Color Correction for 8mm Video

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    • #44574
      Avatardesigncbts
      Participant

      I’ve been having a dickens of a time importing 8mm video into my desktop. I never owned an 8mm, until someone asked me to convert to DVD. Their camcorder is inoperable. So, I purchased a used one from someone locally. The imported footage color is washed out. The image quality is also somewhat lacking. Does anyone have any hints?

      I will continue to play around with Adobe CS5, looking for the best filters…

    • #186673
      AvatarWoody
      Participant

      You’d have to put up a sample for us to play with to see what you mean by “lacking in quality” and “Washed out”. There is only so much you can do with what information that was captured but we have no idea what you’re dealing with without seeing it.

      If you have the CS5 production or master suite, the color finesse in after effects is an awesome tool for such projects. I’ve never found much in the way of “Filters” for restoration work, which sounds like what you are doing. Typically I look to color correct, tweak white balance, then grade but there are other options to mess with detail in post id its to washed out.

    • #186674
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      I don’t use CS5 but I imagine the image controls are comparable to those in Sony Vegas. I’d start by desaturating the image to black and white and set levels: blacks to about 7 IRQ if you can get them there without crushing them, whites to as close to 100 as they’ll go without clipping. There’s no right or wrong here, just a question of what looks good to you. Increase/decrease the gain if necessary, but be careful here as this can really blow out the whole image. I’d stay away from Brightness and Contrast because these will affect the levels in the entire image rather than selectively.

      Once levels have been set, restore the color (i.e., disable the B&W FX) and begin working with the primary and secondary color correction tools and with color curves. The curves and the secondary corrector will allow you to identify specific colors and make adjustments to them as necessary.

      You’re in never-never land with all of this, just tweeking until things look good. There are no rules to follow. Try judiciously using the “Sharpen” tool; too much of it will cause pixelization, however. After you’re all done and satisfied, try adding a very small amount of Gaussian Blur to smooth everything together. If you can see the blur you’ve used too much!

      Finally, don’t be surprised if you can’t make the 8mm look like HD. You’re dealing with old tapes and a second hand camera. You can improve on the look but you probably can’t make it look like it did 15 years ago when it was shot.

      Jack

    • #186675
      Avatardesigncbts
      Participant

      Here’s the sample: http://youtu.be/fRezEXmbEmA

      Jack, I know you’re correct and I like your suggestions. WSandfords’ advice about AfterEffects is intrigueing too…

    • #186676
      AvatarWoody
      Participant

      Wowza! Kind of looks like someone was filming what was playing on a TV. Color correcting is one thing but the banding and skew is a whole nother ball game. If that’s what you are getting off the tape then I’d say the tape is either damaged or its been recorded on before and your pretty stuck with what info is on it.

    • #186677
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. The skew at the top of the picture looks like it might be a tracking problem. Since your source deck is a camera there’s probably nothing you can do to improve this, although you might clean the playback heads if you haven’t already.

      The rainbow effect is colorful and weird!

      Back in the 1980’s, when desk top computing was in its infancy, our lab (and others) developed a measurement of computing speed called the “Lude.” This was the number of Quaaludes a person would have to take to make a machine appear to be computing rapidly. Perhaps you could deliver this job accompanied by a bottle of Bourbon or Scotch, after consuming which the video would look as it should.

      Or, barring that, try convincing the client that the rainbow effect was caused by light streaming through the stain glass windows of the church.

      I know I’m making light of your problem but I really believe that a sense of humor regarding this project will be the only hope.

      Edit: After considering the problem some more, I think a solution of sorts might be to offer to make some still captures from the tape. In your photo editor you could then do some excellent color correction, background removal/restoration, etc., and at least give the couple something to remember selected moments of the wedding.

      Good luck.

      Jack

    • #186678
      Avatardesigncbts
      Participant

      Thanks for the advice. I’m a little upset Jack didn’t prescribe the booze to me!! This is an unsolicited project, I’m basically doing this as a favor. I’ll probably play around with it but she’ll end up getting what she gave me – no sense trying to polish a, well you know what. Thanks for the help!!

    • #186679
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      OK hold the horse, (I can’t afford two horses). I have had a lot of experience with tape, I have restored a tape completely covered with mold, took almost 4 weeks but I did it. Listen, the heads of the playback camera are dirty, open the cassette door, place 70% or greater proof rubbing alcohol on a swab and every so gently clean the heads and the NON-RUBBER spools and feed reels. Let it dry.

      Yes most of the older tape cameras did have tracking, but they also had color setting for playback built in. Pull the manual off the Internet, read the fine print and find the advance features.

      Now if you are running this into your computer, you have to have a capture card, I hope, and not some USB thingy. But I wall suppose you are using a capture card, the software for the card will have some settings that can be played with WHILE you capture it. But better still, your NLE software has (should have) a capture setting. And in that you should have some settings. Most videos that I captured off tape I was able to correct while I captured it. Why is that important, if the primary background color in the video changes too much and you drop a filter on it, you may have bigger issues. I have recovered a video that was in worse condition. For the time being I have posted the video on Youtube IF they do not block it. They continue to give barf over this video. But it was so damaged no one believed it saveable. The color was so washed and pitiful, this was what I ended up with. The end of the video was physically damaged, and I almost had to iron the tape itself, but I ended up with the end and it all worked out. The audio track was so damaged I had to re-dub it. Thankfully the song was still out there.

    • #186680
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      This is what YouTube hit me with this time…

      Dear Tasana1Studios,

      Your video “Live & Let Die (Anthony Henslee Production)”, may have content that is owned or licensed by UMG, but its still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it.

      This claim is not penalizing your account status. Visit your Copyright Notice page for more details on the policy applied to your video.

      Sincerely,
      – The YouTube Team”

    • #186681
      Avatardesigncbts
      Participant

      Gregory, Geat suggestion, it didn’t work πŸ™ Your work with the video looked pretty good.

      As far as the copyright problem, the YouTube Copyright Police are ou in full force…

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