Restoring old WW2 16mm Kodak color film 4:3, to 4K 16:9 using HitFilm Pro

Fox Posts: 91 Enthusiast

HF is a great tool in the box. I use HF to restore and improve old films and pictures. Also for color rising.

This clip was recorded in 1943 in color, but its marked by the many  years.  I am working on a documentary about the bombers in WW2, and this is a clip from the material, to be used in the docu.

HF is a real strong platform to do it in, but i also use other software like "Neat" who works inside HF. 


  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Lord EarthPosts: 3,566 Ambassador

     Wow this is impressive restore, really pops out, you have to have a transition section on your video showing old and new.

  • Fox
    Fox Posts: 91 Enthusiast

    Thanx ;o)

    Yes somehow it will be implemented, in the final cut.  

  • alaska_vfx_filmer
    alaska_vfx_filmer AlaskaPosts: 556 Enthusiast

    Wow! That's an amazing bit of restoration!

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,890 Ambassador

    Looks great!  Nice work.

    Just my $0.02 -  If it were me I'd maybe kick the sharpening back down a bit.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,219 Expert

    @Stargazer54 @Fox See, that was the thing that jumped out me, too.  But I love it and wish I knew his settings.  I had my old family 8mm scanned frame by frame and then color corrected them and used a copy of Neat Video for Pinnacle Studio (before I started using Hitfilm) but I never got the kind of improvement I see here.

  • Fox
    Fox Posts: 91 Enthusiast
    edited July 2020

     Thanx all :0)

    The setting's is various, as they depends on the the clip to work on. 

    The first thing i do is to adjust brightness and contrast.  Some of the old film's are gone off color, so sometimes i add a bit  of ""Tint" grade to reduce the red color, who makes the skin color to red.  Sometimes a bit of DeHaze is also used. Then i resize the 3:4 to 16:9, 1920x1080  you have to scale the clip up to fit the new setting. To keep the right scale, (its essential to keep aspect ratio and scale) This will cut a part of the sides and bottom of the clip. So you will have to adjust the position acording to the content. Sometimes you will need to move the clip using the "Position" and key the flow to keep the central point of wiev, you wish in the clip. I then render my composit clip into ""Cut1"

     Next step is using "Neat"" on "Cut1"
    Using Neat is a bit advanced to get the right result, again the diffrent clips will need diffrent settings and it all depends on the profile you make on the clip, as it sets the restore quality. A profile are best above 60%.

    Once finished render again  "Cut2"

    Neat will sharpen you clip according to your settings. But if required to sharpen the clip more. The  best tool is Unsharpen !
    In general dont go above 10px in the radius, the amount and threshold, experiment until it fits your desire.

    Neat also removes "Flicker" but sometimes the clip is really damaged, and even Neat cant repair it fully.
    Then there is only one posibility, you make a PNG sequence (Each frame is made into a still pic) and then you start work with a paint shop software on each pic, using the clone tool. (Its good for the days when it rains outside ;o)

    In the same content i might use a stand alone software specialized to Denoise pictures Topaz De-Noise

    And finally i will convert the clip up to 4k using Topaz Lab
    You can do this in HF also, But this software is really good, as it also can de-noise / de-block and converting clips from all most any old format up to 4K- 8Kwith awsome results. I sometimes use it on the original clip to get more pixels in, before doing the stuff mentioned above.

    There is a lot of experimenting to do, a lot of try out's until you reach what you want. And also ! Its not all vid's who can be restored, it all depends on the quality of the original recording.

    Stargazer54 The final cut's in the docu are difused a bit.  ;o)

    I hope it all makes sense ;o)


  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,156 Expert