Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

Well. Let's not go nuts. The stairs on Quinn's house are clearing giving the AI a lot of trouble in the upscale. The Sorcerer scenes suffer badly when there are high levels of light that blow out the character's faces in the highlights.

It is probably fixable and I know Transmodiar will have thoughts, but I'm going to refer back to what Transmodiar said when I told him how terribly my first draft outline of SLIDERS REBORN had turned out -- let's just aim to get matters from terrible to adequate.


I think it's a big deal.  First off, what you've done is a big upgrade.  Second of all, topaz, and other algorithms similar are only going to get better.  If that is in year, what, 3, imagine in 4-5 years what it  will be like.  Maybe it won't linearly get better and maybe it's done 80 percent of its gains.  But I know it's definitely gonna get even better.

When you add some other playing with the colors, saturation etc etc, to the mix (as we know the pilot and first season is a bit "faded") I think something pretty damn superb is possible. 

So yea, I think this opens up the Sliders 2.0 era.   The content can become much fresher and modern.

102 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:16:50)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I appreciate that, but I still don't know what this really opens given that these are all files sitting on my hard drive and I only dare upload samples.

Here's the ending of "Gillian of the Spirits" in FakeD.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

I appreciate that, but I still don't know what this really opens given that these are all files sitting on my hard drive and I only dare upload samples.

Here's the ending of "Gillian of the Spirits" in FakeD.
https://gofile.io/d/6Ftinm


Yes, but anyone can use Topaz smile    Hopefully it doesn't require 32 gigs of rams though.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I upscaled the end of "Time and Again World" to 1080p and downscaled it to 720p and played it side by side with the original 720p ending. There was no difference.

**

Don't forget that the GPU is also a factor in AI upscaling. I don't know how essential 32GB of RAM, but without it, I wouldn't be able to do my day job in Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Premiere and Illustrator while Handbrake and/or Topaz run minimized in the background. My PC would become unusable.

Also, each disc takes about 30 minutes to rip and then 10 minutes per episode to deinterlace each file in Handbrake followed by 9 - 10 hours to enhance the video in Topaz. I don't think it's feasible to ask every single SLIDERS fan to do this and I don't believe Universal will do it -- they could have just scanned the master tapes properly the first time and decombed the digital assets.

But I'll be happy to give them the files when I'm done, although -- I'm not doing all 88 episodes of SLIDERS. I'll just do Seasons 1, 2, and a select few from 3 - 5. Anyone who wants to watch "Map of the Mind" in FakeD will have to do it themselves!

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

I upscaled the end of "Time and Again World" to 1080p and downscaled it to 720p and played it side by side with the original 720p ending. There was no difference.

**

Don't forget that the GPU is also a factor in AI upscaling. I don't know how essential 32GB of RAM, but without it, I wouldn't be able to do my day job in Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Premiere and Illustrator while Handbrake and/or Topaz run minimized in the background. My PC would become unusable.

Also, each disc takes about 30 minutes to rip and then 10 minutes per episode to deinterlace each file in Handbrake followed by 9 - 10 hours to enhance the video in Topaz. I don't think it's feasible to ask every single SLIDERS fan to do this and I don't believe Universal will do it -- they could have just scanned the master tapes properly the first time and decombed the digital assets.

But I'll be happy to give them the files when I'm done, although -- I'm not doing all 88 episodes of SLIDERS. I'll just do Seasons 1, 2, and a select few from 3 - 5. Anyone who wants to watch "Map of the Mind" in FakeD will have to do it themselves!

Have you checked out the upscale that's someone is doing on reddit?  I'm curious how you think it compares to yours.  I wasn't sure if you started doing this because  you were inspired by what someone is doing over there or if it's just happenstance.

It would be awhile before Universal does this themselves, because of all those resources.  But the great thing is any very committed fan doesn't have to wait on Universal (which clearly has bastardized the quality of this show) to take matters into their own hands and get a legitimately great looking finished product.

I've done upscales on the dvd stuff in the past using lesser tech, and then ran it  on an xbox that further upscaled it, and then used a tv that processed it and took it even further.   It ended up looking really great but it was just like a test of five minutes of footage and I lost the software and the algorithm settings (a lot of time was spent to pick configurations).

I can only imagine with a topaz upscaled source + a blu-ray player that upscales the content  + a tv with some processing options how good it could look.  It's exciting.  Whenever I have watched the dvds or streaming or comet, the quality makes me feel like I'm watching something from the 70s.  All because of heavy compression, whatever sort of video archiving they've done, and general lack of caring.   This really is a terrific thing for rescuing the footage. 

I'd love for them to rescan the film negatives but there's no way that is happening at this point.  Which irks me because Seaquest got that treatment.  And Babylon 5 just had an upconversion (which looks decent).

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I’ve had a few chats with NaterTot, but he seemed to be having trouble with any upscaling beyond the Pilot and I haven’t heard from him for over a week. His project made me decide to aim for 720p and not attempt a 4K conversion or even a 1080p. I set my sights on good DVD quality and I think it’s hitting the somewhat low hanging target. I’m currently converting one episode a day and am hoping to be up to two episodes a day by tomorrow and aim to have the entire first two seasons complete by the end of this. NaterTot, however — it’s entirely possible that he’s a healthy, well adjusted human being who isn’t hopelessly fixated on a show from 1995 that faded out of the world like an Unstuck Man.

107 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:16:41)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Prince of Wails" upscaling sample: the sliders provide Prince Harold with the Bill of Rights and Wade is asked to stay on. https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw
I feel I'm neglecting poor Rembrandt, so next is going to be his performance in "The King is Back."

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

I’ve had a few chats with NaterTot, but he seemed to be having trouble with any upscaling beyond the Pilot and I haven’t heard from him for over a week. His project made me decide to aim for 720p and not attempt a 4K conversion or even a 1080p. I set my sights on good DVD quality and I think it’s hitting the somewhat low hanging target. I’m currently converting one episode a day and am hoping to be up to two episodes a day by tomorrow and aim to have the entire first two seasons complete by the end of this. NaterTot, however — it’s entirely possible that he’s a healthy, well adjusted human being who isn’t hopelessly fixated on a show from 1995 that faded out of the world like an Unstuck Man.

It was hard for me to tell looking at his stills vs. your stuff if there was any difference.  Plus, the video in his youtube review -- where he used the footage -- was naturally a bit compressed with youtube's processing, I think.  But it still looked great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=38& … e=youtu.be

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I believe he's using the same source material, the Universal DVD set. He said that the Pilot looked great after upscaling but everything else looked bad -- undoubtedly because the Pilot does not have the interlacing errors that mar all the other episodes. I only have Seasons 1 - 3 from Universal, but I can confirm that "The Guardian" had the same interlacing error lines across the image that had to be decombed in Handbrake before the upscale in Topaz.

There is going to be a 20 per cent drop in my upscale quality when I switch to Seasons 4 - 5 because I only have Mill Creek for those. However, it'll also be a bit faster because I don't have to deinterlace the DVD rips from Mill Creek. I could buy Season 4 for $20, but I feel like David Peckinpah and Bill Dial's estates should pay me for procuring it. I could buy Season 5 for apparently $150 on DVD, but I would sooner throw that $150 down a drain.

110 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2021-02-14 08:15:00)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

I believe he's using the same source material, the Universal DVD set. He said that the Pilot looked great after upscaling but everything else looked bad -- undoubtedly because the Pilot does not have the interlacing errors that mar all the other episodes. I only have Seasons 1 - 3 from Universal, but I can confirm that "The Guardian" had the same interlacing error lines across the image that had to be decombed in Handbrake before the upscale in Topaz.

There is going to be a 20 per cent drop in my upscale quality when I switch to Seasons 4 - 5 because I only have Mill Creek for those. However, it'll also be a bit faster because I don't have to deinterlace the DVD rips from Mill Creek. I could buy Season 4 for $20, but I feel like David Peckinpah and Bill Dial's estates should pay me for procuring it. I could buy Season 5 for apparently $150 on DVD, but I would sooner throw that $150 down a drain.


There's a pretty good site out there that does something similar to topez.  But it does just on photos.  Since it takes so long on one photo, i'm surer it's doing more intense processing than topez, but it gives you a glimpse into what the future may be like for video too (if they can speed up their algorithms).  I did this on a sliders frame (which I've now lost) but the results were really good:

https://jpghd.com/

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Still image adjustment is possibly a way to upscale a standard definition video: by upscaling each frame of the video into a high resolution still, then running a mass filter on all the stills to increase pixel contrast and improve colour, brightness and remove distortions, then reassembling the frames back into a video with the original audio. However, that’s a bit too much for me, this project is something I need to have running while I’m doing other things.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

Still image adjustment is possibly a way to upscale a standard definition video: by upscaling each frame of the video into a high resolution still, then running a mass filter on all the stills to increase pixel contrast and improve colour, brightness and remove distortions, then reassembling the frames back into a video with the original audio. However, that’s a bit too much for me, this project is something I need to have running while I’m doing other things.

Yea.  Well on the jpghd it takes 3-5 minutes for just one still, so you can imagine what a nightmare that would be for 20-30 hrs of programming.  It is a possible glimpse into the future, though the results are really good.

