OT: Photoshop users... how to repair this footage?

NickHope wrote on 12/15/2007, 6:17 AM
I've got some old footage that is pretty valuable (it's probably the smallest whale shark ever shot) but unfortunately there were a couple of pieces of dirt on the inside of my housing's port and they show up badly.

I have repaired some of the footage with the Delogo plugin for VirtualDub, and I have repaired some in Vegas by cutting a small bezier hole in the footage, copying the same video to a lower track, moving it a few pixels, and letting it show through the upper layer.

But there are hundreds, probably thousands of frames that can only be repaired manually, frame by frame. I have rendered an image sequence of interlaced png files in Vegas and now we're about to start repairing the frames.

I would like to know from anyone experienced in Photoshop, what would be the best tool/method to do this? Just use say a 50% opacity brush and sample nearby color with the eyedropper and paint in the repair? Or are there cleverer "healing" tools that might come in useful? I don't use Photoshop very often and there are lots of commands that I never use. But I want to get a fast and effective method going as there are so many frames.

Typical frame is shown below, but of course the area of dirt moves around all over the shark, blue water and clouds.




craftech wrote on 12/15/2007, 6:33 AM
Looks more like an interlaced vs progressive pixel mix up to my eyes.

winrockpost wrote on 12/15/2007, 6:44 AM
i am a hack at photoshop,, so this may not be the best or fastest method,, i would use the clone tool,
farss wrote on 12/15/2007, 6:50 AM
If there's the budget for it then a trip to somewhere with a Snell and Willcox Archangel Ph. C might do the trick or not, it can fix errors that are moving so it might have issues with finding matching bits from other frames to patch in but certainly worth asking.

To see what the thing can do click on the Archangel link in this page:


I know there's one in this country so if you're interested let me know.

RNLVideo wrote on 12/15/2007, 6:53 AM
In Photoshop CS3, the healing brush or perhaps the patch tool would likely work well. In CS2 or prior, the clone stamp would probably be the starting point.

How many frames are you trying to fix?

epirb wrote on 12/15/2007, 6:58 AM
snce the area changes from frame to frame your best bet may be to clone out the offending area. if you have CS3, and the area has different areas like clouds shark skin, the clone source tool might help sped things up frame by frame.
heres a quick link if your not famialir with the clone source tool:

[link =http://av.adobe.com/russellbrown/CS3CloneSourceSM.mov]
NickHope wrote on 12/15/2007, 6:59 AM
John, it's definitely a piece of dirt. Toilet paper, to be precise :) Typical that it found its way there when something great showed up!

I was thinking of trying to preserve the interlacing by working on interlaced stills and rendering back to AVI as interlaced.

That still was from a PNG done in Vegas but I think I'm going to render the sequence as BMP files at 720x576 (PAL) from TMPGEnc Xpress.

Winrock, I'll check out that clone tool. Thanks

Bob, I'll bear that route in mind, especially if I get an order for this footage. But I've got someone to help here with not a lot to do much of the time, so we don't mind gonig the long-winded route.

Any other suggestions on Photoshop tools to get this done?
NickHope wrote on 12/15/2007, 7:17 AM
Rick, I think it's going to be something like 3000 frames. But at 100 frames a day, that's only a month, and do-able. I've been putting this off for a couple of years!

It's CS3. Are the healing brush and patch tool new or improved since CS2?

epirb, thanks for the link. The problem with taking out an area is that the patch of dirt moves around a bit partly because of slight movement between the camera and housing and partly because of the VX2000's steadyshot moving things around. So over time the dirt moves across really quite a large part of the frame, even though I didn't zoom.
jazzmaster wrote on 12/15/2007, 7:18 AM
Everyone who said to use the cloning tool is correct. In addition to that, once you get one frame cloned, use the cut-out tool to lift off the TOTAL AREA CLONED. Then you can paste it down in subsquent frames and you wan't have to do all that cloning each time.
epirb wrote on 12/15/2007, 8:14 AM
>Then you can paste it down in subsquent frames and you wan't have to do all that cloning each time.,<
basicaly thats what the clone source tool will allow you to do. you can have a sample of the cloud, water, shark etc.. on each then use those on subsequent frames
fldave wrote on 12/15/2007, 9:11 AM
You might try the Neat Video Filter plugin for Vegas. I used it successfully recently to clean up some old 1950's film that was badly transfered to video about 12 years ago.


You might try the demo on shrunk-down footage just to see if it will help. Not sure if the home or pro versions can handle HD footage, if that's what your source is.
goshep wrote on 12/15/2007, 9:47 AM
If the offending blob moves around, it might be possible to use an automated removal process like Mokey's remove feature. I'm sure someone here has run across a cheaper or even freeware version of a similar utility. Might be worth a shot if it saves you a month of mind-numbing tedium.

BTW, that IS a small whale shark. I've never seen a remora nearly as big as its host.

Okay maybe there isn't an alternative....haven't had much luck googling.....

Patryk Rebisz wrote on 12/15/2007, 9:58 AM
lots of miss-information being passed here. Althou u guys r right that in PS cloning tool would fix this frame. It will look like a disaster when played back (trust me comes from personal experience). U need the power of After Effects so that you can keep previewewing what you are doing and adjusting according.
NickHope wrote on 12/15/2007, 11:59 AM
Actually the clone stamp tool is going wonderfully. Thanks for all the suggestions.

The clone source palette is proving not so helpful so far. Like many Photoshop things it's confusing me a lot but it seems each clone source can hold a geographical relationship of the source to the point being repaired, rather than an actual colour or texture sample. It seems easier just to <ALT> + click each time. Also the clone sources all reset themselves when the frames are closed.
Jim H wrote on 12/15/2007, 12:02 PM
If it's a fixed bit of TP, you may be able to write a scritp that clones a nearby bit of water and cover up the offending spot... but if the whale swims through the spot that wouldn't work for those frames. Combustion has a tracking tool that would follow a feature on the video and apply an effect (clone etc) relative to the tracked spot... but that wouldn't work because your spot is fixed...i.e. not relative to the action on screen.
farss wrote on 12/15/2007, 12:56 PM
I'm kind of with Patryk here. Making one frame look OK is one thing, making 25 individual stills looks OK is another. Then seeing how those 25 frames look in motion is another matter altogether. Using a tool that lets you see the sequence in motion as you work mightn't be absolutely vital if you've got lots of restoration experience, otherwise you could spend a lot of time going no where.

Also you're working with interlaced video, yikes, think about that for a second. To really see what you're doing you need to be repairing fields not frames. Otherwise you're going to create some very wierd flickering patched sections of the frame and that'll be way more distracting than the original problem.

NickHope wrote on 12/15/2007, 1:13 PM
Jim, I have effectively done what you're suggesting for all the bits that I could. i.e. cut a hole in the footage and let the same footage show through on an underlying track but shifted by a few pixels so it's clean. But you're right, when the shark swims through the patch everything goes pear-shaped and other methods are required.

Bob, I hear what you're saying but we tried 4 seconds of this footage a year ago using cruder methods than the clone stamp (I think she was copying and pasting pixels in Photoshop) but it actually looked OK on TV after I'd rendered it back to AVI. I think we're helped by the fact that it's underwater, the camera's not locked down, there are reflections bouncing around the place, and quite a lot of muck in the water. So we can get away with a lot.