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Old January 2nd, 2004, 04:41 PM   #1
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Anyone for a cheap deartifecter campaign?

I've been messing around with footage using the deartifacter tool on the demo for Digital Filmtools suite of filters. It works amazingly. Unbelievable just how affected by colour stepping and pixelisation MiniDV really is, especially where red and blue tones are concerned.

Am I the only one who thinks that such a filter should be released on its own? Perhaps not even as an AE filter (after all some people don't have that kind of money to spare), but as a stand alone program like DVfilmmaker that will process the footage once it is edited.

I'm actually astounded that nobody has done one yet. It's one of the most useful filters for DV moviemakers and yet if I want one I have to pay either 200 odd dollars for Digital Filmtools or nearly a grand for Magic Bullet! Then on top of that if someone doesn't have AE they need to fork out for that too.

AFAIAC a DV deartifacter filter should be standard in all NLEs these days. It can't be that complex a filter to write. I know that outputting a final file back to DV may produce the same artifacts again, but I read in one review that they are far less noticeable even when deartifacted footage is output to DV again. Plus if a user is outputting to MPEG2 for DVD creation it would be nice to get rid of these horrible facets of MiniDV recording.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 04:54 AM   #2
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C'mon guys!

Try shooting some footage that involves, say, a red car. Now look at the shades on that car. Some of them will be really pixellated thanks to DV artifacting. A movie I just shot involved a sequence in a nightclub, with some shots looking like 100x70 footage that had been blown up to DV resolution! Okay, it wasn't as bad on a TV, but the effects were really noticeable on the monitor.

Such a filter should be standard in all NLEs AFAIAC, or at least shouldn't cost more than $20 on it's own. I can't be the only one who has thought about this surely?
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Old January 4th, 2004, 03:31 PM   #3
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De-artifacting is, in a way, included with some codecs. Avid, for example, does chroma filtering/smoothing during decompression. See http://24p.com/codecs.htm for examples. FCP apparently does no chroma filtering/smoothing, so Adam Wilt wrote up some scripts to handle it for FCP users.

On the PC side, you can download Matrox's free VFW codecs, which allow you to choose chroma filtering/smoothing. It made a tremendous difference in the quality of up-rezzing footage when I was doing SD->HD uprez tests.

It does make a difference, but basically only for computer displays (or still extractions). When it goes back to a television, all the benefit of de-artifacting is lost (assuming that the benefit is being derived from smoothing the 4:1:1 color sampling), so for the vast majority of users it's been no big deal.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 04:26 PM   #4
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Some of the footage I was recently trying deartifacting with because it looked so bad was directly from FCP!

But okay, if Avid and FCP have such an ability, why does not much else?

True, it doesn't make a massive difference on most stuff on a normal TV set. However one shot I was working with still looked very bad on a TV because of the large area involved. Further, making DV movies for uprezzing to film these days is more of an issue. On top of that is that many are burning their own DVD's which in turn are quite often viewed on a PC monitor (not that I advocate that)

But still, if the filter is so simple it can be included with a codec on some systems, why is it not a basic filter in NLEs these days considering all the above?
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Old January 4th, 2004, 11:46 PM   #5
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You misread -- FCP does NOT include that ability, hence why Michael Phillips posted a page showing how Avid's codec does smoothing but FCP's doesn't.

Again, Adam Wilt wrote up some scripts for FCP to provide smoothing -- so you could download them (for free I believe) and have a solution (well, provided they address the same issue you are fixing -- download 'em and try it!)

Why isn't it included in all NLE's? Heck, you'd have to ask them...

As far as I know, very few if any NLE's offer it standard. Avid offers it as part of the codec, which I believe is the wrong place to do it -- I want the codec to uncompress the data, not uncompress AND MODIFY it. That seems like a bad idea -- unless you could turn it on and off at will.

So Avid does it. FCP doesn't. Vegas doesn't. I believe Premiere doesn't. I don't think many NLE's do. But for FCP you can download the scripts, and for Premiere on the PC you can download the Matrox VFW codecs, so there's a solution available for most platforms. Sure it'd be nice if they included it for free. Maybe write e-mails to the manufacturers (marketing departments, not tech support) and ask -- maybe they will in the future!
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