Perfect Dragon Ball Z

Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Australia, Perth
#1
So we all know what DBZ is (hopefully) and some of us know that there are different versions of DBZ. There are multiple different dubs, different audio tracks, different cuts and image editing. My goal is to have the best of each all combined into one perfect DBZ series. This would mean I have to create (encode) this DBZ myself as there is currently no perfect version available for purchase or download.

For those that are uninformed, I will list the main different versions of DBZ, what they have that is good and what they are missing.

1. DBZ Original
2. DBZ Remastered
3. DBZ Kai
4. DBZ Dragon Box

[COLLAPSE="Different Versions"]DBZ Original
This is the original Dragon Ball Z that was released in 1989 in Japan. No English Tracks (obviously) and the full 291 episodes. This was then adapted into a US release which had cut down the 291 Eps to 276. This was dubbed by "Ocean Productions" and had a musical score by Shuky Levy to replace the original japanese music.

Episodes: 276.
Video: 4:3, low quality.
Audio: Ocean Dub, Ocean Music.

DBZ Remastered
The Remastered version is exactly what it sounds like, a digitally enhanced version of the original. The Aspect Ratio has been changed to 16:9 (the downside of this is that the screen is cut off on the top and bottom), the colour has been modified and some of the grain/video noise has been removed. There are also no cuts of the episodes so there are the full 291.

Episodes: 291.
Video: 16:9, Remastered visuals.
Audio: Funimation Dub, Funimation Music.

DBZ Kai
The "Enhanced re-cut" of DBZ. This has been cut down to 98 episodes and the Buu Saga has been removed. This has a redone japanese audio track with a redone Funimation Dub. Image enhancement has also been applied. The english release for the whole series has not yet finished.

Episodes: 98.
Video: 4:3, Enhanced visuals.
Audio: Funimation Dub 2, Japanese Music 2.

DBZ Dragon Box
This is the limited edition "Ultimate" DBZ box set. It has the complete 291 episodes in the original 4:3 Aspect Ratio with a complete clean up of frames. The image no longer shakes like all other versions and has far less white 'pops'. There is no digital enhancement. The Japanese set has the original japanese music and dub. The US release has the Funimation Dub with japanese audio.

Episodes: 291.
Video: 4:3, Cleaned frames.
Audio: Funimation Dub, Japanese Music.[/COLLAPSE]

Phew now that we got that out of the way. The question is, "What is the best combination of everything?". Well it's my opinion that fake 16:9 is unforgivable, the Funimation dub is an absolute must, and the Funimation music is the best out there. However you will notice that there is no 4:3 Funimation Dub + Music in that list. It doesnt actually exist.

The plan is to take the video of the Dragon Box sets (as it is the only version that has no jitter/clean frames) and combine that together with the Funimation audio tracks. I would then apply digital enhancement/color correction to make the visuals even better. I have a sample of pictures here to compare with.

1. Remastered
2. Dragon Box Original
3. Dragon Box my encode

[COLLAPSE="Pictures"]
Remastered

Dragon Box

My Encode

Remastered

Dragon Box

My Encode

Remastered

Dragon Box

My Encode

Remastered

Dragon Box

My Encode

Remastered

Dragon Box

My Encode
[/COLLAPSE]

Now I hope you'll agree that the third picture looks the best. You should know that this is just a test picture and my final encode would look better and would not have the tiny borders on the top/bottom.

I'll be doing my own "Remastering" of the Dragon Box episodes. Since I'll be encoding each one, I have applied filters to the images to make them appear sharper/clearer than the original rips. There are downsides to doing this (longer encode times, potential loss of detail) but the benefits outweigh the negatives. To each episode I have:

[COLLAPSE="Encode Settings"]1. Used the title screen from the Remastered sets (it is the only set with an english title screen)

2. Removed the two intermission scenes and replaced it with only one, this same one will be used for every episode to avoid sync problems.

3. YUV has been remapped from 16-235 to 0-255, 16-235 is a false colour scale and was only used to accomodate old TVs. This means that blacks will actually be black and white will actually be white now.

