5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2012 8:54 AM by N9JCR

    Cleaning up scratchy video

    N9JCR Level 2

      Hello all,


      I seem to recall someone mentioning a plug-in or other software that did a good job of cleaning up scratchy video.  In my case, I have some really old VHS tapes that I want to digitize but they have lots of horizontal lines.  I've cleaned the heads on the VHS player and it didn't make any difference so I can only assume the tape is damaged.


      Any ideas?







        • 1. Re: Cleaning up scratchy video
          the_wine_snob Level 9



          I have wracked my brain, and do not recall reading of such, but that does not mean that someone has not posted of it.


          The closest that I can recall is Neat Video, a plug-in (think that it works in PrE, but have only used it in PrPro), or stand-alone processor. It is great for removing video noise, such as is encountered with underexposed footage. I have used it extensively with VHS transfers, and it has saved many hours of clients' footage. It is inexpensive, but does take a bit of fiddling to get tuned, unless one had shot a gray card, in the same underexposed conditions. It also takes some time to Render, but does a great job. However, from what you describe, I am not sure if it would be useful, though their trial might answer that.


          If something pops into my feeble mind, I will share, and maybe others will have just what you are looking for.


          Good luck,



          • 2. Re: Cleaning up scratchy video
            Robert J. Johnston Level 3

            I don't recall seeing a filter for Premiere Elements except for Neat Video and from NewBlueFX. You might need to use something like VirtualDub with one of the denoising filters that are available here:



            • 3. Re: Cleaning up scratchy video
              N9JCR Level 2

              Hi Bill,


              Yes, this is the one I was thinking of.  It helps a LOT!  Doesn't get rid of the horizontal lines as much as I would have liked but it cleans up so much of the rest of the noise that it's still worth it.  The demo version was so impressive I've already ordered the paid version, but have to wait until Monday for the download license to be sent out.


              Thanks as always for your help!



              • 4. Re: Cleaning up scratchy video
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Great! I almost did not answer, but Robert "had my back."


                I use Neat Video a lot, as well as their still image, Neat Image.


                I like to add just a touch of Sharpening, after Neat Video, and Neat Image. Be a bit careful, but just a bit of Sharpening can "tighten" things up a lot.


                As a bit of a side-note, I shot an interior of a concert hall on 4 x 5 Ektachrome. I then scanned to 1000 ppi (highest possible resolution in those days for a drum-scan), and used Neat Image on it. The output was to a 96" x 240" mural. Even up close, it looked like it had been shot on 8 x 10 Kodachrome, though that has never existed. It was absolutely gorgeous, with zero Ektrachrome film grain, even on close examination, at that enlargement. At the normal viewing distance, you would have thought that you were looking through a doorway, to the real thing. Fabulous, and that sold me on that plug-in. When they added Neat Video, I was standing in line to get it.


                I hope that it does, what you want, and corrects a lot of the VHS issues. Just use a little bit of Sharpening, when done with Neat Video.


                Good luck, and please report how it performed for you.



                • 5. Re: Cleaning up scratchy video
                  N9JCR Level 2

                  Here is a screen grab of an example of the horizontal lines I was trying to fix.  After looking it at more, I think the original may be overexposed.  It only seems to happen to bright spots in the frame.  If the whole frame is fairly consistant then it's not happening.  I can see on occasion where the camera tried to compensate for differences in brightness and then the lines go away.   It's really bad when you have something bright (like someone's face) on a dark background.