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[Released] Equilibrium 2002 VAR Open Matte Crossmux
This is a Crossmux of Equilibrium (2002) combining shots from the JPN Blu Ray and the US Open Matte Blu Ray, something I wanted to do for quite a while.

Personally, I like to call this project:

Equilibrium - Ultimatte Edition

Now, you may wonder what the hell a "Crossmux" is. I use this term to describe a project that combines shots from various Blu Ray Editions with as little reencoding as possible. Specifically, the only reencoding took place at the cut points. Most of the video stream is an 1:1 copy of the corresponding video streams in the original Blu Rays, so there is virtually no quality loss. This was achieved with TMPGEnc Smart Renderer 5.

Here's what this is ultimattely (pun intended) about: 

Equilibrium in one of the US Blu Rays is presented in an Open Matte version, showing more image on the top/bottom than the scoped OAR (original aspect ratio) version. This is great, because I personally love seeing more. But this version also has a downside: Some shots, in particular VFX shots, actually show more image in the Scope version and are strongly zoomed in for the Open Matte version, degrading the quality and robbing you of some available image. Granted, the Open Matte version even has more headroom in those VFX shots, but only minimally so and the cost for it is a great loss of image at the sides.

So I decided to replace those zoomed in shots with shots from the best known Scope source, the JPN Blu Ray. Specifically, I used the AVISynth plugin AutoOverlay to determine exactly which segments show more image in the Scope version and then went on to replace all those, after fixing some detection errors by hand. In total there are ca. 110 final cuts in between the two sources. In a handful of shots, the gains are minimal, in a particularly extreme case below 1 percent, but in most shots the gains are larger. 

I tried to calculate the precise amount of gain, but it's difficult, because the overlay detection wasn't flawless in all cases. Here are some of the most useful numbers in my opinion (but take them with a grain of salt, as they aren't 100% accurate due to mentioned issues): The Median gain of image in the replaced scope shots is roughly 15.5% compared to the Open Matte shots. The Median gain of image in the Open Matte shots compared to the scope shots is roughly 31.5%. 

So, whether you have seen the Open Matte or the Scope version, you gain a little image in either case. The vast majority of shots is Open Matte. 

Caveat with mild spoiler: In one case the JPN and Open Matte Blu Rays weren't perfectly in sync. It's when Preston gets back out of his car to put the dog in the trunk. In the JPN version the shot of his face while making the decision stays longer and there's an additional shot of his hand turning the keys back off. To not sacrifice any image, I used the beginning of the face shot from the Open Matte and the last few frames from the JPN, as they were missing in the Open Matte. It's not a big deal, but it may look a tad awkward, so don't be surprised.

The audio was taken straight from the JPN Blu Ray and is perfectly (frame accurately) in sync with that Blu Ray. This is a great step up from the stereo track available on the Open Matte Blu Ray, which was always one of its major criticisms alongside with the zoomed in shots.

TLDR: This version takes the shots that show the most image from both Open Matte US and scoped JPN Blu Ray versions, and is synced to the great audio of the JPN Blu Ray. It's the ultimatte version of Equilibrium.

I also included a Dolby Headphone track for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Available on Blutopia.
Thanks given by: spoRv , kuba
I was sold when I read both Crossmux and Ultimatte Edition! Happy
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(2018-04-15, 05:37 AM)spoRv Wrote: I was sold when I read both Crossmux and Ultimatte Edition! Happy

Haha! I knew you would appreciate the terms.
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Wasn't it the Canadian Bluray that was Open Matte, not the US one? Tongue
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(2018-04-15, 06:11 PM)Colek Wrote: Wasn't it the Canadian Bluray that was Open Matte, not the US one? Tongue

AFAIK, both...
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(2018-04-15, 06:18 PM)spoRv Wrote:
(2018-04-15, 06:11 PM)Colek Wrote: Wasn't it the Canadian Bluray that was Open Matte, not the US one? Tongue

AFAIK, both...

Oh, I didn't knew about that, is any of them 'better' in terms of bitrate or they're exactly same? I only have the Canadian BD.
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The Canadian one is also Open Matte, yes, but I couldn't use that one for this, because it's VC-1, not AVC. I actually had to track down this US Blu Ray. It was nowhere online originally because people didn't like it and considered it a POS. Bitrate, afaik, is similar. 21.6 Mbps for the VC-1 Canadian one, 24 Mbps for the AVC US one. Since VC-1 is not exactly a great codec, arguably this might look a little better. I think I once did a comparison of screenshots and they looked pretty similar tho.
Thanks given by: Colek
(2018-04-15, 06:24 PM)TomArrow Wrote: Since VC-1 is not exactly a great codec...

I do not agree. VC-1 was a good coded, very similar to AVC, with a comparable quality at the same bitrate; still, AVC has some feature not implemented in VC-1 that leads to a slight better quality, but to detect it, you should compare frames, zoomed...

The fact AVC "won the codec race" is another story... Wink
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Isn't VC-1 also proprietary Microsoft cr**? Wink

It's also a real pain to work with in AVISynth and pretty much any editing software I know of.
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I've used VC-1 in avisynth no problem. Just mux to MKV and use FFVideosource.
There are plenty of AVC releases with compression problems (I'm looking at you Shout, Twilight Time). It's not always as simple as AVC vs VC-1. That being said no one uses VC-1 anymore, do they?
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