Timeslip in colour??

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SgtPepper
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Timeslip in colour??

Post by SgtPepper »

Good evening viewers. In the early 00ties in the early days of the Timeslip Forum there used to be regular attention seeking nitwits claiming to have colour episodes of Timeslip recorded off air on a an early Phillips VHS recorder. They were treated with the contempt they deserved and of course never came up with the goods.
However over the last two or three years it has become apparent that there is hope of restoring the original colour from the existing black and white tapes.
The below file is a montage of scenes that are allegedly screen shots from an actual attempt at colour recovery. I've never seen any examples of such of recovery so I don't know what to look for. These could just as easily have been knocked up in Photoshop. So I wondered if there's anyway a trained eye can tell a genuine colour recovery from a hoax?

Image

fatcat
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by fatcat »

I got caught out by this one a while back and was met with virtual hysterical laughter from the forum- apparently this is also a hoax.
The fact that supplier cannot provide moving images must meant he must have spent an awful long time with (as you suspected) fiddling about in Photoshop?

Not sure what the present state of play is regarding colour? But a Timeslip expert maybe able to confirm with you that unfortunately the colour signal was switched off during the making of the 16mm B/W prints.

SgtPepper
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by SgtPepper »

fatcat wrote:I got caught out by this one a while back and was met with virtual hysterical laughter from the forum- apparently this is also a hoax.
The fact that supplier cannot provide moving images must meant he must have spent an awful long time with (as you suspected) fiddling about in Photoshop?

Not sure what the present state of play is regarding colour? But a Timeslip expert maybe able to confirm with you that unfortunately the colour signal was switched off during the making of the 16mm B/W prints.
There's a young man who has motion interpolated (VIDFired in all but name) all the episodes and who is a bit of video genius who a while ago said something could be done. It's only because I met him a couple of times and know he's not a hoaxer that I gave these images any consideration.

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Dandy Forsdyke
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by Dandy Forsdyke »

Did Liz ever change her tartan skirt throughout the series?

Wonderful Timeslip. It was great to follow the series and read the strip in Look-In. I wonder if they'll ever remake it.
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Doom Patrol
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by Doom Patrol »

fatcat wrote:I got caught out by this one a while back and was met with virtual hysterical laughter from the forum- apparently this is also a hoax.
The fact that supplier cannot provide moving images must meant he must have spent an awful long time with (as you suspected) fiddling about in Photoshop?

Not sure what the present state of play is regarding colour? But a Timeslip expert maybe able to confirm with you that unfortunately the colour signal was switched off during the making of the 16mm B/W prints.
I've often wondered if there might be any chroma dots lurking on the film prints. That would appear to put paid to that then. But then again they aren't always the answer and there would appear to be times when they are useful and times when they are not, with the results being a bit florid and with room for improvement. It's always possible that we might see it in colour again I suppose. At the moment it seems to be an expensive business performed by a few niche companies with a limited market keeping the costs high. What we really need is a commercially available programme, and as the technology improves it's difficult to see why that wouldn't be possible.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by GarethR »

SgtPepper wrote: There's a young man who has motion interpolated (VIDFired in all but name) all the episodes and who is a bit of video genius who a while ago said something could be done
Absolutely something *could* be done - manual or computer colourisation! But given the enormous amount of time involved in the former (it's taken the best part of a year to hand-colourise just the first episode of the DW story The Mind of Evil), and the enormous amount of money involved in the latter, neither is sadly likely for such a niche-interest series as Timeslip.
Doom Patrol wrote:What we really need is a commercially available programme, and as the technology improves it's difficult to see why that wouldn't be possible
It's a hugely complex task, which is one of the reasons why the few colourisation companies charge so much. They generally use custom-written software, and there still has to be a great deal of skilled human adjustment to what the computer comes up with. We're still a long, long way from a commercially-available application to colourise B&W video to anything approaching professional standards, just as we're still a long way from CG humans who are indistinguishable from real ones. I'd say we'll probably get the latter before we get the former, simply on the basis of that's where the money is, so that's where the R&D effort is happening.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by ctraynor »

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:Did Liz ever change her tartan skirt throughout the series?
Yes.

SgtPepper
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by SgtPepper »

GarethR wrote:
SgtPepper wrote: There's a young man who has motion interpolated (VIDFired in all but name) all the episodes and who is a bit of video genius who a while ago said something could be done
Absolutely something *could* be done - manual or computer colourisation!
The same young man I mentioned has already coloured in a few scenes from scratch and it was shown at the Timeslip convention a few years ago. The "something that could be done" is recovering the actual colour from the existing prints. It's just a case of what you'd end up with and how much additional work would be needed. It obviously isn't going to be commercially viable in terms of time and recouping of costs due to the limited interest in the programme. That however doesn't negate the possibility of someone attempting it and coming up with pictures as bad as these.
I think these pictures are entirely Photoshopped and ten years ago I would have called the person who sent me them a tit and binned them - I'm just mellowing with age and giving people the benefit of the doubt first. :-)

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by GarethR »

SgtPepper wrote:The "something that could be done" is recovering the actual colour from the existing prints
So there *are* chroma dots? I thought none of the Timeslips had them?

