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  1. I was reading the thread from 2020 on Topaz but it wore me down to a nub after a page of it. Now I know better than to say AI about anything regarding video enhancement.

    Some pieces of video from 1980's televison I have seen benefit from Topaz online (then using a downloader.) But if there is a free tool solution that I could use on one of those to preserve content not available anywhere but perhaps libraries, what is to be done?

    The suggestion from 2o20 was grab Topaz under the free trial, drag and drop and look at the results. I'm afraind that if I did that it would cap
    out at a five minute sample or less-- (the usual come -on.)

    I have no experience in command line work. And years ago I found AVISyth etc to be a mystery which is beyond me. I see it more as an engine needing a GUI for noobs such as me.

    And how is enhancement different from restoration attempts?
    Last edited by loninappleton; 17th Mar 2023 at 19:36. Reason: spelling
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  2. You can try Selur's Hybrid, he updates always latest solutions that were developed using python and then assembled for vapoursynth. Or technically you can use python directly. The holy grail is using a properly trained model for your type of video.

    --solutions for video are only useful for real life scenarios, not AI enhance solutions for images only (like photoshop etc.) and not for anime. Like what was brought up lately: RIFE (Real-Time Intermediate Flow Estimation for Video Frame Interpolation), but perhaps there is more or will be, it is the thing of today ...

    --The problem might be, as was said: trained models. AI needs to know what to do with a sequence of images (again, not just standalone image) for a human to look at and say, wow (Understand, details could be made up, like hair detail, be prepared for this, there is no other way, not sure if folks realize that). It needs trained model for your type of video. So the holy grail would be how to create particular trained model. It seems like catch22. You need enhanced model and old original to create a model. But how do you get that enhanced in the first place? I do not know how it works.

    Maybe for our old camcorders we have to re-shoot some scenes with both old and new good camera , create model and then enhance old footages using that model. For your problem, old TV footage's, there might be chances to get those somewhere. But guessing, it is still easier to come up with chain of filters in Avisynth, vapoursynth , clean, fix footage and only then resize it if needed.

    So far , this AI takes enormous amount of time, so it is not suitable for a rapid enhancement of whatever there is.
    Last edited by _Al_; 16th Mar 2023 at 15:59.
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  3. thanks for answering.
    it still seems like a hard question to answer.

    I also have the issue of using very old motherboard with onboard graphics-- probably a real computing problem for any sort of efficiency.

    The example of Topaz I refer to comes from a Youtube called The Critic from Play of the Month on BBC back in
    1983. There is little information on this and it is a 'redirect' from main Youtube to the Topaz edition.

    Here it is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adoKLzgiDEc&t=67s&ab_channel=busterthecat
    (currently buster the cat is the only BBC The Critic I can locate at all. Perhaps taken down.

    I'd have to chase this down again to find the original.


    edit: here is the original:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD4p2R_3ziI&t=15s&ab_channel=busterthecat


    by the same uploader though
    For my purpose, I ran it through Handbrake and raised the quality bit rate and that seemed to help further.

    It may just be wheel spinning for me to try any of this....

    These old things need to be preserved by somebody.
    Last edited by loninappleton; 17th Mar 2023 at 00:00. Reason: additional link
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  4. Originally Posted by loninappleton View Post
    These old things need to be preserved by somebody.
    I think, keeping originals or original copies is good enough for now. Outside of some business interests of course, if it generates money, it will be done.
    Some more rants if I may. After this gold-rush of everything enhancing, who is to say what was actually there. I watch old TV series on MeTV HD sometimes and to be frank, it is really ridiculous to see shows like "Lost in Space" enhanced, fps changed, because everything is so real that you are basically watching that show as in a theater with your own eyes, all those ridiculous props, where in reality, we should never see those details by authors in the first place. Props, camera work, dresses, all faults were ok if it was not "readable", because of how TV worked then. That's an extreme, but anyway, suddenly you get a wrong product basically. Sort of be careful what you wish for. And generations later would say, look at what those people were watching then, they were simple and stupid, even perceiving reality of back then is changed.
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    Originally Posted by loninappleton
    Now I know better than to say AI about anything regarding video enhancement.
    Yes, you have to have a tough skin and good earplugs around here at times.

    All is not lost. You do not need a command-line or AI to improve your videos using visual cues. The free Virtual Dub, with it's great filter support, will allow you to improve your videos.

