Video Restoration Q



I am attempting to restore some old VHS footage that’s already been captured, and I do not have access to the source material. I’m working in FCP7.

The footage has a “flicker” all the way through, which I am hoping to at least soften. It presents as random thin short white horizontal lines that mostly only appear for 1-2 frames then disappear. EG:

32 pm

I’ve tried 2 options to “repair”…

  1. Duplicate the video track, but offset by 1 frame, and reduce opacity to around 30%. As the distortions only last 1-2 frames, this helps to at least partially “fill in” the white lines, by layering potentially good material over top. The lines are certainly less bold with this option, however - a) it creates a ghost, which is fairly obvious when there is fast movements, and b) the white lines now last for an extra frame, albeit with 1 being at 30%…

39 pm

  1. Luma Key to key out “brighter” - Using a similar setup as above, I have keyed out brighter aspects of the image - including the white lines - replacing them with the duplicate track that is 1 frame out of sequence. This way, the ghosting effectively is removed as only the hot white sections are ghosting, and the distortion is not doubled.

11 pm

This certainly helps, however if the white line lasts for multiple frames, then it is still present, if not worse.

I’m hoping that there’s some magical (free) filter or technique that I’m not aware of that may help here… (I am essentially self-taught in video repair; just google what problems I see and try to remedy…) Otherwise - I’m thinking of going ahead with (2)…




Can I please see these in full 640x480? These are far too tiny for me to try to answer you.


Fair comment.

If you go through frame by frame you can see the white lines that pop up and then disappear, almost entirely in the upper half of the image.

I’ve decided my (2) above is a failure - whilst it does alleviate the intensity of the flicker, it creates even weirder ghosting effects…


How long/how much footage is there to fix?


20 minutes or so. If it was short enough I’d consider patching each frame… but there’s a bit much for that.


Yeah, I deal with total projects of around 3-5 minutes, and whenever I run into a bit of bad footage, that is exactly what I do. Whip out photoshop and steal pieces of good frames to overlay over bad frames. But you can’t do that for 20 minutes. Sounds to me like you need something that is really good at recognising and filling in areas that do not seem to correspond to the natural patterns of the source footage. That sounds like MAYBE a job for a frameserver filter, like on VapourSynth.