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  1. Member
    Join Date: May 2013
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    Hello,
    I have captured my old vhs concert footage to avi through huffyuv. I want to eventually burn to dvd. But first I have to clean up the video and then edit by adding subtitles, cropping, some corrections, authoring and burning. How should my workflow be keeping in mind that I don't want to encode and recode too many times. What should I be doing in virtual dub? My plan:
    1. Clean up the avi file
    2. Edit with an NLE that will save to avi with my subs included (ideas?)
    3. Take that avi and open in AVStoDVD to author and burn.
    4. Possibly prepare the file for YouTube upload. (That may be a different process)

    My vhs footage has some overscan on the bottom, needs to be brighter, color contrast improved, and a little help with the graininess. There aren't really any other issues with the capture.
    Suggestions?
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  2. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: New York, US
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    IF you captured to lossless huffyuv-compressed AVI, do your denoising, color correction and other cleanup first in Avisynth and/or VirtualDub before adding fancy titles, joining segments, etc. in an NLE. Work with lossless media until you have your final compilation saved as lossless AVI and use huffyuv or Lagarith lossless compression to save intermediate working files. You will have a lot of large files, but you don't want to make all those corrections and additions using lossy encoded media. Almost any NLE can work with lossless media to add the fancy stuff without lossy re-encoding.

    How much cleanup you have to do in Avisynth and/or VirtualDub depends on the problems you want to fix. You can submit lossless huffyuv or Lagarith samples to the forum for specific advise about that. Ask for help on submitting an AVi sample before you do it, to avoid colorspace changes that might affect the sample.

    I would suggest that once you have your final Avi ready for encoding, get a good separate encoder and authoring program. Most encoders that come with most NLE's are not first-rate. AVS2DVD has a good encoder (HCenc) for MPEG/DVD. How you encode depends on what you want for output.

    Head switching nosie along the bottom border is usually treated in one of two ways. It can be masked in Virtualdub with a black border, or (better) it can be cropped and replaced in Avisynth. In Avisynth, for example, if you have 8 pixels of noise at the bottom of the frame, you can use statements like this to crop off the noise and center the image vertically:

    Code:
    AviSource(:path to video and name of video.avi")
    Crop(0,0,0,-8)
    AddBorders(0,4,0,4)
    Don't resize cropped video to re-fill the frame. It would alter the aspect ratio of the original image. If you don't want to use avisynth, there are other ways of doing it.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:07.
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  3. Member
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    I am having trouble attaching a 30 second sample clip to show you. Maybe because it's 225mb. Any ideas?


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  4. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: New York, US
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    A sample post can be up to 500mb, but files that large are seldom necessary. 10 seconds or so of huffyuv standard definition AVI capture YUY2 would be 150mb or less, but you can submit something larger. The forum uploader is relatively slow -- sometimes it gets busy, and you can probably tell that some changes and maintenance have been happening recently. I was having a rough time of it myself yesterday, and my upload was only 45mb.

    Open a huffyuv AVI directly in VirtualDub and make your sample cut using the edit icons at the bottom of VDub's window. Then click the "Video..." top menu item and select "direct stream copy" from the drop-down menu. Then save your AVI sample. You will have to give the saved clip a different name than your original source file.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:07.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Canada
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    2. Edit with an NLE that will save to avi with my subs included (ideas?)
    Not sure what the purpose of that step is ?

    What kind of "edits" are you doing in the NLE? Simple cuts ? Transitions / overlays ?

    What kind of "subs"? Did you mean hardcoding the subs ?
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  6. Member
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    Thanks. Cutting the beginning and end. Adding subs but not hard coding. No transitions.


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  7. Member
    Join Date: May 2013
    Location: Chicago
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    Ok. This is a 12 second clip. I have learned more abour video the last 3 months then sophmore year of high school! This is an avi huffyuv capture.
    I'm looking for a recommended virtual dub filter chain.
    Attached Files
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  8. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
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    There is very little that one could recommend for repairing the sample. It has already gone through some processing and a capture procedure that has pretty well destroyed most of the detail that might have been on the original tape. It has been incorrectly converted to RGB (or, what's worse, it appears to have been captured that way), is not a valid frame size or colorspace for DVD (maybe AVStoDVD would make those conversions for you, I don't know). Other than convert to YV12 for encoding and restore the cropped portion of the original frames, I don't know what VirtualDub could do for this sample.