    I use Virtual Dub 2 with filters such as Color Mill, which allows you to change almost every aspect of a videos colour, brightness and contrast. MSU Denoiser is a good denoising filter. Flaxen's VHS filter is great for re-aligning the red colour shift often found on old VHS recordings. You can also deinterlace, crop, re-size and export to the common MP4 format for Youtube or personal distribution. All of this is free and will run on a low-powered machine, although the actual final encode/render may take some time.

    And how is enhancement different from restoration attempts?
    It's not. Improvement, betterment, enhancement, restoration, it's all the same principle. It's simply making a video look better than it's original state.
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  6. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Restoration is different from Enhancement, but restoration is RESTORING what existed on the original source. Most examples here are not restoration, but enhancement, as most types of restoration deal with physically/electronically fixing the original, whereas enhancements here apply an algorithm after the fact that perceptually may improve certain aspects of the signal (usually at the cost of other aspects, but it is an act of weighing of priorities and sensitivities).
    One exception here is multiple-copy Median techniques (restoration).

    You can think of restoration as objective, while enhancement is subjective.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 16th Mar 2023 at 23:54.
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  7. I like Cornucopias explanation though I've seen many in the past.

    I'll have to fire up Win10 that I have on a scratch disk (not caring to use it often) and install Topaz to that
    since Topaz runs on Win10 only.

    And I'm playing around with finishing a new PC build which in time and with some upgrades of the bare bones I have, could
    become a better enhancement engine. It's slow b/c I 'm getting a part here and there not wanting to make a big investment with 2 PCs still active on home ethernet. I had a third ancient one that could be put on a sole job like long encodes.
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  8. Captures & Restoration lollo's Avatar
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    Most examples here are not restoration, but enhancement,
    Talking about analog VHS capture and AviSynth/VapourSynth flow, if processing is limited to deinterlacing (properly done) and denoise (properly done), I call it restoration, because you do a required operation (or leave the player to do it) and remove the noise that is inherent to the recording format, not the source.

    The same when you remove scratches, comets, replace bad frames, etc...

    Adding sharpening and upscale is enhancement, as you properly said.
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  9. Captures & Restoration lollo's Avatar
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    I have no experience in command line work. And years ago I found AVISyth etc to be a mystery which is beyond me.
    You're limiting yourself to a minimalist approach then, with lower quality as final output. It depends on your own judgement if you can accept that.

    For sure, if you wish to match or do better than Topaz VEAI, the AviSynth, or better the VapourSynth approach, is required.
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  10. On the Vaporsynth I'll ask it another way:

    Are there ready to load scripts with deinterlacing, denoise, (properly done as it says) sharpening, etc. ?

    I looked at the videohelp software page and saw the screen shot.

    I'd have to be able to plug in an MKV and say "run". Another project had me install python but that's another start from scratch.

    As to the value of preserving from the post above I had to hunt down a title that my public library just eliminated in one of their moves or purges for the annual book sale (I'm guessing.) I went to the state interlibary database and it was nowhere to be found.

    Sites for theatre and such know hardly anything of what has come and gone unawares.

    The poster who found Metv old television shows cleaned up, I think that is a plus. I have a few like Johnny Staccato and Honey West from re-released dvds. And Science Fiction Theatre's 73 episodes.
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  11. Some of those old shows on MeTV HD look fine, but do not forget, the are cut off to 16:9 , so it is not original composition. So heck, it is suppose to be enhanced but 1/3 of content is gone! To sum it up, faces, heads are bigger than was originally intended in composition.
    I'm flipping buttons on remote control frequently to switch between MeTV and MeTV HD, they broadcast same stuff at the same time 4:3 and 16:9, so it could be compared right away.
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    Originally Posted by AI
    but do not forget, the are cut off to 16:9 , so it is not original composition. So heck, it is suppose to be enhanced but 1/3 of content is gone! To sum it up, faces, heads are bigger than was originally intended in composition.
    That's editing, not "de-enhancement". There may well have been no worthwhile video on the top and/or bottom so they decided to edit it out. I do this sometimes with my 4:3 footage. As far as "bigger", it's just like sitting closer to the screen. Provided the heads are not misshapen, they are closer, yes, but I don't see what the problem is.

    And some people do like looking at a full screen of picture. No point in having a nice big 16:9 TV if you're not going to use all of it.
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    For some (others), the point is "seeing the program the way it was designed to be seen".

