farss wrote on 9/3/2006, 5:50 PM
Mike Crash' s smart smoother (I think that's what it's called) has worked a treat for me with this kind of problem. It's free.
jaydeeee wrote on 9/3/2006, 8:31 PM
Dang, Mike crash's site doesn't work (can't click to download his filters- not found).
But I specifically am talking about "grain" (Hi-8 grain with video shot in a darker room), I'm not sure the "smoothing" filters are what would work best.
Are they?

It's pretty bad and proper lighting is the real answer, but I'm sure there's something out there for help with this clean up, I'm just not finding it yet.

thanks for any help
farss wrote on 9/3/2006, 9:30 PM
Seems you have to register and activation is manual which might take a little while.

But specifically, yes this is what you need.
It's not 'grain' (grain is what you get in film), it's noise, great big blobs of it no doubt. The smart smoother (which is a VD port) will smooth out the noise whilst preserving the edges. You will find attempting adjusting the image will most likely make the noise even worse, so any decent means of getting rid of it is a big help.

Also if you're putting this on DVD then noise can be a problem there too, noise = motion=bandwidth.

Grazie wrote on 9/3/2006, 10:32 PM
Bob? Does recording FIRST to DV tape improve matters? I seem to remember this making a difference with VHS. Of course you then capture FROM this interim tape.

And yes, Mr Crash's Smart Smoother is a life saver. One doesn't need to add too much or you end up with a kinda Cartoon look! Interesting - but maybe not what you want.
RBartlett wrote on 9/3/2006, 11:11 PM
John Meyer's lather/rinse/repeat method will benefit you from the tape/player noise contribution perspective.

If your footage is somewhat static, the imager noise may be somewhat mitigated if you slip a small number of the opacity layers in time. YMMV. Unlike audio, you don't have negative values for luminance to enjoy, but it may help your eye to determine where the noise areas are compared to the objects. As might some very small 2D pixel shift, to reduce resolution/blur but to bolster up the finer detail from amongst the noise.

Do though remove the chrominance feed from your capture. If it is monochrome you don't want any of the failings in the always less than perfect color-video-decoder to add more noise to your clip/s.

Where you do this depends on what Hi8 Y/C path you take into the computer. ie where the digitisation occurs. Having a 10bit ADC might be advantageous at a stage before it becomes the edited file format (that will be constrained in DynRange by Vegas6 when it gets there anyway).
farss wrote on 9/3/2006, 11:55 PM
I'd suggest recording to DV tape first might be counter productive.
Most DV VCRs don't have a TBC.
Most D8 cameras and decks do, (although it might not be necessary however). As most noise reduction uses temporal filtering getting the source transfered to the digital domain as stably as possible must surely help the noise reduction process, the mpeg-2 encoder would probably appreciate that as well.

farss wrote on 9/4/2006, 12:04 AM
Ron, you can do what you're suggesting much simpler in Vegas, the Motion Blur on the master track does just this, blend frames over time. Agreed this technique can help cure many nasties.

I'd also agree re 10bit however if it's anything like the footage I've had to work with the noise is so far up in level that you'd gain nothing from 10bit, it's there in all its horrible glory in analogue land. For certain dialing up more gain in digital land on an 8 bit capture will bring up digital noise from the 8 bit A-> D converters but mostly this type of material has lost it well before that becomes an issue.

If digitising noise is an issue one other approach that will work given Vegas's 8 bit limitation is a good proc amp prior to the A->D converter. The ADVC 300 has one although I doubt it's anything stellar I've yet to find any advantage to winding up the gain in it versus doing it digitally in Vegas.

Some of those cameras simply produced massive amounts of noise when the gain was cranked up in the camera. Perhaps back then there wasn't anything that looked much better, so it was acceptable, plus I guess no mpeg-2 compression was used to make the then unheard of DVDs.

jaydeeee wrote on 9/4/2006, 2:48 PM
Ah yes of course, sorry - i's not grain but noise. I had to try and explain the type of noise caused by Hi-8 in a low-light toom and "grainy" seemed to apply. With appropo light, this old hi-8 cam still provides a decent picture.

Anyway, i finally came across another page that had mike crash's filters and the smoother does seem to help when I don't abuse it.


JJKizak wrote on 9/4/2006, 4:16 PM
You might try the Mike Crash Dynamic Noise Reduction filter also.

fldave wrote on 9/4/2006, 5:01 PM
I've got some old 8mm footage on VHS I'm working on trying to clean up right now. I've done the John Meyer protocol to the T (many thanks, John!). Capture twice and merge! It actually worked well with many of the small lint pieces, minor dings in the film footage. I still have some major scratches to deal with. Also using Deshaker to smooth out the hand shakes, which are many.

What I've found is to hold off on Deshaker until the last step, because Deshaker messes up the temporal clean up programs ability to sense from frame to frame what should be there.

Does anyone think the motion blur after the deshaken step will help with the few dirt scratches in the film after the Deshaken step? This footage is of a military nature (nothing secret, just film shot from a friend of mine's Dad) from the 50's from Rome and Tripoli, so I want to try to get him some good results.

(don't mean to hijack the thread! My old Hitachi Hi-8 created much better footage than my newer Sony D-8)
farss wrote on 9/4/2006, 5:29 PM
If you've got a static camera I've managed to use it to work wonders.

You can apply LOTS of MB, render that out to a new track under the original, switch off the MB and use a Bezier on the upper track to cut out the moving bit, in my case the lips.

The ultimate restoration tool is the Archangel from S&W, you probably don't want to know what one of those costs per hour. You can do what it does by hand but very, very tedious work.

fldave wrote on 9/4/2006, 5:33 PM
So "theoretically", after Deshaker, I have a semi-static camera. I'll go experiment.
fldave wrote on 9/5/2006, 4:58 PM
jaydeeee, this forum link came to my attention:) John Meyer has done tons of experimentation with this. Search for "sheer simplicity" in the page. I think my cleanup project has gotten much larger!

The link is