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RRSat: Hitchcock classic restored in 4K

The Alfred Hitchcock classic, Jamaica Inn, was recently brought back to its former glory for RRSat’s first 4K restoration project. RRSat was working on behalf of Cohen Films and Finishing Post Productions (FPP).

The restoration project marks the first time RRsat has undertaken this technique. With the help of FPP, the RRsat team in London was tasked with achieving the best possible restoration, at the highest suitable data rate, in order to create a high quality master.

The original nitrate negatives were sourced directly from the British Film Institute, and these elements were then scanned at 4K resolution, using an ArriScan to create a DPX file sequence. The elements were suffering from shrinkage and warping, and because of this had to be scanned without pin registration.

Once scanned, the 4K sequence required huge amounts of stabilisation to combat the shrinkage. The team at RRsat ensured that this was achieved, while also dealing with the effects of image warping, which needed to be electronically pinned in order to prevent images bouncing around the screen.

The nature of these issues required multiple software fixes on a frame-by-frame basis before the dirt and scratch removal could begin. The density within the image also fluctuated, creating a pulsing effect, which again had to be mapped and removed digitally.

After the pre-fix, RRsat undertook more traditional restoration techniques, with multiple software packages such as PFClean, AfterFX and Dark Energy being used to treat the dirt and scratches. Grain treatment was also used to ensure the finished result was as close as possible to the original cinematic atmosphere. The same was done for the audio, which was in bad shape.