10-07, 22:35   Link #38
Nicholi
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Yes clearly there is a difference between shows mastered in HD to those not. I am pretty sure no one but GUTB himself would claim otherwise :3. Personally I myself wouldn't take a show which was mastered in HD, but aired as SD, and use HD resolutions. Why? It is an illusion of what it truly is...a fake. Why not just wait till the actual HD broadcast is out to use HD resolutions? It would make sense, you get the full quality "High Definition experience" then.

If I recall correctly Shana is unfortunately on this horrible fucking "we do the real HD broadcasts 3 weeks later" thing right? So just do the SD releases for now... Why even bother to put out lower quality releases labeled as "HD" now when you could use the better stuff in a few weeks. Which I would assume you plan to do?

Keep SD broadcasts as SD. Prease ;-;. Don't waste time on using high resolutions just because the source really is high definition. Use high resolutions when the broadcast is the same. If there were never going to be HD broadcasts of a show I could see how doing a high resolution encode might be warranted. But personally I still see it as a waste, since it's just an illusion of the quality that could be. Of which I assume is the important part here, quarlity . [This paragraph is for young encoders, if anyone.]

Within my own lexicon...I only refer to a show as HD when it is mastered in HD. And I only refer to a raw/capture as HD when both the show is mastered in HD and the broadcast is HD. Anything else using those resolutions, to me, are just high resolution/upscale encodes, but not HD. If the broadcast doesn't match the source...no reason to muck up a confusion by calling it HD in my opinion. This sort of thinking could be used just as well on SD broadcast as HD. They are simply high resolution/upscale encodes, not HD. Which I think is why everyone is jumping on you Mentar. Just because the source really is HD, does the final encode (which was taken from an SD broadcast) really warrant high resolutions?
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Old 2007-10-08, 00:52   Link #39
Mentar
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You too, Nich?

To make it short and sweet, you remember wrong. The show you're referring to is Clannad, not Shana. I can't believe that even YOU join this nonsense chorus. You honestly think I can't tell a SD show from a HD show, old buddy? Wow, thanks, very flattering.

Numberofpeoplewhocommentwithouthavingbotheredtoloo k += 1;

*shrugs and moves on*

Minna, gomen nasai for the confusion. Of course, the release is only SD, but I've rented some trained monkeys to vector and manually repaint all the new parts. Then, I've encoded it at higher res and bitrate to waste precious resources from poor anime fools I managed to mislead with my irresponsible promotional campaign, which is now putting such a unduly pressure on all those brave encoders who deny their fans hi-quality hi-res releases because their dogma says it just CAN'T look better. All those suckers who were goaded into it - had they only stuck with the xvid, they would have had the same quality, but at lower filesize... it's a shame really.

Oh, and all those people in the channel and on the boards who said "whoa, looking amazing, so much better" were of course paid by me, of course.

I rest my case
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Old 2007-10-08, 01:26   Link #40
outlaw97
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I'm probably in the minority in that I watch everything on my LCD TV. It's 720p, which means that anything lower gets upscaled. And frankly, I'd rather trust an experienced encoder to upscale an SD source rather than me fiddle with ffdshow settings or worse, have my TV do it for me, as only the expensive sets have upscaler chipsets worth talking about.
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