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Solaufein

Nozomi Aria Upscale Screenshots

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Has anyone else seen the screenshots Nozomi just posted for their upcoming English release of Aria? They don't look great.

 

Some relevant user comments from Kickstarter for those of you who can't see them:

 

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While I appreciate the effort, I'm a little disappointed to see one particular artifact. Instead of clarity improvement, I see edge enhancement. Maybe I have the wrong term, but it's what I call this process:
A dark line through a light area will have the area immediately next to the dark line made even brighter (than it should be), and a light line through a dark area will have the area near it made even darker (than it should be). On a boundary between bright and dark, the bright area will be washed out and brighter for a number of pixels (fades to normal), and the dark area will be muddied and darker for a number of pixels (fades to normal).
A lot of image editing software I have used does this when you try to apply things like 'contrast enhancement' or 'edge enhancement' or similar. I feel this degrades the image quality almost as much as the original blurring, since it merely adds a halo to the blur.
I understand that upsampling is not easy, and adding a halo around edges may make the edges easier to see (even if they are still blurry), but it also tends to be detrimental to other details near the edges.

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@Nozomi - One thing though, could you dial down the EE? I'm seeing lots of ringing now that I'm looking at the shots on my computer.

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To me it seems like the blurring protects depth of color, and so when you do that linework adjustment for the Nozomi image it looks closer to what I'd expect to see while playing with the HDR feature in picasa. I've used that feature to deal with a bad camera, but I have mixed feelings about the stark bleached look HDR tends to create. To my eye the blurry image shows fewer color saturation trade offs... I'd be curious to see a minute of comparative footage in motion.

 

And Nozomi's response to the comments:

 

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Thank you for your input! We're still in the early stages of working on the upscale so we really appreciate the feedback. Comments like this are very helpful to us and people should feel free to provide us with input like this. We'll look to see if we can tone the ringing back a bit without compromising detail clarity.
- Kris

 

A little disconcerting that Nozomi thought those screenshots were ready to be shown to the public, but I'm glad that at least there are people in the Kickstarter speaking up about it, and Nozomi claims to be listening to them. Hopefully they can get it sorted out before the release...

Edited by Solaufein

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Well the Japanese bluray was terrible too so I didn't expect much. As with most upscales, the bluray "remastering" is done by people with little knowledge of how to do so properly and as a result the dvds tend to remain higher quality.

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Good grief. Honestly I feel like a simple Waifu2x upscale would look even better than their results.

Edited by Scyrous

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Here's another comparison someone posted between Nozomi's upscale and nizzk's DVD-rip:

http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/124095

 

I don't suppose there are any skilled encoders here who might want to take a stab at upscaling some scenes to show what it could look like? I have no idea to what degree the backers will be able to influence the production process, but we currently have a limited window where Nozomi claims to be listening to us, so it might be worth trying to convince them to do it correctly. I'd love to have a version of this show that doesn't look like ass when all is said and done.

 

Edited by Solaufein

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2 hours ago, Solaufein said:

I don't suppose there are any skilled encoders here who might want to take a stab at upscaling some scenes to show what it could look like? I have no idea to what degree the backers will be able to influence the production process, but we currently have a limited window where Nozomi claims to be listening to us, so it might be worth trying to convince them to do it correctly. I'd love to have a version of this show that doesn't look like ass when all is said and done.

 

Or, we simply mux the Eng audio to the DVDs. Bam. Done, and done. 

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7 minutes ago, Inverti said:

Or, we simply mux the Eng audio to the DVDs. Bam. Done, and done. 

Yeah but the DVDs are blurry crap, as-is. If Nozomi could do it right, it would save someone else from doing a quality upscale that's probably way more work for 52+ episodes than anyone is willing to do for free.

Edited by Solaufein

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True. Well, we'll see if the US BDs are gonna have any ghosting, or not. If there isn't, it's pretty obvious which video source we should be using. 

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17 minutes ago, basheer_naimi said:

Sallysubs did both 1080p and 720p for this series.

I don't think 1080p is worth it for this old series and the bd's are only upscaled.

So maybe compare Sallysubs to Nozomi?

They used the shitty bluray  everyone in this thread already dissed and as a result got a lot of shit over at nyaa about the lack of quality. Again, the bluray was fucked beyond compare. Dvd source is better.

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4 hours ago, Koby said:

They used the shitty bluray  everyone in this thread already dissed and as a result got a lot of shit over at nyaa about the lack of quality. Again, the bluray was fucked beyond compare. Dvd source is better.

4

I was going to grab Sally's release but now I don't see a point in downloading it. Is there any good release of ARIA out there?

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1 hour ago, Pa1 said:

I was going to grab Sally's release but now I don't see a point in downloading it. Is there any good release of ARIA out there?

Nothing particularly "good". Depends on what you're looking for. Japanese audio is all that's available right now. niizk's DVDrip is probably the best video at the moment, and Sally for the best subs and FLAC JP audio. Once Nozomi's kickstarter ships, we'll have English audio and possibly (but unlikely) a better video source. At that point, according to the spreadsheet, HTT will put together the best of what's available.

Edited by Solaufein
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11 minutes ago, Solaufein said:

Nothing particularly "good". Depends on what you're looking for. Japanese audio is all that's available right now. niizk's DVDrip is probably the best video at the moment, and Sally for the best subs. Once Nozomi's kickstarter ships, we'll have English audio and possibly (but unlikely) a better video source. At that point, according to the spreadsheet, HTT will put together the best of what's available.

I haven't watched the show yet. But, I do have sally's 720p BD release.

Spoiler

 I forgot when did I download it.

 
 

I'll gladly wait for HTT to release ARIA.

Spoiler

l9tYwUf.png

 

 

Edited by Pa1

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3 hours ago, Hark0n said:

For anyone wondering how this compares to JP DVD: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/124214

In the comparison NOZOMI is cropped and upscaled (note that the source is jpg), while DVD is cropped, upscaled and has anti-aliasing applied.

By that picture, the Nozomi BluRay is much better than the DVD, unless they are mislabeled.

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4 hours ago, ragnawind said:

By that picture, the Nozomi BluRay is much better than the DVD, unless they are mislabeled.

Nozomi is the one with hardcoded text "Nozomi" (it was like that in screenshots they provided).

 

While picture 1 and 3 is arguably better in Nozomi's release, I would disagree in regards to picture 2 - it has visible aliasing in the clothing (something that should have been fixed before sharpening and line darkening was applied).

Also, as far as I am concerned, sharpening, line darkening and high contrast is not always an improvement. Currently I consider DVD to be a better source in terms of picture quality, but DVD has compression artifacts in some parts and Nozomi's release is not out yet (it could look different in the end), so we will likely need to do another comparison later.

 

2 more screenshots: http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/124244

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