    Scott
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  14. There may well have been no worthwhile video on the top and/or bottom so they decided to edit it out
    It is different composition. Professional cameramen know their stuff, how to frame a scene. They were framing to 4:3. Compositions is the thing we do not notice when watching. Only when it is bad I guess. For that I enjoyed Sopranos for example.
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  15. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    For some (others), the point is "seeing the program the way it was designed to be seen".

    Scott
    I like watching old 1940s b/w shows on youtube for that reason-- not trying to think of making it different. In other cases
    I think the job is worth doing.
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  16. My personal adventure with Topaz is over for now. I was punked after the install with the news that a CPU which activates AVX is required. Elsewhere it was noted that there is no AVX compatibility on AMD Phenom CPUs. My hardware is pretty old.
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    On the other hand, in both the examples on YT in post #3 above, it's a 4:3 picture in a 16:9 frame. Now to me, that's silly (or perhaps the YT poster didn't realise YT will take a 4:3 and display it as 4:3 with no bars).
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  18. Captures & Restoration lollo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    For some (others), the point is "seeing the program the way it was designed to be seen".

    Scott
    +1. Butchering the video to adapt it to a TV format is criminal. For his own material one can do whatever he wants, but not for a video designed to be viewed in a specific way.
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  19. Originally Posted by lollo View Post
    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    For some (others), the point is "seeing the program the way it was designed to be seen".

    Scott
    +1. Butchering the video to adapt it to a TV format is criminal. For his own material one can do whatever he wants, but not for a video designed to be viewed in a specific way.
    It's an arguable point. It sent me for a reminder of what Pan and Scan originally was used for and that was among other things
    allowing a home viewer to see a film on VHS rental and, I think, before that on television's Saturday Night At the Movies. It was a real treat many years ago.
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  20. Captures & Restoration lollo's Avatar
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    There is nothing to argue on my side. If the original is 4:3 must be with left and right black bars on 16:9 display, if is widescreen must be with top and bottonieri black bars on 4:3 displays. The rest is butchery!

    When 4:3 Thunderbirds TV series was released in Blue Ray (the DVD were OK) butchered in 1.85:1 in Europe there was a revolution among the fans; just 1 or 2 were so stupid to say “I bought a large TV, I want to fill the whole screen”. The same when 4:3 UFO TV series was broadcasted butchered in US HDTV channel
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    I would recommend the buggy openshot as a free tool to process video and make edits of it. It is hardly a means to fix errors, or denoise video; but I have noticed through experience that it seems to do less damage to video than most the commercial products. I use a temporal filter, am pleased with the result, for example and yet; the video editor I then run it through creates square blocks from ice rinks, pretty pointless. I've noticed this from most of the more expensive paid programs albeit.

    Worth mentioning I thought.
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  22. Originally Posted by loninappleton View Post
    My personal adventure with Topaz is over for now. I was punked after the install with the news that a CPU which activates AVX is required. Elsewhere it was noted that there is no AVX compatibility on AMD Phenom CPUs. My hardware is pretty old.
    An update. My minimal Ryzen 5400g build is running. The Topaz will load to that machine. The trialwre did a 3 + hour recode job but only gives back
    a watermarked 3 mins.
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  23. Originally Posted by dspplug View Post
    I would recommend the buggy openshot as a free tool to process video and make edits of it. It is hardly a means to fix errors, or denoise video; but I have noticed through experience that it seems to do less damage to video than most the commercial products. I use a temporal filter, am pleased with the result, for example and yet; the video editor I then run it through creates square blocks from ice rinks, pretty pointless. I've noticed this from most of the more expensive paid programs albeit.

    Worth mentioning I thought.
    thank you,

    Just a last thought somewhat related: all the things talked about: denoise, deblock, sharpen and so on are in Handbrake. Yet all say here that Vapoursynth and whatnot is superior.
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    Originally Posted by loninappleton View Post
    Originally Posted by dspplug View Post
    I would recommend the buggy openshot as a free tool to process video and make edits of it. It is hardly a means to fix errors, or denoise video; but I have noticed through experience that it seems to do less damage to video than most the commercial products. I use a temporal filter, am pleased with the result, for example and yet; the video editor I then run it through creates square blocks from ice rinks, pretty pointless. I've noticed this from most of the more expensive paid programs albeit.