113 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:16:36)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Rembrandt's concert in "The King is Back" in FakeD HD! https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

Rembrandt's concert in "The King is Back" in FakeD HD! https://gofile.io/d/PfPmtx


Looks great!

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Obsession" in FakeD: The sliders react to Wade's marriage proposal from Derek Bond, and Derek invades Wade's privacy. You can see the skin texture on Sabrina's face. https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

116 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:16:01)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Presenting scenes from the Pilot (or "Into the Vortex," as I like to think of it) in 720p. We have here Quinn meeting Quinn -- and then the ending of the Pilot because I want us all to see the four sliders' silhouettes in high definition followed by that beautiful dinner scene and that perfect toast.

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Next: "Fever" at the request of a dear and treasured friend who has done so much for all of us.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Once again everything looks so great.  I still remember the first time I saw Blade Runner in 4k.  It was like seeing it in a new way.  You get used to it after a bit, but the difference is never more clear that first time, when you are comparing to your last recollection of what the content looks like.   So seeing these with such clarity, crispness, particuarly with the closer shots, is like seeing it for the first time.  It's just "different."   There are some of the fuzzy issues you mentioned when the person's face is afar -- I hope eventually the AI works in corrections for that.  But these really are great.

And the coloring on the pilot actually didn't bother me as much.  Only in the hallway scene when they first come back and Quinn's mom greets them.   But it all looks generally great.  It's just terrific that fans can take restoration projects into their own hands when studios will stubbornly, even if understandably, not.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Yeah, it's a shame the upscale can't handle the wider shots, but it's still pleasingly presentable. The fuzziness is a bit distracting to see when studying the video up close, but I just rewatched some of the Pilot on my HDTV and at sofa-seated distance, it's not really an issue.

RussianCabbie and I have been having a bit of a debate. He finds that Season 1 -- and to a lesser extent, Season 2 -- have a very desaturated, poorly contrasted look as though the film or master tapes were not correctly stored. But -- I think it's deliberate. I remember watching SLIDERS being marathoned five days a week on the local SPACE channel in my city. Season 1 had a very grayed out, low-vibrancy look -- which looks to me today as the choice of cinematographer Peter Woeste deliberately choosing a very natural-looking style of lighting.

Vancouver as San Francisco looks unaltered, unmanipulated and therefore very real, even if that reality is a Soviet controlled America or a world where scientists are revered the way athletes are viewed on our Earth. Season 2, with Robert Hudecek taking over, deepened the shadows and slightly raised the saturation a bit, but it was still recognizably Season 1, just more artful in light composition. Season 3, however, had an oversaturated, plastic toy look to my eyes that I found false and jarring.

I think that Season 1 is deliberately low contrast and low colour. Real life doesn't have colour correction. RussianCabbie disagrees and I've given him the details and settings for him to recolour the Pilot and I'll be curious about his results.

My opinion is that SLIDERS looks like it was made in 1994. I think it will always look like it was made in 1994. I expect that a recoloured version of Seasons 1 - 2 will look like it was made in 1994 with some added colour on top to account for the deeper backlighting of an HDTV.

After "Fever" encodes, I'm going to do "Virtual Slide" and "World Killer." And good news: the Mill Creek DVDs have a very grainy look for all Season 4 - 5 episodes. It looks ghastly onscreen, but the AI will be able to treat the grain as detail to extract and enhance for an upscale even as it deblocks the flaws.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Some of those looked really great.  Frankly I didn't think the quality on the Comet TV web feed was that bad, while the Peacock isn't great.  It's really down to the bitrate on a lot of these.  If they had released a BluRay it would be perfect.

Any chance you can upscale "Cry Like a Man?"

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Grizzlor wrote:

Any chance you can upscale "Cry Like a Man?"

https://gofile.io/d/2xMqIW

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Virtual Slide" is still in the process of upscaling. I had a brief look at it and I have to say, the grainy Mill Creek release is upscaling rather nicely, although I felt a jolt of fear and panic when the software paused on the opening titles on a frame of Kari Wuhrer that was taken from "The Breeder."

I wrote the upscaling software designers an email and asked if there were some enhancement algorithm that would replace Kari Wuhrer with Sabrina Lloyd in any and all SLIDERS episodes. They said they'd look into it and get back to me.

122 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:15:49)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Fever": The final faceoff and Wade's awakening

"Virtual Slide": the finale. https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Very interesting comparison between the distinct visual tones of Season 1 and Season 4 where Season 1 seems to be filling in a lot of bare studio space with extras and set dressing whereas Season 4 is either using the same standing set and backlot over and over again or is simply bare.

"Fever" is from the Universal DVD. "Virtual Slide" is from Mill Creek, but the image quality doesn't seem that different to me thanks to the upscaling having more to work on the Mill Creek set once we get to the last two seasons. It looks to me like the new post production company for Seasons 4 - 5 used a different film-to-video process -- or Seasons 4 - 5 used 16mm film that was transferred to tape. Either way, it created a level of graininess that remains even after overcompression, grain that the upscale can treat as texture.

123 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2021-02-17 09:40:22)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

"Fever": The final faceoff and Wade's awakening: https://gofile.io/d/zULVOv

"Virtual Slide": the finale. https://gofile.io/d/lYT0xn

Very interesting comparison between the distinct visual tones of Season 1 and Season 4 where Season 1 seems to be filling in a lot of bare studio space with extras and set dressing whereas Season 4 is either using the same standing set and backlot over and over again or is simply bare.

"Fever" is from the Universal DVD. "Virtual Slide" is from Mill Creek, but the image quality doesn't seem that different to me thanks to the upscaling having more to work on the Mill Creek set once we get to the last two seasons. It looks to me like the new post production company for Seasons 4 - 5 used a different film-to-video process -- or Seasons 4 - 5 used 16mm film that was transferred to tape. Either way, it created a level of graininess that remains even after overcompression, grain that the upscale can treat as texture.

Well I have to say I am very impressed with that mill creek upconvert.   You're right, there's something natural about the grain deposited throughout the image.  It does look like you're watching film.  I think it's a tad noisy for my tastes... maybe 40 percent less would be optimal... but it does give the picture a palpable feel and harkens back to more of a movie image.  Overall, really looks great.

edit: oops I realized I was watching with the adjusted windows media player settings I had privately mentioned.  I reset them now.  Still a big upgrade from Mill Creek!

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I'd say Virtual Slide looks better than Fever.  But that's not a surprise.  The season 4 episodes always looked pretty decent to my eye, whether it be universal dvds or mill creek's.  The season 1s (and 2s to a degree) are where I have found it most lacking.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I’m only guessing, but “Fever” to me looks deliberately dark, dingy and desaturated to present its vision of a diseased world. It also looks like it was shot on 35mm film and then transferred to videotape. 35mm film creates a crisp, clear image but loses a lot of detail in reducing it to a standard definition format.

In contrast, “Virtual Slide” is being made to look bright and warm regardless of whether that’s appropriate for the story, and it looks like it was shot on 16mm film before the tape transfer. 16mm film can be detailed, but it has less than half the image information of 35mm and is also extremely grainy. This graininess has remained on the master tapes, survived the digital scan and severe overcompression which the AI can use well.

That said, I don’t think “Virtual Slide” looks ‘better’ as much as it looks conventional, but that’s a matter of taste.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

TF posted a screencap of "Prince of Wails" in another thread. Compare it to the upscale and note where the AI struggles: onscreen text that's blurry is unreadable even after upscaling.

http://www.slidersimages.com/1c/1c151.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/XsQvb1x/Prince-Of-Wails-5-1-50x-960x720-alq-10-mp4-snapshot-18-23-502.jpg

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

TF posted a screencap of "Prince of Wails" in another thread. Compare it to the upscale and note where the AI struggles: onscreen text that's blurry is unreadable even after upscaling.

http://www.slidersimages.com/1c/1c151.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/XsQvb1x/Prince-Of-Wails-5-1-50x-960x720-alq-10-mp4-snapshot-18-23-502.jpg


There's no rescuing some of that text.  Maybe give it the Star Wars CGI / George Lucas treatment.

Nice to see the big difference in quality between the two images though.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

There's no rescuing some of that text.  Maybe give it the Star Wars CGI / George Lucas treatment.

Nice to see the big difference in quality between the two images though.

At least we did get a glimpse of what was intended through Phil Gough (who was responsible for making most of the paper props in season one and two):

https://iili.io/fWvGPp.jpg

The actual prop master was Don Buchanan, and Phil put his face on the money being thrown around during the Robin Hood montage. Another detail that just doesn’t come through with the resolution we have.

https://iili.io/fWvEVR.md.jpg

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Very cool TF!

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

That is pretty awesome! Thanks TF!

JWSlider3

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

On the subject of the upscaling endeavor, is there a way to (in essence) rotoscope the foreground images and upscale them apart from the background? I think that might eliminate the waxyness of the background.

I think one of the Star Wars despecialized blu ray editions do something similar.

JWSlider3

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

JWSlider3 wrote:

On the subject of the upscaling endeavor, is there a way to (in essence) rotoscope the foreground images and upscale them apart from the background? I think that might eliminate the waxyness of the background.

I think one of the Star Wars despecialized blu ray editions do something similar.

JWSlider3

i think ireactions is gonna kill us  tongue

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

It would be quite an undertaking, but I feel it would be a more true High Definition end result.

