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Improving very old newsreel footage

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Ian Galloway
Improving very old newsreel footage
on Feb 19, 2013 at 2:27:39 pm

Hello. I'm aware that this sort of thing is always an uphill struggle but here goes.

I'm working on a project with very old newsreel footage from the 40s ad 50s. Originally shot on 16mm, this would have been digitised into PAL.

I'm cutting out various people, slowing them down, trying to stabilise them and increase the quality overall.

Is there anything I should be using? I'm currently using Twixtor to slow down, but just regular Stablise Motion to stabilise, with mixed results (since a lot of the footage is very grainy).

Any handy plugins that might make a difference?

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Improving very old newsreel footage
on Feb 19, 2013 at 4:15:10 pm

It sounds like you're unsure of the provenance of this footage. Was the film -- presumably shot at 24fps -- telecined at the PAL frame rate of 25fps, which is the easier way to do it?

Do you see any repeated frames in the footage? If so, is there a pattern to it, e.g. it happens every X number of frames?

If you're already satisfied that that the frame rates are correct, let's move to the stabilization issue.

I recommend using your video editing application to export INDIVIDUAL SHOTS ONLY for use in AE. It's then much easier to address individual stabilization issues such as film drifting in the gate, bad camera moves, etc. AE's Warp Stabilizer does a good job of this. Then prerender the clips, reimport and do the slo-mo, image processing and roto work.

From the

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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