Workshop: A Digital Facelift for Your Analog Movies

Free And Effective Restoration

Digitally copied Super-8 movies are generally of poor quality: the video image is often distorted by noise, flickering, faded colors and shaking. Even videos recorded from VHS cassettes generally call for digital restoration - one of Virtual Dub's specialties. The freeware has a multitude of filters for enhancing the image quality of the film footage, accomplishing more than some commercial software ever could. Programs such as Magix Video 2.0 are designed to process very high-quality videos, limiting their usefulness in restoration. You can download an enormous variety of free filters from . To integrate them into Virtual Dub, just go to Video -> Filters -> Add in. The box shows a selection of the filters available for download; there are so many that we cannot touch on all of them in this workshop. There are often several filtering solutions for each problem, so the filters listed below should be considered examples. All the filters can be downloaded from the URL mentioned above.

When restoring a movie, you should be careful about the order in which you apply the filters - it will pay off in better image quality later. First, remove all the major irregularities (such as flickering, noise and shaking) with the Deflicker filter, Noise Reduction/ Cropping filter and Deshaker filter, for example. Now it's time for the fine-tuning. You can use the Temporal Cleaner filter to reduce color noise, while Chroma Noise Reduction will spruce up faded or shifted colors. One annoyance in many VHS recordings is the station logo - Delogo will strip it out for you. White Balance allows you to adjust brightness, contrast and the white balance.

Distracting video noise can be effectively reduced in Virtual Dub using the Chroma Noise Reduction filter.

The Flaxen filter offers many features for optimizing video quality.

Tmpgenc converts video to the VCD, SVCD or DVD format.