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Video Correction...

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Mike MossVideo Correction...
by on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:35:21 pm


I have footage of a music video made back in 1979.
The video is very poor quality; alot of pixelation, fuzziness, color is off, etc etc...

Is there any plugins, techniques, etc to fix it in AE? I dont need it to be HD quality, just something that looks somewhat normal.

I have AE CS3.

Not sure if that is possible or not, and if it is not possible, can someone recommend me to a company that would specialize in this sort of video correction. As long as the company is located somewhere in the U.S. i dont mind mailing a copy of the footage. But if there is a more local spot (Los Angeles) that would be even more helpful.

Thanks :)

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Chris WrightRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:50:06 pm

try AE's remove grain, it has many tweakable parameters. Also try Unsharp(I use track mattes in combination). reset the white balance with color finesse's grey eyedrop.
Is the color flickering?

Once it's mastered, use red giant's instant hd to resize it to HD. Sure there's more expensive ways, but start at the bottom and see if you're satisfied from there.

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Mike MossRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:58:30 pm

Cool, ill try that. Thanks for the response.

Color flickers and bad pixelation...Looks almost like there are pixels missing. Think im S.O.L on that. :(

But ill give it whirl.

Ill see if i can post a single frame of the video so you can see what i mean.

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Chris WrightRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 28, 2010 at 11:11:07 pm

I wrote a free ae project that will fix really bad white balance flickering and exposure flickering. I wouldn't know if it was possible to repair the bad pixelation without a screenshot. If it's small, you can use cc wire removal. If it's bigger, you can use timewarp. If it's really big, you have to repair with roto as an artist.

ae cs3 auto repair flicker project (enable the top text layer and keep it around 25%)

timewarp frame restorer
use filter extreme, vector 100, smoothing 28

ae remove single specks

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Jim ArcoRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 30, 2010 at 12:48:34 pm

Chris' project files can be a real timesaver when working with lower-quality footage.

If, like me, you hadn't ever used AE's shy layers, you might be puzzled when Chris refers to more than one layer in the "auto repair flicker project." Just hit the shy layer switch above the timeline and all the layers will appear.


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Mike MossRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 28, 2010 at 11:24:19 pm

Heres a couple shots of the video i said i would upload

take a look around the girl's neck,face and the little pooch shes holding...
Is this possible to fix in AE?

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Chris WrightRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 28, 2010 at 11:53:08 pm

"Is this possible to fix in AE?"

anythings possible, only takes time and skill. What I would do is
first remove the flickering(exposure/wb), then see how well the timewarp script repairs the frames.

You can then take the fixed duplicated layers and even composite them over existed frames and feather them in.

For some bad spots that timewarp can't repair, use the clone brush tool that lets you see adjacent frames you can fill holes in with.

Once you've repaired the holes, add unsharp and instant hd. I recommended unsharp last because I think it will be easier to match stuff later with a low contrast source.

You can also get some plugins that repair scratches
this one is free.

this one costs a little but will save a lot of time

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Mike MossRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 29, 2010 at 12:30:25 am


Thank you so much for the insight and help.

I'll see what i can come up with and keep you informed.


Happy Holidays

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Jim ArcoRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 30, 2010 at 1:04:11 pm

My guess would be VHS?

If that's the case, you may need to use a noise reduction tool to help with the chroma noise. AEs Effects > Remove Grain works well, although a bit slow on even the best system.

Be careful with any sharpening since the original seems to have some edge-enhancement. There is also some ghosting to the right of the girl (and other objects) in the image that will become a lot more obvious if you try to sharpen the image.

Not sure what the anomoly around the neck area might be. If it only occurs on a few frames at a time, the "frame restorer" project should help.

I've worked with quite a bit of older footage and it ultimately comes down to how much time, effort, and skill can be devoted to it. It will probably never look as good as something shot with today's technology but you can usually make it look quite a bit better.

Colorburst Video

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Jim ArcoRe: Video Correction...
by on Dec 30, 2010 at 3:05:21 pm


After taking another look, you might also consider some shadow and highlight manipulation. The histogram of image 1 looks like "two mountains and a valley" meaning that both highlights and shadows are clipped - there is not much detail in either. Of course, we would expect that from a brightly lit beach scene.

I think you'll start to bump into noise problems very quickly as you try to get any detail from the shadows. It's a little hard to see from a single screen grab, but I've done a quick look in the attached image showing her neck area. Even this image shows some 'junk' near her neck - it almost looks like part of her earring.


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Jim ArcoCorrected pic
by on Dec 30, 2010 at 3:18:30 pm

OOPs. I attached the wrong image. The neck and earring are a bit easier to see in this one.

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Mike MossRe: Corrected pic
by on Dec 30, 2010 at 6:17:24 pm

Thanks for all the help guys!
Ill be workin on this fora lil while and see if i can do it.

One more question...I originally got this gig because the owner of the video wanted me to create DVD menus for it. Which was simple enough, lil AE, Photoshop and Encore.
He really liked the menus that i came up with and then asked me to do the corrections to the video, i told him i would see, but no guarantees that i could do it. If it turns out that i am able to, how much would you charge for something like this? (American dollars)

Figure the video has a TRT of 24minutes @ 30fps.

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Jim ArcoRe: Corrected pic
by on Dec 30, 2010 at 8:23:36 pm

I usually bill on an hourly basis and give clients several choices of how much work they want done. If this is for a reunion special on a major network, it might require more effort than someone who just wants to be able to watch their old videos. In a case like this, you might be able to have a one-size-fits-all technique that can be applied to the whole thing, or you might need to do scene-by-scene correction.

If it needs frame-by-frame roto-ing or reconstruction, then the hours/dollars can get pretty high.

You'll need to determine what your market will bear, but be sure to figure in the costs of your high-end workstation with all software. It sometimes still surprizes me when I see folks low-balling it at $20/hour for their skills and $5000 worth of obsolete-next-week computer/monitors/graphics cards/software.


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