If they do exist, you'd have to work from high-definition scans of the original prints to get close to the results seen with Doctor Who and Dad's Army, which would throw an immediate obstacle in the path of anyone planning to attempt an unofficial colour recovery.

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Doom Patrol
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by Doom Patrol »

GarethR wrote:
SgtPepper wrote: There's a young man who has motion interpolated (VIDFired in all but name) all the episodes and who is a bit of video genius who a while ago said something could be done
Absolutely something *could* be done - manual or computer colourisation! But given the enormous amount of time involved in the former (it's taken the best part of a year to hand-colourise just the first episode of the DW story The Mind of Evil), and the enormous amount of money involved in the latter, neither is sadly likely for such a niche-interest series as Timeslip.
Doom Patrol wrote:What we really need is a commercially available programme, and as the technology improves it's difficult to see why that wouldn't be possible
It's a hugely complex task, which is one of the reasons why the few colourisation companies charge so much. They generally use custom-written software, and there still has to be a great deal of skilled human adjustment to what the computer comes up with. We're still a long, long way from a commercially-available application to colourise B&W video to anything approaching professional standards, just as we're still a long way from CG actors who are indistinguishable from real ones. I'd say we'll probably get the latter before we get the former, simply on the basis of that's where the money is, so that's where the R&D effort is happening.
I agree, and I suspect by the time the technology has been cracked I might be pushing up daisies. On the other hand if they can computer animate William Hartnell we'll be laughing. :-)

SgtPepper
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by SgtPepper »

GarethR wrote:
SgtPepper wrote:The "something that could be done" is recovering the actual colour from the existing prints
So there *are* chroma dots? I thought none of the Timeslips had them?

If they do exist, you'd have to work from high-definition scans of the original prints to get close to the results seen with Doctor Who and Dad's Army, which would throw an immediate obstacle in the path of anyone planning to attempt an unofficial colour recovery.
They do exist. As of two years ago some yellow and other fuzzy colour shades had been recovered, but I don't know how much time he's put in or how much further down the line the process is. It might have been abandoned completely, I don't know.

ian b
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by ian b »

If it's the same chap as on MISSING EPISODES, IIRC correctly all he'd managed to do was to boost the colour on his on screen which meant he thought colour was there.

There was a thread about it on the old board...

http://www.mausoleumclubforum.org.uk/xm ... #pid320299


To quote one of my posts, which quoted Richard Russell...

To nick Richard Russell's post from a thread, that even by Missing Episode's usual standards is just insane...

"That'll be 'no colour at all' then! What your picture shows is what you will get from the CR program if there's no chroma dots on the input, but you wind up the chroma gain to such a ridiculous extent that it covers the picture with coloured noise in the default quadrant.

If you ask me it's a bit naughty to hand-colour the CR output, leaving the superimposed "Full gamut colour recovery" text, because it can give the impression that the colour has more validity than it actually has (i.e. none).

When I released the CR software I never guessed that it would be used so dishonestly. With hindsight I should have limited how high the chroma gain could be set (anything above about 4 is meaningless; I would guess you've set it to at least 20)."

These are screen shots from the Carlton dvd release, hand coloured in.

SgtPepper
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by SgtPepper »

I credit the person I've met and know a bit about with far more intelligence than that, but we'll see.

GarethR
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by GarethR »

SgtPepper wrote:I credit the person I've met and know a bit about with far more intelligence than that, but we'll see.
I assume he's using the DVDs as his source, so he won't be able to achieve full-gamut colour recovery. The MPEG-2 compression throws away picture information, so it inevitably affects the visibility and pattern of the chroma dots. The success and accuracy of the process is entirely predicated on working from HD scans of the original film prints.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by fatcat »

SgtPepper wrote:I credit the person I've met and know a bit about with far more intelligence than that, but we'll see.
Why doesn't your aquaintaince request a couple of frames or small sequence from ITV source? scanned in HD and the resultant frames as 8 bit RAW should give your pal the best chance in recovering something.

This may not cost your aquaintance anything if ITN could benefit from the process?

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by GarethR »

There's no way that ITV is going to pony up the telecine costs for speculative colour recovery work by some random person.

Clive
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by Clive »

From what I remember of the guy who did the screenshots above, he took Richard Russell's chroma recovery tool, applied it to some low resolution Timeslip screen shots. He got a wash of random chroma over the resulting output which he then "tweaked" in photoshop and then claimed to all and sundry that he had recovered the colour. He got arsey about it when this was pointed out to him.

