I recently recorded an event under dim lighting and to make matters worse, I inadvertently left the ND filter on my Canon XHA1 set to "1/16". The resulting video is dark and grainy. Is there a way to recover this in Vegas?
Jim, in addition to Nigel's excellent suggestions, here's a tip I grabbed off another Vegas forum some time ago that may be of some help. I can't remember who the original poster was or I'd give him/her credit.
Import the event to the project, drop it into the timeline, adjust your project settings however you'd like but set the Pixel Format to 32-bit floating point (video levels)
Now, right-click on the track header and select Duplicate Track. Do this several times, if you like, to make 4 or 5 duplicate tracks, Mute most of them so that just the bottom two are active. You can toss out what you don't use later on.
Now, you've got a stack of tracks. The bottom will be your master and all those above it are adjustment layers. Go to the track immediately above the master and set it's Compositing Mode to Screen.
Screen mode will lighten the event based on how light the adjustment layer is. Bright areas of the adjustment layer will brighten the underlying areas in the master. Dark areas in the adjustment layer wont brighten underlying layers much.
Save your project. (I crashed Vegas a bit after this).
This single screen layer won't brighten the master enough so unmute another layer and set it to Screen mode too. This might give you too much brightening effect but you can dial it down by adjusting the transparency of this adjustment layer.
If you'd like to add some contrast back to the mix set your top layer or Overlay mode and unmute it. adjust the layer's transparency to give you what you want. I dialed mine down to 4%.
I think this gets the event back into the ballpark. You might play with noise reduction. You definitely should play with turning 32-bit mode on and off to see the difference that makes-it's substantial. Also, just as a nicety, try grouping all the adjustment layers into track group.