Around a Year Spent on Color Correction for the Blu-ray Edition
This is the first time that the original TV series and movie have received the Blu-ray treatment. The Blu-ray box set has also been created with an entirely different concept to the previous DVD editions.
Yukita:“The DVD box set video is the true original of the TV series. The Blu-ray edition is the same TV series but we’ve compiled the best video possible using today’s technology. Whilst working on it we were in contact not only with the people in charge at King Records but secretly with Hideki Anno’s assistants too.”
The first DVDs of the Evangelion TV series were released in 1997. In 2003, Hideaki Anno once again supervised and released an SD remaster. Sony PCL handled this Evangelion video master for the first time, but they based this Blu-ray version on Anno’s instructions from the time of the SD remaster when color setting and making corrections.
Yukita:“I say we had a basis for the restoration, but we restored from the telecine stage. However, machinery and technology has moved on a lot since 2003. The SD telecine images from 2003 and the HD telecine images from today’s machines were no match in terms of color. Anno OK’d the 2003 DVD colouring but that was then; this time we had no indication as to how to proceed in terms of color. That was the first obstacle.”
Fujimori:“When you compare with the 2003 version, the medium via which the viewers are watching the video has changed. Back then, a lot of people still had cathode ray TVs, but now HD 16:9 LCD screens are the norm. When you watch the 2003 DVDs on modern screens and compare the colours, it doesn’t feel wrong but you need to look for prettier, clearer coloring. Truthfully, this color correction process takes longer than you’d imagine. In the case of other anime projects, most of the time you’d color correct by applying the complete data for each scene or reel, but with the Evangelion Blu-rays you couldn’t do that. We had to color correct each cut. There are about 400 cuts per episode and we did them one by one. For each episode it took three to four days.”
Yukita:“Yes. It really took a whole year just to do the color correction (laughs). The colourist was on the team from the 2003 DVD version but he was handling other work too, so it wasn’t that the studio was always empty. Taking into account all the different schedules, in one month we worked flat out to complete three or four episodes. According to the cuts, there’d be finely nuanced orders like, “I want you to emphasise this color in this cut,” and because of that there were also places where you worked with double layers or cutting masking tape. Even making allowances for that, we worked under the recommendations from the assistant director. I don’t think there are very many cases of arguing in secret with the creative team of the original production in order to make a video master of an animation project.”