Trying to better my home movies

I am pretty new to Shotcut and I’ve been trying to better the quality of my home movies. I have various formats of film, wvm, mpg, mp4, and mov.

On my later films, mp4, I tried increasing the resolution from 720 to 1080 but I’m not sure if the result was any better, (difficult to see a difference). Reading articles about increasing resolution seem to differ, one says don’t bother and another says it helps. Could anyone on the forum tell me if I’m wasting my time trying this way?

I’ve tried increasing the fps and this seemed to have a positive effect.

I’ve tried increasing the quality from 55% increasing gradually to 80%. At 80% the file almost doubled and again I’m not sure about the results being better.

I tried playing around with the filters, (sharpen, white balance etc.) with some success but have to be careful not to go mad with the values.

Would changing the deinterlacer from good to best help the quality?

I accept it is unlikely to export a perfect film but could someone point me in the right direction please.

My system: i5 7600 3.5GHz processor, 16 GB RAM, NVidia GeForce GT 1030, 64 bit Windows 10 (latest version) Shotcut version 20.02.17

I believe you are wasting your time trying to do this (it’s called “upscaling” - see my response to this similar query here:

Other than messing about with the filters I myself have not had much luck trying to improve an original video’s quality. Good luck anyway.

I would say that it depends on your goals. For myself, I when through a project a few years ago to curate and archive all my old home films. I had a combination of scanned film, interlaced DV files, 720p and 1080p files. I decided to normalize everything to 1080p60 as a convenience so that I knew that all my files would play the same on any device.

For film, I spent quite a bit of time on grain reduction and color correction.
For interlaced DV files, I made sure I used the best deinterlacing quality and I also performed some color correction.

For my own home movies, to apply color correction, I just used the color picker in the white balance filter. I would select the color picker, choose a color that I thought should be neutral. Then, If I thought the result was better, I kept the filter. Else, I deleted the filter and went with the original color. For me, it was a simple way to improve the color for may clips without making a large time investment.

No my collection is starting to include 4k sources. So I will probably reset my normalization to 4kp60 for future projects.

It’s all in the details. If the source video is mushy, nothing’s going to fix that. But if it’s quite decent and sharp at 720, then increasing to 1080 can look better if the right settings are used. Usually, increasing resolution gets best results if the video is upscaled first and then sharpened afterwards. But Shotcut will apply filters first and then upscale right before the export, so we don’t have this option. This means you may have to apply a Sharpen filter stronger than what looks good to the eye so that the mushiness introduced by upscaling balances it out. For reference, the Sharpen filter at 30% is the “do nothing” setting… less causes blur, more causes sharpen. Once you find a value you like, a Sharpen filter can be applied to the Master trackhead once rather than applying it to every individual clip. Oh, and use Lanczos as the interpolation algorithm for best results. On the odd chance it causes halos or ringing, switch to bicubic.

Shotcut duplicates frames in order to increase FPS. In theory, the original and the export should look very much alike and there usually isn’t a benefit to increasing FPS. It basically means more frames to encode, which makes for a larger file that’s harder to play back, all for the same look since frames were merely duplicated. I’m curious what positive effects you noticed. But again, trust your eyes… if it looks good, it is good. Theory is just theory.

You’re right… 80% is well past the point of diminishing returns. Quality at 68% (CRF 16) is the sweet spot I recommend to people (where the eye can no longer discern the difference), but that’s very subjective to people’s use cases.

For interlaced sources, yes. For progressive sources, this setting is ignored.

If you have sources like VHS that contain lots of noise, Shotcut also has some denoising filters that might interest you. The “Reduce Noise: HQDN3D” filter is usually quite good for VHS.

You are already very much in the right direction. :slight_smile:

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It depends on first the source, then the destination. What resolution what the original video filmed in? Once processed, are you loading it up on youtube or just playing it on your computer? The higher the resolution your video is captured the better the end result is going to be. If you capture something in 720p then upscale to 4k, it’s never going to look as good as you want. I’m just unclear of the source. Were they first captured on a video camera saved on tape? If that’s the case, it can only get upscaled so much.

Thank you all for responding to my questions. I want to read your replies carefully before replying to you posts.

My goals as I said was to better my movies, I suppose I meant I want them to be more watchable. I dare say that when I started my expectations were too high but now I know that it’s not the software but the poor quality of my films.
I’ll try the colour picker in white balance as you suggested and bring my films at least up to 720. As most of them are quite short I want to string them together to make longer videos with the same theme. I will have to find out about interlaced files before I can give you any feedback.
Thanks for you help.

Austin: It’s all in the details. If the source video is mushy

Thanks for your reply.
Resolution: First increase then come back to sharpen. I’ll try that tonight.
fps: To answer your question, the results looked less jerky to me.
Quality: 68% is the best setting. Okay thanks
Deinterlacer: Clicking in properties showed the Scan Mode as Progressive. Is that what the film in my playlist is? Thanks for the noise reduction tip.

bentacular: It depends on first the source, then the destination.

Thank you as well
The films I’m working on are just for my computer and not for youtube. The films were captured on a Sony digital video camera which uses a tape, I then uploaded the film to my computer using a USB cable, at 576. Is the quality on tape recordings normally low?

Elusien: I believe you are wasting your time trying to do this (it’s called “upscaling”

Thank you for responding.
I’ll have a look at Handshake and take a closer look in Shotcut at all the filters available.

The recommendation is always to set your project video mode to match your desired export format. If you do this, the video will be scaled to the video mode before filters are applied. If you do not set the video mode to the desired resolution, but override the resolution in the export settings, then the filters will be applied before the scaling.

Thanks Brian, I found the video mode in the ‘Settings’ at the top left with File Edit etc. Until now I have increased the resolution in the export settings. I’ll try it this way and see how it goes.

Great point. I took it too much for granted that he built his timelines the other way, and may not want to potentially start over if he had coordinate-based filters already applied that wouldn’t survive a change of video mode.

If you plan to make many videos with the same format, I recommend creating a template project file that you pull the clips into for each video. The template file saves you the effort of setting up the same settings over and over again (and potentially getting one wrong).

There is a video tutorial here that demonstrates how I had done it:

That video also shows the audio normalization filter I use.

Here is one that shows how I did film restoration:

Note that there are now multiple video noise reduction filters in Shotcut and people will debate which one is better.

I did say that I was new to Shotcut and I’m still finding my way around. I had watched your ‘film restoration’ video with interest but I haven’t come across the track filters video. Very informative, it looks like I have a long way to go before I can say that I know how to use Shotcut. Thank you

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