134 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:15:32)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Rotoscoping sounds interesting, but I'm afraid I'm too busy to do anything other than plug and play solutions. But I'll be happy for other people to build on this.

Two FakeD clips today: "World Killer" with Quinn versus Quinn and "Double Cross with... well, I guess it's technically Quinn against Quinn again. https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

135 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:15:26)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Season's Greedings": The Punchening. This is how I've always thought of the scene where Quinn assaults a mall manager for no good reason whatsoever. It also has an ending that Tracy Torme loathes.

I still kind of like it. https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

His punches have the power of KICKS.

Why does Torme hate the ending of Season's Greedings? What a grump!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

He told me he hated it for being everything he didn't want SLIDERS to be: formulaic, predictable and safe with the sliders saying good-bye to everyone and triggering the vortex offscreen to save a few bucks and sliding out, without any sort of closing commentary on consumerism or debt or anything thought provoking that would prevent it from being forgotten five minutes after watching it. He also hated Quinn punching out the mall manager like "GI Joe." (I didn't understand the reference then and I still don't.)

I still kind of like it.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:
Grizzlor wrote:

Any chance you can upscale "Cry Like a Man?"

https://gofile.io/d/2xMqIW

Thanks!  Do you have the copy that doesn't have the credits scrolling, to upscale?

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Where would I find that?

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

https://vimeo.com/42207203

Good luck cleaning THAT up!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

The plug and play won't do anything with a 320x240 video other than make it look like a watercolour painting in motion, sadly.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

HD scenes from "Dead Man Sliding" (Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo corner Quinn-2) and "Prince of Slides" (Rembrandt faces off against Rembrandt & Quinn Mallory apparently knows how to swordfight now -- which could be part of Quinn's sports obsession except there was no fencing gear in his room in the Pilot).

https://gofile.io/d/7MIbW5

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

HD scenes from "Dead Man Sliding" (Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo corner Quinn-2) and "Prince of Slides" (Rembrandt faces off against Rembrandt & Quinn Mallory apparently knows how to swordfight now -- which could be part of Quinn's sports obsession except there was no fencing gear in his room in the Pilot).

https://gofile.io/d/7MIbW5

once again, all look great!

144 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:15:14)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Watch David Peckinpah's beautiful "Murder Most Foul" conclusion in HD -- and also check out the gorgeous effects work in "The Alternateville Horror"!

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

The plug and play won't do anything with a 320x240 video other than make it look like a watercolour painting in motion, sadly.

That stinks!  Honestly the ones I'd most like to see upconverted are the low res BTS stuff. 

This may require more technical tweaking than PnP but I've seen nice results from 320x240/15fps stuff upscaled using DAIN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS4JNfnEEcA

146 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-23 18:15:00)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Rembrandt's date from "Asylum" and Maggie visits the Maggie museum in "The Return of Maggie Beckett," upscaled to HD: https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I upscaled some select scenes from "California Reich" and "Slidecage." "Slidecage" stands out to me -- it was the first time Temporal Flux and I really talked about SLIDERS and he told me how Quinn was seriously out of character in this scene due to Jerry O'Connell's poor performance. It was the first time I really thought to question the onscreen product and view it as a constructed product rather than an objective TV reality.

Also, thanks to Cez who has recommended a hosting option.

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

Rembrandt's date from "Asylum" and Maggie visits the Maggie museum in "The Return of Maggie Beckett," upscaled to HD: https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw


ireactions wrote:

I upscaled some select scenes from "California Reich" and "Slidecage." "Slidecage" stands out to me -- it was the first time Temporal Flux and I really talked about SLIDERS and he told me how Quinn was seriously out of character in this scene due to Jerry O'Connell's poor performance. It was the first time I really thought to question the onscreen product and view it as a constructed product rather than an objective TV reality.

Also, thanks to Cez who has recommended a hosting option.

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw


Everything looks superb.

When the Freaks & Geeks blu-ray was done, they actually went from 4:3 to 16:9 because the stuff in the film scan was good enough to use.  Looking at these upscales -- particuarly of the later seasons -- the only thing that's holding them back from looking like something shot in the last 10 years is probably a 16:9 frame.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I asked Cez (of LEGO SLIDERS fame) if there were any scenes he'd ever wanted to see in HD and he said he'd like the "Stoker"' scenes of Wade because of her singing. I swore at him and invoked a blood curse upon him to be attacked by electric bolts fired from a magic guitar for daring to ask me to do this.

Here are the Wade scenes: https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Look, he did LEGO SLIDERS. He earned this.

Although, to be fair, I've actually rewatched "Stoker" a few times. It's a dangerous and deadly practice, but there's a sequence in SLIDERS REBORN where Quinn-2 summons the Season 3 monsters to attack San Francisco. While Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo are busy with dinosaurs and dragons and zombies and whatnot, Quinn's daughter Laurel is menaced by the rock star vampires.

I had to rewatch "Stoker" to describe Morgan as "a tall gentleman in a velvet suit jacket and a high necked shirt with a cravat. His crisp cheekbones frame a predatory smile" who looks like "a reject from a Victorian romance novel." And to describe Harker as "a sunglasses-wearing man with bleached and frosted hair, a dark leather duster" and a "feral snarl in his glee" who "looks like an escapee from an 80s rock concert." They feed on Laurel but poison themselves in doing so because she injected herself with pureed garlic before that.

I actually don't know if the human circulation system would work that quickly, but I was originally going to have Laurel defeat them with high intensity sound until Transmodiar reminded me that the rock star vampires are rock star vampires. Transmodiar suggested using sunlight, but I pointed out that Harker kills the music critic during the day, then wondered if maybe "Stoker" had forgotten about using a day-to-light filter for the shots. "Filter!" Transmodiar chortled. "When a show stops caring, they don't care about time of day!"

This episode made me really upset and angry when I rewatched it for SLIDERS REBORN and I remain somewhat comforted to have written a scene where the vampires are dispatched by some spices in a kitchen.

150

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

I asked Cez (of LEGO SLIDERS fame) if there were any scenes he'd ever wanted to see in HD and he said he'd like the "Stoker"' scenes of Wade because of her singing. I swore at him and invoked a blood curse upon him to be attacked by electric bolts fired from a magic guitar for daring to ask me to do this.

Here are the Wade scenes: https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Look, he did LEGO SLIDERS. He earned this.

Thank you! xD

151 (edited by ireactions 2021-02-24 17:45:06)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

I asked Cez (of LEGO SLIDERS fame) if there were any scenes he'd ever wanted to see in HD and he said he'd like the "Stoker"' scenes of Wade because of her singing. I swore at him and invoked a blood curse upon him to be attacked by electric bolts fired from a magic guitar for daring to ask me to do this.

Here are the Wade scenes: https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Cez apparently survived being attacked by the magic guitar and made another request. A request that filled me with outrage, frustration, grief, despair, loss, longing and agony.

He asked me if I could get the upscaled versions of the opening titles of which there are eight. Eight different versions. One for Season 1. One for Season 2. And then two for Season 3. Two for Season 4. Two for Season 5. Because David Peckinpah was somehow incapable of keeping actors on his series despite Jerry, Sabrina and John all being contractually obligated to perform on SLIDERS for at least five years because David Peckinpah apparently no longer knew how to run a show, meaning even within Seasons 3 - 5, there are two variations each and for God's sake why would someone make me do this and force me to edit the sequences in Premiere to extract the clips which also meant having to repeatedly watch Kari Wuhrer bending over the bar in that ridiculous pose from "The Breeder" that no woman should ever be forced to make why would you ask me for this what would seriously make you think I would put myself through this why why why!?!?

I also made sure to get the opening of the Pilot as well for a total of nine title sequences.
https://mega.nz/folder/1MshGIpQ#7HRWwPDyATQpLT33sqK-EQ

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

There's a name for people like you. I'll let you figure out what that name is. wink

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

153

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

Cez apparently survived being attacked by the magic guitar and made another request. A request that filled me with outrage, frustration, grief, despair, loss, longing and agony.

He asked me if I could get the upscaled versions of the opening titles of which there are eight. Eight different versions.

Thank you so much for this xD

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Transmodiar wrote:

There's a name for people like you. I'll let you figure out what that name is. wink

I remember as I was working on "Net Worth: The Quinn and Wade Edition," you remarked, "I don't even need to ask you why you'd go to all this trouble for such a nothing episode. I already know why. You're a loon!"

In this case -- I feel that as a fandom, we must take opportunities when they arise to recognize extraordinary contributions to SLIDERS that went above and beyond merely watching it. Such people have earned extraordinary consideration and recognition.

You are one of those people. As are RussianCabbie (for his phone call with Torme), Grizzlor (for sharing his meetings with cast members), Recall317 and Nigel Mitchell and Slider_Quinn21 (extensive contributions to SLIDERS fiction), Annie Fish (the lengthy blog of all 88 episodes), Blinker (for slidersweb.net), Chaser9 (for lighting the first spark of post-"Seer" creativity), intangirble (for the Wade Welles roleplay), JWSlider3 (for script and document sharing) and, of course, Temporal Flux (for being the most Temporal Flux of everyone around here).