There is nothing in those pictures which suggest any true colour has been recovered from the source.

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groovy69
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by groovy69 »

As none of the other tele-recordings of similar shows of this period, Escape in the Night, The Jenson Code, Tightrope etc, have any chroma subcarrier I'd say it's highly unlikely that Timeslip does. Also, weren't some of the videotape masters monochrome anyway for this series?

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Doom Patrol
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by Doom Patrol »

I'm not aware of it, but it's possible. It would have been around the same time as Budgie wouldn't it? I know the first episodes of that were B&W because of some dispute or other.

SgtPepper
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by SgtPepper »

Two episodes were shot in black and white due to a technicians strike (this is the reason often cited for why the show wasn't sold to America). A third episode was also broadcast in black and white because of one extra scene that was added later which was recorded during the strike.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by fatcat »

SgtPepper wrote:Two episodes were shot in black and white due to a technicians strike (this is the reason often cited for why the show wasn't sold to America). A third episode was also broadcast in black and white because of one extra scene that was added later which was recorded during the strike.
The British shows being bought by America you could count on your hands at that time (no PBS ), even Thunderbirds only got syndicated with about 10 episodes IIRC?.

Also to sell to America they had have an American flavour about them, so there is no way Timeslip as a creaky very British programme would have even got past the Atlantic in colour or not.
A shame maybe that the excellent writing and enthusiastic cast had not been given an ITC unit instead of all the old schmaltzly, mid Atlantic nonsense ITC were churning out at the time.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by ctraynor »

Agree, but that's the way it's (generally) always gone. Also, the main villain in Timeslip is ultimately singled out as an American so I'm not sure that would have gone down a bundle in the US either.

deltavega
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by deltavega »

Perhaps the Timeslip site could start a fund for donations to pay for the work required?
If dot recovery is not available then colourisation from scratch combined with Vidfire would mean we might get to see it all in colour once more.
May as well colourise the 3 or 4 made in black and white too . Not true to it's original broadcast but then it's unlikely to be regardless of whats done.
Could ITV price the job up and let us know how much they need?

drmih
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by drmih »

I would think that even chroma dot recovery, if possible and straight-forward, would be wildly expensive for 25 episodes. When you think that the BBC struggle to afford one episode out of 6 to be fully colourised for dvd releases (Planet of the Daleks and Mind of Evil [heavily subsidised as a labour of love by Babelcolour]), I would be surprised if a commercial organisation would be interested. It would most likely need to be a fan based attempt.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by GarethR »

deltavega wrote: Could ITV price the job up and let us know how much they need?
Assuming you're being serious, a from-scratch computer colourisation of the entire series would cost an awful lot more than they'd ever make back from sales of the resultant DVDs. Not even as surefire a seller as Doctor Who could afford computer colourisation for just the first episode of Mind of Evil, and Timeslip ain't going to sell anywhere near as much as DW.

Chroma-dot recovery would be much more affordable, but the jury appears to be out on whether or not any chroma dots actually exist. If they don't, then the chances of Timeslip being colourised have to be slim to none. I suppose the idea of a group of fans hand-colourising it frame by frame would inevitably be mooted, but there are all sorts of problems involved in that.
drmih wrote: I would think that even chroma dot recovery, if possible and straight-forward, would be wildly expensive for 25 episodes
TBH, I think the raw recovery would probably be affordable, but the amount of tweaking that's necessary afterwards to turn the raw recovery into something releasable might be an issue.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by ctraynor »

deltavega wrote:Perhaps the Timeslip site could start a fund for donations to pay for the work required?
Unlikely. I'm one of the fans and I've met a lot of the other fans and I don't think many of us are millionaires.

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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by bart12345 »

Clive wrote:From what I remember of the guy who did the screenshots above, he took Richard Russell's chroma recovery tool, applied it to some low resolution Timeslip screen shots. He got a wash of random chroma over the resulting output which he then "tweaked" in photoshop and then claimed to all and sundry that he had recovered the colour. He got arsey about it when this was pointed out to him.

There is nothing in those pictures which suggest any true colour has been recovered from the source.
Yes aboult that.sorry aboult those. My freind wanted to see if theres any chroma dots in timeslip.*looks down glumly at the floor*.

SgtPepper
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by SgtPepper »

I should probably now apologise for this thread. The pictures were utter ****, but the possibility of Timeslip colour recovery is the only way to get people talking about the show.

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Ross
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by Ross »

What, you mean you lied?

bart12345
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Re: Timeslip in colour??

Post by bart12345 »

Ross wrote:What, you mean you lied?
No he didint.the only way is to check the film prints at the BFI.

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