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Old January 27th, 2013, 10:02 PM   #1
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Cleaning an old VHS import?

G'day,

I know there's no magic bullet, but what would you do to tidy this old VHS (now only digital) video up using Final Cut Pro (5.1)?

http://oi46.tinypic.com/21ots7o.jpg

Obviously too late to make use of a TBC...

I was going to use AJW's Y/C colour delay to fix any shift in the colour signal... Maybe some minor colour correction (ie lower the blacks, increase mids/highs), and try a noise reduction filter...

Thanks


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Old January 28th, 2013, 01:49 AM   #2
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Re: Cleaning an old VHS import?

I am far from competent in these things.
"
I got hold of someone's copy of a VHS rental film which was well worn. The film "Cold River" may no longer survive as it was not high-end mainstream.



I assemble/edit in Premiere so this may not be a lot of use to you.

As a form of primitive noise reduction I laid three identical clips on the timeline, two delayed sequentially one frame later than the other. The two upper tracks I set at 33% transparency. The idea being that any video noise is hopefully lowered by about a third. The downside is that three times as much noise will be seen and there will be motion trails. It seems to work - sort of. If you try this you may find you have to increase contrast and colour saturation in all clips as they may combione to appear very flat. I did this with the cineform plug-in for levels and colour correction but the simpler brightness, contrast and gamma tools in FCP should do just as well at this level.

By time I made that screen grab, I had trimmed all the clips head and tail to common start and end points.
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Old January 28th, 2013, 02:38 AM   #3
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Re: Cleaning an old VHS import?

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll certainly give that a go.

Mostly the video is just so fuzzy it's pretty hard to enjoy, so hoping I can tart it up a bit.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 06:12 AM   #4
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Re: Cleaning an old VHS import?

You may be able to get away with a little sharpening applied to the exported clip after stacking the layers.

Another fake is to import the SD capture into a HD project but not scale to frame size so you end up with a windowed image inside of a thick edged black frame. It is also less obvious that you have masked out any flagging on the upper and lower frame edges.
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Old February 6th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #5
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Re: Cleaning an old VHS import?

Hi again,

Have had a go at cleaning this video up last night.

I was surprised given the quality of the print, but there doesn't actually seem to be any gamma displacement. I'd assumed it was several generations old, which I understood meant there would be some colour movement, but when I zoomed in on a nice brightly coloured object and played with AJW's Y/C Delay filter, it was clear there was no improvement to be had there.

I tried your 3 layers, top 2 at 33%, +1 +2 frames... But indeed found the motion trails annoying... Instead I tried -1 +1... That seemed to give good results with the same premise, but less obvious trailing.

I used TMTS's Smooth and Sharp to sharpen the image, and then a standard FCP colour corrector to lower the whites because of the sharpening... (and also boosted the mids and deepen the blacks)

The result... It's more watchable than it was... though of course, still pretty rough. Wider shots are worse (less detail), though closer up shots are much easier on the eye.

One thing that stands out (to me) is - on straight lines (ie doors etc), there's some obvious wobbling... Is there any way to clean that up?

Thanks for your help!


cheers

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Old February 7th, 2013, 01:46 AM   #6
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Re: Cleaning an old VHS import?

The newer direct-drive VHS machines seemed to have recorded better. The recordings from older ones which relied on a coarse drum motor and a secondary trim motor with a tacho circuit don't seem to do so well in recovery attempts.

The JVC HR DVS1 which I recovered the Cold River head titles theme with, has some timebase correction options which help with the wavy vertical lines but there are limits to what it can do.

With the Beaufighter clip, I had to physically go through it frame by frame and manually reposition each frame to deal with the worst vertical jitters. I then cropped out the vertical margins of the image to deal with wavy sideframe edges.
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