3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2009 7:23 AM by Dag Norum

    Restoring Black & White Movie file

      I have an old black and white movie file in mp4 format. It has noise and is not very sharp. How can I improve it using Premiere CS4 Please
        • 1. Re: Restoring Black & White Movie file
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          You can't. Editing that material will only make it worse.
          • 2. Re: Restoring Black & White Movie file
            Thrill Media Level 2
            While I agree with Harm in that mp4 is a delivery format and not meant for editing, there are a few things that can be done to maximize the quality of your video if you are willing to take the time, have access to After Effects and the knowledge of how to use it.

            Also, it depends if the noise you speak of is "old film" noise or if it is blocky mp4 noise. If it is blocky mp4 noise then there is not much you can do, if it is old film noise then maybe you can clean it up.

            Also, it will probably be a time consuming process so you may want to tackle it for a preferred client or maybe Mom and Dad. :)

            Load into AE. Save as uncompressed AVI. This will be the file that you will work with. You might try uprezzing the file depending on size and again saving as uncompressed.

            Once you have a good uncompressed file you can then tweak the file using some of the filters in AE. You can sharpen the image and mess around with it to limit the old film artifacts. This is an art and can be time consuming. There are also plug-ins available to help with the process.

            I didn't say it was easy but you can certainly improve the quality with patience in AE. Of course it would be best to start with video that has not been so heavily compressed.

            Good luck with it!
            • 3. Re: Restoring Black & White Movie file
              Dag Norum Level 2

              Well said!

              Uncompressed first (to maintain the quality that's there), then some elbow grease.

              The original question was how to do it in Premiere, but I think that's a bit limited tool-box when it comes to fixing.

              I posted a thanks to Red Giant because their plugins saved me in a time of "panic". Not fixing old film, but fixes were made. A list of plugins and effects is there, and two stills from the video (before and after):