    Worth mentioning I thought.
    thank you,

    Just a last thought somewhat related: all the things talked about: denoise, deblock, sharpen and so on are in Handbrake. Yet all say here that Vapoursynth and whatnot is superior.
    Yes, sometimes I take functionality with a grain of salt, virtualdub looks cleaner than the abilities of that program in a respect; even the nl means acts strangely. Their own rendition perhaps? Vapursynth has knl meanscl; which is boss imo, should you need that sort of thing. for camera; I bring contrast down in hardware to avoid ghosting; exposure up; zero gain, then color grade and sharpen.

    I created a lut to color grade for a fancy Chinese cam.
    The two images are a screenshot from a webcam without post processing (looks like I need to perfect the depth of the blues and neutrals so to prevent blocking).

    without lut
    Image
    [Attachment 70070 - Click to enlarge]


    with lut
    Image
    [Attachment 70071 - Click to enlarge]


    the lut
    Image
    [Attachment 70072 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by dspplug; 31st Mar 2023 at 07:33. Reason: added pictures.
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  25. Just, as a side note: using grayworld, might be worth a look:
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	grayworld(median).png
Views:	73
Size:	2.36 MB
ID:	70073  

    users currently on my ignore list: deadrats, Stears555
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    VDub2 with the Colour Balance filter:

    Image
    [Attachment 70074 - Click to enlarge]
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    Thanks, pretty sick

    Originally Posted by dspplug View Post
    Originally Posted by loninappleton View Post
    Originally Posted by dspplug View Post
    I would recommend the buggy openshot as a free tool to process video and make edits of it. It is hardly a means to fix errors, or denoise video; but I have noticed through experience that it seems to do less damage to video than most the commercial products. I use a temporal filter, am pleased with the result, for example and yet; the video editor I then run it through creates square blocks from ice rinks, pretty pointless. I've noticed this from most of the more expensive paid programs albeit.

    Worth mentioning I thought.
    thank you,

    Just a last thought somewhat related: all the things talked about: denoise, deblock, sharpen and so on are in Handbrake. Yet all say here that Vapoursynth and whatnot is superior.
    Yes, sometimes I take functionality with a grain of salt, virtualdub looks cleaner than the abilities of that program in a respect; even the nl means acts strangely. Their own rendition perhaps? Vapursynth has knl meanscl; which is boss imo, should you need that sort of thing. for camera; I bring contrast down in hardware to avoid ghosting; exposure up; zero gain, then color grade and sharpen.

    I created a lut to color grade for a fancy Chinese cam.
    The two images are a screenshot from a webcam without post processing (looks like I need to perfect the depth of the blues and neutrals so to prevent blocking).

    without lut
    Image
    [Attachment 70070 - Click to enlarge]


    with lut
    Image
    [Attachment 70071 - Click to enlarge]


    the lut
    Image
    [Attachment 70072 - Click to enlarge]
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  28. A little RGBAdjust and saturation boost.

    Image
    [Attachment 70079 - Click to enlarge]


    Code:
    RGBAdjust(r=225.0/213.0, b=213.0/149.0, bg=1.24)
    ConvertToYV24().Tweak(sat=1.5).ConvertToRGB24()
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  29. Member
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    Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    VDub2 with the Colour Balance filter:

    Image
    [Attachment 70074 - Click to enlarge]
    Not bad, but there's some blocking:
    Image
    [Attachment 70097 - Click to enlarge]



    and to this one, there's alot of the same:

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    A little RGBAdjust and saturation boost.

    Image
    [Attachment 70079 - Click to enlarge]


    No, that was shortsighted of me; I grant you; but selur's transcended that; in comparison. Which is impressive.

    Code:
    RGBAdjust(r=225.0/213.0, b=213.0/149.0, bg=1.24)
    ConvertToYV24().Tweak(sat=1.5).ConvertToRGB24()
    Image
    [Attachment 70098 - Click to enlarge]


    I think Selur's turned out the best. Grayworld is very interesting.

    for those wanting to see the photoshop, also behind my lut - here is the psd:
    Image
    [Attachment 70099 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by dspplug; 31st Mar 2023 at 18:16.
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  30. Originally Posted by dspplug View Post
    there's some blocking:
    Those are jpg images made from a source image that was also jpg. You can't judge posterization artifacts of the orignal video that way. The point was to show color differences, not image quality.
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