Now, I have had some creative reservations about LEGO SLIDERS. (Zercurvians. Oh, the Zercurvians.) But -- let us never conflate personal taste with objective success. John Rhys-Davies loved the Lego so much that he wanted his own set. Jerry, Cleavant, Kari and Sabrina have all hailed LEGO SLIDERS. Cez and Agata -- like you -- have earned whatever the SLIDERS equivalent may be of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is for doing so much to free Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo from the shackles of Seasons 3 - 5 and if Cez wants all eight opening title sequences in HD, I will crawl across broken glass to get him nine.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Oh, there's no question that the name for people like you is the same for people like me. Hell, if Cez wants it, I can also provide the half-baked S4 credits I started when I was editing a "better" version of "Genesis." It's not finished, but it's his if he wants it!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Transmodiar wrote:

Oh, there's no question that the name for people like you is the same for people like me. Hell, if Cez wants it, I can also provide the half-baked S4 credits I started when I was editing a "better" version of "Genesis." It's not finished, but it's his if he wants it!

this reminds me.  I have to watch the excised Exodus!
https://vimeo.com/33034252

157

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Transmodiar wrote:

Oh, there's no question that the name for people like you is the same for people like me. Hell, if Cez wants it, I can also provide the half-baked S4 credits I started when I was editing a "better" version of "Genesis." It's not finished, but it's his if he wants it!

Yes, please post it when you will be ready big_smile

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ringringringringringring

IB: " -- and in other news, Lauren -- Transmodiar asked me for help getting some upscaled shots for his fan edit of 'Genesis.' Ha! Like I'd ever want to get involved in that turkey. It's really beyond me why someone would invest that much time, effort and energy into a show that's been off the air since 2000."

LAUREN: "Yes. Beyond you. Not like you've written nine SLIDERS screenplays or anything."

IB: "Look -- that show was really traumatic for me. Matt knows that, he knows that it triggers all sorts of traumas for me, and his project apparently needs the two parter where the Professor gets shot and blown up after getting his brain sucked out and the episode where Wade gets turned into a head in a jar. That along with 'Genesis' and 'Common Ground' is like 45 hours of CPU processing! The answer is no. If he wants to do his foolhardy fan edit of 'Genesis' that maybe 20 people will watch, he can do it in low bit standard definition."

LAUREN: "How many people read your SLIDERS fanfic epic?"

IB: "Twenty that I know of."

LAUREN: "Did Matt like SLIDERS REBORN?"

IB: "He did not."

LAUREN: "And how much of Matt's life did he spend reviewing your story outlines and script excerpts and each and every creative crisis even as he built a section of his website for SLIDERS REBORN?"

IB: "He spent two and a half years of his life on it."

LAUREN: " ....................................................... "

IB: "I'll rip the DVDS."

LAUREN: "Yes, do that."

IB: "But it'll have to wait until tomorrow to start on upconverting them, the computer is currently upscaling 'Eye of the Storm.'"

LAUREN: "I don't know what that means, but it sounds terrible."

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Here are some sequences from "Slide By Wire" (Quinntar the Sorcerer!) and "The Unstuck Man" (all of the scenes of Robert Floyd playing the Jerry-version of Quinn). https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

We will unfortunately be taking a step backwards in the next few days to show scenes from "Genesis," "Prophets and Loss," "Common Ground," "The Exodus" (1 & 2) and then "Requiem" before getting back on track "Applied Physics," "New Gods For Old," and "A Current Affair" at which point we'll finish off with the misery of "Eye of the Storm" and "The Seer" before finishing out with the unconverted episodes of Seasons 1 - 2. I'm not thrilled with this, but I suppose it gives me a reason to re-read SLIDERS REBORN in Google Docs and give the formatting another pass.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I have uploaded the endings for "Genesis" and "Prophets and Loss."
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

I didn't plan to upscale these, but Transmodiar asked for "Genesis" and "Common Ground" footage in HD for his fan edit and I accidentally ripped "Prophets and Loss" from the DVD and decided to upscale that too.

The results are actually quite nice (in terms of video quality). (I'm guessing that) Seasons 4 - 5 switched from 35mm film to 16mm film that was transferred to video with a high level of grain that was retained in Mill Creek's overcompressed release. It's grain that the AI can latch onto for a good result.

My God, I can only imagine what poor Linda Henning made of her appearances Seasons 4 and 5.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

I have uploaded the endings for "Genesis" and "Prophets and Loss."
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

I didn't plan to upscale these, but Transmodiar asked for "Genesis" and "Common Ground" footage in HD for his fan edit and I accidentally ripped "Prophets and Loss" from the DVD and decided to upscale that too.

The results are actually quite nice (in terms of video quality). (I'm guessing that) Seasons 4 - 5 switched from 35mm film to 16mm film that was transferred to video with a high level of grain that was retained in Mill Creek's overcompressed release. It's grain that the AI can latch onto for a good result.

My God, I can only imagine what poor Linda Henning made of her appearances Seasons 4 and 5.

Genesis looks crisp, with some nice natural grain.   Prophets and Loss as some of my favorite coloring I've seen (I guess for indoor scenes).

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

*sigh* Our journey through the Season of Hell (3) and the Season of Despair (4) will unfortunately be extended due to ****ing REWATCH PODCAST. I asked them if they wanted to see any particular scenes in HD and Tom said he'd really like to see "Slide Like an Egyptian" (for the destruction of the dope-ass cell phone as Annie Fish calls it and the introduction of the TV remote), "The Last of Eden" (as it's an extra Arturo episode after he was killed off), "Dinoslide" (for the dinosaurs?), "The Other Slide of Darkness" (for Smarter Quinn's return), "O Brother" (for Colin's first appearance), "Lipschitz Live" (I guess it has the first Colin double), "Roads Taken" (he may be the only person in the world who likes this episode) and "Revelations" (because it's the last appearance of Quinn Mallory as played by Jerry O'Connell).

I told him I wasn't doing this and Tom pointed out that as a superhero comic book fan, surely I could appreciate the value of having the first appearance and the last appearance of significant story elements, props and characters whether I liked the episode or not. "The Last of Eden" was the last time Professor Arturo appeared onscreen. "Revelations" was the last time we saw Quinn Mallory.

That rings true. I'm a pretty devoted superhero comic book fan and feel that Peter Parker and Quinn Mallory would have a lot to talk about. In fact, my own SLIDERS writing is clearly based on GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH. I found myself grudgingly agreeing with Tom which means that I also have to upscale "This Slide of Paradise," the worst hour of television ever made, because it has Wade Welles' final onscreen appearance.

I'm going to get all these done along with the rest of the Season of Grief (5) selections before I go back to Seasons 1 - 2. I don't want to end this project with the animal human hybrids.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

For your viewing, uh, endurance... the cliffhanger ending of "Exodus" (1) and the ending of "Common Ground" in upscaled HD. God help us. I look at what's ahead and feel fear. What horrors.

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

For your viewing, uh, endurance... the cliffhanger ending of "Exodus" (1) and the ending of "Common Ground" in upscaled HD. God help us. I look at what's ahead and feel fear. What horrors.

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw


Exodus was heavy stuff.  Looked great.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

And for your viewing... revisitation: the death of Professor Arturo, a traumatic event that left me fundamentally damaged in so many ways at age 12 -- and also forced Transmodiar to spend two and a half years of his life reviewing SLIDERS REBORN with me as we worked through outline after outline. By my count, Transmodiar quit seven times but he kept coming back and I have no doubt it's because he saw what "The Exodus" did to me and he couldn't stand idly by when helping me would alleviate my suffering even as we both came to recognize that grief is sometimes love that refuses to die.

Oh, there's also the cartoon scarab from "Slide Like an Egyptian" which seems to be oddly in demand from Cez and Tom of REWATCH PODCAST.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Today in HD: "The Last of Eden" where Rembrandt learns the Professor's secret -- and the final scene with a pretty strong performance from Jerry O'Connell where Quinn gives a Captain Kirk style speech to the natives, a moment that has not aged well but is still John Rhys-Davies' last first-air broadcast appearance on the show.

Also in HD: the Quinn versus Quinn scenes of "The Other Slide of Darkness."

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

I had to rewatch this entire episode to write the Smarter Quinn scenes of SLIDERS REBORN and... I remain utterly baffled by what's happening in this episode. I don't understand it.

I am mystified by Smarter Quinn's inexplicable ability to recognize Quinn as the same double he met in the Pilot despite no distinguishing characteristics to make our Quinn separate from any other double. Smarter Quinn's claim that he gave the Kromaggs sliding technology is nonsensical; the Dynasty was not a two year startup operation in "Invasion."

And I am at a loss as to what happened in the final scene. Transmodiar says "Time and Again World" is incomprehensible, but "The Other Slide of Darkness" is unfathomable.

I ended up blowing off Smarter Quinn's appearance in this episode when scripting him in REBORN, having Smarter Quinn vaguely refer to how, "I felt my memories being rewritten, turning me into a faith leader lording over savages in the wild. I went insane. But I found myself eventually." I also had a line from Rembrandt where Rembrandt remarks to Smarter Quinn, "Say, weren't you wearing a crazy wig and face paint the last time we saw you?" I concede that line doesn't necessarily make sense; Rembrandt never saw Smarter Quinn in "The Other Slide of Darkness" -- but somebody had to say it.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Last of Eden looks great!  And Other Slide of Darkness really good too.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

And I am at a loss as to what happened in the final scene. Transmodiar says "Time and Again World" is incomprehensible, but "The Other Slide of Darkness" is unfathomable.

