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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:25 PM   #1
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Colour Correcting Mpeg...maybe

Dear All,

Last night, one of my Maxtor drives got bricked and the error resulted in the loss of the majority of my documentary film.

Now all I have is a very nearly finished DVD of the rough cut which was never colour corrected.

Some of the scenes I'm going to recapture and start again, but some, about twenty minutes, is not replaceable and can only be ripped from the DVD. So here's my question.

Should I rip and colour correct the mpeg scenes, or should I convert to AVI, re-edit, and output back to mpeg.

Will it make a difference?

I know there will be a quality loss, but at this point, I have no choice. I'm hoping that I'm helped by the fact that the footage still has a lot of detail because I never processed it with my colour filters.

I'm using Vegas.

Damn, it's been a bad night.

DJ
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:01 PM   #2
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Depending upon how you value the data loss, you might also consider taking your dead drive to a file recovery service. They can be expensive but well worth it if what you are trying to get from the drive is irreplacable. Among the best out there is a company called Drive Savers, about 45 minutes south of me in Marin County, California. Their services start at about $700 and can go into the thousands, depending upon the degree of damage to the drive and the amount of data to be retrieved. I believe they handled file recovery for most of the corporate drives from the Twin Towers in '01.

I used their services about 3 years ago on a drive that I needed recovery for. Some of the micro plates in the drive had actually shattered, you could hear the pieces rattling around when turning the drive over. Drive Savers recovered the entire disc. They actually work on it in a lab with 'clean room' smocks if the recovery warrants it.

It cost me $2,000, but I consider it a fair price to pay in keeping a marriage harmonious and my job stable. The data was irreplacable on both counts.

Since then, I have learned to become a backup fanatic.

Good luck.
-Jon
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Jonathan, but the actual recovery of data is not too necessary if the quality loss is going to be nominal after correction.

The output format is going to be CRT televisions, mostly, and I know there is a lot of room to move as far as quality goes. I might consider the recovery process if the output was going to be film. I probably would.

Any advice on CCing the mpeg? Convert to AVI first?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:17 PM   #4
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I would transcode the MPEG2 to DV and edit with that. Vegas will minimize any degradation with DV, but not as well with MPEG2. Since you are primarily going to be viewing these on SD TV, I doubt you will be able to see any difference.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Kinney

Any advice on CCing the mpeg? Convert to AVI first?

Unless you have an application that can CC it without having to recompress it to the end mpeg, I think I would convert to avi. Depending upon the quality of the footage you might likely notice some pixelation in some areas (though perhaps not as apparent on your end view medium after all. But at least the avi conversion will give your filters more spatial latitude which will help in detailing your filters.

I have done this before and found the even though the source footage didn't benefit from the up-conversion, it 'felt' like more breathing room to detail my correction and filters, and after recompressing, I found my end result to be acceptable for tv viewing.
-Jon
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:41 PM   #6
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On recovery:

1st - I have seen people get amazing results with GetDataBack for NTFS, as long as it's not a hardware problem ('bricked' sounds pretty dead).
2nd - I myself have had one good experience with putting my Maxtor drive in the freezer and hooking it up ice cold (yes, indeed, minus 20 degrees celcius. Found that trick on the net somewhere). Some drives start responding suddenly and live long enough to get some stuff off them (like your VEG files), before heating up and crashing again.

About reediting and reencoding the MPEG2 off that DVD: take a close look at the darker areas and blurry backgrounds of your production, they may feature block-like artifacts that you might combat using a selective smart blur or something. These artifacts may especially show up on sets that are ajusted a little too bright.

Good luck,
Pieter
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:56 PM   #7
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Yes, try the freezer method. I had a friend that had an external drive crash, he put the drive in the freezer then ran the power cord and firewire cord out of the freezer and closed the door. After a while he connected it to his computer and retrieved all his data.

Duane
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:25 PM   #8
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I have heard of this freezer method, and for whatever reason, it probably does work. I am running some parallell projects right now to recover the data, but am operating on the assumption that it is lost.

Turns out, what happened is that a pin (one of the 80 connectors) bent and broke at the soldered point on the board. This caused the drive to "short" upon restart and then when I restarted again, bad info had been written to the master boot record or file tables or something. So while "bricked" might be too harsh, it is profoundly damaged.

I'm using the software mentioned above. We'll see. It shows that it will take 22 hours to finish. Does that sound right?

DJ
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Old February 4th, 2007, 02:42 AM   #9
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22 hours doesn't sound weird, if it's a large drive. It's probably scanning all the sectors for directory and file signatures...
Pieter
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #10
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Hi all...thought I'd give an update. The file recovery software found all the files but could not recover any playable versions. Actually, it didn't recover any workable versions of anything, although I could see everything.

The colour correction is working, but my biggest sadness is the loss of ability to manipulate the original soundtracks, create crossfades and other transitions.

All in all, it could have been a lot worse.

Thanks for everyone's advice.

DJ
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