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Thread: Increasing quality of old VHS recordings, softening edges, etc.

  1. #1

    Default Increasing quality of old VHS recordings, softening edges, etc.

    Greetings! It's my first post, and i need your help.

    I'm gonna show you two videos: first one is raw, old VHS recording back from 80's;
    Metallica Cliff Burton (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth Live 1986 in Copenhagen Denmark - YouTube

    here's the same video, after editing in the studio.
    Cliff Burton - (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth [Live] - YouTube

    Now, my question is - what effects did they use/how did they improve the quality so much? Notice the light trails left behind items/humans when the camera is moving on the second recording - what specific effect is that?
    I've been using Vegas and After Effects for a while, but i just can't figure that out. I'd be very thankful if you help me with that, as i fascinate in remastering rare old live recordings, and this effect is perfect.

  2. #2


    bump! : (
    bump! : (

  3. #3


    Welcome to the Forum

    Early Video cameras did not preform well in low light conditions so it was natural that you got a streak from the camera with background light bulbs etc. In your example, its not a special effect.

    Video Cameras used a Cathode ray tube (CRT) in reverse like the ones used in the old TV Sets. These days they are (CCD'S) a Charge coupled device, a small and very light sensitive flat plate so to speak. These days it would be hard to get the light trailing effect as cameras can now pick up exactly what the human eye see's Its mind blowing how technology has almost created the perfect electronic eye.

    I don't use Vegas. But it may do the same as Pinnacle studio you can play around with the Contrast and resolution etc and crop out the tracking lines at the bottom of the video.

    Hope this helps

  4. #4


    I wish I had a good answer to this. I have an old VHS that needs restoring. One thing that I tried which may or may not work for you is depending on what the image is of and the condition.

    Place the video on the time track and then do any needed cropping to get rid of fuzziness around the edges and any trimming of the video. When you have done this, duplicate the track. On the lower track using the colour corrector get the right white balance then increase the saturation and then put on a light Gaussian blur on it. On the top track put on a reduce the saturation until it is fully grey then add a light sharpening with the unsharp mask fx. Now reduce the opacity of the top track by around 70% or what ever looks best to you.

    This should hopefully now look better than the original footage. It's very hard for me to give advice about this as One, I don't really know what I'm doing and two, I working blind.

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