One is a failure of plotting, while the other is a fundamental misfire of characterization. There's something in the production draft pf the script that lends a little extra air of desperation to Smarter Quinn's plan for Vanilla Quinn, and the ending makes things a little more explicit, but there are too many logic holes to create a coherent narrative.

If they'd spent five more minutes at the mountaintop and five fewer minutes with Rickman and Maggie and the hillbillies in town, it would have helped a lot. Smarter Quinn being humbled by his cocky donation of sliding to the Kromaggs is interesting, but it presumes two things: 1) the Quinns have met before, and 2) VQ knows about the Kromaggs.

Again, it doesn't take much - SQ could rant about how things were perfect, he was a genius, etc., and then he encountered a whole new species on another earth. The revelation would shock his world and pave his way to scientific greatness. But then the Kromaggs betrayed him...

A look of familiarity crosses VQ's face and SQ sees it. "You know of the Kromaggs?"

VQ can relate some of the story - "we barely escaped with our lives" (giving some backstory VO on top of Invasion scenes, maybe) - and the SQ apologizes. "Why are you sorry?"

"Because I gave Kromaggs the key to sliding."

A few more moments where they digest this revelation; VQ says that can't be possible - they encountered an invasion fleet, were interrogated in a prison on another world... then SQ says they were already advanced. Instead of stumbling onto sliding, they perfected anti-gravity.

They enter the cave - the equation is on the wall.

"All I gave them... was a little push."

Now we have motivation for SQ wanting to help the Sliders. They've suffered unintentionally by his hand. SQ's world is ruined, the first world conquered by the invading army that now has the ability to slide at will. But he will help Quinn and his friends in ways he couldn't help his own. Maybe it leads to his salvation.

It was all right there, just slightly off the page, and they went for titillation and bag CGI. A shame, really - it had a lot of potential. Would love to read Scott Miller's original draft that made Peckinpah lose his lunch.

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

Last of Eden looks great!

It'd look even better if this scene was in it!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cip33f0ebaxxg … r.mp4?dl=0

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

In HD, the ending from"Dinoslide." Why? I don't know why, but Tom of the REWATCH PODCAST asked for it. And given that Tom spent four hours of his life recording a podcast about SLIDERS REBORN at my request and without accepting any payment, he's entitled to video upscales and all the soda in my fridge.

Also, the HD ending of "This Slide of Paradise," showing Sabrina's final scenes on the show ever. 

https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Sabrina Lloyd after "Genesis" aired:
I have to say I was a little surprised about that. I was like, ‘What? I’m in a breeding camp?’ But it’s okay. They had to get rid of my character somehow. I don’t think there was anything malicious about it.

I went as far with that show as I felt I could, and I wasn’t being challenged as much as I wanted to be in my life. I just felt that I wasn’t getting anything out of it anymore. So I left and, no, I won’t ever look back.

SPORTS NIGHT -- It’s very, very challenging, and I like challenges in my life. Everybody involved in the show has got such incredible talent, from the top down. Our creator, Aaron Sorkin, is amazing. I’m a very big fan of his work. And all of the actors I’m working with are so talented. They inspire me so much as an actor.

This is another tangent: when rewatching "The Other Slide of Darkness" in 2015 (and understanding nothing about it), one moment really jumped out at me -- Jerry's delivery of Smarter Quinn saying, "I'll never slide again" in a much deeper tone than he usually plays Quinn. Jerry's voice in that moment sounds exactly like Tom Welling's performance as a 'bad' Clark Kent on SMALLVILLE>

In the first seven seasons of SMALLVILLE, Clark when exposed to Red Kryptonite would become villainous, greedy and sexually aggressive as well as violent and caustic. From Season 8 onward, however, Red Kryptonite had a markedly different effect on Clark: he would remain heroic, but he would become suspicious of his friends, savagely violent against all adversaries and indifferent towards collateral damage -- and Tom Welling deepened his voice when playing Red!Clark to a growl.

It's odd: while I don't ever want Tom Welling to play Quinn Mallory, Tom's Clark Kent costume was pretty much Quinn's Season 1 - 2 clothing: the flannel, the jeans, the long hair (but boots instead of sneakers and a red jacket rather than a brown one). And when Tom seized control of the Clark Kent character on SMALLVILLE with Season 8, he implemented a number of changes -- and making the Red Kryptonite version of Clark ruthless rather than 'evil' was one of his changes and probably a better path for Smarter Quinn than whatever was going on in "Other Slide of Darkness."

170 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2021-03-06 17:30:25)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Finally had a chance to hook up an old laptop to a tv today with an HDMI cable.   I figured a tv would be the true test.  The samples looked terrific.  Really this is everything I would hope for with a Universal release.  What a terrific job by ireactions.  I hope that something like this eventually is done officially by universal -- fans deserve this level of quality.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

We are done with the HD upscales of the Season of Hell (S3). We are now into the Season of Despair (S4).

As per Tom's request, here are Colin's key scenes from "O Brother Where Art Thou," which has one of the most obnoxious characterizations of Quinn ever: Quinn brings his innocent, naive brother sliding and promptly forgets about him in a hotel bar to flirt with an extra. It's yet another in a long lineup of moments that showed how the Season 4 writers had never held any firm grip on Quinn's character once Marc Scott Zicree left the show.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

It's strange, though -- "O Brother" does present the traditional Quinn-intelligence quite well with the villains outwitted by some improvisational thinking -- except that it's Colin who demonstrates this cleverness, not Quinn Mallory. It shows the writers were perfectly capable of writing Quinn correctly, but for whatever reason did not do so.

In addition, Charlie O'Connell isn't as talentless some would claim: he has a gentle openness and warmth and sweet charisma that Jerry used to bring to the show but stopped around the time he moved into the LA nightclub scene. Charlie is quite good in showing Colin's muted astonishment and interest in a new world and it's bad when Jerry's inexperienced, unequipped nepotism hire brings more of Quinn to the show than the actor who actually plays Quinn. I can see why Colin was popular (especially in audience test screenings pre-Season 5) despite the fan irritation with Charlie. I really must reconsider my frustration with his presence in the SLIDERS mythology.

In other upscaling notes -- I'm watching some of the later upscales in progress. I can report some points of interest with regards to archive footage and doubles:

"Young and the Relentless" had Cleavant and Clinton Derricks-Carroll playing Rembrandt and Rembrandt-2 with Cleavant always taking the role whenever either Rembrandt was the focus of each shot, and with Clinton carefully angled so that any visual discrepancies between the two non-identical twins would seem due to the point of view.

As a child, I remember studying my VHS recording of "Young and the Relentless," staring at the cathode ray tube TV, trying to figure out how two Rembrandts were onscreen together and finding the differences between them small and subtle. However, in high definition on an LCD screen, it's pretty clear that Cleavant is sharing the screen with his non-identical brother no matter what the angle.

https://i.ibb.co/y54zC23/Greatfellas-4-1-50x-960x720-alq-10-mp4-snapshot-41-32-294.jpg

"Requiem": Cory of REWATCH PODCAST said that it was obvious from his slightly upscaled playback of "Requiem" that the body double in the teaser is not Sabrina Lloyd. I'm looking at the HD version frame and it looks like Sabrina Lloyd to me (even though it is, of course, body double Maria Stanton). It looks like a wig on a short haired woman, though.

https://i.ibb.co/Z1hCwcp/Requiem-3-1-50x-960x720-alq-10-mp4-snapshot-01-27-235.jpg

"Eye of the Storm" featured Jerry O'Connell's ghostly image appearing over Robert Floyd's face. It was very hard to see it in standard definition. However, in the upscale, you can see Jerry's face very clearly (and his head is a bit too big to fit on Robert Floyd's neck).

https://i.ibb.co/Kr32n4Q/Eye-Of-The-Storm-1-1-50x-960x720-alq-10-mp4-snapshot-39-39-224.jpg

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Lipschitz Live": the ending in HD. Also at Tom's request! He said, quite reasonably, that it was the first appearance of a Colin double and therefore a significant and critical moment in SLIDERS history.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

In another odd turn, I watched another Charlie O'Connell centric episode of SLIDERS and I'm not sure what's happened, but I really enjoyed Charlie's performance and found Colin highly endearing and full of charm. The performance is technically unpolished and clumsy; Charlie's overly over the top overt efforts to distinguish Colin from Colin-2 are workmanlike. But... there's just something to his screen presence that's so pleasant, so affable, so approachable.

I did watch an episode of FEMME FATALES once where Charlie was playing a sleazy college girl pornographer and he was unpleasant and alienating -- although his performance was solid.

It reminds me of Brent Spiner saying he gets lots of fan mail from people who write to him but seem to be writing to Data and that he understands that because Data is such an accessible personality.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Looks good, especially the on-stage stuff with Quinn. 

Usually I find charlie's performances distracting.  Yes, Colin has an endearing quality but really it was as if a major league baseball player convinced the team to put his brother on the roster when he had no business being there... and the  results weighed down the team.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

I totally agree with you about Charlie entirely and fully -- but I'm just in a really good mood with SLIDERS right now. It's nice to see everyone again. Colin. Maggie with the Betty Page hair. Cleavant fully shaven. Just now, I caught myself looking forward to watching "Roads Taken" in HD tomorrow and I've never been able to stay awake for the whole thing.

