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Ok - this one's a bit tricky, but I'm sure there's enough brains between us to attempt this one.
I've been given some 8mm cinefilm to play with. Its 40 years old and contains rehearsal footage of a play, from an actress (that's the footage I'm intrerested in.). However when she recorded the footage she used a previously exposed film reel without realising it. The result I have is watchable, but I would like to extract the two different films. This project is very much at the early stages - I decided to play around in Photoshop first by masking areas and removing the colour channel for the offending footage (leaving the bolour I need behind).
Is anyone aware of more sophisticated methods or software which work help me to achieve the best results or is this going to be a frame-by-frame job in Photoshop?
This leads on to my next point - would After Effects work just as well and is there any software out there which would help me to highlight areas for it to change rather than manually using layer masks?
Any thoughts here would be gratefully appreciated.
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and welcome to RP.
all that being said, you might get lucky. if one exposure was very much under-exposed, while the other was more or less normal or slightly over-exposed, you might have a very, seemingly distinct, variation in what would amount to opacities or luminosity differences. it might then be possible to separate out the two exposures using some tools and processes. however, we'd need to see a sample, preferably one that is representative of the overall film, to be able to go much further.
and as for tools, again, without seeing the actual piece, photoshop is almost always the best place to start on things like this. but, without seeing an actual frame, it would be hard to recommend anything else.
Images as requested
Sorry its taken me so long to get back in touch - I've created some websafe JPGs for you to see. They are located on my webspace at:
How would you approach this? I mean, there is software available for removing the captions on footage (e.g. NeatVideo and NeatImage for Photoshop) - would there be something similar which would help here?
Matty, I think the images confirm what Craig had suspected. You have two completely different images burned into the emulsion. In effect you have an integrated image. No noise filter will solve the problem. It just means you have a lot of tedious restoration work on the frames that you want to rescue. Some may be easier than others.
well, i hate saying it, but you didnt get lucky. this is indeed a double exposure. and worse, some of the stage parts show up better in some frames, while some of the other exposure shows up better in other frames, probably due to lighting conditions. so, in all honesty, i think the best you can hope for here is to make things a little bit better, but i doubt you'll ever get a full restore on the whole film and even doing that is still going to be a tremendous amount of hand work.
in the picture where you can see the dog, for instance, the dog is probably in the exposure that is unwanted here, but it's a strong enough impression as to have wiped out the stage parts. there's just no way to restore what is missing because of the dog. even if you worked directly with the person who knew what was on both exposures and could supply you with information about each exposure, you're not talking about a restoration; you're talking about reconstruction... from scratch, from the mind of the person who knows what's supposed to be there. it's a daunting task.
now, add to that 40 years of film fading and discoloring, a grainy image, possibly to begin with, and .jpg and sharpening artifacts that have been added in the scanning and posting process and you're talking about a heartbreak job. it's just never going to be what you want.
ok, so hopefully i havent completely discouraged you. i know that was a lot of barriers i was throwing up there. i just dont want you to think you're going to have an impeccable job done from all this. i think you CAN improve this thing and that shld be the goal here. dont even get your hopes up for a full restore, but, you can improve it a bit. and, that shld be what you shoot for. it's a different mind set than trying to restore it all. dont even try to restore it. just go for a bit of improvement and make sure the client knows this! dont promise them the moon; you wont be able to deliver it.
you're still going to have to go through frame by frame and do a LOT of hand work, clone, heal, and all those types of things. correct for fading and color loss and so on and all the standard things you would do to improve an image.
the other trick here is, this is film. one can clean up a single image and that's relatively easy when compared to images in sequence which are changing frame to frame. you not only have to clean up a frame, but you have to be somewhat consistent frame to frame in your clean up and that complicates things quite a bit. if you color balance one frame one way and then the next frame a different way, it's going to show up as you view the film. so, consistency becomes a big deal here.
i think if i were attempting this i would scan in all frames to the computer and convert to something like .gif. and, if your software allowed, i'd put those .gifs into a .gif animation and clean them up within the animation, if possible. in that way you could do a bit of cleaning, run the animation to check for consistency, do more cleaning, and just go back and forth like that. the trouble there is, most animation type programs dont really have the tools for cleaning. so, i'm not really sure how to advise you there. for instance, paint shop pro has decent tools for restoring and you also have 'Animation Shop' which works in conjunction with psp, but they dont really work in true unison. they are still separate programs.
all this does make me wonder, however, what do the major movie houses use on their film archives, especially when they go to restore one digitally. that might be something to try also, write the movie companies and find out. perhaps they have some software that would do the job more easily or at least some more experienced folks that could advise you better.
I'll soldier on....
Thanks for the feedback.
Writing to the movie houses did cross my mind. I've a few editor friends from some years back who are good at Avid systems. I've shown work like this to them in the past to only be told that it would be too time-consuming to be cost-effective. Ironically, I then read about Colorization Inc (Ted Turner) etc and the secrets shrouded in mystery and am left wondering what the ametur at home is meant to do.
I've spoken to sales reps for Adobe and Curious Gfx - they are clear about what their product can offer, but don't go the extra mile to say "yes - there's a patch here that'll do bits like that'.
I appreciate that work like this IS time-consuming - I've been dabbling in projects as onerous as this for some eleven years now. My first approach is to mask out obvious areas using After Effects and stick with the AVI film, rather than working frame by frame for the reasons you mentioned. Extra colour (such as the grass lawn's green) can be removed by diminshing the colour channel for the layer which contains the masked area I've rotoscoped to cover where the lawn is (for example). This should help in places, but as for removing definition and luminance, I really wish tools such as Magic Wand and clone/stamp are available in AE.
I'll give it a shot and keep you posted if I get a breakthrough.
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