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Video "re-mastering"?

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Joel Langlois
Video "re-mastering"?
on Mar 22, 2012 at 12:09:57 am

Hi Folks,

I have a poor video transfer of a 16mm black and white movie I did back in Film School.

The transfer is so poor that much of the look of the film is missing. Actually the “transfer” is simply a video recording of the movie being projected on a wall from a 16mm projector, so needless to say it’s not very professional. Sadly, since then, the original 16mm film was lost and therefore I can only work with this poor video.

The film had nice ranges of grays and subtle lighting however in the video transfer much of the subtleness is lost. The grays have turned very dim (almost black), as well as many other problems.

So, I was wondering if there was a way with After Effects or any other program that I could “re-master” the video to try to recapture some of its original appeal.

The things I want to do:

1. Restore the grays.
Much of the dark grays simply look black or are barely visible.
How can I boost those grays?

2. Remove purple aberrations.
For some reasons, when a color video camera recorded the film, it gives some purple hues to some can I remove this to simply keep the grayscale....?

3. Remove screen bounce?
The frame of the movie is jumping up and down at a constant rate from the mechanism of the film projector. Is there a program or function that could counter this movement? Essentially adjust for the bouncing, kind of like a steady cam would?

4. Remove scan lines.
There is what appears like scan lines going up the frame at a regular when filming a TV screen with a video camera. Is there a way to remove this?

5. Audio sync creep?
This is regarding the audio, the sound slowly creeps out of sync since apparently the projector was not going at exactly 24 fps...
Over a 10 minute period the audio becomes about 1 second too late.
Would it be possible to re-adjust or the video or the audio to re-sync it?Knowing that the audio creeps out at a rate of 1/10 of second per minute, could extra frames or some kind of solution be found to keep it in sync. What do you suggest for that?

If you could give me suggestions for all of the above issues I would greatly appreciate it.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Video "re-mastering"?
on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:19:52 am

Hard to give advice on this one without actually trying it on the footage.
Even if you shot the projection with a RED camera at 2k resolution, there's not a lot you can do. Most likely, you have some version of a compressed HD format. You have a better chance since you have a b&w movie, so the quality of the color info is not that important. Convert the file to a uncompressed format before working on it.
You may be able to restore some of the grays by using Levels, Curves or even Colorista- free (Red Giant).
To remove the purple abberation - you can take out the color, not sure about the actual distortion.
As far as the bounce you can stabilize the footage with a track ( a simple google search will give you plenty of tutorials)
As far as scan lines, that comes from the frame rate difference between the projected 16mm and camera- not much you can do there.
The audio sync issue- you could try to play with Time Remap to adjust the video, but I can't be sure how that will turn out.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Walter Soyka
Re: Video
on Mar 22, 2012 at 4:07:02 pm

I agree wirh Ted's suggestions, though I'd also suggest time-remapping the audio instead of the video. It may be less noticeable.

I wouldn't set your expectations too high if the video is really heavily compressed and the exposure is off. Screen shots may help if you run into any other specific problems.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Joel Langlois
Re: Video "re-mastering"?
on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:00:10 pm


Thank you for your answers.

The file I have is a .mov (640 x 480)
Data rate is: 2107kbps
It was digitized from a MiniDV tape...

In what format should I convert the MOV to work with it?
I'm a beginner in After-Effects, so I am missing some basics, such as a what video format is uncompressed...

Regarding all the other topics covered, I will research how to do the changes mentioned.

Thank you for your help.



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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Video "re-mastering"?
on Mar 24, 2012 at 2:26:56 pm

search this web for uncompressed codec and Dave's Stock answer - read the threads - that will explain a lot of compression issues.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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