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  1. Member
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    Hi All,

    I'm completely new to video editing and looking for some pointers. I have just captured video from 8 and Super 8mm films. This was a frame by frame transfer to mp4 files. I want to learn how to restore these transfers. Mostly fixing color and sharpness. Can anyone give me some hints on where I can start?

    Thanks
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  2. Member
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    Hello, and welcome.


    Originally Posted by aoscott View Post
    I have just captured video from 8 and Super 8mm films. This was a frame by frame transfer to mp4 files.
    Unfortunately that was your first mistake, and it was major. If you knew beforehand that you intended to get into restoration and repair mods, why did you choose a lossy final delivery format that isn't designed for modification without major damage. "Lossy" means "you lose". Lossy encoding discards data and adds compression artifacts that don't exist in the source. If your "captures" involved h.264 encoding, you also threw away 50% of your original chroma resolution.The data that is discarded can't be recovered, and compression noise requires cleanup filters that destroy detail. Beyond that point, further mods will eventually require that you go thru another lossy phase or more for your final output.

    Maybe you'd better rethink this project. Otherwise, your best bet without starting over is to do the rest of the work using lossless compressors like Lagarith for working files before encoding your final version.
    Last edited by LMotlow; 8th Oct 2018 at 11:27.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  3. LMotlow's point that you should start with as high quality as possible is valid

    Check what you have first with something like mediainfo, because MP4 is just a container format - it can hold different types of video

    It's likely that you're using the most common lossy 8bit 4:2:0 h264 format, but it's possible to use lossless h264 compression with up to 10bit 4:4:4, or h265 lossless with 12bit 4:4:4. Or RGB. In MP4 container





    A general approach would be to adjust levels first (white to black), white balance, then work on colors

    "Sharpness" can be difficult to address because you are often limited by grain, scratches, noise. If you "sharpen" you can enhance the artifacts and make it much worse. It depends on the condition of the source and scans. You might have to address some of the other issues first
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  4. You need to read the extensive (massively large) posts about this subject over in doom9.org:

    The Power of AVIsynth: Restoring Old 8mm Film

    There are 3-4 other related threads, but that is the initial one and it does provide links to some of the others. VideoFred (Freddy van de Putte) is the key guy. doom9.org has a lot more on this subject than here on Videohelp, and also has a lot more specific software and scripts designed for doing exactly what you want to do. Search on his name and you'll find most of the other relevant threads.

    If you want to see an example of what can be done, go to Vimeo and look at some of VideoFred's work. It is stunning what his restoration software scripts can do. Here is a link to some of his early work, from almost ten years ago. The newer versions of his scripts contain more accurate color correction and other refinements, and are even more impressive.

    https://vimeo.com/2823934

    I have developed my own version of his scripts which runs much faster and have significantly different settings (far less sharpening, for one). Here is an example of what I've done, using film that was in much worse shape than most of what Freddy deals with (he often "restores" fairly modern film, whereas many of my transfers are on film from as far back as 1928)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBAHzO7rJS0

    Finally, I see that poinsondeathray has correctly suggested that you use a video codec that is designed to be editable and which retains as much of the information in the original transfer as possible. I realize that you may be limited by the software that is "hard-wired" with your transfer machine, but if possible you want to use a codec that does NOT use a GOP (Group Of Pictures) format, but instead compresses each frame independently of the other. You ideally want to use a codec that was designed for editing rather than for delivery. These are often marketed as "intermediate format" codecs. One of the best-known is Cineform. It used to cost over a thousand dollars, but after Cineform was sold to GoPro, they make it available for free on their web site as part of their Studio editing program. It is marvelous technology for this sort of work. Hopefully you can figure out how to adapt it to your capture workflow.
    Last edited by johnmeyer; 8th Oct 2018 at 12:55. Reason: link problem
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  5. Member
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    It's likely that you're using the most common lossy 8bit 4:2:0 h264 format, but it's possible to use lossless h264 compression with up to 10bit 4:4:4, or h265 lossless with 12bit 4:4:4. Or RGB. In MP4 container
    Thanks LMotlow, poisondeathray,

    Looks like it is being captured in a lossy format.

    ID :
    1
    Format :
    AVC
    Format/Info :
    Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile :
    High@L4.1
    Format settings :
    CABAC / 1 Ref Frames
    Format settings, CABAC :
    Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames :
    1 frame
    Format settings, GOP :
    M=1, N=15
    Codec ID :
    avc1
    Codec ID/Info :
    Advanced Video Coding
    Duration :
    12 min 32 s
    Bit rate :
    9 832 kb/s
    Width :
    1 440 pixels
    Height :
    1 080 pixels
    Display aspect ratio :
    4:3
    Frame rate mode :
    Constant
    Frame rate :
    20.000 FPS
    Color space :
    YUV
    Chroma subsampling :
    4:2:0
    Bit depth :
    8 bits
    Scan type :
    Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) :
    0.316
    Stream size :
    882 MiB (99%)
    Language :
    English
    Encoded date :
    UTC 2017-01-01 16:01:37
    Tagged date :
    UTC 2017-01-01 16:01:37
    Codec configuration box :
    avcC
    This was captured using a Wolverine Movie Maker Pro https://www.wolverinedata.com/products/MovieMaker_Pro. I checked the settings and unfortunately that is the only format it uses and does not have not have an option for a lossless format Is there any other option I can use to capture these in a lossless format? I would like to be able to do this on my own and not have to pay a lot of money for someone else to do it.