I am, of course, also very excited to get back to Seasons 1 - 2 after getting through the last upscales of Seasons 4 - 5.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Way Out West," "Roads Taken" and "Revelations" - the endings in HD.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Charlie O'Connell continues to endear himself to me in "Way Out West." He's not a good actor, but there's something about his resolute, calm, burning fury in his gunfight that just works for me. I adore Colin after this. What is happening here?

I don't understand what's happening in "Roads Taken" at all, I can't explain what's going on, but it introduced bubble universes to SLIDERS which is worthwhile -- and Tom from REWATCH PODCAST wanted to see it in HD along with "Revelations."

"Revelations: It's interesting to see how the upscale just fails -- fails! -- on the closing scene with the greenscreen imagery of the telephone wires rushing past the train. The telephone wires remain jagged and blocky. The algorithm can't identify the fine detail in the frames. This final scene with the background imagery at odds with the foreground -- it's like seeing the fabric of reality tearing away in SLIDERS and it's in the story as well.

The sliders have the means to bypass the slidecage and the coordinates for Kromagg Prime but for some reason don't go until they meet Isaac Clarke.  The sliders go to Michael Mallory but inexplicably don't ask for the superweapon until it comes up incidentally and Mr. Mallory sends them back to Clarke for the weapon. Back and forth. Going nowhere.

Cause and effect has been crumbling in SLIDERS since Season 3, and in this episode, it collapses. There's a hazy quality to the narrative just as a strange blurriness defeats the AI.

But regardless, "Revelations" is Quinn's last appearance on the show, and it makes Tom happy to see it in something resembling HD and I am happy to upconvert it for him.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

When I started this upscaling project, it was really just to enjoy the Golden Age of Seasons 1 - 2. I wasn't going to get into the later seasons too deeply. But... every time I try to stay out of the Season of Hell, the Season of Grief and the Season of Despair, I get pulled into 'em. And I think I can explain it now, watching "Applied Physics" in HD. Here are the Mallory scenes.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

The thing that's consistently exasperating and captivating about SLIDERS: there's clearly a lot of talent there. "Murder Most Foul" is an excellent episode from writer David Peckinpah. "Prophets and Loss" had that gorgeous almost-in-real-time interrogation of the trio from Bill Dial. "Virtual Slide" is a lovely debut from Keith Damron. "The Alternateville Horror" and "Slide By Wire" from Chris Black are minor masterpieces. "Applied Physics," also by Chris Black, shows that SLIDERS could get a lot out of mining the loss of 3/4 of its cast for drama, tragedy, and even closure. Chris Black can do it. But Chris Black is sadly not running this show.

It's strange: SLIDERS turns Rembrandt into a war traumatized, shell shocked man -- but doesn't like to acknowledge or address it. It turns Quinn Mallory into a schizophrenic with someone else's face. It lost Arturo, the heart of the show, and tries to avoid bringing it up. But on the rare occasions of actually facing these losses, SLIDERS is powerful and stirring. The ability to tell amazing SLIDERS stories is there. But the showrunners are simply not engaged and not interested and the potential is only ever realized in what Annie Fish calls "outliers" like "World Killer" and I'd call this one an outlier too.

Most of the episodes I decided to upscale in Season 5 are "outliers." They are really really good. "Applied Physics" is really, really good. Would that every episode of Season 5 had been this strong.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"New Gods for Old": the ending in HD. Amazing performances from everyone. A wonderful episode of SLIDERS.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

It's so strange that Season 5 is so poor. "It just got so bad in the end," Tracy Torme said. That confounds me because when you take a step back, Season 5 has amazing writers: Bill Dial and David Peckinpah have years of skill and experience. Robert Masello is a genius. Keith Damron did solid work in Season 4. Chris Black is a titan of TV screenwriting. Michael Reaves is a master of the TV and animation mediums. And in this episode, we have David Gerrold!

In the Rewatch Podcast before even getting to "New Gods for Old," Tom was commenting on a novel called THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF and how its parallel timeline story reminded him of SLIDERS and how he wished someone like the author of that book could work on SLIDERS. As he said that, I was working on the trivia for this episode for him in advance, and I put in my notes: "David Gerrold is the author of the incredible novel, THE MAN WHO -- oh, wait, you know this one! Never mind."

SLIDERS is a truly incredible show except it is so uniformly average to poor. But not this week. This week, we have ruminations on collectivism, individuality and free will. This week, we have trauma and grief and hope. It's more sci-fi technology than Tracy Torme would approve, but maybe he'd have made an exception for THE David Gerrold.

A reviewer called this episode "better than average," but I think it's splendid. I like this one a lot.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Today: the ending of "A Current Affair" and all the Wade centric scenes from "Requiem" in HD.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Skippable episode commentary follows.

"A Current Affair" is another very fine episode of Season 5. It's engaging, uses the Sci-Fi budget effectively, has some strong editing to create some crowd scenes with limited extras, creates a good sense of motion and plotting, has some winning and endearing characters -- it's a strong episode written by Steve Stoliar who wrote "Paradise Lost" (shudder). Stoliar seems really cool to me: he wrote an autobiographical novel about his time as Groucho Marx's assistant and this script is also quite strong.

Annie Fish struck on something regarding this episode: Season 5 story editor Keith Damron was too busy to rewrite this script. As a result, "A Current Affair" doesn't suffer from the Damron/Dial rewrite style of having characters standing around reiterating already-established information to fill the page count. Instead, conversations build and flow and reveal.

"Sometimes," Fish remarked of Keith Damron and this episode, "we are blessed with his days off." This week, we see that the SLIDERS storytelling platform can easily resume its social satire and commentary and comedy and sense of fun with terrific actors performing a lively and endearing story -- all it takes is a writer who is professional and capable enough to do a filmable, performable teleplay that uses the series' regular elements and formula effectively and isn't rewritten into flatness. The Season 4/5 vortex looks beautiful in the closing shots in HD.

Then we have "Requiem" where it looks like Damron and Dial put their full attention into rewriting Michael Reaves' original script into whatever this was.

I'm really impressed by the Sabrina-doubling work in HD and the way it feels like Sabrina is on set even though she isn't. Most people have not been impressed; Cory on Rewatch Podcast said it was obviously not Sabrina Lloyd, Annie Fish said in their blog that the body double was "a (kind of okay but not really at all) lookalike." Sabrina Lloyd said, "She didn't really look like me."

They could be right. Sometimes, when rewatching SLIDERS, I'm seeing what I want to, not what is there.

A fanfic writer and I once remarked that leaving Wade as a disembodied consciousness floating through the interdimension would, if nothing else, make it easy enough to somehow resurrect her in the most casual and immediate way through the vagaries of sci-fi comic book science. This same fanfic writer postulated that the disembodied Wade could become a pan-dimensional being of infinite power and longed to write such a story if time permitted. He also suggested that Diggs might be pan-dimensional as well since he always seems to know the sliders and is happy to provide them with expository monologues.

I don't know why high school students are watching SLIDERS, but one recently contacted me and asked me if I could recommend any Season 6 fanfics that resurrect Wade after this episode.

"Oh, any of them!" I said happily. "Except Earth 214; Slider_Quinn21 said it was too confusing and he just used the Azure Gate Bridge Wade."

Another fanfic writer wrote (but deleted) a sweet little story where the disembodied Quinn and the disembodied Wade find each other in the interdimension and fall in love all over again. Another fanfic writer revealed that the Wade in this episode was a clone and the real Wade had escaped the Kromaggs before the Season 4 premiere.

In my fanfic, SLIDERS REBORN, Wade is shown to be alive and well in 2015, no immediate explanation provided. Later, Quinn refers to this episode and says he saw Wade. "You died!?" someone says to Wade. She replies, "I don't know, it was so unclear!" A later passage provides some technobabble-based explanation about reinstating the disembodied Wade to reality and rewinding her timeline to an earlier point, but I think "I don't know, it was so unclear" totally covers it.

After this episode, I always take a bit of time to watch Sabrina Lloyd's movie, UNIVERSAL SIGNS. Love you, Sabrina Ann Lloyd!

(I'm just being sentimental, she's not reading this. Or is she? She's not. Or is she? She's not. Or is she? She is not, but on some level, I think she can feel my appreciation for her gift in the sense that she may have made a few dollars from me when I bought the UNIVERSAL SIGNS DVD from the official website.)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Eye of the Storm"'s ending: https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

In HD, you can finally see Jerry O'Connell's face pulsing in and out over Robert Floyd's head. I apparently rated "Eye of the Storm" F - Unwatchable in my episode review. I don't remember doing that, but one of my criticisms was how "Eye of the Storm" totally skipped over Rembrandt declaring that Jerry O'Connell's Quinn wouldn't want to come back to reality by killing Robert Floyd's Mallory. That scene didn't play well for me in the original; Rembrandt didn't seem to struggle with the choice and Mallory didn't comment on it afterwards.

However, in the HD version, this scene actually works for me. You can see Jerry O'Connell reappearing, flickering into near-existence on his own show. His face, lifted from "Genesis," replacing Robert Floyd's visage. "Quinn!" pleads Maggie. "C'mon, Q-Ball," says Rembrandt, desperately needing the scientist and creator of sliding back. And faced with the hope of seeing Quinn so close to being restored. Remmy hasn't seen Quinn in a year and now here he is, just within reach -- until Geiger says that to secure Quinn means Mallory's death.