    If the sample is pretty much the way it looked after it was captured and without any further processing (except for the cropping, which won't work for DVD), you need a better capture setup. Either that, or this is very poorly recorded tape to begin with. There isn't much you can do with it. What player/capture device are you using?
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:07.
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  9. Member
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    Location: Chicago
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    I'm using a JVC SR V101US as a player with the TBC and stabilizer on. My capture device is the ATI 600 USB. My virtual dub settings are to huff tub avi (yuy2, gradient median and convert to yuy2 within the huffyuv configure menu. No other filters have been applied unless vdub's default settings need to be adjusted? There is also a setting on the Jvc that has to do with filtering that I set to "auto" instead of "edit". I'm sure that's not the first recording that tape has seen.


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  10. Banned
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    The JVC is an OK player, but "edit" will give you a sharper image; any leftover noise can be cleaned later. "Auto" has denoising that's killing too much detail.

    Your sample is RGB, not YUY2.

    Was this tape originally recorded at 6-hour speed?
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:08.
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  11. Member
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    Yes. Thank you. I will work on this. How can I ensure it's not captured to RGB?


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  12. Banned
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    In VirtualDub capture's top menu, select "Video" then select "Compression...". In the compression setup panel, choose your version of huffyuv. Then click the "Configure" button to get the huffyuv setup panel. In that panel, make sure "Always suggest RGB format for output" is NOT checked. If the box is checked, clear it. Then exit the compression menus.

    Click the "Video" menu item again and select "Custom format...". On the left-hand side, set the format to 720x480. If your ATI capture device won't accept that frame size, select 640x480 (you can resize later for DVD). In the right-hand window under "Data format", select "YUY2 YUV 4:2:2 inteleaved". Click OK to exit.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:08.
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  13. Member
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    I did exactly what you said and it still comes out as RGB color space because I checked on mediainfo. The resolution is better. But still RGB. What should I do??


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  14. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
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    Your capture dvice? I don't use the ATI 600 USB, but there are hundreds of posts made to the forum with that device and VirtualDub. People capture to lossless YUY2 or YV12 all the time with the ATI 600, using the settings I described. Perhaps someone who uses the card can offer more information. If you are reading your capture with mediaInfo, unprocessed and unedited, I don't see how the capture can be converted to RGB if nothing has been done to it.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:08.
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  15. Member
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    You're telling me. Should I reinstall everything?


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  16. Member
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    Ok. I went with lagarith with the yuy2 settings. Here's a sample with your recommendations. Again thank you for your time.
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  17. Banned
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    Thank you, as well, for giving it another try. The later effort looks much better. If the VCR has sharpening turned on (I think JVC calls it Digital R2, or something like that), disable it if you can. Or if you have any sharpening filters set up in VDub capture, disable those as well. The problem with sharpening VHS during capture is that most of what gets sharpened is noise, making it more difficult to clean. I'll suggest some capture settings that can be helpful later, but for now be certain that you aren't using any of VDub's own capture filters -- it would convert to RGB and then reconvert back to YUY2 during capture.

    I've noticed strange behavior from various versions of huffyuv lately. Lagarith seems more consistent and usually offers no problems between different systems and setups. I use huffyuv for capture myself on an older PC. I also have the same huff version on the newer machine. But when I transfer huff captures from the capture PC to the new one, the videos don't play back correctly. Go figure. Lagarith, no problem.

    Your video is 720x475. Almost all standard formats from DVD to BluRay require frame dimensions divisible by 4 (some require dimensions divisible by 8). If you are cropping before or after capture, note that YUV and/or interlaced video cannot be cropped using odd-numbered dimensions without creating problems because of the way luma and chroma data are stored. Also, many processing filters will not work properly with video that isn't arranged in 8x8-pixel blocks -- some of those filters will simply throw an error message that stops your processing.

    I'll look over the new sample and report later. Other members will probably chime in.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:08.
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  18. Member
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    Thanks. You mentioned converting to RGB and then reconvert to yuy2. How is that done?


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  19. Banned
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    Your incoming tape signal is stored as YCbCr, the nearest equivalent to that is YUY2 and is why VHS capture to YUY2 is usually recommended. I mention RGB->YUY2 in connection with trying to use VirtualDub's image filters (denoisers, colors, etc.) during capture. VirtualDub filters work in RGB. If your incoming signal isn't RGB, VuirtualDub internally would convert it to RGB, apply the filters, and then direct Lagarith or huffyuv to reconvert to YUY2. Besides, color filters and denoisers are too slow for real-time capture.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:08.
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  20. Member
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    Ok. That is great insight.


