I captured home VHS and Hi8 tapes (15+years old). They look fine, except that color,contrast and brightness are a bit degraded, they lack vividness. I have Premiere CS4, is there any filter/plug in that will make restoration easier and more automated? Or for that purpose any other software that you would suggest for this job? Thanks.
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I would simply beef up the contrast as well as color saturation, and render files, and then see how that looks. Remember go easy, a little can go a long way.
I use Vegas, not PP, but they are the same in some ways.
Write down each amount on paper that you added, to contrast or color sat, so you will know if you went too far or not, and go easier if need be the next try.
Do some short pieces for quicker tests, and once you get the right recipe, do all of the footage that needs it. Sometimes some footage can look cool with a nice saturated look, even if it is not exactly natural looking.
Do 20 second pieces like I said, and then look at them and decide if they need more or less, but start with small amounts of additional color sat and contrast.