"Q-Ball wouldn't want that," Rembrandt declares. In standard definition, it comes so quickly it feels tossed away, not even giving Rembrandt a moment to contemplate. But in high definition, it works so beautifully because you can see Jerry's face, you can see Cleavant reacting to it, you can see Rembrandt thinking for a moment that Quinn Mallory could finally come back but then making the decision that Mallory's life has value and deserves respect and Quinn would not trade an innocent's life for his own.

"Eye of the Storm" was a freelance pitch for "SLIDERS does CASABLANCA" that poor Chris Black had to rewrite into the penultimate episode of the series. He really tries to add some depth with the character of Sharon, a policewoman who'd never drawn her weapon once until being abducted to this nether dimension. And he does a good job in Rembrandt's decision as well and I criticized it before because you couldn't see Jerry O'Connell's face clearly, so the moment didn't play properly; there was no sense of what Rembrandt was giving up. Now there is.

That said -- I think that the F-grade should probably still stand.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

What a tremendous job in restoring all this content to the way it more naturally looked when it first broadcast!  All born out of the love that the original creative team, who cared about the material -- tracy, john, sabrina, cleavant and even jerry -- helped inspire.  Such a gift to fans for us to see this faux-d upconversion.  Technology can be a wonderful thing when the studio won't scan the negatives themselves (although I'll never stop hoping technology one day makes that affordable enough for universal to one day do so).   Nevertheless this looks pretty much close to what we would otherwise get -- especially the close up shots.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Just looking ahead -- there is at least one Season 1 episode that doesn't seem salvageable, unfortunately, due to severe overcompression. But we can worry about that later. For now, here is, from "The Seer," Maggie's scene with Mrs. Mallory and then Mallory's scene with Mrs. Mallory followed by the cliffhanger ending.
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

Maggie's scene with Mrs. Mallory is strongly disliked, but for me -- I have always appreciated Mrs. Mallory expressing her grief (and mine) that she will never see Quinn again. The reference to Quinn not being her biological son is discordant, a reference to a new backstory in "Genesis" that presented Quinn as Kal-El of Kromagg Prime, a story idea that Tracy Torme himself described as "pretty ridiculous." I missed Quinn a lot and it was so frustrating that the show wouldn't acknowledge his absence outside isolated episodes with this being one of them. Robert Floyd also did an excellent job with Linda Henning, conveying Mallory as delivering Quinn's love for Amanda Mallory as Quinn's proxy.

The non-ending ending was upsetting and hurtful to fans and inexcusable. However -- I have come to appreciate it. While it was simply a tantrum from Bill Dial for Sci-Fi no longer providing notes and feedback, it also left the door wide open for the fans, allowing a multitude of stories for them to conceive themselves. It left a completely open slate for what might be on the other side of Rembrandt's vortex.

Rembrandt is shown to be pocketing the broken timer before the slide. Mallory, Diana and Maggie are left on another world, excusing fans from having to deal with their characters should they prefer not to. And will SLIDERS now free of David Peckinpah, Bill Dial, Keith Damron, Peter Roth, Robert Greenblatt, FOX, Sci-Fi and even Universal, fans were free to take SLIDERS back and treat it with the love and care it deserved.

There have been so many wonderful possibilities after "The Seer" explored in SLIDERS stories written by people who actually cared about the characters. Slider_Quinn21 suggested that Rembrandt found the original Professor and received aid from the Azure Gate Bridge version of Quinn. Other writers proposed that Rembrandt discovered the nature of multiversal stacks with different rules of reality, explaining the Season 3 monsters and allowing the original sliders to return. Some writers jumped straight into hard sci-fi with exploring the rules of the interdimension and delving into a Kromagg war.

Tracy Torme belatedly suggested a story where Quinn wakes up to find time rewound to the Pilot, all his friends alive and well, followed by a revelation that the scenario is a Kromagg simulation along with all the other episodes after Torme departed. Torme also later suggested flatly ignoring Seasons 3 - 5 and picking up with the sliders immediately after the events of "Double Cross." LEGO SLIDERS ran with this, although it repositioned the rewind to just after "Murder Most Foul."

I know "The Seer" wasn't intended as a gift of any kind; it was an attack on the broadcaster with the viewers as collateral damage, but I've come to accept it as a gift nonetheless and feel grateful for the opportunity that came with it. We all have our own visions of what came after "The Seer," and in the context of SLIDERS, they are all true.

182 (edited by ireactions 2021-03-27 08:54:40)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Now that all the Season 3 - 5 episodes are done, I'm going to revisit each episode of Season 1 starting from the beginning. We have here clips from the Pilot: Quinn discovering someone's borrowed his identity and confronting Smarter Quinn; Quinn showing the vortex to Wade and the Professor; and then the ending with the sliders fleeing Communist America only to find they are still not home.
https://mega.nz/folder/Ph5GBYxQ#KAHjapDSD1ReV3kWVSmNAg

Previous samples will remain at
https://mega.nz/folder/5E1WnZxJ#Zgg_4d2jHZTolIin-iSevw

In terms of video quality: Universal did a pretty good job with a high bitrate scan of the Pilot master tape for the DVD. However, for each subsequent episode, they immediately cut corners, reducing the bitrate and also not bothering to deinterlace the video scan. The upscale here is not much of an upgrade on the DVD because the DVD was already good; the upscale just removes a lot of artifacts from stretching the image to fill an HDTV screen.

What's odd: it was totally unnecessary to shrink the episodes so much for the 8.5 GB discs on which they released the episodes. It makes me wonder if they originally planned to present SLIDERS on 4.7 GB discs. And if the Pilot was a first effort that they decided to keep at a high bitrate while drastically cutting their time and storage on the rest. The result was a fuzzy, blurry image for the Universal DVD release that Mill Creek made about 1/4 even blurrier in reducing the file sizes by another 50 per cent.

Most of the upscaled episodes are close or equal to the upconverted Pilot, although there have been a few anomalies.

**

One of the fun/frustrating things about being a SLIDERS fan: we have to make our own materials. We had to make our own behind the scenes guides (thank you, TF) because the people actually working on the show by the end were wholly untrustworthy. We had to make our own media tie-in novels and episode guides because Brad Linaweaver collapsed both markets with his inept novelization and guidebook.

We almost made our own comic books (sorry to hear about the licensing and budget issues TF) because Universal chose a comic book company that couldn't seem to get comic books into comic book stores.

We had to complete our own scripts from story outlines from the series creator because he was discouraged from doing so by the FOX Network. We had to make our own twentieth anniversary special.

We had to make our own DVD cases because Universal and Mill Creek presented them in fragile foam or envelopes. And we had to do our own episode remastering because Universal could not scan a video tape and deinterlace it correctly despite having been in film manufacturing since 1912.

You learn a lot when you're a fan of SLIDERS. I am gainfully employed because of all the talents I had to develop to make my own SLIDERS stuff. But nobody should have to do this to enjoy a show.

**

It's strange: RussianCabbie and I have had a debate. He thinks the Pilot and Season 1 look washed out and desaturated due to poor asset preservation. But I actually remember first watching the Pilot in 1995 as a child -- and finding that the show looked dull, grungy, dirty and ugly compared to other TV shows where everything was colourful and glamourous and Season 3 finally looked as good as other shows on TV.

When rewatching the show in a 1999 marathon on the SPACE Channel, my opinion changed: the Pilot looked like a well-budgeted independent movie with the realism of a documentary and Season 3 now looked plastic and overconsidered and false. The desaturated colour looked plausible and genuine The 'ugliness' looked true to life with the worn look of Arturo's lecture hall, the wallpaper of Quinn's home from the early 80s and the frightening environment of Communist America.

I remember on my first viewing finding the Pilot a bit slow in its direction, but I later watched the film ANNA AND THE KING (1999) with director Andy Tennant creating lingering, effective, haunting shots of characters and locations. I went back to the Pilot which Tennant directed and found that his craft and skillful sense of shot composition and location and scale had been lost on me at first, and now I could appreciate the slow burn of his work as well as his ability to ricochet between humour and danger.

I often think that SLIDERS would have been better off as a low budget cable show on the Sci-Fi Channel from the Pilot, and while that might be true, it definitely would not have had the budget of this Pilot and would have had a very different look.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

What's odd: it was totally unnecessary to shrink the episodes so much for the 8.5 GB discs on which they released the episodes. It makes me wonder if they originally planned to present SLIDERS on 4.7 GB discs. And if the Pilot was a first effort that they decided to keep at a high bitrate while drastically cutting their time and storage on the rest. The result was a fuzzy, blurry image for the Universal DVD release that Mill Creek made about 1/4 even blurrier in reducing the file sizes by another 50 per cent.


What's most maddening is the SVOD downloads at amazon, itunes, cable providers are all of horrible quality.... and that is without restriction to a disc size.

I think the stuff on Comet looks better though than the svod downloads.

One of the things Freaks & Greeks blu-ray did was rescan film and then use the 16:9 frame, even though it was broadcast orignally in 4:3.  I guess no crew were caught in the shots.   So the ultimate would not only be a film scan but the full 16:9.  But you wonder if there might ever be image recognition technology that could "build out" / imagine the rest of the frame to make it 16:9.  This seems quite possible if you apply machine learning from 16:9 frames.  I'm not sure there'd be enough commercial application though for someone to develop this.