    Here is a sample of what I captured. Grainy and many parts are blue like towards the end of the clip. Please let me know what methods I can take to restore color correction and clarity. Thanks for the help!

    https://youtu.be/69wY3SqO8pY
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  6. Originally Posted by aoscott View Post
    Here is a sample of what I captured. Grainy and many parts are blue like towards the end of the clip. Please let me know what methods I can take to restore color correction and clarity. Thanks for the help!

    https://youtu.be/69wY3SqO8pY
    1. Your video won't play for me, although I am currently using an old laptop running XP, and once in awhile YouTube videos won't play. So the problem may be on my end. I'll try to look again in a few days when I'm back on a better computer.

    2. You appear to have not yet read my post above. I assume that is because we were posting at roughly the same time. Please read it because I think it answers your questions.


    Finally, your statement that your capture hardware doesn't have the option to capture to anything other than MP4 is what I expected. For those who haven't done much of this, what you'll find is that most of these transfer systems -- even the high-end ones -- are "hard-wired" to only write to specific formats. Tthis is also true of my Hauppauge video capture system, which only captures to codecs like h.264 MP4. Most people who buy film transfer units (or video capture hardware) want to have something equivalent to those VHS-to-DVD combo units where you put the old media in one slot, the new media in the other slot, press a button, and you're done. For those people (who represent the bulk of the customers) a delivery format codec makes perfect sense.

    So, you'll just have to make do with the .MP4 files. However, do set the bitrate to the absolute highest you can, and set all other quality settings to the maximum.
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    1. Your video won't play for me, although I am currently using an old laptop running XP, and once in awhile YouTube videos won't play. So the problem may be on my end. I'll try to look again in a few days when I'm back on a better computer.
    I thought I can just make the video private and just share the link. That might be the issue. I just made the video public.

    https://youtu.be/69wY3SqO8pY
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  8. Member
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    Most people who buy film transfer units (or video capture hardware) want to have something equivalent to those VHS-to-DVD combo units where you put the old media in one slot, the new media in the other slot, press a button, and you're done. For those people (who represent the bulk of the customers) a delivery format codec makes perfect sense.
    Maybe you spoke too soon. Or maybe aoscott feels comforted knowing that what we see in post #7 is as good as it gets. He might even be seduced into thinking that re-encoding at a higher bitrate will make it even better.

    I don't think he'll be satisfied with that.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  9. Originally Posted by aoscott View Post
    Here is a sample of what I captured.
    That's not a sample of what you captured. It's a sample you uploaded to YouTube who reencoded it, thus degrading the quality even more.

    You should make available an untouched unreencoded sample.

    Your source is 20fps. The YouTube version is 30fps. Your source is 1.33:1 (4:3). The YouTube version is 1.78:1 (16:9).
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  10. Member
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    This forum and other sites advise people who post samples that YouTube wrecks the damn originals. We shout and scream and deliver that message again and again, but I guess these poor folks just don't get it. And they never will understand it.


    But thanks for trying, manono.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  11. Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    This forum and other sites advise people who post samples that YouTube wrecks the damn originals. We shout and scream and deliver that message again and again, but I guess these poor folks just don't get it. And they never will understand it.
    This isn't fair. Virtually everyone who makes that mistake makes a native clip available once it's explained to them.

    For the OP: Even with the youtube video one can bring out some color. Here's a side by side comparison with some quick color adjustments. It needs a lot more work but it should give you an idea what can be done.

    Click image for larger version

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  12. That is a pretty ugly transfer.

    The most obvious thing is the blue cast. If you hold the film up to the light, or if you put it on a light table and look at it with a magnifier, does it actually have this blue cast? Many of these transfer systems must first be "white balanced" using a white card, or a similar operation. I ask this question because I've seen a lot of fading of various types of film stocks, and it is pretty unusual to have the blue layer be the only one that survives. Therefore, I suspect the blue may be from lack of calibration, rather than from the film itself, but you can prove me wrong if you can actually look at that section of film with a loupe.

    So, the first thing is to determine if your film really looks like this.

    Second, the playback speed is obviously wrong because it is playing too fast. Most transfer units have you specify the playback speed before you start capturing. While there are no hard and fast rules for 8mm film, you should start by telling your equipment to create the MP4 file to play at 16 fps. If you are transferring Super 8, the playback is always 18 fps.

    There are other issues, but these two are so overwhelming and must be fixed before you start refining your technique, that I didn't go any further than that.
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