You know, RussianCabbie, I think you're right that the Artemis medium quality preset might be better suited to the Season 1 episodes. Here's "Fever" via Artemis MQ preset.
I have to say, this is looking better than the HQ result. The wide and medium shots had serious aliasing issues in the original video files. The HQ preset didn't make that worse, left it alone but inflated the issue of edges of people and objects having phantom outlines around them. The MQ preset smooths that out, adding a touch of blur to those outlines, blending these flaws out of the image. There's a bit of blurriness, but it's for a wide shot.
I guess I'm upscaling the other seven post-Pilot episodes of SLIDERS again, this time on the MQ preset. What is this, the seventh time? The eighth? I've had to position some ice packs below the laptop stand for extra cooling.
I don't hear anything in the commentary about the technical means for filming the Pilot scene with Quinn and Smarter Quinn aside from remarks that they found a body double who looked just like Jerry O'Connell once they put a wig on him. Torme says that Jerry had an uncannily close body double in the recent livestream, too.
I'm guessing that this person is James Bamford, a Vancouver stuntman who's career began in 1994 with VIPER (shot in Calgary) and MANTIS (in Vancouver). Bamford performed as Jerry's body double in "The Unstuck Man," and I'm assuming that he was Jerry's double between the Pilot and Season 5 too before going back to Vancouver to serve as stunt coordinator on numerous shows and then moving into superhero TV directing in 2016.
They did merge alternate sides of the film negative over each other. But it's customary to have a body double play the other side of the scene so that the actor has a scene partner for timing. Jerry would have performed in the shot as Quinn alongside a body double playing Quinn-2. Then Jerry would have performed the same shot as Quinn-2 with a body double for Quinn. These shots would then be composited on top of each other; the sides of the shots with Jerry's Quinn would be kept and the sides with the body double would be covered.
I would argue that in "Greatfellas," Cleavant plays Rembrandt and Rembrandt-2 and Clinton is used as a body double. Cleavant plays Rembrandt-2.
Yes, in shots where both Rembrandts are in the same frame, Clinton's face is certainly visible and can be distinguished from Cleavant, but Clinton is always slightly angled or moving (but not obscured). Also, the double shots have Cleavant and Clinton switch roles to try to average out the differences.
At the end, Clinton (playing Rembrandt) and Cleavant (playing Rembrandt-2) are standing together.
Then Clinton/Rembrandt runs out of frame, leaving Cleavant/Rembrandt-2 alone.
We go to a shot of Rembrandt, now played by Cleavant and not Clinton, saluting Rembrandt-2.
Then we cut to Rembrandt-2 and Rembrandt-2 is also played by Cleavant.
Clinton is removed once there's only one Rembrandt in the frame.
This technique was also used in the DEAD ZONE episode "Looking Glass" which featured identical twins played by two identical twins. The plot requires that they be indistinguishable. However, there are small but noticeable differences between the two men. To smooth this over, "Looking Glass" would have the twins switch roles throughout the same scene in almost every other shot; this would average out any differences between the two.
Sorry I keep going back to THE DEAD ZONE, I'm afraid this is going to be happening for awhile. THE DEAD ZONE THE DEAD ZONE THE DEAD ZONE. It's an interesting failure.
Regarding the STARGATE SG-1 blu-rays: I have only seen two episodes of the show (the first two, and on the blu-ray). But even from those, it's clear that distributor, Visual Entertainment Inc., didn't do a very good job.
I don't know the show well, but fan reviews remarked that on the box art, the Stargate is incorrectly drawn and that the cast photo uses a character lineup that was only in place for one season out of the 10, indicating that the distributor had clearly never watched the show -- which reflects their upscaling process.
VEI not only failed to improve effectively on SD video, they actively damaged HD video. Seasons 1 - 7 were edited on digital videotape. VEI upscaled them to 1080p, but their process was the equivalent of Topaz LQ, creating a clean image, but one that was also a bit blurrier than it needed to be. It would have looked like the 720p upscales of Seasons 4 - 5 where there was a bit of natural film grain on an HD-acceptable image. But then VEI ran the files through another round of image smoothing. Likely, they did this to avoid all the jagged edges that often show up in upscaled video files, but rather than do it selectively, they did it to every episode, adding another layer of blurriness.
It was probably unfeasible to watch seven seasons of TV to find the specific scenes that didn't upscale well, but then it would have been best left it alone and let some shots be flawed rather than adding further blurriness to all shots.
With Seasons 8 - 10, VEI ran their image smoothing process again -- which was nonsensical. Seasons 8 - 10 were shot on digital cameras; they were already in 1080p. VEI took sharp HD video and made it blurrier. The only reason I can see for this: one of their marketing elements is to declare that their blu-ray products offer a "Super Clean" picture, even if the image does not need to be super cleaned.
VEI also reportedly messed up the surround sound. Sometimes, enabling it on the disc turns it off while disabling it turns it back on, and it's completely random across each episode.
Back to SLIDERS: in terms of upscaling, Seasons 2 - 5 would look good if upscaled, but there will always be a certain haziness to medium and wide shots that separates true high definition from HD approximations.
There is one more thing I haven't tried with Season 1 yet. There was a fan upscaler who shared his process awhile ago. (He then went dark and destroyed all his social media posts.) His process: he didn't just use Topaz video upscaling. For numerous shows including XENA and LOIS AND CLARK (but not SLIDERS), he used Topaz Video to extract an upscaled version of each frame of the video masters (which he somehow acquired) and saved each frame as a PNG file.
Then he ran an upscaling process on each PNG file, apparently sharpening them up, refining all the details, and bringing the resolution to as high as 15,000 pixels tall. Then he scaled the PNG files back down to 4K or 1080. Then he reintegrated the PNGs into a video sequence via Premiere Pro and added back the sound.
I have Topaz Gigapixel for upscaling still images. But I'm not sure I would get the same results for SLIDERS as this fan upscaler had actual video masters whereas I have DVDs. In addition, I don't even know if these frames we're seeing can be upscaled because, as he explained his (destroyed) notes, the upscalers use grain and these Season 1 files are very short on grain. I'm also not sure if my external 1TB spinning hard drive and external 120 GB SSD are enough for even one episode of this increasingly over-the-top endeavour.
Anyway. Let's do MQ and see how it goes.