Thursday, June 7, 2007

Colorization Mania!

Around October 2005, I had an idea to restore my copies of Felix cartoons, they were splicy, full of scratches and also the contrast on some was dimminished because of film deterioration. As well as restoring the cartoons, I thought of computer colorizing them, adding tints to the cartoons so that they would be more enjoyable, as well as putting the soundtracks (I was going to color the 1928-1930 series that had soundtracks) through a dolby c filter to boost frequency and hear subtleties better, since the copies I have are pretty muffled. My first experments were making several copies of the bw frame and adjusting each's brightness and darkness tinting them various colors using paint shop pro. This is a picture with that method used.

As you can see there are various Irregularities, like the transparent purple edged rope. Next I tried to just fill in various objects.
The colors as you can see are nicely saturated but the process was a little time consuming, so I simplified it...All of these were made by Paint Shop Pro, btw.

And Disney if you are reading this, please do not sue, it is something I thought of doing in my spare time to see if I can handle different cartoons. I started colorizing Forty Winks (1930) around halloween but it got messed up, so i perfected my process and tried it on Futuritzy (1928) , the colors were too watery and unsaturated to be much of anything, so I gave up the idea for a while. Until March 2006 after watching a few redrawns of old cartoons like Porky Pig, Betty Boop, and Popeye. I thought of tracing and coloring cartoons myself. I started out with Indoore Outdoor (1928) another felix cartoon, I guess I was on a Felix kick at the time. I drew backgrounds from what I saw/measured, I don't have tracing equipement to do it on paper, I trace cels using animation shop pro. Here are the results:
My redrawing process may not be perfect, but they are better than most of the colorizations that were made back in the early 1970s by Korean sweatshop artists. I actually care for the cartoons and I'm doing this to give these ancient classics a new life on TV and video. Ask anybody on the street about Bosko, Flip the Frog, Bimbo the Dog, Farmer Alfalfa, Cubby Bear, etc, and you will see most of them shrug their shoulders, why?, because TV stations and lots of video manufacturers feel really uncomfortable releasing rare black and white material, but if they were in color and in good condition, they would be more likely to release it and expose us to the classics again after around 50 years!
After playing the next Fred Ladd, I might go into being the next Ted Turner, by making and releasing colorized versions of movies and short films like "Phantom of the Opera" (1925) "The Stolen Jools" (1931), and also if I can get the rights, various UK movies like "Oh Mr Porter" (1937) "No Limit" (1935) and maybe even "I'm All Right Jack" (1959), even though I will have to do a lot of legal work in this matter. I might even have to stick to just PD titles, but I really want to bring the classics back to the popular market and to make it cooler.

These two previous pictures were made by a program thats simply called "color" I downloaded off the internet, the colors are a bit too garish, looks like an early 1980's job, I looked for another program called "blackmagic" which boasts that professionals use it, especially columbia for colorizing the three stooges films, you can get these on DVD, they are really nicely done, and the restoration is terrific. Here are some attempts to colorize title cards off of my favorite stooge episode:

Here's one of my favorite Heros: George Formby, he was a musician, actor, motorcyclist and jockey (at least when he was younger) here is a shot (colorized by me with blackmagic) from "Come on George" (1938).