Anything that Shotcut's Filters could do for an old video?

Have a look at this excerpt from a video from 1965

I wonder if there is anything at all that could improve on this video.

Thanks in advance guys,



I see blocking, but I can’t tell if it’s in the original video or if it’s from YouTube compression. If the blocking is in the source, then the “Reduce Noise: Quantization” filter might help. Despite the name, it’s often used as a deblocking filter. It’s an interface to the fspp filter in ffmpeg. More information:

One other thought comes to mind, but success is not guaranteed. It’s really circumstantial.

  1. Start a new project with a Video Mode that is twice the width and twice the height of the source. Bring the clip onto the timeline.

  2. Add whatever other filters you want. Last, add a Sharpen filter and make the value a little stronger than what looks good. Make the edges crack a little.

  3. Export panel > Advanced > Video tab, and set the resolution to the same as the source clip. Set the interpolation to Bicubic. Export as usual.

This will cause the blown-up over-sharpened video on the timeline to be shrunk back down to original size. The crispiness added by the Sharpen filter can sometimes create artificial detail that looks better than smeary old video. Shrinking it down can help that detail “blend” during downsampling rather than stand out like obvious processing. But again, whether this actually works is entirely dependent on the nature of the source.


This is some great advice Austin, thanks a bunch!!! :slight_smile:

As for your 2nd idea, to start a new project with a VM that is twice as large, how can I tell what’s the video original size/format?


Drag the video into the Source viewer, then go to the Properties panel. Dimensions will be shown there.

Ok, I found out it’s 720x480.
So I made a project to be Video Mode 1080i 29.96 fps
I brought the video file in the Playlist, then the Timeline. I added the Sharpen filter to the max of both quantity and size.
I exported as you said, but the result was a solid white canvas.
What am I missing?

The parameters of Sharpen can be confusing.

I have found that the true “Max” of Size is always on the Left-hand side of the slider, a small number between 4 and 9 (those numbers for my videos, not nearly as blurry as yours).
It appears that “Sharpen” is either “unsharp masking” or an algorithm that begins with unsharp masking. So Size would be the spread of smear that you are trying to correct, measured in pixel count.

Setting the Size to max numerically said to the Filter “smooth out the entire frame, then subtract that”. All white.

Look at an edge (dark suit against light background, for example) at high magnification, figure how wide the blur is in pixels, then try Size numbers between half that and twice that.

Thank you so much kagsundaram :slight_smile:
I’ll give it a go right away.

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