4. Colour intensity has been increased by 11.65% to stop colours from looking washed out.

5. Every episode has been Inverse Telecined to change the soft telecined interlaced framerate of 29.970 (the standard for NTSC TV) to the true 23.976 progressive framerate. There is no visual difference between these two other than the native switch from interlaced to progressive, most players will auto de-interlace anyway.

6. The pixel aspect ratio has been switched from 10:11 to 1:1, this results in a change of aspect ratio from 720 x 480 to 648/652 x 480.

7. The black border buffer has been cut off as much as possible without losing any picture detail, there will still be some borders because the cropping that needs to be done is different for the first and second half of each episode however the final encode can only be one resolution. To minimise this problem I have averaged the cropped resolution of each episode and used that as the basis for calculating the final resolution.

8. The Funimation dub with the Bruce Faulconer music has been transplanted from the remastered sets into the final encode and have (to the best of my ability) been synced up with the dragon box video. The audio tracks were encoded with 128 Kb/s AAC and the sound amplitude has been doubled. This is the only audio track in the final encode.

9. I have added a Contour filter that makes all lines appear more defined or bold, however the real purpose of this filter was to remove blur, the next filter I added counter-acts the bold effect.

10. I added a Sharpen filter that makes lines thinner and gives the image a sharper cleaner look, this can make super thin lines disappear entirely but with the effect of Contour, this should not happen at all. I have yet to see a line disappear compared with the Dragon Box rip and I have very picky eyes.

11. Perhaps to your dismay, I have applied Noise Reduction. This was a hard choice, I did two encodes of the first episode, one with NR and one without and I came to the conclusion that the NR one was better. The benefit of NR is that the small 'dots' or 'grain' that appears everywhere on the screen with the dvd rip is blended together to smoothen out the picture. In this picture the left segment is what the grain looks like and the right segment is what it looks like with NR applied. The downside to NR is that very small tiny detail is potentially lost when it is surrounded by a different colour. I have seen the effect of this but it is very minor and is something I'm willing to accept as the price of the smoother looking image.

12. The video has been encoded with a 2 pass variable bit rate between 570 - 620 Kb/s depending on the length of the episode. This makes every episode fit almost exactly 100 Mb which would mean the whole series would take up 29.1 Gb.

13. I am also looking to buy a new CPU because a 3 hour encode per episode is extremely painful. I also need a new HDD to store the rips of Dragon Box and the Remastered Sets (700+ Gb together) because I dont have enough space atm :/
[/COLLAPSE]

Now why am I even making this thread in the first place. Well that is a pretty good question because at this point I haven't actually said why. The reason is now because I want people to know that I'm working on this project and for all the DBZ fans to know that there is something better coming their way.
 

Ant1

Smash Ace
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
849
Location
South Australia, Australia
#8
some scenes are better with the original japanese music, these are few and scattered and it would take me a while just to list a few. One example is Vegeta's big bang attack, sure vegeta's theme is epic, but listen to it without funi music and u just hear the sound of his aura humming, sounds better imo.
 

Mic_128

Sticking Around
Administrator
GRimer
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
45,670
Location
Steam
#9
I salute the effort sam, but ixnay on the alking about locations, methods and what-not of obtaining things illegally tay.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Australia, Perth
#11
AnimeBytes has the following torrent available but can't really be talked about, sorry.
I checked it out, its a dvd rip of the original series, not dragon box.

EDIT: It is actually the Remastered version, which is useful to extract the uncompressed audio track. Still searching for methods of obtaining Dragon Box though.
 
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
7,219
#12
you should probably alter your discription of dbz remastered there, since you say its the original, but its not because the original was ocean dub, but remastered is funimation dub.
further more, remastered has 3 audio tracks, original japanese voices and music, funimation sub with japanese music, and funimation sub with faulconers music.


I just watch it the way I watched it as a kid, watch ocean dub up till some point at namek and then go to remastered.
early ocean dub voices suited **** pretty well, but when the seires dragged on they got kinda ****.

I approve that you waited until Sam had seen it, Mic. True hero for forum browsers everywhere.