And yea I'll never stop believing the colors on the pilot were intended to look like that.  But I could be wrong.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

egg heads looks terrible on peacock

185 (edited by ireactions 2021-03-27 08:55:08)

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Yeah, "Eggheads" almost killed me on this project. But for now! Clips from "Summer of Love": the teaser, the spider-wasp on Arturo and the ending.
https://mega.nz/folder/Ph5GBYxQ#KAHjapDSD1ReV3kWVSmNAg

"Summer of Love" is the second episode of SLIDERS. Narratively, it's a bit scatterbrained with the team split into Quinn and Arturo running around together, Rembrandt being inducted into an abusive marriage, Wade stumbling into leadership of a hippie commune and commiting herself to the role. But the sheer charisma and drive and passion of Tracy Torme's scripting allows the story to piledrive through any problems.

There's a certain artlessness to Quinn giving a massive infodump about the war with Australia (and I have staggered into doing similar things in my own scripts). The comedy of Rembrandt stumbling into his double's funeral only to discover his double had a cruel spouse and isn't even dead after all is really funny. I'm a bit worried about Torme writing black people, however, and I have been informed that Rembrandt and the portrayals of black people are indeed a racist caricature. However, the person who told me that was white. I have also been told that Rembrandt's bursts of cowardice in Season 1 are demeaning to black culture and I am simply not equipped to comment on it except to say I found it funny and a good setup for the depth Rembrandt displays in "Fever" and "Last Days" as a man of great love, spirit, care and someone who, despite his initial terror, can make tough decisions in a pinch.

Ultimately, this is the second episode and Torme still hasn't quite figured out his series yet, hasn't figured out how to balance the four characters, hasn't figured out how the sliders should get involved in each world, hasn't figured out how to smoothly integrate exposition into the stories -- but he seems to learn how to write his own show with each page and his sense of fun, wit, charm and grace is enthralling.

**

Cyberlink PowerDVD has a neat Smart Stretch function. It zooms in slightly on 4:3 video, then stretches the edges of the video, reducing the percentage of the stretch as it gets closer to the center of the frame. This converts 4:3 to 16:9 while only losing at most 5 - 6 per cent of the frame. This appears to be proprietary, however. You yourself attempted a smart stretch on your own software and found that it distorted the frame. This doesn't happen in PowerDVD.

However, I don't use PowerDVD anymore. I used it on a home theatre PC, but I've since then replaced it with an Android TV box in my living room. Alternatively, I watch videos on an Android tablet. Watching anything on a laptop is rather cumbersome now because I have to plug in an external drive. I haven't found any Android TV or mobile apps with smart stretching and I've just accepted that 4:3 video will be pillarboxed. Zach Snyder seems to be into it with his JUSTICE LEAGUE cut.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

ireactions wrote:

**

Cyberlink PowerDVD has a neat Smart Stretch function. It zooms in slightly on 4:3 video, then stretches the edges of the video, reducing the percentage of the stretch as it gets closer to the center of the frame. This converts 4:3 to 16:9 while only losing at most 5 - 6 per cent of the frame. This appears to be proprietary, however. You yourself attempted a smart stretch on your own software and found that it distorted the frame. This doesn't happen in PowerDVD.

However, I don't use PowerDVD anymore. I used it on a home theatre PC, but I've since then replaced it with an Android TV box in my living room. Alternatively, I watch videos on an Android tablet. Watching anything on a laptop is rather cumbersome now because I have to plug in an external drive. I haven't found any Android TV or mobile apps with smart stretching and I've just accepted that 4:3 video will be pillarboxed. Zach Snyder seems to be into it with his JUSTICE LEAGUE cut.

I think I have PowerDVD so i'll try it if I do. 

yes, I did do a smart stretch when I did an upscale and it mostly worked, but ultimately the more the characters moved to the side of the frame, the more they got stretched.  Which really started annoying me at times.   It looks fine when they are toward the center because no much stretching their

I'll have to see if I can check out power dvd's version to see if it feels better.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

"Prince of Wails"' end sequence:
https://mega.nz/folder/Ph5GBYxQ#KAHjapDSD1ReV3kWVSmNAg

Someone recently asked me to define the style of each of SLIDERS' five seasons. I would argue that SLIDERS arguably had eight separate periods within its five seasons.

  • Season 1A: Alternate history for social satire and dramedy/horror and black comedy with an (intentional or not) emphasis on how the United States of America is the greatest nation in the world founded on principles of fairness, honour, respect and equality that are universal and from which any deviation leads to a horrific dystopia.

  • Season 1B: Alternate history for social satire and dramedy/horror and black comedy with a skepticism if not outright rejection of the fairy tale that the United States of America is in any way a just or equal society or could even pretend to be a utopia.

  • Season 2: Alternate history with black comedy/sci-fi technology settings with dramedy, high emphasis on chase sequences.

  • Season 3A: Action adventure with magic and sci-fi technology and alternate history in equal balance, little to no social commentary.

  • Season 3B: Horror, nihilism and contempt for all life.

  • Season 4A: Science fiction driven by an emphasis on sliding technology.

  • Season 4B: Science fiction driven by an emphasis on computers and worlds defined by advanced level of computer technology.

  • Season 5: Science fiction driven by an emphasis on technology in general (computers, but also cloning, biotechnology, neurosurgery, crystaline data storage, air travel).

"Prince of Wails" is clearly still in the 1A category.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Prince of Wales was a fun episode.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

Yeah, I like "Prince of Wails" too. It's wonderfully charming and a pleasure. And now for an episode that is not a pleasure: "Fever" -- arguably one of the finest hours of SLIDERS ever made with an uplifting and positive ending that you can see here in HD.

https://mega.nz/folder/Ph5GBYxQ#KAHjapDSD1ReV3kWVSmNAg

Temporal Flux once remarked that SLIDERS was imaginative not in suggesting how things could have gone, but instead predicting what tomorrow might bring and "Fever"'s pandemic story hits so close to home that I have absolutely nothing to say about it except this: Wear a mask. Protect yourself. And your mask must be (a) water resistant on the outside to resist droplets (b) contain electrostatic filtering within the layers or with a PM2.5 filter to catch virally contaminated particles and (c) be in sufficient quantities that you can throw any mask you've worn in a paper bag to self-decontaminate over 72 hours while still having enough masks for the next three days.

**

In other news, UNIVERSAL SIGNS has apparently been available in a supposedly HD format on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/universalsigns UNIVERSAL SIGNS is a 2008 film starring Sabrina Lloyd. It's particularly funny because when I first started writing SLIDERS screenplays in 2011, I had trouble getting Wade's voice from watching SLIDERS itself. I saw UNIVERSAL SIGNS was for sale on DVD through the film's website, eagerly purchased a copy and anticipated playing it with my eyes shut to concentrate on Sabrina's voice -- only to discover it was a silent movie, performed entirely in sign language and had no spoken dialogue (or at least none you could hear). I eventually had to find DOPAMINE, also featuring Lloyd as a troubled schoolteacher, and that got it to work.

Anyway, it is supposedly in HD on Vimeo, but I bought and downloaded it -- and it's a shockingly poor image. It's 720p, but the bit rate is so painfully low that the video is filled with blocky artifacts and blurriness. It looks like it was filmed digitally but hypercompressed for online download.

However, I was able to run the 720p file through Topaz and deblock it entirely, smoothing out the artifacts and bringing out each strand of Sabrina Lloyd's hair and the marks and pores on her face. I emailed the company to ask if there were an AI option to also add an audio track to the movie with all of Sabrina Lloyd's dialogue made audible and they said they'd get back to me after Easter.

Re: Sliders: New DVD with Correct Episode Order, Fan Upscaling Experiments

**

In other news, UNIVERSAL SIGNS has apparently been available in a supposedly HD format on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/universalsigns UNIVERSAL SIGNS is a 2008 film starring Sabrina Lloyd. It's particularly funny because when I first started writing SLIDERS screenplays in 2011, I had trouble getting Wade's voice from watching SLIDERS itself. I saw UNIVERSAL SIGNS was for sale on DVD through the film's website, eagerly purchased a copy and anticipated playing it with my eyes shut to concentrate on Sabrina's voice -- only to discover it was a silent movie, performed entirely in sign language and had no spoken dialogue (or at least none you could hear). I eventually had to find DOPAMINE, also featuring Lloyd as a troubled schoolteacher, and that got it to work.

Anyway, it is supposedly in HD on Vimeo, but I bought and downloaded it -- and it's a shockingly poor image. It's 720p, but the bit rate is so painfully low that the video is filled with blocky artifacts and blurriness. It looks like it was filmed digitally but hypercompressed for online download.

However, I was able to run the 720p file through Topaz and deblock it entirely, smoothing out the artifacts and bringing out each strand of Sabrina Lloyd's hair and the marks and pores on her face. I emailed the company to ask if there were an AI option to also add an audio track to the movie with all of Sabrina Lloyd's dialogue made audible and they said they'd get back to me after Easter.

it's really cool sabrina was part of such a quality project like that.  and she looks great too.  i mean that was 13 years after the pilot (or whenever it was shot) but it's a very different look.