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  21. Banned
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    Your captures are too dark. Darks are crushed, with detail lost in dark areas. Look at the lower part of the clothing on the girls. They look as if they're wearing black or nearly black lower clothing. If you raise low-level blacks to RGB 16-240 standards for video, the girl on the left is not wearing a black skirt. It appears to be dark red. This can be avoided during capture by using the VDub "Levels" controls that hook into your graphics adapter. Use "Video.." and Select "Levels..." to access those controls. They are not RGB filters. VirtualDub capture has a Histogram view with a graphical display of dark and bright levels. Making this view work properly with different capture devices is a bit tricky, but others have done it. I'll see if I can find a recent post illustrating how it's used.

    The image below is a 2X blowup of part of frame 199 of your original sample. It shows bad dot crawl and jaggies (aliasing) on edges, which looks pretty ragged. It also shows sharpening artifacts (bright halos and dark halos along edges). The noise looks sharpened. You can prevent some of this by using the s-video output of your VCR instead of composite cable. With VHS capture, turn off all sharpeners. Often some of these effects are caused by the way the original camera recorded the video. They can't be entirely eliminated, but you can't do it in VirtualDub. You'll have to use Avisynth. Most of the corrections you need have to be worked in the original colorspace, not in RGB. The image also shows crushed detail in the hair and dark clothing.
    Attachment 23931

    How did you remove 5 pixels from the bottom border? If you are trying to eliminate head switching noise at the bottom of the frame, it can be fixed after capture. Removing an odd number of scan lines during or after capture results in misalignment of interlaced fields, and other problems. If you add 5 pixels of top or bottom border to restore the frame size, you'll see that misalignment has caused 4 pixels of white (no data) at the top of the frame. Below is a 2X enlargement of the top border.
    Attachment 23932

    If you don't know what interlacing is here's a short discussion with examples: http://neuron2.net/LVG/interlacing.html

    This appears to be video that was originally photographed at 6-hour VHS speed. That's a guess, but that's what it looks like.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:09.
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  22. Member
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    Ok. Thanks for the info. I'm not sure how to use avi synth. I will play with the levels to see what I can get


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  23. Member
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    Do you think that a filter chain won't work then?


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  24. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
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    If you mean denoisers, sharpeners, etc., during capture -- they won't help. In VirtualDuib capture, the "Video" -> "Levels" menu will access your graphics card filters. Brightness and contrast are usually all you need to use. Color filters won't help because VHS changes color balance with every shot, especially with home-made video. The only thing that should be dead black in your capture preview is the black borders. If shadows look inky and blobby with no detail as in your images, your dark colors are too dark. You adjust that with the "Brightness" control, which actually controls black levels. AT the bright end, If bright highlights look as if they "glow" or look like "hot spots" such as weird highlights that make faces look oily or shiny, white shirts that jump off the screen, other bright objects that appear to be losing detail because they're too bright, that's mostly controlled by "Contrast". The two controls interact to a degree, so you often have to jockey back and forth between the two and readjust a few times. It doesn't have to be [perfect; you will fine-tune after capture, and levels will change somewhat while a tape plays.

    VHS is imperfect to begin with. It ahs poor shadow detail and tends to burn up the brightest objects. You can't prevent that if the tape itself has bad shadows and highlights, but you can use some basic settings to keep it from looking worse and to avoid capturing at unworkable levels.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:09.
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  25. Member
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    I seem to have a slightly better capture with my Canopus 110 in terms of detail. Why do you think that is


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  26. Banned
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    The Canopus as I recall has more sophisticated (and usually more expensive) circuitry. Just because everything is "digital" doesn't mean it's all "alike". A visit to any TV showroom will demonstrate plenty of inequalities.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:09.
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  27. Member
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    Understood. On many forums the preferred method has always been lossless but in this case I think the best results would apply.


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  28. Member
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    In other words, if I can get better detail, why not capture in DV? (I'm playing devil's advocate here)


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  29. Banned
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    First, you lose 40% or more of the original chroma information with VHS->DV.
    Second, DV is lossy encoding. Not that lossy. but lossy. Lossy means it's not lossless.
    Third, VHS noise is encoded in DV as artifacts that are more difficult to remove.
    Fourth, DV is PC-only playback. You'll have to re-encode anyway for anything else.
    Fifth, two lossy encodes are not better than one.
    Sixth, you'll have to decode DV to lossless anyway for cleanup, then re-encode.

    Your move.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 02:09.
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  30. Member
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    I understand. I No moves at all. I'm a lover, not a fighter. I'm just trying to wrap my head around the concept. So in summary, a virtual dub filter chain may be counterproductive at this point? At least that's what I gather.


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