*salute*

I think I'm going to be sick
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Australia, Perth
#13
I dont see where I said the remastered was the original but your absolutely right on the audio tracks.

Since writing this thread up I have encoded 6 episodes. I can post screenshots of dbox rip vs encode if anyone is interested.

I'm undecided whether or not i'll include the japanese dub/audio with english subtitles. The drawbacks to doing this is that each episode will be ~20 MB bigger, it will take more effort to do each episode and I will have EXTREME problems syncing up the audio track with the subtitles. I can probly figure out some sort of work around eventually but it will be tough...

Does anyone know if the subtitles are the same in dragon box as they are in the remastered sets?
 
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
7,219
#14
DBZ remastered:

'The Remastered version is exactly what it sounds like, a digitally enhanced version of the original'


I know I'm right on the audio tracks, I have all of it on dvd up to the end of cell and just finished watching through it quite recently.

never seen the dragonbox though, I thought it wasnt released here?
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Australia, Perth
#15
I should have been a little more specific. The Remastered sets are digitally enhanced episodes from copies of the original japanese masters. Though many would argue that the remastered sets are terrible because of the 16:9 and huge DVNR (Digital Video Noise Reduction).

As far as I understand, the only way to have gotten Dragon Box here was to preorder the japanese version of it. There is a japanese Dragon Box set and a Funimation one. The differences between the two are very minor.

The japanese one has a higher bitrate per episode and 1 audio track with black border buffers on the left/right of the screen. The US version has a 10% brightness increase (result of converting NTSC-J to NTSC-U), 2 audio tracks (J + J music, E + J music) and they have removed the black borders on the left and right however they have a border at the top of the screen and lose detail at the bottom of the picture.

The difference between the two is extremely minor, I'm getting the japanese versions of dragon box so I'm working with the closest possible source.

EDIT: I have added extra pictures for comparisons.
 

EverAlert

Smash Master
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
3,438
Location
Australia
3DS FC
2664-2214-3431
NNID
EVAL89
#20
you know I'm beginning to think that perth have nothing better to do then nitpick about the smallest things
As much as I love hating on "Perth", if you're setting out to make a perfect version of something then you need to nitpick. Come on dude.
 

luke_atyeo

Smash Hero
Joined
May 10, 2008
Messages
7,219
#21
if you want to get into that, wouldnt you also nitpick that perfection is impossible, something can always be improved?
 

EverAlert

Smash Master
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
3,438
Location
Australia
3DS FC
2664-2214-3431
NNID
EVAL89
#23
if you want to get into that, wouldnt you also nitpick that perfection is impossible, something can always be improved?
Perfection as an abstract concept is impossible, yes. Perfection in the sense of exactly achieving something clearly defined is another story entirely. I'd say it depends on whether or not you actually know what perfection is, given the context.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Australia, Perth
#24
This project has not been neglected. I've been working on it since I started this thread. I left it for a while after learning of the Blu-ray release but that release was canceled. There is still no 4:3 Funimation Dub version of DBZ available. My knowledge and capabilities with video editing has drastically increased since starting this thread and the result looks a lot better than pictures in the OP of this thread. However once again I am in need of assistance.

I plan on including the previous episode previews as well as the next episode previews for each episode, however I am faced with a problem. The NEP's only exist in japanese, there is no english track for them. The orange bricks dont have the NEP's at all though the US Funimation Dragon Box release have them. I am not using these as my source video, I am using the Japanese Dbox's. So I am missing the english subtitles for the NEP's. I am looking for someone (or more than 1 person) that has the entire DBZ series in the US dragon box format and I'm looking to get the subtitle files contained within each disc. I can provide a step-by-step process on how to get the subtitle files off each disc. The Japanese Dbox's dont have any english subtitles for obvious reasons.

