Removing Dirt in frames from Super 8 film

I shot footage on Super 8 film and looking at some of the images, there near the edges of the screen there is stringy looking dirt in the frames of the video. I would like to try and remove as much as I can before cropping any video to get rid of it. I try to avoid jumping into cropping because I will be sacrificing other sides of the screen as well.

Does shotcut have a feature where frame by frame I can zero in on the dirt and apply a color matching the video to try and hide the dirt presently seen in the moving video in the lens. So in other words if the stringy dirt is in the scenes where someone is wearing a blue jacket, I can add a blue color as close to the jacket as I can make it and color over the stringy dirt to decrease it and match the video…(If this makes any sense)

Think of and old film with thick cracks to one side of the frames and trying the best to remove them.

Thank you

John Paul

Hi @Ohnjay

Can you share a frame of your footage, so we can see this dirt you mention?

I’m thinking that the Spot remover filter could possibly work.

Or maybe a combination of the Mask: Simple Shape, Color Grading and Mask: Apply filters.

Hi and thank you for reaching out to me!! I have the moving images with the problem on a USB and as of now, the footage is on it’s way to a film developer because I did more taping. I should get it back in a few weeks. I didn’t upload anything from the Super 8 yet to shotcut

 For now I can upload a still shot and create the dirt effect and see if that can give you an idea of the problem.  If not enough then when the images I filmed come back to me, I will try to upload them to show.  The real deal says it all.

 I will also consider the remedies you suggested starting with the shotcut filter when I get the images back and upload everything onto shotcut.

Thanks for helping me…

Talk to you later,


Hi and let me know that you can see this picture.

If you look at the right, that is what it looks like when dirt gets in the camera and onto the picture. As the frames move in the Super 8 camera, so does the dirt. I know the frames can be cropped but if some of the dirt particles that stick out can be filtered or colored to match picture so I don’t have to crop more of the picture, that would be great.

I see the picture.

I’m sorry, but aside from cropping the video, I personally don’t see any way in Shotcut to remove these marks without leaving a trace behind. Even if it was only one frame it would be a considerable amount of work, so imagine hundreds or even thousands of frames.

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Unless you find some AI tool to fake-generate the scene on the right side, there’s really no way to make it look good.

As for less than ideal solutions there’s basically 2 you can do:

  1. use some sort of blur to hide the black stuff (Spot Remover filter is the easy version, the more advanced method would be to first use a chroma key to remove the pure black pixels then only blur the key-ed out space)

  2. use the clean area near the dirt and flip it to cover the dirt

Both of these options will look bad in my opinion, I would personally just crop out about half of it and just let the rest of the dirt be part of the film.

In the early 90’s I was one of the editors that worked on the TV series Sweating Bullets in South Africa which also was one of the earlier international TV series to be edited on D1 format. The offline edit was done on an MC2 (MC squared) non linear editor. There were a huge amount of watermarks and other artefacts on the film that came back from the labs. To fix it we would mask the watermark then grab a still from the previous or next frame and fill the mask with it. It worked best when there was little to no movement of the camera. It took 4 editors thousands of hours to make the corrections. If you have clean “slate” frames beforre or after this may be the ultra tedious option. If not and if all your artefacts are on all frames on the right as illustrated the only fix is a crop or a zoom because without reference pixels AI may just create a blurry border using a random sequence of neighbouring pixels to fill the offending area. Hair in the gate is a nightmare. Good luck.