I was just wondering what kind of success you all are having using the sharpening effect in Premiere CS3?
It appears that its only useful at very low levels before it starts to create visible artifacts.
Are there any procedures, plugins or standalone apps that do a better job?
Sharpening can be a touchy subject. A little can go a long way, and too much is easy to attain.
One workflow that I employ, when visual Sharpening is needed is to first add Neat Video and adjust it accordingly. Afterwards, I'll then use Unsharp Mask, judicially. The reason for this two-step process is that Neat Video reduces the video noise (essentially the "grain" in the image), and then the Unsharp Mask is able to "sharpen" the footage without sharpening the video noise. I think that Neat Video still offers a trial. It used to be time limited only, no watermark, but check this out, as I have owned it for years, and have not seen a trial in that period of time. Render times will be impacted, but on my workstation it's not bad - maybe an extra cup of coffee, or two...
Thanks, i'll try your suggestions.
I shot a dance show with the Canon XLH1 in 30p HD. Although i setup the focus before the show, it appeared to drift a little either by my hand or by itself. I tried very hard to not touch the focusing ring but i did have to voom in and out a lot - i wonder if zooming moved the focus ring a little. In any case, i have a few performances that are a little soft on the focus. I don't know at the time that i could set a focus preset.
The other mistake i made was not setting the shutter speed to 60fps. I left it at default, 30fps, for 30p. Now i also have too much motion blur on my pans.
I won't make either mistake again.
copy clip from video 1 and paste it directly above in video 2
Add the Sharpen effect to the clip in video 2 and set it to about 30 and lower the opacity between 50 and 70 (trial and error)
You can also do the same with the Unsharpen Mask effect if the former does not give a satisfactory result.
Unfortunately, too many video cameras seem to have poor manual focus rigs. In the "old days" of cine, one could easily zoom in, set the focus with totally separate control, then zoom out to frame and never have to worry about focus (well, almost never). Now, it's all too bloody easy to jostle something. Give me an old 12-120 Angineaux, or Schneider anyday!
Ann's suggestion might be of most immediate help and keep you from having to download and install a trial, though with out-of-focus footage, there might not be much saving it. If you cannot get good results with her method, then see if the trial still exists.
One tip: set your Program Monitors View to 100%, or even 200% to judge your results. Do not try seeing the corrections with "Fit" - you'll go blind and possibly crazy in the process. Go lightly and experiment.
The Neat Video trial is available.
As i said, i'll try both methods.
One thing that i will take advantage of from now on is the focus preset feature of the Canon XLH1, this way all i have to do is hit the preset button every 10 minutes or so to make sure the focus is good through out the shoot.
Good luck, and please do report on what your experiments unveil. Considering that my method would require the purchase of a plug-in and Ann's is free, it would be great for all of us to know what you found, regarding your footage. I'd always rather recommend a workflow that was free, especially if it was better. Trust me, others will benefit from your problem and your trials.