I have also found a way of getting the original japanese broadcast audio quality for every episode. For those that dont know, this is the best quality audio that exists and not even Toei Animation has the quality this good. It is an extremely rare audio source. Theres comparison videos on youtube if you would like to hear the difference between the Dbox audio and the broadcast audio. Heres one of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qddtHLJMV5I&feature=plcp

Here is a bunch of lossless comparisons with my newer settings:

Raditz
Vegeta and Nappa
Goku
The Ginyu Force
Picollo
Frieza
Super Saiyan Goku
Trunks
Imperfect Cell
Semi-Perfect Cell
Perfect Cell

The thing these pictures dont show is that when the video is playing, the screen does not shake or jitter like the original version does. Theres a huge difference but its only visible with a video.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Australia, Perth
#31
Woooww its been over a year now since I started this. I half-expected to be finished by now but the increase in knowledge has resulted in drastic improvements over the original settings outlined in this thread which takes a lot longer to implement.

I have successfully colour corrected every single episode and am now working on syncing up the audio with each video. I am still short on the last 2 seasons of the orange bricks though so I cant finish the audio until I have that done.

I did a video encode today and the quality is exceptional. It is the best DBZ has ever looked before. Just take a look at this in 720p.

And I also put up a comparison video.
 

Bowser-Daimao

2 Legit 2 Quit
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
394
Location
The Deep North, Australia
NNID
Mantis128
#34
This is a really good idea since Funimation dub Z fans can't get the whole series in good quality with the music they like besides the first two volumes of the cancelled Blu Ray release. As for me I'm fine with the Dragonboxes as they are since I prefer the original Japanese version and the English dub with Japanese music. And the quality is good enough for me.

DBZ Remastered
The Remastered version is exactly what it sounds like, a digitally enhanced version of the original. The Aspect Ratio has been changed to 16:9 (the downside of this is that the screen is cut off on the top and bottom), the colour has been modified and some of the grain/video noise has been removed. There are also no cuts of the episodes so there are the full 291
Funimation didn't actually remaster DBZ for the season sets. All they did was run the footage through a machine and butcher it in more ways then just cropping. Here a good guide on whole matter (scroll down a bit). http://www.kanzenshuu.com/features/funimation-dragon-box-history-significance/
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
1,244
Location
Australia, Perth
#35
This is a really good idea since Funimation dub Z fans can't get the whole series in good quality with the music they like besides the first two volumes of the cancelled Blu Ray release. As for me I'm fine with the Dragonboxes as they are since I prefer the original Japanese version and the English dub with Japanese music. And the quality is good enough for me.

Funimation didn't actually remaster DBZ for the season sets. All they did was run the footage through a machine and butcher it in more ways then just cropping. Here a good guide on whole matter (scroll down a bit). http://www.kanzenshuu.com/features/funimation-dragon-box-history-significance/
It looks like this is the first time you have seen this thread which probably means that you think most of the information on the original post is still up to date. Its not. The project has since changed quite drastically since I started.

The episodes I'm doing will be upscaled to 1080p (for best quality on HD TVs), stabilised (wayyy less jitter, less than the blurays), colour corrected (the dragon box's are known for bad colours), denoised (temporal, not spatial like my old settings) and sharpened (with overshoot/undershoot limiting to prevent haloing/ringing). Each episode will also have the US replacement music as well as the 5.1 English Dialogue + Original Japanese music. They will also have the japanese track from the ORIGINAL BROADCAST (which, if you dont know, is EXTREMELY rare and is the best quality in existence). Not even Toei Animation has the audio in this quality. Each episode will also include the previous episode preview as well as the next episode preview which has now been correctly placed immediately after the episode end and not after the credits. The opening and closing animation for each episode has been cut.

The orange bricks were hd remasters which were then downscaled to 480p to adhere to dvd standards. Automatic or not, the film scan was tampered with and is where these "remastered" sets were born from.
 

Gords

Smash Champion
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
2,282
Location
Sydney
#38
holy cricket, this project is amazing, how far away are you from finishing

are the voices you are using the same as what was on DBZ when cheese TV used to play it all those years ago?
 

EverAlert

Smash Master
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
3,438
Location
Australia
3DS FC
2664-2214-3431
NNID
EVAL89
#39
gords are you morally opposed to reading previous posts in a thread or something?

anyway i would be interested in a non-upscaled version of this. sounds sweet.
 
Top