NOTES FOR PMP ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND UPGRADING OLD CINE AND VIDEO
Restoring old footage whether from cine or video is not easy at all. It involves several separate stages with various types of software. The first step is to get you clip you wish to treat, we scan cine film to HD but it still needs more processing, video can be obtained from old tape original sources or from DVDs we had already completed, this saves wearing out now delicate tape media. Particularly with cine we can motion-stabilise it but overdone it makes everything wobbly. This is important because watching film as if it was originally shot on a tripod makes viewing far easier suffering wobbly footage. We can enhance the contrast, brightness and sharpness, as well as apply noise reduction and dust and speckle removal filters. We can organise various clips and adjust them to a realistic speed, old cine cameras often produced the Laurel and Hardy speeded up effect.
How to do this the correct way involves a lot of experience and the treatment of every film will be entirely different. The third step involves upscaling and/or enhancing to 1080p HD using contemporary A.I. software. This process adds a lot of clarity to almost any footage. In itself this stage is not too difficult providing you know how to set the correct parameters about which we are still learning but the processing times are huge, often over night or even several days. Another step would be to colourise old B&W material. A very good software tool for this purpose is Deoldify but this takes you into the realm of dos beyond my current ability but we are watching progress. The final step is to add sound and any commentary or titles plus our now usual greeting and introduction.
Hopefully I'll have clips on Youtube tonight or tomorrow. The weather is looking a bit grim for the rest of the week, I hope to get the DMS London bus volume complete. Today I was down in Shrewsbury with my friend Peter Waller from the OTA, he's at the Transport Trust function tomorrow with Princess Ann in attendance, no tram, talk there I bet. I pick up some more film to scan but I'm in the middle of Dave Forrests collection so i'll bash through that and see how I'm fixed. The cine I've picked up from the OTA is more of Phil Tatts collection, not the best of cine but not bad and very varied in transport content. This section is on the 1970s. My London Underground film is another potential target for finishing this week.